Ubisoft has recently come out with the next installment in the blockbuster series Assassin’s Creed, with Assassin’s Creed III. This time, they are moving towards the modern era of Gunpowder and ditching the era of Knights on Horseback and Cavalry charges. The time of Altair and Ezio has closed, and the next chapter opens with Connor or by his Mohawk name, Ratonhnhaké:ton, the next Assassin to make the rank of Master Assassin. Side note: If someone can say that name correctly, without cheating, I’ll give you a whole dollar… I’m kidding. The story of Connor, doesn’t start with him per say, but gives you his back-story and his reasons for becoming an Assassin.
The story is amazing, weaved together with the events focusing on and around, the American Revolution. You will meet famous heroes from the time, like George Washington, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and many more; the men who, stood up and fought against the tyranny of the English Crown. The story will have you engrossed and wanting to see the war from Connor’s eyes. But with a story being weaved, there’s always a loose stitch or two. The first stitch that comes loose from the story, is the beginning of the game, which many have deemed slow. But once you’re through that rough patch, it picks up. Desmond, the other “main” character of the story is intact and the real world is once again, delegated to a small confines of a cave this time in Upstate New York, working with his father, Shaun, and Rebecca. You do venture out of the cave for various reasons, and see Desmond Parkour, just like his ancestors before him, but these are to get the story in the real World, continuing on towards the Doomsday Apocalypse, of a massive solar flare that will destroy Earth on December 21st, 2012 mentioned by the First Civilization. Also, in Assassin’s Creed storytelling style, you’ll be cursing the screen at moments that happen or being confused as hell from something that just transpired. I won’t spoil anything story related, but I personally believe from the arc of the story, the historical background its set in, the cast of characters that play a role, and Connor’s beliefs and philosophies clashing, makes it the better of the 5 games, thus far.
The gameplay is right up the alley of any returning vet of the Assassin’s series. Quick kills, visceral combos and the always fun assassination moves from the tops of building, and for the first time, trees. I’m being serious, you can kill from the tree tops, and use the amazingly fun, Rope Dart; nothing like getting the drop in on some Redcoats. And another great action added to AC3, was the human shield ability. You’ll be in mid-combat and the yellow warning arrows will appear and you quickly grab a Redcoat and go right back on the offensive once the salvo is done. Even if this is your first time playing an AC game, the controls won’t be foreign to you, easy to pick up and play. But I highly recommend playing the previous titles with Altair and Ezio, just for the wonderful stories. Your playground ranges from Boston, New York, the Frontier between the two, and the Homestead. In sheer size of the first three maps, mainly the Frontier, you’ll notice they are bigger than the previous games cities, and also, you’ll wander and get lost for hours, because I did.
They additionally added the Hunting to the mix, allowing you to hunt woodland creatures to your delight or dismay, PETA I’m looking at you. At this point of the game, I’m at sequence 7, with 43% of a complete game, and my play time is around 17 hrs., 43 mins, and some odd seconds. You’ll get your play time and monies worth, if you’re a completionist. But most of that time, may be attributed to getting lost in the Frontier and stalking wildlife from tree tops. AC3 also added a new naval aspect, and it doesn’t disappoint. You will man the ship Aquila, and she is stubborn giant of a ship, and she will damage any and everything. The controls are easy to pick up, with a very simplified control scheme for speed, firing cannons, both port and starboard, by looking in that direction. And my personal favorite… Ramming! No better joy than, ramming directly into the bow and coming alongside and fire your port side cannons. That sounds rather… I’ll leave it at that.
Just like in previous Assassin’s Creed, you have a ton of side quests and mission. As previously mentioned the naval missions, and starting and building of your Homestead off of the Frontier. This entails person finding and gathering a group, by doing various find this person or help this person with a task. They also have just a few clubs instead of every single guild has 20 challenges, that you know, most won’t do or say this, “I can’t do that.”, or best yet, “Seriously, this is impossible.” Also, the recruiting Assassin’s to the Brotherhood is simpler than previous incarnations. For instance, you’ll do a mission while in either Boston or New York, and it doesn’t lock you into it, it’s normally roaming Redcoats forcibly recruiting the young or beat these thugs shaking down harbor vendors. And your Assassins are no longer leveled up, and sent off to lands to hold and have to do a process of swapping them, in and out, and they die from something stupid, like falling from a building, when they’re with you. But this time, you send them off, they complete the mission, and they come back victorious or defeated, and no one dies.
The multiplayer follows the, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and that’s not a bad thing in the case of AC3. All the modes return for the kill one, get killed two seconds later. Fast-paced mode of Simple Deathmatch, no perks or abilities, you see everybody no matter what, and just kill each other. The normal Deathmatch with perks and abilities and multiple copies of the player avatar is still there for your stalking and blending pleasures. Team Objectives gets a new mode in domination, think 3 zones, fighting and defending, highest score wins. It’s quite fun when you have a team communicating, and not senselessly running around as if it’s just another game of team Deathmatch. It’s a personal pet peeve of mine. And even the newer game mode, which is Wolf Pack. How can I explain it, think of it as a team game, but wanting to be top Templar in the mode, but the more reckless you are, the lower the kill score, but the more kills done at the same time, more points. Also, the more points you get, the more time you earn and you have to achieve sequences by earning points, and big points later in the sequences.
its going to be a cold and Bloody day
Assassin’s Creed graphically, wasn’t always O MY GOD! But they do it right for what they have in the Anvil Next Engine. From the in-game cutscenes to the water in the naval missions, and they look great. But the bushes… well they look like they are from previous Gens for the wilderness. But the city landscape are detailed and rendered amazing. We all know, that AC was never really known for their graphics, it’s been the gameplay. That’s my personal opinion, take it or leave it. At one point, and I’ll specifically mention this, draw distance, is amazing. There’s a Lighthouse in the Frontier, and to climb to the top of it and just look around, it simply amazing. With the new addition of Captaining a warship, from the most awkward angle, behind the wheel, the sea when it’s calm or when it’s rough and you can be destroyed by a rogue wave. It’s simply amazing and awesome. When you see it, you’ll say they put their time into making this part of the game, and hopefully something to stay. But not all games can have amazing graphics or even remotely good graphics without hiccups. The AI will one more than one occasion will wig out and do the most bizarre things with their bodies, like become a contortionist, just from the waist down. Or while you’re riding your horse, at full gallop or spurring it on, you’ll hit invisible walls. They’ll randomly pop up at the most inopportune moment, like having a minute thirty to get to Concord from Lexington.
Everything isn’t golden in Assassin’s Creed III as you would think it is. Don’t ever walk through the Frontier, at night, while not on horse, or you’ll get attacked by every wolf, bobcat, bear, or elk, in the World. As people nowadays, want to do everything and complete everything, so they can either platinum or 1000 point a game, this one has that, but the biggest aggressor, is the optional task attached to the story missions. For example, Air Assassinate a Grenadier… What in the World does a Grenadier look like? Oh and to add to it, don’t get caught on a ship in the middle of the bay. I’ll leave you with that lovely picture of constant restarts and rising blood pressure. The AI isn’t completely dumb, allowing you to wade into every group of Redcoats and leave unscathed, like you were never there, but it’s not above the point of chasing you, with a large group, and falling into the Boston Harbor to die, and meet Davey Jones. A personal gripe, when you’re doing homestead missions that have you talking to some of your townsfolk, nobody moves their arms or does anything human like. They stand there bobbing back and forth and talk, but like I said, personal gripe.
To me personally, Assassin’s Creed III, delivers on everything an Assassin’s game is supposed to be. Fixes on the short fall of predecessors, and even continues some of them as well. I’m looking at you horse, and riding to every incident due to the fact that, the fast travel is just as far. But I digress, the game flows after stumbling slightly over the beginning story, it captivates you into the story of Connor and the Order and shaping the future during the American Revolution, and all the while, looking cool. A solid entry into the Assassin’s Creed series, and I believe, the new hero Connor, can stand with Altair and Ezio in the annals of the Order. Even the story outside the Animus, with Desmond and company is still adds to the overall pieces of the story, as the clock for them, keeps ticking closer to December 21st, 2012.