What makes a great game? A couple of things but in the case of this series is taking your last game and making it better. I've been playing this game practically non stop since I got it and I am loving every minute of it. The story, combat, gameplay, free running, everything.
The story is really really good to say in the least. Surprisingly, the Revolution is a side part of this game, whereas Connor is not focusing on dealing with the war rather the people behind it. The game also does an interesting thing with the antagonists, the Templars, humanizing them rather than keeping them as a black and white bad guy. There are some minor shocks but none I will spoil. I also especially like that Desmond actually gets to do something major in this. The further point withstanding, you'll be tasked with collecting things which will aid you in saving the world as well as getting more information on the first civilization and their combat against the armaggedon that is to come.
The combat is awesome to say the least. Everything feels more fluid and gone are the days of mass chain kills of the last game. Though there are still chain kills, a lot more of the enemies are too strong to be taken on with simple attacks. What I found was most awesome about this combat was the four button counter. The first is a disarm which allows you to, you guessed it, disarm opponents. This can be used on just about anyone but when it really comes in handy is when you're facing down grenadiers and captains who can't be hit by normal counters. Next is the normal counter. After using this, any enemy will be killed immediately and start a chain kill combo. Some enemies can't be taken down by this like the two I mentioned up above. Next is the push, which allows you to push an enemy behind you and possibly into another or to a fall to their death. The last is a ranged counter. This comes in two flavors: enemy shields and shooting an enemy. Once you've blocked an enemy, ranged counter allows you to shoot them immediately after. Enemy shields happen when a line is formed and all enemies are taking aim at you, forcing you to run out of the line of sight or use and enemy as a shield. I'm also surprised to say that the naval combat is actually very good. It has a splash of fun with a bit of realism and some terror from the battles that ensue.
The voice casting in this game is amazing. You get the feeling that a person was picked beautifully for their role as everyone sounds exactly as they should. I thought their might be a bunch of British accents and a few others sprinkled here but that wasn't the case. The Native American's voices were beautifully picked, especially Connor's. I especially liked how they put in a different language like the other games. I don't quite understand it but I know it's meant to be an Native American language. There's a splice of french here and there and a few Scottish voices as well. Nice to know I wouldn't have to sit through 30 hours of British people.
Free running is pretty fluid at times, and when it's not its frustrating. I found myself jumping up on barrels when I didn't want to and my character would start wigging out and just keep jumping back on it up and down stuck there for a while. It's easy to get out of it, but frustrating when it starts. This has been a problem in the other titles so maybe it's just my fault.
What's up with the character's faces? Desmond looks kind of glazed over when I see him, Shawn is pretty bland and Rebecca doesn't even look like herself anymore. Was this like a choice or did something happen? Desmond's dad is by far the most normal looking one. The characters in the animus however look absolutely amazing. Everyone is detailed down to the dot. When a character is pissed, the muscles on their face move accordingly and they look properly pissed. Same can be said for all the other emotions. It's not that I'm bagging on this but more so asking why are the faces in the present crap compared to the faces in the animus? Also, there's a couple bugs. It's not bad cause it's to be expected with an Assassin's Creed game as well as with such a massive world. Also the ending is really... sequel heavy or at the very least DLC. It's really cryptic and kind of leaves us asking what will happen now. I'm all for a new Assassin's Creed game but at some point the whole end of the world thing gets tiring. I personally would like to see an entirely new protagonist but that's just me.
All in all, this is a great game. There is plenty to do in missions as well as side quests, completing challenges, grabbing the many pages, the couple trinkets and the thousand feathers, you'll find yourself running from one mission to the next. To put you in the image of what you're dealing with, I bought this game and played it around 12 a.m. when it came out, been playing it for about three days straight and still I just barely passed the 50% mark. I haven't even played the multiplayer yet. BUY THIS GAME. It's totally awesome. I was kind of disappointed with Revelations but this game took note and more than delivered on a truly awesome and amazing experience.
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