For me, Assassins Creed 3 has been my least favourite game of the series. Although it contained all the mechanics normally associated with an Assassins Creed game, something just felt off.
The game is set in Colonial America during the American Revolution. You play the first couple of sequences as Haytham the Grand Master of the Templar Order in the colonies. To be fair, these sequences were ok, seeing the whole templar/assassin war from the other side was pretty interesting, if not restrictive. As you only played Haytham for the first couple of sequences, the usual shop ownership, and equipment upgrade I love to get stuck into straight away were locked out.
For the remaining eight sequences you take control of Connor, a half-English, half-Mohawk kid who you see grow from a young child to a fully fledged assassin. Problem with this is, it then takes another three sequences to get through the remainder of the tutorial. These tutorial included hunting missions, where you would set snares or use a bow and arrow to take out certain animals. Granted this game is now four years old now, but the hunting felt a little stale and it’s been done so much better in other games. On occasions, you would get attacked while out hunting, and would have to perform a number of quick time events to save yourself from the attack.
The problem for me with Connor was, I just couldn’t gel with him at all. Instead of the suave and sophisticated Ezio and Altaïr from the previous game, Connor felt a little too much like whiny Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars episode two and three.
Similar to the previous game, there was a lot of background noise, with email alerts coming through. For the first couple, I paused what I was doing, to check if they were important, but like the last game, the were mostly ‘funny’ emails from my colleagues in the real world.
This game (for me) felt like it went a little overkill on the cut scenes, and at times, it was up there with a Metal Gear game. I wouldn’t mind if the story, period and characters were interesting, however I just didn’t feel invested in them at all.
Although in the other games you were able to mount and ride a horse, in this, you were given the option to whistle your horse (ala Red Dead Redemption), however doing so, just brought frustration. If I was in one of the cities, riding a horse pretty much guaranteed being shot, as controlling it was like pushing a shopping trolly with two wonky wheels. I normally found it easier to run through the streets. If you were out in the frontier, the horse would pretty much get stuck on….well everything. Whether it be a stone, a fence, or even a small piece of shrubbery. I ended up simply using fast travel to avoid the horse.
Another feature added to the game was the ability to pass through building. Essentially, if you were trying the escape a bunch of attackers, you should have been able to find an open door and run through the house, however in practice attempting to hit the doorway while running normally saw Connor attempting to scale the wall, only to fall and get beaten up.
Ok, I’m getting old, and don’t like change, and to have the entire HUD change to make it a little more ‘futuristic’ really didn’t work for me, and I found it a little off putting. It wasn’t just the HUD that got an overall, the entire UI did, this included the map, which even at the end of the game, I still couldn’t get used to the control scheme.
I guess if this game had one redeeming feature, it was the naval combat. Now this was a whole lot of fun. With your ship and crew, you could sail the seas and take on other ships. Although initially took a little bit of getting used to the wind direction, the half and full mast, and the steering, the broadside combat was very enjoyable. From what I understand, there’s more to come in Black Flag, and this makes me happy.
I’m not sure if I found an easter egg or if Metallica based their black album cover on the same historic events. Throughout the game there were a number of yellow posters, with a coiled snake, that resembled the snake used on the Metallica black album, with the words ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ underneath it. Don’t Tread on me, is also a track from said album.
All in all, this has been a low point for the Assassins Creed series, and really hope Black Flag is a better game.
Approx Time taken to beat – 14 hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:2/5]
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