As usual my good intentions of having a series of blog entries languished, and I just realized I never really wrapped up this whole AC3 journal. So this will knock that out. Finality! You see? I didn't completely flake out.
As 2 and a half months have passed since my last entry, it probably goes without saying that I've finished the game. My initial thoughts were mostly positive, my second entry a little iffy, and the more time I've had since finishing the game, the more it has bummed me out. Really, really bummed me out. The gameplay was fine, and the story was moderately interesting but overall my experience felt really disjointed (as noted in my second entry). More than anything however, there were some key pieces of the game that I simply could not figure out. I’ll readily admit it my be my own fault, but in my opinion the game is either busted or doesn't make things clear enough. Here are my gripes:
A) Lockpicking. I was not able to pick a single lock in my 30 or so hours with the game. I should note I’m playing on PC with a gamepad, but I tried it with the mouse and keyboard too. After several frustrating attempts, I would get the lock moved all the way over to the unlock position successfully. I even managed to hold it in that position (kinda tricky with the analog sticks) and every time I let go it would just go back to the right. No go. This was incredibly frustrating. I watched countless YouTube videos and read FAQs, and I’m nearly certain I’m doing everything correctly. I''m left to assume it’s a bug and there’s nothing I can do about it. While unlocking chests is far from central to the game, I had enjoyed finding treasures in previous games and was unable to experience that part of the game here.
B) The homestead - This part of the game was also mind boggling, and this one I’m more ready to tack up to my own impatience and lack of effort, but I did try a couple times. What did I try to do, per se? I don’t know! What is the purpose of the homestead? Get goods from your land and trade with others to make money? I think? Anyone? Alas, I didn't manage to get any goods, and aside from the initial trade tutorial I don’t think I accomplished anything. Okay, sudden urge to revisit and try again. I probably will later today. However, I did hear from some others that homestead stuff was pretty busted on the PC. I’m not sure if that’s true or not.
C) Final chase scene - This was awful. I’ve never been more frustrated in an Assassin’s Creed game. In addition, the games ending kind of caught me off guard. After the sequence with Juno, I felt certain I was going to have to make one last visit into the animus for some reason and was looking forward to a bit more. Then the credits rolled. That’s it!? Maybe my investment in this series over the past few years was bound to end in disappointment. Wrapping up a trilogy of games in a satisfying manner for fans has proven to be a difficult thing. Still, I hoped for much more, and the whole game experience has left me wanting.
Conclusion - As a very cheap guy I regret making this the one game I pre-ordered and spent full price on in 2012. I should have gone with Dishonored, Far Cry 3, or maybe XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Or maybe I should have bought the PS3 version and that would have addressed the frustrating bugs. There were lots of other frustrations I didn't mention, and quite a few really enjoyable sequences, but overall I just get angry the more I think about this game. Still, I will revisit some of the homestead stuff to give it a fair shot, and the very unique multiplayer is a nice thing to have access to if I get the hankering.