The feeling is perhaps even better in AC3, because of the way Connor slays his enemies with a certain elegance that is fairly reminiscent of the choreography found in the latest urban teen dance movie (playing in theaters near you), once you’ve mastered the combat system.
In retrospect, the combat system and how the developers treated it, probably represents how you’re supposed to experience the entire game – exploring it slowly, over a very long period of time.
To Ubisoft Montreal’s credit, they’ve created an extremely immersive experience, provided you play it while largely ignoring the main story.
With what is easily the best animations in gaming, Assassin’s Creed III allows you to move through a world in an unbelievably realistic manner; be it stalking animals while free running from tree to tree, or sliding through crowds in an attempt to blend in, effectively going incognito.
In a post Mark of the Ninja world, I find myself completely underwhelmed and often frustrated by the stealth mechanics in AC3.
Without a way to manually become more inconspicuous, or any way to understand the detection mechanics of the AI, the game felt, again, more like trial and error than me authentically navigating through the world with a clear understanding of the rules.
If I didn’t find and take the exact path that kept me in stealth mode the entire time, then I’d botch the mission, resulting in a complete restart or the murdering of many more innocent guards!
But I mean, that pretty much sums up the entire game for me–there is never a clear understanding of how to do anything. Take the homestead system, for instance; there was never any indication, that I could find, explaining how to “upgrade,” the artisans to get them to start crafting all the cool recipes that I had found over the course of the game.
Even the UI for crafting was confusing and uninformative; everything I learned, or thought I learned was done by more trial and error, culminating in a frustrating experience that I ultimately gave up with. Not that it mattered, given how pointless it was to earn money. As far as I could tell, based on the ever-so-confusing UI for purchasing weapons, the default tomahawk was the best weapon in the game.
Since there was seemingly no reason to care about the economy in the game, one of the best parts of the game, the hunting, seemed completely irrelevant. There was never enough of a reward to justify taking the time to slowly note, track, and hunt the wide variety of animals found throughout the game.
Performance wise, the game had its ups and downs. Indeed, the best feature of the game was its lifelike animations. However, the game had multiple dips in frame rate that were extremely noticeable.
Perhaps it was a result of the beautiful, realistic sandbox game that they had created.
However, there were some oddities with that; while the game from a 3rd person perspective was very impressive, the myriad of cut scenes were not. Indeed, many ‘art house moments that I would have loved in a film, ended up looking very cheesy in the game’s cut scenes due to poor models, textures and animations. Furthermore, the loading times were horrendous and seemingly everywhere.
I can’t tell you how many times I would sit in a long loading screen, literally walk a few steps in the direction of my destination, and literally be in another loading screen of the same duration.
While the multiplayer remains more of the same for the series, it’s still a unique experience, you can’t get anywhere else. It’s just that, it’s not really for me. While I certainly applaud Ubisoft Montreal for creating an intense cat and mouse experience, the concept of trying to blend in with the AI isn’t all that appealing to me, considering how awkward the AI’s movement and behavior is. If you’re into that kind of thing, then look no further, you can’t get that experience anywhere else but here.
Ironically, I feel like my greatest gripe with the game, was with how little I actually ‘sassinated people. I could assign contracts to my recruited assassins, but I myself could never take part in those missions. Alternatively, at least, if I could, I never figured out how, despite vigorous attempts at trying.
When the main quest is over, there just doesn’t seem to be anyone left to sneakily ‘sassinate in the middle of a large crowd, going completely unnoticed. That’s what I’ve always enjoyed the most from the series, and I felt that it was nearly non-existent in this game.
Indeed, the game seemed completely focused on showing off the new combat system at the complete expense of what I actually love about the series. Here’s to hoping that they make an Assassin’s Creed that takes place in Feudal Japan. I can’t imagine anything better than playing as a ninja, or a ronin, with the animation and combat euphoria of the Assassin’s Creed series.
There’s a good game to be found in Asassin’s Creed III, it’s just that, ultimately, I don’t feel like it’s worth finding.
While there was a good combat system in the game, by the time I had discovered it, I was just too frustrated to care anymore.
The animation euphoria carries the game despite constant fps drops, loading screens and shoddy cut scenes.
Mostly unnoticeable, didn’t really enhance or detract from the experience.
In a game this deep and unintuitive, you can’t get away with not explaining anything, including the story.
While the content may not be for everyone, you do get a lot of it.
I felt as if the game simply kept me from enjoying it, despite how much I wanted to. If that’s not broken, then I don’t know what is.