November 6, 2012

Review – Assassin’s Creed III

Assassins Creed III
After five entries I imagine it’s easy to overlook the level of craft in the Assassin’s Creed series. Meticulously rendered locations and historical accuracy is par for the course at this point, but thankfully Assassin’s Creed III brings these elements back to the forefront by leveraging the most interesting setting, backstory, and secondary characters in the entire series.

The American Revolution is explored with a balanced perspective, and historical information is poured on in such a way that even the most oblivious player will be compelled to think critically about the stage and the motivations of the actors.

This is not Assassin’s Creed: SUPER PATRIOT EDITION. Bad people and bad choices are everywhere; compromise is ubiquitous. The game begs you to look deeper into the conflict, and it works. That most players will have a stronger working knowledge of the history here than in previous entries is a massive boon to the story being told; it’s easier to grasp opposing viewpoints when the nature of the disagreement is easily understood, allowing the game to more deftly elaborate on the moral struggles the series has always tried to illuminate.


January 23, 2011

Catching up with the Brotherhood

Assassins Creed: Brotherhood
It’s not easy to get behind a franchise that has made the decision to go annual. The knowledge that the machinery has aligned specifically to bludgeon every last dollar out of the property (and the consumer) is grave in its implications. As an adherent to the existing systems for emulating assassins and their creeds, Ubisoft’s decision to Call-of-Dutyerize Assassin’s Creed was, for me, an ominous sign; the gong of some distant bell signalling the end of all things, save a string of uninspired sequels.

Then, of course, there was the multiplayer. One recalls the dial-it-in multiplayer solutions for traditionally single-player games like Bioshock and Metroid Prime and would be forgiven for groaning audibly. Equally, the human capacity to defy carefully crafted mechanics and break multiplayer game design is well known. Surely, Assassin’s Creed would have no chance of maintaining a mechanic based on careful stealth and patience among the multiplayer community.

Rarely is being wrong so satisfying.


Powered by WordPress