Hello my awesome readers!
It's me, That Dude, and I'm finally back with another post! I actually started this a while ago, but because of how big it was going to be I was having trouble finding time to work on it. Anyway, I figured I'd come back and finish it :D
I have finally beaten AC III and completed the AC series, with the exception of AC I, and I can now review the series as a whole! (I wrote this before the announcement of AC 4 Black Flag :P )
I won't say to much about the story because I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't played the games, or plans on playing them. What I will say is that it is historical fiction styled with a few sci-fi elements. I highly enjoy historical fiction, so I found the story awesome!
I give the story as a whole, 8/10 I am very curious as to how the story will continue in Black Flag.
Characters such as Ezio are developed quite well, however you don't really connect much to the main protagonist, Desmond Miles. He is honestly way less interesting then any of the assassins you play as (Though Altair isn't much better from what I've seen of the first game), and even less interesting then some of the other present day characters.
I can't comment much on Altair because half way through the game, a glitch occurred that kept me from starting the next mission. Pretty much my only option now is to restart from the beginning, and I've just not gotten motivated to start over. AC I is nowhere near as good as AC II or any of the other games after that. Speaking of AC II, Ezio is hands down the best character in the series, and it makes sense why they made three whole games with him as the main Assassin. He has a really interesting and developed character, you see him grow through each game, and he's just plain epic! Renaissance Italy is probably my favorite time period in the series, and the clothing style seen in Ezio's outfit is awesome!
AC I's mechanics and handling gets a 7/10
Now, AC II, AC Brotherhood, AC Revelations, and AC III have all added new abilities to the existing mechanics. AC II introduced the most content, so let's talk about that one. Right away, the blending mechanic is both improved and expanded. Instead of being able to "blend" in anywhere, you move your character into groups of people, onto benches, or into hay bales. If nobody saw you enter these hiding places, you are hidden. This worked so much better, and felt so much more realistic. Another game play change is a visible detection meter above your enemies heads. This slowly fills up if you are in a restricted area, or on a rooftop. Rooftop guards are jerks who don't want anyone to stand on the roofs, but who's to say you don't live in the house you're standing on? :P Either way, it makes for some fun assassinations on roof guards! AC II also added objective markers! Now, when you want to start a mission you simply go to the exclamation point on your map, and you can play the next mission in the story. I say that because if you just want to play in the open world a bit, you can easily avoid accidentally starting a story mission. Not that that was a problem in the first game lol but just know that once you walk into the glowing area the mission will start. Another thing that is was added to the game were stores! You can deck out Ezio in increasingly stronger armor, as well as equipment that increases the amount of medicine (Potions) and ammunition for different weapons. The addition of several special weapons also make the game even more fun. And of course, one of the biggest improvements to the game is Ezio. Ezio is just plain awesome, and since I've already talked about him above, I'll just leave it at that.
AC II in combination with Brotherhood and Revelations (Since not much changes game play wise through them.) get a 8 out of 10! One thing that detracts from the score is Revelation's removal of horses when free roaming the city, as well as the pointless, and terrible tower defense mini game. The hook blade was cool, though a little confusing as it still seems to be able to function as a regular hidden blade, despite the fact it doesn't even look pointed.
Now, Conner... I honestly like him the least out of the characters so far. He's a jerk a lot of the time, and he's also a really flat and at times boring character. I'm not gonna say much about him, (Since there isn't much to say about him) but the only thing I really liked about him was his combat skills, and those aren't much different from the other Assassins. Instead, let's talk about the game play changes. The combat system and parkour system have gotten the biggest changes. When you get into combat, you no longer have to hold R1 and Square to counter kill, nor do you hold R1 and press any of the other face buttons. A new system is introduced that both simplifies the fighting system as well as makes it overly easy. You now simply hit Circle (I'm using PS3 controls as my reference btw) which counters an enemy attack as well as slightly slowing down time. During this short slow-mo, you can choose to hit one of the four face buttons. Square will counter kill most enemies, Triangle will use your projectile weapon to kill, and I believe x throws the enemy, but it's been a little while since I've played. You can also counter when in the middle of an execution, and this is great for those many times that I've found myself in the middle of stabbing an unfortunate guard in the face, only to be clubbed from behind by some brute before I can "FINISH HIM!". While this is a cool and often life saving addition, it also makes combat that much more easy. The other problem I have is that you can no longer just draw your weapon and fire/swing it. You have to be in combat, or targeting someone to use your weapons. It's not the biggest deal, but it was nice to have that freedom. I'd take out my sword or club, and just test how the weapon handled. Another change is the health system. You no longer have medicine to restore your health, it has gone back to ACI where your health only regenerates once you have killed or escaped your enemies. This is not a big deal due to the ease of combat. Another fun addition is the meat shield trick. When you are about to get shot, you can grab a nearby enemy and use him as a body guard! It is pretty funny, especially because you can do it really early, and there are several seconds that go by before the enemy shoots. You'd think they'd maybe not shoot if it is clear they are just going to shoot their friend, Joe. One thing I just remembered about the combat is the rope dart. It is the biggest Easy Button ever! It works against pretty much every enemy type, light or heavy, and makes combat extremely easy. All you have to do is press triangle, then Conner throws the rope dart just like Scorpion minus the "Get over here!" and pulls the enemy forward and off their feet. You then need only press Square and Conner will stab the man in the back, killing him. And this way of using rope darts does not lose them, so you can do it an unlimited amount of times.The main problem I have with AC III is how easy the combat has become. Little timing is required as it goes slow-mo once you counter, and the rope darts make for really easy kills. The hunting system is ok, but it didn't blow me out of the water either. Also, there is next to no armor to unlock or buy, so that's a downer :( however, the main redeeming factor of AC III is the sea battles! It is awesome to control your ship and you even have to account for wind when trying to control it. I've heard that the ship mechanic will be expanded on in Black Flag to include free roam! So here's hoping that's true. I should also mention you can upgrade your ship, but it is still disappointing that you only get to use it during actual missions and not in any sort of free roam.
AC III gets a 7.5 out of 10 for fairly good mechanics, though easily exploitable weapons. Also, the most interesting characters are the ones base on actual people, rather than Conner.
I have loved the AC series, and though there are flaws I still really enjoy them for their story, and the unique gaming mechanics. Of course, since not much has changed through the games, it is getting less unique, but it is unique to the series non the less. I give the AC series (Excluding Black Flag of course) an 8 out of 10. There hasn't been a huge amount of changes to game play or missions through the series, and I think that's the main problem, but the story is cool and there are some great characters. Hope you enjoyed this big review, and as usual, keep being awesome!
I'm That Dude
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