It's been a long, long time since anyone had reason to chat about Assassin's Creed 3. But with the game's remaster dropping last week, it's a perfect opportunity to revisit the USA.
Assassin's Creed has come so far, mechanically, technically and narratively, so it's fascinating to step back and look at how everything was structured. My memories of Connor's adventure were very similar to Luke and Kirk back in the day: I found the game to be a narrative mess, lacking the centralised vision and strong narrative arc that tied all of the wallrunning and assassinations together. That was back when I was still very much about what was happening with Abstergo, mind you.
Still, the game was in dire need of an editor. I'd never thought that an Assassin's Creed game would take cues from some of the worst Final Fantasy games. And that's not getting into the fact that Connor is unlikable throughout the majority of the game, and there wasn't a good enough foil to balance him out until you got to the ending.
It’s so refreshing to play Assassin’s Creed III now, nearly seven years after its controversial release. The game’s debut was marred by misleading marketing, a surprising game structure, and a lot of bugs, but I always liked the rough-edged yet fascinating adventure the game’s creators actually built.
Stephen loved AC3 despite its flaws; it was really about all the different things the game was trying to do. The Homestead was a great example. Instead of being the representative for the Brotherhood and effectively an agent for yourself the entirety of the game, AC3 put you more in charge of a community, making you more responsible for their welfare and survival.
We see that a lot more in games now. My kicker was that the payoff wasn't enough - ultimately the stories have to be intriguing enough, or the incentive strong enough to justify the time I'm spending outside of the main quest.
But it's always worth remembering that one project can lead people onto something new. And as a result of everything AC3 tried, it was the chief reason we got Black Flag down the road, and the naval mechanics that have been a staple of the series ever since.
Assassin's Creed has also gone on to solve its other major problem since AC3 - that the series was designed for urban environments, and not really workable in landscapes or more open areas. Odyssey and Origins have figured that problem out by now.
What are your memories of Assassin's Creed 3, and have you checked out the remaster since it dropped last week?