‘Assassin’s Creed 3′ Benedict Arnold Missions Exclusive To PS3

Published 2 years ago by

The American Revolution produced plenty of heroes credited with military excellence, on both sides of the war. But no figure in the conflict has become more saddled with treachery and dishonor than Benedict Arnold. For the history buffs who still carry a grudge against the attempted traitor of West Point, Assassin’s Creed 3 is just what the doctor ordered.

The four-mission arc of Assassin’s Creed 3 will send Connor Kenway to the historic fort under direct orders from General George Washington. His mission: infiltrate Arnold’s forces, uncover the traitors, and protect the Continental Army from the hit to moral that such treason would inflict. Unfortunately, as of now, the missions are a PlayStation 3 exclusive.

We’ll skip right by the numerous jokes about Benedict Arnold and console-exclusivity and stick to the details, straight from the PlayStation Blog. With Connor being shown clearly on the side of the Patriots’ quest for freedom, some might be surprised to see an American traitor also included as a key figure.

The move backs up Ubisoft‘s prior claims that neither side was perfect, and Connor will be dispatching Bluecoats and Redcoats alike. But the story told through Arnold’s missions will apparently speak to larger themes. AC3 writer Matt Turner isn’t going to spoil anything just yet, but does hint at why a tale of treachery will be at home in the game’s campaign:

“Benedict Arnold is a name that transcended the Revolution and became a synonym for the word ‘traitor’. Given some of the themes in the main story thread, it flowed really well with some of the later beats…but I won’t be specific as they are spoilers! It was also a great opportunity for us to tell a story that people know but don’t really know, you know?

“It’s definitely not like King Washington. We have some scenes that have the actual words spoken by key players in the events at West Point, according to the records from the court proceedings following what happened. On the other side of things, we needed to inject it with some gameplay so there are some liberties in terms of the action. But who was there, what they did, and what happened to them is as precise as the history books would allow.”

Assassins Creed 3 West Point

The fictionalized history of the ‘Tyranny of King Washington‘ Turner refers to is something we wouldn’t mind seeing more of – especially if the promotional art is kept to the same standard. That being said, it’s good to hear that the developers are remaining committed to teaching real history.

Obviously some creativity will be mixing Connor Kenway into some of the most iconic events of the Revolution, but giving the player a sense of driving history themselves should make the learning experience more satisfying. Seeing famous faces and names in a new light is always welcome in a medium defined by space marines and Tolkien-esque fantasy, particularly if those behind the projects are intent on making a statement about racism and social justice.

For those who aren’t big on history, the plot outlined for the PS3-exclusive missions puts the fate of the Revolution’s success squarely on Connor’s shoulders. West Point, located next to the Hudson River (essentially the middle-point of the colonies) was the central hub of Patriot defenses entrusted with keeping supplies and communications flowing. It goes without saying that the commanding officers of West Point, then, held significant control over the ability of the Continental Army to function.

Assassins Creed 3 Benedict Arnold

Major General Benedict Arnold was the man responsible for the task, who later plotted with the British before being uncovered and fleeing to fight in the British forces. The account of his treachery and branding as ‘traitor’ is a prime example of history’s tendency to reduce people and events to simple notions of right and wrong – the kind of morality that Ubisoft has claimed they aren’t satisfied with.

Arnold was guilty of plotting with the British, but his motives are generally not discussed. After all, his rank and assignment weren’t coincidences. Arnold distinguished himself through acts of bravery and intelligence, even spending much of his own fortunes to fuel the war effort. Debts went unpaid, and others rose through the ranks of the military by claiming Arnold’s actions as their own. Ultimately, Arnold’s grudges led him to work with the British and the rest, as they say, is history.

Those motives certainly don’t prove Arnold’s innocence, or question his status as ‘traitor,’ but they imply a far more complex and conflicted man than most know. In other words, the exact type of character that Ubisoft’s writers could bring to life in completely surprising and inspired ways. So it’s a little disappointing to see the character portrayed in the above trailer as scrambling and suspicious. But Turner maintains that the writing team isn’t just perpetuating the stereotype:

“Our interpretation of Arnold actually weaves into the overall fiction and to divulge that would be to spoil a portion of the story. That being said, we don’t like having “bad guys” in Assassin’s Creed and this is no different in terms to Arnold and these missions. He has his reasons, and from a certain perspective they make complete sense.”

Assassins Creed 3 Benedict Arnold PS3 Missions

How accurately Ubisoft will keep to the entire story remains to be seen, since screenshots imply that Connor will launch a fairly unavoidable attack on Arnold himself. Regardless, having a deeper insight into the infamous Major General’s reasons will be worth the play time. It’s most likely that those reasons will be cast as somewhat selfish or unjust, but hey, video games need enemies. And we always enjoy being proven wrong.

What do you think of the choice to cast Benedict Arnold in a new light? Is he the kind of historical figure you hope to see explored in the game and future DLC, or would you rather Ubisoft be granted more creative license?

Assassin’s Creed 3 is released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 on October 30, 2012. A PC release is scheduled for November 20, with a Wii U version on November 18.

Oh, and in case you think we’re alone on our thinking that Arnold deserves a break, we’re not:

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: PlayStation Blog EU

TAGS: Assassin's Creed, Assassin's Creed 3, PC, PS3, Ubisoft, Wii U, Xbox 360

  • Red

    I own a PS3 and i think this is stupid. Just because someone would rather have na Xbox, they shouldn’t be penalized. Every player should get the same access to content despite what console they buy or what store they shop at. This is just downright insulting to loyal gamers. I know at least 4 of my friends are going to lose out because of this. They shouldn’t be denied or delayed on tis content.

    At some point or another the video game industry needs to putt their collective heads out of their collective ***es and realize that these kind of exclusives are bad for PR, bad to customer loyalty and bad for sales. An Xbox player shopping at Best Buy should be able to get the same content at the same time at the same price as a PS3 player shopping at Gamestop, or a Wii U player shopping at Amazon, or a PC games shopping on Uplay/Steam/Origin/whatever.

    • brandon

      Only when PS3 gets Dawnguard should 360 owners get this.

      I have a 360, I think its as fair as it could get.

      • Red

        PS3 didn’t get Dawnguard because of coding problems. Xbox isn’t getting Benedict Arnold because money changed hands.

        I realize fully that there is a marketing reason for this. Like ATG mentioned, it’s incentive to buy consoles and shop at certain stores, but to many people its incentive to buy games for PC or hack consoles and download the add-ons rather than dealing with this “Shop here/Own this or you’re S.O.L.” nonsense. Find better ways to get customers.

        • ATG

          Incentive to steal? Well I guess a liquor store robber has a legitimate excuse since it’s difficult for him to “work here/make this or you’re SOL”, we better change the way jobs are acquired.

          Hackers are just thieves and there incentive is never justified so nobody should budge for them.

          ” these kind of exclusives are bad for PR, bad to customer loyalty and bad for sales”

          No, it really isn’t. This is their way of rewarding their loyal customers so it’s the opposite of this comment.

          At least that’s how I see it.

          • Red

            It’s the way of rewarding SOME loyal customers. Sure Sony is rewarding thier loyal PS3 customers, BUT Ubisoft is penalizing their loyal customers on the Xbox. Some people don’t want another console. I had a xbox 360 years ago. It had few exclusives i wanted and ended up sitting around collecting dust, so i traded it in and got a PS3. I’ve got more games than i can play on it now.

            Releasing exclusive dlc is just saying, “Hey, Loyal customers, if you want ALL the content, you are gonna have to do a few things. First, you’ll need to own multiple consoles, then you’ll need to go to multiple stores and by multiple copies of the game, and THEN you’ll need to buy copies for both systems, because some of them will be console exclusive.”

            Now, I know you might say, “Just wait for the DLC to hit your consoles dlc store.” BUT not every game has all its DLC made available to both consoles eventually. There are a few games that never got all the DLC on one or both of the consoles. THAT is where the bad is. As mentioned, Dawnguard has taken month and PS3 players are still waiting for Obsidian and Sony to figure out the problem and as more time goes on, the more PS3 players worry they’ll never get the content.

            When the console maker or the sore does this, they reward the customer, but the GAME COMPANY doing it is always locking some gamers out. The very fact they are offering a store/console exclusive inherently penalizes some group of gamers. It is good PR for the Store/console and bad PR or the game company.

    • ATG

      It’s incentive. Sony purchases additional content to use exclusively to reward their loyal customers or convince multiple console owners to buy on their console, and it pays off for them.

      Publishers and companies like Gamestop and Best Buy do it to outsell the competition. Like Sony or Microsoft contracting developers for an extended period of time, exclusives.

    • Shalkowski

      Are you kidding me? Do you know how much the PS3 is alienated? I cant believe you are bitching about one dev giving the PS3 a break when the 360 gets practically everything. Also this helps loyalty. Its not loyal if a system gets something the other doesn’t so you switch systems. That’s called joining the bandwagon. Not loyalism. If the companies didn’t have these special offeres then there wouldn’t be competition and no competition means less business.

      • Fathomless

        So then let’s fix both problems, not act like we should allow one problem because of another problem. It’s the old saying “Two wrongs don’t make a right” verbatim.

        Also, this only helps Sony “loyalty”. It does nothing for Ubisoft customer loyalty. Special offers like this also don’t do anything for competition, because if it is to secure loyalty, they are only trying to keep what they already have. Most people aren’t going to be running out to get a PS3 just because of some DLC for AC3 anyway, they’ll just fume that they can’t have it because they already made their choice.

        I’m sure this DLC will eventually hit the 360 anyway though. DLC for games that aren’t console exclusive almost never does.

  • Seth W.

    This sounds like an interesting add on. I imagine we will see it on the Xbox at some point. Probably in a game of the year addition. (With all the Game of the Year awards out there, it’s bound to win one.)

  • Bell Curve

    One nations ‘traitor’ is another nations’ ‘patriot’.