Dec 032013

Assassin’s Creed IV has many problems, most of them inherited from Assassin’s Creed III. The free-running is sloppier than ever and actually trying to go to a particular place quickly (say, the top of a mast to take a flag) feels like a struggle against the game’s mechanics rather than a use of them. Combat, especially swordplay, is a mess plagued by a useless camera, and while stealth has improved slightly it’s not strong enough for the demands the game makes of it, especially in tailing and eavesdropping missions. The story is silly and inconsequential – in both the past [Read more...]

Nov 052013
Let me do it

I have the same fundamental problem with Gone Home that I had with Assassin’s Creed III. In terms of their construction, these games could hardly be more dissimilar – ACIII is an expansive open world third-person game where the player spends almost every minute killing people, and Gone Home is a first-person adventure in uncovering the events of the past year in a single empty house. Yet these games are alike in that they give the player a good set of tools for solving their problems, which they seem unwilling to let em use freely. The main story of Gone [Read more...]

Dec 192010

My review of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood has gone up at GameCritics, but in case you don’t want to bother, the summary is that Brotherhood is great and you should get it. It’s not great like War and Peace is great. Brotherhood completely squanders all the awesome things you could do thematically with the horrible Papacy of Alexander VI and instead uses that as a backdrop for more of its tediously silly techno-conspiracy mumbo-jumbo. And, it’s not great like Saint Peter’s Basilica is great, because its poor design choices and occasionally slapdash construction deny it any real feel of majesty. Brotherhood [Read more...]

Oct 072010

If you believe Metacritic, Assassin’s Creed II is a major improvement over its predecessor. The Metascore jumped 10 points between games, which would seem to suggest it solves a major problem, or at least a good number of smaller ones. I played the games out of order, going through Ezio Auditore’s adventures in the sequel before I experienced Altaïr’s adventure in the original Assassin’s Creed. I can clearly see some areas where the latter game improved on the former, but I wouldn’t say that the quality was dramatically greater. In some ways, it felt like the series lost as much [Read more...]