Written by jetD5; PSHG Team Writer
Hello all and welcome to my first ever Initial Review. How this will go from now on is I will write an initial review on my first few hours with a game or product and describe what I think and hope it turns out to be. Then upon wrapping up with the game or product, I will write a second review titled Final Review where I complete my hopes and thoughts in a final conclusion. Most of the time the story line of a game holds a higher precedent to the multi-player, so if a game has both I will first dabble in the multi-player and begin my articles with a run down of it then switch and go over the storyline. Now onto Assassin’s Creed III.
Starting The Game
I first loaded the game and was instantly greeted by an update, now this is just a pet peeve so I won’t hold it against them but man did that surprise me, thankfully it was brief. When the game finished loading, I was immediately hit by a loading screen with the familiar Assassin’s Creed logo containing a red Roman numeral III in the center. Immediately I’m struck by nostalgia, having played and beaten almost every Assassin’s Creed game, besides Liberation, I find myself welcoming and getting pretty pumped to begin playing.
At the title screen, the logo disintegrates and reforms as the music crescendos and builds into something powerful and striking. Even without playing a second of the game so far, I already feel that the music is drawing me into the story. Although the game will be without composer Jespyr Kyd, the music still seems beautiful and fitting of the series.
Sinking back into the multi-player realm of Assassin’s Creed, one I know too well, I find myself with a bunch of new features. Even with all the new changes, there is one aspect I gladly welcome back with open arms and that is the multi-player story. Not many multi-player sections in games produce a story and if they do they typically don’t do as well as Assassin’s Creed.
First off a minor detail is that there tends to be a lot more color in the menus, with past AC titles all menus tended to be white with a solo color text. I find myself curious as to why they went this route; it is not a bad thing just different. Other than the colors I do find the menu to be about the same with minor cosmetic changes throughout.
The first major change, gameplay wise, is that there’s a wider variety of colorful characters to choose from. In my past multi-player experiences, I have felt the characters allotted were added more for the sake of class as opposed to giving your character a different look. Out of habit, I find myself playing as the Preacher since my main choice in the past was the Monk.
After playing through a few matches, I find the game to be rather similar to the previous games. However, they have introduced a new tracking method, which I prefer over the previous, that acts as a heartbeat to help you detect your opponent.
In addition, there is a new incognito function that really adds a nice touch to the diffulculty and suspense of each round.
Having played through my first match, placing second and getting the expert accolade, I find the multi-player to be pretty much the same but since I loved it the first time, I really don’t have many complaints either way.
The maps seem to be a bit more cramped and smaller, which makes the match a lot more difficult and intricate but who says that is necessarily a bad thing.
The upgrade and cosmetic system is still vast but it remains character specific. You must reach a very high level (again) to gain access to every item and ability, making the multi-player aspects require dozens of hours of gameplay.
Although I have only scratched the surface of AC III, I am curious to see what single player aspects will make their way into the multi-player. I’d like to see the bow and arrow and other unique weapons become usable, as well as a return of previous levels, game modes, and characters. Multi-player was still a great experience, needing only minor tweaks but I look forward to playing against you all online.
Now for my favorite part, the story. For the third time in the series, I am lucky enough to go to another period of the world and be introduced to new characters. Once again I am jumping around as Desmond Miles, that is until he passes out and mid stride, I begin to control Haytham Kenway. Kenway is a smooth talking man of stature and fighting talent who, after one mission, finds himself on a boat to America in search of items left by those who came before.
Even in these early game moments I find the controls and the free running to be a bit different. Whereas the movements may have lost some fluidity and ease of use, the free running has gained a lot more versatility in actions and now requires more skill and precision to operate, making the game more difficult.
One thing I must gush about is the scenery and overall graphics. The game is beautifully put together and rendered with large horizon scenes leaving one breathless. The terrain and structures are extremely detailed, leaving the gamer completely immersed in the environment, the game seeps realism.
The combat has evolved into a more timing and endurance battle, unlike the past games that seem to be about holding one button and countering everyone with another button. In addition, the combat offers a wider variety of firearms that all revolve around flintlock pistols and muskets, keeping true to the time period.
The firearms, take a lot longer to reload in comparison to the hidden pistol in previous games. By taking longer, you will find that you need to hide or avoid being shot while reloading, which slows down combat and can grow rather frustrating as you learn to adjust.
Another frustrating aspect is the fact that if you are detected and attempting to flee from the enemy, it seems like no matter where you try to hide, they automatically can still see and pursue you. The only way you can escape is to hide in the classic Assassin’s Creed fashion by ducking into haystacks and crowds. The guards never completely lose sight of you and will continue to fire until one of their fellow guards climbs to you and attacks you. This annoying problem leads to the fact that you must kill every guard around you in order to once again become incognito.
Open World Map
One of my favorite aspects of any game with a story is the over world or landscape. With Assassin’s Creed III, they allow you to explore more into the wilderness and cities, creating the largest map for an Assassin’s Creed yet, a map that would rival most adventure games out today. They counter a huge map by giving you a new, useful horse whistle action to help you get around.
After a brief stint as Desmond once again, I find myself as Connor, a half British half Native American of the Mohawk tribe. A child at first, he quickly grows into the latest addition to the Assassin order. With a much different approach to combat than Altair and Ezio, Connor gives a new feel to the Assassin’s Creed series.
This feeling is more of a refresher as it still holds true to the Assassin’s Creed style and grace just carries itself in a new way. Connor is extremely agile and nimble, slipping between tree limbs and terrain with ease. His bow and arrow grants you a bit longer range than previous Assassin’s Creed games, again changing the dynamics of combat. His tomahawk also adds another level to the melee combat similarly to the way the hook blade did in Assassin’s Creed Revelations. The addition of Connor to the lineup of playable assassins is welcomed in my opinion and it brings such a different style to the battlefield.
All in all, through the first few hours of storyline, I find myself extremely entranced and ready for a new adventure in the Assassin’s Creed world. The simple changes and additions to the game play have really added dozens of aspects to the game that only help to craft it into a hopeful Game of the Year nominee, it definitely has my vote. The more I find myself afraid of certain flaws returning, I find them either gone fixed or tweaked, creating the best Assassin’s Creed game to date.
There are a few glitches I’ve noticed here and there but for the most part they are fixed by restarting a mission or walking away. However, all of these glitches I believe to be fixable through updates. Getting past those I find Assassin’s Creed III to be very well put together and I have developed my final initial rating for Assassin’s Creed III, 9 out of 10.