The Worst Game I've Ever Played: Assassin's Creed III

News John Saavedra 5/25/2013 at 1:02PM

You need more than a gimmick to make an awesome game. A reflection on the disaster area that was my once-favorite franchise's latest installment...

It's painful to watch your favorite franchise dig itself into a hole. Or in Assassin's Creed's case, take a leap of faith and miss the pile of hay. The fifth major installment of the series served as a self-destruct button that left both fans and history buffs underwhelmed. Assassin's Creed III broke my heart because I saw an incredible story conclude with a half-assed ending that didn't make any sense and left enough plot holes to make an even more gimmicky upcoming sequel, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.

I'm not even going to buy Black Flag. Why? Because it banks on the naval battles that were side quests in ACIII and blows them up into the main gameplay. If you want to make a game full of what you once considered to be side quests, release some new DLC. Don't insult your fans, gamers in general, by releasing another convoluted sequel that doesn't advance the storyline in any way. A sequel to the present day storyline and a prequel to the ancestral storyline? No, thanks.

It's no accident that the naval battles are the best part of ACIII since they're the only NEW thing in the game. I can't help but feel like Brotherhood and Revelations were tech demos for the larger installment in the same way that Halo: ODST and Halo Reach were stepping stones for Halo 4, a sequel that DID bring a lot of fresh elements to a series that was in danger of becoming bland. You can't depend on jetpacks and bubble shields to get you through to fans.

Well, ACIII depends on the open-world campaign that made it popular five installments ago. Remember when climbing anything and everything was cool? Did you love to jump off of things and stab your targets in the throat? You know how many action adventure games allow you to that now? Infamous, Uncharted, Prototype....the list goes on and on. Don't try to fix it by letting us climb trees and hunt innocent little bunny rabbits. It's time for something new, guys.

Oh, and that merchant system, something I've felt was always unnecessary in the games. Why did I need to buy every blacksmith shop in Rome? Or antique store? Tailor? So that I could have more money than I needed by the end of the game.

We're talking samesies in ACIII, only replace merchants with convoys blah blah blah. GO SAVE YOUR CONVOY, your objective display flashes when you're jumping around in the wilderness looking for bunnies. God knows America will be defeated if you don't deliver those fine furs in time.

Okay, well at least the story was excellent and made your forget about the gameplay's shortcomings...WRONG. Someone tell me what the story is about. Tell me that you felt completely satisfied with the conclusion of the story in which Desmond gets the life force sucked out of him in order to stop the apocalypse. What is this, The Matrix Revolutions? In a universe where gods like Juno, Minerva, and Jupiter hang out in present day New York, there's no room for a messiah story. Absolutely none.

What was so great about ACI was that once you got passed the kindasorta painful repetitive horse rides through the Holy Land, there was a very intriguing story about the corruption of power at the bottom of it all. ACI's ending is the best in the series as you watch the Apple of Eden open up in Altair's hands after he frees Masyaf. Then the screen fades to white and your left with the mystery...Perfect way to leave a sequel open.

The only other time I felt as satisfied was at the end of Revelations when you watch old Ezio retire to the Italian countryside. God knows he deserved it.

How great was it when you didn't have to have your heroes blow up at the end of your games, Ubisoft?

In Ubisoft's defense, they spread themselves thin with the modern day storyline, a part of the story that kind of feels unnecessary at this point (maybe the reason they killed Desmond off? Not really since Ubisoft plans to continue with the storyline...). I mean, we spend most of our time in the past in sick nasty locales fighting historical figures. Everything in the past is epic epic epic. Anything that's happened in the modern storyline since Lucy's death in Brotherhood has felt constipated. I don't care about Desmond's fancy dressed dad. Get your own Animus!

The best idea would be to ditch the uninteresting modern day and just focus on the tale of the ancestors. Make it a story about generations of honorable men who die to keep the world safe from a sinister enemy. Think of the compelling twists and turns as we watch our heroes make the same mistakes as their ancestors, as sons take different paths than their fathers, the familial betrayals (Connor and Haytham's father-son dynamic is the only interesting part of the ACIII story), and one generation passes down the mantle of the Assassin to the next. Anyone that's played the Castlevania series knows that it can be done.

Focus on the history and make it something worth talking about. The battle between the Assassins and the Templars always led to the best conflicts in the game. I loved exploring the history of Masyaf in Revelations. How great were the stories of the founding of Rome in Brotherhood? One of my favorite parts of ACII was being homies with Leonardo Da Vinci.

Ever since the first installment, I always thought that the American Revolution would make an excellent time period for an Assassin's Creed game. When they finally announced that we were going to be able to fight alongside General Washington and riot in the Boston Tea Party, it was a bit surreal. I was pretty excited after Revelations, the kind of fresh adventure the franchise needed: a quest, not for treasure, but for knowledge. But then the unthinkable happened...


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You point out the most minor of mechanics, and make it out like they are the worst things since Adolf Hitler. When I say minor, I literally mean the most pointless of things associated with the game. For instance, the trading mechanic. Oh, you don't care if your convoy's being attacked, then don't go to it then. The modern day story? Yeah, the ending may have been disappointing, but that's about it. The Desmond segments leading to it were satisfactory enough for long term fans of the series to enjoy.

And you also say there were not enough drastic changes to the series, but that is the case for every IP around. For instance, the ones you mentioned about air assassination (Uncharted, etc). However, even more sheerly mindblowing, is the fact that you said that you would not buy ACIVBF. Stating that you were disappointed in ACIII not giving enough change, then refusing to buy the sequel in which the main core mechanic has been changed; is plainly and clearly hypocritical.

In short, the page is incredibly frustrating, in both structure and content. It's a rant about the smallest of things that you didn't find up to expectations. How this can deem ACIII as the worst game you've ever played, and even the worst game of all time (see tags), is completely baffling. Saying this article is a representation of the fans' opinions is pretty offensive, when you look back. Seeing as though I am one myself, classing Ubisoft's title is a disappointment to all is not correct.

While I agree that it isn't the worst game ever made, I think he claims it as so because of his disappointment from it. HIS disappointment from the game.

Also, we don't KNOW that ACIVBF has been changed enough, that's just what Ubisoft is saying. That's his point. Every year, many IPs claim "newest this" or "we changed that", but a lot of the time it's just marketing and not actually true. He's not going to mindlessly purchase the game just because UBISOFT says it's better, I would assume he's going to wait for general public opinion.

i literally signed in just to downgrade ur post and tell you that AC3 had shit gameplay( i never had to use the rope dart even once), the worst protagonist ( wanted to punch connor everytime), worst side characters ( the black mentor guy was another meh guy) , shit ending chase scene, a muck up of a ending, bugs littered throughout the game, and in general wasnt an enjoyable experience.

With altair or ezio, i never wanted to keep the controller down

I believe the fact that the main core mechanic has been changed is evident not just from Ubisoft's word of mouth. It is seen as a 50/50 change between gameplay on land and gameplay on sea. And he didn't say that he would wait for ACIV, he simply said that he wouldn't buy it at all - and described the game's minor mechanics as the reason throughout.

Thanks. Signing in to just to downgrade my opinion of the article's purpose and opinion of the game in general. Means a lot.

I'm with you Mitesh. I just finished playing this crap. I skipped all the boring cutscenes and must have saved myself 5 hours doing so. I did nothing with the homestead, ocean missions, never bought a weapon or hunted, or used the convoy system.

Here's the thing, if I could finish the game without doing any of those things, they don't belong in the game. You put in complex systems, then there should be a tangible reason/reward for them. The game offered none.

ACIII MADE ME GO GET THE OTHERS CAUSE I LOVED IT SO MUCH
IT WAS MY FIRST PS3 GAME

ya bad game, ubisoft..

garbage game, on top of the immeasurably high mountain of things it does wrong, I will account for 3 very simple things, why is there no stealth? why don't you assassinate anything other than animals for no reason? and why are there random undeveloped naval missions that have no connection to anything other than oh shit he can sail boats too?
Good for You if you still play this game.

I agree with many of the points you make. In short, AC3 sucks, but my biggest complaint is the naval ops section. The Aquila is a poorly remade garbage scow some one found half sinking in Martha's Vineyard. It can't sail; can't maneuver; can't fight. In other words it is the most useless vessel i have ever come across in any game in my two decades of playing! After I foundered my way through AC3, AC4 was a blessing, and a breath of fresh salt air. I am seriously tempted to uninstall AC3 and use the DVD for a paper weight while I sail the seas as a pirate in AC4.