Assassin’s Creed 3 Remastered Review: The Return Of Desmond Miles

Looking back on console Assassin’s Creed launches, Assassin’s Creed 3 was the last console entry I played anywhere close to release. Everyone loved the naval combat except for me, and IV followed that trend, so I opted out. Unity was a mess at launch, so I didn’t play more than a few hours. I didn’t mind though, because Assassin’s Creed 3 left such a bad taste in my mouth that I didn’t really want to. That being said, it’s pretty cool that Ubisoft decided to release Assassin’s Creed 3 Remastered PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Other than the original, players can now enjoy all of the main entries in the franchise on current generation consoles. I decided to dip back in to the colonial period for this review, and I’m pretty glad I did.

I still think Assassin’s Creed 3 is one of the weakest games in the franchise, but as with most annual titles, after 4 titles I was starting to feel fatigued. Not much had changed over the years, and I didn’t really enjoy the setting of colonial America very much. I’m happy I went back though, it’s nice seeing the franchises roots one more time. Now that the series has gone in an RPG direction, it’s almost alarming that Ubisoft didn’t see how well the series could have worked sooner.

Assassin’s Creed 3 almost felt like the black sheep of the family. Sure, Desmond was still the driving force of the story, but this was the first title not to feature Ezio after three years of games with him in the lead. This entry follows a young man named Connor as he tries to take down the Templars to prevent them gaining control in the early American colonies.

The plot isn’t going to be the main focus of this review since it came out almost nine years ago. The classic Assassin’s Creed twists and turns are still present, and the story holds up surprisingly well, even if it is a little uninspired compared to the newest entries. What this remaster does do best is package all of the content released for Assassin’s Creed 3 as well as Assassin’s Creed Liberation into one package. Most of the DLC wasn’t substantial, but The Tyranny of George Washington DLC focuses on an alternate history where Washington gets an Apple of Eden and becomes corrupt. I also rather liked Liberation when it launched for the Vita, but it hasn’t gotten the same TLC that Assassin’s Creed 3 got for this remaster.

Anyone who has played the Assassin’s Creed Rogue remaster will know what to expect here. Assassin’s Creed 3 looked good when it released for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, and a lot of that holds true with the work that went into this launch. The world is beautiful, the cities are vibrant and alive, but there is an emptiness to the characters both facial expressions and animations due to the limitations of the previous generation. This isn’t a remake, but a remaster, and only so much smoothing can be done around the edges. The Rogue remaster I mentioned before suffered the same issues, which is why I brought it up.

The lush forest environments, and the white glistening snow really shine with the upgrades. Dense foliage of the forest environments help bring the world to life, and snow glistens in the colonial sunlight. It’s impressive how well these environments have been upgraded for a 9-year-old game, but the source material was great for the tech at the time, so maybe not so surprising. The cities also get some of the same love that the environments get, and look almost as great as the wilderness.

Still, the citizens of Assassin’s Creed 3 Remastered have a dead look in their eyes. Facial features are sharp, hollow eye sockets feature bulging eyes that aren’t always terrifying to look at, but certainly can be. The actual resolution upgrades of this remaster are prevalent in every visual aspect of the title. Again, the environments receive the most love, but even the character models and textures benefit from the higher resolution. Xbox One X and PS4 Pro players will get to play at 1440p, but it seems like it’s locked at 30 frames per second.

After sinking a ton of time recently into Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, it’s hard to go back and play Assassin’s Creed 3’s story without feeling like the actual missions feel really derivative. Often, just following a character around is half of a mission, and a lot of content in this outing is built into the side missions. To really get the most out of it, expect to explore and find the many collectibles, or enjoy citizen missions or naval missions. There’s a lot of content here for players to get through, between the core AC3 experience, all of the accompanying DLC, and Liberation.


I feel like it’s hard to go back and play any early titles in a franchise, because generally mechanics get tighter. And while Assassin’s Creed 3 Remastered does get some quality of life updates, it’s even harder to go back when the franchise has only gotten better and better. It’s important never to forget your roots, but with what could arguably be the pinnacle of the franchise with Assassin’s Creed Origins and Odyssey, is it really necessary to go back? Assassin’s Creed 3 Remastered is a good entry in the franchise, but other than releasing it to get every main title on one console, it feels unnecessary.

Assassin’s Creed 3 Remastered is available now for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It launches May 21st for Nintendo Switch. This review is based on an Xbox One copy of the game provided by Ubisoft.

out of 5

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