AC3 moves away from the some of standard features and controls of previous games so takes some getting used to. It is not as well done as Brotherhood, Black Flag, or Unity. It seems it may have been rushed to market too soon since there are a lot of glitches, but most are not game stoppers, just amusing.
Some of the bad: The choice of sticks for the map controls are awkward, only one scene where you can whistle for a hidden kill, the horse changes its color each time you mount it, i got stuck between rocks a few times and had to re-load a checkpoint losing progress, lock picking is poorly done and written, extremely boring, and needed, the eagle sync points are too few and don't reveal much anyway. They are unecessary and only there for continuity with the other games in the series. There are way to many collectables and it is plain tedious to get them, only a couple are interesting. The underground is useful only to open fast travel points, and seem disconnected with the rest of the game, as are the homestead missions, the delivery missions, the brawler missions which seem like a lot of unconnected pieces, that just don't fit. Many are poorly written or juvenile. The hunting missions are a poor knock off of Red Dead Redemption. They are also tedious, all the same and are not connected to the main story at all.
The really bad that could have been so much better:
1. CUT SCENES! Isn't there anyone at Ubisoft who works as an editor? These are too long, too many, and too poorly written. In some sequences there are up to 5 cut scenes in a row and you can only skip 2 or 3. And they are way too long. They could easily be edited to be more entertaining and shorter. Many are unnecessary and only serve to show off what Ubisoft has done and they take away from any game momentum or excitement you may have had.
2. Collectables. Why? Why are there chests everywhere? Only to give you money so you can upgrade. They sit in the open with people walking all about them. It makes no sense. It seems like a patch to make the game work. There are pages floating around that you have to catch, feathers that you need to climb trees to get, but they are not challenging only time consuming and worthless for the main story. The trees are all the same.
3. Gotchas! I hate games that substitute good puzzles solving or strategy with a gotcha moment. It shows that some of the writers are not very sophisticated. You find out that you were supposed to do something a certain way after the sequence is over, with no history or context for it.
What is good?
1. The storyline is good but needs to be edited so it can be viewed without yawning.
2. Graphics are good for the time and for a PS3. Unity and Black Flag are so much better.
3. Some new ideas, like the naval missions are very good.
4. It is an AC game, with history and characters, and open world and fun to explore.
5. There are a few good challenges in the game in most sequences.
This is an OK AC game, which says a lot since they are all very good games. I wish they would have polished it a bit more, and brought some more sophisticated writers on board to make the missions a bit more interesting and added in some strategic thinking. It is a mostly a game of collecting things and doing simple missions over and over with some annoying gotcha moments. Who knew you were supposed to ram a ship to reveal its store of black powder so you can hit it with precision artillery? I just kept sinking these and then found out afterward that I sunk them the wrong way. I killed the sailor since the mission said to defeat the sailor. How did I know I was not supposed to kill him, just knock him to the ground. I ran around for a long time since the game got stuck on the mission since he was dead, and would not advance so finally had to reload and go to the internet to find out what I kept doing wrong. Just not well though out. Cheap writing.
If you have not played Unity or BF than try this out, if you have then you will be really bored with the game and frustrated with the controls and writing. I give it an 7 since it is a 3 year old game and good for its time.