Assassin’s Creed 3 continues the story of Desmond Miles as he and colleagues are searching for a way to stop the apocalypse. This time Desmond travels back to colonial America, taking control of his Mohawk, Native American descendant, Connor. Connor’s mission is to assassinate the Templars, but is pulled into the war between the colonists and the British Empire. Through twists and turns, Connor will discover there are shades of grey in this war. AC3 has a slow but interesting start, a great middle, and an awful final act. It felt rushed plus Connor’s brazen attitude wasn’t exactly inspiring.
You know the drill; explore the world, assassinate leaders, collect stuff, repeat. The gameplay hasn’t changed that much since the last game except it seems a bit sloppier. Connor stuck to everything like he was covered in honey making the most basic of moves a chore. The beautiful attack, counter, attack regiment of the past games feels less fluid and clunkier now. The additional features to the gameplay like the ship battles and hunting is fun, but also feels out of place for an assassin game. Those and the other plethora of activities help fatten out the game’s length, but because the controls were so wonky, I never felt compelled to complete any of the side missions.
In terms of capturing colonial America, Ubisoft did an excellent job. The characters, historical settings, and environments all feel breathtakingly authentic. Beautiful yes, but the actual graphics themselves are a bit spotty due to an incredible amount of glitches. Glitches like texture pop-ins, disappearing characters, voice synching issues, bad animation, and more. The design and music excels as always, but these bugs made the game feel very disappointing. I come to expect something special from Ubisoft and this mess of a game felt unfinished and rushed.
Assassin’s Creed 3 is a very divisive game. On one hand the design, ship battles, and most of the historically inspired story make this game a must play. On the other hand actually playing it is a chore due to the lack of polish not to mention the glitch barrage and the sloppy ending. It’s more AC goodness, but it’s not as amazing as I had hoped.
Score: 3/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on January 3, 2013 via my Examiner account before the website shut down. Check out the supporting video review on the accompanying YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer.