As anyone who has been following the series knows, Assassin's Creed 3 is by no means the third game in the Assassin's Creed series. In fact, not counting portable spin offs, there have been five games, including this, the latest entry in the series.
Most people consider Assassin's Creed II to be the first "good" game in the series, followed up by a superior sequel in Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. However, when Assassin's Creed Revelations came out, it became clear that Ubisoft had plans to continue the games as a yearly franchise, no matter the quality of the games they were putting out every year. Ubisoft quickly came out and publicly claimed that Assassin's Creed 3 would be a return to the level of quality their fans expected, but did they succeed?
When the game starts, you very quickly realize it is very much still an Assassin's Creed game, as you slowly make your way through the tutorials teaching you how to kill people quickly and quietly. This part of the game seems to take forever, but plenty of games have slow starts, right? After several excruciatingly slow hours of exposition and tutorials, the game finally lets you out into its open world, which turns out to be rather similar to the open worlds of past games. Thankfully, traversal sees an improvement when compared to previous games, resulting in far fewer instances of jumping in the wrong direction and a more pleasant open world as a result.
The core combat remains more or less the same as previous games. You'll find yourself parrying and then countering more blows than you can count as usual, but games like Sleeping Dogs have done this kind of combat system so much better at this point.
The biggest problem with Assassin's Creed 3 has very little to do with either the story or the combat. Even though this game spent a massive amount of time in development (at least for a yearly franchise), the game feels like it spent very little time being tested for bugs. While I did not personally encounter any game breaking bugs, I can certainly attest to their existence through third party accounts, but the much larger issues are the "smaller" bugs. Personally, thanks to bugs, I had to completely restart several extremely long missions and found several others far more difficult than they should have been.
Most importantly for Wii U users, how does the game use the tablet? In short, not very well. The game certainly supports mirroring, which is great if you use that feature, but as a second screen, the tablet is only used as a map. While this is certainly convenient, I can think of much better ways they could have used a completely second screen.
If you've liked Assassin's Creed and its story so far, Assassin's Creed 3 wraps up things nicely even if it is a bit buggy, but its hard to recommend to people that aren't particularly invested in the series already.