The first thing I noticed about this game was that it was not a continuation of the last 3 games. It was evident from the outset that Assassins Creed 2 and its 2 follow ups of “Brotherhood” and “Revelation” were all from the same stock, while AC3 was going to be going its own route. This is, of course, due to the fact that there were completely different development teams altogether. It definitely disconnected me from the franchise though, and made me feel that I got to party with Ezio and destroy things with epic proportions, and now had to start over. There was an overhaul of the controls, landscape and character moves. It’s great that there is a change of pace but I feel like the fluidity that this series has staked its reputation on has been greatly been reduced. I mean, I can’t even sprint anymore. Sure there is a run button but gone is the super run button that let me run with reckless abandon, the kind which, if I ran into anybody, I would eat shit. Sure it sucked to eat shit but, I could run faster and it made me get better.
Where the controls pissed me off, they made up for it by giving me a tomahawk. This muthafucking wrecks! Sure you can buy a sword if you wanna fight like a pussy. Instead, if you get good with your controller you can just destroy mercilessly, chaining combos and countering redcoat attacks. And that is where this game truly excels in the fun department. It is very, very fun to fight, hunt, kill, slaughter and all around assassinate the shit out of everyone.
I would be remiss if I did not tell you that I am a strictly offline player and could care less about the online components of this game. If you are looking forward to reading about it, too bad. It ain’t gonna happen.
Another element taken away from the AC format is the upgrading of buildings. In its place is a very convoluted upgrade structure of your compound and surroundings. I invested good time into this only to be disappointed. Sure the missions are fun and worthwhile, gameplay wise, but the rewards are nowhere to be found. Instead you have to hunt beavers and bear for hours to make any money. Boring as shit if you ask me.
The final additions to the gameplay are the Naval portions where you captain a ship and sail the seas, destroying as you go. I found this repetitive and almost unplayable. For one, I can’t even see in front of the ship and two, its the same thing each time. Just harder and harder. Yes, you can upgrade your ship but you have to hunt fucking beaver pelts to do that, and unless you like hanging around beaver dams in-game, your not upgrading like me.
Last and certainly not least, is the story. Well, it starts off with a great twist, then it kinda just keeps going through actual American events. I couldn’t help feel like an opportunity was lost to climb skyscrapers in today’s Boston, New York and anywhere modern with Desmond. Gone is that epic scale that this series is known for and in its place is trees, and three story buildings with a tower in them. It is even teased climbing a skyscraper. What the shit?
In the end I found AC3 a decent game. It didn’t have any problems, per se, to someone new to the series, but it didn’t inspire me like the others did, and that is truly unfortunate. The level of polish in this game is near perfect for what they were going for. Do me a favor though and let me know when they are gonna do a full game in the modern era.