It's perhaps the biggest announcement the gaming industry has seen this year - and it turns out we already knew it yesterday.
Assassin's Creed III, a project over three years in the making, will be leaving the rooftops of Renaissance Italy, abandoning the confines of Constantinople, and will dive straight into the thunderous turmoil of the American Revolution.
The game will be adorning the cover of the upcoming April edition of Game Informer magazine, which claims to include more details on the protagonist, storyline, and look of Assassin's Creed III. One of the art renderings featured is a dead ringer for the previously leaked portrait of a menacing assassin in decidedly Native American garb. Considering Ubisoft's promise of a "major" March 1st announcement, and their disclosing of Assassin's Creed III's October 30, 2012 release date, the timing proved all too coordinated to be a coincidence.
It's no secret that fans of Assassin's Creed have been pining for a stark narrative and visual overhaul from developer Ubisoft after three straight years of tracing Ezio's Auditore's footsteps across Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, and Assassin's Creed: Revelations. Assassin's Creed III is the beneficiary of that three year span, during which a senior team of Ubisoft developers have been covertly working on surpassing any and all of the game's expectations.
The announcement comes as an answer of sorts to our wishlist for the next Assassin's Creed locations. We still don't know who the protagonist is - or what his relationship is with Desmond and the Assassin Order - but no doubt, the game will tie in the intrigue involving all factions of the fiction. The specific cast of Assassin's Creed III hasn't been announced either, but the rear portion of the cover also provides a strong hint at General George Washington making an appearance.
The image on the GI cover, as we dissected from the leak, shows our new assassin to be strapped with a small arsenal of weapons including a tomahawk, a bow and arrows, a sword, and a flintlock pistol. How Ubisoft designs the combat around these, and likely more tools, will be a key addition to look out for; though never disappointing in its brutality, Assassin's Creed has stuck with a similar combat interface throughout all of its iterations.
In similar Assassin's Creed III news, Ubisoft has promised that their official announcement of "all the details" for the game will arrive on Monday, March 5th. In the meantime, they provided MCV with the official box art that we'll see when Assassin's Creed III releases on October 30. Whose side is our assassin on? We don't know - but he's likely not a fan of King George.
[gallery columns="1" exclude="136299,136302"]
Well, there it is, Ranters. We have our time period, our setting, and just about all of our speculation cleared up. What do you think of Assassin's Creed III embracing the American Revolution? What characters or story lines would you like to see unfold in the war for American independence?
[Update: The first Assassin's Creed 3 screenshots have leaked!]
[Update 2: Check out these new Assassin's Creed 3 gameplay details]
[Update 3: Check out the official Assassin's Creed 3 trailer!]
Assassin's Creed III releases on October 30, 2012, for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple