You ever stop reading a book or watching a movie because you don't want it to end? Me either. That's another example of how books and movies aren't like videogames..
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Interesting review. I got the sense that you were vacillating back and forth between praising the game and disdaining it, and your final score was just where you ended up when you were done writing. I am, however, now intrigued to actually check AC3 out.
It's definitely worth checking out. As Tom mentioned, the prologue is tedious and quite dull. All I could think of was 'when do get to be the badass with the bow and tomahawk?' It very nearly lost me, but it's worth sticking around.
Man, I am totally caught up in this game too. I tend to be a somewhat obsessive completionist and this game throws so much at you it can definitely be overwhelming, but I'm enjoying just about every bit of it. I love the way the homestead missions start to intertwine as you get more villagers, and their quests start to overlap as they become a community. The early part did feel like a grind at first but I agree, there's a payoff there that makes it worthwile. Plus, playing as Haytham is almost like getting to be James Bond in colonial America.
The prologue feels pretty rough until it's over and then I wouldn't trade it for anything. It's a great set up for a cool game
I think the thing to understand about Tom Chick's reviewing style is that he's not adding up some scores, taking a point away here for this and adding a point for that. For example, he clearly thinks the plot of the game is pretty dumb. Should that cost half a star? For Tom, a game can have a dumb plot and still be rated as a top notch game experience because it provides something else that's really exceptional. It's not that he just finished writing on a high note; he's giving a holistic view of the game, but not an accounting of it.
As someone who admire's Tom's writing and thinking but who has also been burned by some of his glowing recommendations, I've found that thae consequence of Tom's approach is that if the things that resonate for Tom (which, as proven here, are sometimes the obscurer edges of the game) don't resonate for you, your impression of the game will be very different. You want to pay attention to the things he calls out as high (or low) points and think about how those things sound to you.
Halo 4 is a better game than AC3...
"Did you know there was a native American at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and that he called out all those old white dudes for excluding women and slaves? American exceptionalism predates America itself."
It's much more interesting if the protagonist is a true reflection of his day and age rather than an obvious injection of 20th century values. Writers, be brave enough to give your likeable characters unlikeable qualities! Plus, given the historical context, it even could have been educational...
i agree...but senor chick is a lame dude.
wouldn't believe a thing that spews out of his reviews after that review.
Except quite a few people really were pointing out these issues in that era. Go read some Abigail Adams. Not that the scene itself isn't ridiculous and ahistorical, of course, but the intended message could actually have been handled well without necessarily being anachronistic.
And yet you're here, reading this review and the comments below it. Amazing.
this guy should be banned, nuff said
Nicely put, Mr. Gaunt. Hat tip!
Yeah, I laughed out loud at that. But really, it's hard to blame the writers when considering their audience. They know that few things are more effective in rousing nerds' sense of self-importance (let alone fanboys) than a good dose of political correctness, never mind that it's done grotesquely as an intermission among all the scalping of "baddies". It's like they don't realize they're being mocked and/or played. Gaming is a SERIOUS ART MEDIUM capable of tackling COMPLEX AND SENSITIVE SOCIAL ISSUES and this proves it! But hey, that native american left out gay marriage -- what's up with that?
I think the real irony is that they have a native American fighting for the colonists in the first place. The overwhelming majority of native Americans involved in the Revolutionary War fought on the British side, because they were smart enough to know their own interests. A native American fighting for the colonies is about as absurd as a black man fighting for the Confederacy (which a few black men admittedly did, nonetheless). That obviously doesn't sit well with modern-day Americans, though...
It's the fault of the audience? C'mon now.
Just wanted to comment that I've been reading here for awhile too, and have dug into the Chick archives to read past reviews. I like them, typically. It just felt like for this one, the score at the bottom had no relation to the content of the review this time around. (I get this sense, for instance, when I read album reviews at AllMusic, like one person writes the review and another person assigns a score without reading the review.)
Re-reading it now, though, I find that I was thrown off by the first paragraph, expected a more negative review, and read the rest in light of that expectation. A more fair reading is more consistent than my initial impression. Regardless, as I said above, the review here has intrigued me to actually check out AC3, even though I'm a bit burned out after the last 4 games. Mission accomplished, I'd say.
Oh yeah, what the heck *is* the Aquila? It seems to be a 4 or maybe a 6 gun sloop of war (counting ports on the side) but it has 3 masts like it thinks it's actually a ship. I think even brigs had more guns than that.
I assumed it was a sloop as well, and an homage to the Surprise from the Aubrey/Maturin books. You have a valid point about the masts though, but I checked Wikipedia and apparently there were ships called Bermuda sloops that served in the Royal Navy that had three masts - pictures that I found don't look like they have double racks of cannon though. Guess there may be some artistic license going on there.