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Thread: The Da Vinci Disappearance - Assassin's Creed Franchise Review- Updated 2/2/18

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    Default The Da Vinci Disappearance - Assassin's Creed Franchise Review- Updated 2/2/18


    Assassin's Creed Franchise Review (2007-?)

    Assassin's Creed Hello everyone. Welcome to my thread about the Assassin's Creed Franchise. Though Assassin's Creed was not the first game that I reviewed here on Total War Center, I consider this franchise to be the one that I spend the most effort and time on, and I hope my reviews will reflect that. As of right now this thread contains fourteen reviews (two for Assassin's Creed III, as I revised it later one) dealing with the franchise, and as I write more I will add them here. I hope these reviews are informative. Any constructive feedback is much appreciated, and I look forward to providing you guys with quality reviews for as long as this franchise continues.

    -----

    Assassin's Creed III
    Assassin's Creed
    Assassin's Creed II
    Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
    Assassin's Creed: Revelations
    Assassin's Creed III (Revised Review)
    Assassin's Creed III The Tyranny of King Washington
    Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
    Assassin's Creed IV: Freedom Cry
    Assassin's Creed Liberation HD
    Assassin's Creed Bloodlines
    Assassin's Creed Unity
    Assassin's Creed Unity Dead Kings
    Assassin's Creed Rogue
    Assassin's Creed Chronicles China (Coming Soon)
    Assassin's Creed Chronicles India (Actual title unknown)
    Assassin's Creed Chronicles Russia
    (Actual title unknown)
    -----


    Note This was the first game I played, so it was the first I reviewed. The other games will be added to this in order.



    Assassin's Creed III
    "On this land, I am torn. Part of me wants to fight and repel all outsiders. The other part of me is the outsider. In the name of liberty, I will fight the enemy regardless of their allegiance. While men of courage write history of this day, the future of our land depends on those who are truly free."


    Assassin's Creed III This review of Assassin’s Creed III comes from someone who has not played any of the other games (except for perhaps two hours of running around in the first one), and therefore is not much influenced by an experience with other games in the series.



    Assassin’s Creed III is set during 18th and 21st Century America, featuring three main characters: Haytham Kenway, his son Ratonhnhaké:ton (also known as Connor) who is half Mohawk, half British, and Desmond Miles, the franchise protagonist whose use of the device known as the Animus allows him to see the memories of his ancestors Haytham and Connor. In the present, Desmond hopes that the use of the device and the bleeding effect that comes with it will allow him to learn how to stop a coming apocalypse as well as his former captors, Abstergo, which is the modern day face of the Templar organization that has fought with the Assassins for thousands of years.


    In the past, the both Haytham and Connor play their respective parts in the lead up to the American Revolution. Connor, knowing that the Templars are responsible for a variety of misdeeds in the land including the death of his mother, joins the ancient brotherhood known as the Assassins, studying under Achilles Davenport. Achilles teaches young Connor the ways and history of the Asssassins, molding the young man into one with deadly purpose. Connors then sets out on a mission to both deal the Templars terrible blows as well as assist a fledgling revolution prevail against its oppressors. In addition to colonial Boston, Connor takes his purpose to New York and a vast frontier area, determined to rid them of British and Templar influence. Along the way, Connor runs into many familiar faces in early American history, as well as participate in notable events before and during the American Revolution.


    Haytham meeting Benjamin Franklin

    Onto the aspects of the game:

    One of the things that I absolutely loved about the game was the combat system. As I said, I have not played the other games, so I cannot really compare. However, one of the best parts about the combat system has to be the weapons. Taking the opportunity, Ubisoft utilized Connor’s heritage as well as the time of the game to make a fighting style that is quite deadly. They retained the hidden blades, of course, as well as (I’m assuming) the ability to use other weapons such as swords. However, they added a bow, rope darts, firearms, and my favorite weapon: the tomahawk. The tomahawk was the weapon that, along with the hidden blades, I tended to use. The sheer brutality of the killings that the tomahawk accomplished (with the occasional use of Connor’s left hidden blade) made for a visual (and visceral) treat. The combat system also features counter moves, including disarming, regular counter, and ranged counter (involves using the bow or the pistol as part of the counter). The bow and the rope darts allow for the possibility of silent kills, which are quite handy at times. The rope dart in particular allows Connor to strangle people from trees or the ground, or jumping from the tree after catching a man by the throat, effectively lynching them. The ability to continue an attack from person to person often leads to devastation within a squad. The assassinations of regular soldiers have also been expanded, allowing for the typical hidden blade single and double attacks, to a much more bloody attack consisting of running through a soldier with a bayoneted musket and firing on another soldier through the body. You also have the ability to use multiple other types of weapons from swords to war clubs.


    Combat with a tomahawk

    The locations were also a rather nice touch. Much of the story takes place in the generically titled “Frontier”, which includes a variety of small towns like Lexington and Concord as well as some forts and your home village. The Frontier also includes the Homestead (which actually has its own map but is still considered part of the frontier), which is where Achilles lives and is sort of a base of operation for Connor. Some of the side missions occur at the Homestead, the theme of which involves building a community of people that have been affected by the war. Anyway, the Frontier map alone is apparently 1.5x the size of Rome in Brotherhood, and it shows. Other maps include Colonial Boston AND New York City. Both maps are enormous, far more enormous than what I had imagined. In fact, I discovered after the game ended that I had not even visited perhaps a fourth of Boston, as the map is greyed out until you visit it, and I had never visited it during the main missions. The cities are exceptionally detailed, which leads me to the next section: The graphics.


    Boston

    I’m relatively new to the next generation of game systems (I have been playing my Playstation 2 for years, even up until now), so seeing the graphics of this game was an amazing gaming experience. The cities and the frontier were so exceptionally detailed and graphically beautiful that I cannot even begin to describe them. Every alleyway and street was unique, as were the buildings, making free running around the cities and even the Frontier very enjoyable. And climbing the buildings and trees that gave you a viewpoint to fully synchronize was very beautiful, as you could see practically the entirety of these maps from these vantage points. It is from those vantage points where you can truly appreciate the development that went into making these maps. The developers even took the trouble of adding a district destroyed by fire in New York City to emulate the fire of 1776.


    The details of the game provide some nice eye candy, from the people to the buildings

    However, this game is not perfect. I enjoyed playing it immensely (second full game I have played through after Portal 2 single and co-op) but that doesn’t mean that I am blind to its flaws. The story for one seems rather incomplete. Many of the missions are rather boring and generic, and there are few if any true assassinations. It’s also somewhat slow to start, though it does get much faster paced once you take control of adult Connor. Playing as Haytham and young Connor was enjoyable, but not as much as I would have liked. Connor is also not as likable as I would like, and isn’t well liked by longtime players of Assassin’s Creed either apparently.


    Meeting George Washington

    In addition, I felt that there was far too much emphasis on the side missions like the Homestead, liberation missions, and the naval missions. Yes, you can even take control of a ship for some missions, and while they were all enjoyable, it just did not feel like what I felt an Assassin's Creed game should be like. Also, I did not do some of the liberation missions until after I completed the sequences where I should have, leading to some humorous situations where I had to stop Patriot soldiers (who replaced British ones after the city of Boston was liberated) from trying to conscript civilians “in the name of the King!”. This also came with the problem of occasionally having to kill Patriot soldiers, which was not very enjoyable. Optional objectives were also a pain to manage, the inability to accomplish them often leaving you with a sense of failure even if you complete the mission. Many people criticized the hunting feature, but I enjoyed it even though it wasn’t really “Assassin's Creed” to kill rabbits and bears and such. Also, one of the flaws of the combat system has to be notoriety and fighting the Jaegers. After notoriety level 3 it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to escape, as enemies attack on sight and Jaeger soldiers appear. They can block most attacks (including most counter attacks) and they hit hard. It’s very difficult to become incognito after getting level 3 notoriety. I’m not complaining about difficulty, but when you have three or four Jaegers plus other soldiers to deal with you are not likely to survive. Desmond’s storyline in the real world was interesting for someone who hasn’t played the games before, even though it was quite spoiler ridden, but how it ends leaves much to be desired.


    With each notoriety level it gets more and more difficult to escape, and sometimes you cannot help but get high notoriety

    In the end, this game is a fun ride. It may not be a very good continuation of Assassin's Creed when compared to the previous titles, but as a standalone game I feel it was quite worthy of my time. I did not do all the side missions and such, and in fact some glitches prevented me from completing the Homestead missions. The game is an enjoyable ride of story and brutality that will leave you wanting more, and I would definitely say the game has tremendous re-playability. Finally, the soundtrack is a great addition to this game, the music being one of the best parts of the entire game. Below is an example.


    8.5/10


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    Last edited by TheDarkKnight; May 11, 2015 at 02:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed III Review (from a newbie to the franchise)

    Added to the directory

    Good review
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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed III Review (from a newbie to the franchise)

    This also came with the problem of occasionally having to kill Patriot soldiers, which was not very enjoyable.
    I don't agree

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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed III Review (from a newbie to the franchise)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pćsan View Post
    I don't agree
    Hey now...From the perspective of a European, perhaps that wouldn't be a big problem


    But even in terms of gameplay, Connor is supposedly helping the Patriots, and then he occasionally has to kill them.
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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed III Review (from a newbie to the franchise)

    Well much of the "controversy" around the game was that Connor was a bit too much a freedom fighter for the patriots and not enough an assassin out to get the Templars. In previous games, the Assasins had no real sides at all but their own.

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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed III Review (from a newbie to the franchise)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pćsan View Post
    Well much of the "controversy" around the game was that Connor was a bit too much a freedom fighter for the patriots and not enough an assassin out to get the Templars. In previous games, the Assasins had no real sides at all but their own.
    Yes, but the problem witth the renaissance trilogy is that all templars are powerhungry bastards without vision, something AC3 corrected. Thing is that most people you kill are british, but you dont kill them because they are british, but templars.

    Good review, a lot more sober (not " look how many funny remarks i can make") and to the point than the other one on this site.

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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed III Review (from a newbie to the franchise)

    Why thank you.


    Tomorrow I am receiving Assassin's Creed 1-Brotherhood. After I play those (and likely write a review) I will consider perhaps going over this review again as sort of a post-rest-of-the-franchise review
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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed III Review (from a newbie to the franchise)

    Well you will have to keep in mind offcours that AC1 is a game thats over 5 years old now. The series gradually adds things, and AC3 controls/options vary a lot from the previous games( cause it had been longer in development). So you'll find yourself doing things that you're not able to do yet (like kill streaks, or even hiding among normal people while in AC1 you can only hide with scholars). Or for example the climbing in AC1 is very slow and less fluent compared to AC2. Or you cant even replay memories in AC2

    AC: revelations is quite short and the gameplay isn't drasticly different from brotherhood (bombs and hookblade are fun but not revolutionary). So its no problem that you skip that. Still, should you grow fond of Ezio, i recommend you to buy it if you can find it somewhere cheap. cause the story is really emotional a that point, especially if you watch the short movie embers after it

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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed III Review (from a newbie to the franchise)

    A great review Chris.

    I hope you are going to enter the Review of the Month otherwise I'll have to do it for you.

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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed III Review (from a newbie to the franchise)

    Someone already entered a review for ACIII last month, I would feel silly doing another such review so soon, especially one that is quite inferior to the last one (which obviously won third place). It doesn't help that I recently realized that I used one of the same pictures that Confederate Jeb used in his review


    And don't you dare, Shanky, or I will be forced to make some turtle soup!



    And eXistenZ, I have played AC1 for a bit on 360, so I can remember a few of the differences, but of course none of the others. I find it was rather helpful not to have played the other games when writing this review.



    Edit: Just received AC1 in the mail. Good day, gentlemen!
    Last edited by TheDarkKnight; January 16, 2013 at 01:56 PM.
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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed III Review (from a newbie to the franchise)

    after playing the others, especially AC1 and 2, you probably wont like AC3 very much. just a warning. haha

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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed III Review (from a newbie to the franchise)

    Good review, and I'd say this game is more than a great follow up to 1 and 2, haters like to hate though.
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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed III Review (from a newbie to the franchise)

    Thanks.


    I think that further reviews of the series may be tainted by going this route, but whatever. I like the first game so far but the controls (especially combat) are definitely inferior to ACIII, but as a first game I like it a lot.
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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed III Review (from a newbie to the franchise)

    Note This was the second game I played after AC III. I will attempt a review for each game after this one, and hopefully not let my experiences with Assassin's Creed III to affect my review of the other games.



    Assassin's Creed (2007)

    Assassin's Creed
    Stay your blade from the flesh of an innocent
    Hide in plain sight
    Never compromise the brotherhood

    Assassin’s Creed is set during the twelfth and twenty-first centuries. In the present, bartender Desmond Miles has been kidnapped by the mysterious Abstergo Industries. Forced to use a device known as the Animus, Desmond relives the life of his ancestor, the Assassin known as Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad. Abstergo hopes that Desmond can synchronize with Altaïr enough to allow them to view a later memory, one that holds great importance to the company.


    Desmond inside the Animus

    In the past, Altaïr’s story is one of redemption. On a mission to retrieve a relic known as a “Piece of Eden”, the Assassin breaks all three tenets of the Creed of the Brotherhood in his attempt to not only retrieve the relic, but kill Robert de Sable, Grand Master of the Templar Order and the enemy of the Assassin Brotherhood. Failing both to acquire the relic and de Sable, Altaïr returns to the Assassin Castle at Masyaf. One of the Assassin’s that had been with Altaïr during the mission returns with the Piece of Eden, and tells the leader of the Assassins, Al Mualim, of Altaïr’s failure. Demoted to the rank of novice for breaking the Creed, Altaïr is offered the chance to redeem himself by assassinating several targets throughout the Third Crusade-ravaged Levant. In addition, an artifact known as a Piece of Eden becomes a force to be concerned with...


    Altaïr outside of the headquarters of the Assassin's, Masyaf

    Onto the aspects of the game. Set in the Levant, Assassin’s Creed takes place primarily in three cities: Acre, Jerusalem, and Damascus. Other locations include “The Kingdom”, which is sort of a midway point between the three cities, and is used for traveling between the three cities and the final location, Masyaf, which is a castle that is home to the Levantine Assassins as well as a village. The three cities are home to a variety of foes, from guards to Templar soldiers to the assassination targets. Considering the game is an older one for the current generation of consoles, I was very impressed with the graphics. Every single city has its own unique look, and every district of each city (which are unlocked depending on the memory sequence that Desmond is currently on) also look quite different from each other. Climbing the various viewpoints of the city offers the player a glimpse of the cities (and the kingdoms), giving the player a chance to see just how large these cities are. Of course the cities are not nearly as large as other open world games, but you still have a high variety of alleyways, main streets, rooftops, etc. Utilizing the viewpoints also makes more of the map viewable on the HUD and the map itself, making it easier to find back alleys and such.


    Altaïr riding towards Jerusalem

    Ironically, the assassinations themselves are where I sort of did not enjoy the game. When you acquire a new target, you first go out and gather intelligence on the target. Whether it involves beating the living daylights out of a guy who knows information or eavesdropping on guards or other people, the intelligence gathering missions are by far the most annoying part of the game. Not because they are difficult, because they are simply not. They are just incredibly repetitive. The assassinations themselves are sometimes also rather difficult to pull off as well, often leading to more like a skirmish between the target and his guards than a silent take down. Of course, that is probably more to do with me trying to figure out the controls than an actual problem, but hey, I still did not enjoy it. Along those lines, Altaïr frequently uses his “Eagle Vision”, a sort of sixth sense that allows him to see when things are not right or discover who his target is. When you use it, enemies turn red and the main target turns gold.


    Stalking your target


    The aftermath of an assassination, where Altaïr talks to his victims before they pass

    When running around the country or city, you are typically being watched by nearby guards. When you do “high profile” things such as running on rooftops, climbing up buildings, or killing people, that tends to draw attention to yourself. When you draw too much attention, guards will come after you. You can avoid this by blending in with scholars, not always running and bumping into people, and avoiding guards when climbing or running along rooftops. If you do manage to attract unwanted attention, there are really only two options: run and attempt to escape and hide in hay stacks or rooftop gardens (many if not most of the guards are capable of climbing as well) or fighting. If you cannot escape easily (especially after assassinating a target: the whole city goes on alert and guards will come after you on sight), you will likely be forced to fight and kill a number of guards before you can escape.


    Altaïr free running in Jerusalem

    The combat was a little bit disappointing to me, but it offered a challenge. You only have access to two main weapons: your short blade and your sword, and initially they are not very good, but throughout the game as Altaïr advances back up the ranks you receive upgraded version. Sadly, you cannot use the hidden blade in combat except for blocking, I believe. You also have access to throwing knives and once you get the hang of them they can be rather handy for taking out targets. The combat with the short blade and the sword basically consists of fast but less damaging attacks, slow but stronger attacks, and blocking + countering or dodging. You slowly gain new abilities throughout the game, with which you can practice them in Masyaf in the training square. You also gain health squares (part of your “synchronization” with Altaïr’s memories) throughout the completion of different missions, allowing you to take more hits. Speaking of taking damage, the game has a rather unique way of dealing with hits: when you fail to block or dodge an attack, Altaïr still does a blocking animation, but you take damage. In this way, the health bar / synchronization bar is basically telling you that you are not synchronizing. This becomes prevalent when you lose all the squares…the Animus desynchronizes you… Altaïr does not die. You also slowly gain health back on your own as long as you are not getting hit. It’s rather like in Prince of Persia Sands of Time: The prince is telling a story, and if he “dies” in the story, the Prince as narrator says “No no no, that didn’t happen, let me start again”. Anyway, different enemies require different methods of killing them: some can only be countered and killed, while others can be killed rather easily. It all depends on who you are facing and how many that will typically decide which weapon (the sword or the short blade) that you use. Combat can be rather difficult because of how limited it is, however, and if you are surrounded and chased, it can be rather difficult to escape and hide either in hay stacks or rooftop gardens. For an Assassin, Altaïr seems to be relatively weak in combat, but this of course is likely due to the rather small nature of the production of this game compared to other ones. The relatively minimal nature of Altaïr’s abilities in combat also forces the player to become creative in assassinations, because you cannot always just force your way through a dozen enemies and the target himself (who is typically very difficult to kill in combat compared to a more stealthy assassination), so perhaps this was somewhat intended.


    Combat in Assassin's Creed. Altaïr is a capable warrior hampered only by the controls and the combat system itself

    In the end, the game is a fun introduction to the series. The story, limited as it is, is interesting enough to keep you playing. The mystery in the present concerning Desmond and Abstergo go quite well with the story in the past. The soundtrack, though limited to about a dozen songs, is simplistic yet works perfectly for the scenes they are present in. The chase theme is very adrenaline inducing, as it plays during the tensest moments of the whole game…Being chased. You think you have managed to escape the enemy, only to turn a corner and find a half dozen new guards ready to fight you. Altaïr is fairly emotionless to me compared to many video game characters, but that does not mean he is completely without passion. Also, the tease of an overarching plot with the introduction of the piece of Eden is intriguing enough to improve the story drastically.


    Altaïr taking a leap of faith

    Finally, it just has to be said… Altaïr is a talented young man. He can be stealthy when he needs to be and attack with absolute brute force when he doesn't. He can climb to and jump between rooftops, ride a horse and slay enemies, take on a dozen or more guards and live to tell the tale, and sprint endlessly…but swimming is completely foreign to him.

    Seriously…Don’t fall in the water.

    8/10


    Last edited by TheDarkKnight; March 07, 2013 at 06:32 PM.
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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed Franchise Review: Updated 2/14

    Added this too.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed Franchise Review: Updated 2/14

    Enter in the ROTM!!!
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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed Franchise Review: Updated 2/14

    Good review I have to say, when people say Connor is a better fighter than Altair they tend to ignore the fact that they can't possibly know that due to the different combat mechanics.
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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed Franchise Review: Updated 2/14

    Quote Originally Posted by Mhaedros View Post
    Good review I have to say, when people say Connor is a better fighter than Altair they tend to ignore the fact that they can't possibly know that due to the different combat mechanics.
    Indeed, and when you take into account that he never gets hit in the game since he blocks even when you don't, Altair is truly the best Assassin

    And Shankbot...no
    Things I trust more than American conservatives:

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  19. #19
    Shankbot de Bodemloze's Avatar From the Writers Study!
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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed Franchise Review: Updated 2/14

    Don't make me force enter you.

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  20. #20
    TheDarkKnight's Avatar Compliance will be rewarded
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    Default Re: Assassin's Creed Franchise Review: Updated 2/14

    *sigh*...Do I need to finally turn you into soup?

    The Assassin's Creed II review should be up in a couple days. I was planning on doing it today but it's Valentine's Day...I doubt my girlfriend would appreciate me not spending time with her in order to write a game review.
    Things I trust more than American conservatives:

    Drinks from Bill Cosby, Flint Michigan tap water, Plane rides from Al Qaeda, Anything on the menu at Chipotle, Medical procedures from Mengele

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