Community Review: What Do You Think Of Assassin's Creed III

I'm going to say this from the outset, I've had time to put roughly three hours into Assassin's Creed III. Not enough, I've been told, to make a final judgement on the game. So I'm going to hold off on writing too much here, but I fully intend to write something about this game in the coming days. But today is about what you think. I'm sure plenty of you guys and girls spent a lot of time with the game over the weekend. What did you think?

I'll say this: so far, I'm massively disappointed. Assassin's Creed III is buggy, but that's not the biggest issue. The issue is that good mission design appears to be the lowest priority here. Not a single mission so far has been interesting, unique or rewarding on any level at all for me. My three hours spent with the game have been completely frustrating on all possible levels. I'm hoping to expand on this towards the middle of the week if I get the time, but for now I'd love to hear your thoughts -- particularly from the people who are closer to the end.

Tell me things get better!


    it started ordinary for me but you know what? once you are established as Connor as an Assassin and can do the open world stuff and naval battles well let's just say it goes from shite to really good.
    The slow burn start is used to good effect so far. um upto seq 7 for reference.

    I have written my review of Assassin's creed, in haiku form, despite not having played the game yet.

    Stab Stabbity Stab,
    Stab stab stab stab stab stab stab,
    Stab, then tomahawk.


      like button

        TRY IT.

          I didn't enjoy the like button experience...

          Is there a way you could make it more cinematic... more visceral?
          Maybe add some quick time events, or a turret section.

          My click! Zey buttons do nothing!

            Chrome? Cache can be a bit sticky - try a shift refresh.

              Firefox (16.0.2), even after a hard refresh — Opera works fine, though.

                Cool, thanks for checking - we're looking into why this is the case!

            Ambrose The Fourthtest! :D
            Where have you been, young man? We miss you!

    I've finished it and until sequence 9 the game is seriously a 2/10 its such a bad bad game that forgets everything that made AC2 such a GOOD GOOD game.

    Past sequence 9 is fine but its still one of the most disappointing and frustrating games around. There is zero consistency to the combat and how the situations play out which again is the complete opposite of ezio


    its clear only he can make a good game in this franchise.

    Finished it on Saturday night, thought I'd hit a game breaking bug but thankfully the game skipped around it. I enjoyed the later sections of the game a lot, but it was a painfully slow beginning. I liked that from a story perspective but the gameplay sort of suffered for it.

    Still not as bad as Revelations.

    I can and will edit this with a link to a review I posted a few days ago but those that follow me on the tweeter know that I am not impressed at all.

    I won't dwell on the negatives here, so let me just say that the naval battles in the game are fantastic, and the controls for the massive ships you get to man are spot on in terms of making that section of the game equally fun and challenging.

    There's not much else right, except the setting is realized pretty well and if it wasn't for the horrendous graphical glitches, the game would be called beautiful.

      I had some big reservations about the naval combat... but it's actually really good*.
      With a little work it could be a full fledged game.

      *the lack of mid battle boarding options is pretty damn stupid.

      Last edited 05/11/12 12:34 pm

    I keep hearing so much hate about the ending. Cliffhangers might be a series staple, but that doesn't mean you should do it every year, it's just annoying. I seriously gave up on the series because of that, every year it was 'ARGH! MUST KNOW WHAT HAPPENS!!!' and it's just so you'll buy a new game each year. But there won't be any closure when you get that one either!

      its not that it was a cliffhanger its bad because it didnt explain anything and somthing bad happend for no reason

    30 hours 12 minutes 89% sync here it's a good game my only issue to take up with is the friggin viewpoint nerf they actually expect you to run around the majority of the map to uncover it which can be frustrating and very time consuming especially in the frontier.

    I'll finish up with the clubs today and play halo when it comes out and one day return for achievement/100% sync reasons I also plan to do some multiplayer today but if it's anything like acb or acr I won't like it.

    oh yeah the ending is f'ing pathetic and bad and NOT ac at all

    Anyone who is buying this on PC, download a save which skips the opening five sequences. You can thank PC modders later.

    Glad I didnt jump on the hype train with this one.

    I feel the way they handled the start was wrong...I should say I'm not finished the opening parts yet, still on Sequence 2. But the way it is(don't want to say more because I don't want to spoilerise people yet to start the game) has forced a disconnect from me, right from the start of the game which is killing any sense of immersion, and making me not care about anything that's happening.

    I'll reserve my overall judgement on the game until I make it to the end. If I make it to the end. I almost gave up because I wasn't finding it fun.

      Trust me, when you finsih Sequence 3 It will become obvious why you had to go through all of that, then the missions become more interesting, and by Sequence 6 it feels like an AC Game, and it is much better :)

        Yeah, people keep saying that. But it's a failure of game design to create such a disconnect at the start of the game. People are not bothering to progress far enough to see the payoff because the game is not giving them reason to.

          the end is like a punch in the face to ac fans

          While it might be obvious WHY you have to go through all of it for the story, it doesnt make it any better. I know people keep saying that ACIII gets much better after sequence 6 which essentially means you bought half a game. Quite ridiculous.

    I am really enjoying it, up to sequence 6 and I love how much different shit they've crammed into the game. Naval battles, hunting animals, being Tarzan and exploring the frontier is great fun!

    Oh, getting a bit of a history lesson at the same time with the infame database.

      The database has been the best thing about the game for me so far. I had to stop reading it for now though because someone warned me there's spoilers for one of the early sequences in it. D:

        That's always been my favorite thing about the Assassins Creed series, the way they wrap it around history.

        I remember that spoiler well, spoiling the entire first arc of the game. That's also ridiculous.

    Found the opening interesting, but too long. Way too long.

    It's still the same fun AC we all know and love, and I'm really enjoying it so far. I love the wilderness traversal, hunting and the naval battles. Graphics/animations are great and I might be one of the lucky few, but haven't encountered a single bug yet.

    Kind of disappointing; they sacrified a LOT of gameplay for the sake of story in making the first half of the game extremely slow. It's what, the sixth sequence before you actually get to play as a fully grown and trained Connor?

    The number of glitches and inconsistencies are also quite offputting; rooftop guards don't notice street-level slaughters, and I can stab an entire division of marching redcoats starting with the drummer without any of them so much as noticing.
    They didn't really overhaul the combat at all; we've got a few different controls and his fighting style is visibly different but it's still quite literally: 'hold circle briefly, don't worry about the timing too much, plenty of wiggle room, okay, now press square, then proceed to press square with a slight movement of the left analog stick in the basic direction of your enemies until everybody is dead.'

    The aiming with guns irks me a fair bit too. I thought in giving you a targeting reticule that it'd be a bit more slick than it is; so far you may as well just auto-target whatever redcoat happens to be highlit, because the reticule will only allow you to ready your weapon if you're actually aiming at someone, and if even for a brief moment your reticule is no longer aiming at a section of their body, connor withdraws his gun. Often it's meant aiming is pretty much stop-start-stop-start-stop-start, which is not only frustrating on a gameplay level, but it's also visibly offputting to see him frequently readying and putting down his gun.

    I've had a fair few problems picking up guard bodies too, either because my game isn't prioritising bodies over scattered weapons or I simply can't target the bodies at all. You have these problems when a number of functions are bound to one key. Though I'll let that slide, since most of my problem with shifting bodies comes from me recently playing dishonoured where it's a matter of stabbing and tossing. :P

    I will say this: the ship battles are pretty damn cool, and just the weight of controlling a massive vessel is certainly felt from behind the wheel. The finishing moves are particularly brutal too, and the combat itself looks as fluid as its always been, even if it is particularly easy to defeat entire armies. It'd be nice if enemies gave better chase too... Or if you didn't have the option of just counter-attack / killing-spree slaughtering an entire street of guards until nobody stood to oppose you, granting you full anonymity.

    TLDR; it's an okay game, but pretty disappointing. It's defeats are in terms of shoddy AI, glitches and poor pacing; its saving graces are in naval combat, tree-scaling and the usual host of brutal finishing moves.

    Thought it was bollocks until I became Connor. The "twist" was great and all, but it made the opening hours painful. Now the game's opening up, and I'm sure it'll be as good as the previous titles :)

      Nice one mate. Telling everyone there's a 'twist' is just another spoiler.
      I have no idea what it is, but now I know that whatever I 'think' is happening with Kenway pre- Connor in the story, isn't really the case at all, since... you know, now that I know there is a twist!

    My biggest problem with it (besides the complete lack of payoff with Desmond's "story") is the mission design. There are no "assassinations", there's only "charge in here and kill everyone, including the leader."

    The mechanics, the setting, everything is spot on and nearly perfect -- there are just no missions to support it. It's such a shame.

    EDIT: Also, the Climbing Puzzles. There's no Scrolls of Romulus or Armour of Altair to collect. I suppose the Trinket missions you unlock are the successor, but they're nothing like they used to be.

    Another edit: This is me splitting hairs, really. I enjoyed every moment of the game... it just could have been so much more, if only the mission design was on par with the AC2 era.

    Honestly, I think I'm just bitter about the absolutely shitty ending of the 2012 story. The Templars, the First Civilisation, Lucy, Cross... there's just no payoff or closure for any of it. The previous games have made it seem like they were building Desmond's story up to have a massive conclusion, but it's all over in a 2 minute cutscene. Really sad. The whole satellite launch which has been mentioned for the past few games seems to have been forgotten about completely.

    Last edited 05/11/12 11:43 am

      There are assassinations they are just forgettable

        That's what I mean. They're assassinations in that you have to kill someone, but they're not the stealthy, planned assassinations of the previous games. I feel less like an assassin and more like a mercenary. I missed stealthily getting above my target and planning my approach, blending where needed.

        Here, 9 times out of 10, the game just asks you to charge in, or just flat out doesn't provide a stealthy route.

    Your all making me not want it ): , they've made it sound amazing when they talk about it and make it look so intresting in the trailer but guys it cant really be that shit? can it ): I was on the hype train but after reading all of this, should I even bother buying it?

      there's a lot of hate and i can see why. i finished the game a few days ago and some of it was a struggle. AC2 will always be my favourite, but AC3 definitely establishes its place in the series; i focused on the story and enjoyed the 2012 missions. story is good, game mechanics.. not so much.

    Welp, wasn't logged in because phone: PLUGPLUGPLUG

    tl;dr 6.5/10

      Hahahaa...was about to post a reply asking if you were a wizard because you were on a guest account. :P

        I had no idea there was a whole other Kotaku world on the phone. Now there's Hermes and Thoth and Hermes / Thoth. It's too much.

    *sigh*. I'm not reading comments for fear of spoilers. But for me it's buggy, so very very buggy. It also lacks the sense of vibrancy that AC2 and its sequels had, I'm not a mad fan of trees or bears.

    I'm also disappointed at the lack of tutorials. Sometimes the game expects you to know something that you have never done before and then 10 missions later decides to give you the tutorial on it. I hate that they changed the videos so that he's always in crappy default colours. View point are pointless, they don't unlock everything on the map. There's no point to them any more if I have to run around on the ground trying to find shit.

    The naval missions are time travel missions, there's no order to them. The dates are up the wazoo and it seems like a whole separate thing none related to the main story. It's not that I hate it, I love a guy with a ponytail as much as the next girl, buts its buggy, not polished and as far as I know they lied about the puzzles. Playing it makes me miss Ezio and his awesome puzzles a bit, but I guess its okish. Meh.

      Ezio was always the best, & will be the best (:

      Yeah, the naval missions being all over the timeline was very strange, I had no idea why I'd suddenly skipped forward a year in some of them.

    I'm really struggling with the bugs. If it's not characters disappearing and then reappearing it's my Xbox Crashing. I would blame the Xbox itself except that it's never happened with any other game so far...

    Other then that it doesn't really have the same feel as the previous AC, the cut scenes seem to, well cut to the next scene without the Smooth transition that was in AC2. It feels like it's a glitch and just jumps ahead, I feel like I've missed something. It's still early days for me yet tho as well, I don't want to botch to much about it but the whole Xbox Crashing thing was a big dissapointment for me... Should have got it on PS3.

    I'm enjoying my time with it. I actually enjoyed the opening sequences of the game. Sorry to see that part go. That said once things open up and you get all your toys the gameplay itself improves dramatically.

    On the PS3 and its a buggy slideshow at time. Playing it now all I'm thinking is 'the PC replay of this game is going to be great'.

    I'm not in love with the game... although it's more likely I'll actually finish this one.

    The movement mechanic is a big improvement... I don't know what they've done, but it's less likely you'll mis-jump.
    The homestead is great, but using convoys to raise money is stupid... they should have had you receiving a kickback from sales, or rent, or making money from looting British ships, or something.
    The naval combat is a lot better than I was fearing, a lot better. It feels weighty and they actually account for the wind... I don't know if you can get windward and slow your opponents by robbing their sails, but it feels like it. The inability to board hostile ships is pretty daft.

    There are some major flaws though...
    Check-pointing is still awful, and when tied to their rotten stealth systems it's just insulting. Having the mission restart and having to replay an half hour of gameplay because you were seen is criminal in this day and age.
    Stealth continues to suck.
    I've got to be doing combat wrong, because I'm sure it can't have been designed this way.
    It is every bit as buggy as mentioned... I give it another 2 or 3 patches.
    The British guy continues to not be funny, and how come I can't access emails from within the animus yet?

    Ultimately, this game feels like it was built midway through AC2... which I suppose it was. It has none of the improvements and refinements found in 2.1 and 2.2, surely they could've inserted the code over... it's the same engine.

      It's actually a new engine, I believe. Anvil Engine or some such.

    I'm really underwhelmed - bugs aside, I'm just not excited by it. The tutorials are often baffling (and as was pointed out above, inconsistent), the shooting mechanic is terrible to the point where I just ignore my gun, the "I can be stealthy in long grass, but only a little and not always and sometimes I'll just stand up for no reason" is infuriating, as was the "oh, look - its an almanac page! run after it - oh wait, you missed it because you didn't do the proper mechanic for grabbing it that we haven't explained". Oh and I failed a mission because I told my companion to hide (as the onscreen prompt explained) but then was never told how to get him out of cover and thus failed the mission for getting too far away from him.
    And I still hate Desmond's stupid backpack.

    I hage quit a mission last night because I was being brutalised by the frustrating controls and restrictive ROUTE I was allowed to take on a chase mission. Imagine you are playing pacman and you are approaching a corner to turn and escape the path of a ghost but instead of responding to your request pacman turns backwards straight at the ghost. This is my experience with the game. It is more akin to Dragons Lair than an Assassins Creed game. I did however like the slow start, as it made me feel invested in the story. I think any reviews over 6 are made out of the GAME THAT IS IN THERE, but is unreachable... like the ledge or branch that looks visibly scalable but when ran at just causes Connor to hit an invisible wall, jump off in some unwarranted direction and desynchronise.

      My sense of immersion is not only broken by the game mechanics but by the lack of "polishing", character wig outs happen more than the INTENDED animus glitch transitions (dudes floating, bouncing, getting stuck in a pose for a period of time). Lipsyncing alos seems to have been an optional chore for release by the programmers, disembodied voices confuse narratives often. Combat seems to be now have a hidden mechanic I am yet to understand. And GUI updates about how many animals I need to kill when I am "exploring" makes me feel the guilt I got when my WOW account rolled over when I forgot to cancel it.

        Though unlike some I enjoy the setting, being a pirate is kinda badarse. Like maybe if it were to consolidate some of the thrills of the game, being able to call your CREW down in missions. I mean if Stealth is hardly a concern can't I just ball into missions with my Sailor pals and make a mess of things? That'd be awesome. For all the talk of how the writing is worth enduring the GAME, maybe the writers forgot that it had to work within a game. If more time were spent not implementing a cinematic vision and letting the user DIRECT their own experience the game would be better for it.

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