The sprawling, ambitious epic Assassin's Creed 3 takes hours to hit its stride.
But fortunately, patient players prepared to endure the ponderous early errands will be rewarded with a thrilling action game that offers an incredible variety of activities to enjoy.
You'll get the chance to establish guilds, assassinate foes, capture forts, battle ships, build homesteads, fight alongside patriots, craft items, ride horses, raid convoys, hunt animals, escort famous historical figures, play boardgames, collect items and heaps more.
There are also fun multiplayer modes to enjoy when you're finished with the huge of amount of time-wasting diversions in the solo adventure.
Set during the American Revolution, the game's scale is massive and its storytelling often heavy-handed.
Its many niggles and frustrations also suggest the developers might have bitten off more than they could chew.
Another surprise is the small number of assassinations missions you are presented with, and how little freedom you usually have to complete them.
But few games are as thrilling and spectacular as Assassin's Creed 3, with the chance to explore the nascent cities of Boston and New York a particularly memorable experience.
Climbing and free running is as exhilarating as ever, even in the expansive wild frontier, while the combat is accessible and satisfying whether you have a sword or a pistol in your hand.
The chance to pilot a ship and unleash a volley of cannon fire to sink enemy vessels in the lavish naval missions is particularly fun, and a real highlight of the package.
It's an enormous game with a lot to offer. Those willing to invest their time will be treated to an engrossing adventure.
What have you been playing lately?
- Jason Hill
Jason Hill is on Twitter: @thatjason