So I started Assassin’s Creed III

Got some problems.

The early game twist. For one, it’s not early enough. FFXIII’s 20-hour tutorial was better paced than this, and I hate that game.

For two, it would have been more effective if A) I gave a shit about any of those characters and B) all promotional materials didn’t already tell me who the main character is.

It’s like they were trying to pull some Metal Gear Solid shit on me. The difference here is that THOSE games are directed by a visionary, and THESE games are directed by a committee.

MGS2 hoodwinks you into thinking you’ll play the whole game as Solid Snake because the whole point of the story is that people can be controlled by the manipulation of information and that anyone can be molded into a super soldier given proper context and total control.

MGS2 contrasted its promotional material to surprise and to make a point. In AssCreed 3, the contrast made me impatient and frustrated.

It’s too bad, ’cause Kojima clearly has a lot of respect for these games, since you can dress like Altair in MGS4 and swan dive into a pile of hay in Peace Walker.

I don’t understand the rules. I only played a little bit of the previous games’ campaigns, and all the tutorials this game throws at me aren’t illuminating enough.

Several times, the game pauses all action so that you can complete a tutorial sensitive to the current situation. You are unable to do anything else until you prove that you understand what the game is trying to teach you. Pressing any buttons unrelated to this tutorial yield no results. (This is a things in lots of games, and it’s shitty in all of them)

Early on, you’re asked to shoot a wagon full of barrels of gunpowder to blow it up. PRESS L to AIM, PRESS Y to SHOOT. So I’m aiming at this wagon of gunpowder pressing the Y button and nothing is happening. No shooting, my dude doesn’t even reach for his pistol. What’s strange is that I am still able to use the B button to pick up and put down a musket that’s on the ground.

So I’m pressing everything, picking the gun up, aiming, pressing Y, putting the gun down, aiming, pressing Y, NOT aiming, pressing Y… Finally I figured, “Okay, the game must have screwed up.” So I reload my last checkpoint.

And I’m standing in the same place with the same problem. So now I start swinging my aim around and pressing buttons. FINALLY, my dude fires his gun – at one barrel of gunpowder standing BESIDE the wagon on the ground.

I wasn’t ALLOWED to shoot the wagon full of barrels. There was a special barrel that I was supposed to shoot.

I feel like an idiot. I guess this is a regular AssCreed thing, but I hate how completely the terms of failure change for every single mission.

In the same mission I was talking about earlier, my buddies and I steal this chest and I have to defend them as we make our escape. At this time, the game teaches me how to loot bodies for ammo and money. So, naturally, I start looting everybody, thinking I must need a bunch of ammo for the rest of this mission.

As I merrily loot these corpses, the game displays a message – “WARNING: REMAIN IN THE AREA.”

I think, “Okay,” so I stay right around where I already am, looting the bodies. A few seconds later the mission fails and I have to restart.

Apparently, “REMAIN IN THE AREA” meant “FOLLOW YOUR FRIENDS BEFORE THEY WALK TOO FAR AWAY BECAUSE WE DIDN’T PROGRAM THEM TO STOP, EVEN THOUGH THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE FOLLOWING YOUR ORDERS”

The game sometimes acts like the passenger-seat navigator in a buddy comedy car chase. “Okay, follow this guy! UH OH, we got spotted! Better kill these guys! But not THAT GUY!! Alright, let’s try and– OH NO, spotted again! Nooo, you can’t fight them here, we gotta turn around and try again. Now take a left! NOO, the OTHER left!!”

I also feel stupid because the camera is so close to you. I feel like I can’t see as much as should. For a super-assassin, I don’t feel very aware of my surroundings.

Somehow, there are still not enough buttons. I had just killed a guy standing near a ledge, and now I wanted to drop down. However, when I pressed the button to drop from the ledge, I instead picked up the corpse of the guy I just killed. That’s not what I wanted to do.

During this same mission, while I’m creeping through tall grass to stay hidden, I try to navigate around a ladder rising out of the grass. The moment I touch the ladder, I jump up onto it, alerting every guard around me.

Game, I appreciate your making most of my actions flow gracefully from one to the other, but if I was sneaking through grass to avoid suspicion, why would I suddenly want to jump on a ladder and become the single most visible thing in the area? Or maybe the challenge is that I’m playing as a fucking moron.

Transitions. I usually have trouble grasping where and when I am unless the game makes it explicitly clear. The first time I left The Green Dragon tavern on a mission, I was not outside of the Green Dragon but far away on the other side of the city.

After a cut scene, the game displays a message that says, “A FEW DAYS LATER…” and then plops you outside of the Green Dragon. So, like… what, have I been standing in the street for a few days? Once you go into the Green Dragon, another cut scene starts right away, so why did they bother returning control to me at all?

For a AAA title, this shit feels sloppy and lazy. I hope the Vita game is better.

I started and finished Dishonored a little while ago, and I thought it was just a different flavor of Bioshock. Still, it might be a better game then AssCreed 3.

EDIT (11/15/12): Now that I’m playing a Connor, this game is exponentially more fun. Is it innovative and progressive? Nah. But it’s still alright.

EDIT (9/26/16): No, it turned this game sucked worse than Resident Evil 6 that year. Even as an American, I can see that colonial structures aren’t fun to be around compared to the grand structures of the old world. And beyond that, it’s just Ubisoft – chasing icons on maps. Sounds like Black Flag brought back the only good thing about this game: owning a sweet fucking boat.

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