In a year without a new mainline entry in Ubisoft's flagship franchise, I've found myself reflecting on my time as a fan of Assassin's Creed. If I were to rank the games in the series objectively, Assassin's Creed III would sit ahead of 2014's aggressively flawed Unity and behind all the rest. It's a rough game at times, particularly burdened with frustrating and incomplete-feeling mission design and a litany of technical and pacing problems. Despite all that, if I were to throw objectivity out the window and let my heart hold sway, Connor's journey through America's tumultuous birth stands as one of the most memorable experiences in gaming for me.
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The original Assassin's Creed released to astonishing sales and forcefully established a truly "next generation" franchise, but it certainly left plenty of room for improvement; something fans and critics alike were none too shy about pointing out. Assassin's Creed II is, in many ways, the sequel that most sequels wish they could be. It takes everything that worked about the original and improves it, excises anything that didn't, and then adds a wealth of its own charms and surprises into the mix. The resultant recipe is intoxicating.
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