Average User Score: 8.0Mar 2, 2013A great stealth game, that captures the spirit of old Shinobi games while adapting it to a new generation of gaming. Great graphics, perfectA great stealth game, that captures the spirit of old Shinobi games while adapting it to a new generation of gaming. Great graphics, perfect animations, very inspired level design and a upgrade system that gives more option without mindlessly increasing power combine to make this an outstanding game. It's also a great PC port: it works perfectly well with the keyboard, controls are very responsive, menus work very well with keyboard and mouse. This is a very good example of how to make a ninja game, a stealth game and a PC port.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.2Feb 23, 2013This... Is a very bad game.
The AC franchise has been losing much of its challenge since the second game. Now, in the series' fifth game,This... Is a very bad game.
The AC franchise has been losing much of its challenge since the second game. Now, in the series' fifth game, everything is so easy it feels like a joke. Enemies can be instantly killed by counter attacks which may be followed by single-hit kills on almost all nearby enemies; to make it even worse, now a big red icon flashes over an enemy when he's about to attack, allowing for perfect counters and thus making combat mostly a quick time event.
Moving around has been made easier, too now running is under a "safe mode", in which the playable character will automatically run and leap through the available path, avoiding jumps that would make him fall. Platforming sequences are, thus, a joke just hold the running key and forward, and the character will automatically progress to the next area.
I understand this change it's a way to deal with the lack of precise controls which has always plagued the franchise. It's the wrong way to deal with it, too instead of giving better controls, removing the need for them is basically throwing the baby with the water. Somewhat ironically, controls for everything else were actually made worse. The intriguing interface mirroring each key to a specific body part has been completely removed, and replaced by having two keys doing most actions, often overlapping them. Dual assassinations are even less precise now, and jumping, in the few moments it's needed, is the clumsiest it has ever been.
Even the basics of the AC franchise have been made worse. Viewing points don't reveal the entire map around them anymore, and many of them are exactly the same. Navigating above the ground has been made worse by having trees following very specific paths, so they are of very limited utility, and having buildings far from each other so jumping through them is often not doable. Side missions have been reduced to literally fedex quests or just killing a random, unnamed enemy standing around no story, no special circumstance to each killing, nothing. Even voice acting, which had always been brilliant in the franchise, takes a hit as the main character speaks with a monotone voice that remains as the voice of a teenager while he grows older in the game.
The setting is also lacking in comparison to the other games. The first Assassin's Creed was somewhat revolutionary by, despite having the September 11 attacks still fresh in memory, portraying the protagonist as a follower of Islam fighting against a mostly Western organization, and doing so with respect. While Ubisoft avoided the trap of denigrating a different culture, in Assassin's Creed 3 they fall for the opposite sin, by overstating the virtues of the American culture. Having one of the first interactive conversations in the game being a very long dialogue about how Benjamin Franklin was a very successful womanizer was only the first sign of the hubris America is portrayed with.
To make things worse, while graphic quality is huge the sea in the first sequences was incredibly beautiful, perfectly realistic the world is actually ugly. Boston is dominated by the same pastel colors everywhere, in a sharp contrast to Veneza in AC2. The Frontier looks the same in all its areas. NPCs and enemies have no variation.
Compounding the issue, the user interface on the PC is horrible, clearly a bad console port. The map requires the use of two different cursors, instead of simply allowing us to click on map markers, and more than once simply got stuck. Menus are horrible: they have been split on a "tab" menu and a "esc" menu for no reason, often do not respond to mouse clicks, sometimes fail to work with the mouse wheel, are a pain to close, and so on. Some of the interfaces are so bad, and so badly optimized for the PC, that not only they sometimes bug but also ruin entire additions to the game, such as the crafting system.
This is a recurrent issue within the game: there have been many new additions to gameplay... And nearly all of them are bad. Most consist of doing menial activities over and over, like hunting or selling goods through convoys; those things feel like shores, notsomething fun. The only fun addition are the naval missions, but even those become repetitive very soon. And despite new systems, there are very few tutorials explaining how they work in game. So my wagon is under attack and I need to go defend it? Sure, but where is it? Why doesn’t the game explain that those convoys are only visible within one map?
Simply said, there is nothing fun in this game. Stealth is completely meaningless, while it should have been the focus of the franchise. Combat and movement have been made so easy they are jokes now. Side missions have been replaced by empty grind. The setting is ugly, as well as bland. The user interface is horrible. I honestly could not make myself to play this game beyond sequence 7... And watching the end, it's a disappointment. Like everything else.… Expand