The second instalment of ACIII's topsy-turvy DLC picks up right where it left us, in the clutches of the corrupted Sons of Liberty and their deranged monarch, Washington. With most of his brethren now six feet under we're reunited with Ratonhnhaké:ton in Boston, where he's been thrown in the clink after surviving a run-in with Mad King George and the Apple of Eden.
More's the pity, as we leave the snowy wilderness behind in favour of the grey city landscape. There's a near constant stream of Bluecoats, who attack with all the zest of outraged PETA representatives when they spot you, as well as endless downtrodden locals being starved/beaten/executed and in dire need of rescue. Whinging civilians just don't constitute an interesting side mission, and whilst it's a great excuse to get elbow-deep in tomahawk fodder it all gets a bit irritating when you're just trying to pop in to the local boozer to eavesdrop on some guards.
Thank the Ancestors, then, for this episode's new superpower - eagle flight. Along with some sweet new body art, Ratonhnhaké:ton can transform into a majestic bird of prey at will and swoop uninhibited over the rooftops. It's quick, stealthy, and uses barely any health, unlike its counterpart invisibility power. Chasing someone? Looking to get incognito fast? Or just want to materialise in thin air and land on a panic-stricken victim? Choose animorphism, its genuinely wonderful. You'll never walk anywhere ever again.
Whilst the animal powers significantly increase the pace and make for some brilliant combat, there are still plenty of aspects that rankle. One objective, to "blend in quickly", can barely be read in the time it takes for the memory to desynchronise, and the game can still be extraordinarily particular when it comes to being spotted. Oh, and all the animal powers in the world aren't going to get you out of playing draughts at some point.
It's still the ever-compelling plot that reigns supreme, and whilst they're not giving anything away until the final episode there's definitely enough going on here to ensure a thoroughly enjoyable romp. We even get a faint whiff of sea air in our nostrils - a reminder of some of the ACIV trailers we've seen over the last few weeks - although we're not allowed near the helm just yet. Perhaps a tantalising glimpse of things to come.
By Debbie Hicks. Download the pack here for 800 MP.
Nothing radical, but enough to sink your wolfy teeth into
- You get to fly!
- Pace is infinitely better
- Still brilliantly scripted
- Excess of whinging civilians
- Boston's dull