The footage and details provided by Ubisoft so far make it fairly clear that Connor Kenway, the new protagonist of Assassin’s Creed 3, is the most deadly and ferocious hero we’ve yet to see from the series. But no one ends up that skilled, that driven, without some serious trauma and personal sense of duty.
The newest trailer, ‘An Assassin’s Journey’ places Connor’s life squarely into the history of the Assassin Order, and outlines the painful circumstances that first tore Connor from his family. Those who wish to have no parts of Assassin’s Creed 3‘s story spoiled before release may want to sit this one out, as the trailer also reveals that this early trauma is sure to resurface as Connor goes about his personal mission.
The previous trailers and behind-the-scenes videos for Assassin’s Creed 3 focused on Connor’s morality and honor, showing that he possesses a sense of right and wrong that trumps most of the other historical figures and military officials players are likely to encounter. But that kind of clear-cut perspective doesn’t come easy. In Connor’s case, he had to experience, as a child, actions so vile and destructive that personal vengeance isn’t even his top priority.
The ‘Assassin’s Journey’ trailer shows Connor’s early life, being faced with his Mohawk village being burnt to the ground, with his family along with it. With nowhere else to go, he has no choice but to turn to Achilles Davenport, a former Assassin of the French and Indian War that took place decades before the American Revolution. We had hoped that this sequence of events would be the ‘suprise opening’ that Creative Director Alex Hutchinson had alluded to in the past, but apparently the cat is out of the bag. Then again, the Connor shown to approach Achilles is noticeable older that the boy who was orphaned, leaving the missing years unaccounted for. And given General Charles Lee’s historical background, we still suspect that there’s more to his character than meets the eye.
It is from Achilles that Connor first receives his now-iconic Assassin uniform, blending the British, Colonial and Mohawk roots he represents into a single outfit (for a full look at Connor’s embracing of his Mohawk ancestry, check out the rumored Mohawk Armor concept art).
With Achilles’ voiceover, and that of others, the trailer emphasizes that Connor’s allegiances will be on a much more personal level than political, with hints that ‘even those he hoped to save’ would betray him. No further details on whether that refers to American or Mohawk enemies Connor may be forced to fight, but hint at the size and scope of Connor’s journey outside of mere combat.
As time passes, Connor’s seriousness and no-laughing-matter attitude is becoming more well-defined. Where Ezio Auditore was thrust into his role of Assassin, retaining much of the humor and attitude that he had learned from his brothers, sister, and even parents, Connor’s induction into the Assassin Order occurred at a much younger age, and under dire circumstances.
Previous insights from the Native American consultants at Ubisoft hinted at Connor’s outlook on the world, with his Mohawk name, Ratonhnhaké:ton, translating to “a life that is scratched.” The ‘Assassin’s Journey’ trailer shows just how true the name is, with Connor undeniable scarred from what he experienced in his early years.
The closing shots depicting a young, then adolescent, then adult Connor get the point across that Connor’s journey – which happens to be set against the American Revolution – isn’t one of politics, but a battle he has fought his entire life. No wonder he seems so stoic.
Ezio suffered his fair share of personal torment, to be sure, but it will be interesting to see how Ubisoft manages to round out Connor’s character and personality, if that is their intention. His journey of social justice and revolution looks to be a serious one, so hopefully there is some room for humor (and not just from Benjamin Franklin’s…interest in the opposite sex). We know Ubisoft has some interesting DLC cooked up, so if all else fails, look for additional content to lighten the mood.
Assassin’s Creed 3 will be 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.
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