Discussion: What makes AC3 such a horrible experience?

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#1 Edited by OfficeGamer (1087 posts) -

Yo giantbomb cats, what's up? I heard a lot of people dislike Ass Creed 3, but why?

I've always been a fan of this franchise, loved the good times I spent as Altair and Ezio and had some pretty cool gaming moments in those games. But now that I'm 16 hours into Assassin's Creed 3, I can confirm that this game is wretchedly horrible! I've tried different approaches and tried to receive it with a variety of mindsets, changed my tempo and pacing and switched up my flow here and there, but no matter how much I try to adapt to it, I find myself often enough sighing, fake-punching the monitor, and calling the developers a bunch of c-word jerks.

But why is that? The game looks & mostly feels f***ing good, has enough new mechanics and weapons to feel fresh, etc. Still it causes my stomach unrest.

I honestly expected this to be my GOTY and wanted to believe for several hours, but she will. not. let. me. love. her.

I thought that this is simply Ubisoft turning the quick action nature of AC1 and 2 into a really long RPg-ish time sink that requires patience and understanding of the mechanics and surroundings. Kinda as if they pulled a Skyrim with this new game. But even that approach didn't change the discomfort or confusion.

Besides the technical bugs and long intro, what are your reasons duders? Here are mine! I hope you agree!

Section #1: Story priority

  • The story focus actually dictates the gameplay and limits the player freedom almost completely

Max Payne 3 was not a good experience, mainly because of that. You knew that the cutscene you just saw will be shortly followed by another, and it was all a big movie sequence of cutscenes with gameplay 'breaks' in-between. Can't say I enjoyed the shooting either, probably because I used an Xbox controller, but either way. Assassin's Creed 3 does the same thing and it simply extracts any feel of sandbox or freedom from the experience. AC3's gameplay is a glorified pseudo-open-world version of the Max Payne 3 shootouts.

AC1 and 2 were about the gameplay, and the cutscenes complemented that gameplay with good stories. Not dictated and absolutely confined it within a cube!

  • You barely assassinate anyone

Remember in the good old Assassin's Creed games where you used to frequently assassinate important figures as well as many side-mission-assassination persons? In this game, aside from the story assassinations that happen once every five hours (yes, I can't remember more than 3 "important" people I've assassinated), and a few face-less soulless crosshair icon assassinations on the map, Connor does pretty much everything aside from assassinating.

The game is too busy introducing you to new characters and events and throwing names mechanics at you to let you actually be an assassin.

  • Confusing story

After the shocking ending of Brotherhood, I stopped trying to understand. Clearly the AC3 writers are not trying to win me back. They are floating in the world of nonsense! The father is completely uninteresting, the continuous traveling has become uninteresting, Desmond's character arc went down in flames, I'm bored of the two nerds wiping his ass, and I just have no idea what is going on anymore. I no longer desire quitting the Animus to the real world, I try to skip all of the Desmond cutscenes.

Section #2: Style over efficiency

  • Them Animus menus just got out of control
Congratulations on finishing the mission! Here are 15 seconds of nothingness that will feel like an eternity
What is thisssss

Ubisoft sadly went overboard with neat menus of the Animus and turned them into a slow, flashy and inefficient mess. You want to hit escape and change some settings? Welcome to [a slow] hell! You want to switch weapons or gadgets? Welcome to hell! You just finished a mission? Welcome to hell!

Want to see who the available assassins are, their progress, and so forth? Haha, nice try. Here, look at the pretty map showing you Quebec.

  • The visual effects in general are a mess :(

You're about to run outside the permitted area? Here's a round black Satan wailing in your ears :) You just died? Here's what a dubstep music video should look like!

  • Mini map shows nothing
"Terrain is overrated"

Section #3: "Why??"

Wait, is this an "area of control" map? This exists in AC3? Don't I have to blow up towers to get control? Wait that was AC2.. No, Brotherhood.. Either way.. What's this?
  • Mechanics and items they randomly added and removed throughout the franchise

I vaguely remember using the Eagle vision to identify/classify people, using cannons to kill marching armies, playing a tower defense game to defend the neighborhood, using a hook to zipline, and many other things. None of them are a thing anymore. There was also one of the AC games that let me craft a ton of types of bombs.

I don't understand, is it allowed for a developer to experiment so much with random mechanics and just put them in and take them out over the years while simultaneously trying to maintain a consistent image of the universe of the franchise?

If anything, it causes the player a major feeling of being underpowered because you were taught things and when you mastered them they disappeared, and now you gotta learn these new things.

  • Confusing RPG infrastructure that does not fit to this fast paced story-driven franchise

I'm still confused by this. The cutscenes and story-driven sequence structure yell Max Payne 3. Yet there's a crafting system that reminds me of Witcher 2, yet most of the stuff you loot is useless and can only be sold. At the same time, there are naval missions. And you can send assassins and traders to do stuff in far away places. And there are dark underground tunnels with their own minigames and puzzles. Oh, you can also totally go Red Dead Redemption on the wilderness's ass.

Yes. That just happened.

Disappointed Altair does not approve. At all!
  • Inventory

There doesn't seem to be any distinction between items that can be utilized by Connor, items whose only use is selling, and items that somehow fit in the enigma that is the crafting screen. I never know whether I'm supposed to sell everything or not, whether the crafting components are acquired via loot, purchase from stores or some sort of side-mission loot.

  • Terrible artificial intelligence

Really? Still using the retarded AI of the first AC? They see me, nay, stare at me, I'm right there, and an icon over their heads has to fill up before they realize I'm there? And when I go around a corner they just investigate real quick and let me be?

Next gen game indeed.

Section #4: Gameplay limitations:

  • 'Use' key does everything
This poor E key never stood a chance

During an intense fight, this key picks up rifles, drops rifles, switches rifles, loots, picks up explosive barrels and counters attacks. During normal gameplay, this key picks up/puts down lanterns, lights tunnel torches, pets animals, interacts with doors, interacts with missions, dismounts from horses, analyzes clues, drops from ledges during climbing, is a part of quick time events with animals, opens chests and picks their locks. I'm sure I forgot 10 more functions.

Walking over a dead soldier and his rifle, next to a lantern and a door, in an underground tunnel turns the E section on the HUD into a disco ball.

  • The climbing is a disappointment

Going from the complex and challenging surfaces of 16th century Italy to the smooth and simplistic wooden/brick walls of colonial America is a big big downgrade. The churches of the first AC had more going for them, man!

  • The navigation flaws are unacceptable

Trying to simply run from point A to point B is still a long journey riddled with Connor/Desmond humping a railing or a barrel or a door step. The fact that moving the character around without him stumbling into stuff and going onto his own brief climbing adventures, has still not been achieved, is scandalous. It's been 5 years, Ubisoft! Where's the progress!

"Damn, big guy with the axe.. I wish I could lock on you to shoot you when I'm fighting 20 guys at once"
  • Locking on enemies = gone

Why would they remove this? Why would the locking method during a crucial battle be who I aim my mouse at? When I'm fighting 10 guys and I'm saving one bullet for the big guy, I usually end up wasting it on a weakling!

This also causes the long-range stuff to be more like quick time events. You can't aim your crossbow/gun at anything. I know there's an aiming crosshair, but it gets outweighed by the shiny outlining system. That outline on an enemy/an animal is really what decided whether you do shoot and who you end up shooting.

  • Bad stealth. No crouch.

I really don't need to say anymore here. The stealth behavior is restricted to high bushes and cover walls. You cannot crouch and move around stealthy like a true stealth assassin.

  • Connor is not as badass as Mel Gibson
  • Look at the following image.. It looks like a crazy badass action scene is about to ensue, right?
Sadly, Connor's arsenal is not impressive, his actions are slow and surprisingly weak/ineffective against the resilient enemies.

I expected some fantastic The Patriot ambushes to take place the first time I stood on that branch, but really, all you can do is hang one guy using your dart rope, and then you're on the ground countering attacks. You can't throw knives, can't throw your tomahawk, the bombs are underwhelming, etc...

Hmmmm...

All I can say is, Assassin's Creed had such stupendous potential to become a behemoth of it's own, one rivaling the likes of The Elder Scrolls, Final Fantasy, The Witcher and Mass Effect.

But it just didn't.

(potential wasted)

Please tell me what you think of my humble argument giant bomb cats

#2 Posted by Bollard (5827 posts) -

  1. The game doesn't fucking work.

This is the main problem I have. I've only managed to play four hours because on GTX 500 series cards the game crashes consistently within 5 minutes of gameplay, with terrible green artifacting. I'm genuinely upset by this game because I was looking forward to it so much, and liked what I had played.

#3 Posted by N7 (3666 posts) -

The only thing I didn't like about the game was how the "silent" bow was advertised as "silent" and that when you shoot someone with it "silently" they will die "silently", but in reality it alerts every enemy in a ten mile radius and initiates world war three. And how they roll out mechanics waaaay too slowly. You spend the first 10 acts becoming Rahdunehahgaydune, and it's not until the near end of the game you have everything you'll need; all mechanics and items and whatnot.
 
Everything else you've listed seems like you were just looking for problems. I didn't mind the lack of a crouch because it wasn't in any other game. And in an AMA the developers said they didn't put it in because you can't really be sneaky when you are the only person crouching around everywhere, it would look off and obvious. I can agree with that.
 
I liked Assassin's Creed 3 because everyone complained about the other games saying they weren't going to do anything different with the series. Sure, they removed a LOT of content from what they have shown at events, like the boats, and "assassination on the move", but it's a brand new game. It doesn't follow very many of the conventions set forth by the previous games. It felt new and it's exciting to see what's to come. The game deserves a "Brotherhood-esque" follow up that fixes all of the issues it has and improves what it does right. I would really like to start the damn game with all, or at least most of the tools necessary to actually have fun, instead of doing "one more mission" just to unlock a feature that other games have began with.

#4 Posted by Killerfridge (316 posts) -

I had to give up on Assassins Creed 3, and totally agree with all of your points. It's like they've taken steps backwards ever since Brotherhood. And is it just me or has the system where you can use different items in fights (stabbing a dude, then grabbing him and shooting another) gone?

I think for the next assassins Creed they should just start over. Take a few years off. How many people are legitimately going "Oh man yes I can't wait for another Assassins Creed next year" I might be wrong, but almost every persons opinions I've read seems like they wouldn't mind if the franchise took a year or two off to get its shit together.

#5 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

The story being a buttload of wank is the reason it makes it such a horrible experience.

If the gameplay was worse, yet the story was up there, I would have played and enjoyed so much more of it.

But like I said, Buttload of wank. GOOD WRITE UP.

#6 Posted by Lelcar (771 posts) -

I honestly think we're all just tired of the franchise. Assassin's Creed was pretty much my favourite series to come out this generation and I loved it and thought I couldn't get enough. I went as far as to do everything I could in each game. Then they officially annualized it and I thought Revelations was terrible. But I still had high hopes for AC3 to make everything better.

Objectively I think AC3 did a lot of cool stuff, had some great mechanics, story, etc. But unfortunately my heart just wasn't in it. I beat the game and I enjoyed some story beats, but I was definitely forcing myself to do so and I certainly did not do all the side stuff. I'm just tired of the series now. They need to either change it completely or I need more of a year break from Assassin's Creed. I don't think it matters how much they improve on the formula at this point, it needs to change. And it really saddens me that I don't love the series like I used to.

#7 Edited by Metzo_Paino (322 posts) -

I don't think ACIII, Revelations or any of them have been bad, but they've failed to improve much while continually becoming more scattered in focus.

What was once a series that surprised and delighted me is now a known quantity that I still enjoy, but don't think about much once it's over.

#8 Posted by FilipHolm (669 posts) -

I liked the game

#9 Edited by DonPixel (2621 posts) -

Its a freaking disjointed mess, with no clear design priorities, and a dull sci-fi jesus aka Hero's journey story. Yet, the most important reason: its just boring, I keep wondering: When is this gonna get fun, or good, or at least any interesting at all?.. apparently it won't.

Also those menus.. for god sake, talk about over designing shit, that won't actually work for what its design is intend to work. Because ya know... it looks pretty (so someone thought)

wonderful visuals and top notch animation thou.

#10 Posted by Fredchuckdave (6094 posts) -

Game's fine more or less, it's not as good as Brotherhood but the multiplayer tweaks make that side of things excellent. If nothing else it certainly feels like a new AC game whereas the last few were just iterations on AC2 (even if one was an excellent such iteration). What other game can you be brutalized and massacred in ancient board games?

#11 Posted by Bobby_The_Great (1012 posts) -

@Metzo_Paino said:

I don't think ACIII, Revelations or any of them have been bad, but they've failed to improve much while continually becoming more scattered in focus.

What was once a series that surprised and delighted me is now a known quantity that I still enjoy, but don't think about much once it's over.

I agree with this. I honestly have a blast with AC3 running around the wilderness, but I think the story and the mechanics have become too much and very unfocused. It seems the development teams are just trying to throw too much into the game, instead of making it a game about stabbing dudes.

#12 Posted by kishinfoulux (2505 posts) -

It's not a horrible experience. I honestly think if people think this game is legit awful, they need to have their head examined.

#13 Posted by Kyelb22 (294 posts) -

Huh, I really liked ACIII. To each his own, I guess.

#14 Edited by MentalDisruption (1670 posts) -

Personally I haven't really enjoyed the series since everything after AC2. The assassinations just feel less and less important and satisfying with each new game, and that's what I play the game for in the first place. They've added too much "variety" and diluted what I really enjoyed when I played AC2.

#15 Edited by nomorehalfmeasuresdoctor (143 posts) -

Sorry Duder, You wrote too much. I stand by what I said to my friend after beating the game. Ubisoft kept telling people it was OK to jump into AC3 without having played the previous games. That is simply not true. AC3 was the anti ME3. Whereas ME3 was really disappointing at time to long time fans. AC3 was a love letter to anyone who has played all the games and thoroughly enjoyed them.

If you hadn't played the previous games it was one of the most monotonous games of the year, the pacing was a mess.( I am truly baffled at how a game could be so brilliantly paced at parts of it but than be so horribly paced for the rest of it). If you had played the previous games it was fucking awesome as hell at times. It was clearly made for people who invested a ton into the series regardless of how I feel about its ending.

PS. Connor was fucking fantastic.

#16 Posted by EXTomar (4940 posts) -

I believe a factor is that the game loop hits "fail states" too easily and forces a brutal restart. You do something slightly wrong in some scenarios you get loud warnings about synchronization failure and sometimes it just boots you out and for you to do again instead of offering partial sync.

#17 Edited by PrioritySeven (325 posts) -

@Chavtheworld said:

  1. The game doesn't fucking work.

This is the main problem I have. I've only managed to play four hours because on GTX 500 series cards the game crashes consistently within 5 minutes of gameplay, with terrible green artifacting. I'm genuinely upset by this game because I was looking forward to it so much, and liked what I had played.

First post nails it. Not much in this game actually works. Movement is clunky and the controls aren't as responsive as you need in some sections. Invisible walls are everywhere, like in tree-running sections or on top of buildings. Bugs and glitches occur at a regular pace (anyone else do a leap of faith and end up being shot into the sky? Happened to me about a dozen times). White loading screens that never load the next section, resulting in a console lock. Enemies immediately attack you while you're incognito, even if you're not in a restricted area or near a large group of them. Also, the optional objectives are flat out BROKEN. Some fail in the middle of completing a task without the fail parameters even being met (ie "Don't touch the ground" in a tree running section immediately failing halfway through...without touching the ground).

What IS impressive about AC3 are the naval combat sections, which makes you wonder if two separate teams developed this game. Immensely disappointing for me as a big AC fan.

@kishinfoulux said:

It's not a horrible experience. I honestly think if people think this game is legit awful, they need to have their head examined.

You're correct, it's not the worst thing in the world. But as a follow-up from the Ezio trilogy? Not a solid entry.

#18 Posted by PhilipDuck (569 posts) -

Character pop in on draw distance constantly.. bugs in free roam and in missions which at times makes the game unplayable.. Boring tasks to do along side the story.. I don't know why they did this to the game it could have been awesome! They pushed the consoles to far and didn't give them self's enough time to correct major issues on the console versions.. (Xbox 360 version i played)

#19 Posted by handlas (2748 posts) -

....mmm I liked it. Brotherhood still is the best.

AC just needs to have the fat trimmed. Cut all the extra crap and make the good parts better. Traversal, fighting, building a "brotherhood." That stuff is awesome. The Naval stuff was good too. AC3 squanders most of that by making it pointless. Majority of the ship stuff is side missions. I never started recruiting assassins until I had already beaten the game. The frontier was barely utilized thus making a lot of the mechanics with tree climbing a waste of hard, good work.

Charles Lee was also so damn good. And he is was wasted. The scenes he is in where he gets pissed off are captivating. They did a great job with his facial animations. But he is in the game so little and you have so little reason to be angry with him to want to get your revenge. Your mother is killed because he ordered an attack on your village or something... but we never really saw much of that occur.

#20 Posted by themangalist (1747 posts) -

Nicely written. I would say all of those problems exist in two onwards as well. But AC3 just manages to make everything worse.

The story of Connor I liked waaaayy more than Ezio, the setting was also interesting if not for boring architecture. I don't hate AC3, and honestly, liked it more than 2.

#21 Posted by Bollard (5827 posts) -

@kishinfoulux said:

It's not a horrible experience. I honestly think if people think this game is legit awful, they need to have their head examined.

I think the game hard crashing to desktop within 3 minutes of launching allows me to think what the fuck I like about this bag of shit.

#22 Posted by kishinfoulux (2505 posts) -

@Chavtheworld said:

@kishinfoulux said:

It's not a horrible experience. I honestly think if people think this game is legit awful, they need to have their head examined.

I think the game hard crashing to desktop within 3 minutes of launching allows me to think what the fuck I like about this bag of shit.

Never had that experience. Game always ran perfectly for me.

#23 Posted by Irvandus (2878 posts) -

THE LAST TWO SEQUENCES ARE TERRRRRRRRIIIIIIIBBBBBBLLLLLLLEEEEE

Online
#24 Posted by Mardybum15 (2 posts) -

I haven't been into the AC series at all. Back when it released along side Mass Effect one I choose the latter and never looked back. A friend eventually let me borrow AC, I played it for a few hours but ultimately gave up because I found the game too boring. Still, I was hyped for the new IP from Ubisoft feeling it had major potential and it wasn't hard keeping an eye on the series due to its phenomenal sales numbers. I skipped basically the entire series tried out brotherhood, but the controls I hated. Truth is I didn't give it much a chance. I decided to abandon the AC series until I saw the trailer for AC3, I LOVED the setting, so I bought it. I'm only 2-3 hours in and I'm afraid I'm regretting the purchase... I've had more glitches then my first hours of skyrim, which is not fine but I'll play through them if the game is good enough. The menu system is WAY too cluttered, though I do like the little history lessons they provide on locations and people. But the controls to this game are just awful, well, imo. Combat is terrible, I hate it. I don't understand how people give it a pass, how it wasn't overhauled and rectified... But if the game's story is worth it I'll play through glitches and bad gameplay, listening to GB's GOTY's bombcast has made me very skeptical... Here's to hoping AC3's unique setting justifies the purchase. I have a feeling, though, that I won't ever finish this mess of a game.

#25 Posted by Crash_Happy (737 posts) -

@OfficeGamer: lmao, simply fantastic piece.

#26 Posted by DrMcKittrick (231 posts) -

@nomorehalfmeasures said:

Sorry Duder, You wrote too much. I stand by what I said to my friend after beating the game. Ubisoft kept telling people it was OK to jump into AC3 without having played the previous games. That is simply not true. AC3 was the anti ME3. Whereas ME3 was really disappointing at time to long time fans. AC3 was a love letter to anyone who has played all the games and thoroughly enjoyed them.

If you hadn't played the previous games it was one of the most monotonous games of the year, the pacing was a mess.( I am truly baffled at how a game could be so brilliantly paced at parts of it but than be so horribly paced for the rest of it). If you had played the previous games it was fucking awesome as hell at times. It was clearly made for people who invested a ton into the series regardless of how I feel about its ending.

PS. Connor was fucking fantastic.

This without a doubt is the QFT of this entire thread series regarding ACIII. If you have not played and COMPLETED the previous AC games (including Revelations) then you have no clue whatsoever about this series. Don't spend one or two hours of any game in this series and expect to know what you're talking about.

Having completed all said games, my humble opinion is they tried to do just a bit too much. But the majority of the game worked and the story was told rather well. The final scene with Connor and Charles Lee totally paid off. The battleship mission were flawless if and rewarding. The only thing I didn't really care for was the economy and building the group of assassins. In the end I just had the one. I couldn't get around to how to find others. As for the economy I felt that it would've been better to just earn money based on how far you delved into the homestead messions. You shouldn't have had to buy stuff, create convoys, etc, just for a few bucks. AC2, Brotherhood, and Revelations did the economy perfectly and they should've stuck to that. In the end, it was only good for building up money to improve your ship anyway.

This game was my GOTY regardless. Despite the flaws there was much love put into it and I can't wait for the next installment.

#27 Posted by Will_M (346 posts) -

The Desmond parts of the game were terrible. Abstergo and the Templars can't stop 4 people from globetrotting the world and getting everything they need to stop the world from being scorched? Desmond just walks into Abstergo's HQ and starts murdering dudes? It all felt rushed and half-way finished. The prologue was done fairly well and had a pretty awesome twist. And the first few hours of Connor's story was fun to watch. Watching the lead up the revolution was pretty interesting since that's something we all took classes about (in the US, at least). Playing it was another story. Too many stealth sequences, too many chase missions and too many eavesdropping parts. The second half of the game is a rushed mess that squanders any interesting plot points and characters that deserved more exploration.

The side stuff in AC3 felt like filler with no payoff. I made sure all the colonies were assassin controlled and my entire assassin team was max level. Zero purpose. I was allowed to call in for assassin help in maybe 2 or 3 missions. The liberation missions were dumb and monotonous. The underground fast travel locations was a pretty pointless mechanic. Ezio handled it a lot better in his games since all he did was throw money at it to open up new fast travel points. The frontiersman stuff was ok but kind of silly. The homestead missions tried to mix up the variety but ultimately went on entirely too long. The payoff for homestead missions? Better crafting and trading. The payoff for that? More money! Money gets you nothing in this game except for useless weapons. I say their useless because your entire time fighting will be spent countering, breaking defenses and countering again. You can do that with any weapon... even without a weapon. In fact, i just went into most fights disarming everyone and shanking them with muskets.

The naval side missions and the secret pirate treasure were the only side missions that I enjoyed in its entirety. Upgrading the ship and ramming the fuck outta those tiny clippers was really fun. Going on foot in the pirate treasure missions was also a nice change of pace. Those kinds of dungeon side missions have always been some of the best moments in AC since AC2.

#28 Posted by Jimbo (9979 posts) -

It's a disjointed mess, because nobody over at Ubi has a vision for what AC is supposed to be or where it's going anymore. They kitchen-sinked it, which is the exact opposite of what the franchise needed. I'm a fan of the franchise, but AC3 was just trash from start to finish. Brotherhood was significantly better in every respect.

#29 Posted by Artso (77 posts) -

I liked the game, weird I know. For me it's hard to be upset about the ending when I've hated Desmond and the Animus part the whole series. Sure the combat is not great and all but I really liked Connor and Haytham. The dialogues were sharply written, voice acting great, environments great and the naval stuff was fun. Most of all I loved the multiplayer, never having played the mp in any other AC game. To me it is a pretty great game but then again I had low expectations. It probably shouldn't be on any top 10 lists but horrible? I just don't see it.

#30 Posted by Ksaw (353 posts) -

@kishinfoulux said:

It's not a horrible experience. I honestly think if people think this game is legit awful, they need to have their head examined.

I think if this were the first or even second installment in the series it would be a lot easier to overlook to the game's shortcomings and admire it's ambitions. Its when you start to compare it to the previous games( 2 and Brotherhood ) which were much more cohesive and far less frustrating, that 3 starts to become really disappointing.

#31 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -

I liked the game. I've said before that I thought most of the other mechanics in the game (from the Homestead to the naval missions, etc.) all felt disjointed. The game felt like minigames rather than a coherent whole. On the other hand, I loved the naval missions and loved the homestead. They were great ideas, but they weren't incorporated into the main mission structure as they ought to have been.

Things were also "streamlined" in ways that made the game worse, such as the lack of manual locking on (wasn't a problem in earlier games), the simplified health and nonexistent armor systems, etc. The movement of Connor seemed a huge step backward to me. So, yeah. It's not as good as Brotherhood, because they keep screwing with things that weren't broken.

Still, I had a great time playing this game. It wasn't a horrible experience at all (well, the framerate did occasionally suck, but not as much as some people claim). My major complaint (common, it seems) is that the good stuff was all side-missions. I'd like for them to go back to Brotherhood, and basically just do that again with new characters and a new setting. They seemed to ditch everything that made Brotherhood a great game. The result is merely good, with some flaws.

#32 Posted by Ixaan (25 posts) -

Frameate issues on consoles asside, I thought 3 was the most fun gameplay and had the most beautiful landscapes of the series. The problem I had with its story did not come together at all in the end and most of the systems dont work well together (Such as giving you sidemissions in the homestead but not giving you any incentive to actually do them because its out in the middle of nowhere). It was a great game, but Ubisoft hyped it up to be way more than it ended up being. I still think it was a great game, but it was just such a huge let down because they could have done so much more with the story and made more of their systems play well together if they released early 2013 instead of sticking to their 1-a-year-AAA-titles policy that Ubisoft has.

#33 Posted by natetodamax (19219 posts) -

It felt like a major step back in terms of gameplay. None of the side stuff was meaningful, all of the Desmond stuff was just awful, and the game lacked the giant, beautiful cities with magnificently tall towers that you could climb. This obviously was accurate for the time period, but still, Boston and New York were not as enjoyable to be in as Rome, Venice or Constantinople.

Additionally, all of the assassin recruit stuff was basically pushed aside. It was all in there, but the game practically ignored it. Also, I think building up a guild of assassins is much cooler than, say, a dirty butcher man with a meat cleaver.

#34 Posted by Jack268 (3387 posts) -
@N7 said:
 but in reality it alerts every enemy in a ten mile radius and initiates world war three. 
Actually that would be world war one at that point
#35 Posted by lclay (380 posts) -

@Chavtheworld said:

  1. The game doesn't fucking work.

This is the main problem I have. I've only managed to play four hours because on GTX 500 series cards the game crashes consistently within 5 minutes of gameplay, with terrible green artifacting. I'm genuinely upset by this game because I was looking forward to it so much, and liked what I had played.

Really? I'm using a GTX 550 Ti and it never crashed on me once.

#36 Posted by Cybexx (1223 posts) -

I'm not super far in, I've been distracted by other better games, so I just met George Washington and I've mostly been doing side activities. I'm not hating it but yeah it has a ton of problems. First of all, your right their enemy AI is terrible for stealth and you feel clumsy when trying to stay stealthy, this especially stands out this year when you can compare it directly to Dishonored and Mark of the Ninja. The AC2 trilogy knew the stealth was terrible and thus their mission design seemed to get further and further away from stealth missions. ACIII is more heavily focused on stealth but they didn't improve the AI or stealth mechanics so it feels worse.

Second, more than any game in Ubisoft's past this game feels like how it was produced, by many large Ubisoft studios. This was fine when you had one studio handling the single player while another handled multiplayer but with multiple studios handling different aspects of single player you can really feel how much they struggled trying to glue it all together. As many people have mentioned the economy is kind of pointless, there is pretty much no real reason to do the side-activities if your looking to improve you chances during the story missions. After recently playing a bunch of Sleeping Dogs this stands out because all the side activities in that game feed into each other quite well.

The naval battles are easily the best part of the game, I encountered some pretty wonky physics during one battle, but generally its pretty fun. It fascinates me that the Ubisoft Shanghai, the guys who did the mediocre Splinter Cell sequels (Pandora Tomorrow, Double Agent 360), turned around much better gameplay than Montreal and Quebec City. Though they did have a much smaller portion of gameplay to tackle. I remember reading an interview somewhere from one of the Montreal producers saying that he didn't expect the Naval Battle stuff to be very good and they were actually planning to cut it due to a lack of faith in Shanghai.

#37 Posted by Bollard (5827 posts) -

@lclay said:

@Chavtheworld said:

  1. The game doesn't fucking work.

This is the main problem I have. I've only managed to play four hours because on GTX 500 series cards the game crashes consistently within 5 minutes of gameplay, with terrible green artifacting. I'm genuinely upset by this game because I was looking forward to it so much, and liked what I had played.

Really? I'm using a GTX 550 Ti and it never crashed on me once.

580's are affected most but it can affect 570, 560 and 590. Can't remember about 550s.

#38 Posted by shenstra (166 posts) -

@OfficeGamer: Let me start off by admitting that AC3 is probably in my top 5 games of the year. I loved the previous games in the series and while AC3 isn't the best AC, it does improve on all the previous games in one way or another.

It seems to me like half your problems come from playing a crummy PC port of a game designed for consoles. The menu's work fine on a console. The use-key is a staple in console games and AC3 chose to adopt this approach because, frankly, the previous system confused too many people. Now on a PC, you have a whole keyboard in front of you and you're probably somewhat used to keys having certain meanings (i for inventory, m for map, etc). The AC series tried something like that and it was a barrier to entry (read: barrier to more sales).

The minimap thing works fine (at least on PS3). The map shows roughly what Connor has (or might have) seen. The higher up you are, the larger a radius you reveal on the map. And like previous games, this game has view points which allow you to reveal larger portions of the map. Not sure what the problem is here...

The rest of your issues are mostly a matter of preference. I loved the verticality of previous AC games, but AC3 trades some of that in for more varied environments. I'm glad they took a quasi-break from tall ass buildings and offered something new and unique. The wilderness is amazing. Yes, it's a shame they didn't do a whole lot with it in the main story, but that doesn't make it less interesting to explore.

The stealth is the way it is because that's what 'stealth' in Assassin's Creed games is. Always has been, hopefully always will be. This is a third person action adventure game, not a stealth game. There's a bit of a renaissance of stealth going on elsewhere, which is cool I guess. But I doubt most AC fans would appreciate a more hardcore stealth style game.

The Desmond scenes where always terribad. Worst part of most games. In AC3, it's still not great, but they made it play better and mean something.

Anyway, I could go on and on, but opinions and all. I'm sorry you had a horrible experience with AC3. Sure, it has its flaws (my biggest beef is that the homestead stuff doesn't really go anywhere), but there's an awesome game there. Also: naval missions! WOOO!

#39 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

Besides gameplay mechanics and problems, I think the setting/time period is completely unappealing and just doesn't work for the game.

#40 Edited by Abendlaender (2887 posts) -

The problem with 3 (an AC in general since Part 2) is that is has to much pointless systems in it. Wanna save settlers so you can build tabels to sell for money if you clear trade routes? NO! I FUCKING WANT TO ASSASSINATE SOMEONE!

Don't get me wrong, diversity is a good thing but I feel like the Devs put this in, not because it was a meaningful addition but because they needed something to stretch the game out a bit more. Also I NEVER EVER bought anything in the game. Seriously, not once.

Also the story is weird and kinda stupid. So the whole time Connor is like "I must revenge my tribe!" and in the end you find that out the guy you hunted for the whole game is not responsible for what happend but you decide to kill him anyway cause he is a dick (which he is) but the guy who actually attacked your tribe is A-Okay because it's Washington. Erm, okay? I guess that makes sense?

Another weird part, for me at least, is that every single time you kill somebody important the game makes you feel guilty about it by having them speak about how you don't understand anything and they just wanted to make the world a better place for everybody etc. Now, I'm not opposed to a good, intricate story but it was getting ridiculous. Just let me murder somebody AC3 without him telling me that he was about to deliever the cure for cancer. In AC1 the templers all had similar speaches but at least they also sounded crazy and where clearly evil. By the half of AC3 I was convinced that Connor is actually the bad guy

#41 Edited by Deadmanforking (579 posts) -

I loved the game. Just not as much as Brotherhood. Plus Connor sucked, Haythem should have been the main character.

Oh also the ending was terrible.

#42 Posted by Artso (77 posts) -

@Deadmanforking said:

I loved the game. Just not as much as Brotherhood. Plus Connor sucked, Haythem should have been the main character.

Oh also the ending was terrible.

I really liked Connor, guess I'm in the minority. One of the best moments to me was when he tells certain people that should they try to oppose or follow him he would kill em both. Badass!

#43 Posted by hermes (1606 posts) -
@Bobby_The_Great

@Metzo_Paino said:

I don't think ACIII, Revelations or any of them have been bad, but they've failed to improve much while continually becoming more scattered in focus.

What was once a series that surprised and delighted me is now a known quantity that I still enjoy, but don't think about much once it's over.

I agree with this. I honestly have a blast with AC3 running around the wilderness, but I think the story and the mechanics have become too much and very unfocused. It seems the development teams are just trying to throw too much into the game, instead of making it a game about stabbing dudes.

That summarizes my opinion as well. The game is constantly introducing new mechanics, most of which are poorly implemented, extremely circumstantial and only used once or twice. It feels like the designers had a brainstorming session and no one at QA tested them.
#44 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

I liked it, way more of a slow burn compared to other AC games though. I really liked the wilderness parts, making the homestead better etc but the city design was a bit lacking, in terms of going on a crazy parkour run along the rooftops as you could in AC2.

#45 Edited by oraknabo (1514 posts) -

I don't understand how anyone is able to like this game. I haven't gotten to Connor yet, but I'm starting to think I'm never going to make it. NOTHING in the game has been enjoyable in any way so far. I'm not complaining about the long intro or being tired of the series. I love the other games and thought every one of the first 3 made great improvements and I thought the systems and controls in Brotherhood were just about perfect. I loved running around Rome and the game gave you so many different things to do at every turn and they were almost always really enjoyable. So far in this game there is nothing to do but one mission at a time or run around killing soldiers. I start having fun climbing around, but every time I go into a mission the controls don't work, the stealth systems are terrible, you don't get enough information about what you're supposed to do but then you fail for not approaching every mission exactly the way they want you to. I even had a couple of missions where I had 2 or 3 things to do and kept failing until I changed the order I approached them--everything else I did the same.

I REALLY hate sounding like an entitled angry nerd, but I am starting to get angry here. This game is beautiful and the location and story are appealing to me, but it does everything it possibly can to try to make me rage quit. If I hadn't been given the game as a gift I'd be wanting my money back. I know there is a lot of complaining about the game, but from what I've experienced so far, I can't believe it's not as big of a deal as ME3. I don't know why we have to put up with shit like this from the big publishers. I've invested a lot of time and a decent amount of money into this series and I'd really like to finish it, but I have a lot better things to do with my time than waste it with a buggy game that is such a chore to play.

Anyone who even considered this for their top 10 of the year in such a great year of games is either stupid or crazy.

#46 Posted by Artso (77 posts) -

@oraknabo said:

Anyone who even considered this for their top 10 of the year in such a great year of games is either stupid or crazy.

That's funny seeing as most of the GB crew seems to think that 2012 was a pretty meh year for gaming.

I don't know what to tell you, I've never felt like the AC series had great stealth or great combat. Also my expectations were low after hearing all the hate for the game. I was surprised when I liked it. I didn't feel like the controls were broken but the main reason I play AC games is for the historical setting and I ended up really liking Connor and Haytham (Desmond can fuck off). I guess we just had different experiences, you should probably stick with it but it's okay to have different opinions.

I do have many problems with the game though but nothing too major. I really dislike that there seems to be no way to kill a captain of a fort without then having the whole fort come running to kill you.

#47 Posted by natetodamax (19219 posts) -

Also, I wasn't a fan of how many missions had instant failure states. It made the game feel way too linear in that there was only one way to complete the mission, and you had to do that one way perfectly or it was game over. It got pretty frustrating.

#48 Posted by project343 (2838 posts) -

As a long-time fan of the series (I've finished AC1-AC:B 3 times, invested tons of time into the multiplayer), I'd rank them as follows:

  1. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
  2. Assassin's Creed 2
  3. Assassin's Creed 3
  4. Assassin's Creed
  5. Assassin's Creed: Revelations

You can complain that Assassin's Creed 3 has poor mission design, but people are too quick to forget how painful so much of the Revelations experience is, and the severe lack of meaningful content Assassin's Creed (1) has between assassinations. As far as I'm concerned, this is the best thing Ubisoft has had going for itself as a franchise since Rainbow Six.

#49 Posted by oraknabo (1514 posts) -

@project343 said:

As far as I'm concerned, this is the best thing Ubisoft has had going for itself as a franchise since Rainbow Six.

That's part of the problem though. When great individuals are attached to games, they are about creating great games. When you are left with a faceless corporation, they become franchise factories.

#50 Posted by Klei (1768 posts) -

You said that Max Payne 3 wasn't a good experience. Sorry, I disagree. I thought MP3 to be a superb experience from bottom to top. I also strongly liked AC3. Much better overall, in my opinion, than AC2 and its spin-offs. Why? Because I totally felt disconnected with the character and its world. It wasn't believable to me. Also, most of its storyline, again to me, felt forced and disconnected.

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