Average User Score: 6.1Dec 15, 2012This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I went in to Assassin's Creed III expecting something similar to the AC2 trilogy with a different control scheme. How wrong I was. I'd started to get a little tired of our Italian friend Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Don't get me wrong - AC2, Brotherhood, Revelations... These were all great games, but they had Call of Duty/EA Sports syndrome - the same game with minor upgrades released yearly. Fortunately for Ubisoft, and gamers, they were damn fine games. But as I said, AC3 isn't a repeat of the last three years. But is that a good thing? Of course it is!
Assassin's Creed III picks up right were Revelations ended - Desmond, his father, and the two remaining assassin buddies Rebecca and Shaun have found the temple they've been searching for. Now all they need is a key to get in to the inner chamber and save the world from a solar flare. Makes sense? Not really, but it does the trick for letting us mess around in various historical settings. The explanation for the new setting is... Well, there really isn't one. The "ones that came before" just happen to know how to make the animus work and give Desmond a new ancestor to relive the memories of.
Now this is where I venture into some serious spoiler territory, so skip the next (and rather large) paragraph if you don't want early to mid-game spoilers.
London, mid 18th century. A crowded theatre, it's patrons awaiting the start of a play. A well-dressed and well-spoken man by the name of Haytham Kenway enters, and starts talking to his associate. Shortly afterwards, it's off to climb around the theatre and assassinate someone. Haytham steals his necklace, which is believed to be the key to the temple Desmond and company have just found. Haytham then travels to America, and you get a good couple of hours to mess around in Boston as him. It's pretty much the standard Assassin's Creed fare - climb buildings to get to view points and un-fog the map, kill the angry guards with your hidden blades, and so on. I think Haytham is probably the most well-written character the series has come out with thus far. After a few missions, some surprising plot twists occur, which I won't spoil as they're actually really cool, and you start out playing as Haytham's half-native American son, Connor, a few years later. This is the "growing up" part, where you get your assassin training and so on. The game opens up bit by bit, and then things start to get really interesting. I must mention the few missions where you play as Desmond in 2012 - they're great fun, if a little linear. I tried ripping down the wanted posters when I first saw them, but to no avail! Still, a nice touch to see them around.
The new gameplay mechanics - hunting wildlife, gathering resources, crafting new gear, trading - these are all well-implemented and keep things interesting. Killing a bear is great fun. The free-running feels much different this time around, as you're out in the countryside a lot, climbing through trees and cliffs as opposed to buildings and streets. There's a nice juxtaposition between the country and the cities of Boston and New York, keeping the game fresh for hours.
Combat's had a nice overhaul, but is still a little too easy for the most part. The addition of guns is nice, but they take a long time to reload, so your bow is usually a better - and stealthier - option.
The real main attraction, however, is the naval missions. You captain a ship, giving orders to your crew to adjust sails, man cannons, and so on. It's well-implemented and doesn't feel like an after-thought - unlike Revelations' tower defence mini-game.
The Assassin Brotherhood is still there, but for the most part it's optional. Fast travel's improved, and the awful villa/city management has been overhauled. You now meet new people and build a small settlement around your mentor's manor. It's got great story elements and is more mission-based than money-based.
There's plenty of mini-games to do, ranging from a few board games to bowls and fight clubs. A lot of content, and surprisingly well thought out. Nothing has been half-done here. Everything seems to have been lovingly crafted, and designed to be great fun. And that's exactly what it is.
The story missions in colonial America are great fun, and aiming for 100% synchronisation is a great challenge. It's been fleshed out a bit this time around, as there are now multiple bonus objectives as opposed to just the one.
Graphically, the game is beautiful. On a decent PC, you'll be amazed at what the Assassin's Creed team at Ubisoft has done. Sound design is spot-on as usual, though I preferred some of the music from AC2. The story is great, in my opinion, but I found the ending to be rather lacking. I didn't expect much from it though.
Overall, Assassin's Creed III is an amazing game that's incredibly difficult to pick fault with. Definitely a game of the year contender, and easily the best open-world adventure released in 2012.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.0Dec 15, 2012This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I wouldn't normally write a review based on about 2 hours of playing a game, but I'm at the point where I can't even force myself to carry on with Resident Evil 6.
Now don't get me wrong, I love Resident Evil. I mean, thanks to RE5 - not the best in the series by a long shot, but still an enjoyable experience - I use Wesker's final scream of "CHRIIIIIS!!" as my username on most things now. The first 3 games were great survival horror games, and the only thing that let Code Veronica down was it's cartoony graphic style. RE4 took the series in a great new direction, and RE5 built on that and added a fun co-op mechanic. Then things started going downhill - Operation Raccoon City was painful to play, but I had no idea that the usual Resident Evil team would use that as the basis for RE6!
Resident Evil 6 is a third-person action game, and a bad one at that. It starts out with a big explosion, and the next thing you know you're running away from exploding cars and flying a damaged helicopter through a big city. Not the best way to draw someone in to what is essentially a zombie game.
As I said at the start of this review, I've only played a couple of hours. The first chapter of Leon's campaign to be precise. And it was such an awful, clunky, Quick Time Event-ridden mess that I straight up refused to carry on. I was killed constantly by trains and cars because the QTE for dodging didn't come up thanks to another QTE for killing a zombie overriding it. It's QTE-ception!
Anyway, the controls aren't great, despite finally being able to run without holding a button (you still use A to sprint, but it's a start at least). For some reason, the melee attacks are so powerful you can take down a standard zombie in about 3 hits. Each hit stun-locks them as well, making this the go-to approach for thinning the herds. A HUGE departure from ammo-conserving survival horror.
The first chapter of Leon's campaign consisted of a nice, atmospheric run through a dark, almost abandoned college campus. "This is getting better", I thought. WRONG! Jump scares and kicking zombies to death! The kicking part might sound cool, but it's actually pretty boring, and feels rigid when you're actually doing it. The amount of QTEs is too damn high as well. "Quick, tap A! Wiggle the left stick! Press X to not die!" This is not my idea of fun. That being said, the bit where you get in a car and have to search for the keys, start it up, and drive off before the zombies break in and kill you was pretty tense though, and a good way of handling QTEs. Shame about the hundreds of other bad uses of them in this game.
My interest in the game gradually lessened by the underground section - narrow corridors where you can barely see anything (even with the brightness turned up), trains coming along with very little warning - see the QTE issue I previously mentioned - and zombies literally jumping at you out of the shadows. Sounds fun. Tense, even. Nope. It's painfully dull, and this is where the cheap deaths began.
Shortly after the awful underground section, you're back on street level. Zombies everywhere, but that's not the problem. Cars come out of nowhere with absolutely no warning or way to tell where they're going to veer off.
After getting flattened by an ambulance whilst getting screamed at by a REALLY ANNOYING enemy a bunch of times, I gave up. I simply wasn't having fun. The game is a chore to play, and so far the story isn't even interesting. I have no reason to carry on with it.
So, the positive things about this game... The graphics are nice, despite being horrendously dark, and the sound design is good, but not the best out there by far. Gameplay is generic and feels like a slightly improved Operation Raccoon City, which isn't a good thing. Story just isn't interesting so far. I can't honestly recommend RE6 to Resident Evil fans, let alone anyone else. If you feel that you absolutely MUST play this game, rent it. Don't waste your money on it.
My 3 out of 10 is based on the graphic/sound design. Like I said, it's pretty good. I can't honestly say a positive thing about the gameplay. It's just that bad.… Expand