Assassin’s Creed III – Review (PS3)

ACIII Main

I felt the opening few hours of Assassin’s Creed III were great. As set up for the main story it does a great job and working through these closed, more linear parts showed that Assassin’s Creed doesn’t always have to be about the size of the open world area.

Unfortunately once you get to the main crux of the game Assassin’s Creed III struggles under the weight of being a fully fledged ‘numbered’ Creed title.

Discounting the story, which seems to increase in insanity with each installment  the Assassin’s Creed games have gotten better with each title. This hit a plateau between Brotherhood and Revelations, with the latter feeling a little tired. Unfortunately Assassin’s Creed III, despite the new setting, also suffers this fate.

ACIII 1

It’s not all doom and gloom though – firstly the character animation (which also featured in the Vita spin off Liberation) is superb. The movement through trees and the forest is wonderfully natural, especially in the snow.

Movement looks fluid and believable for the most part, although I did hit an issue that seemed to affect a few people – namely in some of the cutscenes no characters mouths were moving. So conversations would be happening between two characters gesturing to each other but with mouths tightly clamped shut. It looked weird and, of course, dragged you out of the game for the moment.

The naval combat, while fairly limited, was also fantastic and great fun. It looks like lots of people agreed with me, seeing as the recently announced Assassin’s Creed IV will be a pirate game.

ACIII 2

I also enjoyed the hunting missions and some of the Homestead/side missions. Although everything is still very much map led – all of the stuff you can do is indicated with a marker. Which I don’t have a problem with for main missions but it would be nice if more games adopted a more Red Dead Redemption style of side stuff that you can pick up by interacting with characters that aren’t highlighted etc.

Sadly the story stuff is the weak link here, a lot of the missions felt like too much of a slog and some of them just weren’t very interesting. There were a few highlights and for some of the time it was great to be in control of Connor.

However another issue is that Connor as a character was almost totally devoid of empathy or emotion. He was a selfish brat with no redeeming features. I’m all for playing as characters that are a bit of a fool and go through a decent character arc but I didn’t feel Connor changed much at all over the course of the game.

ACIII 3

As the Assassin’s Creed games have got more and more successful they have moved away from the actual assassinations of the original game. There isn’t the planning and scheming to take out a target anymore – simply head to a marker and kill everyone.

It was something I mentioned in my recent Hitman Absolution review but one part stuck out for me when playing Assassin’s Creed III: tasked with taking out a target I headed to the map marker, sneaked up on him and activated what I thought would be an instant kill and instead was greeted by a health bar which triggered an alert in all the guards I’d just sneaked by. And that to me is disappointing.

So the campaign starts well but ends up fairly average. What of the multiplayer?

ACIII 4

Ubisoft have been tweaking the online of Assassin’s Creed ever since they introduced it and here it’s at its refined best. With a whole host of modes and a much improved stun mechanic. I had great fun dipping in and found the multiplayer to be tight, responsive and very competitive… even when just starting out.

So it’s a mixed bag really – while the game makes some good forward steps (character animation/naval combat/improvements in online play) it is let down by a plodding story that has one of the most disappointing characters in the series. Assassin’s Creed III is a good game, it just doesn’t compare to the adventures of Ezio Auditore.

Rating: 7/10

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Advertisements

4 Comments

  1. Nice review buddy.

  2. Another disappointing entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Although Brotherhood, for me, is still the highlight, I think Assassin’s Creed 3 would’ve been a great instalment had it been just that: #3. But, it wasn’t; it’s the sixth game in six years (and that’s just the main titles – that doesn’t include the 6 hand-held/iOS iterations) and, as such, brand fatigue set in a long time ago.

    An indication of this: when you take one of the core mechanics – the parkour – the one element that truly differentiates you from other third-person games, and you make it not only a redundant skill but actually detrimental to the gameplay as a whole, I can’t help feeling they really didn’t know where they were going with this game.

    One or two moments of gold in an, otherwise, mediocre game. I doubt very much that I’ll be playing Black Flag….Assassin’s Creed 4, my arse.

  3. […] of late. Brotherhood was, for me at least, the pinnacle of the series with both Revelations and Assassin’s Creed III failing to live up to expectations. With Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag can Ubisoft arrest […]

  4. […] in the American Northeast back in 1754 – 1783. Or more precisely November 2012 while playing Assassin’s Creed III. There’s no nice way to say it but despite a few clever touches Assassin’s Creed III is […]


Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s