The first thing that you’ll notice about Assassin’s Creed III is the amount of stuff the game actually lets you do. The game is well worth the price of admission.
You can capture Templar forts, track and hunt animals, liberate city districts, attack roving convoys, establish a guild of Assassins, build up your homestead on the frontier, trade and craft items, battle the British Navy in your ship the Aquila, and collect Almanac pages from rooftops. And this is only a small selection of the all the things you can do in the game. Then there’s also the online multiplayer.
Wolfpack is an awesome new co-op mode that allows you to co-ordinate attacks against AI. Domination is another new mode and is pretty self explanatory. Basically, you’re in groups of two, capturing territory. Assassinate mode makes a return and is equally entertaining as it was in past Assassin’s Creed games.
Visually the game is impressive as is the sound. It now also has dynamic weather conditions and seasons. I really enjoyed how snow changed and affected the games’s vibrant landscape. You can hear the crunch as you run on untouched snow and it actually makes it more difficult to move around in deep snow drifts. I found myself more than once, up somewhere high and just taking a look around, enjoying the scenery.
Another nice addition is the game’s hunting feature. There are plenty of animals of all types from beavers to bears. To get the most money from a pelt, the kill needs to be done up close and personal. Animals definitely aren’t docile either. Many will attack you and others such as deer will get spooked and run away. You won’t have to just sneak around and hope you run into something either. There are clues scattered about so you can track the animals by using the game’s mini map.
The story is also full of a lot of interesting moments and encounters. You participate and meet many of the key historical figures and events. As Connor, you get to participate in the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Bunker Hill. you also get to meet Paul Revere, William Molineux, Charles Lee and George Washington. The history buff in me was a little excited and found it quite interesting to discover how the Templar conspiracy was woven into real historical events.
The game’s gameplay seems much more keyed towards action. There are instances where you can approach a mission covertly and they are sufficiently challenging, but most of the time you can just run in for the kill. I by no means have any problem with this, it’s nice to change things up some after so many games.
The fluidity of combat and the many different kill and attack animations make going in and acting like an action hero very enjoyable. My favourite part is getting on a roll and taking out half a dozen guys in seconds and then being in complete awe of what just occured. It happens quite a bit and I couldn’t help but buy new weapons just to see how the kill animations would change.
Being able to run along trees and climb was a dream come true. The other games made sense as to why it couldn’t be done because of their setting, but the new world was full of old growth forests that were ripe for exploration. Using the Rope Dart to choke out or hang somebody is also very satisfying as is performing an air assassination on an unaware guard or animal.
Assassin’s Creed III isn’t perfect though. Connor and majority of the other characters lack any real substance and I didn’t find them interesting to interact with at all. Also riding a horse through the woods became a serious test of my patience as I seemed to get stuck on every little piece of the game’s environment. Jumped the river last time? Well, it won’t work this time.
I also had no interest in doing the game’s naval missions either. I play Assassin’s Creed titles to kill enemies on land.
Overall Score: 7.8/10
Recommendation: Buy it!