Assassin's Creed 3 Review
It’s time to dawn that hood, polish those hidden blades and get your bow and arrow ready because Assassin’s Creed 3 is here and it will take up your entire time. Breaking new ground for the series in multiple ways; tree climbing, seasons, day/night cycle, ship combat, hunting…the list of new additions in Assassin’s Creed 3 is huge. Utilizing the new engine; animations, combat, character models and basically everything got a major upgrade from the previous titles. With all these new and exciting changes though, Assassin’s Creed 3 is still about one thing - justifiable murder. As the culmination of a story branching through five games, Assassin’s Creed 3 has a lot to live up to. It takes a few missteps along the way, but pulls itself together for a spectacular ending to this story.
You play as Conner, a Native American assassin, who has more than ample reason to hunt down the Templars. Playing as Conner while he is a child all the way till a full-grown man; you get to witness that various influences on him that have made him tick. During the playable moments of his early years you play through tutorials to the various additions that being a Native American bestows on you; using a bow and arrow, running through the trees and other things.
Assassin’s Creed 3 features the biggest moment in history that the series has dealt with; the American Revolution. Throughout the game you will meet countless famous, historical people in which you help; John Adams, Ben Franklin, George Washington and so on. The cast here is a who’s-who list of the American Revolution. The missions you will be put on will sometimes bring you to major battles or moments in the war to where sometimes your aid will decide the outcome of the winner; the Boston Tea Party, The Battle of Bunker Hill and so on. With each mission having the series-standard sequences of gaining information before taking on the major mission.
Missions will feature the overall goal, then sub-objectives that will not affect the outcome of the mission, but will change the score/synchronization of each mission. Play through a mission and mess up by killing someone who you shouldn’t have resulting in a less-than-stellar sync score? Not to worry, any mission with these sub-mission objectives can be replayed to up your score, to receive full sync.
Overall the game mechanics have gone unchanged; the combat is still the block-counter formula and the free-running can be more of a burden sometimes. Combat, even though still the same as before, has been updated with some rather impressive, exciting and non-boring additions. Blocking an enemy’s attack, then plunging both Conner’s hidden blade and his axe into the enemy never gets old. Stealing a gun from an enemy then using it to kill him is a thrill that I can’t get enough of. It seems now as well that the enemies actually learn – slightly. Most of the time you will kill an opponent within seconds of starting to fight him; but the few that stay around for a while do seem to learn. Keep trying to use the same move on him and he will eventually start to block that move, making combat not a lot more difficult, but providing a challenge.
Taking place in three different areas; Boston, New York and the Frontier, Conner has plenty of room to run around and cause chaos. Boston and New York, though not as impressive as the cities of the previous games, are enjoyable playgrounds to be in. The lack in sheer jaw-dropping power of Boston and New York is no fault of the developers as it is more at the fault of the time-period in this part of the world. The Frontier though is the place to be. The biggest area of the game, the Frontier, also is a place to showcase the new additions to the Assassin’s Creed gameplay; hunting and tree free-running. Using the elements of the environment you are able to hunt various animals; wolves, dear, rabbits, raccoon and many more. Taking them down from atop a tree or with the use of a bow and arrow; the enjoyment of hunting and stalking your target then finishing them off by skinning them is a real excitement and very rewarding.
As I mentioned earlier, Assassin’s Creed 3 is huge. Not just in the scale of the game world (which might be the biggest of the series), but in the content. Forget about the main story, there is enough additional content packed in Assassin’s Creed 3 that you might not even touch the story for 10+ hours before realizing it. I know that happened to me multiple times, I was having a blast playing other portions of the game to where I forgot about the story. But I am not saying the story is bad, it is far from that – there is just SO MUCH else to do in the game.
Hunting animals, waging naval battles, over-taking Redcoat forts, recruit for your homestead, attack wondering Redcoat caravans, craft items, hunt for hidden items throughout the world, play random board games in cities and saving citizens are only a FEW things that you are able to do while playing as Conner. The sheer number of extra things to occupy your time within Assassin’s Creed 3 is stunning.
As with the previous Assassin’s Creed titles, multiplayer is featured in Assassin’s Creed 3 bringing with it the enjoyment of the assassin skills into a new and exciting world. If you have played the previous multiplayer offerings in past Assassin’s Creed games, then you will feel right at home here; with the exception of two new and rather enjoyable game modes. Wolf Pack and Domination. The domination gameplay tasks two teams to take control of a central flag area and hold it while the other team keeps trying to take it. Wolf Pack is a co-op game where you and a team of assassin’s are tasked with killing certain marked NPCs within a certain amount of time.
Assassin’s Creed 3 is a fitting, outstanding, remarkable ending to a five game series. Building upon all the previous strengths of the past games, Assassin’s Creed 3 is by far the best of the series. With enough content to take up the rest of the year, this game has to be first on your list to play.