One of the most controversial Assassin's Creed games is Assassin's Creed III. Not necessarily because it was a bad game outright, but because it was so huge that it released with some unforgivable bugs during its initial launch, not to mention it suffered from being a little too bloated for its own good. That resulted in a lot of pacing issues, one of which involved the main character not arriving until nearly seven hours into the game. With the Assassin's Creed III remastered edition set to release next year as part of the season pass for Assassin's Creed Odyssey, the original creative director on the game took to Twitter to discuss what he would fix, and how he would improve the overall playability and pacing.
There's a long string of changes that Alex Hutchinson suggests across a lengthy Twitter thread, including removing the damage that the fire does in the final mission, so players won't have to fail and restart the mission all too often, which breaks the pace. There's also a suggestion that I think is 100% needed for the temple segment in the "real world."
Now, I was one of those players who took the time to complete each segment whenever it reverted back to Desmond, because I'm a completionist, but I can only imagine how frustrating it would be for other players to have to quickly go through all the temple segments to trigger the backstories all at once. It definitely helps when things are spaced apart.
Another change that Hutchinson suggested was forcing players to complete Homestead side-missions in between the main missions in Assassin's Creed III. His reasoning for this is that a lot of people complained that Connor lacked a personality (which I wholeheartedly disagreed with), with a lot of his personality and traits only getting depicted while interacting with the Homestead refugees.
This is absolutely true. Connor is a lot more patient with those on the Homestead because he finds a modicum of kinship with the people who have been cast out of their homes or are being hunted by one side or another. The Homestead is ultimately a place for pariahs, and we learn through the side-missions what sort of value it has to Connor after his original home was burned down and his mother killed. The Homestead missions were a good juxtaposition to show Connor more at ease when compared to the rage and anger he'd directed toward both the Assassins and the Templar for not caring about the massacres that were happening across the land to the Native Americans.
Another aspect of Assassin's Creed III that Hutchinson wanted to explore in a more streamlined fashion was the naval quests. He suggested that they should be intertwined with a more narrative flow to keep the game moving along.
I can't disagree here. Usually I would embark on a naval quest or two just to do something a little different, but forcing it into the main story to not only mix up the gameplay, but to also create a more brisk pace, would have helped.
Another big change would have been interspersing Haytham's missions with Connor's.
I'm torn on this, because in some ways I wholeheartedly agree that it took a long time to get to Connor's story -- in fact, Haytham's length of gameplay was long enough to be its own game! However, playing through the seven-hour Haytham mission created a big swerve once the plot twist was revealed. Spacing those missions out between Connor's gameplay definitely would have been interesting, but I don't know if they would have maintained the same weight as it does when playing through it all in one go. It's a tough call, but I suppose if it were all handled well enough, it would have made for an even more enriching experience in Assassin's Creed III.
The game sequel still ranks as one of my all-time favorite Ubisoft games, even with its flaws. The combat system is unmatched by any other game out there, and the way you can string together assassinations is a cinematic delight. I do wonder if Ubisoft will be taking heed to any of these specific suggestions when Assassin's Creed III and Liberation are re-released as remastered editions in 2019.