I almost started this post with “alright.” I realized I do that a lot. My first video game post in a long time. Let’s see if I still have a valid opinion. I’ve put over 40 hours into Assassin’s Creed 3, and I’m about 10 sequences into the 12 sequence story; I’ve done a lot. I absolutely love the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and Assassin’s Creed 3 is one of the best games in the series. I highly recommend the game, especially if you have followed the series this far. If you haven’t been following the series, I recommend starting from the beginning, or at the very least, start at Assassin’s Creed 2. It’s a great story, filled with history and conspiracy theories and playing them out of order would only spoil the story for you if you do plan on playing any of the past games in the future.
Even though Assassin’s Creed 3 is more then worthy to belong to the Assassin’s Creed family, it does have one flaw that stands out: the crafting system. Someone at Ubisoft decided to make it too complicated and sluggish. You don’t have to do it; however, it significantly improves your character.
The first problem I have with the Crafting system is that it downplays it. I didn’t start crafting until sequence 9, which proves it’s not necessary. But I kept hearing from my friends all the cool stuff you are able to do later in the game… well sequence 9 is pretty late in the game, and I was like, “What the hell? where’s my naval shipping and dual pistols?” Turns out, you gotta craft that stuff… well first you are going to have to find recipes.
Recipes are found via a few ways. First way, you can complete almanacks (think that’s how they spell it in game). You need to find the pages (or buy the map for them for a few 1000 currency). Then you need to catch them before they fly away. After collecting all the pages of a certain almanac, you get new recipes. The second way to get recipes, is to open treasure chests. Treasure chests were down played in the previous games, so I didn’t worry about collecting them this time around. I should have started collecting them early on. So much money and so many recipes. This wasn’t a big deal. I kind of enjoy exploring and collecting stuff.
After knowing how to make stuff with the recipes, you need to have the materials and the people in your homestead needs to have the skills to make said materials. This is done by completing homestead missions. That’s not a big deal, because if I see a mission on the map, I tend to do it, and then continue with the story missions. As you do these missions, your homestead peeps level up and are able to craft new materials.
This step of the crafting process is the absolute worse. Menus… which Assassin’s Creed has never done well… they are slow as molasses. Alright (crap I did it again), the actually crafting process is done through a menu, which is accessed through a book at your homestead (I think you can also do it at any store as well). This menu is like any other menu in Assassin’s Creed and favors looks over function. First you have to Stockpile the supplies to make stuff. The types of supplies you can stockpile is dependent on which homesteaders you have, and what level they are. This section is fairly smooth going, as there is not a ton of supplies you can stockpile (well, there is, but not as much as the stuff you can Craft… I’ll get to that in a minute). It sections out everything, pretty much by who is making it (various woods are under the Lumber category, minerals are under Minerals, etc). This costs money to stockpile this stuff, but it’s fairly cheap.
Now for the actual crafting. This menu is laid into categories, and then everything in the category is alphabetized.. which sounds great. Not so great. If you have a lot of recipes (which you do if you have gotten every single chest and almanac) there is a lot of stuff to go through. The worst part is, if you want to craft 2 have a recipe, you have to scroll through the abomination called the menu system again to find it; it doesn’t leave where you left off. Good luck crafting three Soap under Medicine. Oh and if you run out of a stockpiled item, you have to go back to the Stockpile menu system. Oh I hate it. Finding a recipe that I either, couldn’t do because my homesteader wasn’t a high enough level, or because I found a new recipe is a pain the butt.
The biggest complaint I have with the crafting system is that it takes you out of playing the game. There’s so much to do in this game that is fun. Hunting, naval battles, and, of course, assassinating. It’s a drag that to be a badass that is able to dual wield two pistols that I have to trudge my way through the crafting menus.