Now before I get into this review, I'd like to recount to you my history with Assassin's Creed games. When Assassin's Creed 1 came out, I was psyched. The game seemed like it had everything; assassination, free-running, free-roam, and an interesting plot. Whilst it did have all of that, it didn't use them to the best of their ability. Assassination's were stale and boring, free-running felt quite stiff, free-roam was only good for getting feathers, and the plot was hindered by an extremely boring Desmond section. Then came Assassin's Creed 2, and it improved on absolutely everything. There were more things to do, more people to kill, and more of a reason to pay attention to the plot. After that came Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. I held off buying that game straight away, because I had hoped for a new character. Still, I bought it eventually, and it was a great game. I didn't even think about buying Assassin's Creed Revelations. I had grown tired of the same old game-play with the same old (literally in Revelations) character. So I wasn't going to buy another Assassin's Creed until a new character was integrated in. When Assassin's Creed 3 was announced, I felt the same joy I had when I heard about Assassin's Creed 1, except this time, I knew it would be great, and it was. So great. I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, this is the best Assassin's Creed game to date. Here's why.
The premise of Assassin's Creed 3 is much like the others in the series. You are Desmond Miles. You are from a long line of Assassin's. By using a machine called the Animus, you can relive your ancestor's lives. First you relived the life of Altair Ibn-La'Ahad, then the life of Ezio Auditore, and now you can relive the life of Ratohnhaké ton. He's also known as Connor. We'll call him that. Now when I say you can relive the life of Connor, I mean it. You play as Connor from when he is five, all the way up to his adulthood. Except, and this is where things get really interesting, you don't play as Connor until about 5 hours in. What precedes that, is a lengthy introduction where you play as his father, Haytham Kenway. This was one of the game's biggest surprises, and Ubisoft did a good job of hiding it. Apart from being a good tutorial, playing as Haytham adds massively to the plot. It is the greatest story-telling technique of any Assassin's Creed game to date. There's a huge and unexpected twist during that introduction, so I wont spoil it. Instead I'll go on to the story of the main chunk of Assassin's Creed 3.
Connor is an assassin, at the time before, during and after the American Revolution. Although he is a Mohawk, he is also half British, meaning he is not generally subjected to the racism that was aimed at Native Americans in those times. Connor, as a character, is not as likable as Ezio. Ezio was, to put it bluntly, a bad-ass. He would kill for retribution, and would not let anything get in his way. Connor, on the other hand, just can't make his mind up how to be moral. Whilst this does provide an interesting view of the American Revolution, with Connor frequently commenting that the Patriots fight for freedom even though many own slaves, it isn't a likable trait. He is too pessimistic. Throughout the main story, you will meet many key historical figures, such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Samuel Adams. This isn't the pro-American propaganda that the Youtube comment section furiously argued. You will find enemies on both sides of the fight, and the key figures are portrayed as historically accurate as possible, such as George Washington's knack for loosing battles. If you know your American Revolution history, the story will be perfect for you, discovering historical figures down the backs of alleys asking you to find the missing pages of their book, or finding famous adventurers with stories to tell. This brings me on to another vastly improved area; game-play.
|Connor meets George Washington.|
|Case in point: Nerdgasm.|
|The Frontier is stunning.|
|Naval combat is fun and rewarding.|
Multiplayer is back, and it's better than ever. I have to admit, I wasn't a big fan of multiplayer in the previous Assassin's Creed games, but Ubisoft have hit the nail on the head in Assassin's Creed 3. There are now 5 modes, each with its own flavour. My Favorite has to be Domination. There are various capture points scattered around the area, some in your territory some in the enemy's, and you goal is to hold on to as many as you can until the game ends. If you enter the enemy territory, you become a target. Obviously, the same can be said if an enemy enters your territory. Also, if you are in the enemy territory, you can only stun the enemy, but they can kill you. It provides tense game-play as you are trying to stay hidden whilst capturing a point, knowing that the enemy is probably on your screen. Another unique addition is Wolfpack mode. This is co-operative team play against an AI enemy. It is a lot like Gears of War's horde mode, except every wave provides new targets that your team must eliminate. Sometimes there will be a synchronization mode, where you must all assassinate a target at the same time for maximum points. Customization also plays a big part, being able to pick your abilities, and how you character looks. I cannot see the multiplayer as being long lasting as other multiplayer games, but it is still a great success.
Assassin's Creed 3 is a brilliant game. The historical side of the story is superb, the graphics are beautiful, if a bit glitchy, and the combat is extremely fun and satisfying. In previous Assassin's Creed games, "open-world" seemed to be something tacked on to the definition to draw in a larger audience. However, Assassin's Creed 3 truly is an open world game. There is so much to do and see, and I am nowhere near finished. I believe I was on around 49% completion of the game after finishing the story. Ubisoft are heading in the right direction with Assassin's Creed, and though the ending may leave some people with a bitter taste in their mouth, it leaves a sweet one in mine, knowing that the potential for the series hasn't even been reached yet, even though Assassin's Creed 3 is such an amazing game.