Archive for Ubisoft

Wildlands’ DLC Narco Road is a Potholed Scam … With a Llama Bike!

Posted in Hands On, The Latest with tags , , , , on April 24, 2017 by Rabidgames

As you know, Rabidgames thinks Ghost Recon Wildlands is a great game with tons of stuff to do; it is entirely possible to only have completed 2 out of 21 provinces after playing the game for 23 hours. So you might think more can only be good, right?

Not in this case! The first DLC, Narco Road, is outright crap. It’s shit. You know, Wildlands has two weaknesses: The driving and flying mechanics. So what could go wrong if you base a DLC on both? Yep, pretty much everything.

Narco Road introduces you to driving around with monster trucks destroying shit in your way, and even some racing. Besides, you can drift or jump monster trucks or muscle cars, and you get a nice boost … But well, those driving mechanics, that were good enough for casually driving from A to B, or maybe hunting down cartel member C, now ask for precision and timing, without having been improved for Narco Road. It’s still doable, but it’s not fun. At all.

And then the flying … you have to fly around a lot in choppers or planes, including a set of side missions to dust coca plants, and there are even more SAM sites than before, making these side missions incredibly annoying. And again, they’re not fun at all.

What else is there? Some more bland side stuff, drifting, jumping or climbing mountains (yawn), side stuff where you race to a caged wild animal, kill enemies and secure the package by tagging it. Sounds pointless, is pointless. The best new side activity in Narco Road is finding a lost car somewhere on the map, using a photo to find its whereabouts. And it’s not even that great.

Even worse, Narco Road takes place in a few re-drawn and not exactly remarkable Western provinces, you have to start with a fresh level 20 character, you have less weapons at your disposal, and everything you can gather is just re-skinned weapons from Wildlands. Oh, and the strange story puts you undercover into Santa Blanca where you fight a rival cartel that doesn’t seem to exist in the main game …

Even worse, you’re on your own. No squad to help you, making fighting enemies tedious. Each damn mission takes much longer now, and once you’re dead, no AI revives you (weirdly enough, coop still works). Narco Road really does a damn impressive job to take the strengths of Wildlands – the massive, diverse map, the squad fighting, the weapon customisation – and then remove them.

Its only saving grace could well be the “Lorenzo Bike”, a llama bike shooting rainbow farts and making weird noises, but that’s surely not worth the price, right? In case you got Narco Road anyway (most likely because you bought the season pass as Narco Road sounded good on paper, didn’t it?), here’s how to find the llama bike around 2 miles south-east of the Sueno Mausoleum :

So unless you bought the season pass, avoid this pathetic DLC like the plague! It seems Ubisoft said “hey folks, what about some more outlandish stuff? You know, like Saints Row or GTA? Let’s just make sure to get it out quickly, and let’s re-use everything instead of making something new! Oh, and please, please let’s not integrate anything into the main game!” The result … Narco Road. Half-baked ideas and terrible execution will make sure this is a broken road not much travelled.

Rabidgames swears: Fucking hell! Ubisoft, we thought you’ve learned from your past DLC mistakes! But Narco Road is an awful piece of pointless DLC not worth the time or the money. What the fuck were you thinking publishing this mess?

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Ghost Recon: Wildlands or The Perfect Narcos Sandbox – With a Blight

Posted in Hands On with tags , , , , on March 18, 2017 by Rabidgames

After two betas, we can now finally roam all of Bolivia in Ghost Recon: Wildlands – and it is a massive country! And the beauty of it is not just the size and diversity of the map or the dozens of weapons and attachments, it’s the fact that Wildlands is a true, proper sandbox, probably one of the best in recent years!

Whether you want to play co-op or solo, whether you want to go in stealthy or very loud, whether you like long fire fights or sync shots, whether you want to even go in along or just rain mortar fire upon your enemies, whether you want a crisp challenge or just drive around to explore, whether you recon with a binocular, your drone or your weapon, all of this and more is entirely up to you.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands comes very, very close to great sandbox legends such as Just Cause 2 or the first Mercenaries, and the more Rabidgames plays, the more it feels like a mix of these two games. Add a pinch of Far Cry fuck-ups when things go wrong (enemy patrols can show up at very inopportune times), and perhaps there are also traces of pinch of Phantom Pain’s DNA in here (gathering resources or tagging enemies as well as how you should approach enemy bases).

A word of warning though – like in Just Cause 2, you pretty much do the same couple of missions over and over again, and approaching an occupied city, base or building changes only depending on the size and weaponry of your enemies. It’s entirely up to you and your creativity how to approach it. Even if you play the game solo, all the scenarios above and more are possible. Most missions allow various approaches. Even stopping an enemy convoy can be tackled in many ways – grab an armoured APC and let your guys fire away, ram the vehicles with a truck, or simply lay mines or C4 on the streets.

In a nutshell, Wildlands is a massive sandbox that gives you plenty of freedom to do things your way. For some, the mission variety might seem lacking – “go there, kill that, abduct him, destroy this” don’t vary too often, sure. But that’s not the point. The point of Wildlands is to write your own stories as you tackle your objectives.

So far, so good. But while Wildlands is great fun, it is blighted by one big issue – motherfucking micro-transaction! True, it might be mostly cosmetics, but what the flying fuck? Why is the only leather jacket hidden behind a fucking pay-wall? Couple that with the 30 quid season pass, and it leaves a sour taste in your mouth. Come on Ubisoft, for fuck’s sake! Look at Horizon Zero Dawn, or look at Nier: Automata: There are no fucking piece of shit pay-walls, folks! You buy the game, you get all of it! Please, for the love of gaming, stop this shite already!

Apart from that monetary blight, the single radio channel looping its 5 or so pieces too quickly and a few technical hick-ups, Wildlands is a fucking brilliant sandbox. So brilliant that it has been the biggest launch seller so far this year, beating both Horizon Zero Dawn and Zelda! It seems this is a sandbox for everyone. And while the game might be rough around the edges, it can also look amazing.

wildlands1

Rabidgames recons: If it wasn’t for the disgusting practices of locking away stuff behind a fucking pay-wall, Wildlands would leave only a sweet taste in the mouth of sandbox fans. But the sour taste of mindless monetisation is lingering on despite the many positives. It is a shame, but the shame there is entirely on Ubisoft!

 

Watch Dogs or The 21st Century Sandbox

Posted in Hands On with tags , on May 29, 2014 by Rabidgames

It is quite ironic the Ubisoft servers are down on the day Watch Dogs is released. First, the game wasn’t available at midnight (though pre-download and all were working fine), then the servers were down, Uplay not working … digital may be dawning, but it’s still far from shining bright.

But all that was forgotten as soon as Watch Dogs took off – the first mission is a short tutorial, and afterwards, the whole world is a digital oyster, waiting to be hacked. You can walk around scanning people and intimate details, getting some money or infos about future crimes or hidden packages – all calmly, while walking or slowly cruising around in your car.

Of course, you can also manipulate traffic lights, detonate all kind of electronic devices, or shoot people in the face. The choice is yours, friend.

And then, there’s the mini-games. From chess puzzle tasks to 3D platforming and even to drug fuelled trips with Spider Tank … Watch Dogs is crazy and wants to be crazy. Even UFO Mayhem from Saints Row IV or GTA V’s drugged nightmares pale in comparison to some of the crazy ideas Ubisoft has come up with.

Mind you, Rabidgames played for 4 hours doing nothing but the first mission and looking at the world of Watch Dogs – nothing else. Okay, second mission … theoretically, it would have been a blood bath. But in Watch Dogs, infiltration is possible without firing a single shot, hell, without setting foot in the hostile area – if you want. Hint: For the first time in video game history, surveillance cameras are your best friend.

Let’s make no mistake here – comparing Watch Dogs to GTA or Assassin’s Creed doesn’t do any of these games justice. Its closest relatives are rather Splinter Cell or Deus Ex (stealth and upgrade systems) and the likes of Just Cause 2, the Mercenaries series or the thematically close The Saboteur instead … the latter just because they offered you tons of freedom.

Of course, self-anointed hardcore gamers and die-hard elitists will fret at Watch Dogs – it is not Dark Souls hard, it is not nail-biting tough, but, and that’s the most important thing at the end of the day, it is simply one thing: fun.

Rabidgames enjoys this playground: Watch Dogs is a game that can be played in a really relaxed state. If you want. That’s true freedom in a true sandbox. Oh, and mind you, all of that can be seen within the first three hours of this game!

South Park: The Stick of Truth CENSORED or Fuck Off, You Sell-Out Cunts

Posted in The Latest with tags , , , on February 26, 2014 by Rabidgames

As might know by now, South Park: The Stick of Truth has been censored in Europe. Why? Well, Ubisoft, and the glorious South Park makers bowed and stripped down to the German (and Australian) nazi-like censorship laws and just censored the game for all PAL regions. The official reason? Well, it seems “this was a market decision.”

Censorship includes, according to Eurogamer:

  • A mini-game in which the doctor is performing an abortion on the player.

  • A mini-game in which the player is performing an abortion on the character Randy.

  • Five anal probing scenes involving someone actively being probed. The scenes play out as normal before and after the active probing sequences.

Well, Rabidgames’ official answer to this chickenshit move is “from day 1 purchase to 2nd hand purchase”. If you pussies decide to give up integrity just to save some money and to appease some fascist censorship authorities, Rabidgames decides to show the middlefinger and keep his money in his wallet for now.

Rabidgames demands: People, gamers of the world, unite! Let’s vote with our wallets! If some pussies back down because of marketing fears, let’s not buy the inferior product South Park: The Limp Dock of Cowardice will be for us Europeans and fellow PAL sufferers. Let them suffer. Artistic integrity … Ubisoft’s ass!

Will Watch Dogs Merge Realities?

Posted in News with tags , , on May 11, 2013 by Rabidgames

Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs surely is an ambitious project. A new video from Eurogamer (accompanied by this article) portrays how ambitious it really is:

It all looks pretty good: The graphics, the open world, the options (stealth, violence, hacking), the random stuff about the inhabitants of Watch Dogs’ world, the side missions … and of course, the intriguing player-to-player interaction which could really stand out:

“That person was a real player carrying out an objective within their own game who had unknowingly become part of your city. Sometimes you will be told if another player will be watching you during these objectives. Sometimes you won’t.”

That just sounds like next-gen multiplayer – and it sounds like fun! Imagine playing Watch Dogs and trailing someone, but you can never be sure if he’s man or machine (on a side note – it would be awesome if the AI in such missions would show erratic behaviour as well).

Rabidgames is excited: Watch Dogs has the potential to be a serious contender to GTA V and Bioshock Infinite in the battle for GOTY. If Ubisoft have learned from the flaws of their other brand names (nonsensical story in Far Cry 3, bugs and linear missions in Assassin’s Creed 3), Watch Dogs will be an amazing game.

Far Cry 3 or Fun, Choices and Insanity

Posted in Played & Explained with tags , , , on December 13, 2012 by Rabidgames

Expect some crazy spoilers here.

Okay, ending rage (2012’s motto it seems) aside, Far Cry 3 is definitely a solid shooter where the fun and gun parts are a big plus. The insanity however, is only partly voluntary …

The first thing you should know if you want to have fun with Far Cry 3 – it’s not an ordinary shooter in the veins of Corridors of Duty, it is primarily an open world game. So please don’t expect a story-driven, linear experience – instead, be prepared the real protagonist of Far Cry 3 is its open and vivid world. With that in mind, Ubisoft itself is to blame for high expectations in storytelling – don’t advertise a game as a drama to explore depths of human minds, etc. etc. when it’s all about exploration and funny ways of killing after all.

That in mind, Far Cry 3 succeeds on a gameplay level. The story missions and side missions are varied, hunting down animals with specific weapons is sometimes challenging, sometimes pure chaos, and finding all relics and letters of the lost (which tell the story of Japanese forces in WW II; spoilers: it did not end too well) require you to explore caves, to fly on hilltops with ruins or to dive into the shark-inhabited seas. You have to finish off enemy “bosses” with a knife in assassination missions, which ranges from cool (if they battle with your allies) to boring (most of the time). Furthermore, there are your usual mini-games such as poker, sharpshooting and throwing knives. That’s all good. Not that good are the completely misplaced racing challenges with no story basis and the pointless online challenges (some are alright, some are boring as hell). While you can do a lot of stuff or ignore it, you’ll tend to ignore it since the connections to anything else are thinner than any golden thread.

But hey, fuck missions, the open world is where the fun in Far Cry 3 is: If you want to take on an enemy patrol or an outpost, there are many options to choose from: Do you feel like playing Rambo, shooting them up with RPGs, machine gun fire and grenades? Do you want to rush in there with a jeep and its machine gun or do you prefer to attack from the sea? Do you want to set fire to the surrounding woods to roast them? Do you want to eliminate them from afar with your sniper or your awesome bow (easily the best weapon of the game)? Do you want to take them down via brutal melee takedowns (which can later be combined)? or, if you’re special, what about leading a tiger or a bear to the enemy? All of the above is possible in Far Cry 3, and it’s all fun. Above all – stealth actually works great. If you hide in bushes, enemies won’t easily spot you as long as you don’t do something like, well, shooting them. Be aware of dogs though. If you get spotted, you can easily run away and hide somewhere else. Enemies know your general location, but you can outsmart them easily.

As seen, choice is an elemental aspect of Far Cry 3’s open world, which also comes into play if you upgrade your arsenal: By “repairing” radio towers, you get almost all guns for free (you could also buy them, but why would you?), you can buy weapon upgrades, and after hunting animals, you get upgrades for your wallet, more weapons slots, more ammunition, and so on. Sadly, that’s where the pacing of Far Cry 3 is off: If there are two islands, why are we allowed to unlock everything but a few weapons on the first island? This makes no sense whatsoever. Exploration on the second island is rather pointless unless you’re a completionist.

Now, let’s talk about insanity: As Rabidgames mentioned, don’t expect a serious, down-to-earth drama from Far Cry 3. But still, a spoilt, annyoing, useless brat turns into Rambo within mere minutes? Just because of some magical tattoos? Dear Ubisoft, try to find the middle between your rushed characater development in Far Cry 3 (good for gameplay’s sake, bad for immersion) and the looooooong tutorial in Assassin’s Creed 3 (bad for the gameplay, good for immersion and that nice twist). It can’t be that hard.
Then, Far Cry 3 is another victim of the villain-dies-early disease: Just as in Saints Row The Third, trailers, the beginning and the plot are focussed on the one main villain … who dies halfway through. Seriously, what the holy fuck? This is insane!

The story … well, it seems as if important chunks are missing here and there: Abduction, liberation, boy-becomes-warrior-and-finds-his-meaning-in-life-or-so-he-thinks, Vaas, something else, Hoyt, and then the most insane twist ever … the ending is simply insane. But let’s put the story into a fair perspective here: First, it’s well done for most parts (let’s forget heavily scripted scenes and QTE boss battles for a minute). But second, it could have been done ten times better. Yes, it is an open world game, and yes, Just Cause 2 is fun despite having virtually no story at all, but that doesn’t always work. With Far Cry 3, Jason’s decisive moments are not fleshed out, his friends remain spoilt douche bags who should have been sold to slavers or killed and no one would have given a tiger’s left ball, and Vaas, Becker and Hoyt should have been featured more in the game. Don’t get Rabidgames wrong, the story is okay, but it’s not great, it’s a tale of wasted potential.

Now, let’s talk about scripted scenes: Remember the open world and choices? Well, forget about them in one third of the story missions of Far Cry 3. It’s either sneaking or run ‘n’ gun. Worse, many levels are strictly linear: one way in, one way out. Even worse, some are scripted – granted if you like Uncharted and timers ticking down, you won’t have a problem with it but if you don’t … you’re sometimes fucked.

And then, let’s rage: That ending. First of all, it’s insane. Well, choose if you think it’s insanely awesome or insanely awful, but it only makes sense in a mind full of drugs. So, after you are the hero of the islands and a worthy Rakyat leader, your allies abduct your friends and gently ask you to sacrifice them in order to literally sever your ties to the past. Alright, yeah … But that’s not even worth the ending rage. That one starts when you choose the bad ending, which tells you why the French associate orgasm and death. But hold on, Jason is Jesus! After the credits, Jason is alive again! Halleluja. Seriously, Ubisoft, first you dictate which ending is supposed to be good and which one is deemed bad by treating us like naughty boys, and then you resurrect a dead protagonist? Fuck off! Oh, and if you want to see what happens when you choose the other ending – bad luck, mate. Just play the last couple of missions again, which are a collection of long interactive cutscenes, a ridiculous QTE fight, one shoot-out, an airborne rails mission and some more interactive cutscenes, culminating in you making your choice. Yes, the only available auto-save is AFTER all this stuff. Oh, and forget about manual saving. Goddamn it, that fucking ending!

By the way, Rabidgames might be a bit harsh on Far Cry 3. After all, Yahtzee likes it. And is it insane if someone thinks he’s a banana?

A banana. Seriously?

Rabidgames draws his bow: For once, Ubisoft listened to the fans: Virtually all negative points of Far Cry 2 have been eliminated. That’s a good thing, of course. Plus, Far Cry 3 IS fun. Hunting pirates with your bow and explosive arrows is basically the definition of fun! And yet, what could have been great is just good once more. Sometimes, fun is a good thing, but you know, sometimes there’s more to life than a hedonistic life style … which ironically is also one of Far Cry 3’s lessons.

Assassin’s Creed 3 or Of Unfinished Greatness

Posted in Played & Explained with tags , , , on December 2, 2012 by Rabidgames

[Careful, many spoilers ahead! Oh, and in the game itself …]

Okay, Rabidgames has finally finished Assassin’s Creed 3. Now is not the time to talk about the bugs or some gameplay details (be they good or bad); this has already been done. This time, we’ll talk about some of the achievements and some of the integral shortcomings of Assassin’s Creed 3.

First of all, Rabidgames lied. Assassin’s Creed 3 is not finished yet. Yes, the main story is finished, Desmond’s story has come to a questionable end, and yet, while the clock is at 51 hours, the completion display stubbornly says 85%. Even now, there’s still a ton of stuff to do: 100% synching of all missions (although this is a no thanks from Rabidgames), collecting the last almanacs, completing deliveries, the fight and hunting clubs, hunting down some of the amazing pivots, and more. In terms of content, Ubisoft delivered – not exactly a matter of course in today’s gaming world. Mind you, the multiplayer of Assassin’s Creed 3 is still untouched, and with the possible exception of the promising cooperative Wolfpack mode, it’ll quite likely stay that way (unless the MP storyline is worth trudging).

Thankfully, the story of Assassin’s Creed 3 returns to the moral grey areas of the first Assassin’s Creed game: Are the Assassins really right, and are the Templars really that bad? What is more important – freedom or order? And why can’t we have both? And finally, we get to witness some irony in both times: Connor has been fighting for freedom, but what freedom did he end up with? While Connor chose freedom, Desmond chose order. Both come at a price. Most amazingly, the epilogue clearly shows that even if the Patriots were striving for freedom, it was just theirs, not freedom in general. Poor Connor. And on a grander scale, Assassin’s Creed 3 is satisfying as well: The Patriots are not solely depicted as noble gentlemen, the British and the Loyalists not as tyrants. On the contrary, both groups (and the French, of course) are hinted the be greedy white men who want to take the land from the Indians. Thank you, Ubisoft, for speaking out the truth Rabidgames once had feared would not be addressed.

Sadly, Assassin’s Creed 3’s dense story seems too twisted for its own good at times; if Haytham has known before that Washington gave the order to attack Connor’s village – why the hell did Haytham not tell Connor when he tried to seduce him to the dark side? And even worse, Washington is responsible for killing Connor’s mother, but Connor still supports him? Come on!!!! And then, there are amazingly good details to be found in Assassin’s Creed 3 (just go to Achilles’ grave and read the name of his son), but there are also stupid stories like that one: Achilles tells Connor he could pass as a Spaniard when walking throughout Boston – erm, a Spaniard with the name of Connor, dressed in Indian garb? Really? And honestly, how on earth is Connor supposed to be walking around town unnoticed in a classical fucking Assassin gown anyway – in 1770? It’s moments like these when Assassin’s Creed 3 loses immersion and credibility – it seems the scale was just too big, and some obvious details might have been taken care of if someone had taken just a step back and taken a good look at some of the trees in the woods …

The Desmond situation, joy … His sequences feel rushed – especially putting an end and to Vidic and disrupting Abstergo definitely felt rushed and bring sup the next question: Why sneaking and searching through Abstergo HQ instead of just using the Apple all the fucking time? And then, that Assassin’s Creed trilogy ending. Granted, it is not as abysmal as that Mass Effect 3 disgrace, but come on – another dea ex machina? And then Juno and Minerva are trying to convince Desmond to do what they want. And while we get to see exactly what happens if Minerva gets her way, what about Juno’s way? Nothing? No explanation, no premonition, just a muttered warning! And for fuck’s sake, give us a fucking choice (hint: Desmond is an idiot)! And honestly, Ubisoft, what about that “we bring Desmond’s story to an end”? Technically, you do – but seriously, another huge cliffhanger? Have you ever heard of the word “closure”? Look it up, please. Sorry, an ending which has only been designed to be a cliffhanger for the next game is pure bullshit, and definitely not worthy of the story arc and the artistic integrity of the games (yep, our favourite word is back once more).

Then again on the upside, there is a huge mystery: The end game of Assassin’s Creed 3. You collect some pivots (which was fun), and all of a sudden, “you’re (as in your gamertag) synchronized with the cloud” and you overhear some conversation outside the Animus. Also, there’s the sequence 5523C2302553. And the best part … no one knows what it means. Sure, the pivots main function is to unlock cheats and such, but is there more to it (remember you must be online in order to get that message)? Is it Desmond’s consciousness, somehow thrown into the Animus similar to Subject 16 aka Clay? Or have we just played a video game within a video game within a video game now (remember, there is no game over when Desmond dies, it’s just like when Connor gets desynchronised)? Or is it some organisation hacking into the Animus? And why?

Another dispitable issue are the characters. There are way too many characters in Assassin’s Creed 3, and the game has a terrible way of introducing most of them briefly (“hi, that’s my uncle’s father’s second grade nephew from Liverpool) and then neglecting them altogether for the next 10 hours – until they return out of the blue, leaving you wondering “so, who’s that guy again … let’s check in the ADB”. Then, there are guys like LaFayette – you talk to him (around sequence 9) and wonder “who is that guy now?”, checking faces with French names in the database. Speaking of the database: rarely has Rabidgames seen a game ruining itself by fucking up spoilers big time. Don’t read stuff turning up, please don’t. Except the existing database doesn’t make any sense if you don’t use it, but then again, if it contains a motherload of spoilers, you shouldn’t …

In terms of gameplay, it is surely a good thing we have much freedom in general, but why on earth is there basically no freedom in the story missions anymore? Remember the first game where you could really plan your assassinations? Speaking of them, why is a game called Assassin’s Creed, but then, not only play the Assassins and the Order a minor role in Assassin’s Creed 3, there are only a handful of proper assassinations to plan and execute. For fuck’s sake, what about meaningful assassinations sidequests (those 5 walking targets in New York don’t qualify, dear Ubisoft) at least? Why do you neglect the assassin in Assassin’s Creed? It’s where the fun is!

Yes, we should not forget the historical setting; assassins in the classical sense have kind of gone out of style, and freedom must be limited in the Animus since we’re not free to change history (well, we couldn’t anyway – remember, we’re reliving memories). While this might explain all the historical setting stuff and bonus objectives and such can be seen as “this is how it happened” – it is no excuse for a linear level design. Why is there only one single way, one linear corridor to reach the target unnoticed? Remember Assassin’s Creed 1 – granted, it was the same stuff 9 times all over, but the assassination missions granted you many different options and choices.

Let’s talk about fun (after all, fun is the most important thing in games): Again, a double-edged sword. Some missions in Assassin’s Creed 3 are plain boring. Yes, Rabidgames looks at you, you turkeyfucking chase missions. First, they are frustrating, second, they are boring, and third, they are frustrating AND boring. There is only one way to reach your goal, and it’s all about trial & error. In an open world game, such blatantly lame trial & error chores should be a big no-go area. Another funkiller looms as well; it’s the sort of  the “dramatic” Ubisoft threw in sequence 12: You’re hurt, so you can only walk painfully slowly. Well, except you can run and fight all of a sudden again for no reason, but then it’s back to limping again. But the point is: It sucks. It sucks to be forced to need a fucking minute to reach a fucking house in order to progreess. That’s not drama, and reaching a climax does not mean slowing down mere seconds before you reach it. Okay dramatic stuff and artistic integrity aside, the missions vary from “this is awesome” (huge naval battles, brawls, duels, shooting cannons) to “fuck off, you fucking piece of shit game, die, all of you” (scripted missions requiring the fucked up stealth system, or battles with and unlimited amount of soldiers, and, last and definitely least, those fucking chases).

Main missions aside, Assassin’s Creed 3 offers tons upon tons of optional content: Building your homestead and the accompanying missions are mostly fun, the economical factor is amazing in theory yet lacklustre in execution: You only need a handful of recipes, and sending convoys with that botched interface is a huge pain deep in the ass. Assassin recruits are back in Assassin’s Creed 3, but they have to be on a top level to be useful. Their special abilities come in handy here and there, but that’s about it. Unfortunately, the amazing Mediterranen Defense minigame (by far the best thing in Revelations) is gone, and you simply send your Assassins on completely irrelevant and insignificant missions to gather stuff, money and XP. Sad.

We were talking about fun, right? The most fun to be had in Assassin’s Creed 3 is the sandbox part. In cities, it means thinking of creative ways how to send your Assassins into battle most effectively, creating huge fights: At one point, it was 6 Assassins plus Connor against 30 redcoats. Connor won. In the Frontier, hunting down enemy patrols is fun as well (free-running in trees is what makes it really great), but the true destiny there is hunting. Stalking prey or suddenly becoming prey is by far the best gameplay experience in Assassin’s Creed 3. It’s a shame there are only a couple of hunting missions, too.

Rabidgames despairs: Assassin’s Creed 3 is rollercoaster lucky bag – you never know if the game will make you laugh or cry in the next 5 minutes. Then, you have a story which stumbles upon itself a couple of times, and the irony that a game about freedom does not grant you much of it in its main missions … But that’s not even the worst part; the worst part is: Despite its many achievements and the fun to be had dispatching guards and animals, despite succeeding in telling a morally ambiguous story in a mature way, Assassin’s Creed 3 is stuck in a cloud of arbitrariness:
In the battle between art and commerce, art loses in the end. All greatness is compromised by marketing constraints – not too much freedom so players can’t get lost, the release of an unfinished game (look at them bugs and glitches!), logical loopholes the size of a mass relay, no conclusion to the story so the sequel stays hot, … it’s a shame. Assassin’s Creed 3 could have become an amazing game, a figurehead next to Red Dead Redemption that gaming can cross its boundaries; but the way it has turned out, it is just another good game which raises some philosophical questions here and there, but it won’t be remembered for much more – as opposed to Red Dead Redemption. Maybe the next Assassin’s Creed will have left puberty.