Stealthy kills, Parkour action and a time-travelling(well, sort of) assassin in the era of the American revolution; that’s Assassins Creed 3 in a nutshell.
A continuation of the Knights Templar versus Assassins saga, the new installment introduces a new protagonist named Connor and is set in revolution-era Boston and New York.
In a neat twist, (without revealing too much) Connor is not the only character we get to play as. Both cities are beautifully recreated and feel really alive and bustling with activity. Graphics for the series have typically been top-notch and this time is no exception. Every frame is filled with a painstaking amount of detail, and the addition of weather effects add a whole new layer of realism.
The gameplay has flashes of brilliance interspersed with a few uninspiring moments. So you have the excellent naval warfare sections, thrilling assassinations and the Parkour mechanics that hit the high notes. And then you have pig-herding. Courier missions. And a whole bunch of other side quests that exist as fillers and don’t contribute to the main storyline in a meaningful way. To the game’s credit, most of these activities are fun enough, if somewhat pointless.
The combat is one aspect that could have used more work. Although it looks fantastic, the controls are fairly simplistic and most battles can be won by simply picking the right moment to perform a counter attack. The game is also riddled with bugs and the AI is patchy.
AC3 is a lengthy game, with easily in excess of 20 hours of content. The story takes a while to build up, but the payoff is well worth it. Ubisoft has once again crafted an intricately designed world and filled it with so much immersive content that it is easy to overlook the occasional misstep.
This may not be a revolutionary step forward for the series, but it still remains one of the best action adventure titles around.