Assassins Creed 3 Review

     Assassins Creed 3 Review

This week I managed to get a bit of hands on time with AC3 and I can tell you I was like a kid at Christmas. There are few games that I will genuinely get excited for but since the announcement of AC3 I’ve barely been able to contain my excitement when speculating about the game. Which is why back in March I paid my £90 for the Freedom edition, which as I type is winging its way to me, and we will be posting an un-boxing on the youtube channel when it arrives.
I suppose I should really talk about the game now then, I’ll try to review it without giving away too much of the story but there will be a few spoilers, so be warned.

The game opens with a short intro that’s partially controllable of Desmond and the team arriving at the hidden mountain pre-cursor facility. Straight from the off you can see the work that has gone into the animation, even just walking into the hidden compound as Desmond the motion is much more fluid and polished. Not to say the previous games were lacking in polish Ubisoft have just managed to find even more to lavish upon AC3 and they really have gone all out. After I’d finished admiring the way Desmond shifted his weight while running around the starting cave I decided to carry on playing. Its fairly straightforward and very little of the storyline is explained before you are once again thrust into the animus to begin unravelling the past.
There are a purported 1000 new animations to Conner alone making this one of the most intricately animated games in history.

Annoyingly I found myself having to play a short tutorial on the basic controls. However it is rather useful as the controls have been tweaked and the free running  overhauled and simplified so it is a rather useful tutorial, even if all you want to do is skip straight to the game.
When the game finally kicks in the first thing you notice is that you’re not Conner? You are in fact a character called Hatham Kenway another assassin linked to Desmond. After a rather lengthy intro you finally make your way to Boston. This is still however all part of an almost 4 hour long intro to the game proper. It’s here that for the first time you really see the beauty of this game, how amazing the graphics really are and just how stunning the setting is. When the weather kicks in for the first time and you see how rain, and snow etc all affect the environment it’s absolutely awe-inspiring. It’s a completely immersive environment filled with the sights and sounds of a bustling American city at the start of the revolution. It’s the most ambitious recreation that the Ubisoft team have attempted to date and by far the most convincing.

 The new combat system takes the free flow combat from the other games in the series and builds on it to create something truly unique. I have to say I have not had as much fun massacring soldiers since… well ever.  Although I feel possibly the freeze frame moments when counter attacking may get a little repetitive. That said at the moment I’m loving the mechanic and having a lot of fun with it and how many games let you remove an opponent from the end of your sword with a swift boot off the roof. In short the combat is nothing short of swashbuckling perfection. The only slight criticism I would make of the refined combat system is that it’s still a little bit simple and easy to master. That said it still doesn’t take away the sense of achievement when you take out a whole fort of troops single-handedly.

Add to all the improvements they’ve made that the game is also at least twice as big as any of the previous titles with an absolute mountain of side quests to complete and various other ways to pass the time. Baiting traps for wild animals and stalking them through the various canopies of the frontier, bow in hand, make for an excellent way to waste a few hours, without even realising you’ve forgotten about your latest assassination target. The world is so vast and intricate with, treasure and a multitude of other things to find, templars to kill, naval battles to be waged and a plethora of wild animals to hunt, this time around everything truly is permitted.

The one downfall for this game then is the storyline, in particular the ending to this trilogy that we have waited so long to conclude. It’s not that it lacks imagination or that the storyline is not good in its own right it just lacks something when held up against the triumph of writing seen in the previous titles. But for a trip to New York and a few other small cameo’s Desmond’s story is not as interesting as it could be, with this being the conclusion to his story it would have been nice for him to have had a more involved storyline. The characters also lack charisma and Conner is not nearly as likeable as Ezio, but then again who among us doesn’t want to be a mix of Casanova and James Bond. It was easy to like Ezio but Conner comes from a different time and a different place, a time when anger, revolution and identity were the cornerstones of society and Conner is absolutely the right character for this role.

This game then is bigger and in most ways better than any of the previous Assassins Creed games, a few small flaws don’t change the fact that for the fans out there this is the ultimate AC experience and is very close to perfection. It’s worth noting as well that on top of everything else there is still an enjoyable multiplayer aspect to the game with a few new modes, the most notable being wolfpack where you can team up with friends to take on co-op assassination sequences. As an all round game this for me blows everything else out of the water and for its few short comings the game is redeemed by the sheer quality of the graphics, storyline and game play that the franchise built its reputation on. I would have to say I for one have signed up to fight for my freedom and urge you all to do the same, it’s Join or Die time people make your decision.
A truly breathtaking game with bags of content to keep you busy through the holiday season. An absolute must buy for fans of the franchise and a great game by anyone’s standards.

GG Rating            5/5
Slick, action packed, good fun with a few minor glitches, almost the perfect assassin.

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