Three years of development, massive budgets and a colossul swarm of fanboys still aren’t enough to save Assassin’s Creed III from mediocrity.
Now, that may sound a bit harsh, but that’s really the feeling you’re left with once you finish the story and dabble in the multiplayer. Of course, there are some fantastic segments in ACIII, just not enough to make it the poster child of the series it’s supposed to be.
Story: Connor Kenway (Native American name: Rhadkjaspeiuofuh) is hellbent on creating a free and righteous society throughout the thirteen colonies of America, and to do that he must combat the Templars, who *seem* to have allegiance with the British. To be honest, the novelty of seeing Connor interact with revolutionary heroes never dies, which is why half of the game is simply phenomenal.
Sound: The music is good. It’s got that late 1700’s vibe to it, what with the little drummer boy and flutes. It’s nice, fitting and plays at all the right times. Voice acting is fantastic, and whoever voiced Connor and Achilles deserves a pay raise. Sound: 9/10
Presentation: The visuals are gorgeous. It’s a fact. Clothing has fabric marks, tracks are left in snow and water splashes when you step in puddles. Everything just oozes detail, and that definitely takes the game far. But what holds it back from true greatness is the fairly high quantity of annoying bugs. Why can’t Connor run up that tree stump? Because he’s falling in place with no signs of stopping. Why won’t he attack those soldiers? Because the attack button isn’t functioning. Why is Connor stabbing a rabbit with no knife in his hand? Because loading textures are overrated. Presentation: 8.5/10
Gameplay: The typical Assassin’s Creed fare, minus that silly rope sliding nonsense from the last game. Connor’s “duel wielding” doesn’t do scratch, and the combat is as awkward as ever. If there’s more than five soldiers in a fight, you’re boned. Countering still doesn’t effectively displace enough enemies for you to ever attack without getting punched in the balls milliseconds later, and the entire affair dwindles down to how many deaths you can induce by surprise.
Platforming is fun as always, with the highlights of the game being those moments where you can nimbly jump from tree branch to tree branch in the thick of winter with snow pounding on you and troops below unaware of your parkour. The only times scenes like this are interrupted is when the already mentioned glitches arrive, which is rare but common enough to be a nuisance.
Stealth is crappier than ever in this latest AC installment, with relatively little of the game having anything to do with sneaking and hiding. The vast majority of missions see you running straight in to the thick of the fight and cutting heads off, which makes you feel more like Chuck Norris than an assassin.
There’s an entire Naval Combat system that really doesn’t add much to the game as a whole, but deserves to be addressed. If anything, it’s the most refined part of ACIII and is actually pretty fun as a gameplay type. The ship handling is solid, the physics are great and the overall sense of being a pirate is fun. The only gripe I have with the ship gameplay is that there’s too much stuff going on at the same time (manning the cannons, changing mast positions, observing wind flow and piloting the ship at any given moment) but there’s only three or four mandatory ship segments in the entire game so it’s not that big of an issue. Gameplay: 7/10
Multiplayer: If you eat an apple, you taste apple. If you eat the other side of the apple, you still taste apple. The apple is AC Revelations multiplayer. The other side of the apple is ACIII multiplayer. They’re practically identical, just with two new modes and a couple new faces/maps. The only new mode worth mentioning is Wolfpack, which is the AC embodiment of COD. You go around with three other people, killing assigned targets as a group, which boils down to a bunch of idiots stabbing everything in sight. Fun, but the mode should really be called Assassin’s Ops: Black Creed instead of Wolfpack. Multiplayer: 7/10
Length: I’m a little disappointed. “Fourty hours to finish the story!” the gleeful developers said, making crowds ooh and aah at press conferences. “Fourteen hours to finish the story and twenty six hours to do the sh*t sidequests.” I said, popping the single player disc back into the case with disgust. The core of the game lasts under fifteen hours. It’s a fact. And literally six of those hours see you playing as everyone BUT Assassin Connor, so really it boils down to about eight hours of quality gameplay. All of the sidequests are generic, repetitive and have almost nothing to do with the story, and the entire experience just dies after sequence eight.
And then there’s Assassin’s Ops: Black Creed to add on another fourty five minutes of gameplay. Length: 3.5/10
Overall: This game gets 6.8 tomahawks out of 10. It’s not even at the average benchmark. There are moments of sheer brilliance like when Connor is dodging bullets in the Battle of Bunker Hill, but these scenes are short and only constitute brief segments, spread out over four story sequences. The other sixty or so hours worth of content in ACIII just isn’t interesting enough to justify a purchase.