It’s been a long journey for our guy Desmond and it isn’t even close to being over. The new installment to the series brings in a new ancestor for Desmond to possess and this time it’s a little closer to home, North America in fact and during the American Revolution. US History buffs rejoice, you’ll be seeing familiar names and faces as well as new features and new type of gameplay. What are we waiting for? Let’s dive right in!
After the events of Assassin’s Creed Revelations and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Desmond has discovered the location being referred to by the Apples of Eden. Once they visit the place they need to find a key, an amulet lost in time during the American Revolution back in the 1700’s. So what does Desmond and his rag tag Assassin pals do? They power up the animus and ask another ancestor. This time a guy name Connor Kenway, half Briton, half Native American, 100% bad ass. Desmond follows Connor in his adventures of discovery and human frailty all over the east coast of the now United States.
Enough of the background story lets get into the graphics. Like all Assassin’s Creed titles, this one is visually stunning. The level of detail on this game is exemplary. When you’re in the wild open frontier you feel like you’re in the the rural areas with lush greenery and wild life. When you’re in the cities, they feel vibrant and very much alive. You get merchants selling their wares, you have soldiers marching about, people doing their daily stuff and (new!) animals like pigs, chicken, dogs and all other domesticated fare running around Boston and old New York. Not surprised at all as the Anvil Next engine Ubisoft is using for this game is custom built just for the franchise. What this reviewer loves the most is the sailing missions especially the ones in the Caribbean. The water looks so good and inviting, if I only had half my brain I’d dive into my monitor to touch the water. As great as Assassin’s Creed 3 looks though, you still get a few quirky glitches like people spawning out of freakin’ nowhere.
AC3 has a very well rounded group of voice actors. Rightfully so since there are multiple cultures being represented in Colonial America at that time. There were Celts, Brits, French, and more. All were masterfully represented by their corresponding voice actors. One to note in particular is Charles Lee, though one of the main villains, he has top notch voice acting. The one I hated most was surprisingly the main hero Connor. He sounded bland and lifeless. Killed too many people to be emotional perhaps?
As for the sound, AC3 continues the tradition of the series of delivering superb environmental sounds. Cities sound like living breathing cities and the wilds have that eerie quiet that makes you want to see what’s over the next hill. I only have one complaint and that’s the combat music which rises and falls as combat is started and ended. Sometimes it can start so abruptly it can take you out of the immersion.
Gameplay wise is where AC3 both wins and fails depending on your perspective. Let me explain this one. If you’re after the old Assassin’s Creed way of just looking for ways to take out your target best and clearing the story that way, that’s almost all gone people. Rare are the missions where they present you a target and what you need to do is to plot out the kill. It’s mostly, plant this list here, listen to these two guards talking there, side mission, side mission and more side missions! They have diverted too much from what made the series awesome! To top that, you are presented with so much additional content that it starts to feel meaningless. For example you are supposed to improve your “homestead”, the place where Connor resides. This homestead can be upgraded with a lumber mill, a small farm, etc. What you get from these upgrades you can sell to purchase weapons, craft stuff and improve your ship (another side mission where you become a captain of your own ship, Pirates of the Caribbean style). I’m sorry but why can’t we just gather the cash and purchase these things?! Why do I have to craft? It’s totally unnecessary game additions that maybe add to the immersion but totally distracts from what made the game awesome in the first place. AC3 is filled with these unnecessary distractions; mini games, gather missions, help the citizens, and on and on and on it goes. If long drawn out gameplay with deep mechanics is your thing, you might love it. Personally, I miss the old AC.
Multiplayer has been improved a lot. You can now party with your friends and do coop assassinations where you need to coordinate your kills. One quirky thing about multiplayer though is the microtransactions. Yes, you read it right, to get new costumes for your character in multiplayer, you can purchase these through the ingame store with real money. HELLO CASH COW!
All in all, if you want something to play for a good 2 months, grab the game and unlock everything. If you’re looking for the good old AC3 goodness, you won’t find it here, it’s been lost in the jungle of side missions.
Graphics – 10
Sound – 8
Gameplay – 7
Replay value – 9
Total Score: 8.5
Game is available at Datablitz for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360