Following the official announcement of Assassin’s Creed III, Ubisoft made it clear that the third major installment in the long-running franchise is going to be the biggest title the French publisher has ever created.
It’s obvious that Ubisoft’s bold claim is being taken seriously in-house, as they’ve gone as far as hiring a Native American consultant to ensure elements relating to this game’s protagonist are being handled appropriately.
With Assassin’s Creed III focusing on the American Revolution, another change that has been incorporated – which indeed complements the story alteration – is the much-requested addition of a new character in the form of Connor Kenway. Although Ubisoft didn’t take the path of introducing a female protagonist in Assassin’s Creed III, opting for a Native American named RatohnhakÃ©:ton is still a bold choice.
In talking with the PlayStation Blog, creative director Alex Hutchinson explained that Ubisoft wants to ensure they implement the game’s lead character perfectly, hiring a Native American to help achieve just that:
“We took it very seriously when we decided to have a Native American assassin, we wanted someone who was one step removed – we didn’t want a Redcoat or a Patriot. We also really liked the idea of having a minority as the lead character, especially one that isn’t really represented in popular culture.
“It comes with a lot of risk as well; we’ve hired a Native American consultant to make sure we’re handling things appropriately, and the actor who voices Connor is Native American as well.”
Another change among the myriad of improvements and additions Assassin’s Creed III will include is the protagonist having the capability of dual-wielding weapons. This mechanic was introduced by the developers as it was seemingly required during the Colonial era. The insertion of the dual-wield feature, meanwhile, prompted the developers to apply alterations to the control layout.
The development team had previously spoken about the new control schemes streamlining past mechanics, but took this opportunity to open up a bit more:
“We wanted him to feel more like a predator, so all of his combat is two-handed whether it’s tomahawk and knife, or hidden blade and knife. There’s a lot of new gear, and if you’ve watched movies like The Last of the Mohicans you can probably figure out some of them. But the core combat system has been rebuilt completely. What the buttons do, how they do it, the enemy types, the strategy, and so forth.
“The goal was to create a character who was as nimble and as capable in a wilderness environment as Ezio and Altair were in cities. We wanted to turn the frontier into a 3D playing space of uneven surfaces and slopes and trees….so when we looked at the controls, we thought we could clarify them. Having to hold two buttons at once in order to climb was definitely something we wanted to address.”
Hutchinson also delved into how the mechanics of past Assassin’s Creed installment’s free-running have been tweaked, hopefully putting to rest concerns that the old means of navigating alleyways and ladders wouldn’t break down when applied to the wilderness:
“In Assassin’s Creed III, if you hold R1 you’ll free run safely. You’ll stay relatively horizontal, so Connor will run past trees and he’ll only take “safe” jumps. But if you hold X as well, then the run becomes unsafe – he’ll try to go vertical, and if he hits the edge of a cliff, he’ll jump. Hopefully it’ll give peoples’ hands some relief, but it’s also a way of telling the game whether you want to take risks or not.
“We’ve managed to unify that new control scheme with our fighting. R1 is always sprint, so you don’t have to lock onto enemies anymore in order to attack them. And if you wanna get out of a fight, you just hold R1 and off you go. We have this idea, too, that Connor is always in motion – that he can assassinate on the run. So we have ways to run past a guard, snatch his musket, shoot his buddy, kill the next guy, and keep on moving.”
It’s extremely welcoming to see the variety of changes and additions Ubisoft’s eight studios who are working on the game have integrated, as well as the diversity of strategies players will be able to experience. It looks like this is shaping up to be undoubtedly the best Assassin’s Creed title to date.
Ranters, are you looking forward to experience another Assassin’s Creed experience, but this time under the control of Connor? Are you also open to the flurry of additions and tweaks being made in Assassin’s Creed III? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.
Assassin’s Creed III is currently scheduled for a release on October 30 2012 in North America while the title releases throughout European territories a day later for Xbox 360 and PS3. A PC version is expected to release around a month later.
Source: PlayStation Blog