What makes an assassin an assassin? For Altaïr ibn-La’Ahad, it was birth into the sacred Assassin Order during the Third Crusade – a time when chaos, destruction, and in Assassin’s Creed, conspiracy had engulfed his region of the world. For Ezio Auditore, it was witnessing the execution of his innocent but betrayed father and brothers, a heart-piercing wake-up call in a debonair Renaissance life.
And for Connor Kenway, the star of Assassin’s Creed III? Well, we know so far that his Native American home is violently uprooted by colonists during the course of the French-Indian War, when the half-English/half-Mohawk protagonist was still a young boy. But what are Connor’s real motivations as he matures into the American Revolution? As he’s catapulted into the heart of rebellion and forced to choose – or decides to, perhaps – between two sides that, as history now tells us, were likely damning options either way?
Ubisoft’s third entry into four-part “Inside Assassin’s Creed III” series doesn’t resolve all of our Connor Kenway questions, but it does explore the way Ubisoft Montreal is constructing the game around around him.
From a technical perspective, we get another overview of the combat and traversal as it’s being crafted for Connor’s dual-wielding and free-running (i.e. parkour) proclivities. There’s also quick look into the voice-over work being done for the game’s Native American cast – Ubisoft brought in a native speaker of the Mohawk language to create ethnically authentic dialogue. But what fans will likely appreciate most is the opening introspection into Connor’s background – his principles and beliefs guiding him in the world.
Our assassin has a steady moral compass at the beginning of the game, according to lead writer Corey May; he’ll cast his lot with whomever he deems the righteous party. Seemingly consonant with the anti-tyranny/oppression goals of the Assassin Order, that side happens to be the Americans more often than not in Assassin’s Creed III, but May explains how the game presents every key historical figure “in a way which the history books wouldn’t normally portray them.”
That isn’t just crucial for the player: Connor’s world view is that of a novice – he’s unfamiliar with European customs, their history, or the George’s running the show on either side. Ubisoft has touched before on the often-brushed aside imperfections of the Founding Fathers, so it’s entirely possible that Connor’s open mind will lead to some blurred allegiances down the road. After all the game does run beyond the end of the Revolution – a period when more than a few politics were at play.
And this is exactly the way Ubisoft wants it: Endless speculation surrounds the life of our new hero leading up to release of Assassin’s Creed III. Whether it’s the formative impact on Connor of contentious American general Charles Lee, or the meddling of Freemasons and Templars on the new American continent, the backstory backboning the game’s central figure – not to mention supporting members like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and even King George III – remains a mystery thanks to the developer’s ability to play loose with the subject matter.
In any case it won’t be long until we discover the full story of Assassin’s Creed III, as it releases on October 30, 2012 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The Wii U version was just confirmed as a November 18th launch title, while a PC version arrives on November 20th.
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