Assassin’s Creed III is the coming our way at the end of the month, but The 405 have already had the chance to spend a few hours with a pretty hefty demo section of the game.

Starting off in sequence six, in the protagonist Connor Kenway’s homestead in 1770’s Davenport, it was very easy to see how this game is the next step along from the others. Connor has new weapons that are in keeping with his background and heritage; a tomahawk and a rope dart. The rope dart was introduced to us right at the start of the section via a mission involving killing some poachers in a fitting assassin-like stealthy manner. The rope dart allows you to quietly target and attack your foes from above by piercing or strangling them over a branch or beam, using your own body as a counterweight.

The new rope dart can also be used to hunt the various animals of the forests and countryside. The idea of hunting is new to the franchise but is in keeping with Connor’s Native American heritage. The animals can be killed for their meat and/or coats and skinning with different weapons will give you a varying quality of pelt - the better the quality the more it will be worth.

The forests also provide a new style of terrain for the free running element that so popular in the previous games. At first it can be difficult to work out just where and how to navigate the area, but with experience comes knowledge and you will soon be able to spot the ‘paths’ you can follow. This aspect feels even more ‘free’ and natural than before and really adds to game play and overall experience.

PhotobucketBut we didn’t just visit the forests. Boston gave us our setting for the more urban section of the game and here we could clamber up to viewpoints, meet famous historical figures, collect almanac pages and generally avoid being shot at. You can evade your foes in a whole new way this time, by being able to run through buildings for the first time. The NPCs have been given a new lease of life and are much more interactive, with Connor pushing them out of the way a lot more when running through a crowd, or by them trying to sell you things as you walk past. The world is far more engaging in general and the addition of children and animals (including cats!) makes for an even more believable world.

But if forests and towns aren’t enough for you, then maybe you would like to take to the high seas? Assassin’s Creed III gives you to the chance to set up shipping trade routes and generally shoot cannons at the British. We headed towards Martha’s Vineyard and got to steer the ship, direct the ship’s crew as well as shoot at enemy ships and forts.

The game is certainly something new, but still holds true to its roots. This is an Assassin’s Creed game through and through but has new mechanics and extras that makes it something more. Fans of the series will certainly not be disappointed, but it may also be worth checking out for those of you who haven’t enjoyed the previous games quite as much.

Assassin’s Creed III is released October 31st for Xbox 360 and PS3, November 23rd for PC and November 30th for Wii U.