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My thoughts on Assassins Creed 3 (PS3)

genre:action, adventure

When I first heard of this third part and that you would play as a Native Indian I saw immense possibilities. Hearing so much positivity when the game finally was there and played I did not check to see if the hype really was worth it. I automatically assumed it was.

Upon playing I found myself confused and longing for the game play in the earlier parts Assassins Creed 1 and 2. Although playing as this charming English chap wasn't without merit. It provided one hell of a plot twist. But this is after four or five chapters. And then you get to play as the promised lead. Story wise it was an original approach. Game play wise it was off putting. And I am putting it mildly. The whole secret vibe and the conflict between Assassins and Templars is diminished to almost something ordinary. Furthermore everything that I loved about the Assassin Creed games was not present until much much later. Then the game opened up and offered what I wanted. At this moment it felt good and took my time to finish a lot of side missions. At this time I was so happy and being an assassin was cool again.

Even rushing through the main missions it acquires you to have patience. Lots of it. Adapting to new game play elements is not much of a hassle if there is a proper tutorial to it or the mechanics actually work. Most of the time you stumbled on not knowing what to do until you got the hang of it eventually. Having a wide arsenal might be nice in theory but in practice to have too much choice can be limiting or even a hindrance. A good thing the combat pauses when you choose a different weapon so it gives people to mix it up a little. But why would you bother? The first weapons in the games are by far the most effective and therefore most used. Plus the animations look incredibly flashy and cool. And who doesn't like to be cool. Too bad very frequent I found out that the controls were unresponsive. In a game where the controls are everything and that used to work perfectly this is unforgiving. It added frustration on frustration plus it made things unnecessarily difficult.

Controls being responsive one moment and another moment not is something one can get used to but the loading times in between. Unacceptable. Especially since the game I played I downloaded from PSN. It could have been prevented to just let the game start the main mission you needed to start when you wanted to instead of making you travel all the way. 

Then there is the addition of mini games and elements that the developers thought be nice to have in the game as well even when there was no need for it whatsoever. I am talking about the naval battles. Most people who played this game loved it. I tolerated it. Sure it was fun and intense. But mostly because the bad controls made it more difficult than it had to be. My most effective solution of defeating other ships was simply ramming them. Luckily these naval battles were optional apart from the ones in the main story line. While I can't deny enjoying the rush and intensity for me it had no extra value to the core game play. In fact I found it completely distracting and stupid. There I said it. Why on Earth would an assassin that is supposed to be stealthy suddenly steer a ship and command others out in the open. And if this was the only time he did it. Then I could have overlooked. No,to make matters worse he even commands armies on the battlefield against the Brits. While the previous games were never truly about real stealth it was about killing off a target with the least resistance and getting out of harms way as quickly as possible. Only in some of the Liberation missions was there a need to be stealthy and for me it was not enough. I plead for more stealth as opposed to more action and weapons. Let the assassin be able to take out targets without being seen as promised in the first ever trailer for the first game in the series. (It looks like Black Flag might just do that. Keep your fingers crossed!)

Connor as an Assassin is met with a lot of hate because he is no Ezio. I am not one of them. I thought Connor as a character was much more complex because of his background. While he could be ruthless and devastating he had more respect for his adversaries and in fact he showed kindness where the others would not think of doing remotely like that. Connor is more serious and less suave. Can you blame him? He has seen his mother who he loved very much die before his eyes. And knew who was responsible for this. That can make you a very angry person. Still he helped out and was gentle to persons who were in need. I wished a lot more would have been done with his native background. Still he was just as badass as the previous ones and maybe in some ways even more so. 

Which brings us to the present and Desmond. Honestly speaking of dull characters. In theory Desmond might be the most badass of them all since he contains genes and skills of all his ancestors. But is he truly? No. The developers in my opinion had a lot of options concerning this character. But fail to do so and choose the easiest way out. Which to me did not come as a surprise since the endings of the first two was proof that the main Desmond oriented story was and is the weak link in the entire franchise. 

So what do I think of this game? Well despite the multiple flaws and bugs I liked it very much for the most part but it has been a gaming experience that I had mixed emotions about because it tried to do too much. It is nice to have options and it is always nice to have many side missions. But then at least the game mechanics need to work and it needs to benefit the player in some way. And here it simply is not rewarding at all. Personally I would like to see Connor return. Where he gets more in touch with his roots and do more things that make him even a more unique character. 

One little addition, the soundtrack of this game is exceptionally good. It really helps immerse you in your cinematic adventure. It's the best in the franchise in mu humble opinion.

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