I’ve had mixed feelings toward the “Assassin’s Creed” series since the series started in 2007.
The first two games in the series were really good games, but the previous two games, “Brotherhood” and “Revelations,” felt like cash-in titles that didn’t really advance much. With the release of “Assassin’s Creed 3,” the series takes steps to advance the series. The game feels like a proper sequel.
Like the other games, the story is split between two timelines. One story takes place during the American Revolution era. Connor, our half-Native American, half-British hero, joins the assassins to help get America’s freedom and to get revenge against the men responsible for his mother’s death. The second story takes place in present time, when Desmond Miles tries to save the world from an apocalyptic event.
Like the other games, the present day story takes a backseat to the older era story. Connor’s story dominates Desmond’s, but Desmond does get a bit more of a spotlight compared to the previous games. I’ve never been a fan of the present era stuff from the other games because of the multiple layers and taking so long to get to a point. Connor’s story felt bit more focused compared to Altair’s and Ezio’s stories from the previous games. Even though it felt really long (which I’ll get into in a minute), the story felt epic and I was entertained.
The gameplay gets a much-needed upgrade. The third installment continues the tradition of open world gameplay, and the world of early America looks amazing thanks to the new graphics engine. New additions like snow help change up the gameplay. Because the game takes place during the American Revolution, the battles of the Revolution are simulated. There are times where hundreds of American and British troops are on screen at once along with cannon fire. It’s quite the spectacle.
Since the gameplay upgrade in “Assassin’s Creed 2,” the gameplay got minor updates with each sequel. This game adds minor but awesome tweaks like adding firearms to the arsenal and being able to take human shields to protect players from oncoming fire. Other add-ons like hunting and ship battles help keep the gameplay from being overly repetitive.
While I did enjoy “Assassin’s Creed 3,” there are problems. The story takes a good three to four hours to really kick into second gear. There is a lot of stuff for the game to introduce, but it takes a long time to get going. The side missions aren’t really anything to talk about (who the hell wants to herd pigs?) And, while not a deal breaker by any means, the controls took some getting used to. I felt like they add too much to some of the buttons and I ended up doing something during combat I didn’t want to.
Nitpicks aside, “Assassin’s Creed 3” is near the top of my list of best of 2012. While I think “Assassin’s Creed 2” is still the better game, it’s still a great addition to the series and more than made up for the two filler games.