( Part Skyrim, part Arkham, all Assassin: Hands-on with Assassin’s Creed III

One of the strangest sensations in Assassin’s Creed III has nothing to do with brutally shanking hapless redcoats, magic apples, or Animus technology. It’s that feeling of stepping into a huge, sprawling environment that feels more akin to Skyrim than it does to the urban cityscapes of old. Rushing waterfalls, dappled foliage, jutting cliffs and peaceful wildlife; the American frontier feels like a place begging to be explored – and not only at ground level. Point at a location and our hooded hero Connor can most probably get there, scaling trees and leaping from rocks across numerous hidden pathways in an environment that feels oh-so-very different from the marble ruins of Venice and Rome.

Sure, Assassins’ Creed III is going to feature some pretty familiar stuff. You’ll be leaping from high places into convenient leaf piles, you’ll be running from rooftops to rooftops, you’ll be shanking dudes left right and centre. But for all that has come before it, ACIII feels both pleasantly familiar and markedly different than its predecessors...

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