Connor Kenway has taken the lion’s share of attention in the run up to Assassin’s Creed 3, to the point that some casual fans might have forgotten about Desmond Miles completely. The new screenshots released by Ubisoft should take care of that.

At first glance they may seem to show off more of the time period and setting, but a closer look hints that the campaign could be even bigger and more nuanced than many might hope. And how some of the series’ most enjoyable aspects will be fit into the American Revolution-era Assassin’s Creed 3.

First and foremost, they show that Desmond, Shaun and Rebecca will continue to play an important role, now accompanied by (*SPOILER*) Desmond’s father, William Miles. Exactly what the new team will spend their time doing alongside Desmond’s many forays into the Animus is unclear, but we’ve received a few hints.

Creative Director Alex Hutchinson has promised that the first act of Assassin’s Creed will come as a surprise, which we had presumed centered around the traumatic events suffered by Connor Kenway. Now that more and more details have been released about that chapter of our new hero’s life – in fact, the latest trailer focuses on nothing but – it seems our initial assumptions were misled.

Regardless of how Assassin’s Creed 3‘s campaign opens, it’s obvious that the new mechanics and traversal systems will require a larger introduction and tutorial. And that’s not even taking into account the more ambitious story Ubisoft’s writers intend to tell. The newest images give some sense of what steps Connor (and the player) will take in becoming the devastating killing machine we know him to be.

Have a look:

What will immediately jump out from the images is not the colonial setting, or the period locations that Connor will be navigating to hunt down Templars. We knew that a teenage Connor would be represented in-game, since that is the age at which he first seeks the guidance of Achilles Davenport, his mentor. But the image depicting an adolescent Connor setting up a bear trap implies that not only will players be spending a significant amount of time prior to Connor’s maturation to adulthood, but that his tactics and weapons may be more integrated with story than in the past.

The other image that stands out is what appears to be an underground connection to New York’s Trinity Church. We’d previously speculated on how Assassin’s Creed 3 will place tombs and ancient puzzles in a backdrop nowhere near as large or old as Rome or Constantinople. Native American constructs are one solution, but this image suggests that some of the early American buildings most tied to the Freemasons may also be folded into the game’s fiction. Either that, or the underground network of fast-travel locations will give a new, historically fictionalized view of some notable landmarks.

What are you most excited about: the role that Desmond and his team will play, the deeper exploration of American landmarks and history, or the coming-of-age story that Ubisoft has crafted for young Connor?

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 also planned.

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