Well, that failed far quicker than I could have expected...I thought I'd be able to cope with ACIII this time now. After mastering the new combat system in ACIV and Rogue, I was privately starting to think that maybe I'd simply over-reacted to the changed controls after going through ACI-Revelations in a short period of time. I thought that with the storyline over, and nothing left but random side missions - which I'd enjoyed in ACIV - and the sailing missions - which I'd heard were the best part of ACIII - I'd actually enjoy the game.
Oh GOD was I wrong. The second I started the game again I remembered just why I hated every frigging second of it. The fighting is still as difficult as ever, for one. While I was no expert at fighting in ACIV and Rogue, I could still annihilate a whole legion in battle and survive with only half damage. In III, I got killed in Boston or New York (I forget which, the maps all look the same; boring colonial brick houses, with the occasional popup about some historically significant lamppost that a revolutionary did something relevant against or whatever) almost straight away when trying to take on a similar group. And it doesn't help that because of the Revolutionary War going on, the cities are packed full of marching legions (that drumroll that sounds whenever they pass gets old quick), and they all rush to the defence of their cohorts, meaning you'll be dead pretty quickly. Although the AI's pretty buggy at the same time, and running around a corner can be enough for them to give up the chase. On the other hand, they can also see you through walls at times (I attacked a lone guard in a back alley and promptly ten guards from a few streets over were magically alerted) and can attack you for no reason (as noted in my other journal, I ran up to a church and a legion attacked me for the unspeakable crime of running).
Parkour is only mildly better than I remember; there don't seem to be that many guards on the roof anymore, and I'm much better at navigating trees now, but I still ran straight into a roadblock when I tried to get to one of those stupid pegleg trinkets. The map helpfully noted it was on top of a cliff on the far west part of the homestead, but it didn't offer any clues as to how to get there. When I first played the game, I wasted an hour running around the area looking for a handhold or something I could climb up on to jump on to the ledges...and I did the same here; getting attacked by about thirty wolves who all died via quick-time event. I eventually gave up and found a YouTube video with the answer (and also full of angry comments) which showed that you got it by climbing up a wall that was hard to spot in the OPPOSITE direction of the marker. Because that makes sense.
What else? The menu and crafting options are still as nightmarishly confusing as ever, and the rioting options seem kind of stupid when the Americans have won, so now it's random people revolting against the state they created (to be fair, this did sort of happen in real life, but that doesn't make it any less stupid)? The mini-missions are confusing, because they just begin and don't give you instructions, and the lockpicking minigames are just murder...half of the time the game resets because it wants my controller joystick to be in an EXACT spot, and it actually hurts to hold your fingers at stupid angles and pull the trigger repeatedly until the lock breaks. And after playing IV and Rogue, the naval missions are just boring. The straw that broke the camel's back? I loaded up a fort mission to capture part of Captain Kidd's treasure or something, and it was another one of those god damn missions where you have to do everything stealthily without being spotted once...no opportunity for stuff-ups.
God, that game is determined to be my most hated game of all time. I actually found myself looking back wistfully at ACI, of all the games...I mean, I didn't hate that game like most other people did (there were two levels that I hated, but for the most part I enjoyed the game), and I've been wanting to replay it for a while now, but damn, you know you've stuffed up when the bug-ridden and difficult first game is a more enjoyable experience than a fanciful game chock full of features.