A title I SHOULD despise.
To me, one of the worst things a game can do is mitigate the definitive aspects of what gives the franchise it belongs to its quality for the sake of glossing up an otherwise gimmicky or poorly-carrying change in procedure. This game, on a design standpoint, has some of the most severe fundamental issues to the series since the first game, and here they all are.
The main campaign missions are absolutely MIND-NUMBING. The ratio between original or exciting missions and overplayed, slow-paced, tedious, and all around frustrating tailing missions is practically 1:10. An even bigger problem arises when nearly half of the side quests become relegated to that same mission structure (at least the ones based on being on land).
Combat is the absolute worst since AC 1 and maybe even worse than that. Edward fights sloppily, clunky, is almost unresponsive in even the most basic scenarios and ALL of the most common ones, and it's what REALLY drags down the fun that the boarding segments could have had.
I'm gonna get plenty of hate for this, but I didn't much care for Edward. comes off as a gleefully stubborn tool for so long that I was long since disengaged in his comparatively petty plight for the level of his development—his 'charming lovable rogue' BS felt like little more than a facade, which I felt was clearly unintentional on the writers' part after a relatively early point. I found both Ezio and Connor to be far more sincere and to that end, simply better protagonists.
Really, there's not much I can say that lived up to the bare minimum, if that. HOWEVER
, the game emphasized one thing based all upon its ocean-themed world: Playing at YOUR pace. Rarely was anything kept from you during the course of the game while roaming the open seas, and most of what was came around to the player soon enough. Anything relating to the naval combat-ESPECIALLY the battling to take over the sea forts-ranged between impressive to exhilarating, and the dynamic nature of the ocean itself such as storms, waves, other battles going on, ships hunting down your ass, all kept the world from growing stagnant and aided in replay value. In all, this is one of the few breaks from standard procedure that actually made something of it. Is it overrated? Not as much as I think AC 3 is underrated, but I think that balance really helps me hold both in a high regard.