Thanks to all the hype, rumours and trailer build up to Assassin’s Creed 3, the only way this game could have surpassed my ridiculously high expectations is if it jumped out of the box and put itself into the console. But it didn’t.
Patience is required because the opening hours are very drawn-out and feel fairly pointless. You actually start the game as Haytham Kenway, who, disappointingly, is far more likeable than the protagonist Connor. When you do finally take control of him, Connor is difficult to connect with, although this may be intentional as the game insists ‘there’s no one path through life that is right or fair,’ forcing you to question Connor’s actions in a way you never did with Altair or Ezio. There just aren’t enough moral crises in games anymore. This instalment also has some of the most bugs and glitches of the series. I found many a guard with a bayonet up his arse, and was often stuck between two trees, irritatingly forcing me to reset the sequence.
Yet, I have two words for you: Pirate Assassin. Yeah, now you want to play. The new naval battles are some of the most exciting parts of Assassin’s Creed 3 and the sailing controls are almost seamless. The free-running element has also improved, becoming so simple and streamlined you’ll find yourself shouting ‘PARKOUR!’ victoriously as you land a tree branch. Visually, the game is stunning with astonishing attention to historical detail and lots of little things that make you want to stop and just observe the bustling cities.
Assassin’s Creed 3, being so ambitious, was bound to miss the mark sometimes but overall, it has an involving narrative, with some incredible visuals and well-expanded gameplay. If you’re already a fan of the series it’s a must-own.