Assassin’s Creed III Remastered doesn’t just improve upon the last-gen classic, but it also an overall retouching of a game that could very well become a timeless classic. Let’s find out with our review.
+Graphics have been greatly enhanced for a more immersive experience
+ALL DLC content is included
+Performance is a steady 60fps at 1080p
+Combat and movement controls have been improved upon
-Sound files for the voice acting feel slightly off during specific moments of the game
-Minor performance issues that do crop up in 4K
Since Nov. 13, 2007, I’ve been a moderate fan of Assassin’s Creed, the series that takes real-world history only to twist it into something unique, a war between two factions. One faction that seeks to preserve the world about us through technology from The First Civilization and one that’s hellbent on using to control the world.
For 12 years, it’s a franchise that has grown beyond all expectations, with more than two dozen titles on the market, Assassin’s Creed is a series unlike any other, one that somehow continues to have more staying power than its competitor titles. Unfortunately, like many, I began to grow bored with the old mechanics, ones that remained mostly unchanged across more than 20+ titles (spin-offs and mobile titles included).
But alas, here we are, visiting classic Assassin’s Creed titles since the launches of both Assassin’s Creed Origins and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, both of which have faced more critical acclaim than you can expect. With Assassin’s Creed III having come as part of the season pass for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, we couldn’t help but revisit two classic titles from the last generation.
In order to talk about them, we will need to talk a bit about the enhancements versus stories as these titles have been around for quite some time now.
Visual enhancements that truly bring the game itself home.
As you can expect, the visual enhancements are going to be a key talking point for Assassin’s Creed III Remaster, especially since its and its prequel title, Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, have been given a moderately well-done enhancement compared to most remasters or remakes than you see.
For them both, the graphics have seen a generous upgrade, allowing for more visual fidelity, allowing for a true 1080p experience at a steady 60fps on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, most notably, the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X models. Both titles are included in the Assassin’s Creed III Remaster and it’s worth noting that both have seen some incredible enhancements you never knew would exist.
Enhancements made include volumetric lighting, the addition of god rays, screen space reflections, an incredibly enhanced shadow detail level, view distances, and even some noticeably enhancements to character models and their clothing detail. It’s surprisingly really, but at times, it does feel that it comes with a drawback as some of the detail feels as if some of the character models don’t match up to the overall remaster itself.
It’s surprising to say the least, that somehow, just somehow, the character faces and models haven’t been touched upon as you might imagine. The unfortunate side of this is the fact that character models certainly feel and look as outdated as you might expect from time to time while the rest of the game itself feels more up-to-date than before. It’s a shame as there seemed like some of the potential was truly there to push the game forward and even see it almost has the quality of an early-generation release for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Regardless, there are noticeable upgrades, as you can see above, that do stand out from the peers and we can’t argue the fact it has happened and we’re more than thankful that it has. If you enjoy 4K resolutions, you may actually notice some small texture pop-ins and graphical glitches that do occur from time-to-time.
Performance enhancements don’t quite stick, but they’re still noticeable
One problem I have with a lot of titles claiming to be a remastered edition of a game is that performance has never been improved upon and along with its visual fidelity, the problem persists in different ways. Luckily for us, that isn’t the case, and it seems that performance was a major focal point in Assassin’s Creed III Remastered. In both the base game and its prequel, performance meets all expectations, allowing for the game to run at a 60fps performance mark and never really dropping at any given point in time.
While there were a few moments when I noticed that it had, they were very, very few far and in-between, and it leaves for a lot of hope that the visual side of things will get touched upon a little bit more. While it does allow for the background scenery to really pop as you walk the streets of Boston or the wilderness, there’s something that just feels off about character models from time to time.
Don’t get me wrong. The graphics are gorgeous for being a game that’s seven years old and being upgraded to the modern day. That I can’t take away from the game. I can’t even take away how beautiful the forest scenery is while playing a rather young Connor as he explores the world around him. It’s just breathtaking and quite beautiful thanks to the games overall graphical enhancements.
Even when plaything as Haytham or Connor, I found myself more than once simply standing in the Green Dragon Tavern, staring down the newly reimagined lighting and fire effects in the hearth before me. I even found myself, from time to time, admiring the harbor itself, letting Haytham bask in the sunlight and the soft ocean breeze off the bay. While it’s not as beautiful or enjoyable as doing it yourself, it’s still admirable how far this game has come and just how beautiful it actually is even with a few minor graphical upgrades and performance tweaks.
However… The sound needs some work.
One thing that was off to me back in 2012 and is even seven years later is the sound. It seems as if the sound team didn’t get their chance with the remaster and if they did, well, it needs a bit more work than before. There are very noticeable oddities with the sound design itself, which to me, is quite important in games such as this.
There are very noticeable moments, especially in the beginning, when the voice sounds off compared to the scenery the characters themselves are in. There are moments where Haytham or Connor’s voices should have an echo, but none is made, and even more so, they’re loud. Their voices are obscenely loud in those odd little moments, making it almost seem as if some last minute changes from the previous launch had never been made.
While the small sound ordeal isn’t major, it’s still a problem that I have, but those who aren’t as picky as myself, you won’t find this to be a bother. That aside, the sound is great, pristine, and works rather well. It’s quite an immersive experience and I still found myself enjoying it no matter what came my way. While it certainly does, as stated, feel outdated from time to time, it’s hard not to acknowledge that Assassin’s Creed III was ahead of its time in all areas of design.
Out of the performance comes overall usability for long-time Assassin’s Creed fans. Don’t be surprised when you hear that both included titles have been massively updated as far as combat goes. The ebb and flow is more prominent, allowing users to enter and exit combat better than they had before. This means parries, blocks, grapples, and even your own attacks feel as if they have a bit more weight to them than before. Even Bows and firearms feel like they have an impact you weren’t quite expecting.
Even movement has been improved. You won’t find yourself grappling to unwanted things as much as before as it does take a bit more “control” to do so than in previous titles. This doesn’t mean it won’t happen though. Do expect it to as it does occur from time to time, but fortunately, it all feels a lot more natural than it did seven years ago.
One of the things that are great about games like this, is that they are a full package deal. With it comes all previously released content for Assassin’s Creed III including the Tyranny of George Washington and the once-PlayStation Vita exclusive – Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation.
All content itself has been given the exact same treatment, overhauling graphics, gameplay mechanics, and the overall vibe of a title. While it doesn’t sound like that is much, trust me when I say this: It matters. It works out rather well and it makes Ubisoft’s offering a rather appealing deal for those opting to pick up a copy of the game or even picking up the season pass for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
Bugs and technical issues that do crop up aside, Assassin’s Creed III Remastered is a fairly appealing deal, one that is sure to draw in fans who haven’t had a chance to experience previous games just yet. For those that have, this is an offering that may just be the one you need where you can pitch your PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 copies aside and upgrade to a more modernized take on the last-gen classic.
Just make sure you schedule some free time, there is at least eighty hours of content to enjoy.
Our review is based upon a retail version that was provided to us by the publisher of the game. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.