By Kristofer Hammer
Dec. 21 will come and go, but the legacy of Assassins Creed III will last forever.
Although this is the third installment, Assassins Creed III is the fifth game in the series, and with that comes the knowledge of past mistakes and ideas. There is no RTS element, bomb crafting or planet mining seen in previous games.
While those concepts may have worked in their previous settings, our new protagonist hardly faces similar situations.
The Assassins Creed series does a lot well; it has often been accredited with creating a quasi-realistic open world feeling with a wide assortment of alternative activities. Like in Brotherhood and Revelations, a league of assassins can be recruited and trained through side missions, providing assistance and rewards as incentive for doing these activities.
Not wishing to be outdone, Assassins Creed III includes all of these options and adds a few of its own, such as trading. While these proved to be flushed out experiences, I didn’t find any of them, except for naval combat, to be worth my time as they were neither enjoyable nor necessary. I only had two recruits and didn’t train them, and I never was able to trade or craft.
Part of this, however, was because it was difficult to figure out why certain things couldn’t be done. I tried to trade barrels during the tutorial and my caravan was attacked and when I tried to trade more I was told that I had no caravans left and was given no clues as to how to fix my problem.
The aspects emphasized by the game in terms of directing the player astounded me, such as how to climb or lose notoriety.
Naval combat, on the other hand, was simple to understand even if the rewards were minor. This is not to say that open worlds and outside activities are always boring, but the game play made these activities dull.
The story is the small highlight of the experience for fans of the series. Players have known that Dec. 21, 2012 would be the destruction of Earth in the series for a few installments and seeing Connor’s story unfold was interesting.
While the first few hours have been said to be the most tedious aspects of the game, I disagree. For me, combat has always been the most satisfying part.
Certain mechanics have been added to try and entice this game, but it leaves room for improvement. Glitches are rampant with major pop-ins or floating individuals.
The multiplayer ironically exuded the highest quality stealth within the entire game, with matches playing out as cat-and-mouse no matter the mode you played on. However, there is not a lot to distract players from the main game experience or to keep them coming back.
There were some disparaging differences between what Ubisoft had promised through various interviews and the final product, particularly regarding the story as a whole and other more specific details. Hill combat, for example, was promised to be more engaging, however, this gave me no more advantage than being in a hole.
Assassins Creed is at a crossroad. It attempts to display this opera of everlasting toil between two identities, while also trying to appeal to such a wide audience that it dilutes much of the experience.
If you love the series, you will probably love this game; otherwise, it may not be worth your time.