Here’s a review I’ve been looking forward to for a while, Assassin’s Creed 3 Remastered! So I recently got Assassin’s Creed 3 Remastered (AC3R) for the PS4. I know it’s a bit late considering it was released way back in 2019 but better late than never.
The remaster has a completely overhauled and enhanced set of graphical assets and it’ll now play in 4k. There are new character models, additional improvements to how the environment renders aswell as the gameplay mechanic updates. The blurb makes this game seem to be a ‘must play’ for all Assassin’s Creed fans but does it live up to the hype and perform as well as the ‘on paper’ description would leave you to believe?
In terms of value for money though the 2019 remaster also includes all the original solo DLC, including The Tyranny of King Washington, and the full game: Assassin’s Creed Liberation Remastered so in a word, yes it looks to be worth the money but let’s find out if it’s actually any good.
The game places you in two different time periods, modern day (2012 for this game) and the american revolution in the 18th century. During the modern day our protagonist is Desmond Miles, an Assassin searching for a way to save the world with the help of his friends. In the American revolution however, we play as Ratonhnhaké:ton (AKA Connor), a native american whose father is a Templar, Connor however joins up with the Assassins.
As you complete missions you’ll have a heavy influence in the American revolution and a hand in taking down the templar threat that is happening behind the scenes. Every so often you’ll be pulled back to the modern day to go looking for pieces of Eden, magical artifacts for an extinct civilisation that contain immense power and could be deadly if they fell into the wrong hands.
Now that we’ve got the main story bits out of the way, get yourself comfy as we dive into the review!
Assassin’s Creed 3 Remastered Review
Let me start by saying that stealth/action games are one of my favourite genres in gaming. Obviously the Assassin’s Creed games fall into this category and AC3R is no different.
Following on from the previous games in the series AC3R doesn’t really change many of the core features of the franchise, combat still works the same, eagle vision is still imperative, and the hidden blades are just as overpowered as every game before.
Launching the Assassin’s Creed III Remaster for the first time my initial impressions are that it’s really quite good. The menus are fluid, clean and well designed. Right off the bat you’ll be able to access that all important bonus content. The bonus content includes remaster of Liberation in sweet HD aswell as all of the extra enhancements and DLC released for Assassin’s Creed III since the beginning.
The most obvious change in this remaster is the graphics. Ubisoft have done a great job bringing the graphics of the original more up to date with today’s standards and whilst they’re still not as smooth as some games you can definitely tell the difference. The buildings look a lot more realistic than they used to but my favourite upgrade was the wilderness (it’s not without it’s faults though).
A large portion of the start of Connor’s story has you learning the basics of becoming an assassin and this happens in a beautiful forest with a lot of wildlife that all resemble their real life counterparts (to a degree). And that’s, unfortunately where the improvements end in terms of graphics.
The start of the game opens with a great awe inspiring sequence. This sequence we get to see Desmond Miles and his motley crew outside of the Animus. The remaster at first glance does run quite well but it’s becomes obvious as the opening scene progresses that the lighting and some shadows aren’t quite up to scratch. The character models, at least in my opinion don’t seem to be as ‘remastered’ as other remastered versions of similar games. Don’t get me wrong, the graphic upgrades aren’t insignificant, I just expected a bit more care and attention to detail, considering how widely advertised and hyped up this remaster was.
There are a few other key upgrades that the Assassin’s Creed 3 Remastered brings to the table, one of which is the ability to craft weapons you previously had to buy, it’s a small change but a welcome one.
One of the major changes added and one of the most appreciated in my case was changing enemy markers on the mini-map from dots to arrows. These arrows point in whatever direction the enemy is looking which, when it comes to stealth, gives the player a huge advantage. This helps massively when you’re trying to take out a whole bunch of redcoats without raising an alarm.
Assassin’s Creed 3 Remastered sometimes does feel like exactly that, just a remaster. What I mean by this is that a lot of faults that were in the original AC3 are still prevalent in this game. You can be playing and think “this just looks prettier but the gameplay is still broken” and honestly this was a huge downside for me. One of the main things you’ll notice is that the facial animations for characters when they’re speaking don’t quite sync with what they’re saying. Clothing clipping is another huge problem, you’ll often see your clothes clip through your horse.
Obviously I understand to fix a lot of the issues you would have to basically rebuild the entire game which is an unrealistic thing to ask but it feels a bit like Ubisoft has just slapped a fresh coat of paint over the game and called it a day.
With the release of Assassin’s Creed Origins we got a new combat system but AC3R sticks to the original one. Now I enjoyed this back in the day but after playing for so many years I see it for what it is, repetitive. This isn’t to say the combat is necessarily bad but you can defeat groups of enemies by hitting parry and then attack, you get attacked one by one and there doesn’t feel like much challenge.
There is a positive to the combat though and that is the finishing moves that Connor can pull off. These can be quite brutal and just add a little something to fighting off wave after wave of redcoats.
One of the major selling points of Assassin’s Creed 3 Remastered is that it comes with all the games DLC already installed with it. This includes the ‘Tyranny of King Washington’ alternate timeline story and many more side missions within the main game. The game also adds in the game Assassin’s Creed Liberation, a PS Vita game released around the same time. So you’re getting two games for your money.
Assassin’s Creed Liberation
The music in AC3R is composed by Lorne Balfe who has composed for movies such as Megamind and The Lego Batman Movie, so you can imagine the music in the game is quite well made. Whilst it doesn’t steal the spotlight it does subtly add to any moment within the game, sometimes without you ever noticing.
I really appreciate a good game soundtrack and I appreciate it more when it adds that extra something to a game. I don’t think it’s quite good enough to buy the album and listen to it on it’s own though.
Summary and Verdict
So before I give my final verdict on AC3R let’s have a quick recap of the pros and cons:
- Huge graphical upgrade.
- All the previous DLC included.
- Music sets the scene.
- Finishing moves in combat.
- A lot of clothing clipping.
- Combat is easy and repetitive.
- Feels like graphics are the only thing improved.
I played the original Assassin’s Creed 3 when it came out and I couldn’t really get into the story then and nothing has really changed. A lot of fans view this as one of the weakest games in the series and I would definitely agree with them.
The expected graphical upgrades are good althought not perfect. Something feels missing, it seems to me like they’ve spent all of the remaster budget on marketing the remaster in stead of actually doing the work. It feels almost like a direct port of the game with the only tweaks being to the assests to get them to look reasonably good on more powerful gaming systems.
I did notice some framerate issues in many of the busier open world areas and this became more apparent when gaming in 4K. These issues make travel and combat somewhat frustrating which caused me a bit of a headache because it stopped being fun and became one of those chores you just hate.
Overall I would give AC3R a 6/10, there is stuff to enjoy in this game but I’d rather hold out for an AC4: Black Flag remake. If you do want to give this game a try then it is available on Playstation 4 and 5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
The game will set you back £29.99 on all platforms, which for two games in one plus all DLC isn’t a bad price so it is actually worth picking up if for nothing else but the nostalgia. If you want to go ahead and buy the game you can so using our affiliate link, hit the invidivual links above to buy it.
Watch the launch trailer below to get a glimpse of the updated visuals:
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