Yesterday I started up a new file on Assassin's Creed III, fully intending to play through the game and try to actually finish it, something I didn't do last time I played. When I played before, I got a little bit into the game after it switches control to Connor, and ended up stopping for no particular reason and never going back. While it's probably safe to say I'm not missing out on a particularly engaging story, I am making a harder push to finish games I start and go back and replay games I started and never finished, and I was hoping ACIII would be the next game in line in my (admittedly failing if Tales of Vesperia is any indication) quest to conquer some of my backlog. But I've come across a bit of a problem after playing the ship mission and reaching America. It's not really a problem with the game itself or any issues with the Wii U version since I was playing on PS3 last time or anything like that. It's more of an issue with compulsion. The compulsion to kill every Redcoat I see like I'm possessed by the vengeful spirit of a Revolutionary soldier.
Say "wot" again. I DARE YOU.
You may recall some months ago (shameless plug imminent) I spent 3 hours on the first level of Scribblenauts Unlimited because I was just so enthralled with the limitless creation. Well, ACIII doesn't have that. It has something, but I don't know what. I don't know if the combat is just that fun or I'm just that easily distracted. Maybe I'm more into Colonial history than I realized, or maybe it's that vengeful spirit thing. All I know is that I haven't even completed the first mission available after stepping off the boat in Boston. I'm really not even sure where it is anymore. I mean, yeah, there's that big exclamation point marker on my mini-map, but I don't really have time to look for that when I'm looking for the red dots that signify enemies. Sometimes they're on the ground, sometimes they're on the roof, sometimes they're marching in groups, sometimes they're just standing around chatting it up with one or two other soldiers. With so many different variations on their military tactics, a sharp-minded assassin always has to explore the best avenue for avoiding detection and slipping past the enemy to complete his objective. Or he can march directly into their camp and kill every single one of them instead.
Well, almost every single one of them.
Every time I turn on the game, I immediately charge towards the nearest Redcoat and attack him, and I just keep going from there. From the rooftops to the dock, anyone wearing red is a prime target for my fist or sword or whatever happens to be in my character's hand at the time. In fact, the combat is becoming my sole reason for even turning on the game. It's not so strange for me to ignore the missions and go off to find ways to create random hilarity in open-world games, but ACIII doesn't really have a lot of room for hilarity outside of glitches. It just has a lot of room for killing, and that's all I seem to be doing. There are even times where I'll toy with my opponent before finally finishing him off, like by disarming him, letting him pick up his gun, then disarming him again, or by tossing him around the area and seeing what all he runs into. Other times I'll just rush headlong into a group of marching soldiers and tackle one of them only to finish them all off within a few seconds. My point is, the combat in the game is really easy, and yet it's somehow keeping me entertained more than anything else in the game possibly could. Granted, the game has the word "assassin" in the title, but I think I'm supposed to be killing other people too.
People other than this guy.
I should probably see what that "creed" part means too. And yet, for reasons I can't explain, I've killed more Redcoats than I could ever count if I had all the time in the world, and I keep going and going, killing and killing and making piles of bodies that terrify passersby until they inevitably pop out of existence to be replaced with identical soldiers for me to kill. There's a part of me that wants to get back to the game and start that first mission, but even if I was to head in the direction of the mission marker I'd just start killing every Redcoat along the way until I spotted a group off the path and ran off, never to find my way back again. Maybe once AC4 comes out I'll have a reason to finish the game, but until then I'll just keep playing with no aim or reason, making the bad guys' coats redder until I finally get tired of it, some other game comes along and takes my attention, or until the vengeful spirit is satisfied, whichever happens first.