Taking a small break from MMORPGs for a bit and getting back to Steam. I went back to Assassin’s Creed 3 because I wanted to finish the main story before I considered getting any of the newer installments in Steam sales. (I don’t yet have Black Flag and I see now there is a new one coming out soon.) I resumed the AC3 story about halfway through and powered through to the end, largely ignoring all of the side missions and sandboxy elements.
My impression of the game was much better the second time around than when I first saw it. I think because after the halfway point, the viewpoint of the story doesn’t change. There is somewhat of a bait-and-switch at the beginning of the game, where you start out playing one character and then switch to another. (For myself, I happened to like the first character better than the person who turned out to be the real protagonist of the story. The first character makes a welcome return toward the end of the game, though you don’t get to control him.)
For me, the Assassin’s Creed series has always been more about the story than the game itself. And for me in particular, I have always been more interested in the modern-day story with Desmond than the historical stories, which is why I’ve been disappointed that there was been less emphasis on it in the later installments of the game. The story in this episode wasn’t bad, but I don’t think it matched the quality of Assassin’s Creed 1 & 2. In those early episodes, there was a mystery to the events surrounding Desmond that wasn’t there any more. It felt like it was merely tacked on, and it felt like they may have concluded it so that they don’t have to worry about it in future games, which is a disappointment.
The biggest gameplay problem with Assassin’s Creed continues to be the frustration of having your guy do something you didn’t want him to do. You might want to chase an enemy over open ground, but your avatar decides that you meant to climb up a wall instead, and then you have to convince your avatar to climb back down and resume the chase, but your avatar instead chooses to side-jump to a window, or jump into a pile of hay, or just sit there doing nothing, and by then your quarry is long gone. It doesn’t happen often, but it almost always happens at the exact time that you need it not to happen, and then you feel like flinging your controller away in disgust.
Overall, Assassin’s Creed 3 was a good game, if not great. I’ll be waiting for Assassin’s Creed 4 to go on a deep discount sale, though, before buying it. I didn’t dislike the ship warfare in AC3, but it wasn’t a selling point for me, and I have heard there is a lot more in AC4.
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