Life, liberty and the pursuit of an audio patch.
The Remastered versions of Assassin's Creed III and Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation are now available on the Switch. Both titles feature a wealth of content, including all of the downloadable content from Assassin's Creed III. The problem is that while both are intriguing games and generally fun to play, this release, which is designed to be a “remastered” version of both games feels more like a shoddy port featuring a ton of technical issues.
Both III and Liberation takes place during the mid-to-late 1700s in the colonies prior to the formation of the United States of America. Assassin’s Creed III focuses on colonial America during the American Revolution with Liberation taking place in Louisiana towards the end of the French and Indian War. It’s a fascinating time period to explore, and Ubisoft did a great job bringing history to life with notable historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington all making appearances.
The stories themselves are interesting, with III telling its story over a couple of decades, first through Haytham Kenway, then his son, Connor. It takes a while for the story to really get going (you don’t play as Connor for a number of hours) but it eventually finds a good pace and uses the historical settings to its advantage. Liberation also has a strong narrative, telling the story of Aveline, a French-African woman who serves as a templar in New Orleans.
The Remastered versions bring HD rumble and touchscreen support for the Switch, which are nice touches. It's also fun to play in portable mode. But graphically, III’s visuals are a disappointment on the Switch. Among many complaints: backgrounds come off as bare, models look dated, and everything for some reason comes off as really dark and hard to see, especially when you enter a room or tavern. The actual settings and locations are impressive, but visually it doesn’t hold up, and the upgrades that were brought in for the PS4 and Xbox One re-releases such as improved lighting don’t seem to be here.
Gameplay wise, both titles feature fun and varied missions to play through. Most missions require stealth and detective work, though of course there are plenty of times where you are required to take out enemies. Eavesdropping into conversations without being detected, tailing persons of interest and accomplishing tasks while avoiding capture are just some of the missions you’ll take part in. There’s additional goals to meet in order to obtain 100% synchronization, which are fun to try but not required in order to clear a mission.
Unfortunately, the Remastered editions are riddled with technical issues. The most heinous being notable audio problems, especially when transitioning between cutscenes. It gets old fast, and is a problem that never seems to fix itself. Another notable issue is where I would shoot or attack enemies and they would either freeze in place or literally combust into a pixelated, glitchy mess.
Both Assassin's Creed III and Liberation are titles worth investing time into. They contain tons of content that’s fun, and the time setting makes for some interesting scenarios, but the technical issues for this Switch port aren’t worth the trade off for being able to play on the go. These issues aren’t bad enough that the Remastered editions on the Switch are an unplayable mess, but it’s still a mess regardless.