Assassins Creed III ‘Remastered’ – Review

Assassins Creed is and probably always will be my favourite Assassin’s creed game. A lot of people don’t like it, but for me, the setting and the historical side of things was brilliant. I love my history especially things like the American Civil War, WWI and WWII, you can see a pattern emerging here I’m sure.

Also, the towns, how vibrant they were, the detail that went into them to make sure that the time-period setting was as spot on as it could be. It all seemed to fall into place for me, so when they announced the remastered versions were coming to console, even Nintendo Switch, I jumped for joy at getting the chance to be able to play this through again. The Nintendo Switch version was the version of choice for me, being able to play on the go, where ever I wanted to, sounded like bliss. Despite is coming a month or so later than the other releases, this didn’t bother me, just the fact that I was going to be able to play this on my Switch was enough. Then the time came, and my Switch copy arrived….

I started to play and straight away something didn’t seem right, the characters on screen didn’t look fresh, they seemed washed and bland, the character models looked as though they had seen better days, and the movement didn’t feel as fluid. I had played the opening few hours of this on my PS4 when it was released then as it came with my season pass for Odyssey, but didn’t go any further, as I wanted to replay it on the Switch. The game looked stunning on PS4, the updated visuals, gameplay tweaks etc, it felt good, the Switch version however, did not.

It still felt sluggish, not as clean cut and definitely not a remaster in the same sense as the PS4 version, which is when it clicked. It wasn’t a remaster at all, it’s more of if not a direct port of the Wii U version which released. One thing that gave it away was the fact that when you’re Haythem Kenway and finally make it to America and you climb the mast to see your arrival and the title crops up, I’m pretty certain on the PS4 version the wording ‘Remastered’ appears under ‘Assassin’s Creed 3’ – Whereas on the Switch version it doesn’t, it only says ‘Assassins Creed 3’ – my beef here is the fact that the cartridge and everything else states that this is a ‘remaster’ when it clearly isn’t, its only when you get the opening credit that the word is removed. Ubisoft should have been more open about this and not try and palm it off as something it clearly isn’t.

Yes the game has been updated to deliver a full 1080p experience which brings it in line with the PS4 version, but the other sacrifices made to the image quality have made this a let-down. I must admit that I preferred to play the game in handheld, the lower screen quality at 720p hides some of the roughness that playing on the bigger screen can bring, and it made it a much more bearable experience.

The detail on the ground was flat and washed there was little to no differentiation with rocks, debris or anything else lying there. From a distance trees and shrubbery looked wooden and stale and again, with any breeze had no ‘looseness’ to them, they didn’t flow well in the environment and it was very disappointing. I have a suspect feeling this is down to the engine being used, which was used on the Xbox 360/PS3 as well, where items will get gradually faded in as you get closer to them, however, on the larger resolution, this doesn’t show up well and makes things look out of place.

Loading to and from cut scenes is now greeted with an annoying bright flashing white screen that comes up on the TV or screen in handheld. I’m pretty certain this doesn’t happen on any other versions of the game, and I think it’s the way they’ve managed to get around any constraints the Switch has.

The lovely bustling worlds that I enjoyed and noticed on the PS4 version, are your normal Sunday morning town on Switch. (At least in my town anyway) NPCs aren’t as plentiful and in certain aspects are missing in action. For a game that was delayed later than the other versions, you would have thought that there would have been some TLC to it, to make it look like the ‘remaster’ that they were going for, but no, unfortunately, it’s a fail from me.

One other thing that has been compromised with this game is the audio, fitting the game onto cartridge and getting it as compressed as possible has caused things like audio to be cut back. Rather low key/muffled audio is haunting the game, but I guess to get it onto the cartridge, this was always going to be necessary.

As much as I did enjoy playing through the story again and re living it, the fact that this was sold as a remaster when it wasn’t, has left a sour taste in the mouth. Story wise and the setting of it, I still cannot fault, but I cannot endorse this version of the game, I would highly recommend you play the Xbox One or PS4 version which does have the full graphical upgrades and technical tweaks.

If you have played the Wii U version of the game, save yourself some money and go back and play that, the experience and look will still be the same as you would get on the Switch. It is very hard to recommend the game in this state, it really is, I’m hoping that it eventually gets some patches from Ubisoft to clear up a few things.

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