Desmond returns in the newest installment of Assassins Creed outfitted with a completely new ancestor with whom he must battle through the American Revolution to achieve his goal of finding “the key”. The epic story continues as Desmond finds out more about himself and Connor and what he has to do to stop the world from ending. Templar’s are going down! (Here’s the review)
Let’s start off by saying what this whole story feels like; a mind-screw (for lack of a better suited but rude word). When you first start playing Assassin’s Creed the first, there is no way anyone could have predicted it developing into a storyline like this. The story that Ubisoft has managed to created and unfold in the last three games is colossally epic and is on such a large scale one can’t help but be intrigued, regardless if they play the game or not. It’s just one of those story-lines. Incase you have no idea what is happening, IGN has put together a neat round up of the Assassin’s Creed franchise preluding this third game.
In Assassin’s Creed 3, we see the story develop on an even bigger scale. Connor rises from the ashes of his burned village, as we all know. But, the story has unforeseen twists that will make you go “What?!”. Although, expanding on this without revealing any spoilers is very hard if not impossible to do. What I can say is that the way Ubisoft has managed to link all the stories that do reside in this game together is quite well done in a hectic crazy sort of way. Applause!
A new, interesting pitch Ubisoft has taken the time to include is their own recap of the story. The game is prefixed with a prologue that briefly recaptures the events of the last two games. You then go on to play through the process in which Connor is discovered, which is also extremely interesting. Not only do you discover the American revolution all over again, you discover more about the American Indian heritages.
However, at points throughout the game, you may come to question yourself as to why you are doing this certain task. Some missions seem quite trivial and don’t really relate to the story itself. And at points it gets hard to follow as there is so much going on. This game also sees more development of Desmonds story, you are able to go on more missions in the real world as opposed to the distant past, as Desmond. He’s now synched with Altair, Ezio and Connor’s abilities, so he’s pretty much a badass Assassin now, minus the weapons.
It’s also interesting to note that Ubisoft’s trademark for basing this game on real life events and people comes to life as you meet Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. Boston and New York are the main cities in which you must navigate around and pursue your goals. The authentic yet fictional allure that this game draws is really something special. You can’t help to notice how out of this world the “spirits” or Gods that speak to Desmond and Connor are, but yet the normalizes of the way Assassins are completely possible and the game takes place around a real place in the past. Ubisoft has done well to merge the fictional world with reality.
Throughout the story you will also find plenty of lovable characters, amongst all the seriousness of backstabbing and throat slitting is the comedy relief everyone always looks forward to in games. Of course, there’s the sappy romance as well.
Amongst all this insane story telling there’s a American history lesson. If you didn’t know anything about the American revolution, by the end of this game you’ll know everything there is to know, with a little bit of extra “spice” of course.
Above all, the gameplay is extravagant. If you enjoy open world with open choices, Assassin’s Creed 3 is for you, it brings everything that was in the first and second game to a larger scale. The trademark building scaling and city crawling in Ezio and Altair’s time are over, rather this game brings a new breath of scenery as half the game takes place in the green surroundings of back-then New York and Boston. A ton of villages, trees, rocks and lakes. Of course with this new scenery comes a new way of scaling things. Connor is able to climb up the side of cliffs, mountains and trees. The trees are an especially handy way of getting away from those blasted “Red coats”. You will learn all this in your initiation to the game.
As with any Assassin’s Creed game, the world is huge and the walking, not so fun. There are certain missions that are just walking to a certain point and interacting with a character for another cut scene. Ton’s of quests require you to ride through an entire territory without actually doing anything in it, which can become cumbersome and you only do it because of the adrenaline you get from inserting your blade into a Templar’s neck.
Of course, riding through these territories warrants that you find a host of side quests which are available for completion at the players discretion. It’s completely up to you if you want to take part in these side quests. Personally, I did enough side quests in ACI and ACII to last me a life time, so I gave most of these a skip. However, if you choose to do them they can range from assassinations to beating an officer up to collecting a certain item. A lot of side quests will gain you Homestead members, which help the function of your Homestead. It pretty much acts as a way for you to sell things, upgrade things and can often (depending on your members) help you travel around quicker.
There’s no shortage of things to do in this game. The campaign itself will take you well above a 12 hour streak. Throw all the side missions and collectibles in there and you have yourself a very long game that will most likely take up most of your week should you choose to play through it in one go.
The most striking thing about this game is the Desmond missions, I labour through Connor’s missions to find out more about Desmond of whom I’m more interested in. It’s also worth noting that although travelling is tedious, Ubisoft has done a very good job of changing up the missions Connor undergoes. You never really feel like you’re doing the same thing over and over. It’s refreshing as I remember the first Assassin’s Creed was ever so tedious with the repetitive missions. Desmond’s (few) missions are not so combat orientated and very hard to fail but nonetheless provide more insight into this strange world they live in.
Gameplay is satisfying, save for a few bugs where people are being stabbed when they’re not even there and strange characters appearing in the cut scenes. Not terribly disappointing but not pleasant to the eye either. Allies are annoying as well, most of the time they seem to just stand there and get hit (if you’re in combat), and when you’re sneaking around nobody notices them in the high alert areas, which is a bit strange.
Aesthetics and Overall
Aesthetically, I think the first Assassin’s Creed was the biggest leap in terms of graphics. Of course, there are improvements from the second one to the third, but they aren’t huge. Cut scenes with abysmal graphics make it hard to think of Connor and his mates as real people, making it even harder to recognize any emotion.
Connor is one self-righteous man, and if there’s one thing they did well with the mediocre cut scene graphics, it’s the overly exaggerated facial expressions. While his face still lacks some contours, it’s entertaining to watch. The in-game graphics are stunning as always. Despite some people walking like they’re robots, it’s to be expected from a game. Everything else runs smoothly and looks really nice.
Overall, there are things I like about this game such as the diversity of the missions, the background story given to Connor and all the things that happens to Desmond. In short, the whole story developing on this colossal super-being scale has had me on the edge of my seat. It’s a really interesting game to play and you find yourself playing through the flaws just to see what happens next. What I don’t like is the long walks and rides through pointless territories and somewhat trivial missions that require you to walk down stairs. Certain bugs are annoying as well, but hopefully they will be patched as this game is connected to an online server (constant updates telling me I’m top 10% in the world for something). Great game, amazing story!