Assassin’s Creed III is Pish
Och, I don’t even know what to say. I’m both surprised and disappointed. Having played, completed and enjoyed Assassin’s Creed I and II, I thought I had a good idea of what I was getting into with ACIII—that it was a safe purchase.
ACIII and I have had quite a tumultuous relationship, to the point where I’ve given up on sticking around until the finale to see whether it ends on a high.
It started off promising with the opening level in Theatre Royal setting the atmosphere nicely. Ever since Tomb Raider II, I have had a soft spot for levels in theatres, so this particular mission got my attention.
However, with the long and tedious naval crossing from England to Boston, my interest quickly waned. I spent the first 5 or 6 hours of gameplay questioning when I would become a native.
Judging from my Twitter stream, my gamer friends wondered the same, too. I just wasn’t interested in playing as Haytham Kenway, the Englishman, though I understand why they laid foundation to that story.
When I play an Assassin’s Creed game, I’m doing so because I want to feel like an assassin—I want to land discreet kills with my hidden blades after engaging in archaic parkour (by the way, Googling “Assassin’s Creed parkour” led me to this video. Watch it).
I didn’t expect to be using firearms. Maybe this wouldn’t have been such a shock had I played Brotherhood or Revelations, but I don’t recall guns being a usable weapon in either ACI or II, and I was quite happy about that.
After what felt like an eternity, akin to the lengthy introduction a RPG storyline requires, I finally became a native—Ratonhnhaké:ton (yeah, I had to Google, copy and paste that).
The game temporarily gained speed, but it wasn’t until several more hours and 25% of the game was under my belt that I got my assassination gear. By this point I was pretty bored and flirting with the idea of Agent 47 and his baldy heed.
One of Assassin’s Creed III’s reviews stated “But there is so much story, so much multiplayer, and so much stuff to do that your average 10 hour game should be terribly ashamed of itself.” It took me over 10 hours just to get to the point where I expect an Assassin’s Creed game to kick off—kitted out in an assassination outfit (which doesn’t happen until you complete DNA Sequence 5), running across rooftops, slicing a hidden blade into a Templar’s neck down a hidden alley etc. It took until 25% into the game for me to begin feeling like an assassin, and by that point it was too late.
There were other gripes I had with the game, too. I didn’t particularly enjoy the hunting or naval missions, and the dodgy camera angles would often hinder my combat (sometimes the camera would swing behind a tree so I couldn’t see what I was doing).
Despite my grievances, I will try and end this on a more neutral note. Ubisoft, without a doubt, has created a beautiful environment to explore. Historic Boston bathed in snow was a delight. The story seemed rich, and a part of me will be intrigued as to what I would have found had I persevered, but with less time to game these days, I’m no longer as tolerant of mediocre games.
If Assassin’s Creed III hadn’t taken so long to get moving, and there was more of an emphasis on climbing and killing, I’d likely have seen it to the end. As for now, I’m playing Hitman Absolution and absolutely hooked.