Of the three AC games I’ve played, this one is undoubtedly the best, though it’s still far from being a great game. Compared to its siblings I thought it had more variety, a more compelling story, and better integration with historical events. The Naval missions especially were a welcome change of pace.
I enjoyed building the Homestead and liked how each of the artisans had a developed backstory and unique personality. The whole crafting system, while a good idea, was badly implemented and rather pointless. The outfits were decent, though the system (or lack of system) for changing outfits leaves much to be desired. The primary weapons were lame in that the best ones could be purchased early in the game and I used them throughout. On the plus side, I really liked the Rope Darts; those things never got old.
This game, much more so than the others I’ve played, followed along with the historical narrative. I saw the Boston Massacre, I led the Tea Party, I went on Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride, I was there when the Shot Heard ‘Round the World was fired by no one knows who, I fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and played Bocci with George Washington. The locations were all very meaningful to me as well being from the area.
The story, aside from the historical bits, was very well developed with several twists and turns. I won’t go into details, but I enjoyed it along with most of the main characters. Haytham and Charles Lee in particular were very well done and well acted. Unfortunately, the main character, the character that you play, has the personality of a tree stump.
On the technical side, I encountered a few glitches and had one hard freeze, but on the whole, no major issues. Gameplay was typical AC, though a bit simpler than previous installments. All told, I put in an enjoyable 43 hours and 34 minutes, though towards the end, I was ready to be done with it and move on to something new. This is after all, still an AC game. There is a great deal of time spent running/riding from place to place, though having numerous fast travel points around New York and Boston helped in that regard. There is also much slogging through mundane and repetitive side missions, which are mostly optional, but when presented with an activity my personality does not allow it to go unfinished. That said, there are several I didn’t complete and I certainly can’t be arsed to go for the Platinum Trophy.
All in all, a good game, not great. If you’re interested in the time period and events surrounding the American Revolution then it’s worth the $10-20 you can get the game for nowadays, otherwise, you can pass and rest assured you’re not missing out on much.
//Forgot to mention, audio balance is horrendously, inexcusably awful.