I love me some character customization. Character customization can, for me at least, increase significantly increase gameplay value and replayability. (I’m looking at you, Tenchu Z.)
Assassin’s Creed 2 introduced tailors to the series, allowing the player to dye Ezio’s clothes from the traditional assassin white to a varying array of refreshing colors. It also introduced tiered armor, which didn’t do much for customization unless you were willing to take a hit to your overall health and voluntarily wear weaker gear. It did give Ezio gradually changing visual look.
Assassin’s Creed 3 caused me more than a bit of a headache, but i’m going to focus on their poor implementation of dyes and alternate outfits. Let’s start with dyes.
* You can’t see what you’re buying- The menu offers only a brief description, such as “a dark brown outfit with white a red accents”. Why can’t you see it?! AC2 and Brotherhood knew to have the common sense to show you what it looks like before you buy it, why suddenly drop the feature? In what universe is someone expected to buy something without knowing what it looks like? (I’m looking at you, Tenchu Z.)
* Cutscenes don’t care what you buy- So you take the plunge and buy an outfit on faith. You run up to your next mission, the cutscene starts and suddenly you’re wearing the default colors. That’s alright, I didn’t want to feel a sense of immersion or continuity anyway.
Resolving that dyes were a lost cause, I focused instead on acquiring a new outfit. At launch there was a total of nine outfits, or six if you don’t want to spend money on DLC. Two of those outfits are acquired through collection quests, one a bit more involved than the other. After knocking out those quests and getting my spiffy new (well, old really) Kanien'kehá:ka outfit and Captain Kidd’s Robes, I discovered more annoyances.
* Cutscenes shave your head- The Kanien'kehá:ka outfit lacks a hood. Therefore, anytime Connor would be wearing a hood, he has a shaved noggin. Even after Connor actually shaves his head, the game ignores this and imposes his previous hairstyle.
* Changing outfits screws with your pistols- If you have the second holster, and you put on an outfit that doesn’t aesthetically accommodate this, the game will remove it. This can be somewhat surprising, if, in the middle of a battle you discover that you’re only carrying one gun instead of the two that you counted on.
I really wanted to enjoy Assassin's Creed 3. With a native american protagonist set in a time period culturally relevant to me, it had so much potential, but these issues in combination with all the other problems I had with the game, I think I'm pretty much done with Assassin's Creed 3.