Historical Fiction has always been the dynamic force behind the success of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series. Assassin’s Creed III magnificently transitions from a renaissance time frame to the historical era of the Revolutionary war. The game was in fact very articulately done, but sadly did not come without flaws.
In addition to the historical time frame the game also displays a present day setting in which the main character, Desmond Miles’ story grows and reaches an end. As Desmond, you are a part of a team of present day assassins working to put an end to the Templars, a group currently disguised as the Abstergo Corporation, from achieving their long fought plans for world domination. The game starts with Desmond discovering a Temple with the help of the Apple of Eden. Once somewhat activating the Temple, Juno proceeds to communicate to Desmond, helping him find the key to the chamber inside. Doing so, inexplicably sends Desmond into the Animus to experience life, in New England during the mid 1700’s, through his ancestor; Haytham Kenway.
You will play as Haytham for the first few chapters before playing as a different character, Haytham’s son Connor, who is the main protagonist throughout the game. Playing as Connor, a half-Native American, half-English warrior, brings a whole new perspective, especially considering the era. Immediately you can sense restlessness in the air, the fact that War is about to erupt, and Connor is part of the cause. Initially, I felt there was no hook.
The game was not very enticing for approximately the first five sequences because it was pure story and less gameplay, but it is vital. The Assassins Creed series has always had the focal point around its immaculate narrative, so hang in there, you will not be disappointed! Given that, the campaign was still spectacular. The detail and storyline were to die for. Although the gameplay had its faults, the open world/ action-adventure kept me on the edge of my seat and ensured that the game never got too tedious.
The gameplay and combat was very enticing and exciting! With new controls it’s easy to preform gruesome kills as you discover new combos. Assassin’s Creed III is guaranteed to captivate your attention as you work through sensational ship battles and thrilling fight scenes. Not to mention the hunting, most likely compared to Red Dead Redemption chasing down and stalking prey adds an entirely new segment to the game. For instance you may be asked to hunt and skin 10 animals in one mission, or preform an “air assassination” to kill your target in another. Unfortunately, a majority may find it difficult to grasp the controls and mobility. For example, when selecting to jump from point A to point B, the game would often times have a mind of its own and throw your character somewhere completely off track. This failure would often times infuriate the player beyond belief especially when in the middle of a chase or a challenge.
The graphics and sound quality could only be described as an impressive feat of industrial engineering. The creators really put forth all effort when developing and enhancing every detail. Buildings and landscape never failed to impress, along with fluent character movement and design. The only miniscule flaw that could be noticed was the repetition and copy of simplistic features such as plants. The sound value should be equated to a gateway into the game; the vocals and themed music gave the ability to fully experience the era and viewpoint of multiple groups and characters.
When it comes to multiplayer I was pleasantly impressed. This cat-and-mouse style multiplayer allows one player to chase after and assassinate another player while avoiding their own pursuer. The player is given a thorough tutorial along with multiple modes to choose from, including a couple new additions such as Wolf Pack and Domination. “Wolf pack” is one of the new approaches added into the multiplayer. It is designed in a manner to which players must work together as a team to assassinate NPCs and earn points, while working their way through several waves which continuously get harder as they advance. This is a unique twist from traditional free-for-all multiplayer, you may experience on a daily basis. The multiplayer also features various characters and colorful maps which will keep you intrigued, it is also difficult to master which will keep any avid gamer coming back.
Generally, Assassin’s Creed III is an enjoyable and delightful end to the series. While it still had its share of errors and bugs, this game still surpasses previous games and truly captures the thrilling adventures that have made the series so successful.
Editor’s Note: Assassin’s Creed III was reviewed using an Xbox 360 copy of the game. If further investigation reveals any differences between the 360 edition and the PS3 edition of the game, this review will be updated to reflect those differences.