After it was confirmed that Assassin's Creed 3 would root itself right in the middle of the American Revolution, thoughts of leaping from building to building and exploring colonial America fascinated many fans of the beloved series. Ubsisoft even mentioned that players unfamiliar with the franchise will find Assassin's Creed 3 an easy entry into the series as the three-game story of Ezio came to a conclusion last year in Revelations. Now, Assassin's Creed 3 is ready to propel the next hero into the assassin lore.
Enter Connor, a half English, half Native American assassin who will continue Ubisoft's tradition of extremely deep and complex protagonists. He is not a soldier in General Washington's army, as was confirmed by Creative Director Alex Hutchinson who said they "didn’t want you playing Mel Gibson from The Patriot." Like Ezio before him, players will get to experience several different periods of Connor's life, including a time when he was just a young boy in a Mohawk village. How this portion of his life will affect the rest of the game remains to be seen.
Other characters making an appearance include Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and the lesser known Charles Lee. Contrary to popular belief, Franklin's character will not assume the role vacated by the useful, friendly inventor Leonardo da Vinci, but instead will be closely tied to the political elements of the time period. George Washington will lead great battles against the English and will be historically portrayed as a stalwart and an occasionally indecisive leader. Charles Lee, a great general in his own right, will be prominently featured as well. Historically, many thought he was a better choice to lead the colonial armies, and he was captured by the English. There are many angles that can be explored here, from hero to villain to double agent.
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Boston and New York will be two cities heavily featured in the game, with the latter allowing Connor to experience the city before, during, and after the great fire in 1776 that destroyed a quarter of the city. This is one gameplay element that Ubisoft is highlighting for Assassin's Creed 3: the ability to actually live through poignant events and to see why people remember them for what they are. Expect to see major Bostonian events as well such as the Battle of Bunker Hill and the famous Boston Tea Party.
The city life will be teeming with more action than ever before, with wagons and merchants filling the streets and many people roaming and milling around. Free running will obviously take a center stage again as players controlling Connor will have even more ways to interact with the environment than ever before, such as diving into open windows to escape pursuing guards.
Changing seasons will also be present in the game, and Ubisoft is saying that it is not merely window dressing -- the changing seasons has dramatic effects on NPC character actions, gameplay, and enemy behavior. It is not known how they will handle time dilation in respect to the actual historical timeline though. Even the frontier, full of mountains and forests that populate the Northeastern United States, will not be an empty playground for Connor to retreat to -- instead, a third of the game's missions will take place here. Connor will be able to scale trees and mountains while exploring the untamed wilderness.
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Head to Game Informer for all of the images and higher-res versions.
As an American and one who likes to study history, I am extremely excited to see how this relatively untapped time period (in terms of gaming) is portrayed. While fun and interesting, I had no vested emotional attachment to the locations or even the historical characters of the previous Assassin's Creed games and that is not the case here. And though I do acknowledge that while my own personal reasons for being excited are different from non-Americans, I can't help but feel extremely anxious to see how this pivotal moment in American history is portrayed through the Assassin's Creed lens.
Ranters, what historical aspect of the American Revolution are you most excited to see in the game?
Assassin's Creed 3 will be released October 20 for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
Follow me on Twitter @mattrowland1.
Source: Game Informer