Assassin's Creed 3 game review
Scales and tales
"His name is Desmond Miles and he has brought us to the end." So begins Assassin's Creed 3. Frankly, if you believe this really is the end then you'll believe anything. No, rather than an end, AC3 is a fresh beginning, a place for new hero Connor Kenway to "rise" as the game's tagline puts it – form an orderly queue behind Batman, Mr Kenway.
Jolly boating weather
For those not au fait with the on-going tribulations of the Assassin's Creed franchise the series tells the tale of a secret war which has waged for centuries between the Templars (bad) and the Assassins (good – though just as likely to indiscriminately kill, it seems).
Thankfully, there's a whole three minute intro sequence which explains the nuances. Yet, for those of us who have toiled through the previous four titles, it's with no small amount of chagrin that all those hours of stabbing, climbing, leaping and then climbing some more, can be condensed into a three minute summary. This rather confirms what I've always suspected: that the second and third parts of AC2 really could have been add-on packs.
Regardless, here we are, taking the first tentative steps into a full successor replete with aforementioned debutant hero. The fresh setting takes us away from continental Europe's Renaissance period and into the brave new world of the American Revolution. It's an even more expansive area to play in and for the first time includes naval battles, as Connor turns captain and takes to the high seas.
A word first on the visuals. Admittedly, I'm judging by the Xbox 360 version, they've not improved too much in terms of textures or draw distance. However, they have been wonderfully expanded in terms of animation – making Connor's interaction with his world all the more believable. See him sidle up to a wall before smoothly edging around it, or subtly easing a passer-by out of his way as he stalks his prey.
Field of their own
His surroundings are more dramatic as well with snow drifts, the use of sunlight, trees as climbing aids and that luscious water during naval sections. These all combine to push current generation hardware to the maximum. Similarly, the repeated use of the same areas during summer and winter cleverly shows off not only how flexible the game's engine is, but its capacity for unveiling breath-taking vistas. Indeed, you'd do well to take this in before pushing on to the next objective marker.
Next page: Silence is a virtue
Re: Still playing the last one
Take your time.
I have played all the (released on the PS3) Creed games and was pushed by the wife to buy this one on release day.
Verdict: I'm sure it is good, but the bugs are annoying the hell out of me.
They seem to have released this too early. It blatently has not been bug tested to anything like the level it should have.
The first 2 days loading times were horendous, and gameplay frequently crashed or didn't work properly (like a mission to fight 8 soldiers where the attack button would not work) Another time we walked around with a random sword sticking out of our chest and 80% of the ladies seemed to lose their skirts when we went close to them (I quite liked that one actually).
It has got better the last couple of days, due to the obligatory patches, but still remains very, very buggy.
Just because companies can fix bugs with patches should not mean they can also release games that are patently unfinished. Does Sony or Microsoft have no quality control measures in place to prevent such things? It seems not.
Re: Anything like Dishonored?
Assassin's Creed (the main series) does have a focus on stealthiness. Some of the later games in the AC2 branch even require stealthiness to achieve "100% sync". I suppose that particular feature is present in AC3, which I haven't bought yet.
Anything like Dishonored?
I just finished Dishonored and loved every minute of it. I haven't played any of the Creed games though. Is this game anything like Dishonored, in terms of the stealth and sneaking around aspects, where it's best to avoid a fight outright?
I have enjoyed all of the AC games immensely from the beginning. However, I feel a little jaded that they have gone to the US for this one.
Of course, it had to happen at some point, it just feels to me that there are so many other places and points in history that could have given a much more satisfying backdrop for anyone who isn't from the US. Take Scotland for instance, Edinburgh and the surrounding areas have a very deep rooting in the Templar mythology as well as the south of France and India etc.
However, I am sure this entry in the series will be just as riveting as the last four games, I will even give Liberation a go as well (was suitably impressed by Uncharted on the Vita).
I'm sitting this one out
Although it was entertaining, and quite good, 'Brotherhood' left me with a very unsatisfied feeling after I finished it. The end fight really ruined it for me. The assassins I had carefully trained until they reached their maximum level were gone; unusable. I didn't get the swordfight I had been anticipating and preparing for. Nor did we ever get a scenario in the entire game which closely (or somewhat) resembled the teaser movie.
Instead you were running about with the apple which could do nothing more than turn enemies on each other. Sure; if you let it run long enough (and you had the health for it) you could kill someone instantaneously. But as such close range and such high costs that it was basically useless.
As such I skipped revelations, also because of the reviews pointing out the somewhat misplaced sections where you'd have to defend your structures against an armada of vehicles. That sure doesn't look very assassin like.
It looks like they made something quite interesting with this one, but with the experience I have so far I'm going to sit this one out. So that should I decide to pick it up the bugs will be fixed and the price will have dropped. I just hope it will be more satisfying than Brotherhood was.