• Assassins Creed 3 review

    The third installment of the Assassins' Creed franchise is finally here. How does it fare against its predecessors? I'll give you a hint…*makes fart noises*…

    I'll be the first to tell you, I loved the original Assassins Creed. It was a fresh concept with a brilliantly told story line. It had so many good things going for it and was the perfect realization of what a first game should be, a bit rough around the edges but still very well done. The idea is, for the sequel, you build off the ideas from the first game, fix the issues it had, and maybe add some new elements that fits the game play well. Somewhere along the way Ubisoft became lost, and decided they didn't want to follow that almost foolproof way of doing game franchises.

    Slowly but surely this franchise has gone downhill, and this last effort has left me with a sour taste in my mouth and absolutely no excitement for another one. Everything that made the first game shine brightly has been muddied in this game, but that's enough ranting. Let's actually discuss what went wrong.
    It's hard to even know where to begin, and this was part of the problem. AC3 tries to do so much in one game that it can't seem to figure out what it wants to be. The fighting in the game has been dumbed down so that any 5 year old can kill 100 men without taking a hit. All you need to do now is wait for the icon over the enemy's head to starting blinking and then counter. The tougher enemies require you to break their defense before a kill move can be accomplished, but like all moves, this is done during the slow-mo counter sequence. Fighting was obviously not the developers' prime objective.

    One of my favorite things about the series was the use of free running and climbing. Unfortunately, they ruined this as well. What used to be a fun, sometimes complicated, climb to the top of a view point (which is now pointless to do) has now become a copy and paste climb of copy and paste buildings that hardly ever require you to do more than just hold the up button. Honestly, that's all you ever have to do. You no longer are required to hit a button to "grasp" a ledge or hit the jump button to move to higher areas. The removal of these little things makes free running in the game a pointless add on and ruins an intuitive control scheme.

    If there's one thing AC3 can get right, it's the assassinations, right? Wrong. Even the corner stone of this game's very existence is dumbed down. The best parts of the first game was the planning of an attack. This is where the game excelled. You were able to plan any type of assassination depending of your preference. Want to run in weapons out and just kill every living soul out in the open? Go for it. Want to sneak around and kill them silently? Have fun. There were almost endless ways of playing a particular assassination mission with different routes to the target. However, the last few games have slowly removed your freedom in the assassination missions forcing you to use tactics and making you do the mission the exact way the developers planned you to or else you'd mess it all up and have to do it again.
    This game lacks any sense of accomplishment now. Every mission in the game feels forced and boring. I recall a mission where I decided I wanted to kill my target with my bow from afar but no dice. The game requires at least 3 arrow shots to an assassination target before they died, and by that time, everyone knew exactly where I was.

    Even outside of the assassination missions, there's not much there. The first game required side missions to learn about your target; it was all about the assassination. Now it's all about the cause, and the cause is boring for the most part. Yeah, it was interesting to take part in the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. In fact it was neat to see both events from a new perspective, but I honestly didn't care about my targets. I didn't feel the brotherhood of the Assassins, so I didn't feel the need to help. I again go back to the first game. You learned how terrible these people were, you almost hated them. You wanted them dead. There was none of that in this game for me. It was just another mission.
    I loved learning about my targets, and the attention to detail in the story from both the past and present characters. But I guess people are right when they say ignorance is bliss. I was much happier with the story when the agenda for the Templars and Assassins was hidden. When I didn't know much about the Apple or why we needed it in the first place. The more of the story that unfolds, the worse it gets. After you killed a target in the first game, you were given a moral dilemma. You saw it from the targets point of view, and sometimes you even felt bad about the kill; you questioned whether it was the right choice. Now that the assassins are the "good guys" that whole moral dilemma is gone. When a target is killed and he tells his side of the story, you can't help but think "I'm right. You're wrong, cause I'm the good guy." There is no questioning your reasons for killing, which would make for a good story line to try and say that your character was acting just like the Templars. However, that is brought up only once and quickly waved off.

    The game isn't all bad. There are some very good ideas implemented into the game, but they usually fall short. This game adds hunting, which I like, but I feel it is pointless. You collect pelts, and you use those pelts to create packs or items to sell for money. That is it though. It is all for money. There is no real reason aside from that, and you get plenty of money from the main missions.
    Another fun thing they added is sailing. However, again, it is a pointless addition that does not grant you much aside from money and a few sea battles. The same thing can be said for the added Guild missions for the thieves, assassins, brawlers, frontiersmen, and hunters guilds. They are interesting at times but for the most part are just time killers. It feels like they added this content just to say they did.

    As one can tell, I am highly disappointed with this game, and I am still disappointed in the direction the franchise is taking. I don't plan on getting the next game unless some vast improvements can be made, and I didn't even get into the hideous excuse for DRM that Ubisoft uses. *face palms*

    Recommendation: Don't waste your money.