- Platform: Xbox 360(Reviewed), PS3
- Published by: Ubisoft
- Developed by: Ubisoft Montreal
- Genre: Adventure
- ESRB Rating: M For Mature
- Number of Players: 1, Online Multiplayer 2-8
- Release Date: October 30th, 2012
Assassins Creed 3 was obviously on a lot of people’s radar as a possible Game Of The Year contender, from the way the previews and demonstrations were looking, it wouldn’t be too far out in left field to think the game would have an absolute lock on a lot of awards from the video game industry. Needless to say expectations were high, very high, but you can’t judge a game by previews and demo’s alone, which is why we play the games. Video games and sports has a lot in common, anything can happen, and just because a team or a game looks good, doesn’t mean it will end up being good. All of this begs to question is Assassins Creed 3 a pretended or contender?
The odd thing about Assassins Creed games is that we’ve been really saturated with them recently due to the yearly release schedule, some of the more recent entries felt more like add-on content, as opposed to a new game experience. When I saw the first Assassins Creed 3 trailer I was blown away and I pre-ordered my copy the same day. It turns out Ubisoft Montreal was working on Assassins Creed 3 right after they finished part 2, so this new game has actually been in development for a while now, I believe this actually helped reinvigorate people’s interest in the series, it didn’t hurt that Ubisoft really blew everyone’s socks off at E3 this year, Assassins Creed 3 looked like a next generation game, yet was slated for current generation consoles. Once again though, you cannot always judge a game by its looks.
The Revolutionary War setting for Assassins Creed 3 was a breath of fresh air, not that I didn’t enjoy climbing and jumping around Europe, but because after four games set in the same types of areas you need a change of scenery and the new settings for Assassins Creed 3 do the trick rather well, the environments really look beautiful and new. The overall graphical scope of the game is really impressive, although there are still some issues with draw distance, pop-in textures and screen tearing. These are older consoles after all, so of course they are going to suffer a bit in the performance from time to time, but if you’ve didn’t mind a bit of these things in the other Assassins Creed games, you won’t mind them here either, it’s definitely not a game breaker or anything that happens all that often, but it can take you out of the “awe” factor from time to time. For the most part though, the graphics are on point and Assassins Creed has never looked better. The character models look even more detailed and so do the surrounding towns and areas. I was impressed with the animal renders in the game as well, its tough to pull off believable wilderness animals and settings but Ubisoft Montreal has managed to do both pretty flawlessly. I wish that the repetitive look of the enemies was altered a bit, but that isn’t a deal breaker.
If you’ve played any of the other Assassins Creed games you’ll know exactly how to control this game, although there are some slight modifications in this Assassins Creed, and the game is more reliant on firearms when compared to previous installments. Assassins Creed 3 is much more reliant on fighting in general this time around, but there are still plenty of options for stealth gameplay as well, you are an assassin after all. There are some interesting new weapons to learn and use, and some old favorites return. The world is expansive and vast, often times you’ll just want to forget about the plot and check out the frontier to see what areas of wonder it has to show us. I would definitely say that this is the largest game in the series and you will assuredly spend a good chunk of time exploring, hunting and seeing everything the American Frontier has to offer.
We move on to the story of Assassins Creed 3, which is probably the weakest part of the game. You play as Desmond of course, but you also play as a new character named Connor, a Native American who is compelled to protect his land when it’s attacked by European colonists. I don’t like to give away too much when it comes to stories in video games, but I generally enjoyed the Connor segments, not so much the Miles ones. I thought it was a mistake to go the whole “2012” route with this series a couple of games ago. Why Ubisoft would decide to go with a story that will be obsolete in a couple of months is beyond me, it seems like it was something pulled from a hat and they decided to run with it. So the payoff isn’t as good as you might expect and I was a bit disappointed that we’ve played as Desmond for five games now and this was the whole reason? I just didn’t enjoy the Desmond story and it felt even worse in this game than it was in the last two. I kind of said that the story was starting to jump the shark, but overall because of the strong Connor story arc, it’s still an okay story. One of the cooler things is that you will run into a ton of historical figures as Connor, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams just to name a few. The hunting aspects are also something that is very well done in the story, and it flows pretty well.
The online portion of the game is intriguing to say the least, I was pleasantly surprised with the multiplayer modes in Revelations and I was even more impressed with the multiplayer in Assassin’s Creed 3. I don’t think the communities will last particularly long when it comes to the multiplayer, but it is worth checking out and it does add to the overall experience. All in all Assassins Creed 3 is good, but it could have been great, some of the faults are because of the current hardware limitations, so I don’t really blame Ubisoft for that, but the weak story and a main character that isn’t nearly as entertaining as Ezio was, is clearly Ubisofts problem. Assassins Creed 3 lives up to expectations in a lot of ways, but the story just isn’t impressive and the pacing is very slow for the first few hours. I do think the previous games were really accessible to a lot of different types of gamers, but this one isn’t the same way. Some of the moments truly will blow you away, like being on a ship on the open seas, then you’ll have some low points like chasing down people over and over again. This series has taken some steps forward and some back, I’m interested to see what the future holds for this franchise now that they will have to go in a different direction for the story elements and characters. It’s definitely worth buying if you like the series, if you are new the franchise I’d suggest playing through the older games to see if you like the style first.