Good men do the best they can with what they’ve got, but great ones can make history. In the case of Assassin’s Creed, great heroes throughout history are also usually related. With Assassin’s Creed 3, Connor Kenway is poised to add his name to the legendary members of the Assassin Order. But to do that, he’ll need guidance from some of history’s greatest leaders, most influential figures, and a few fictional heroes crafted by Ubisoft.
The latest bunch of Assassin’s Creed 3 screenshots give a glimpse of some pivotal characters, along with a few more stills of the colonial cities and wilderness that Connor will be traversing. From the images, it looks like Paul Revere and the Battle of Concord will be of particular importance.
By this point, Ubisoft has made the significance of Boston and New York to the Revolution abundantly clear. But any fan of American history knows that while the political decision-making of the founding fathers may have taken place in wood-paneled parlors, the war was fought in the countryside. Since Assassins have shown a preference for mixing stealth and tact with executions and killing sprees, Connor will be spending a fair amount of time in both.
Connor has already been shown to have some skills in a battlefield, but not every hero of the American Revolution was a combatant. Paul Revere may be best known for his ‘midnight ride’ as a messenger for the colonial military, but his influence extended far beyond his speed on horseback.
As one of the ringleaders of the Boston Tea Party (which will be heavily featured in the AC3 campaign) and others, the inclusion of both Revere and the Battles of Lexington and Concord was previously suspected, albeit with a little historical tweaking at the hands of the game’s writer. Thanks to the presence of Concord’s North Bridge, that can be confirmed.
Have a look at Revere, Concord, and the daily life of a Revolution-era Bostonian during good times and bad:
Because Connor’s own struggle for social justice - complicated by his half-British, half-Mohawk lineage – is the real heart of AC3 and not the Revolution itself, it makes sense that the actual campaign begins long before the actual war. It’s hard to know what events will set Connor’s quest in motion, since Ubisoft is keeping the surprising opening a secret. But the screenshots prove that Connor won’t just be present, but leading the charge at the Battle of Concord; the fight that officially kicked off the Revolution.
Given Ezio’s impact on both the succession of the Papacy and Renaissance in Rome and elsewhere, it was clear Connor’s effect on history would be exaggerated for the sake of fiction. But with his presence in the first attack on the British, and a twilight meeting with Paul Revere, it may be wise for fans of the series to begin accepting that absolute ‘accuracy’ isn’t Ubisoft’s top priority.
One of the main reasons why Connor grew up to be such an efficient, moral Assassin is a credit to Achilles Davenport, a Master Assassin of the French and Indian Wars that preceded the Revolution. Of British and Caribbean descent, Achilles has dealt with many of the racial and political issues that Connor will soon face. He also happens to share a last name with one of the characters confirmed for AC3‘s multiplayer, British officer Matthew Davenport.
Davenport, a.k.a. ‘The Commander’ is one military figure whose genetic memories Abstergo has turned to in order to train their new army of modern-day Templars. Whether the two are related, it’s a nice reminder that the modern war between Templars and Assassins hasn’t been forgotten by Ubisoft.
While the allegiance of Connor to the American side of the conflict has been implied, despite the studio’s insistence that’s not the case, the impression is being lessened with each new set of assets. The last screenshots confirmed that Connor would be using his arsenal to eliminate both Redcoats and Patriots, and the fact that his mentor is even less identifiable as ‘American’ makes it even harder to predict how Connor will choose sides.
AC3‘s lead writer recently explained how even the ‘good guys’ won’t be completely without guilt, meaning his choices will be even harder than those Ezio or Altair ever had to make. If Connor winds up in a fight, expect there to be a strong reason for it.
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 coming November 18.
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