This was the first game I played on my PlayStation Vita, and I have to say it was quite an interesting experience. Overall, the story-line was quite interesting compared to its relative, Assassin’s Creed III, and it was interesting to see how the two games got tied into each other. I especially enjoyed hunting down the Citizen E to reveal the true story.
The first new component introduced was the dressing chambers, which threw me off a bit at first. Why on Earth would I want to deal with having to change personas all the time? The thought stuck with me throughout the game, and actually became a bit frustrating at times when trying to start a mission and being greeted with the “you must change to this persona to proceed” message. Really? You can’t just change me to that persona automatically? I have to run all the way to a dressing chamber?
I’m glad the original Assassin persona was present, and I used that one whenever possible, even though it always had a Notoriety Level 1. It felt more natural, it could climb, and it only gained further notoriety from actual killing. The Slave persona was almost identical with the added inconvenience of gaining notoriety for simply bumping into people and climbing when in the presence of guards (even when the game makes you run up a wall you didn’t actually want to climb). The Lady persona was by far a useless persona. I only ever used it when I was absolutely forced to use it. She ran slow, couldn’t climb, and I honestly never found a use for her charm ability.
As with previous games in the Assassin’s Creed series, the controls can get a bit frustrating. The automatic jumping ability (without having to press the cross button) was also introduced in this game, which had both conveniences and inconveniences. Perhaps the most frustrating partof the controls was seen in The Bayou where there were many trees and trunks laying around. I found myself hopping over broken tree branches and tree stumps over and over as I tried to actually climb onto them so I could run along them to other branches. As well, the small roots that stick out of the bottom of the larger trees can be climbed upon, even though they don’t stick far out of the ground, which makes for a frustrating time when running (or swimming) close to the bottom of one of such trees.
I also frequently had problems with the running button. It seems like whenever something happens that stops the character from running (such as performing an assassination) kills the running control shortly. I had to keep tapping the right bumper trying to get her to actually start running again instead of walking. This was most inconveient in the timed trial for one of the Pirates missions, where you have to run across the rooftops and on the way run across two guards who try to attack you. Killing them will slow you down for a bit while you wait for your running ability again.
Anyone up for some button smashing? Anyone? Seriously, this has got to be the worst mutliplayer system I have ever seen. It’s incredibly boring and there’s nothing to do. It’s literally just sitting there and pushing the same five buttons over and over for hours hoping your efforts won’t just go to waste. There’s no way of actual interaction with other players around the globe. If there weren’t three trophies for it, I certainly wouldn’t have continued playing that for more than five minutes. Total trash.
The trophies for the game were adequate; not incredibly easy to achieve, but still achievable. The 100% synchronization only applied to the main missions, which was fairly easy to achieve with a guide of all the bonus objectives. I used a guide for the bonus objectives because it’s incredibly difficult to catch what those bonus objectives are while you’re playing the game. They pop up in a small font in the corner and I never saw them, so I just looked them all up beforehand to prepare myself.
I have to ding the game on the trophies because the infamous Assassin’s Creed trophy glitches struck me again on this game. The Persona Collector trophy, which is a silver trophy for collecting all the persona-specific items, didn’t pop up for me even though all of the items were at 100%. What sucks even more is the fact that these collectibles don’t start appearing until after you’ve completed Sequence 3, which is basically half-way through the game. There was a bit of replaying involved when going for that trophy. A couple of other trophies were also glitched, but in the player’s favor. I remember getting for the Predator trophy erroneously. I climbed up into a tree, turned on my eagle vission, and ding, the trophy popped up before I even shot the guard with my blowpipe. Cool. I was about to complete the requirement anyways.
A small thing that bothered me was the treasure chests. Several of them kept appearing on my map, but for the life of me I could not find them when I actually went to the location on the map. Speaking of the map, I also had a problem with the shroud continuing to re-cover the entire map after missions and save loads, but I hear that was fixed in a patch which I hadn’t yet downloaded.
While my overall rating may appear a bit low, the single player mode for this game was quite enjoyable, and I would recommend it. However, the multiplayer mode was just terrible and unfortunately the rating will suffer harshly for it.
Gameplay: 7 of 10
Single Player: 10 of 10
Multiplayer: 1 of 10
Overall: 6 of 10