Assassins Creed has turned from a ground-breaking new IP back in 2007 into a ground-breaking series with AC2, Brotherhood and Revelations . With the new AC3 they have taken us into the new world and into a completely different era, where the combat is just that much more violent and the story just that much more confusing.
In the previous games, the story has relatively been straightforward, betrayal by a friend or a master, you go in and try to set things right, and along the way become part of the Assassins. This isn’t what happens here, and there are quite a few plot twists early on, which cause the story to become relatively confusing. Because of this you’re never entirely sure who is your friend and who is your enemy. Generally I love plot twists, they make the story just that much more exciting, but here, I was just getting confused and ended up just focusing on the combat and pure enjoyment I got out running through the trees in the New Frontier.
Thankfully the rest of the game-play holds up to standard, and it has been some of the most fun I have ever had playing an Assassins Creed game. As I mentioned before, the free-running through the tree’s is by far the best addition to the series. It adds a lot more fluidity to your movement and offers you more chances to use some weapons, like the rope dart or the Bow. It’s also extremely easy to sneak up on people whilst in the Frontier through the trees.
The naval battles are also a welcome addition to the game. Whilst in the main story-line they don’t feature to prominently, going out on all the side-missions will bring you into plenty of opportunity to fight on the sea. Whilst the controls take some getting used to, once you have, the fights are breathtaking. They are definitely a highlight of the game.
The combat system is the same as in the previous Assassins Creed but it is just that more violent. This is mainly due to the inclusion of the Tomohawk. You can use it for everything including sneak assassinations and it just feels satisfying, especially during the chain kill combos. I actually mainly used the Tomohawk, even though you can get swords. In the previous games the swords made the combat feel very fluid and almost dance like in it’s execution but the Tomohawk just bludgeons the enemies.
One of the best parts of the previous games was controlling Desmond, especially once the bleeding effect kicked in during Assassins Creed 2. During Revelations the Desmond sections were purely optional and more First-person, so the return of playing through some sections as Desmond is a rather welcome addition. You get to put all the skills you have learnt in the animus into use in the real world.
There have been some other, small alterations made to the game, like the removal of the target distance indicator. This can be rather frustrating as you need to pull up your map every-time you want to see how far you have left. However in it’s place is now an on-screen indicator of where you’re target is which can also be very useful to see who your target is.
The weather also plays a big part in the game now, because if you are playing at a time when there is snow, it will slow you down wading through snow drifts. It adds in more of a sense of realism and it feels like you are really wading through snow. The controls turn really sluggish in those parts, which is an accurate representation of how the character is moving.
The Multi-player is actually on a separate disc to the main game (well at least on the 360 version which this was played on) which was quite nice as it meant that there was more space for each area. The multi-player is exactly the same as it was on the previous games, you hunt down a specified target whilst others are targeting you. Whilst in theory this is a good idea, the characters are all to similar, which means that you end up killing civilians more often than your actual targets. This then makes you an easier target for those pursuing you. It’s less a game of stealth and more a game of who slips up first. This doesn’t particularly do much for me and I much preferred the single-player experience.
Overall this is a brilliant game, and one very worthy of the Assassins Creed lineage. The game-play is awesome and more than makes up for the confusing story-line. This is definitely a worthy investment and with over 20 hours of game-play, you won’t be bored for a while.