Review by skeletorissatan

"A nice attempt, but sadly it's a case of no cigar."

Assassins Creed is now a fairly long-running game series, and a case in which one either loves or hates the series. The game play has never drastically changed from previous outings, instead just adding and tweaking little bits and bobs to create a fun and enjoyable action game, with some clever game play mechanics to keep it running and feeling fresh. It has always, for instance, been enjoyable to leap from a rooftop into a bale of hay much as is seen in the boldest of action movies. Now, in October 2012, the third main series installment has dawned upon us, but is the time too late? Has the game company spent too long noodling with the unnecessary installments in the series such as Brotherhood for another main series game to be irrelevant?

The answer is this: in a way. Some of the aspects of previous games still feel as fresh as before, but the real crippling aspect of this game is the story. For one, it is far too short, and, without giving anything away, the conclusion will be as predictable as they come. Gone are the glory days of gaming in which the story is gripping, as in games such as the original Metal Gear Solid. In place of it, we have this, a game with a watered down story that focuses on the graphics, as is the way with nearly every modern game. Indeed, the assassin's story finally comes to a conclusion, but it is not as epic as we have been made to believe from the advertising. This is not a game that the developers put a lot of time into the actual conclusion of the tale but is a game that would sooner appeal to the crowd of players that do nothing but spend their days looking for the finest graphics available.

The action of this game is very fluid, with the combat being as good as ever before. There are no huge game play changes in the way of the combat, but everything flows together, meaning the player can smoothly rack up a combo when engaging in group encounters. The game is not difficult in the slightest, so anyone should find it easy to just breeze through and engage in as many fights as they want, each of which is every bit as enjoyable as the last. Combat has long been the strength of this series, and it is back in killer form with this, despite the supposed focus on stealth as the games title would suggest. There is no end to the enjoyment that can be gained from watching your character dance back and forth between three different opponents, slicing at them without stopping.

The graphics are as beautiful as can be found, with the backdrops forming the scene for the action being fantastically well designed, with eye watering visuals. The draw distances are very good, and the attention to detail is as strong as this series is known for. Each character looks realistic enough, with a lot of time clearly having been pooled into squeezing every bit of horsepower out of the console possible. The sheer scope and size of the game world on display here is the game's finest aspect, with it being far more ambitious than previous installments. It is around double the size of Assassin's Creed II, with considerably more detail to it as well. The story takes place across an enormous world that is a joy to simply sit there and take in. Every tree and every wall within this game looks completely breathtaking and this is sure to be a game that one will spend a lot of time staring at in awe of how the creators made the most of the hardware.

The main problem that can be found in Assassin's Creed 3 is the sense of having done everything within this game ten times before in the previous games in the series. The stealth based murders that you will commit throughout the duration of this game have such a feeling of deja-vu in the sense that the person you are tracking will require the same means to execute as the past ten victims did. All you need do is wait for them to be alone or slightly away from their guards and then jump from a roof and stab them with your hidden blades and whilst for the first two or three times this is fun enough to engage in, it quickly loses its appeal. The same can be said for the free running in this game-we have all jumped off of a roof into a bale of hay in the first two games fifty times so what was the real need to include it in this game. The developers would have made better use of their time by working on an actual story for the game instead of the loosest fitting jumble of semi-factual information condensed into character dialogue that has been put in a game for a long time.

This is a case of a game that was billed up as much more than it actually is, and therefore feels really underwhelming. There are some superb visuals on display here, but the actual game play is as flawed as previous games, with only the combat being any real credit to the game. The story is as questionable as it gets, which is a real disappointment given the undeniable quality of the first two outings for the series. There is definitely a good game trapped within this one but it is a shame that it only rarely gets a chance to show itself. Assassin's Creed 3 may well be one of the most disappointing sequels of all time.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 10/31/12, Updated 02/13/13

Game Release: Assassin's Creed III (US, 10/30/12)

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