Assassin’s Creed III – Video Game Review

I write my first game review, where I cover Assassin’s Creed III.

Assassin’s Creed III

Assassin's Creed III

As it turns out, a lot of people have a lot of issues with this game. I however, found Assassin’s Creed III to be very enjoyable, and arguably the best game in the franchise since Assassin’s Creed II, but it doesn’t come without its issues. But let’s kick off with the plot. For all of you who have been playing the Assassin’s Creed games for a while, you’ll know that this outing sees  Desmond Miles this time head into the Animus to cover somebody, for the first time – who isn’t Ezio Auditore or Altair, the master Assassin. Instead, we’re taken to the era of the American Revolution, where we find ourselves exploring Connor Kenway and his ongoing battle for freedom.

The first major problem here is that Connor is as not as likeable as Ezio, not as charming. He’s got a big legacy to fufil, because over the years Ezio has become a very memorable character almost reaching the same iconic-status as Master Chief. It certainly takes something big to replace him and whilst Connor doesn’t quite succeed  he still manages to stand out as his own character with his own strengths for sure, with a strong personality to boot, particularly given somebody who has the most tragic background of perhaps the three characters who we’ve met so far. I won’t go into spoilers, but  there is a major twist that happens fairly early on in the game, before you even get to playing as Connor himself.

Assassin's Creed III Screenshot 1

Assassin’s Creed III also takes the visual elements of the game to a new height, everything about its setting is beautiful and this might just be one of the best looking games that I’ve ever played. You’ll find yourself immersed in a whole wealth of content, with the largest playing field ever and plenty of time to explore. However, that leads to another problem. An early screenshot before the game’s release showed the player being able to use a canoe to get down rivers, but this was taken from the main game. There’s also no whistling for horses on hand, and the fast travel is mainly something you’ll find that’ll take you to the main cities, Boston or New York, The Frontier, the Homestead or the Harbour-master, where you can complete some fun ship-focused missions as a Captain of the Aquila. However, if you want to get from one side of the Frontier to the other, then the task becomes very hard indeed. I spent a good portion of the time spent playing the game running to and from one place to the other, which although at first was good to immerse yourself in the scenery and get used to the new hunting and free-running concepts, the game ultimately dragged a bit pace-wise because of that.

And particularly early on in the game, when you first start to play as Connor, the game can at times feel tedious and dull, not moving quickly enough pace-wise to get to the places where you want to be, such as key events like the Boston Tea Party, or a battle between Washington’s soldiers and the Redcoats in one of the game’s most memorable set-pieces.

The pattern of the storyline is still fairly similar to the previous Assassin’s Creed games, where you start off by gathering information before eventually killing a high-profile target in a wide variety of situations. At times, the narrative will be found full of cut-scenes and become restrictive if you choose to play the main storyline all in one go, like I ended up doing – but aside from that there is a vast amount of content here, from searching for Captain Kidd’s treasure to improving your homestead to reap the financial benefits.

Assassin's Creed III Screenshot 2

However, the vast amount of content also doesn’t feel necessary – there were several things that I didn’t need to complete in order to advance the main storyline, so much so that I finished with only around 50% synchronisation upon completion, although that was also contributed with the fact that I fail at completing missions with full synchronisation (For newcomers, You’re given various challenges to complete during the game, the way that Connor achieved the missions in, for example – not knocking over civilians in a chase sequence), that add to the experience and as a result I think I will be spending a lot more time trying to go back over and complete those missions.

The attention to historical detail is superb, and the creative idea and potential even more so. The Gameplay has become more simplified, easy to control, particularly the free-running, which is a sheer joy to pull off, particularly when you’re not playing in the cities, but it’s still somewhat annoying with there being so many glitches due to the game’s span. (Less of a problem of the gameplay, more of  a problem of the game in general).

As I have an Xbox 360 but no Xbox Live, I wasn’t able to play the multi-player, so as a result I cannot write a review of it. This is a shame as I would have loved to try out the gameplay and The Tyranny of King Washington DLC in particular, but for now, any future games that I review like this one will be covered on their single-player basis alone, unless there is an option for at least 2-Player Multi-player offline.

Assassin's Creed III Screenshot 3

VERDICT: 4/5

THE ASSASSIN’S CREED III SERIES: Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed IIAssassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Assassin’s Creed Revelations, Assassin’s Creed III, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Coming Late 2013)

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