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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Give it time
Having previously played and loved the other games in the series, I looked forward to this as a shift from the norm but still keeping what made the others great...and it does this...eventually.

The main issue this game has is the horribly long hand holding tutorials. For anyone who's played the series before, having to play for almost 5 hours before they take...
Published 15 months ago by J. Smith

versus
75 of 87 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but boring
The good:
- beautifully realised colonial America
- smooth freerunning
- satisfyingly vicious combat
- improved hiding mechanic

The bad:
- patchy control mapping
- unclear freerunning signposts
- awkward combat mapping

The ugly:
- boring protagonist
- contrived plot
- tutorial lasts 3-5 hours - way...
Published 17 months ago by R. Thomas


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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Give it time, 30 Dec 2012
By 
J. Smith (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Assassin's Creed 3 (Xbox 360)(2CD) (Video Game)
Having previously played and loved the other games in the series, I looked forward to this as a shift from the norm but still keeping what made the others great...and it does this...eventually.

The main issue this game has is the horribly long hand holding tutorials. For anyone who's played the series before, having to play for almost 5 hours before they take off the stabilisers is incredibly tedious and I very nearly gave up as I was quite bored.

However once it lets go, the story comes to life, the action increases and the game becomes a quality entry that is well worth playing. Just keep with it!
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75 of 87 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but boring, 12 Nov 2012
By 
R. Thomas "pipedreamer57" (Swindon, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Assassin's Creed 3 (Xbox 360)(2CD) (Video Game)
The good:
- beautifully realised colonial America
- smooth freerunning
- satisfyingly vicious combat
- improved hiding mechanic

The bad:
- patchy control mapping
- unclear freerunning signposts
- awkward combat mapping

The ugly:
- boring protagonist
- contrived plot
- tutorial lasts 3-5 hours - way too long

Let's start with the great things about this game. If you want to stop reading after that, then you haven't got to wade through the numerous negatives to get here.

Improvements are pretty practical, and very welcome. The ability to crouch in long grass/bushes is long overdue, as is the ability to hover at the edge of a wall/surface for a kind of 3rd-person tactical view. Your assassin can also whistle whilst in hiding to distract guards away from key locations, and in general it all feels a bit more tactical than before.

Pre-Independence America is also absolutely gorgeous; wide sunlit roads in Boston, fields of grass glowing in the sunset, the vast, snow-filled frontier. This game looks amazing. Fling yourself from tree to tree (if you're like me, you're singing Monty Python's lumberjack song right now), branch to branch, cliff to cliff, in the most organic freerunning mechanic yet. It's also huge - a big sandbox playground to practice your parkour to your heart's content.

Combat is also satisfyingly visceral and punchy, though not without its flaws. We'll get to those later. In general, when it works, combat is a lot of fun and allows Connor to flow from one enemy to the next as a killing machine. Badassery, pure and simple. And a lot of fun.

The thing about the Assassin's Creed games though, is that each game's link to the Creed itself (essentially boils down to: stop the evil templars) gets more and more tenuous.

Altair was born and raised to be an assassin at a time when assassins worked openly (Crusade-era Jerusalem). His whole life is dedicated to the Creed and to fighting the Templar / Crusader threat. Having him as an assassin makes a lot of sense. He's also an unapologetic badass, which makes him awfully appealing as a protagonist.

Ezio....happens to be a very athletic young man who becomes an assassin almost by accident, following the deaths of some of his family members. It can still make sense though, given that the Ezio storyline in AC2, Brotherhood and Revelations focus on Ezio being surrounded by this fraternity of assassins who first guide him, and then allow themselves to be led by him as he matures to Master Assassin. He's also the right balance between charming and driven - again making him a pleasure to play.

Connor....makes no sense. He's withdrawn, his voice-actor doesn't seem to understand what "inflection" means, and whilst it's an absolute delight to hear the Iroquois languages (re: Native American) spoken with remarkable fluency, Connor is ultimately really, really boring. I understand that the devs wanted him to not take sides in the Revolution but instead look to his own interests, that's fine, but he has nothing interesting to say, no hook for the player.

And that is where AC3 really falls down. As you go through the AC series, the storyline also gets more and more ridiculous. I'm perfectly willing to buy into the idea of a parallel fight in the past (Desmond in the Animus) and the present (Assassin's Order trying to prevent global destruction caused by a Templar satellite launch) - hell, it's not the most ludicrous storyline out there and frankly I find it all part of the fun of playing the AC series.

But the real strength of AC comes from its ancestor storylines - Altair's story, Ezio's story, within the wider framework of Assassins vs Templars. AC3 doesn't have that balance because it doesn't have a protagonist that generates emotional investment. Connor is completely 2-dimensional, emotionally flat and generally uninspired. The conflict built into his nature feels forced - a contrivance necessary to carry the plot. And there is a LOT of plot.

That isn't always a bad thing, but in the presumed effort to make this game as accessible to new fans as to existing ones, the "hand-holding" phase is a good 3 to 4 hours long. Compared to AC2, where a half hour in you're climbing buildings and synchronising viewpoints, this feels overly long and again, a contrivance to set the amount of plot exposition necessary to justify Connor's role in all this, given that he's not sufficiently interesting on his own.

The game's mechanics and control mapping have also been completely overhauled. Generous reviews paint the new combat controls as similar to Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham Asylum / Arkham City. This just isn't true - but would be awesome if it was. The only similarity between the two is that both now use the ABXY buttons, but that's it. Batman's controls are far more streamlined and allow a much more consistent combat flow, moving seamlessly from one enemy to the next. AC3 is fiddly, awkward and takes a lot of getting used to. Not to overuse the adage "if it ain't broke....", but this supposed innovation feels like a step backwards from (in particular) AC:Brotherhood and Revelations, both of whom had excellent combat mapping and freerunning techniques. The game and the player also have to adapt to guns - and combat isn't all bad in AC3. The ability to use enemies as meat shields is hugely entertaining and a great device, but difficult to pull off consistently. When it is successful, there's no feeling like it - if only it wasn't so inconsistent.

Freerunning also sees a few modifications - it's now possible to simply run forwards and let the game almost "pick out" the best route - this holds up well in cities, but out on the frontier, trusting the game to pick the route is flawed and often results in falls, deaths and enormous frustrations. Trees are climbable - but not all trees and the game often doesn't make it clear which are and aren't. Same with the cliffs - areas that look completely climbable turn out not to be. It feels arbitrary. That said, the freerunning is generally intuitive and certainly a hell of a lot of fun when Connor gets into his flow, bounding from branch to branch with beautiful-looking animations. All in all though, comparing it even to AC2 (the least intuitive climbing system of the 3 Ezio games), AC3 doesn't hold a candle to previous titles.

The naval battles are also a lot of fun - certainly better than the dubious, immersion-breaking "den defense" from AC:Revelations.

But it's the messy, frustrating, slow development, patchy combat mechanics and a protagonist almost as boring as the modern-day Desmond Miles that let this title down badly. The only gripe I have with the graphics (and I had the same one with Revelations) is that none of the peripheral characters - Desmond, Rebecca and Shaun - look ANYTHING like their previous iterations. And we know it's possible - Mass Effect in particular is an excellent example of how you can have improved graphical output without sacrificing familiar faces.

All in all, the game tries to be stellar but ends up being a mish-mash of beautiful graphics let down by poor implementation. Pre-Declaration America is simply gorgeous - from the deer bounding through the woods as Connor leaps through the trees, to wide-paved cities and easily recognisable famous buildings and figures of Independence-Era America.

I still recommend the title, but given its AAA status, it's not worth the full price you'd pay on launch day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Class, 1 Aug 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Assassin's Creed 3 (Xbox 360)(2CD) (Video Game)
Once you stop playing as Haytham Kenway and the non-assassin version of Connor, this game is great fun. Action-packed and has an engaging storyline.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 19 July 2013
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This review is from: Assassin's Creed 3 (Xbox 360)(2CD) (Video Game)
For a fan of the series this was a must have, the open world frontier was a nice change and enjoyable to wander. The storyline did captivate and kept me playing for hours and the new naval battles where a particular highlight. Didn't enjoy this as much as AC Brotherhood but is far better than AC Revelations. Must play for any fans of the AC series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite a bit of fun, 16 July 2013
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This review is from: Assassin's Creed 3 (Xbox 360)(2CD) (Video Game)
I'm not saying that it's a master piece, but it will keep you entertained and delighted quite a lot. Good graphics (some bugs) and very cool battles on the sea.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than the last two, but the novelty is growing old, fast, 28 Mar 2013
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Assassin's Creed 3 (Xbox 360)(2CD) (Video Game)
I have been playing assassins creed since the franchise was first released and don't get me wrong, its an absolute blast, most of the time. But since brotherhood i think both games have been exactly the same. They are starting to feel like expansion packs rather than actual games and this just bugs me. I'm not sure if its just me but the novelty of being an assassin has started to get old. But anyway, i doubt you want to listen to me rant about it, i do think the game has some amazing features. I think i was the only person but i kind of liked Connor, he had an interesting back story and i generally felt why he was angry. I also liked the new combat additions, the change meant that i wasn't just countering every single attack like i did in the past four games. I finally felt a achievement in the way i was fighting. I also loved the new free running, it wasn't just me holding down RT and A and pressing the analog stick forward. also the free running looked more smooth, it may seem like a small bonus but to me it felt really cool! Now to the bad points, for anyone who has played this game, I'm sure they will agree, NOBODY WANTS A 4-5 HOUR LONG TUTORIAL UBISOFT! I can barely stand a tutorial as it is! Instead i got treated to playing as the most annoying character ever and what was worse he couldn't climb trees. The whole tutorial is based in the woods. In the winter. instead i got treated to stumbling through snow. this probally puts this game down a whole star for me. Couldn't stand it! I also hated how all the side quests were usually delivering letters or pickpocketing someone. They seemed pointless to me. On the whole i think they should end the franchise next game. I only say NEXT game because they have announced assassins creed 4:black flag. I think its about time Ubisoft threw in the towel. It has enjoyable parts, but its not the big series changer that it was advertised to be.
If you have read all the way to here, i applaud you, and thankyou for taking your time to read this.
Thanks ;)
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34 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Beautifully Ruined Game, 4 Nov 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Assassin's Creed 3 (Xbox 360)(2CD) (Video Game)
So, here it is folks, after 9 months of waiting since the reveal trailer was released, we finally get to see AC3 in all its glory. We've seen the E3 trailer, we've watched the gameplay, and if you're a true AC fan, you've played all the previous games hoping to see this awesome story come to a head.

So you pick up where we left at the end of Revelations - Desmond an co. outside the Grand Temple. Once inside, Juno makes Desmond relapse into a state where he has to be put back into the animus and relive the life of one of his ancestors - Haythem Kenway. Personally I find Haythem to not be much of a likeable character, but he does have some great lines which make you smile. After recovering a strange key, Haythem is set on a journey to America to find the temple, believing that the key in his posession will unlock its entrance. He helps save some tribes-people that live on the land, hoping that in doing so, they'll return the favour by showing him where the temple is. As you'd have it, one of the tribes-people (Ziio) shows him the entrance, once after Haythem kills an English Commander that is. In doing so, Haythem and Ziio form a strange bond and eventually they fall in love, making way for the ancestor we all wish to see - Connor Kenway!

From the start, you're introduced to the new mechanics of the game, all of which have been completely revamped - the controls for instance, which have changed considerably from previous AC titles. The visuals are absolutely mind-blowing, one thing that caught my eye especially was the open sea. (The water - it actually looks like water!) The frontier is incredibly detailed, making you not even want to use the "fast travel" option, but instead free-run through the trees and take in the immense amount of detail that you can't help but think that the game designers must feel a sense of pride in. The animations are smooth, and the combat is deliciously brutal! It's quite difficult at first, but eventually you figure out how to kill each archetype, and then you feel confident when getting into sticky situations. If you're worried about the new controls (like I was!), don't worry, you adapt quite quickly.

Naval Battles were something I was quite sceptical about, as they looked like another kind of den defense from ACR, but they're actually insanely good fun!!

Overrall gameplay-wise, this has got to be one of the best games...ever. I wish I could say the same for the story...

If you're new to AC, then I'm sorry, but there's a lot of things you will not understand, despite Ubisoft's assurance that people can hop on to AC on this title. Assassins Creed fans are already confused at this point, and newcomers will just have a really hard time figuring out what is going on.

In terms of Desmond, you do FINALLY do something other then pointless tasks. You're sent to different cities, searching for power-sources for the Temple, and we do get to see a taste of what a modern AC game would look like. He actually has to put his training to the test now!

The overrall story is very long-winded, but I find that to be a good thing - I'm not paying 40 quid for something I'll finish in 3 hours! (AC3 infact took me anything from about 14-18 hours to complete). It does however have slight holes to pick at, and you can't help but think "why did i just do that". For instance, one of the main "bad guys" in the game is a man named Charles Lee, and Connor is given so many chances to kill him, but instead attends to something else. In my eyes, a true assassin would have killed this man on the spot, regardless of who his allegiance is.

There's also a lot of glitches. Although I can't really put the game down for this, as they're issues easily overcome (and every new game has them), the few glitches I did experience really affected what I should have experienced. My Desmond has a "back boner", where theres just a triangle poking out of his back and through his bag. Not a big deal, but is very distracting. I also find that when I kill an enemy on a corner, the game still registers them as alive, and so a corpse is shouting "I'm going to kill you". That especially doesn't help when you've got someone following you - they start attacking thin air...

The soundtrack is also mediocre. Previous titles have been composed by Jesper Kyd, and every time, he's done an amazing job. However, Lorne Balfe, although talented, does not deliver the same amount of awe in his music as Jesper Kyd. I think there's only 2 tracks I'd bother putting on my iPod.

But my overrall problem - and this is my main issue - is the ending. Now...I've never played Mass Effect (regrettably, as it does look good) but I've heard a lot about how Mass Effect 3's ending was one of the most disappointing things in history. Well, I think I've experienced something that can top it! The ending for this game is the biggest pile of dog-muck I've ever witnessed.

***Spoiler***
Juno and Minerva have this little spat, and everything Desmond's story was built up to was ended in about 10 seconds. There's so many holes in this. Desmond was "chosen" presumably to do something incredible. Instead, he does what pretty much ANYONE could have done. Touch a glowing ball. WOW.
*****End*****

After all the build up for Desmond from previous games, you're expecting to see AC4 be completely modern-day, with Desmond focusing on destroying Abstergo and killing the Templars once and for all. But no. Instead, Ubisoft just took a massive crap on their most successful franchise.

Therefore, I give this game 3/5. The gameplay is incredible. The story is not. If you are an AC fan, you've obviously got to get this, but prepare to be majorly let down...

*Cue non-helpful ratings and comments about how my review is rubbish..* =/
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thought this was meant to be a revolution..., 9 April 2013
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This review is from: Assassin's Creed 3 (Xbox 360)(2CD) (Video Game)
I have played AC since the original and it is something that I want to like so much but it never meets my expectations. AC 2 is probably the best one in the series and it remains that after this addition. That game broke new ground, introduced new aspects and refined game play from the original. However AC 3 does not. You do get new weapons and a new character and a new time frame but the game play is still the same. Kill someone, collect something, kill someone, etc.
Maybe it's me because some of my friends love these games and they look so cool and it is a world I want to be part of but when I pick up the controller I have no motivation to travel across a massive open field to kill someone very easily because I have done it a million times before.
If you love the series buy it, it is definitely an AC game but if you wanted improvements like the leap from AC to AC 2 it is not to be found here and I don't think that will ever happen again. Ubisoft are rolling in it because these games sell really well and they release one every year which is probably why I am fed up of the series already.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of 40, 15 Nov 2012
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Assassin's Creed 3 (Xbox 360)(2CD) (Video Game)
*Spoilers* (but to be honest not much is being spoiled)

Although the game initially made an impact with the prologue sequence and it's unexpected twist everything went downhill from that point on. I would much rather have continued the game playing as Haythem Kenway, Connor's father, who at the very least had much more emotional substance.

Connor just reminds me of a moody teenage hipster who hates society. This is reflected by his increasingly stupid haircut throughout the course of the game.

You would hope that even though the convoluted story which arguably is one of the game's key selling points is astonishingly bad, game-play arguably would be a redeeming quality. Wrong.

Every mission can essentially be stripped down to the same formula. Boring chase scenes through the banal architecture of New York and Boston, followed by killing the baddy of the day (whose name is completely irrelevant since character development in this game is virtually non-existent)

The optional and sandbox elements in the game add virtually no substance. Although some people would argue that being able to snare a rabbit is a "nice little touch" I quite honestly have better things to do with my time. Hunting deer is not the reason I purchased Assassins Creed 3.

Upon successfully killing said baddy, they perform such trickery even obi-wan would be proud of and convince Connor he is nuts. This leaves us with a character that is so morally ambiguous that he makes the Lib Dems look like a bastion of reason.

The most interesting character in the game, Kenway, becomes a peripheral figure. You would expect an epic conclusion between him and Connor in the story, yet he is expunged from the game in the least dramatic way possible.

Just like Desmond's father, I had absolutely no clue what was going on during the closing sequence of the game. It makes Mass Effect 3's ending look great.

For those looking to buy the game I'd wait until the price has fallen by at least 90%.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Feels like a chore., 14 Nov 2012
By 
C (CARDIFF, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Assassin's Creed 3 (Xbox 360)(2CD) (Video Game)
I was really looking forward to this game, but I have to say it was a pretty big disappointment. The biggest problem with it is simply that it is just not very much fun... in fact I'm taking it back to trade in even though I'm only on sequence 9 because I can't be bothered finishing it. I spent the whole game so far thinking, if I get through this the fun bit will be soon... well I have given up on a fun bit ever coming. Seriously. I've had more fun doing the ironing.

The missions and animations feel like a chore. Often you're sent half way across the map just to press B, watch another animation and then run back again. The main character is not likable and his character arc doesn't make any sense, I can't understand why he is even involved with the civil war. There is also a story line with Desmond which is tedious and confusing. The controls are clumsy, with only one button for running, free running, jumping etc you often end up running into walls or leaping off a tree instead of climbing it... it's so frustrating. Despite the fact that this is supposed to be ASSASSIN's Creed, it is almost impossible to make any stealthy kills as there isn't even a crouch button! In bushes he will automatically crouch but it is quite unpredictable and often he just stands bolt upright at the vital moment. The map is slow to load and it is cumbersome to change weapon. Aiming with a gun or a bow is very awkward to do with a tiny white dot which you can barely see used to select a target. Fighting with swords etc is also tedious as the controls are just not very good. There are also a large number of glitches - some of which make it impossible to continue playing without a reboot. I've had the blue screen of death twice, which I have never encountered in any other game on this console (xbox 360).

If I could go back in time I would unbuy and unplay this game. I'm done with this franchise now, I won't be buying any more of their future releases.
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