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Assassins Creed III back to reviews
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I Like to be in Ah-mer-ee-ka
The advertisements for Assassins Creed III felt like they were doing everything possible to sell the game as The Patriot, complete with chest beating jingoism and cries of FREEEEDOM! Surprisingly, the game is anything but this. I guess Ubisoft felt they couldn't market a game as a balanced and insightful depiction of American history. I don't know who that speaks worse of.

I can't understate the painstaking efforts taken on the setting, politics and story. You don't even get that sort of thing in most games. The game still has that ridiculous meta-plot involving ancient aliens, worldwide conspiracies and Mayan doomsday prophesies, but I've learnt to tolerate that by now. I suppose the AC franchise would look far more ridiculous if no context was provided for ninja assassins running around Medieval Europe. Hokey sci-fi plot aside, the actual story within the story is excellently put together and I appreciated it a great deal. The protagonist, Conner, can be kind of uninteresting, possessing even less personality than Desmond. That said, he is offset by the other playable character; Colonial era James Bond. He's chilled as fuck, and the game vastly improves whenever he comes along to put Conner in his place.

The most common criticisms of Assassin's Creed games is that they are boring and repetitive. This is still an issue with AC 3. There are only so many times one can free run, shank, and counter-strike without it getting dull. I've only played the three main AC titles, and in spite of the swanky new mechanics, weapons and take downs, I was just wanting to get on with the story. I can't imagine how tedious it must be for people who have played all the titles up to now. The issue is made worse by the fact that it takes hours for the game to remove the training wheels stops lecturing you. Even the regular loading screens test your patience. The sea battles offer the most interesting change up and they are a lot of dumb fun, but the rest of the trading and political mini games aren't worth a damn.

In conclusion, AC 3 is an occasionally fun, occasionally tedious game with an arresting story and a love of history. I can recommend it on the writing alone, but I can't deny that you might eventually lose patience with it.

Yeah, the thing is, Americans in general tend to really really like America, and generally don't tend to hold those who've opposed it in high regard. It hasn't been that long since the American Revolution, after all, and stronger grudges have been held for longer times. The ideal of the fight to form this new, great nation is still pretty ingrained in American culture, and the quest for independence and carving one's own trail has been the basis of upbringing in the country for generations. So Ubisoft wouldn't have had much success if they tried to market the game's story how it really is. The vast majority of your audience is going to look at your typical redcoat and think "those are the bad guys who oppose THE AMERICAN DREAM", and they aren't going to identify with the concept of morally placing these two opponents on equal ground.

And really, I can't imagine how'd they do that in the first place. You are an Assassin, and in this game they're more or less on the side of the Americans. I mean, if you look at the basic, fundamental ideologies of the two overarching groups, the Assassins have always represented the individual, pursuit of freedom, liberty above all else, while the Templars have been about order, stability, and the sacrifice of some freedoms for the greater good (and also corruption but that's beside the point). When you have a historical setting about a group of people who want to break away from control and create their own way, and you're fighting on their side, it's hard to make the enemy look equal in your marketing. So yeah, I could hardly expect Ubisoft to really represent and equality of ideology in the ads, though gladly they did so in the actual game.
comment #18561 GyraSolune 20th Mar 13
Oh, agreed 100% over why they did it...and yet it still feels kind of ridiculous that the trailers have to basically mislead the viewer, so as to not upset their romanticised, rose tinted perspective of a 250 year old historical event. No one expects AC games, of all things, to be authoritative depictions of history in the first place.

I also don't mind the assassins siding with the Americans (and the Templars with the British). As you say, ideologically, it makes perfect sense. It helps that the game really makes the time to show both sides of the conflict, making both the British and the Templars into fully fleshed out, and potentially sympathetic characters, whilst remembering to show the dark side of the patriots and the Assassin's. The age old question of freedom vs order doesn't get immediately answered one way or another, and I'm pleased that they didn't just take the lazy route and champion freedom as the obvious, sanitised and plausible choice.
comment #18580 maninahat 22nd Mar 13
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