Assassin´s Creed III Review
The beginning of Assassin's Creed III is bound to hook almost anyone in. It's huge in scale, theatrical and incredibly dramatic, but unfortunately it's not able to keep that momentum going. Yes, Assassin's Creed III takes the series in a bold new direction, but it also takes away some of the key features that made previous games so much fun to play. While some diehards may love the new setting and more open gameplay, you can't help but feel let down by the revolution that never was.
One of the biggest changes from previous Assassin's Creed game to the latest installment is the how it leaps out of the dark ages and into the more recent Revolutionary War period. Throughout much of Assassin's Creed III (spoilers aside you'll start the game as someone else), you'll play as the half mowhawk, half english Ratonhnhaké:ton otherwise known as Conner. After his village is attacked, Conner gets involved in the war and the game begins proper. Of course, Assassin's Creed III continues the modern day story of Desmond Miles and the Templars. I understand that at this point they can't abandon it, but each of these sections just serves to slow down a game that already has pacing problems.
"...much more open style world than any of its predecessors..."
Perhaps most impressive about the latest in the Assassin's Creed series is size and scope of the game. Featuring a much more open style world than any of its predecessors, the game features early versions of cities like New York and Boston to explore as well as frontiers and forests where you can hunt animals and search for lost artifacts. This is all backed by some of the most impressive presentation values we've seen this console generation making for one hell of an experience.
But can the size of Assassin's Creed III also manage to hinder it? Unfortunately the answer is unquestionably yes. Ubisoft never really lets you take advantage of the size of the game inside the missions themselves, sure you're able to explore it one your own time, but the game's insistence on sticking to the same old mission structure feels incredibly limited. The gigantic battles you've seen in the trailers are few and far between compared to the same old boring trail target x to location y or the even more detestable eavesdropping missions. The game can be unbearably slow at times and what's worse, there's almost no way around it.
"...some truly amazing theatrical experiences..."
That's not to say that Assassin's Creed III doesn't have its moments. Like those huge battles that truly make you feel like you're in the middle of the road, or the new naval combat sections that feature some truly amazing theatrical experiences, but they serve merely as reminders of what could have been and it's not.
The game also suffers from seriously slow pacing -- especially in its early stages. You'll play through a number of missions, feel like you're making progress and then boom title screen. Much of Assassin's Creed III requires you to simply walk from point A to point B; talk to this guy -- talk to that guy, walk some more. I found myself wondering when I actually got to..you know..assassinate people.
Assassin's Creed III is truly a great game -- but it's not the revolution so many thought it would be. Yes, it takes the series in bold new directions and tries new to incorporate new ideas, but none of them feel completely fleshed out. Fans of the series will love it though, as it's a remarkable experience that will stick with them for years -- but the nagging design flaws, the same ones that have hindered the series since the beginning stop it from being what it can be.
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