Assassin’s Creed 3 PC Review: A Prettier Experience

Stepping into Assassin’s Creed 3 again (on a PC this time), I’m struck by how much…prettier…everything seems to be.

Haytham Kenway, the character you play in the game’s early portion, threatens the captain of the ship taking him across the Atlantic, and the man’s face flickers with fear. His eyes go just a little wider; his expression changes just so to indicate that he realizes this dude means it when he mentions potential future decapitations.

The game is filled with wonderful little acting moments like this (chock full of cutscenes as it is), and in the PC version, they really play quite beautifully. I thought Assassin’s Creed 3 looked good on my Playstation 3. I was mistaken.

And though Ubisoft gave AC3 its customary one-month delay that it never says is going to happen and always happens, and which it never says is about selling console copies but always is about selling console copies, the wait may still have been worth it for players who prefer their titles on PC. AC3 includes a number of spiffy graphics options and it’ll make use of your hardware if you have it. Unfortunately though, Ubisoft’s team didn’t use that extra time to weed out more of the bugs that made it into the game the first time around — a lot of the irritations I experienced before are still here, chewing at the woodwork behind the game’s beautiful paint job.

Assassin’s Creed 3 (PC [Reviewed], Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: Nov. 20, 2012
MSRP: $59.99

In my AC3 review, I complained about a number of issues that made the game feel rushed and lacking in polish. Sadly, these issues remain. Despite a big patch that came with the game’s launch, I still struggled with randomly standing up in the middle of brushy cover and with enemies and other characters popping in at random in front of me. To begin with, I found these sorts of issues — the things that really break players free of the experience — to be inexcusable. After all, Assassin’s Creed is an absolutely huge series, and in its fifth yearly iteration. Players expect, and deserve, better.

With an additional month-long delay, one wonders what exactly Ubisoft had been fixing with that day one patch I downloaded at the start of my time with PC version of AC3. Seriously, with a whole extra month, what gives?

But bugs aside — which at least don’t break the experience fully or make the game unplayable — Ubisoft has at least done a decent job with this PC port. Multiplayer in particular feels extra-slick on PC, sliced off as it is into its own separate component with speedy play and controls. Playing Assassin’s Creed with a mouse and keyboard is a bit jarring, but the additional fine control in multiplayer is often a boon. That whole section of the game works beautifully, and I think I prefer to spend my Wolfpack outings in the PC version over the Playstation 3 edition.

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