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Topic: Liberty! A review of Assassins Creed 3 (as promised to Rygar)

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High King and Conqueror of the Seven Kingdoms
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Liberty! A review of Assassins Creed 3 (as promised to Rygar)
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At the time of writing I am still very far away from reaching the conclusion of this epic story, but I have experienced enough of the game to write this review. 

Assassins Creed III is the latest entry in to one of my favourite video game series' of all time. Not only does it put a spin on on of my favourite subjects (history) but it immerses you into a realistic world full of realistic characters and transports you back in time like few games have ever done. 

My expectations for this game was immensely high fueled on by the years of waiting for the third installment. After the disappointment of the much praised Skyrim (seriously that game is not that good) I boldly proclaimed that Assassins Creed III would be the game to knock all other open world games on their arse. With every cinematic and gameplay trailer released my expectations rose higher to such visceral hights that anything less than an absolute masterpiece would bring me down to earth in the worst dream shattering way possible. 

My fears were quickly realised with a story that takes quite a while to really to take off. The first two or three hours of the game sees you playing with not the announced protagonist Connor, but with his father Haytham Kenway, on a mission to the America's from Britain. Haytham while a fully fledged realistic character is far from the person you want to play with. A cold calculating, emotionless British lord with a posh accent is far from the usual colourful badasses you usually get to play with. The first few hours take some getting used to and had me quite dissapointed. 

Yet this served a purpose, the gameplay with Haytham ends ubruptly in a plot twist that had my mouth agape and does something in the game I have not seen since number 2. One of the things that made number 2 so much better than it's predecessor was playing with Ezio from before he became an assassin, following his teen exploits up to the moment in which he loses half his family to betrayal, sending him on his mission of revenge. It connected you with the character in a way that was not possible with Altair.

III takes this to a new level, introducing you not only to Connor's parents, but to the young boy really immersing you in the character whose life becomes your own. The first time you find yourself playing with Connor, he is ten years old, doing what children do best. As you follow his progress and him growing up he becomes something quite different from playboy Ezio. Connor (he has a cooler Indian name but it's impossible to spell) is a somewhat naive native American with a sense of honour so rarely found within his own world. His character goes beyond any that I have seen in Assassins Creed and stis firmly at the top of my favourite game characters. The story continues at a pace that you choose as this game is really quite huge but I find the story to be realistic, immersive and well written (this is off course amplified by some very fine voice acting, the accents are beyond brilliant even with minor characters like soldiers) and as always one of the highlights of the series. The clever inclusion of historical character and events in which Connor plays a hidden but pivotal role serves only to delight. 

The open world play is quite amazing! Liberty is the theme of the American Revolution, and Liberty is the theme of the open world play.  The maps (of which there are several) are big enough to put Skyrim to shame and hold oh so many wonders, secrets and fun hidden missions that I find myself often spending several hours simply exploring the American frontier and hunting the many creatures found therein. I have to force myself often times to play further along on the story. There is just so much to do, and unlike the many side quests in Skyrim, I actually give a damn. It's certainly an ambitious game and tries to do so much, some parts better than others. But the beauty is you can avoid the parts you do not like. 

There are several new features and improvements on the previous versions and any fear that it would be like Revelations in this aspect are unfounded. Some of the most impressive are the tree naviagtion system which comes in quite handy during the snow filled winters (yes the game has seasonal and weather changes) the multiple weapon system and the fact that you can now fight and assasinate with any weapons. But I will single out the two biggest improvements. In this one you own your own forty gunner vessel called the Aquila, and you captain this ship like a boss. Steering and giving commands that make you really feel like you are a captain on a 18th century warship. I enjoyed it so much that stopped playing the story line completely for a while, firstly exploring as much with the ship as I could. 

The aspect that has impressed me the most, the place the game shines the most is the combat. My goodness is the combat impressive! The thing that caught my attention on the first Assassins Creed was the three words on the back of the game "experience realistic swordplay" the game has come in leaps and bounds since then, but the conbat system really comes into it's own in III. Remember that scene in the Patriot where Mel Gibson enlists the help of his sons to take revenge on the Redcoats and enters into a bloody melee with the survivors? Well that's what Assassins Creed III is like. The Combat is viceral, brutal and gory, fast paced and realistic complemented by much blood (see below embedded video). I especially love the way in which you can protect yourself from firing lines by using a human shield. One of the highlights is the way the moves and style changes depending on the weapon. The way Connor wields a knife differs greatly from the way he would wield a sword or a tomahawk. 

The graphics (especially on pc) are nothing short of sublime and the eviromental elemants and views make me envious of the landscapes of the American peoples. Standing atop a tree, looking out over a forest lit by a setting sun is truly beautiful. The character animations, faces, clothes etc are extremely well done. Kudus to the research team though, the amount of work that went into this game in regards to this aspect is staggering. These people went to extreme lenghts to not only present a good story, but one that takes place in a very realistic world. 

If there is one issue I have with the game it's the controls. They are somewhat shaky, but this may be only because the game was developed for a console controller and I do not own one. There are several glitches and errors strewn throughout the game, but this is to be expected in a game this size. It is a hell of a lot less glitchy than the Skryim v1.0. This will be fixed by the massive Thanksgiving Patch ubisoft released (which I still have to get my hands on). Does this deter me at all from playing the game? Not in the slightest. 

Overall this is my game of the year, it's massive, well written, realistic and well acted and I have nothing but praise for the creators and I heartily look forward to finishing it. If unsure, buy this game, you will not regret it.

Graphics 10/10

Gameplay 9/10

Controls 7/10

Voice acting and animation 10/10

Storyline 9/10

Overall 9.5/10

 

 



-- Edited by Aegon the Conqueror on Sunday 25th of November 2012 03:05:09 PM



-- Edited by Aegon the Conqueror on Sunday 25th of November 2012 03:20:33 PM

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AS private parts we are to the gods, they play with us for their sport. 

Grand Maesterbator
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Sounds like its more than just building hopping. I may have to venture out and get it. I have been very naughty this year so I doubt Santa will bring me one.

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"If you drink, don't drive.  Don't even putt."  - Dean Martin

High King and Conqueror of the Seven Kingdoms
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Something I forgot to mention which is quite a monumental change in my opinion is your townsfolk and assassin recruits. Instead of the usual nameless faces, there are people you interact and share with. People with names and distinct personalities that aid you in your quest and make life easier for you. Truly something different to all other games.

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AS private parts we are to the gods, they play with us for their sport. 

High King and Conqueror of the Seven Kingdoms
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Just finished playing the Battle of Chesapeake where you command your own ship amidst the glorious naval slaughter. It was epic to say the least! Now we know how a frenchman managed to win one of the greatest victories in the American Revolution, he had a lot of help from a half Brit half Native.

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AS private parts we are to the gods, they play with us for their sport. 

Wielder of the Baratheon BANHAMMER
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Hmmm, I was on the fence for a bit....might add it to the Xmas list for the GF..hehe

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"Robert was never the same after he put on that crown. Some men are like swords, made for fighting. Hang them up and they go to rust.” -DN

High King and Conqueror of the Seven Kingdoms
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Buys gift for GF, spends all of december 26 just "testing" it.

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AS private parts we are to the gods, they play with us for their sport. 

Lady Of The Blue Winter Rose
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The whistling for the horse, very cool! Leap of Faith, scary! Where is the damn cart of hay? Oh, jeez, that was close! smile



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Rhaegar, despite wounding Robert, was struck down with a massive blow from Robert's warhammer, which scattered the rubies encrusted in Rhaegar's armor under the water.  Rhaegar died with Lyanna Stark's name on his lips.

 

 
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