Assassin's Creed 3 Review
I've always thought of this series as a nice time-machine-like game where I get to explore and sort of experience what the world was like at the chosen time periods where their stories take place. They always seemed well researched with plenty of information that you could skip and dig into as much as you wanted. This entry is no different, as we're taken to 1700s during the American revolution where we are in control of Connor. But if you're reading this chances are you kinda probably know about the gist of what it's about, thanks to an insanely hefty marketing campaign by Ubisoft, so lets just get right to it.
If you've played another in the series before, a lot of this will sound familiar. Most of the game still has you running around cities, this time in New York and Boston, where you are able to climb every where with plenty of optional things scattered around the map. You walk around, sync up with your sky-high-eagle points to reveal the map, and clean up the whatever objectives you choose. There are also collectibles, such as treasures, and feathers, which make a slight reappearance, and flying pages, which are new, that are collectibles which move that you have to catch. You can also partake in hunting, which has it's own whole system, or gamble with 1700th-century board games. Overall there's a lot of optional stuff littered around that adds quite a bit of value to the package. You could choose to do everything, or skip all of it and focus on jumping from one main quest to another; I found myself doing the latter near the end of the game. I was just really interesting in knowing what happens at the end.
The campaign was mission based that allowed you to squeeze in a lot of optional stuff whenever you wanted to in-between. What I found myself doing was not using the fast travel very much (which by the way is much easier to access and get around with in this entry) and just running to my quest point while doing whatever I felt like on the way. I didn't really like the character of Connor. I felt like he didn't evolve or change at all and just got annoying. He's very determined to do what is just and right, and that's all he is the entire game. I remember the evolution of Ezio as a random womanizing boy, to a revenge seeking assassin, as something pretty epic, and I feel like the character development was lacking in this entry.
I don't like spoiling story stuff, but the story was just weird. Still... weird.
Traversing felt easier and I found Connor screwing up less than in previous titles. Although he still did at times, which is expected with games such as this, it wasn't happening as much as it was before. The introduction of being able to climb around in trees was very satisfying to perform as well.
Combat still involves waiting for the first counter then chain-killing everyone. I still find it very satisfying even though it may sometimes be very simple. There are times where you have to disarm the enemy you are fighting first before being able to stab something into him, but that's usually as complicated as it gets. Most of the combat for me was done through these two methods, you have other tools at your disposal such as smoke bombs, and poison darts, but I found myself rarely using them.
You are also able to call on assassin brethren to fight with you in battles. This has an entire system similar to the one introduced in brotherhood where assassins have levels, you send them to do contracts where they can gain exp and money in exchange for some time your assassin kicks it for like, ...2-10 minutes. There's also an entire boat combat system in there where you are a captain of a boat attacking others with cannons. A couple missions have you doing this, and I thought it was fun and done well.
I played this on the 360, and the graphics were exceptional for the tech. There were noticable hiccups in frame rate, especially when going into eagle vision, but again with the age of the console this is expected and most of the gameplay was a smooth 25-30. Given the open world-ness I'd say that is pretty good. Cutscenes have good cinematography and feel very movie-like.
Overall solid game mechanics that is well put together. Didn't care too much for the character or the story, which is the main deduction my score. It seemed like the game was trying to make some parts seem important but I couldn't really think of a reason to care. Still a lot of fun and definitely worth a playthrough, though.