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Assassin’s Creed III: Remastered Review

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Title: Assassins Creed III Remastered
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Website: https://www.ubisoft.com/en-us/game/assassins-creed-3-remastered/
Genre: Action, Adventure, Role-Playing
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: Mature 17+ Blood, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language
Release Date: Out Now – 21/05/19
Price: £29.99 – Rapid Reviews UK were very kindly provided with a review code for this title.

What the Developers say

Relive the American Revolution or experience it for the first time in Assassin’s Creed® III Remastered, with enhanced graphics and improved gameplay mechanics.  Plus, Assassin’s Creed® III Liberation Remastered and all solo DLC content are included.


Includes: Assassin’s Creed® III Liberation and all original solo DLC, including The Tyranny of King Washington.

Enhanced graphics, now featuring 4K resolution, new character models, polished environment rendering, and more.

Gameplay mechanics have been revamped as well, improving your experience and your immersion.

Fight for freedom! As the American Colonies are about to revolt, secure liberty for your people and your nation.

Nintendo Switch™ enhanced features include: Touch Screen, HD rumble, and optimized HUD.

https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/assassins-creed-3-remastered-switch/

Introduction

The Assassin’s Creed series is a collective masterpiece. Like Van Gogh and Da Vinci’s artistic exploits, they are renowned the world over for their creative flair and historical importance. Much like the work of these two esteemed pioneers, the AC series has had its ups and downs. One thing is for sure, though, Ubisoft has worked tirelessly to adapt an already successful formula into one that stands proud amongst the greats of this generation.

For such success to be achieved, there is a need for experimentation and deviation. I have always felt that the ACIII entry in the esteemed series signifies the moment where the testing truly began. Ditching the popular Italian Renaissance in favour of the Colonial era was always going to be a risk, especially with the following that the main protagonist, Ezio, had garnered. At the time, ACIII was favourably received by critics and went some way to evidencing why it was this particular title that was released on the Nintendo Switch first.

Gameplay & Replayability

While ACIII was a commercial success, and many praised its story-telling prowess and diverse character cast, I will go out on a limb and say that at the time of its initial release in 2012, it was my least favourite of the titles. I remember grasping desperately onto the storyline and setting that ACII had created, and I wasn’t willing to accept it was over. I was looking forward to seeing whether this remaster would do anything to make me re-evaluate my former thoughts, or reaffirm my belief that it should have been Ezio gracing my Nintendo Switch console.

It was three or four missions in before all my preconceived ideas of this remaster were to be readdressed. The expansive open-world that had been created back then and redelivered here on my portable screen was a sight to behold. I wanted to explore every detail again, only this time without Ezio looking over my shoulder from atop his viewpoint. The beauty of the environment can never be overstated, with luscious green landscapes and a variety of locations to explore.

The storyline is one that I enjoyed following, with historical elements and links to the past prevalent throughout. I also found the switch between characters and the development of their narratives was insightful and interesting, ensuring that it didn’t become too familiar as the game progressed. You begin the game as Desmond Miles, the modern-day protagonist of the Creed titles until this point, who is placed inside the animus again to review the past. Taking on the role of one of his ancestors, Haytham Kenway, you embark on missions set in the 1700s.

Later on, the story transfers to that of Ratonhnhaké:ton, who you see grow from child to man, and his skills and experience develop at the same time. The character narration and development is completed through main story missions, all of which have a primary objective and some optional objectives. Much like other open-world games of its time, these main missions are also accompanied by side quests.

Unfortunately, this is where some of my past grievances with the title rear their head. For one, I found that the optional objectives were too linear in their approach and discouraged the non-linear foundations that open-world titles were built upon. Second, to this, I felt the side quests did little to hold my interest or make me want to get involved. In a media-rich, story-telling affair, I wasn’t keen to deviate from the narrative unless essential to the gameplay experience.

There is a lot on offer in Assassin’s Creed III Remastered, and I remember getting to sequence 8 of 12 and realising I had only completed 20% of the game. A telling statistic which highlights just how much was jam-packed into this game in the beginning. Not only that, but the remaster comes packaged with Assassins Creed III: Liberation, an original PS Vita title which saw subsequent release on all major consoles with an HD upgrade. Most notable for being the first in the series where gamers play as a female assassin, the events of the game coincide with those in the ACIII main game. While the storyline isn’t quite as engaging as ACIII or other titles in the Assassins Creed series, it is a welcome edition here and one that offers support to the claim of your hard-earned cash for a game that is seven years old now.

Audio & Visual

As with any port or remaster, the focus on audio and visual becomes more prevalent. With few noticeable changes to the core gameplay mechanics, consumers are always keen to know whether enough has been done in the audio and visual departments to warrant a purchase. Fortunately, contrary to popular belief, ACIII holds up well on the Nintendo Switch. It isn’t groundbreaking, nor does it stand out as a particularly impressive port, but all the bells and whistles expected of an Assassins Creed title from the previous generation of consoles are here.

I enjoyed my time playing both in handheld and docked, and found that the only true sticking point was the audio quality. At times, particularly when transitioning from cutscene to gameplay, the audio would stutter and crackle – seemingly feeling the pressure of loading assets within the game world. It certainly isn’t enough to reconsider purchasing but does serve to highlight once again how post-release fixes are here to stay.

Conclusion

Having enjoyed my time playing ACIII the second time around, my thoughts were mixed. While it would seem as though a recommendation to purchase this title is forthcoming, it poses greater questions around the port and remasters debate. As much as I did have fun, it is still not the Assassin’s Creed title I would have wanted – something I know I am not alone in thinking. If this were the only entry from the series to see a Nintendo Switch release, then I would be pleased that I played it. However, the thought that the already remastered Ezio Collection could one day be released would make me think twice about a purchase.

Rapid Reviews UK Rating

You can purchase Assassin’s Creed III Remastered on the Nintendo eShop at the following link: https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch/Assassin-s-Creed-III-Remastered-1514676.html#Overview

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