I now join the legion of whining, punk-ass gamers -- but probably for good reason in this instance... so that justifies it, right? God, those AC3 trailers made the game look nothing short of godly. The hyped up (but in the end, not really) visuals, the massive hundred man battles (again, a complete lie) and a mysterious protagonist that could recapture our hearts the way Ezio Auditore did in the masterful Assassin's Creed II.
Assassin's Creed III is probably the worst Assassin's Creed game since Assassin's Creed 1 was, all those years ago, but for completely different reasons. Assassin's Creed was a game equal parts genius and mind-numbing repetition -- a divisive cocktail that went down with a little burn for some and caused violent nausea and vomiting in others.
The beautifully recreated historcal settings were burdened by a lack of mission variety. When Assassin's Creed II came out, it was some sort of gift from the Ubisoft masterminds that seemed to say "Okay, thanks for enduring that mess, here's what we've been meaning to do all along". AC2 fixed the problems of the original and made good on the promise of one of the most intriguing historical backdrops of our time -- renaissanceItaly. The real masterstroke of AC2 (and also AC: Brotherhood, to a lesser extent) that is rarely discussed is in its character driven narrative. Ezio Auditore was a real, human, flawed protagonist who had believable friendships and an even more convincing drive for bloody revenge.
If only the game lived up to the beauty and majesty of early screenshots.
And this is where AC3 falls flat on it's grand, beautiful, bloated face. Connor is the least interesting protagonist in the series so far by a long margin -- a blank slate of an indignant, young, half-native American hero who struggles with the duality of his devotion and the changing world around him, but to very little interesting effect. It's almost as if Ubisoft shoves the character in front of us and says 'You should like him, you really should!' without following through and giving us reasons to. His plight uninteresting, his Forrest Gump styled cutting and pasting into true historical events even less so.
We worked REALLY hard on the snow effects... like our game!...Please?
I have to give up on playing the game, even though I'm 3/4 through. I have tried so hard to like it enough to finish it. The last 10 hours of gameplay have been so dry and boring -- not without activity, mind you -- that I'd rather replay the lacklustre AC: Revelations than continue with what has to be my personal disappointment of the year. Hey, at least trade-in value should still be good, eh?