Discussion: What makes AC3 such a horrible experience?

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#51 Edited by oraknabo (1514 posts) -

@Artso said:

@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.

All I can say is that as much as I respect the crew's opinions in most cases, they are totally wrong here. I think if this was the first game in this series, they would rate it the same as something like Call of Juarez that with an interesting setting but less than desirable gameplay.

#52 Posted by theanticitizen (276 posts) -

@OfficeGamer: My problem was that there was no ending for one, and on top of it the missions were way too trial and error, their design was just atrocious, I wanted to enjoy the campaign but I really overall can't say that I did. The missions were really boring and samey. I also had an issue where I failed several missions because Connor decided that the wall I ran next to would be a better place to spend his time instead of chasing the villain. I also found Connor to be kind of boring up until the last quarter of the game, where he finally grows some balls. Unlike Ezio who was charming and had me invested in his character from the get go. I also had several bugs in the game including one that removed my Assassin's hatchet. All of these things, but mostly the extremely broken mission design, left such a bad taste in my mouth. I cannot, in conscience, recommend this game to anyone because it's so broken it's frustrating.

#53 Posted by AssInAss (2747 posts) -

I haven't played the game, and nor will after the disappointment of AC 1, but you give well-reasoned explanations and I greatly enjoyed the write-up.

@OfficeGamer said:

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.

I'm guessing this awful trend is because it's designed for consoles with the less buttons of a controller. I first noticed it in Gears of War and it sucks!

#54 Posted by Mnemoidian (962 posts) -

While I do agree that I had hoped for more from Assassins Creed 3, I think it's you are plying ridiculous amounts of hyperbole stating that it was "horrible."

You do make some fair points, but many of them can be applied to dozens of other games.

#55 Edited by haggis (1677 posts) -

@project343 said:

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.

I'd probably put Revelations higher than AC3, but think the rest of your list is right on. I didn't find Revelations painful at all. Granted, the tower defense bit was shit, but you only had to do it once, and then could ignore it. More than anything, the series has suffered a lack of focus since Revelations, though. They need to narrow their vision a bit. We have a whole list of great mechanics--building up a brotherhood, the homestead idea, the naval warfare, etc. They need to take what worked in the best games, and integrate that into a singular main story. That's what AC2 and Brotherhood had going for it.

@theanticitizen said:

I also found Connor to be kind of boring up until the last quarter of the game, where he finally grows some balls. Unlike Ezio who was charming and had me invested in his character from the get go.

There's definitely a split in series fans over Ezio vs. Connor. I'm with you--I was invested in Ezio immediately, and found Connor to be uninspiring (not to mention extremely uneven voice acting). Ezio may have overstayed his welcome, but I was bored with Connor almost immediately. It doesn't help that the open bits of the game (which should be spent on having us invest in the protagonist) were instead spent on getting us invested in the antagonist. Odd choice.

#56 Posted by project343 (2838 posts) -

@haggis said:

I didn't find Revelations painful at all. Granted, the tower defense bit was shit, but you only had to do it once, and then could ignore it.

Well, I tend to play the Assassin's Creed games as excuses to go OCD with completionist stuff: I had to do them all. Tower defense, the fact that outposts could be taken back over, the painfully annoying bomb making process, first person puzzle platforming, and the inclusion of mini-games/QTE sequences EVERYWHERE... ugh. Revelations is the worst. Compared to AC3, all the non-story content in Assassin's Creed 3 is completely forgivable and doesn't outright disrupt the experience. Moreover, the main narrative is kept free from all the mini-games/QTE sequences of Revelations.

I also think that the removal of the property system is a spectacular move forward. Honestly, all the Homestead stuff as the pseudo-successor to the city-wide 'money sink for money sink's sake' is such a monumental step in the right direction. It takes the Villa Auditore of AC2 and moves it in the right direction with a solid feeling of player investment in a piece of land.

#57 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -

@project343: It's all about how you play. I can definitely understand if you're a completionist that Revelations might be frustrating. I, too didn't like that the outposts could be taken back over, and I don't think I made more than one bomb the whole game. I can usually ignore bits of a game I don't like if they're optional, but I do understand that not all gamers are like that.

#58 Posted by mikethekilla (328 posts) -

AC3 is a fine game that I can definitely enjoy but ... Brotherhood was so much better. The main problem I have with this game are some of it's mechanics are pointless and feel extremely confusing.

#59 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -

I think that everything started with Assassin's Creed II. You remember the reviews, right? "The best sequel ever made", "OMG! They've added so much", "This is how sequels are supposed to be!". People were surprised, and it was great. They took the best parts of a mediocre game and they added more on top of it! They also polished some stuff but hey! MORE THINGS! More things are great, huh? And i think that after AC:B, they took that "philosophy" too far, to the point where every systems in the game feels... Unfocused, unpolished. Like there are so many new things that it overwhelms the player and the whole experience feels boring and mediocre.

#60 Edited by ArtelinaRose (1857 posts) -

I'm in a weird camp where I think AC3 is great and Brotherhood is awful, awful garbage. I HATED my experience with Brotherhood. The story was boring as hell, the missions were all bland and the DO NOT BE DETECTED OR YOU LOSE IMMEDIATELY thing that happened with every other fucking mission just got on my nerves and made me not have fun. Assassin's Creed is not a stealth series no matter how badly it wants to be. Even Ezio was boring, he had no decent arcs or character interaction like he does in 2 or Revelations, just "molto bene lemme stab this cazzo my amici." I find Assassin's Creed 3 to be refreshing. Connor is interesting to me. He is young, stupid and idealistic. He doesn't know how the world works because he lived a sheltered life where they are taught extremes. But I like that. I like his overwhelming sense of justice and equality in a time where both were in very short supply. The frontier is neat because it's just a change of scenery from all cities all the time. There's stuff to do in between cities now. Is it amazing? Not really, but it's better than being stuck in a single city forever, and much better than the Kingdom stuff from AC1. The naval stuff is also REALLY good and I hope that becomes a bigger part of the game if they do a Brotherhood-esque sequel.

My only real complaints with 3 about 75% of the way through is it does a REALLY REALLY FUCKING HORRIBLE JOB of explaining systems to you, or even just making you aware that they exist. It forces you into minigames at times with no explanation of how to play them. It does not properly explain how to use the convoy system. I had NO idea I could upgrade my ship because the game never made it clear until I accidentally poked the book next to the dude on the docks that looks like the book you use for convoys. Also money is dumb and the convoy system is clunky and not well realized. I had no idea I could get more Assassin recruits by liberating districts, and while I get what they were going for, I don't like that they are all premade characters. Why can't I have a full lady Assassin guild anymore? ;_;

#61 Posted by spankingaddict (2740 posts) -

Simple , It's boring .

#62 Edited by flippyandnod (423 posts) -
  • Bad assignments.

For example, when working your homestead, you will frequently get missions "I left this thing at my other house, go get it for me". At times you have two running simultaneously (one to Boston, one to NYC). They could at least tart up the fetch quests a bit.

Too many pseudo-escort missons. I mean, having to listen to people while moving? The game has about 5 ways to make that bomb out that don't even make sense. How about that mission where you have to tail someone but you have a person with you and that guy keeps popping around corners and being seen? And the controls to try to keep him from doing that simply don't work.

How about having to make the encyclopedia of the common man? Targeting people usually doesn't work, it just says you already did that or that person isn't a valid target, or, if the person is doing an action waiting for you to show up (to start a mission) it does nothing.

  • bugs

There's a spot in NYC near that market where when you walk by, you will pick up notoriety. Doesn't matter if you own that region of town, or anything. It just happens. No red square visible there. Maybe a dog barks or something.

Riding the horse is a disaster. It's almost never faster. Just when you think you have it, the horse finds a rock it thinks is a cliff and will not cross or he goes on the wrong side of a twig on the side of the path and that forces him into a tree so he stops. Then backing out takes like 10 seconds.

Climbing up is risky, because there aren't many hay bales to jump into. And if you're in a tree, you are unlikely to see the hay bale that is there.

Weapons come and go at random. Some say their pistols disappear. I wouldn't know, I never use them, but I do know sometimes I just don't have my tomahawk. You just see that pressing the shortcut gives you bare fists. Check your inventory, and its gone.

How many times did you run toward a fence with a slot under it and Connor vaults over it instead? And what's up with the clotheslines? Does Connor really have to slow down to go through them?

Two of the water trade routes I cleared still say 80% risk on them in the trade screen. No way to fix them, because they're already cleared, but I can't use them either. Luckily the trade doesn't matter much. Sea trade even less.

  • The frontier sucks

There's little to do out there, it's just a big slog. It feels like the countryside in AC1. As soon as you get out there, you just want to get back into town.

  • Sheer stupidity.

"interactive conversation" rarely means that. The game just puts an icon there, so you run by to the icon, press the button and the elder woman (or whomever) just unloads a few sentence on you that lead to nothing.

So many game mechanics that don't seem to be developed right. Crafting sucks badly. Trading is more clicks than it needs to be and it doesn't lead to anything. And the thing about taking control of all the colonies is completely useless.

There are 6 or 7 things you can have your assassin cohorts do for you. Most can't be distinguished. What is the difference between ambush and defend? Assassinate and sharpshooters?

Fast travel just isn't fast enough. You can teleport to a few places, but you can't even see on the map where you want to go. You're supposed to go to Boston to pick up that painting, but where in Boston? You can't tell on the map until you get to Boston, so you teleport in, then probably teleport again.

Why is there so much of the map I can't fill in with overlooks? Didn't Ubi get the message people don't like to fill in maps by running around in circles and exposing it? Oh, and for the East part of NYC (I think it was East) I got the portion of the city to 90% mine, the stage where you are randomly notorious, before I even found my liberation contact (it is far North in an area you don't expose from any towers), so I had to run around being randomly attacked trying to find my contact.

What is with those cuthroughs in the buildings? They are near useless, he just runs through a building, and if you are in view and notorious, it's not like you get away because there is always another guard on the other side anyway.

Sometimes I feel really bad being so negative on this game. For example, the snow is done amazingly. But that doesn't really fix the fact that it makes some missions harder (or impossible) to do. So I just wanted the snow gone.

But then I run into the real killer. It's just too easy to fail missions. It happens frequently and for no apparent reason. Clearly the game designers noticed this too, because they put in a lot more checkpoints than in the past. This also makes me fear for Watch Dogs. People see the video and think it's going to be open world and have multiple solutions to the same problems. But they forget how Ubi does open world, they make it look open, but if you run too far away it fails you and you have to do it again, only do it their way this time.

People keep saying this isn't that bad a game. I dunno about that, but I feel like as un-fun this game is, it will really impinge sales of the next AC game. I feel like they need to patch out some of the bugs in hopes that it restores faith in the series.


Oh yeah, and don't forget the combat, which frequently turns into a morass of people where you can't even tell what you are doing. That is, if the camera didn't position itself behind a tree or spire.

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