Vic B’Stard’s week in review: Assassin’s Creed 3 and Medal of Honor Warfighter

Vic B'Stard
Expectations and disappointment

I‘m currently reviewing two of the year’s triple-A titles, both of which seem to be garnering some negative press.

EA Games’ Medal of Honor Warfighter continues the series modern combat setting from 2010’s rebooted Medal of Honor. The follows the exploits of a group of elite “Tier 1” special forces operatives as they travel around the world searching for a terrorist leader known only as The Cleric. Their investigations take them to various combat hot-spot each of which ends up in a shoot-out.

The developers, Danger Close, don’t mess about with hiding behind some politically correct made-up scenerio, Medal of Honor is based on real life events (apparently) and as such don’t expect the Micheal Bay-like shennanigans of the Call of Duty series. These guys are taking down the Taliban. You will be shooting Islamic fundamentalists.

This has upset some of the more sensitive reviewers out there, folks who don’t realise what their tax dollars are paying for in Afghanistan right at this moment. War IS horrible. People die. Get over it. Or join a hippie commune as press flowers all day. We sleep soundly at night because our violent men are out there killing other violent men that, if they had their way would kill us, our families and our way of life without a thought. It is horrible and very, vary sad; but it is the way of things now.

Medal of Honor Warfighter: real war!

Back to Medal of Honor, the game. I’m enjoying the single-player game. It is gritty. It is also not a polished as the CoD games, but it is far superior to the Battlefield 3 single-player game. The multi-player game isn’t gelling with me as well as the last Medal of Honor game, which i really enjoyed. The domination maps (or whatever they call them) are a bit linear and so I can’t sneak about, avoiding combat, capturing bases as I’ve been doing since Battlefield 1942. The Nations mini-game, where you earn tokens that can be used to represent you country by going to the Battlelog website is inspired. Watch out for a review from me soon.

The other game that seems to be disappointing folks is Assassin’s Creed 3. Some players are having a tough time empathising with the game’s new protagonist, Connor Kenway. Compared to Ezio from the last three games Connor does seem a little one-dimensional . But it is early days and Ubisoft had the luxury of three games to flesh out Ezios character rather than just the short amount of time that we have been playing Connor in Assassin’s Creed 3.

In the hands-on preview, I had concerns that the more contemporary setting didn’t feel as exotic as the locales in previous Assassin’s Creed games. Whilst that still rings true to some extent, having spent a little more time wandering around the streets of 18th Century Boston, I must say that they have created an environment every bit as rich as that of previous installments. I’ve even found the sea battles a little more fun that in the hands-on sessions. The hunting part of the game, whilst instantly gratifying, seems a little tacked out and I’m not sure how it will hold up later on in the game. I fear that I’m going to find the wanton slaughter of innocent animals it a bit pointless in the long run.

Assassin’s Creed 3: Life on the frontier

Assassin’s Creed 3 is delivering for me, however, it is far from perfect; especially when you consider that this is one of Ubisoft’s flagship marques. What is inexcusable is the amount of bugs in the game. Whilst the game seems to be on an even keel now that I’m some 7 hours into it. At first I felt more like a play-tester than a reviewer. First off, it seems that the much lauded AnvilNext engine is pushing my Xbox 360 a little too hard giving me an inexcusably choppy frame rate when it all gets a bit busy. I expect this on an underpowered PC, but not on a console. I’m wondering if the AnvilNext engine was built with the next-gen consoles in mind.

Boston by Gaslight

A couple of times I found myself getting punished for doing thing in a different manner than the developers intended, the worst of which was in taking an inspired route whilst eavesdropping, none other than, a young George Washington. My actions sent the AI into such a tizz that they stopped in their tracks resulting in me resetting the mission. Whilst swimming I managed to pass though the scenery, falling into the void- it seems some of the bugs are in the Animus, itself. Something that really did piss me off was when an Animus database entry unlocked too early and spoilt a pretty pivotal plot-point for me. There’s also a typo in George Washington’s database entry.

Whilst Assassin’s Creed 3 is still an impressive and entertaining undertaking, it does seem to lack some of the polish of the preceding games. I’m wondering if the rush for release has something to do with getting the game out before that important date: 21/12/12. Look out for my review on New Zealand’s, soon.

That’s it from me this week. Check back soon for my Assassin’s Creed 3 Freedom Edition unboxing article that I’m currently putting the finishing touches to. Lots of photos! I’ve still got loads of games on my state with reviews of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Doom 3 BFG Edition  and Need for Speed: Most Wanted to knock out.