I must start by saying I am a huge fan of the series to date and, after the slightly underwhelming Assassins Creed
Revelations, it is safe to say I was majorly overhyped for this game. In fact it is only the second game I have ever been to
a midnight launch for. So with the brave support of my co-host Ali I braved the torrid hurricane like conditions
(I may be exaggerating slightly here) and trooped down to Games Centre Ayr to pick up my copy. Upon returning to the
domicile of Ali (his hoose) I booted up the game on my profile on his PS3. With baited breath we awaited a life changing
action adventure game........
Well we are still waiting on that one sadly as what I have experienced so far has to be the single most frustrating game
I have ever played. Right from the get go I was disgruntled by having to play as Haytham (who, so as to avoid any spoilers
we will only say he is an English guy with a ridiculous pirate hat) instead of the assassin Connor who is featured in every
single advert/poster/cheese sandwich about this game.
I still can't really see why we are forced to play as this character, other than that it makes you dislike him, and we can't
go into the story part of these early missions as, who I have come to call, Captain Boring pants, but safe to say it acts
as one huge tutorial. This in itself is not a bad thing however: is there any need for a tutorial which lasts 7 hours
(for me, 3 for Ali on a speed run)? Followed by another hour and a half of tutorial as boy Connor while he grows up to
eventually become an assassin. I feel the whole segment as captain boring pants could have been explained with one cutscene
lasting no more than 10 minutes.
Anyway back to the meat of the game the assassinat........wait where are they? That's right in the main story there are
only 2 proper ‘sneak up on your target and kill him’ assassination missions, the other kill missions being almost all
‘chase him down’ or ‘fight loads of guys on your way to the leader’. And while we're on the fighting this game runs on a
new engine which looks very good for the most part, but why Ubisoft did you change the combatsystem? Instead of the classic
"hold r1 to defend and then hit square at the right moment to perform a counter" we are treated to tiny red triangles
popping up above enemies heads when they are about to strike to which we must press circle just to deflect it though
inexplicably sometimes it counters there seems to be no reason to it at all and it makes combat 10 times more difficult
than previous AC titles this is not helped by the poor camera which loves to spin round behind trees and fences so you can't
see Connor in battle. And if all that wasn't enough I'd say every battle I fought was against at least three times more
enemies than I ever fought at one time on Revelations.
The change of setting to the USA actually works for the most part as does the interwoven pre Civil War era storyline tie ins
(it was nice to see George Washington and Benjamin Franklin and all taking an active part in the story). The cities of
Boston and New York are well represented and are pretty vast, although you really don’t feel compelled to climb every
viewpoint and finish every side quest as in previous games. Also the game would really have benefitted from having the shop
system from Brotherhood and Revelations (where you gained control of a sector and could renovate the shops thus gaining
more income and unlocking more items for sale) as there was actually no real benefit to liberating the different sectors of
the cities. I actually progressed through the game only visiting the shop once to buy weapons and once more for a refill
on bullets and arrows. The ship battles look cool (and are better than the awful tower defense game in Revelations) but they
get real tedious real fast.
The disappointing ending to the game only served to compound matters for me and safe to say I will not be replaying it for
trophies or picking up any of the dlc. I'm not saying its a bad game but when you have set such high standards on previous
games and having been in development since AC 2 was completed, I expected so much more from this. I would recommend a rental
as you can knock through the story in one weekend. For those of you wondering why I haven't mentioned the multiplayer, this
is because as with Revelations I did not play it as I don't buy into tagged on miultiplayer in one player games just to keep
people playing longer. (Robin will be doing a wee piece on it for us) Overall this is a decent but ultimately flawed action
adventure game anyone after a GOTY contender should look elsewhere.
Assassins Creed 3 is available now for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U and PC.
Andy - 28/42
Ali - 30/42
Robin - 38/42
Overall Score - 76%