Despite what some online comparisons indicate, the remaster is the superior version of the game.
Let’s preface this one differently. I was a big Assassin’s Creed fan but AC3 greatly reduced my love for it. And Unity murdered it. When I played that game all those years ago, I was disappointed on all fronts. I was also setting really high expectations that could not be reached. And I wanted to beat the game before the real life “December 21, 2012” end of the word scenario so I rushed through all of it. Hated the difficulty, the setting was underused, Connor wasn’t a good protagonist, and lots of bugs and grievances with the detection settings for NPCs.
Well, I either completely sucked back then, or Assassin’s Creed III Remastered is a much better experience. This re-release comes with a remaster of Liberation HD (a remaster of a remaster?) as well. This remaster came out March 29, 2019 and either is free with your Assassin’s Creed Odyssey season pass or in the store for $40. The season pass for Odyssey costs $40 so you have almost no reason to not have that marvel of a game and its DLC packs. So, is it worth a revisit after so many years? Or perhaps, for those who haven’t played it, a decent entry?
There will be a video on this in the near future but this title is the subject to a bit of controversy. If you look for graphical comparisons on Youtube, you will see that some of them imply it to be superior, yet others imply that it is worse. Whether it is misrepresenting the game on purpose or not, this review is from the “Xbox One X” version of the game, so the most graphically powerful console release. I can personally confirm that the release is highly superior in the graphical department. With the exception of a handful of faces, you’re getting better looks across the entire board. You have better color with HDR, lively landscapes, and incredible textures.
You can’t really change an entire story in a remaster, can you? What you CAN do is try to engage your player more this time around. AC3 tells the story of… Haytham Kenway? Yes, the game pulls a reverse Metal Gear Solid 2. A sizeable chunk of the game has you playing as a character who is completely absent from all of the marketing materials. After a while, you do finally get to Connor or Kanien’kehá:ka (don’t try to pronounce it, just give up). The problem with this character is the game gives him a very rich setup due to the events of the first hours of gameplay. Yet at every turn, Connor manages to remain as dull as humanly possible. More on that in audio.
The other issue is that the setting doesn’t really do a good job at expressing the ins and outs of the Revolutionary War. Sure, there’s a lot of text you can read, but in terms of the game on its own, you basically just jump in and out of several world-famous events. Funnier is that it implies that Connor was at the front of all of them. Paul Revere? Connor? Boston Massacre? Connor. Boston Tea Party? Connor. The freaking battle at Chesapeake Bay? Connor.
Really stretching the believability, but then again this series more firmly expresses itself as alternate history. This makes the second time around a lot more enjoyable. Not to mention, I personally was able to focus more on a lot of content I had to pass on because I was so eager to finish.
It’s not every day you come across a voice actor who is a direct descendant of American indigenous tribes with a fine understanding of their languages, but here we are. Noah Watts, of the Blackfeet nation, voices our protagonist Connor. He speaks English and… not English. #OnlyTheFacts | Now, as said before, Connor is a dry and wooden protagonist. This is really not the fault of the actor. The dialog given for his character contains little in the way of flair or emotion. He speaks very directly at all times. He comes in two flavors, deliberate and agitated. That’s it. The rest of the cast wasn’t too great either. As for SFX? They’re mediocre. Nothing wrong about them but nothing to grab your attention.
I must make it painstakingly clear though, this game has one of the GREATEST original scores in the entire Assassins Creed franchise. That genuinely made the game a good experience overall. Quite emotional too, making up for some of the acting.
So, at the time it came out, AC3 had a bit of a difficult learning curve. A lot of the combat mechanics, controls, and gameplay style of the game change in the transition from the Ezio trilogy to III. However, coming directly off of AC: Odyssey, the game is retroactively easier to come to grips with. If anything, the game feels more limited. No dedicated stealth mode button. Combat is the old style of “counter-attack kills” that were prominent in most of the series. The simplicity of the game in comparison to the new game actually made it feel a bit more streamlined. It was almost arcade-like to play this game after every game we’ve had since.
It also seems as thought a lot of changes streamline the overall experience. Some redundancies were eliminated. Enemy detection appeared to be slower. The ship combat was easier to handle. Every step of the way, quality of life improvements are there, on every front. Oh, and the load times, those are some short load times. Especially for fast traveling and desynchronizing.
The fact that I took my time to play through more of the game is a very big deal. This time around, I bothered to unlock all the fast travel locations in the underground. It was a bit grindy, but manageable. The silly “homestead” missions actually felt like they were worth the time. That is despite the fact that the “convoy” system of the game was an absolute waste of time and needlessly complicated. I did all the district liberations and recruited all 6 support assassins. I did several of the optional naval battles. Not everything could be helped. The almanac pages are still dumb, as are all of the other fetch items the game throws at you. But I must stress that above all else, I had a much, MUCH better time playing this game again. I was supposed to be playing other games, yet I kept coming back to this re-release time and time once more.
Assassin’s Creed III Remastered is a huge improvement on the original iteration. Between the streamlining of gameplay elements, the simplicity, and the visual quality? This is a good remaster that has been released at exactly the right moment. If it has been a while since you last played, give it another shot. If you’ve never played it, also give it a shot. And ignore the real world plot, it’s still crap.
If I find time, I would like to play the Tyranny of King Washington DLC as well as Liberation, but that will have to wait.
A fan favorite, me being the fan, is finally getting the remaster treatment. Onimusha: Warlords is the first entry in a PS2 era series that revolves around Legendary samurai Samonosuke going toe to toe with mega warlord Oda Nobunaga. Did I mention Nobunaga also teamed up with the demons of the underworld? No. Well, that’s a thing!
God of War, Yakuza 6 and some other less important stuff.
It’s been a long time coming but the worst part of the pre-E3 drought is here. Well, I guess that’s not entirely true. It was a great release week for PS4 so it can’t be the worst. The worst is when there are no good releases and news is as dry as last week. Either way this week sucked pretty bad too. But as always I did my best to bring some glorious, or at least interesting, news for my fellow Lucky Gamers:
1. To play alone or not to play alone?
I would never have thought that the day would come where I would be questioning how much longer single player games have left. Sure on one hand we have the incredible single player adventures like God of War or Yakuza. But on the other, we have the recent rumor that this years Call of Duty may arrive with no single player campaign. That is crazy. Absolutely unexpected. The rumor is this years Call of Duty ran out of development time to perfect the single player campaign and it was scrapped. Of course, this could all be hype train boarding because all parties involved have declined to comment. If Call of Duty goes campaign free, it may set the example that single player is dead. At least for triple A titles. Is that something we are ready for? My answer: No.
2. The Anthem Story.
Mass Effect: Andromeda’s story was so poorly received that EA and Bioware haven’t been able to shake the nightmares. Now on the rumors of an industry shaking decision, Bioware has go on record to say that they are focusing heavily on the story for the upcoming Anthem. Anthem was shown off last year and immediately touted as a Destiny clone. In a world dominated by Battle Royale it may have become apparent that a Destiny clone might not be enough. Anthem was set to launch this year but was recently delayed to 2019. Let’s just hope they don’t butcher the story before launch because “there wasn’t enough time”.
3. Battle Royale!?
Let’s sum up the interesting Battle Royale news category real briefly this week. First off congratulations to Epic for Fortnite mobile bringing in over $25 million in its first month. That’s a lot of money. Like a lot of money. So much so that it brings us to point two. Dice is currently prototyping a Battle Royale mode for Battlefield V. Reports say that they are testing mechanics and gameplay styles in engine but it most likely will not be ready for launch. Rumors also claim Treyarch is doing the same for Black Ops 4. And while the big guys are playing catch up the other little big name on the scene is innovating to compete. PUBG just added a new underground cave system to the map. The cave had various exit ways and an entire underground system of its own.
4. Switch delay Switch Hooray!
Bad news out the way first. Dark Souls Remastered for Switch has been delayed. The Dark Souls amiibo has also been delayed and Bandai Namco did not provide any clear reason. The delay only effects the Switch version with the remaster still releasing for all other platforms on May 25th. Good news, NBA Playgrounds 2 will be launching this summer. Season mode, over 200 players, and a championship online mode are just a few of the new improvements to the game. And random over speculation of possible great news, new Wave Racer incoming. I’m talking about the game series, not the musician. In a brief interview at BAFTA, series producer Takahashi said it may be one of the games they are working on bringing back.
5. One long awaited, one hardly expected.
This console generation has seen the long over due return of traditional horror games. Great experiences like Resident Evil 7 and Outlast have given the genre new life. Canceled projects like Silent Hills have shown us how crazy things can really get. Now Agony, a kickstarter horror game, will be released on May 29th on PS4, Xbox One, and PC will be aiming to further darken your underwear. The other genre this console generation has has a massive impact on is Open World. With damn near every game exploring the idea of open world for better or worse. Still not enough and so we have the announcement of Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass. Not much was shown about the game besides the announcement trailer but I’m sure we’ll see more at E3.
6. It’s never too late for training.
If you’ve ever thought to yourself after playing a game for a whole year, “man this game could really use a training or practice mode”, don’t give up. That’s what I’m guessing happened over at Ubisoft. Some noob kept getting wrecked in For Honor and finally someone was like “Fine Steve! We’ll put a training mode in so you can ‘git good’ and stop crying”. So now a whole year later, For Honor will have a training mode. Dreams do come true. And if that was enough class in a game how about Disgaea 1 making a comeback on Nintendo Switch and PS4. No exact date was given yet but it will be coming sometime this year with collector’s editions available for preorder now.
7. Classic gaming in a possible modern classic?
That was an awful title mechanic. Either way stick with me and see where it goes. First, Kingdom Hearts 3 finally gave us a little more information about itself. The game will feature mini games inspired by classic LCD gaming from days of old. Days of old being a quick reference to 1980’s games and old Mickey Mouse animated shorts. Supposedly still slated to release this year it won’t be much longer before you can have Sora reliving our gaming past on his current gaming tech. I really don’t expect this game to still be coming out this year but boy would that be a pleasant surprise.