Assassin’s Creed 3 or The Good, The Bad and The Bugs

Patience is a virtue they say. If you play Assassin’s Creed 3, this virtue will be tested. A lot. And beyond lots. Yes, Assassin’s Creed 3 is strong GOTY material, but it also makes you want to furiously smash your controller, your copy, your console and at the screen almost at the same time. At times, it is a schizophrenic clusterfuck of good intentions, weird ideas and horrible execution (you can change those 6 variables in any way you like and you’d always be right):

The Good

On many, many levels, Assassin’s Creed 3 is a good game. One thing which stands out is the fact Ubisoft did not shy away from portraying the French, the British and the American as greedy white men all the same, only united in their zest to rob the Native Americans of their land. This might not go down well with patriots in all three countries, but in this case, all the talk about artistic integrity would mean something for once. Speaking of art, Assassin’s Creed has managed to tell a complex story of different shades of grey (in the past as well as in the present), and Assassin’s Creed 3 is no exception. It’s hard to distinguish the good guys from the bad ones, and you know, that one twist at the end of sequence 3 was amazing – Rabidgames did not see it coming.

Ubisoft did not rest and just tweaked the movement and fighting system a tiny little bit, it has been rehauled completely. It takes you some time to get used to it at first, but the number of deaths by jumping for no reason at all has been reduced drastically. Mission accomplished. The controls of Assassin’s Creed 3 feel a bit streamlined, yes, but since they’re more precise and intuitive for the most part, that’s fine with Rabidgames. Also, diversity is key – not only do we have different cities and environments, there are countless ways to spend your time – try to find collectibles such as feathers, trinkets, flying pages and chests (they all serve a purpose), or what about hunting legendary enemies or trying to find out what Bigfoot really is? You can do it – and the Frontiersmen missions, which ask you to solve a myth, are some of the best and funniest missions ever! Another cool addition, maybe stolen from Arkham City, is looking for clues; this feature is used for finding animals as well as in some missions, and it does a decent job of mixing up the gameplay.

The real star of Assassin’s Creed 3 is neither Desmond nor Connor though – it’s the game’s world. Boston and New York are different from Rome or Constantinople (thank fuck for that) and filled with amazing details (pet animals, conversations – sometimes even in German, tons of Redcoats patrolling the streets, the amazing tunnel system etc.), the homestead is interesting, but the Frontier is where Assassin’s Creed 3 really shines! Climbing cliffs and mountains is just the overture for climbing mountains and traversing through the world from treetop to treetop (well, not literally treetop but who cares?), stalking prey. And then, the hunting … if you want to shoot some mammal with your bow (do that) or a rifle (don’t do that), if you want to lay a bait and a snare, or if you lurk in some safe hideaway, waiting for your prey – it’s all fun, great fun to be had. Of course, Ubisoft had to ruin it with the scourge of modern gaming times:

The Bad

Oh boy, QTEs. This fucking disease almost ruinsthe otherwise perfect hunting experience in Assassin’s Creed 3. Why the fucking hell are melee fights against animals QTEs? Red Dead Redemption managed to do it way better – by incorporating those fights into the gameplay. When you kill a cougar in Assassin’S Creed 3, you’ve done so by pushing randoms buttons. Boofuckinghoo. In red Dead Redemption, killing a cougar meant something. You’ve vanquished a lethal beast in an epic battle, you prevailed against the primal rage of a predator by skill, not just by quickly pressing random buttons which have nothing to do with their normally assigned function – and so on, you get it. QTEs are shite. Let’s get rid of them for good!

Apart from that spreading cancer, Assassin’s Creed 3 has more issues: Remember when Ubisoft was proud of their huge battles? Yes, they’re alright, but they glanced at Call of Duty – there is an infinite amount of enemies sometimes so there’s no use aiding your comrades at all … shame. Generally speaking, while the missions are diverse and fun, they feel compartmentalised and way too linear; there is one way or maybe a second one, but that’s about it – and for a game which waves the flag of freedom, that ain’t a compliment. And then, there is the most boring form of video game entertainment ever – picking locks. Come on! It was boring before, it is boring now, and it will always be fucking boring! Enough! Oh, and the idiotic system of using both analogue sticks AND RT might be good for training some finger flexibility, but honestly, why? Who thought that’d be a good idea?

Assassin’s Creed 3 also suffers from some half-baked ideas – the in-game economy with you producing shitloads of stuff on your homestead sounds like a good idea – but there’s no point to it. Money ain’t that hard to come by without it, navigating through the menus is a pain, and half the items are useless and dealing with it is a massive waste of time. So yeah, what’s up with that? Even worse, the assassins … fucking hell, they are virtually useless in Assassin’s Creed 3! Send one of those moronic, inbred dipshits to fight 3 or 4 regulars … he dies. While the enemy AI ain’t the best, you’re assassins are driven by AS (Artificial Stupidity)! Fuck, they don’t dserve to be called assassins. And while it is alright we can send them on missions, those missions are ten steps back from Revelations’ refined Mediterranean Defense system – appointing den leaders, sending assassins to watch over a city, training new ones – all gone. Instead, there are only 6 assassins with randoms hints of a weak personality who can’t fight better than a week old kitty. But hey, they come with some rather useless special ability … such as inciting riots, shooting from afar (not a new ability, by the way) or bodyguard (no use with AS) … O yes, Rabidgames misses his dozens of assassins, who actually were useful.

The Bugs

Assassin’s Creed 3 is a big feast for those little critters. It’s hard to play 2 missions without ever encountering either a minor glitch, an annoying but minor bug or a big fucking bug queen who forces you to abandon the mission, starting it from the beginning once more. Sometimes you simply can’t proceed because a trigger is dead, sometimes you kill your target without the game realising your deed, sometimes you have to do a liberation mission which is neither displayed on the map nor activated as a mission in any way. Oh, and missions sometimes end without any notification whatsoever. Quite frankly, it’s a fucking disgrace – and one of the reasons why Assassin’s Creed 3 can only be tolerated in small doses – restarting a missions over and over again because some triggers are missing over and over again, yep, that’ll break motivation. Mind you, we’re not talking about some ambitious Molyneuxesque indie experiment, we’re talking about a motherfucking AAA+ game with a million dollar budget – such bugs, and the amount of such bugs, are simply inexcusable. What about QA? And what about Microsoft and Sony – have they ever tested Assassin’s Creed 3? Are their standards worth anything these days?

Rabidgames sighs: What a clusterfuck! On the one hand, Assassin’s Creed 3 delivers – a huge world, many options, exploration, a good story. On the other hand, there are some flawed design decisions (assassins, economy, QTE), way too linear missions and a terrible AI. And those bugs and glitches which ruin the game … But damn, you always go back to it! Yes, it is great, and yes, it is fun. It’s just a huge fucking shame Ubisoft failed to make Assassin’s Creed 3 perfect. The game is a precious rough diamond, but honestly, someone should have wiped it clean from all that horseshit before opening the exhibition!

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One Response to “Assassin’s Creed 3 or The Good, The Bad and The Bugs”

  1. Amedar Consulting Group…

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