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
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
Section #3: "Why??"
- 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.
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
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!
- 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?
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...
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.
Please tell me what you think of my humble argument giant bomb cats