Monday, December 22, 2014

3 days of...Assassins Creed III!

A Lesson in History and why NOT to repeat it.

The British are coming...
With the impending annual schedule of the Assassins Creed series, I decided to continue on my way through the episodes. I've already played up to the 3rd in the series, including Brotherhood, and I wanted to see how the series was holding up before moving on to the fourth. To be honest I am sincerely looking forward to play a pirate assassin in the Caribbean, regardless of the technical issues associated with the game. Slogging through what has a reputation as being the most flat game of the series is just something I had to do for continuities sake.

No spoilers, but you kill a bunch of redcoats.
It is very flat. The opening sequence was surprising, but it takes too much time for the sake of the story. The main character should induce some emotional reaction in me, but he is distant and inhuman. His reactions are inappropriate for the circumstances most of the time, and I believe this is the biggest problem with the character. Let's be honest, if I can't relate to the main character and his struggle it becomes more and more difficult to pick the game up time and time again.

There are other ways of doing this rather than introducing emotionally drawn out sequences that are meant to be motivational food for the character. Countless other games have a silent protagonist that I identify with more, probably because I can introduce my own voice as I play the character. No, the dissonance that is established by the time real game play comes around is so pronounced it is impossible to recover from.

Here was the first glitch I came across.
Floating Cannonball!
The reactions of other people to the main character are also unbelivable. Names like Sam Adams, George Washington, and Benedict Arnold are commonplace. But their reactions to a Native American running critical messages, assassinating leaders, and commanding troops is unbelievable. Not that a Native American isn't capable of these things, it's that at the time there was such cultural stress that the looks and attitude in the game don't match what I would expect. Shattering my expectations from history destroys my immersion. I know that since it is a game it isn't supposed to be accurate, but accuracy in some things is necessary for immersion. Especially for an alternate history series no matter how they may change things around. It is a difficult balance to hit, but missing the target all together isn't an option for a major studio like Ubisoft.

So there you have it, my two biggest complaints with the game. I'll leave it there, because there are so many articles about the technical issues plaguing the series. Hopefully I can be more enthralled by future installations of the series, and get back to the feelings of wonder that the second game left me with.

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