Assassin’s Creed 3 is the first true sequel since Assassin’s Creed 2 and if you think it’s out a bit too soon after Revelations don’t panic, it’s actually been in development for a number of years shared between two of Ubisoft’s production houses. This time the action’s set in in the late 1700s during the American Revolution and not only do you play as Desmond in the present day trying to stop the end of the world, but also as Connor when you slip inside the Animus and live out the memories of this half-Brit, half native-American.
You’ll be somewhat surprised then that you actually play the first two hours or so playing as his father, Haytham Kenway, a British Templar who’s also not averse to killing people in cold blood who journeys to America by crossing the Atlantic by boat. It may be a slow start to proceedings but he’s actually a lot of fun to play as and oh so charismatic. Here you’ll also get to grips with many of the game’s mechanics including an improved combat system that feels more fluid than even before and get to see the breath-taking new engine that looks great up-close and when viewing vistas in the distance but does suffer quite a bit of pop-up mid-range on the Xbox.
The training doesn’t end there as you then play as a young Connor where you learn about the new hunting system in the game, how hiding and sneaking is better this time around and that yes, a game can take around 5 hours to actually get off the ground.
Whilst there’s no denying that this is a AAA title with superb acting, graphics and a rich, detailed story you do have to be very patient as it leads you by the hand with a lot of disjointed segments. The action’s set between your homestead, Boston, New York, the Frontier and the open water as you take part in naval battles but there’s so much to do here that the game does lose focus a little. It’s somewhat overwhelming when things eventually open up and you sometimes spend more time travelling between locations than actually assassinating people. When you are in the thick of it though, things feel better than ever. There’s more emphasis on action during fights and sneaking about gives you more options as you hide in tall grass, jump into moving carts and haystacks and generally have more options about how to go about achieving your missions.
On top of this there’s also the sublime multiplayer with a new game mode called Wolfpack. Thankfully it’s nothing to do with Alan from The Hangover and actually involves teams of four hunting down other teams but with a short time limit. Kill everyone and your time is extended which results in a more action-packed game mode to compliment the more traditional game modes of hide and seek.
If you like a lot of exposition and don’t mind sitting through a good yarn spanning centuries then Assassin’s Creed III is a welcome addition to the Assassins Creed series – however if you like your action to be a bit more focussed and you long for another adventure in Italy with Ezio, then this sequel may feel a little bit slow. Assassin’s Creed III just falls short of a 9 out of 10.