My Assassin’s Creed obsession continues; I finally finished AC3. This is the Revolutionary War game that most folks didn’t seem to like very much. I played the Xbox 360 version via backwards compatibility on the Xbox One and it was a little glitchy. I’m not sure if that was due to the game itself or the backwards compatibility factor.
Still, I enjoyed it. You might hear people complain about the game having a 5 hour tutorial or some such madness. It’s not true but it does have an odd structure. The main character is Conner in this one (outside the animus it’s still Desmond) but for the first few hours you play as another character. It’s not tutorial but nor is it as open as most AC games. Still I thought it set things up nicely and I didn’t mind it at all.
Conner ends up being a Forrest Gump-like character for the middle of the game. He’s defending the colonists as they dump tea in Boston Harbor, he’s riding through the night with Paul Revere, he’s at Bunker Hill. I loved these bits. In fact I loved the setting of this game. I have to admit I didn’t love Conner himself. He’s kind of a tragic figure; he’s been raised as Native American (his mother was Native American, his father was British) and he’s trying to protect his people, but he’s also helping the colonists drive out the British. We of course know that things won’t end well for his people but even now I’m not sure he was fighting on the right side. My issue with him was that he always seemed naive and/or pig-headed. He never stopped to question the motives of the colonists, and he’d barge into ridiculous situations and get himself captured.
Gamewise my only real gripe was the progression thing I was talking about when discussing Breath of the Wild the other day. It’s an AC game so your character doesn’t level up or anything, but he never really geared up either. There’re some interesting side-systems like producing goods and selling them via convoys, and there are naval missions and missions to improve your “Homestead” but in the end the income you made from all of this was kind of pointless since there wasn’t much to buy. I upgraded Conner’s sword once, and crafted a 2nd pistol holster and that was about it.
Outside the animus, this is the end of an arc. The assassins have been trying to stop the calamity that was going to purge the earth for the second time (in December 2012…remember when that was a thing) and they succeeded, but not without paying a heavy price. We actually learn a lot about Those Who Came Before in this game, or at least a lot about what happened to them.
You might think after playing 4 Assassin’s Creed games in a row (AC2, AC Brotherhood, AC Revelations, AC III) I might have had enough. I thought I’d had enough. Every time I get close to the end of one of these games I think “Whew, finally done with AC for a while.” but then the endings always hook me. Same thing here. I rolled right into Assassin’s Creed Rogue.
And OMG I’m glad I did. So far Rogue is VERY similar to Black Flag in a lot of ways, and I loved Black Flag. Rather than playing a pirate you’re in the North Atlantic, prior to the Revolutionary War. In fact AC3, AC Black Flag and AC Rogue weave together really nicely. Your home base (at least early on) is the Davenport Homestead…which was the Homestead you had to rebuild in AC 3. Achilles, the old man who is your mentor in AC 3, is your mentor here too, but he’s a young man and his wife and son are still alive at the start of the game. Early on Adéwalé, who was Kenway’s quartermaster in Black Flag, comes to visit. He’s older; this takes place after AC 4 and after the Adéwalé side-story game.
So putting the pieces togeher, Rogue ties together Black Flag and AC III chronologically. Oh and it also tells us what we heavily suspected: that Conner in AC 3 is Edward Kenway’s (main character of AC Black Flag) grandson!
The more I play these games, the more sad I am that this fall’s AC Origins looks like it might be a kind of reboot. At the very least it won’t have historical events that we’re familiar with, given that it takes place in ancient Egypt. Leave it to me to get hooked on a game series just as it pivots. Though I’m going to take my time with Rogue and savor it, and then I have Unity and Syndicate still waiting (Unity got a bad wrap for being really buggy but I’m told it was patched eventually and that the PS4 Pro’s “Boost Mode” helps with framerate issues so I’m hoping it’ll be OK to play).