Assassin's Creed III Review
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Assassin's Creed III's joyous blend of parkour and storytelling is enthralling, even when technical issues threaten to derail the fun.
- Great storytelling that bridges two time periods
- Exciting sea battles
- Watching your homestead come together provides a sense of progress
- Lots of historical and visual details to admire
- Varied missions make good use of individual mechanics.
- Far too many bugs and other technical issues
- Hunting is underdeveloped
- Parkour and stealth inconsistencies.
Certain vital events from the American Revolution have become so iconic that they still loom over our collective consciousness. The Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere's famous ride, and George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River aren't just important historical events--they are symbols of perseverance, self-sacrifice, and the quest for independence. Assassin's Creed III depicts some of these milestones, though it doesn't fully romanticize early American culture. These were somber times, sullied by bloodshed, slavery, and oppression, and this ambitious action adventure isn't afraid to confront the darker aspects of colonial expansion.
Assassin's Creed III also isn't afraid to draw parallels between historical events and modern ones, making statements about subjects like the fairness of the press that ring just as true today as they did then. You explore these themes from the perspective of two characters: Desmond Miles, a modern-day Assassin seeking to halt the ambitions of the opposing Templars; and Ratonhnhaké:ton, Desmond's Native American ancestor, more commonly referred to as Connor.
In some respects, Connor is a vessel for ideas more than a force of nature in his own right. Noah Watts' unsure voice acting keeps Connor at arm's length, emotionally--though in some respects, the distance is appropriate, given Connor's uncertain path through a complex political landscape. Connor finds himself a key figure within the Revolution; he fires cannons, commands troops, and jams his tomahawk into loyalist flesh. He conspires with Samuel Adams, and participates in renowned occasions such as the Battle for Bunker Hill. Assassin's Creed III renders particular details with great historical and visual authenticity. Major and minor figures are depicted; the cities of Boston and New York are exquisitely re-created; and even minutiae like the lines of The Beggar's Opera are presented with fine accuracy.
Assassin's Creed III is hardly a documentary of America past; it's historical fiction, semi-twisted by the conspiracy theories that inhabit the overarching narrative that drives this ongoing series. If you're a newcomer, you'll be glad for the opening montage that fills you in on the ongoing Templar-versus-Assassin conflict. You learn that Desmond is now creating his own legend, and holds the fate of the world in his hands. Assassin's Creed III draws important parallels between the two men, both of whom navigate a thorny relationship with an estranged father. Desmond's story tugs at the heart more than once, not because of his newfound relationship with his aloof father, but because he learns more of the civilization that preceded us here on earth--and its futile attempts to ward off the disaster that annihilated it.
In both time periods, themes that the series has previously explored are further deepened. The Templar point of view is frequently expressed, often via the soliloquies of dying men who plead the good intentions of a philosophy that would seem to pave an apparent road to hell. Yet the truth isn't so cut-and-dried, and Connor is forced to confront his own convictions. You hear the sincere and convincing words of the men you've assumed represent the wrong side of morality, and must wonder: are the ideas of good and bad so absolute after all? Are the men you cradle in your arms as they gasp their dying breaths necessary casualties, or do they whisper ideas worth hearing and understanding? As one character insists, "There is no one path through life that's right or fair."
When playing Desmond, you sneak, run, and leap your way through relatively linear levels, climbing up skyscrapers and sneaking through suspicious crowds when you aren't giving concussions to Templar agents. These fluid sequences hint at the possibility of full-fledged modern-day adventuring--though never quite arriving there. There does come an important revelation, however: the typically surprising finale that leaves you scratching your head, and in this case, forces you to consider an unpleasant truth about the nature of humanity. The finale lacks punch and closure, but leaves you guessing, trying to weave a tapestry of truth out of the conspiracies that have always buoyed the series' self-serious stories.
You spend most of your time as Connor, however, though this fact may not be abundantly clear when you first leap into the past. Within the first several hours of the game, you do get chances to experience the fanciful parkour mechanics for which the series is known, but Assassin's Creed III's early times are focused on establishing tone and backstory--not on free-form exploration. As you play that opening, it's hard not to wonder: when does the fun stuff come? In retrospect, however, the slow pace makes sense, giving you a chance to become invested in the world and its people, and allowing later story events to wield power they may not otherwise have held.
The Assassins Creed games are fun, but AC3 wasn't as good as the previous games due to the lack of large cities. I think I will be giving AC4 a miss, because it focuses more on naval combat and small cities, which I do not like. I will be picking up Watch Dogs instead.
Look at an excellent videoclip to the game Assassin's Creed Revelations
while i found the games story boring the game play was ok but on another note why was the Wii U version scored lower than the 360 version even though all the things the reviewer moaned about are in all versions and why wasn't the PS3 version given a score at all?
gamespot has become very xbox centric of late only reviewing the 360 versions of games, nearly all gameplay videos using 360 versions and most links sending you to the 360 versions page and giving other vesions a lower score than the 360 one, your journalists your supposed to be impartial
Been playing 3 hours and im bored enough to turn it off and come on here and comment, It feels like ive been there done that, real struggle to make it 3 hours. Should have gone the other game i had in my hand.
I feel really let down by this game. Assassin's Creed 2 was brilliant and Brotherhood was an entertaining follow-up, with Revelations slipping a little.
The combat can easily turn frustrating when faced with a large group of foes all begging you to counter-attack them. I very rarely run around the roofs of Boston & New York as it feels much slower to scale the buildings and with less ways to move from one building to the next.
I really hate the recipe/crafting/trading system. It's so needlessly complicated and a lot of the decent stuff (ie. weapons) aren't available for ages.
I won't deny that there are good points. Connor is a very likeable character (although not quite as much as Ezio). The history is nice (though the story is far less interesting and engaging as AC2 and it's follow-ups). The world is huge (a bit too huge to keep things enjoyable).
In the end, I feel like I'm playing this game just to say I've completed AC3. The game bores me a lot of the time.
@Animebaz I agree completely with you....all though I haven't gotten too far, I am let down aswell.....I cant keep myself playing it for more than an hour....I get
so bored. probably gonna sell it soon
Its bizar; i'm just 2 hours in and have already writen down the precise same negatives.
And also; Don't you have the feeling when you are in a fight like you wanna make a move, but thnx to everything that's surrounding you and the needless complicated control's you fastly bash a button and that hardly ever ends up with the cool move you had in mind.
Im also already at the this point; "Ok, lets just get over with this story so i can mark ac3 as completed" haha
Besides all that still a fine experience though.
Srry for the bad english
@Animebaz ubelievable, im just 2 hours in and i already had summed op the excact same negatives you just described.
And also, i have the same feeling; "ok, let's just do this story and mark ac3 as completed" :)
(Srry for the misspelling)
As much as I'd like to play favourites with this franchise, I feel the proverbial ball has been dropped on this one. Simply put, the storyline and setting is just not interesting enough. I know history buffs appreciate the Colonial America setting but following up AC1 to AC Revelations with this, is a downgrade. There are no ancient monuments and grand cities to explore and fall in love with. Only wood shacks, barns, pubs and vast wilderness that isn't even as fun as RDD.
Not to mention the frustrating and slow-response counterattack combat system and troublesome one-button-free-climbing system. Batman AC's combat system is already solid and free-flowing so the blueprint is already there to mimic. After being so engaged with the previous 4 AC games, I do honestly feel detached from this one unfortunately.
I give this a 6.5/10 if AC2 deserved a 9.5/10, comparatively.
Great gameplay. Terrible storylines, -both connor's and desmond's... crappy and nonsensical.
Sometimes your confused as where to go even after the cutscene says "follow me" (and no one is there...) JUST FOLLOW THAT DAMN EXCLAMATION MARK! even if it doesnt make sense.
Sometimes you cant tell which objective is the main objective and which is a side because I rescued 3 slaves and never got a chance to a kill a general in the beginning of the game.
You find yourself getting a ship... thats great! super fun! but what need of a ship do i have when I get it? none, except side missions. You really need it for a main mission way later in the game. So its just confusing, why you get it now.
And don't get me started on desmond's storyline....
OTHERWISE GREAT GAME!!!! lol no it really was fun to play. I just had no idea what I was doing. just did my objectives and followed that damn exclamation mark!
@shamguy4 I very much agree with you. I'm just totally confused with all the side quests and what to do and what the story is all about. Some things are great, but there are a lot of frustrating aspects that hinder me from enjoying this game very much. And why are there 3 different pause menues? If you hit select with connor, you get map, objectives and some other things, if you hit start, you get quit leave animus, objectives and notifications and intel, and start with Desmond is a totally different looking menu! I meen, that just sums it up, confusing stuff...
@Gamerichard @shamguy4 Why are you complaining about Desmond having a different menu? He's not in the Animus, so why would he have the Animus menu? Also, having the map on Select is quite convenient, because it's a easy button to quickly hit to get to a piece of the game I used quite frequently. The story for Connor may have dropped in several places, mostly concerning his anger-issues and moodiness, but Desmond's story definitely rose to new heights, especially at the end of the game. I won't go into the details so as to keep spoilers to a minimum, but suffice to say they pretty much dropped one of the major goals for the main "Team" that no one really liked (If you've played any of the previous games after ACII, you'll know what I mean). I would give this game a definite 9.5/10. I'm over 40 hours into just 1 profile, and I still am not done with it.
The game is definitely worth a fair penny, however, I do feel it's a shame they dropped the aspects I enjoyed most in previous releases. The setting of AC3 just isn't as awe-inspiring as old Italy in AC2 (and it's sequels). The naval missions aren't as fun (pretty boring even, after your first 2) as the 'jumping puzzles'/teplar lairs as in AC2. The controls are simplified, but in most situations get you into trouble instead of actually making it 'easier'. The controls used to be great, now it's 2 buttons that serve multiple functions, making the character do things you didn't intend or getting it to do what you want.Apart from the fact they changed the things that made me fall in love with the series, I still appreciate the story, the detailed world, the improved A.I. and the stealthy-killing. but for me, this is probably the last of the series that I'll spend money on. I used to 100% the game in no time. Now, after a few side-missions, I've already found myself bored with those (and there are tons, but most are equally dull and tedious). The collectibles don't give any decent goodies, so aren't worth it. The charme seems to be gone and never to return... In fact, one of the most interesting experiences I've had in the game so far, was exploring the Underground.The present time storyline and 'side-missions' are pretty cool, but don't make up for what lacks inside the Animus.
The MP aspect has been improved quite a bit, which I do really appreciate. After all, it's one of the things that will make you come back to the game once you've finished the story.So, I'd give this game a 6/10 for the MP aspect and the huge, beautiful world they created. Where AC1 would've scored 7.5/10 (for an interesting world and very cool story) and AC2 (incl. sequels) a 9/10 (for the beautiful world, awesome storyline, cool side-missions, epic lairs and the attempt at a MP. Almost a perfect score, if it wasn't for the very, very buggy MP).
this crap game is filled with glitches and bad textures, dont waste ur money buying this crap just get it on pirate bey and play it if u want coz its not worth 2$ shame on u Ubisoft.
I love in many opinions about this game that the more they hate it, the more they describe whats wrong with it, and the more they make you read about how much they hate it, making the complaint longer and longer.
So you will hate it too.
This game is unreal. Whatever glitches may have come out are patched I've put in over 30 hours. 7 million copies sold can't be wrong. Can't believe all the tiny details and the expanse of the game.
I wish he would expand more on the specifics of the WiiU version. It scored signifcantly less than the other versions. Why? Bad controls? Laggy gameplay? Bad rendering? What?
@sonicare Well, I hate to be "that Nintendo fanboy" that says this, but I really don't see why not to, as it is unfair to the gaming community: simply the Nintendo hatred that sparked some time ago in GameSpot's reviewers. If you read "The Good" and "The Bad" of both reviews (Xbox 360 and WiiU as they seem to be the only ones with set scores), they are identical in meaning, simply paraphrased (for example, "tense and atmospheric sea battles" becomes a boring "exciting sea battles". The majority of both reviews is the same except the portions that focus on the attributes of the console it is on. Most of the reviews are simply plot details probably meant to stray readers away from another bad review (by that, I mean the review is bad, not the game).
On page 3 of both reviews he talks about the game's bugs on the console. Both versions (Xbox and WiiU) and have annoying glitches that might even force you into restarting a mission. The WiiU version does it differently from the 360 version, but in essence, it's the same deal. However, for some reason, the WiiU's are worse. Oh, but I guess render distance being slightly shorter also makes this game bad on the WiiU. Oh, come on; a couple of glitches he could give only a few examples to yet made it seem like they were constant drops this game by a full point? I could understand .2 of a point for a glitch happening once more on this version combined with render distance, but those are petty as far as comparisons go. A full point for render distance and frame rates dropping (even though the game is still playable) is just being a fanboy, and no one likes a fanboy, especially not competing fanboys.
Granted, I have yet to sit down and play through any AC game (though the bit of the first I have played was great), but simple things like render distance "being distracting" is simply finding excuses to hide your hatred.
If NintendoWorldReport site , a nintendo fan based site says 7.5 too , i dont have any second thoughts that this game is not worth its hype and some fanboys here are in denial.
Same thing with Zombie U . DONT be in denial. Game is okish thats all. Stop crying.
@AzatiS Both games have gotten high scores everywhere else, people should be happy that developers are bringing M rated games to Nintendo consoles now and give them high scores. NintendoWorldReport is a banally shit site.
@AzatiS Don't be silly. All games should be played to experience whether you like them or not.I have played through the entire campaign of ZombiU, and I have to say, the Gamespot review for it is complete shit, at least as my experience is concerned. The game is one of the most intense games I've ever played. Now, going by reviews alone, it's hard to understand this. And if you go around to different review sites, you will see that some people didn't like the game, and some loved it. You just have to decide for yourself.As for ACIII, I haven't had any of the crashing or crazy glitches mentioned in this review, however, I have noticed small glitches that pull you out of the game. For example, when talking to a character sitting at a table, his arms will disappear and reappear at odd times. Some characters will fall through the ground a little bit, and will sort of 'float' on the ground. Those problems cheapen the experience. Also, the shadows on characters are terrible and look really fuzzy. Other than that, I haven't run into any game breaking bugs.
@Blashbuck @AzatiS Also for a breakdown of how AC III really is on WiiU compared to the other consoles, go to eurogamer.net. They have done a new face off feature with all the versions of AC III. The only difference for the WiiU version graphically is that it runs at a 'slightly' less framerate than the other versions at certain moments.
AC3 is worthy of a 4.0 rating. Boring Boring Boring. The best character is Kenway and he is hardly dealt with. Why is he like he is?? How much more interesting if Ubisoft followed him instead of boring, Connor. (BTW - is he named 'Connor' because ubi is conning us??) This game was ruined by too many people criticizing one persons idea and adding their own dull or inappropriate slant. Time for the series to die if it can't maintain the great story lines of the first two in the series. Even the climbing is dull in this game. Ouch what a stinker - kids save your money and buy something else.
What do you mean "kids save your money"? This game is rated M, so children shouldn't be playing it.
@greenshadow222 you think you are clever but you're a troll and there are thousands upon thousands of people exactly like. go to them and enjoy your lack of uniqueness.
@I_are_Cake It's only the highest rated so far because it has had very few reviews. Wait until it's had 40-50 reviews across the board.
only buggy thing that I found other than texture blurps was one where I flew up in the air for no reason.
Seriously? I lol'd.
@LegatoSkyheart the only problems i had were occasional freezing when playing on the tv and a small frame rate issue in the braddock chase at the beginning.
That's weird. I've been playing this game on the Wii-U for 12 hours now and I haven't had a single problem with crashes, mission breaking bugs, or any of the clipping issues brought up in this review. The only similar complaint that I've had during my own play through has been the limited draw distance, which can be noticeable sometimes. The frame rate does drop when things get busy, but it does the same exact thing on the other console versions. In fact I've played AC3 on my friends PS3 and I would say that the Wii-U version actually runs better. Just go on any gamer forum about AC3 and frame rate complaints are everywhere for all the console versions. The biggest problem with this game is the pacing.
@Stonecutters908 Maybe Gamespot got a bad Wii U or something.
@Stonecutters908 bleh, don't even bother with this guy's reviews. Ever since Resident Evil 6 I don't take this guy's articles seriously.
@Stonecutters908 I'm glad I'm not the only one ...
Thanks to this new tool called miiverse I will actually see if this reviews negatives are warranted. If not I am getting this on wii u.
@WllDan7 They aren't. That and the Wii U version deserves 100% support along with other great 3rd party titles so more M rated games come to Wii U.
With bugs or without, a game as big and awesome as AC 3 does not deserve a 7.5, not even the 8.5 given the original title.
Like most review sites, you hurry out on the single-player, do some side missions and focus on the negative parts of the game - that drags all the fun away. I did that too at first, but only after I completed the Story missions that I took my time to walk around, collect, do some side missions and of course the awesome Naval Warfare too.
I was not sure that AC 3 was a GOTY game at first, but after I took my time and played the game to what it really is - Assassins's Creed 3 is the best game of this year, the best.
what's the difference between the Wii U version and the PS3 / Xbox360 one?
how come you gave this review 7.5 while the others are 8.5
do you hate nintendo that much? or this is just a marketing scheme..
@ziegszilard Maybe you should read the review ?
@woodyfr @ziegszilard Interesting; I read the reviews for Xbox 360 and WiiU and the general consensus is that he had to restart missions due to glitches. The only real difference being how these glitches happened. Oh, and render distance is "distracting". That does not deserve a full point off when compared to other versions. Seriously, if anyone ever plays a game solely for render distance, that person has some issues.
- Player Reviews: 7
- Game Universe:
- Assassin's Creed (PC, MOBILE, PS3, X360, DS, IP, BB, WINM),
- Assassin's Creed II (PS3, PC, X360, PSP, IP, DS, BB),
- Assassin's Creed II: Battle of Forli (PS3, X360),
- Assassin's Creed II: Bonfire of the Vanities (X360, PS3),
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (PS3, X360, PC, MAC),
- Assassin's Creed III (PS3, X360, WIIU, PC),
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - The Da Vinci Disappearance (PS3, X360),
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - The Da Vinci Edition (PS3, X360),
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations (PS3, X360, PC),
- Assassin's Creed: Ultimate Collection (PC)