A few quick thoughts on Assassins Creed 3. (very minor spoilers)

Posted by GunstarRed (5025 posts) -

I managed to get my copy in the post earlier today and have played a pretty huge chunk of it. I'd say going by achievements that I'm coming up on the halfway point and I have been enjoying it, but not without more issues than I would have liked.

I have found the game to be full of some really messed up glitchiness, people disappearing, fights ending before all soldiers are dead, totally unresponsive guards whilst you murder all of their friends around them, some really bad framerate in some of the more action orientated set pieces. Just a really high volume of weirdness, nothing game breaking, but definitely immersion breaking.

I have found the games story so far to be enjoyable although it's nothing you haven't seen elsewhere in the series already. I have played as Desmond and I really enjoyed his first mission, I don't really think this is a spoiler for anyone.

I have a lot to say about the "extended prologue" (late title card) and can't wait to discuss the "Holy fuck!" moment that occurs at the end of it. There has been a sequence that is by far the weirdest thing in any of the games and I'm expecting far more of that.

I have done the first Naval battle, it was far more exciting than I thought it would be.

I don't really like what they've done with the shops, it seems needlessly complicated, I preferred the way it was handled in the last three games, but it's hardly an important part of the game. there's a lot of animals, and there's a lot of opportunities for animal murder. (I stealth killed a raccoon)

Overall it feels like more of the same so far, probably a little more ambitious in scope, there's some awful looking scenery in some of the woodland areas, something I really, really wasn't expecting and some of the British voices are so, so, so, so terrible. Connor's voice is great and so are a couple of other major characters, but some of the supporting cast sound like they're just reading it off of the page which is weird for such a high profile game.

I think the faces look great, there's been some exciting stuff happen, although I was really put off by the three or so missions at the start of the game that had instant fail states, but as soon as it opened up it felt a lot more balanced. I'm also not a fan of the way you can be attacked by up to four guards all at the same time, it feels like a cheap way to up the difficulty as most of the combat is pretty easy.

At the minute it feels like more of the same, I'm hoping for some truly mad/ great stuff to happen. I'd love another AC2 ending moment, but who knows how it'll end. It seems like a good game at the minute, nothing has elevated it to great yet, and the technical stuff is really bumming me out at times.

edit - It also features possibly the best instance of Nolan North swearing.

EDIT 2 -Finished it. Connor's story gets pretty exciting towards the end, but ultimately falls flat. Desmond's unfortunately falls even flatter, which is so depressing as his final gameplay sequence shows a hell of a lot of promise.

The end isn't Mass effect levels of bad, but it glosses over a lot and is pretty much a non-end point for the series (surprise) Very few answers despite the feeling that they were going to lay out all the space people stuff clearly. It's not a clever or thought provoking ending, just brief and a little insulting to people that have stuck with the series for five games.

I am left pretty disappointed overall. I expected more from the storytelling, but all I really got was uneven gameplay. I like the game for the most part, but it's pretty hard to recommend to anyone else over the better (Ezio) games in the series.

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#1 Edited by GunstarRed (5025 posts) -

I managed to get my copy in the post earlier today and have played a pretty huge chunk of it. I'd say going by achievements that I'm coming up on the halfway point and I have been enjoying it, but not without more issues than I would have liked.

I have found the game to be full of some really messed up glitchiness, people disappearing, fights ending before all soldiers are dead, totally unresponsive guards whilst you murder all of their friends around them, some really bad framerate in some of the more action orientated set pieces. Just a really high volume of weirdness, nothing game breaking, but definitely immersion breaking.

I have found the games story so far to be enjoyable although it's nothing you haven't seen elsewhere in the series already. I have played as Desmond and I really enjoyed his first mission, I don't really think this is a spoiler for anyone.

I have a lot to say about the "extended prologue" (late title card) and can't wait to discuss the "Holy fuck!" moment that occurs at the end of it. There has been a sequence that is by far the weirdest thing in any of the games and I'm expecting far more of that.

I have done the first Naval battle, it was far more exciting than I thought it would be.

I don't really like what they've done with the shops, it seems needlessly complicated, I preferred the way it was handled in the last three games, but it's hardly an important part of the game. there's a lot of animals, and there's a lot of opportunities for animal murder. (I stealth killed a raccoon)

Overall it feels like more of the same so far, probably a little more ambitious in scope, there's some awful looking scenery in some of the woodland areas, something I really, really wasn't expecting and some of the British voices are so, so, so, so terrible. Connor's voice is great and so are a couple of other major characters, but some of the supporting cast sound like they're just reading it off of the page which is weird for such a high profile game.

I think the faces look great, there's been some exciting stuff happen, although I was really put off by the three or so missions at the start of the game that had instant fail states, but as soon as it opened up it felt a lot more balanced. I'm also not a fan of the way you can be attacked by up to four guards all at the same time, it feels like a cheap way to up the difficulty as most of the combat is pretty easy.

At the minute it feels like more of the same, I'm hoping for some truly mad/ great stuff to happen. I'd love another AC2 ending moment, but who knows how it'll end. It seems like a good game at the minute, nothing has elevated it to great yet, and the technical stuff is really bumming me out at times.

edit - It also features possibly the best instance of Nolan North swearing.

EDIT 2 -Finished it. Connor's story gets pretty exciting towards the end, but ultimately falls flat. Desmond's unfortunately falls even flatter, which is so depressing as his final gameplay sequence shows a hell of a lot of promise.

The end isn't Mass effect levels of bad, but it glosses over a lot and is pretty much a non-end point for the series (surprise) Very few answers despite the feeling that they were going to lay out all the space people stuff clearly. It's not a clever or thought provoking ending, just brief and a little insulting to people that have stuck with the series for five games.

I am left pretty disappointed overall. I expected more from the storytelling, but all I really got was uneven gameplay. I like the game for the most part, but it's pretty hard to recommend to anyone else over the better (Ezio) games in the series.

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#2 Posted by LiquidPrince (15843 posts) -

@GunstarRed said:

there's a lot of animals, and there's a lot of opportunities for animal murder. (I stealth killed a raccoon)

edit - It also features possibly the best instance of Nolan North swearing.

These two things make me oddly excited!

#3 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@LiquidPrince said:

@GunstarRed said:

there's a lot of animals, and there's a lot of opportunities for animal murder. (I stealth killed a raccoon)

edit - It also features possibly the best instance of Nolan North swearing.

These two things make me oddly excited!

This was one of the reasons RDR is my favourite game ever. Hunting is such a cool side thing to do, searching for that rare animal scoping out the area. Are there hunting challenges?

#4 Edited by Yummylee (21251 posts) -

Hmm. A shame to hear about the technical fuddles. Still, just how samey does it all feel overall considering the massive change in environments and such? I've never been totally invested in the AC series (besides the first, which I bought at launch [and hated], I played them all like a year after their release; haven't touched Revelations), so a lot of what you're describing sounds a lot like what I would expect.

It's the world that always inevitably draws me into an AC game, so as long as the era feels genuine and there's still plenty of stuff to do throughout, I'm sure I'll be happy. Still not entirely sure about whether I'm going to get this in 2012. Saving my money for Lego LOTR, Hitman Absolution, and Far Cry 3. I'll probably come to more of a decision once I've seen the QL, review, and bombcast discussions. With Brotherhood in particular I felt kinda bad for putting it aside for so long because that game was fan-tabby-tastic, and ever since I've now been more so inclined to play an AC game when it's still topical.

And you're liking Connor? How does he stack up against Ezio? Also is the Brotherhood mechanic still in play?

Oh, and the soundtrack! I love the soundtrack from AC2 and Brotherhood. It's recently dawned on me that Jesper Kyd is bloody everywhere, which is a good thing! So the more I get to listen to some of that legend's music, the better. Reading up shortly after each of their releases that Jesper Kyd done the soundtrack for Darksiders II and both Borderlands games, it made me think, ''Of course he did. Because both of these have fucking stellar soundtracks!''

#5 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

What platform you playing on?

How long is the game?

Is there much side stuff to do?

#6 Posted by niamahai (1405 posts) -

..should i wait for the PC version...

i'm a bit torn

#7 Edited by GunstarRed (5025 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior: I'm at about 20ish hours and I'm at mission 9 of 12. I have done a lot of side stuff though, whenever I get missions to clear an area of the map I'll spend an insane amount of time doing so. I assume my final time will be up into the mid 30's, but I bet you could probably burn through the story in 15 - 20 hours. 360, there is a TON of side stuff to do it's all pretty hit or miss, there's one mission that requires you to assassinate three rabid dogs.

There are hunting challenges, but hunting is easy and most animals can be killed more efficiently with the basic quick time events.

@Yummylee: I think the soundtrack is pretty weak. The main theme which plays through the last cinematic trailer comes up a lot in different versions. It's fine, but not as good as anything that has come before, although that may just be a personal thing.

I'm undecided about where I would place the game in a list. I really enjoyed Revelations earlier this year, but I know I'm in the minority with that. I have found the story in this to be.. and I don't want to sound like I hate the game, but other than a dramatic moment here and a twist there I have found Connors story to be a little boring. Desmond fares better story wise, but his second mission is awful, I wouldn't be surprised if it was a section made by one of the other teams.

I find myself frustrated by the bad mission design. Instant failure is never, ever, ever fun and quite often there is no feedback to how you have set people into go nuts mode... and enemies go fucking NUTS in this game. There's a megaton of them also, a far higher quantity wandering around the streets.

I have hit a few missions where the objective is simple, but getting the game to do what you want it to do is insanely frustrating. One chase sequence you have to run down a lot of really narrow streets and you know how you have homing sticky-ness to walls in these games.? That paired with a strict time limit to catch up and guards just hitting you out of nowhere... just AGHHHH.

Connor is no Ezio, he's a little boring and feels a little too good. (occasionally he sounds bored) Thankfully there are other characters that make up for his dullness. I expected his story to have some strong emotional impact from the trailers, but it's pretty cliche and the standard revenge deal.

A general update on what I think about it - It's more Assassins Creed, even with the woodland areas and the hunting it feels very, very similar. I will be curious to see if anyone else has all the mad glitchy stuff happening. I was playing it with someone sitting with me earlier and within ten minutes about 20 really weird things happened like a lady growing out of my arm and a dude seemingly having a fit in front of all the main characters during an in game cutscene. The most common thing is people just disappearing, mission markers not popping up or people you need to follow walking around in a circle. It feels a little like when the characters shift about a little in Mass Effect dialogue sections, like Mass Effect one shifting about.

edit - Oh and escaping from an alert is oddly really tough. I think I have only ever escaped from them like twice. The guards are reaaaaaaaally persistent.

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#8 Posted by adam1808 (1372 posts) -

Is it better or worse than the AC benchmark that is Brotherhood?

#9 Posted by GunstarRed (5025 posts) -

@adam1808: I think Brotherhood was a better game.

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#10 Posted by adam1808 (1372 posts) -

@GunstarRed said:

@adam1808: I think Brotherhood was a better game.

Okay. How did you feel about Revelations then? As a matter of interest.

#11 Posted by GunstarRed (5025 posts) -

@adam1808: I liked it, I only played it at the start of the year and found it to be.. I dunno, more mature in its approach to storytelling? It seemed far more intent on giving a quieter more personal story for both Ezio and Altair. I really liked how the game ended for both characters and while I know it really doesn't mean anything in the overall story it was nice to give Ezio a nice extended goodbye. It also featured some of the best platforming levels in any of the games.

The songs Ezio sing in the palace mission are wonderful.

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#12 Posted by adam1808 (1372 posts) -

@GunstarRed said:

@adam1808: I liked it, I only played it at the start of the year and found it to be.. I dunno, more mature in its approach to storytelling? It seemed far more intent on giving a quieter more personal story for both Ezio and Altair. I really liked how the game ended for both characters and while I know it really doesn't mean anything in the overall story it was nice to give Ezio a nice extended goodbye. It also featured some of the best platforming levels in any of the games.

The songs Ezio sing in the palace mission are wonderful.

I'll have to go back to it at some point. I do remember enjoying it more than most people did. And yes those songs are fantastic. I love it when the AC team try something a bit different.

#13 Edited by poisonmonkey (326 posts) -

@GunstarRed: Hi, I got my copy delivered on Saturday and have been playing for most of the weekend. I agreed totally with all of your points. It is a buggy mess at times, I have been stuck inside a tree a few times!! and seen people buried half way up the body in the ground. Also had a couple of hard freezes.

I have just started using my assassins guild which seems to be not as well executed as in Brotherhood or even in Revelations, there is no customisation to the recruits (this was minimal in the other games but appreciated anyway) and they automatically level up with no skill points etc to distribute.

The combat is harder in AC3 (it is harder to counter) which is something I wanted but now it is here I think I prefer the fluidity of the previous games combat (especially chaining finishers which is much harder), it shows us gamers are never truly happy!

My own opinion is that this game by far has the better and tighter storyline but Brotherhood is still the benchmark for fun gameplay.

I still have a way to go in the game so some of the above may change.

#14 Posted by Mushy46 (13 posts) -

Thanks for the impressions. Some of what you said worries me but maybe the technical stuff will get foxed with a patch.

#15 Edited by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

Every open world game needs some charming open world jank!

To be honest, some of the technical hiccups make me kind of nervous but it's not like the other Assassin's Creed's have been without their share of technical screw-ups. Looking forward to it regardless!

#16 Posted by Ghostiet (5224 posts) -

Playing Assassin's Creed II was pretty much the greatest experience of 2009 for me - some of it may have come from my absolute dislike of the first one. I don't really expect ACIII to beat that and your post kinda disappointed me, but nonetheless, I am still HYPED AS FUCK.

#17 Posted by huntad (1930 posts) -

This thread worries me. I don't think I'll have the same problems with the story, but the amount of bugs I've been hearing about (here and elsewhere) seems higher than in previous installments. I thought Revelations was pretty buggy, and I only got stuck in a few buildings.

@GunstarRed: Also, I absolutely hated some of the platforming levels in Revelations. Unless you are not referring to the levels where you hold the left stick forward, hold A (or X on PS3), and RT? I found them completely boring and easy. Maybe there are other levels that I forgot about.

Nonetheless, I am worried. It doesn't help that I've had this weird feeling about the game coming out and having problems since last month. Don't know why.

#18 Edited by GunstarRed (5025 posts) -

@poisonmonkey: The combat was weird to begin with, there was a point where I thought it wasn't working, but getting into the flow of holding down the button after almost every kill you can do some truly amazing chain kills. I love how the camera weaves in and out of people when you pull it off well. I aren't fond of having the counter markers pop up on three soldiers all at the same time, making a counter impossible. You can hold the counter button in for quite a while, there's a pretty generous window.

Yeah, it seems really awkward how you send off Assassins to do missions. When they level up to full rank they are like an unstoppable army.

@huntad: They weren't hard, but I enjoy the push forward and hold the right trigger platforming

I still think that despite the problems the game is good, it isn't unplayable and it's still the same core gameplay that the series has always had. I have had a lot of fun with it. I wouldn't play a game for 20 hours in one weekend if I didn't. It feels too easy to focus on the negative because there's a lot of little things all adding up. I really must stress that I think that the core of it is just as fun as it has ever been.

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#19 Posted by project343 (2812 posts) -

How is the hunting? How's the property ownership stuff? How's the homestead?

#20 Posted by paulwade1984 (477 posts) -

I hear what you say about the voice acting. Ziio is diabolical. I kinda see what they were going for but f**k is it terrible.

#21 Posted by GunstarRed (5025 posts) -

@project343: You get like a kind of hub-land area. There is no buying property. You invite people to hang about near your home and do missions for them, then send off the things they make/trees they cut down to be sold to shops. It's an overly complicated process that doesn't really benefit you in any way, looting corpses and hunting down all the treasure chests will give you all the money you will ever need.

The hunting is pretty much just for selling things as described above. You can set snares and bait, there's a short tutorial, but hunting the larger animals pretty much just requires that you run at them until a button prompt pops up. It's a nice inclusion, but I don't see the point in bothering with it most of the time. If I get into an animal fight I tend to have a little kill spree, but it's more of a distraction than anything else.

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#22 Posted by AssInAss (2543 posts) -

So is hunting all just Quick Time Events?

If so, a huge disappointment. Far Cry 3 will be there to satisfy my animal murdering urges.

#23 Edited by studnoth1n (222 posts) -

@adam1808: you seem like your looking for any excuse to buy the game. i doubt it's a total piece of dogshit. ubisoft has to protect their patents and copyrights, so at the very least it should be a reasonably solid piece of tech. but to pay $60 for a game that your ambivalent about? i don't know, that seems a bit foolish to me, but i tend to be a little too frugal, even with my vices.

also, when ubisoft decided to depart from the strong cultural influences and architecture that was prominently featured and distinguished the series, it occurred to me that these people who are in charge of the game's development are either completely tone deaf, or simply unaware of what makes an assassin's creed game interesting to begin with... and it sure as shit ain't the convoluted, incoherent story. in fact, not only does it seem that they're unable to grasp the more appealing features of their own game, they decide to take the game in a completely opposite direction, with a much more austere and empty setting-which makes sense considering it takes place during the birth of a new nation-which hardly makes sense given what the series has done so far.

overall, AC3 seems like a unnecessary risk. it may do "new" things, but don't mistake that complexity for depth. what's the saying, "you can't bluff and idiot." anyway, i'm sure the game is going to do very well financially, but i have a feeling that even those who are gungho about the series, i think these people are also going to recognize there's something "off" about this game... more than just the dazed and incomprehensible storyline.

#24 Posted by adam1808 (1372 posts) -

@studnoth1n: I'm invested in the concept of AC. I like the historical side of things and don't give a damn about the sci-fi conceit that allows it. Personally I think the setting is perfect for Assassin's creed purely because of the potential that the time period provides.

#25 Posted by HistoryInRust (6274 posts) -

All I have to say is holy fuck repeated dialogue.

#26 Posted by GunstarRed (5025 posts) -

@HistoryInRust: From the people walking about the streets? There is a ton of it, people saying one line over and over and over, although I have come across the same thing in previous AC games.

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#27 Posted by HistoryInRust (6274 posts) -

@GunstarRed said:

@HistoryInRust: From the people walking about the streets? There is a ton of it, people saying one line over and over and over, although I have come across the same thing in previous AC games.

Well, that too. But I got into a fight with Sam Adams nearby and he kept saying "Unhand that boy. He's done no wrong." Over and over and over and over and over and over.

#28 Posted by Jackel2072 (2236 posts) -

I'm in hate with the controls. It's been the thron in my side with every assassins creed game. I just don't think the game does "stealth" well. Contact sentive cover and items have never really worked in games (well onces that require you to act quickly) I feel a lot of issues (my issues) could be solved with a simple sneak button allow me to crouch when I want not when the game feels I should. However the thing that keeps me playing is the story and its so far a really great story.

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