This must have been quite an annoying week for Ubisoft. What was meant to be a slowly-revealed announcement of a high-profile game has more or less been leaked in a matter of days. Regardless, those leaks continue, as details from the latest issue of Game Informer have revealed a variety of details regarding Assassin’s Creed III.
The game’s new protagonist, seen above, goes by the name of Connor, although his birthname is Ratohnhaketon. Born to an American soldier and a Native American mother, Connor was raised by a Mohawk tribe. After some time, his village was burned to the ground. Because of this, Connor swore to fight for the greater good. This is in contrast to the previous series protagonist, Ezio Auditore, who fought for revenge. During Connor’s quest for justice, he runs into the Assassins, and decides to assist the colonists in the war against Britain.
As revealed previously, the game is set during the American Revolutionary War; specifically, between the years 1753 and 1783. Locations in the game include New York, Boston, and the Frontier, which is a massive wilderness said to be 1.5 times larger than the entirety of Rome from Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. The Frontier not only contains forests and plains, but it also contains small settlements such as Concord, Lexington, and Connor’s village. In the Frontier, players will be able to accept side-missions and hunt animals, which can be pelted and traded for goods.
The game’s three-year development cycle has allowed the development team to create a new version of the Anvil engine used in previous Assassin’s Creed games. With numerous improvements, the engine allows an increased number of on-screen characters from 100 to several thousand. Additionally, character animations have been greatly improved, and more details have been given to environments. It is implied that if the engine was given a version number, it is likely that it would be Anvil 2.0.
The gameplay is receiving a massive expansion. Previous games allowed players to traverse large cities via street or rooftop, and while Assassin’s Creed III continues this tradition, players can now climb trees, navigate over and under objects, and leap through windows, which comes in handy when in the Frontier. The economics of previous games are being refined, with more of an emphasis on trading rather than buying. Puzzles similar to those seen in Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood are making a return, but are not based around Subject 16. Additionally, side-objectives for missions are making a return, but are achieved in increments; in order to make the game less punishing, mission checkpoints are being implemented, while rewards for achieving full synchronization in missions are given out to give the player a sense of accomplishment. Multiplayer is making a return, but no further details were given.
In terms of battles, the series’s signature hidden blade returns, as does the pistol. Additionally, tomahawks can be used, as well as knives; these come in handy when fighting soldiers, while the new bow and arrow can be used to hunt in the Frontier. Manual targeting has been eschewed in favor of an automatic targeting system, and the overall battle system is being changed to emphasize offensive action rather than previous games’ defensive gameplay.
The game will also continue the modern-day story of Desmond Miles, who is now viewing Connor’s memories from the Animus 3.0 in New York. While no major details of his role have been announced, it has been stated that Assassin’s Creed III will wrap up his story.
Assassin’s Creed III is set for release on October 30 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.