Posted by Humanity (7938 posts) -

After finishing Black Flag, the thought of another Assassins Creed game, any AC game really, seemed like a prospect best left untouched for at least a few years. While the latest entry in the long running assassin series was a great game and a ton of fun, the repetitive nature of the inherent Creed game design wore me out completely by the conclusion of this swashbuckling themed adventure. As it stands though, new games were still months away and I had a copy of the much maligned Assassins Creed 3 sitting in my Uplay account, courtesy of a new Samsung SSD I had purchased several months prior. With much trepidation I finally caved in and decided to give the game a try, how bad could it be really?

The most interesting aspect of Assassins Creed 3 is how it’s a complete polar opposite to everything in Black Flag. Having played both in short succession it’s fascinating to observe how two very similar games play completely differently thanks to several key distinctions - and it’s this dichotomy observed within AC3 that ultimately drove me onward through a campaign I mostly didn’t care about and characters I felt no affection for.

Learning to crawl before you walk, again and again.

Right away the first major difference you notice is the pacing of these two games. Assassins Creed 3 takes a staggering 2-3 hours before you’re actually wearing assassin robes and are able to roam the land freely. The leadup intertwined with story exposition and basic tutorials is excruciatingly slow as you’re once again taught the very fundamental basics of the franchise. Understandably some people might choose this 5th game in the series as a perfect place to jump into the franchise, and naturally you can’t leave them in the dark about the inner workings of Assassins Creed - but to force everyone else who has played this series many times before to undergo the same slow paced and methodical tutorial on how to free run or do a leap of faith is tragic. More tragic still is that AC3 is a game that is drowning in systems and subsystems that aren’t even explained all that well, despite this entirely too long introductory phase. Many times over I desperately wanted to quit as I was forced to play hide and go seek, hunting mini games and an assortment of other side activities that could have been relegated until the world fully opens up.

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In stark contrast, Black Flag handles this wonderfully. There is a small intro cinematic and you’re in it, you’re chasing a Templar and the game casually mentions that to chase him you have to free run without holding your hand too tightly. After the quick tutorial island that manages to distill the principles of free-running, synchronizing, leaps of faith, sneaking, foliage and the nuance of combat you’re off to explore the world. Black Flag does gate content through story progression, and you’re going to head directly to Havana in order to continue tutorializing, yet somehow this doesn’t feel as constrained and forced as it does in AC3. The game has fun with it, and you still retain a large degree of freedom in how you approach the subsequent missions up until you unlock your ship and the game really begins. In large part this is all made a lot more bearable because Edward is a lot more jovial than Connor, making your shared adventure that much more enjoyable.

Story beats

Assassins Creed 3 is incredibly serious. There is very little charm here that was so often found in the wacky side characters of games past. The stage is set against a backdrop of the Revolutionary War, liberty and freedom of the people taking center stage to relentlessly assault you in every cutscene: a theme that simultaneously reflects upon the struggle between colonists and the British empire in the foreground, as well as the ongoing struggle between assassins and templars in the background. Similarly Connor is an intense individual, lacking any sort of charm or charisma, mindlessly pursuing a singular goal with all the intensity and grace of a rabid dog. Worse yet for all the time spent on cementing Connors heritage as a native American, it hardly plays into the game at all, as he manages to ostracize himself from society all on his own with a complete lack of humor and confrontational attitude towards enemies and allies alike. In short it’s hard to like him as a protagonist, and in turn to care about his plight. Connor is similarly clueless as all previous assassins we’ve played before him, but it’s his childlike naivette that perseveres throughout the entire game which really hammers home the image of someone completely removed from the world around him.

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Once again Edward is the complete opposite: cheerful, charming, at once likeable and motivated rather than obsessed. You’re not out for revenge, you’re not saving the world, Edward simply wants to get rich and as far as he’s concerned the templars and assassins can do as they please. Unlike Connor who quite literally befriends no one throughout the entire game apart from the old man, Edward meets and befriends a lot of people who ultimately end up coming to his aid in a time of need.

Systems

As mentioned earlier, Assassins Creed 3 drowns in it’s own systems that the game glosses over. Every activity, collectible and challenge from past entries and the proverbial kitchen sink had ended up on a design document and for better or worse all was dutifully implemented for Connors benefit. Surprisingly the only thing omitted were the animus fragments, which true to my theory of opposites make a return in Black Flag. AC3 is thick with side activities. From various “clubs” that act as fronts for classic challenges, to Liberation missions in cities, Forts, Naval combat, bar games, letter delivery, fact gathering - the whole nine yards. They are all held firmly back by the utterly terrible map which does little in helping you find anything you might be interested in finding even if it’s something as banal as a General Store. At the heart of it all is the completely baffling homestead that continues the tradition set by Assassins Creed 2 of owning a home base which you can progressively upgrade. While in all prior iterations this was simply done by throwing money at it, AC3 goes the distance by instead relegating all upgrades with dozens of missions which appear all over the world for you to seek out. Tied into the homestead are other known quantities like sending out caravans and crafting, all made needlessly complex and tied into having done the proper missions.

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Black Flag takes a traditional approach to all of this. You have money? Buy upgrades. The menu’s were clear, the systems simple. In AC3 you wanted an upgrade? Well you had to explore the entire world hoping to stumble upon a chest with a recipe, then you had to make sure you did enough side missions for the homestead in order for your workers to be skilled enough to produce the parts you needed. Then you had to acquire additional parts by hunting, but the game didn’t tell you where you could find the animals you needed.. In Black Flag everything is very black and white: you want a bigger pouch, well you need 2 monkey skins, you can find monkeys on this island, go. It was easy, it wasn’t a hassle.

A world worth the trouble to explore

Assassins Creed 3 obviously was very centered around exploration. Almost nothing was marked on your map and oftentimes if you wanted anything extra you had to go into the frontier and run around looking for it. Fast Travel points were limited in cities and had to be found first to be used, and apart from conquered Forts I never found Fast Travel locations within the vast frontier to which I could warp to. The problem was that the world of AC3 just wasn’t fun to explore. I’ll admit that it was the first time I felt a forest was properly represented in a video game with tree’s growing thick and criss crossing to form various pathways for Connor to traverse - but all the areas were simply so large and often devoid of anything but the trees that running in this dense vegetation from mission to mission quickly became a chore. You’re able to summon a horse at any time but the less said about these magnificently idiotic creatures the better; you were usually better off on foot unless the road was a flat, paved, highway..

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Sailing in Black Flag was fun. The open sea would appear an awfully boring place to traverse but something about the physics, the shanties and the occasional sea battle along the way to your destination made it really entertaining. When you tired of sailing, you had a plethora of Fast Travel locations to choose from in order to quicken your journey. Likewise islands were just the right size - big enough to have something to explore, but not so large as to test your patience when getting from one end to the other. It was the Frontier from AC3 delivered in bite size chunks.

Is Assassins Creed 3 a truly terrible game? Well yes and no. There were plenty of times when it simply bored me, where I was tempted to skip cutscenes with stiff dialog, where I would sigh with exaggeration seeing that I’d have to once again traverse half the map through thick snow that added zero gameplay opportunities and only served to slow my movement. Yet, somewhere near the home stretch, for a brief moment I did feel something akin to enjoyment and even a small stab of regret seeing all the side activities I left untouched. The very first real world mission that tasked Desmond with climbing a skyscraper under construction was actually really fun as I experienced an epiphany in that these steel girders and trusses I’m running through are quite literally a modern day concrete jungle.

It’s not an awful game, but it’s poorly paced, overburdened with poorly explained fluff and based on a story that fails to hold interest unless you’re a history buff happy to laugh at clever ways the game-plot was interwoven into actual history - like Charles Lee ordering a retreat at the Battle of Monmouth because he was a Templar opposed to Washington’s success.

Assassins Creed 3 is not a game I could honestly recommend to any fan of the series unless as a novelty. For those curious about the fate of Desmond, his story could be experienced through YouTube and one would be better off for it as it’s a long buildup to an abrupt finish. I can only hope that the changes in Black Flag were a direct result of fan complaints and a lucky coincidence as that gives me hope that whatever Assassins Creed 4 turns out to be, it will be a game worth playing.

#1 Posted by awesomeusername (4056 posts) -

Wrong forum.

I haven't played AC4 but AC3 destroyed my love for the series. I hear AC4 is way better then AC3 so I'll be playing it when I get a PS4 soon to see if I'll get back on that train. Even if I do enjoy it, I'm not buying them day 1. Tired of annualized games, would rather put my money toward another game and wait for the AC games to go cheap.

On topic, I liked AC3 when I played it but after finishing it, I noticed how much of a mess it was, broken and mechanics wise. Lots of bugs, stealth was shit, tutorial was 5 hours long, and way to many things just crammed in the game. Seriously, you had a bunch of different mini-games, the homestead stuff, the shitty side missions, collectibles that I don't remember did what, and that thing where you had to look for certain points on the map that enabled cheats or whatever the fuck. They didn't explain that last thing at all.

Story wise, that games ending was ass. It was such a fuck you to the fans of the series. You know what, I'm tired of talking about this game. Fuck you AC3.

#2 Posted by crithon (2574 posts) -

Oh boy, swallowing a bitter pill.

#3 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

Yeah ac3 sucks

#4 Posted by VoshiNova (1594 posts) -

A good read! I too played Ac III directly after finishing Ac IV. I really enjoyed it.

I enjoyed it so much that I went ahead and bought AC Revelations too, in order to fill the games I'd missed in the series, but have yet to finish it.

#5 Posted by PerfidiousSinn (715 posts) -

I'm glad Black Flag was so good, because AC3 darn near killed my interest in the entire franchise. Just the simple things like making the menus not terrible made Black Flag much more enjoyable overall.

#6 Posted by bigjeffrey (4153 posts) -

Edward is giant walking piece of shit.

#7 Posted by Clonedzero (3718 posts) -

Yeah, i absolutely LOVED AC4, and i forced myself to finish AC3. Felt like a chore.

Oh, i just want to mention AC4 fixed my biggest pet peeve with the AC franchise. No more blinding white loading/transition screens. It was insufferable in AC3, skin an animal? BAM flash of white. Trigger a cutscene? BAM blast you with the white screen. Open a door? BAM FLASHBANG! Jesus christ. I can't imagine what they were thinking with those, they were jarring, disruptive and uncomfortable. I want to give the guy who's responsible for the change away from the white screens the biggest hug.

#8 Posted by Mustainium (59 posts) -

Great read, and I totally agree with your points.

I'm a big fan of the series, enough to have a good time with Revelations, but everything about ACIII was just so sloppy. I find it hard to believe it was in development since ACII like Ubisoft claims it was.

Edward is giant walking piece of shit.

He's no Ezio, but he's alright.

#9 Edited by Humanity (7938 posts) -

@mustainium: The way all the menu's were so completely divorced from how they handled post AC2 I can honestly believe it really was in development for that long.

It feels like the other teams that started pushing out Brotherhood and Revelations simply lapped the AC3 in terms of mechanics and flow. In my opinion Revelations has probably the most balanced and interested game mechanics - the hook while appearing completely superfluous was actually a very useful tool once you got used to it and I missed not having it in Black Flag.

@bigjeffrey: Edward is a fun loving pirate that goes about doing things for his own purposes rather than being controlled by the whims of others. He is my favorite character of the series along with Altair. I thought Ezio was incredibly lame and thought he only turned tolerable in Revelations.

@awesomeusername: The forum ate the part of the post I wrote for you for some reason so I'll quickly reiterate: yah the systems were bad and I played on PC encountering a slew of bugs, some of which forced me to reload checkpoints to even get anywhere.

The notoriety system was also terrible.

#10 Edited by bigjeffrey (4153 posts) -

Oh Wait I meant Connor, Sorry. Connor is a giant walking piece of shit. As you said he is a giant hard emotionless piece of shit.

I always get those 2 mixed up.

#11 Posted by Humanity (7938 posts) -

Oh Wait I meant Connor, Sorry. Connor is a giant walking piece of shit. As you said he is a giant hard emotionless piece of shit.

I always get those 2 mixed up.

It's almost awkward how throughout the entire game he will actively not shake peoples hands and even shrug people off when they put a hand on his shoulder or make any physical contact.

#12 Posted by hermes (1270 posts) -

My problem with AC3 is how full of mechanics it is, most of them are super concrete and work only for one or two cases.

Do you remember spurring pigs? Or separating people that are fighting? I had to repeat those missions several times because the game did a poor job on explaining what I was supposed to do. It was also boring and poorly implemented; and yet, it was required to be used only once... While I appreciate that they don't force me to do it all the time, I don't understand why it was put there in the first place.

#13 Edited by Humanity (7938 posts) -

@hermes said:

My problem with AC3 is how full of mechanics it is, most of them are super concrete and work only for one or two cases.

Do you remember spurring pigs? Or separating people that are fighting? I had to repeat those missions several times because the game did a poor job on explaining what I was supposed to do. It was also boring and poorly implemented; and yet, it was required to be used only once... While I appreciate that they don't force me to do it all the time, I don't understand why it was put there in the first place.

I've beaten the game, did a fair share of side activities and have even started playing some post-game out of boredom and I've only had to break up a fight once at which time it glitched out during my first attempt forcing me to reload a checkpoint - despite all that I have never spurred a pig, in fact I didn't even know that was possible, which is somewhat endemic to the problem you're describing.

Too many systems with too few explanations. You can check the logs to see what items you've picked up or what alerts you triggered but there is no way to access these minigame tutorials, or none that I've been able to easily locate - menu navigation woes being a whole separate category of woes in of itself.

#14 Posted by hermes (1270 posts) -

@humanity said:

@hermes said:

My problem with AC3 is how full of mechanics it is, most of them are super concrete and work only for one or two cases.

Do you remember spurring pigs? Or separating people that are fighting? I had to repeat those missions several times because the game did a poor job on explaining what I was supposed to do. It was also boring and poorly implemented; and yet, it was required to be used only once... While I appreciate that they don't force me to do it all the time, I don't understand why it was put there in the first place.

I've beaten the game, did a fair share of side activities and have even started playing some post-game out of boredom and I've only had to break up a fight once at which time it glitched out during my first attempt forcing me to reload a checkpoint - despite all that I have never spurred a pig, in fact I didn't even know that was possible, which is somewhat endemic to the problem you're describing.

Too many systems with too few explanations. You can check the logs to see what items you've picked up or what alerts you triggered but there is no way to access these minigame tutorials, or none that I've been able to easily locate - menu navigation woes being a whole separate category of woes in of itself.

The spurring is during one of the last side quests in your house... Its poorly implemented and clumsy, and you never see it again. As well as the mechanics for breaking up people, and dozens other examples (like harassing tax collectors, carrying someone in your horse or commanding an artillery platoon), its something that gets explained poorly and you get to do only once or twice. With that amount of playtest, it is no surprise that they feel like an afterthought, but that raises more questions about why they put it there.

#15 Posted by ArbitraryWater (10990 posts) -

I played AC3 right before 4 and thus had nothing but pleasant surprises waiting for me going forward. You've hit the nail on the head pretty well though: Assassin's Creed III gives you a ridiculous amount of side stuff to do and then gives you absolutely no reason to do any of it, and the main story stuff isn't well made enough to make that especially tantalizing either. How many times did you have to restart that last chase mission?

#16 Posted by Humanity (7938 posts) -

I played AC3 right before 4 and thus had nothing but pleasant surprises waiting for me going forward. You've hit the nail on the head pretty well though: Assassin's Creed III gives you a ridiculous amount of side stuff to do and then gives you absolutely no reason to do any of it, and the main story stuff isn't well made enough to make that especially tantalizing either. How many times did you have to restart that last chase mission?

I think I restarted it like 3-4 times when it just begins because he kept getting away from me right away, and then I only needed 2 more tries when I got to the ship cause I fell into the fire.

I'm starting to suspect that I might have not been paying attention when playing the game because I was so intent on just finishing it rather than trying to enjoy it and explore. I just yesterday, after having beaten the game, figured out how to unlock fast travel locations in cities. I kept wondering throughout the whole story when will they finally unlock some more fast travel spots because I hated running through the entire city. I clearly recall the mission with Samuel Adams where you walk in the undergrounds and they mention unlocking them there.. but it just didn't click? I think since this is like the 5th game I played in the series I assumed it would work like it always have, that they would uncover when I synch vantage points.

Synching is strange too because it makes no sense. In Boston I have all viewpoints synched, yet there are still parts of the map that are hidden away unless I go there. In all other games the minimap didn't show anything until you synched the viewpoint in that location, at which time the weird "static" animus background would be replaced with a circular, uncovered area of the map. Here there is a weird fog of war, and you uncover the map simply by walking in it, which makes me wonder what are the synch points for anyway since they don't even serve as fast travel points?

#17 Posted by LiquidPrince (15597 posts) -

I kind of stopped reading midway through. Not out of any sort of disrespect, but because your complaints mirror other peoples complaints, and they are ones that I don't agree with. Sure having a swashbuckling rogue character like Ezio and Edward is fun, but Conner's story was equally fantastic. It was serious, but it had to be. I thought the conclusion to Conner's story was also incredibly satisfying. I didn't even have an issue with Desmond's ending because I never considered it the end of the series as many others had suspected. To me what happened to him was just another cliff hanger in a long line of AC cliff hangers.

#18 Edited by TheRealMoot (280 posts) -

I avoided Assassin's Creed 3 until last month, when I got a copy for Christmas. And, I kinda like it's serious tones and some of the things it does, But the american history stuff is lost on me not being american or British, or native american. So it was just a kinda slow building story with a somewhat bland protagonist. I liked Connor from time to time, whenever he showed signs of humor or any emotions (The rope dart scene) challenging "The old man" to a fist fight after an argument and most of the scene's with Haetham. I also thought the closing scene with Charles Lee was a spectacular finish for the characters involved.

But the clumsy crafting mechanics, one off mini games and lack of tutorial's or information on any of the side activities was a massive oversight. Also, was it just me or did some of the missions have broken bonus objectives? I would get an objective like; don't take damage! And then start taking damage in the load screen / room and have no chance to avoid it. Or other times after failing an optional objective the game would auto save me ahead of the primary objective and I would have to restart the entire mission rather than reload a checkpoint, because the auto save got trigger happy. Also the horse got stuck every 5 feet on a rock or tree branch and I had to jump off and run to the objective.

...and I really liked the Desmond stuff. All of it. Then ending felt tacked on, but I enjoyed every other aspect of it. I got to run around in the present day, stab dudes, and kill somebody I've hated since AC1. And after doing all the Desmond stuff, I still want a modern day AC game. Would it work? Probably not... but I still want to see it.

Now I want too play AC4. The boat was cool in AC3, but served no purpose outside of 2 main missions and a handful of side missions that were bland or cut and paste copies of each other, so getting to travel the world map with it would be an improvement. I'm glad to hear AC4 rectifies the failings of AC3, and I have my fingers crossed Edward is as entertaining or compelling as Ezio.

#19 Posted by Encephalon (1173 posts) -

I really wonder what they're going to do for next year's game. By most accounts I've heard, Black Flag is a return to form largely because of the sailing, and the on-foot stuff is pretty bog-standard for the series. If next year's game is not naval-oriented, which I suspect is the case, then Black Flag will probably turn out to be an evolutionary dead end for the series.

#20 Posted by mrcraggle (1698 posts) -

I'm just starting out playing AC4 thanks to getting a free copy with my new graphics card but I will say AC3 which I also only played recently thanks to PS+ really put me off. Sure people said how bad it was but I thought I may as well experience for myself and from the get go it really goes out of its way to not explain anything. I didn't play revelations so I wasn't as clued in but AC3 does so little to even explain the events I was lost from the very beginning and then the 5+ hour intro/tutorial also explains itself very poorly. AC4 does a much better job of just getting things going.

A weird complaint perhaps but AC3 just felt small to me. So much so that I didn't even bother with the convoluted fast travel system. If it takes me more time to run around these tunnels and solve a puzzle than it normally would by foot, then your "fast" travel system is extremely broken.

Side-missions too were also a bore with very little in the way of reward with the homestead being the biggest offender. Like you said, in previous games you'd simply put money into something and you'd see the results straight away. In AC3 you have to do missions that usually involve saving people and have them move into a homestead you've created. It's actually a decent system and adds some personality as you actually speak to people and help them out with their problems but it all falls apart when it comes to how it all functions. Even by the end of the game with all missions complete and everyone in my homestead I still had no idea how to really use it because the game only gives you the most basic teachings but if you want advanced gear, you really need a lot of patience and by then, there's no point because you've finished the game.

Remember how awesome the introduction of the assassins guild in brotherhood was? Well in AC3 they bring it back (yay) but completely gimped it (boo). Why they felt the need to basically roll so many systems into it is beyond me. They're also introduced really late in the game with half of them locked behind story progress and because they're introduced so late they're extremely weak. Even by the end of the game my top level assassins were being taken out which certainly wasn't the case in Brotherhood. The AI just felt way worse some how with them often ruining my plan as they fumbled about.

lastly I just want to point out that while AC3 introduced the sailing mechanic, it felt completely underutilised with only a couple of main story line quests being tied to it with the rest being more side stuff.

#21 Edited by Humanity (7938 posts) -

@mrcraggle: I would say it felt too small and too big at the same time. The frontier was a really well done area that evoked the feeling of a sprawling forest and wilderness. At the same time it was exactly that - just wilderness, no people, no real towns. While it all looked really nice in winter time and the the deep snow looked cool - mechanically it did nothing but hinder your ability to traverse the world. You'd think there would be a mission where you have to track someone through the snow, or Connor would have the ability to use the deep snow as cover, but no, nothing.

Likewise the Homestead I agree is a cool concept that evolved from the AC2 manor but taken in a weird direction. The crafting is not explained very well and certain Homestead missions are gated by story progress - I met the metal guy in New York which doesn't become available until Seq.6 or something like that. Or maybe it was available? Who knows the map as well as the menu's were a mess that conveyed too little important information and were the complete opposite of intuitive.

When all is said and done, and I could keep going on and on about the flaws, I don't think AC3 is a bad game as much as a really disappointing one - which in it's own way is worse.

#22 Posted by AlecOfTheWest (239 posts) -

Haven't played AC3, but AC4 was one of my most boring experiences of last year. Sailing wasn't fun (IMO!), and I found the mission structure to be lacking as well (tail this guy! Now tail this guy in a ship!) I honestly think it just comes down to me being sick of the games, despite having skipped Revelations and III. I'm skeptical of the 5th one, what with the whole modern-day approach to it. I think they're calling it like "Dogwatchers" or something like that, Idk why.

#23 Posted by csl316 (7342 posts) -

I played the first only and jumped into Black Flag. It's quite a leap from the original and I'm enjoying it. But the present day stuff is so, so dumb. I can't imagine taking a game that takes that stuff seriously.... well, seriously. And that seemed to be the case before Black Flag.

#24 Posted by OurSin_360 (755 posts) -

I truly don't understand the hate for connor and the tone/story of AC 3, to me it was easily the only thing that kept me playing it. Where the game broke for me was in the fact that it was actually fucking broken. Glitches and over alert Ai made it impossible to stealth before the patch(and after it honestly) I felt the new combat system didn't really add anything to the formula and just made it hard to get a grip on for me. Connor was as untrusting and serious as you would think a half white half native american would be during the time period, if he was cracking jokes and being a pimp like ezio and edward it would make no sense whatsoever. I loved the time it was set in and the way they weaved the assassin thing into a more "recent" history, and i liked how it kinda left you feeling betrayed by the entire system once you finished(like real life tbh). It felt more realistic than most of the series besides the first game, where it broke for me was the glitches and gameplay.

I've been playing 4, but since i work 60 - 70 hours a week i don't have time and kinda just lost interest in it. I'm not really enjoying the ship handling to much and the story just seems like a pretty dumb excuse to say "hey your a pirate assassin sorta". I do like the real world stuff, i think it's hilarious

#25 Posted by Humanity (7938 posts) -

@oursin_360: While normally I would enjoy the more realistic approach with Connor basically losing everything by engaging in a cause that he was manipulated into, but in this game I simply didn't enjoy the story that much and it was a kick in the gut rather than a cool breath of fresh air.

You make a fair point about the native American among white men, but the story never addresses this issue. There are literally less than 5 encounters where someone confronts Connor or demeans him because of his race. For the most part all his allies show nothing but fondness and admiration for him and his enemies only question his naive beliefs without bringing race into it.

The bugs were certainly there but they didn't bother me as much. It was probably the least stable of any AC game that I've ever played, with guards acting erratically, animations not playing out, down to freezes and necessary checkpoint reloads.

Black Flag is a lighter game for sure and much more concerned with fun side activities rather than an engaging story. I will agree that AC3 did a good job of interjecting Templars into history and altering key events from the Revolutionary War to reflect the ongoing battle with the assassins. In comparison Black Flag might seem shallow, although if you read up on pirate history it also does an admirable job of mixing up fact and fiction. If you don't enjoy it then certainly don't force yourself to play it. I found the ship mechanics much more engaging and simply fun than the handful of naval missions that were present in AC3. At the end of the day I always say story is extremely important as it can string you along even if the gameplay doesn't. For me the story just wasn't very satisfying in AC3.