Assassin's Creed III
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Release: 10.30.2012
Price: $ 59.99

Assassin's Creed III

Genres: Action, Sandbox, Action-adventure, Open world Producer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Gorgeous Landscapes
  • Great Gameplay
  • Engaging Voice Overs
  • Keep you coming back for more
  • Graphical issues
  • Inconsistent

Axes, bows, redemption and death, these are a few words that describe Ubisoft’s latest installment in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Revered as Ubisoft’s biggest project, it promises to deliver a game unlike any of the previous iterations. Did this game live up to the hype? Has it exceeded expectations? Let’s find out!

You play the game as Connor, or should we say Ratonhnhaké:ton as he's known in his native American tribe. Half British and half native, he is stuck in a tug of war not only with others but also within himself. Assassin’s Creed 3’s main historical theme takes you through the War of Independence during the 13 Colonies era. There, you witness how the war developed and how the “Red, White and Blue” flag came to be. It is true Connor is the main assassin in this game, but he is not the only playable character (no spoilers intended).

Assassin’s Creed’s charm resides in the historical heritage it sets itself in--this game is no different. Set in 18th century America, Ubisoft Montreal made sure to give life to many of the landscapes, cities and iconic figures of that time. From the Quincy market in Boston to the table where the declaration of independence was signed, AC3 gets it right.

Technologically, Assassin’s Creed 3 is astounding. The level of animations, crowd physics and freedom of movement during game time is unlike anything else. From the small hare in the forest to the simpleton in Boston, they all react and behave differently, as they're lives are unique and diverse. It doesn’t feel as static as previous installments in the franchise. The opening opera scene displays exactly what the AnvilNext engine is truly capable of.

Sadly, this also proves to be the game’s Achilles heel. While it is amazing to see such a number of NPC’s interacting, moving and speaking, the game has its fair share of bugs and issues. There are slowdowns and rendering issues in certain areas and even loading screens take some time. The game also suffers some anti aliasing and texture popping problems, but Ubisoft has addressed the matter with a day 1 patch and it will be available for download to make sure as many bugs as possible will be corrected and removed.

Having to navigate through the beautiful wilderness, one can’t help but stop and listen to the sounds of nature. AC3 brings it all to life. The ambient sounds of the forest, the thundering storms during naval battles and the cries during the tides of war are all there. Assassin’s Creed 3 makes sure to indulge the player in many ways and one of them is the voice acting. The script was phenomenally written and while it's true our Connor might not have the charm of Ezio or the leadership of Altaïr, his hot headed attitude and his righteousness fit the profile properly. The guys at Ubisoft made sure that everyone you kill or interact with, will show their “true” side by evoking emotion through superb voice acting. On the other hand, the native American voice overs could use more expression and life but that’s just a minor detail.

Assassin’s Creed 3 still showcases the trademark dodge-and-parry fighting mechanics. That being said, it’s more exciting this time around. The killings are gruesome and the animations are spot on. Whether it’s killing with a musket, an axe or the famous hidden blades, Connor makes sure his blows leave you bleeding or dead. Whether it's animals or humans, killing has never felt better in an AC game. The running has been simplified and the addition of running inside buildings to break a chase makes the game much more fluid in terms of “free-running” gameplay.

The game’s “free running and killing” core mechanics have been perfected. Howbeit, this iteration of the franchise does focus more on the killing rather than the free running. Ubisoft has added many side quests and missions to keep you busy. Picking fights with Redcoats, trinket-hunting or running in the open fields of America’s frontier are all but a small part of what AC3 has to offer. Furthermore, the naval battles are also very interesting. Though they could have been slightly more polished, the addition of fighting in a battleship is a good change of pace from the traditional follow/hunt/killing mechanics.

Although the game does have its gameplay merits, the fact that it offers so much, makes it a bit inconsistent. The transition between the actual missions and the rest of what the game has to offer, is very clunky and lacks chemistry. The main story itself feels very linear and doesn’t promote what the game has to offer on the whole. Only when you free yourself from the story missions and decide to explore on your own, will you be able to fully experience what AC3 has cooked up inside.

The game does have a slow start, so those expecting to be thrown right into the midst of the action may be disappointed. Even though the story does have its twists and turns, it could have been directed in a better way. Most players will just find themselves indulging the hunting and free running in the forest rather than the actual storyline. What is interesting though, in order to progress in the side missions, you will need to get further in the main story. In the long run, you will come to see how everything is linked and how Conner is at the center of it all.

Assassin’s Creed 3 is a huge game. It brings a lot to the table and when you think you’ve finally had enough, there's still the multiplayer. If you think that it's not as fun and engaging as the single player game, you guys are in for quite the delightful surprise. With the pleasure of a much more refined running and killing mechanic featured in the single player, you can be sure to expect a thrilling online experience. Ubisoft has also included a mode called “Wolf Pack”, a co-op mode where players team up and work together to hunt and kill NPCs. Of course, the bread and butter of the multiplayer remains the classic player versus player mode. The beauty about the multiplayer this time around, is that you will be getting a full background story on Abstergo and the Animus. For those lore lovers, this will be a perfect incentive for you to pick up that controller and assassinate people online.

Overall, Assassin’s Creed 3 delivers on its promises and more. While certain issues are noticeable and hinder it from being the game it was expected to be, it is still one of this year’s biggest titles. The open world of AC3 is unlike any other. Whether you like hunting, questing or just free running, this game delivers on all fronts.

Wii U Features and Mechanics:

Now that November 18th has finally arrived, the Wii U version of Assassin's Creed III is now upon us. Here is what is special about the Wii U version, the Gamepad. With this new controller in hand, players will be able to quickly switch weapons seemlessly without halting the flow of battle. Also an extensive map at your fingertips is always something that can push your experience further. In terms of content, the Wii U version does not have any extra content that the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions do not..

Gamers Block:

I personally have played through all of the Assassin’s Creed titles with the exception of Brotherhood. While every game in the series fills me with excitement, none of them have left me wanting more than the first one. That is, until Connor came along. His hot-headed attitude and his naivety show true human weakness whether it's seen in a regular farmer or in a fully trained assassin.

I am a big fan of story-driven games and AC3 is no exception. Most open world games lose their sense of story and direction, due to the fact that they offer a lot, but this game is different--it kept me wanting more. The twists and turns kept me on my toes, and neutralizing my targets has never felt better. Also, I am a very big history buff, so playing through many of the key moments in America’s history was very satisfying.

The game does have its pros and cons. However, the more I played the game, the less I paid attention to them and the more I started appreciating what was given to me. Video games are meant to entertain and give us a sense of amusement. This game does just that.

Revered and potentially one of 2012’s games of the year, AC3 will make sure to take you on a ride like no previous game in its genre. At the end you will come to ask yourself: Why am I not an assassin?

Editor comment

Written by Nass; Editor-in-Chief