It’s unclear just how many secrets Ubisoft still has in their bag of tricks, but the nonchalant manner they’re adopting while discussing a potentially groundbreaking gameplay element is impressive. Assassin’s Creed 3 will be taking the fight for American Independence from the battlefields to the high seas, and bringing plenty of new challenges along the way.
Gamescom 2012 has been kind to fans eagerly awaiting Assassin’s Creed 3, with no shortage of details and story hints. The latest trailer expands on the previously released naval warfare trailer, providing insights from Creative Director Alex Hutchinson on the intricacies and developer goals that will shape Connor’s seaward adventuring.
The new walkthrough video doesn’t show many details or features that weren’t already shown, but does give a sense of just how deep the development team is willing to dive into history in the name of accuracy, not to mention compelling narrative. Explaining that the Revolution wasn’t only fought on soil, but water as well isn’t exactly a revelation, but is nevertheless a side of the conflict that is rarely explored in popular media. Of course, much of that is largely due to the fact that an American Navy was not quite as responsible for victory on the seas as the Continental Army was on land.
The Battle of the Chesapeake mentioned by Hutchinson in the trailer, for instance, was fought between the British and French. The inclusion of an actual conflict, not merely ones of fiction is extremely promising for the game’s overall historical accuracy, and intriguing, given Connor’s assumed place within it. Obviously Connor wasn’t actually present during the fight, so some creativity will be on display. But given the fact that the French won the Battle of the Chesapeake, it seems likely that Connor will at one point or another operate on the side of the French.
It’s entirely possible that Connor will remain neutral in the battle, but the British forces he is seen engaged with in both trailers says otherwise. The developers have maintained that Connor is on a mission of his very own, one in the name of social justice against Templars on whatever side they may fall. On one hand, Connor working with the French reinforces that greatly. But it certainly isn’t going to be reinforcing the developer’s claim that Assassin’s Creed 3‘s story isn’t about British hate.
Story ramifications aside, the mechanics for the naval portions of the game look somewhat promising. Connor and his First Mate – who we still believe is not the man he claims to be – will be taking on enemy cannons, boarders, floating mines, and Mother Nature herself. The dynamic weather has been proven as atmospheric and visually impressive since it was shown off at E3 2012, but the variability in weaponry and environmental hazards are harder to judge.
The naval sections that are framed as linear story progression have all they need to be interesting and gripping, but whether the systems are random or well-realized enough to keep Pirates! fans exploring the high seas beyond what’s necessary remains to be seen. Hutchinson still believes that fans will be genuinely surprised by what AC3 holds, so perhaps a satisfying open world of seaborne swashbuckle is one of them.
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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