As gamers are becoming more and more tired of annual instalments of AAA titles, especially of certain FPS military shooters, Ubisoft have managed to narrowly escape the crossfire of these conversations. Assassin’s Creed 3 is a frustrating, glitchy and unevenly paced game for the first 40% or so of the main story. After the lengthy learning curve and when Connor finally gets down to business, the game reaches the same heights of playing as Ezio in AC2.
The story of AC3 is one of the series most compelling yet. [Spoilers!] Set during the American Revolution of the late 1700s, the main character you take control of is Connor; a half British, half native American who is inducted into the Brotherhood of Assassins. However, you begin the game as Haytham, who is part of the British chapter of the Templars and is dispatched to new American colonies. Once across the Atlantic he gets romantically involved (briefly!) with a native American, and in turn, conceive Connor whom the player will eventually take control of.
18th century Boston and New York look look amazing, as well as the Frontier and sea locations. Each of them breathe with life more than ever before and zap you with their pulse. The snow locations and changing weather cycles add a freshness every time you drop in to each place, and little things such as the snow slowing down your pace polish it off nicely (in a similar fashion to GTA’s detail). The naval battles are easily the best part of this game for me, and it’s offers a nice variation to the gameplay. You can either escort an ally vessel, attack an enemy fleet or sail to a remote island following a treasure map (my personal favourite).
Overall, Assassin’s Creed 3 is a great game once you pass it’s very frustrating first chapters. It pushes the envelope in terms of graphics and immersion, although I can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed. It gives the impression that the developers had to overlook certain fundamental bugs to meet the release date and decided to rely on firmware updates to fix them. For AAA titles such as this, consumers long for the time when this option wasn’t at the developer’s disposable (don’t get me started on planned expansion packs). However, AC3 will be enjoyed by fans and newcomers to the franchise.