Average User Score: 6.8Jan 19, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I can't believe a game would receive the ratings ACIII did when it was shipped in a fairly un-playable state for most of the launch week. Either the reviewers at the major review sites were completely oblivious to the hundreds of flaws in the game or decided to overlook them in their reviews, both of which are deplorable acts.
In any case, ACIII was a mixed experience for me. I've been playing the series since the beginning. I don't share the disdain for Altair that other have and I loved Ezio to death as a character. Coming into ACIII, I expected a deviation back from Ezio towards an Altair-like character. I wasn't disappointed when Connor met my expectations. However, the degree at which he did was beyond what I could stomach for a decent character. Unlike both of his predecessors, Connor felt like the most abysmal, under-developed, and dry stereotyped character of the series to date. Connor's voice acting was weak, didn't evoke much emotion in me, and felt like the story was being read during a practice session of reader's theater. Connor's story was so tragically constructed that I went back and played more on Haytham than Connor during my second run-through. To that end, it's sad when your main character doesn't attach to the player in ways the antagonist does. I found that to be the single most damaging flaw in the entire narrative.
ACIII's missions were like the previous games. I won't complain about them since I like them. I will complain about the fact that it took me 10-15 times to finish some missions on 100% completion simply because the game engine was so flawed that nothing you did would allow the objectives to be completed correctly. And I won't even begin to mention the terrible quality of the final mission simply because I want that sequence erased from my mind.
ACIII was saved in regards to missions by the ship feature. I admit that I ran through every ship mission as soon as they were unlocked while blaring the "Pirates of the Caribbean" soundtrack. I loved this aspect of the game and hope that Ubisoft iterates on it.
However, ACIII suffered from what a lot of other "AAA" titles have for the past year: cramming far too much unfinished, unpolished, shoddily-coded features alongside the core game. Tree running was fun for the first five minutes, then I realized you could get everywhere faster if you just didn't do it. Horse riding was never the greatest in the AC series, ACIII ruined it past even being considered a viable feature. Lock picking was painfully boring and repetitive compared to other recent games with the feature. I left the building and trading systems alone on my second run-through as I felt they were a gigantic waste of time and developer energy (and I was right). In all, too many un-finished and un-tested features ruined most of the non-storyline experience for me.
My last complaint with the game was the end to Desmond. Like him or hate him, Desmond was a central part of the narrative since AC1. He wasn't as a robust character as I would have hoped for, but ACIII brought out a new perspective on him as you learned more about the world around him and experienced his "awakening" as a modern-day assassin. His death was the single most appalling and maddening experience I've seen in a video game and made me shut down my PS3 and refuse to even play the extended content of the game for a week. I still can't forgive Ubisoft for such a sordid ending to the game and to the Desmond character, so much so that I may forgo any sequels out of sheer spite.
I've loved the AC series, and AC:Revelations set some high expectations for what ACIII would be. I feel Ubisoft trashed those expectations, released a game that was unfit for the market and didn't deserve an "AAA" title classification (not even an "F" classification for the first week).… Expand