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Why I Cancelled My Pre-Order For Assassin’s Creed 3


Sean Dimagiba

The other day I walked into my local GameStop. Yes, I have their Power-Up Rewards membership and no, I still don“t think they“re a fine company by any means, but sometimes, you have to work with what“s in front of you. Anyways, this isn“t a commentary about GameStop“s services. I approached the gentleman at the front counter, and with a bit of hesitance in my voice, I declared to him, “I would like to cancel a pre-order.”

 

Now, cancelling a pre-order is a fairly awkward experience. It“s essentially saying to the world, “You know, I thought I liked this and I put my hard-earned cash on it just to prove you people wrong, but turns out that I was wrong anyways.” You put your confidence in this product, assuming that it“s going to be good, and then you change your mind, losing a bit of your confidence along with it. The man at the desk complied, and asked which game it was.

 

I told him it was Assassin“s Creed 3.

 

That“s when a very short but sharp silence hit the store. The man helping me gave me a confused look, and he asked me why I would cancel a pre-order on such an anticipated game (if it hadn“t been apparent yet, he was a big fan of the series). Again, another awkward part of the cancelation of a pre-order is the part when the employee asks why. I know they have an obligation to interact with the customer, but I really didn“t feel like giving an explanation as to why, so I just spit some random excuses, quickening my time in the store. So, he cancelled the pre-order, got my money back, oh, and I might become “blacklisted” by my GameStop for cancelling a pre-order. Fantastic.

 

My point here is that Assassin“s Creed 3, at this point, isn“t worth the investment for me. I“ve been a fan of the series for about three years, and I“ve played through all of the console iterations of the series. I plowed through the repetition of Altair“s journey, I spent three games and $180 on Italian playboy-turned-assassin Ezio Auditore, and I“ve mocked Desmond with witty Nathan Drake jokes too many times for me to count. I can say with confidence that I“m a fan of Assassin“s Creed. I enjoy the storyline, even though some people complain about it.

 

Yes, Ubisoft“s promises that all of the answers will be answered in the next game are as fake as the Animus“ projections, and some of the religious references turn people off and quite frankly creep me out sometimes, but I still think that the game“s plot is the biggest motivation for me playing it. I also enjoy the combat system (which was finally refined when Brotherhood came out), and while you don“t really feel like a sneaky assassin a lot of the time, it still does a good job of dropping you into that sense. At this point, all of the elements in Assassin“s Creed feel very familiar. That“s where the problem begins.

 

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*Sigh* There was a time when two kills at once in an Assassin's Creed game were the most amazing thing in the world

 

After Assassin“s Creed 2, the following games only added to the core experience. Basically, whatever you“ve seen from the previous title is recycled with a few new little tweaks and toys. I know that Brotherhood and Revelations weren“t meant to be taken as full-fledged sequels, but that doesn“t mean that Ubisoft couldn“t put the same effort and amount of new content that was seen in the jump between Assassin“s Creed and Assassin“s Creed 2. Brotherhood added the guild system and new weapons and more vehicle segments, and Revelations added new weapons, bomb making and Desmond puzzles. Both titles also introduced multiplayer to the series.

 

Sadly, Brotherhood only acted as an enhanced Assassin“s Creed 2, and Revelations acted as a refined Brotherhood. I appreciate all of the new features and fixes, but honestly, they could“ve been achieved through patching or as downloadable content. Now we“re at the “third” installment of Assassin“s Creed. See, after the production of Assassin“s Creed 2, the team at Ubisoft split into two camps. One group went on to create Brotherhood and Revelations, and the other team went straight to work on Assassin“s Creed 3, which means that Assassin“s Creed 3 has been roughly a three to four year project. With all that time and with no direct design connections to Brotherhood or Revelations, then how can Assassin“s Creed 3 fall in the same copy-and-paste trap? It“s easy, really.

 

There are some things I will applaud for Assassin“s Creed 3. The game takes place during the American Revolution, a familiar and exciting time during history, mostly because many North American gamers will likely recognize many of the places and people. The game looks great, and weather effects and free-running animations look very smooth. Combat looks vigorous and fast-paced, and Connor, our latest protagonist, has many neat moves at his disposal. These are all good things, but I can“t help but see more of the same. That“s how every series is; you start with a base concept, and with every game you try to build on it without completely alienating from the first experience.

 

With Assassin“s Creed, however, I feel worn out at this point. From 2009, there has been a new game every year, this being the fourth consecutive year in a row. It“s why I lost interest with Call of Duty. I know - a drastic comparison, but the best I could come up with. I can“t help but feel like I“ve seen it all before, and even with a completely different development cycle, I don“t know if Assassin“s Creed 3 will go far enough to truly differentiate itself from the past two titles.

 

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After meeting the cool and silent Altair and then the charismatic leader Ezio, how will Connor stand out?

 

Bringing up multiplayer, I never really could get into it. To me, it was original, but it was also a fancy game of hide-and-seek. When I think Assassin“s Creed and multiplayer, I think intense sword fights, free-running races, or even co-op stealth missions reminiscent of Splinter Cell: Conviction. Instead, Ubisoft thought outside of the box and did what they did, and it still serves as an ample experience but not one that could keep me hooked. And it seems that they continue to do the same with Assassin“s Creed 3. They“ve added some new modes, but it“s all they can do with the route that multiplayer has taken. Going back to single-player, I think that it will feel like a new experience, but like I said before, too familiar.

 

I think that the fact that they decided to release a new game every year has worn some of us out, and even with the potential in Assassin“s Creed 3, it won“t wipe the slate clean. One thing to remember though - I said I cancelled my pre-order; I never said I wasn“t going to buy it. I just feel that my excitement for the series has dwindled, and hopefully Assassin“s Creed 3 will prove me extremely wrong. Until then, I“ll wait for the mark-down sale.

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