Assasssin’s Creed 3 is by far the most complete Assassin’s Creed title to date. The depth of story and character to development, the twists and turns and the gameplay all stand head and shoulders above the other titles. But this is one of the buggiest games that I’ve played in quite a while. And the glitches and faults are almost entirely not game breaking but on occasion that they do hamper the experience, it’s not fun for anyone.
And yet still, I can’t get enough of the game.
AC3 transports the Assassin’s Order to the American Revolution. It lets us dive into the world of the colonies of New England and brings some of America’s greatest historical figures to life. Washington and Adams and Franklin and many more are present and active in the exploits of Connor, our newest assassin. Among so many other things, Connor is of Native American descent and his relationship to these historical characters brings an excellent depth to the writing and story arc of the title.
Conner is the most compelling assassin in the series to date. He has the depth and eventual growth to maturity on par with what previous assassins, Ezio and Altair, have gone through. In many ways Altair and Ezio never truly came across as a tried and true predator, but Conner does. It may not sound like much, but Ubisoft goes out of their way to delve into the complex relationships and visionary hypocrisies (slave owners penning words like, “All men are created equal) that go a long way to solidify Conner as the most compelling assassin.
In addition to issues of color and the like, they also bring front and center the issue of tensions between colonists and the Native American population at the time. Loyalist and Patriot alike find themselves at odds with Connor’s people and Connor must constantly guard and facilitate a positive relationship between the two while also hunting Templars. It makes for some truly thrilling stuff and character development.
And just as the writing and story of the series have greatly improved, so has the gameplay. Many fans, myself included, complained past titles featured combat that was too repetitive, formulaic and often times downright easy. In this update to the series, by simply making counters a branching combination of button presses and causing the AI to attack together more often, Ubisoft increases the difficulty and risk of combat while also providing the opportunity for the most incredibly bad ass payoffs of the whole series.
Combat gives you more varied and intriguing combinations than ever before. Between the rope dart, the bow and arrow and the new ways the hidden blades work, I can honestly say I’ve never gotten more relief from the collected carnage of the series.
But for every time that Connor takes out an entire platoon of soldiers, there rears the one ugly head of this whole endeavor. This game is buggy. I mean, Skyrim buggy. I mean dragons flying backwards buggy. I mean, I’m on the last assassination and my whole console freezes while I’m in pursuit of the big bad wolf buggy.
I can’t get enough of sneaking through the trees and underbrush to pounce down on unsuspecting Brits. No offense to the Brits. I’m enthralled and engrossed in the plot of this title, and I’m happy for that fact. But I’m hoping for more patches and fixes to come because this game needs them.
Should Assassin’s Creed 3 ever get these bug fixes, it will be a legitimate game of the year contender. Matter of fact, between the gorgeous visuals, well scripted story and tight gameplay, this is a contender for one of my favorite titles of the past several years. And I can see myself playing it over and over again for all it has to offer, despite the constant threat of frustrating bugs.