Assassin's Creed 3: Connor brings Tomahawk death to Ubi's E3 demo

We go eyes-on with Boston...

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Wolves will turn up when you have a successful hunt; all the animals behave differently if you try to attack them. They appear systemically and there's enough variety in the gameplay to keep that interesting."

After offing the wolves, Connor skins the stag and takes the meat to a nearby town. There are plenty of settlements in the wilderness, which is 1.5 times the size of Rome in Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, and each one will have a handful of people waiting to give you side-quests.

Taking a leaf out of Skyrim's book, you can stack multiple missions in AC3, and finish them at your leisure. "We have very talented mission and game designers so we came up with some interesting ways to unlock content and present content and make it feel integrated to the story," explains Corey May, scriptwriter.

"I know that in the past we've sometimes made side missions feel like they're very much side missions. Off to the side, run off and have no impact on the larger narrative in the larger world. So we've been working for a while on ways to better integrate to make side path narrative and gameplay."

During this second demo Connor is hunting a Templar called Silas, who is commander of a nearby Redcoat fort, but he detours to supply venison to the butcher in one of these frontier towns.

The rest of this demo plays out in a similar way to the events in Boston. Connor fights groups of Redcoats, using the rope-dart to hang one, grabbing another to serve as a human shield when the rest of the squad unleash a barrage of rifle fire in his direction, and finishing the rest with tomahawk, hidden blade and pistol.

After infiltrating the fort via the back entrance - a sheer, rocky cliff-face - he takes out a group of enemies carelessly clustered around a barrel of gunpowder. Confirmed: the world's oldest exploding barrels are in Assassin's Creed 3.

Finally, Connor chases down Silas and shows off running kills (he smashes a tomahawk into a Redcoat's stomach, without breaking his stride), disarming tricks (he steals the bayonet-tipped rifle off another attacked), and a whole new, savage air-assassination (he jumps off a scaffold and plunges his stolen bayonet straight through Silas as he sprints past below).

It looks incredible, and we can't help a sudden, sharp intake of breath as the bayonet cuts through the target's body. Ouch.

So that's everything you need to know about Assassin's Creed III's E3, single player showing. It's pretty much what we expected, but at the same time it impresses thanks to the polish and cute ideas that flow throughout. No, it isn't what we'd call a revolution, but when the series you're evolving is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition anyway... that's hardly a problem.

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