ACIII, My review: We didn't think that far ahead


That sounds negative, doesn't it? Don't get me wrong, I loved 90% of the game... the combat (especially the naval bits), the story (for the most part), the characters, the weapons, the terrain, everything was pretty much spectacular... but they dropped the ball on quite a few little things.

Tradeskills: You collect things like pelts, animal bits, and other misc. items and use them to craft other items (weapons, ammo container upgrades, and so on), or you can sell them to various people via land/sea caravan-type things.

The problem is the UI for this whole thing is completely stupid... you can sell about 11 items at a time when you're maxed out, but you have to put the items into the caravan individually, and you can't sell bulk stacks of items.

So if you're selling wolf pelts (the items are in alphabetical order), you have to go down to hunted parts (or whatever that section was called), scroll ALLLLL the way to the end to get a wolf pelt, select it, scroll down to find the person who will buy it for the most, select them, and it will then place the item in the caravan, and drop you back at the top of the menu... and if you want to sell 11 wolf pelts (or more, which requires more than one caravan), you have to do that EVERY TIME.

Little things like that mire the game... buying things from a vendor is slightly less annoying, as you can at least buy quantities at a time, but the little animations in the menu lag it down a bit, and sometimes you'll find yourself back in the menu after spamming B to get out.

Combat is much more enjoyable, thanks to them dropping the need to hold down the block button to parry... it opens the combat up much more, allowing you to attack without having to stand there wiggling your blade at enemies the entire time. My only gripe is that every weapon has a finishing type-move, and sometimes Conner will, instead of just shooting the heavily armed gentleman next to me, try to insta-kill him with the pistol and get punched away due to that particular enemy type not being insta-killable.

Naval combat is fantastic... I seriously can't gush over this enough. The water is gorgeous, the combat is visceral (buzz word!), everything is just so... immersive. The spray of the water, the sounds of the crew, watching as your ship crests a large wave, and comes crashing down onto the enemy... oh my goodness, its just so freaking good. I really REALLY want Ubisoft to come up with a stand-alone (co-op) naval warfare game using that engine, as it would be such a fantastically enjoyable game.

Now... the story. I can't confess to being the greatest AC fanboy ever, but I've played through all the games (or at least watched all the important story bits for all of them), discounting the Altair game on the DS, so I can at least consider myself a pretty big fan of their stuff overall...

Note: Spoiler alert. I will not be covering the next paragraphs in a spoiler tag, so continue over it at your own risk

The ending was lame as hell... They took a pretty decent story about Desmond and the Assassins vs the Templars and the end of the world (as we know it) and just kind of... didn't think that far ahead it seems. Desmond is given a choice, and both options are rather stupid and relatively similar in the end. Choose to leave her in the little glowy ball, and the Earth gets pretty messed up, Desmond becomes a "god", and then the cycle will continue again after a period of time. OR, touch the glowy ball, kill off the main character, and let some uber-powerful chick take control of everything, with the hope that everyone will band together and take her down... Oh, and the cycle will probably then continue after that (this bit wasn't stated in the game, but come on... it would happen).

So we get the illusion of a choice, and then have the ending of one played out for us (whee, end of the world!), and then Desmond goes full-retard, lets out the evil uber-power, and then dies. No conclusion of his story, no real conclusion to anything... just an open ending that says "Hey, we know it was a trilogy, but we want to make some more stuff!", only... Conner's story ends there. Desmond can't go back and relive his life after the revolution (what with him being dead and all), so any other AC game will have to either have a completely new character, or they'll have to try to laugh it off and go "Hey, he didn't really die! We didn't think that far ahead, so we kind of dropped the ball on that bit."

Lastly, I'll dwell on the graphics and what not... the game looks fantastic, and all the little animations and quirks for the characters really brings everything to life. Though I did find the characters a bit waxier than I would've liked (shiny!), their range of facial expressions was really good, allowing them to forego the dialog at points and just have the character give a look that spoke more than words.

So yeah... overall, fantastic game... but more than a few points where I could almost hear them say "Yeah, we didn't think that far ahead."

A game with a lot of polish on the front of the beast, but a tangled mess on some of the back-end bits really.

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