Game review: Assassin's Creed III Remastered attempts a revolutionary remaster
In the end, it’s the wilderness areas that impress the most, filled as they are with wild animals to hunt, weather that changes with the seasons, massive cliff faces to climb, and numerous smaller settlements to explore. You can capture minor Templar forts, harass randomly encountered convoys, craft weapons and equipment, search for a range of different collectables, or just go to the pub and play board games.
The problem is that while all that was brand new in 2012 it now seems like nothing but a collection of open world game design clichés. Which is the problem when you go back to remaster a game which, while enjoyable in its day, was quickly superseded not only by its rivals but later entries in its own franchise.
Viewed purely as a remaster this is actually an extremely impressive effort, with an upgraded interface and mini-map, an expanded crafting system, and tweaks to the stealth and combat mechanics to help make the game feel more modern. What hasn’t been fixed though, at least not enough to pass without comment, are the bugs – many of which seem to be exactly the same as they were seven years ago.
Also bundled with the game is the Tyranny Of King George DLC and Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, which started out as a PS Vita game before being remastered on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It features the series’ first female protagonist, but she’s no more interesting than Connor and the whole game feels even more shallow and repetitive in terms of both gameplay and storytelling.
If it wasn’t for the bugs we’d regard this as one of the best remasters of recent years. But despite all the tweaks to the gameplay and graphics there’s no way to update the underlying game without completely remaking it. As such, it feels like an evolutionary step that, while important at the time, was quickly made redundant by its own sequels let alone the rest of gaming. It wasn’t really a revolution at the time and it certainly doesn’t feel like one now.
Assassin’s Creed III Remastered
In Short: Even a high-quality remaster such as this can’t hide the fact that Assassin’s Creed III is too much a product of its time and has little to offer modern gaming.
Pros: The setting still looks surprisingly impressive, thanks to an ambitious remaster that also tweaks and improves elements of the controls, interface, and crafting.
Cons: Gameplay mechanics and design are badly outdated, with shallow combat, simplistic stealth, and an unremarkable game world. Connor is a painfully dull protagonist. Lots of bugs and glitches.
Formats: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: 29th March 2019 (21/5 on Switch)
Age Rating: 18
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