Reviewed On: Xbox 360
Available For: PC, PlayStation 3
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Genre: Third-Person Action
Age: 18 (PEGI)
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Assassin's Creed 3 is much like a beautiful flower. Although it's amazing from the second it sprouts, you really can't see the extent of its beauty until it opens and is on display for all to enjoy.
Set in the backdrop of the American Revolution, the linear beginnings, long introductions, and gradual tutorials are interesting, insightful, and help to ease the player into the massive world. It may take a few hours to get through, but it's never laborious and the rewards are huge.
Main protagonist Connor can plough on with the story, or can get involved in any of the side jaunts. There's hunting, board games, a variety of collectibles to be found, fighting on the stormy seas, assassin training, and loads, loads more.
With large assassin boots to fill, Connor isn't as charismatic as former hero Ezio, but he's honourable, diplomatic, and philosophical, and the storyline covers him growing up, which helps to concrete the bond with the player. He’s a multitude of people with an abundance of variable skills; he's a killer, a swashbuckler, a sailor, a hunter, a diplomat, a businessman, and a native. He's everything a central character needs to be - and then some.
But it's not just about Connor; the world of Assassins Creed 3 is breathtaking beyond belief. The fantastically recreated cities of Boston and New York are bustling with life. People actually seem to walk around with intent and purpose, living their own digital lives.
The frontier is equally as flabbergasting - maybe even more so. Nature has the rule of the roost, living in the lush forests, the rugged cliffs, the open plains, or the shimmering waters. Trees can be climbed, branches and canopies, traversed, and rock faces scaled.
To add to the feeling of the world being alive, the weathering system adds an incredible new dimension. Snow coats everything in the winter, and the leaves shed from the trees. Depending on the time of year, there's also the occasional thunderstorm, as well as glorious sunshine. The same place can look completely different from one season to the next.
These beautiful locales are ironically the killing fields of the brutal battles which took place at this time. The Boston Tea Party and The Battle of Bunker Hill can both be experienced in this fictitious recreation of real life events. Even William Molineux, Charles Lee, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington make appearances - and these are just a few of the historical characters which pop up.
As ever, combat plays a large part. Although the block and counter mechanic is simplistic, the abundance of character animations and the slew of interesting weaponry lend a great deal of excitement and longevity to the fighting.
Horse riding has made a return, a much welcome thing, considering the scale and vastness of the maps.
The modern day sections are better than they've ever been, and actually provide an enjoyable and varying game style.
Just as with the main game, multiplayer is better than ever. Now with team games and more unlockables than you could shake a key at, there's rarely a shortage of things to do.
I personally would have liked to see bomb creating, the hookblade, and zip lines make a return. But these are minor things considering the wealth of new addition this latest instalment delivers.
It's good enough to be the Holy Grail to fans of the series, and whilst newcomers may be put off by the storyline rich opening, its worth playing through. Patience is key - ultimate satisfaction the reward.
SCORE: 10 / 10
PROS:Sheer perfection on two shiny discs. Need I say more?
CONS: Would like to have seen bomb crafting make a return.