Impressions: Assassin's Creed 3
A few weeks ago, I walked up to a Datablitz store and bought a game I never thought I'd ever pick up. Assassin's Creed 2 was my last creed game and was satisfied with what the game had to offer. The next two games? Not so much. But Assassin's Creed 3 was a different beast. A new setting, a new ancestor, they even have a new game engine under the hood. With the PC version priced at P995, I convinced myself this would be a good buy. Boy, I didn't think I'd feel regret after spending 15 hours on the game.
Note: This is based on 50% game completion on Sequence 9 and is playing the PC version. I'm not finished with the game and all opinions and impressions of the game are only up to that point. This is not a full review.
Don't get me wrong. The game has some very good points. The problem is, there's an issue in almost every corner of the game. Be it a bug, gameplay flaw, or even a design layout, there's always something that takes me away from the experience. There's always something that bothered me. It's one of the buggiest game's I've played in years. And to think this is considered a triple A title, whatever that's worth nowadays.
Bugs. There are so many it's a challenge to avoid them. Every now and then, you will come across NPC's leaning on a wall when there's no wall to begin with. Or whenever you loot, the camera controls lock up, forcing you to wait a few seconds in order to move again. Even during the start of the game, the young Conner fights and acts as if he has his hidden blades already equipped, but in reality, he hasn't acquired his assassin gear yet. The point is, the game keeps reminding you that it's not well polished, which is a shame because I most probably would have enjoyed the world more if I didn't see myself occasionally stopping to see something very bizarre.
Bugs aside, the problems with this game doesn't stop there. The gameplay has been completely simplified to the point that any sort of challenge is gone. Stealth is considered the optimal choice to approach most situations, but the fact that it's so easy to dispatch any enemy you come across, regardless of the equipment you have, I don't see any point in sneaking around. The simple gameplay make each encounter repetitive and down right easy. If ever you do find yourself in a bind with very low health, run away, wait for your life to go back Call of Duty style and just run back in. I feel too overpowered even at the start of the game, and as much as I'd like to be a badass, I would appreciate a challenge every now and then.
But Assassin's Creed 3 isn't all negatives and bugs. The best thing to come out of the third title is the naval battles, which looks amazing, and satisfying to engage in. This is one of the best parts of the game and every mission that involved me commanding my ship was worth my time. Thanks to the naval battles seen here, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag is now on my watch list. Another great thing about this game is how the animation looks on the move. Conner looks fluid as ever and it's actually a treat to watch. Moving from tree to tree, building to building, it all feels natural...until you accidentally jump into a bag of hay just because it was in your path. Again, it keeps reminding you of that it has problems.
It was really hard for me to continue playing Assassin's Creed 3. I just lost any means of interest at the 15 hour mark. Story is not pulling me in, and bugs are everywhere to greet you. It may be a big segmented open world game with many tasks to keep you busy, but I now feel it's a waste of time, having no strong incentive to do them. When I play now, I just want to move forward with the main story and get it over with.
I'll finish this game eventually for the sake of giving my full opinion of this game, but it's disappointing to see this world get dumbed down and feel rushed. Is it because of the yearly release? I would like to think so. I was never a fan of Ubisoft's choice to release a new title every year. I'm still eyeing on Black Flag though, not because of it being an Assassin's Creed game, but for the fact that I get to roam around as a pirate pillaging other ships freely.
We need more pirate games.