If there’s one thing that any self respecting gamer knows, it’s that October 30th marks the release of one of the most anticipated games of the upcoming holiday season in Ubisoft’s ‘Assassin’s Creed 3.’ Following the continuing saga of the ancient Assassin’s Guild, AC3 follows the further adventures of Desmond Miles, as he relives the memories of his ancestor, new series hero Connor Kenway (replacing former protagonist Ezio Auditore). Through the half English/half Native American Assassin’s memories, Desmond will relive some of the most important battles and moments of the American Revolution. MTV.ca got the opportunity to sit down with the mind behind the third installment of the hit franchise, Creative Director Alex Hutchinson.
MTV: With Assassin’s Creed, you have the ability to draw from any time frame in history to serve as the setting of your story… what was it about the American Revolution that convinced you that this was the next step in the evolution of the franchise?
Alex: We looked for a couple of things… one was big pivotal moments in history. Big conflicts and big epic moments that we could really sink our teeth into that were important. We look for something that’s very relevant. And even though everyone says “That’s the American Revolution,” we’re like “no, it’s America when it’s finished.” Before then it’s about Britain… and it’s half fought by French people. And, all the Americans were trained by a German! So there was this big debt incurred by the French that leads to the French Revolution… the British lose control of an entire colony. This is a European story as much as an American story.
Secondly, the other big one is that no one has ever done this before. I always find it funny when some suggests we do something they’ve already played before, I think, is missing that point that we want to do new stuff! We don’t want to take you somewhere you’ve been before. We want to take you somewhere new. We like it when you doubt us… when we announce it and everyone’s like “It’ll never work! They lived in tents with Christopher Columbus and Billy the Kid… it won’t work!”, we think it’s great… now we can surprise you.
MTV: In past Assassin’s Creed releases, each game had it’s own unique gameplay features that set it apart, the tower defense in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations comes to mind. What new aspect or feature can we expect in
Assassin’s Creed 3 that is going to really differentiate itself from the rest of the series?
Alex: I think there’s so much new stuff… running assassinations, the tomahawk, the brand new combat system, running through trees, winter coming to the entire map and not just specific areas… the naval battles are really epic! Meeting people like George Washington and Franklin. I think there are a lot of moments, depending on what you are looking for, that are going to surprise people.
MTV: What’s your end game? Where do you see the franchise going after this?
Alex: Hopefully, if everyone keeps liking it and buying it, like you said earlier, we can go just about anywhere. So the goal is to grow the Universe, keep telling stories with a beginnings, middles, and ends so people can jump onto the franchise at any point, and keep picking surprising spots for people.
MTV: Was the new AnvilNext engine designed to work with next gen consoles in mind?
Alex: All engines scale up these days… the engineers these days are pretty amazing! Lots of this stuff will find it’s way onto next gen consoles, I’m sure. It was really designed to deliver this game and then we’ll hand it over to other teams so that they can take what they need and extrapolate and build on it. I’m sure you’ll be seeing other parts of it in the future!
MTV: Can you elaborate a little bit on some of the future DLC we can expect? We’re pretty amped to get our hands on the alternate Universe George Washington DLC that was announced recently!
Alex: DLC is a funny thing… for us, it’s sort of taken the place of these big expansion packs. You know it’s for people who already love the game… if there not those guys, why would they pick it up? So we wanted to surprise people and do something different. We liked this idea of a ‘What If?’ storyline that would still fit within the Universe, but won’t feel like we are taking a break from the main story. It’ll just sort of shine a light on different content.
MTV: What kind of cross-play can we expect with ‘Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberations?’
Alex: Our biggest goal with Liberation was just to make sure that it stood on it’s own. That it was it’s own game and it was a complete Assassin’s Creed experience for the first time on a handheld… navigation, climbing, combat, a big 3D environment with an open world. That was our focus. I always feel that if there is too much cross over you are making people feel like they didn’t get the whole game if they only have one, so there is subtle cross over. You can unlock some special things in the Vita game if you have the PS3, but we tried to keep them very distinct, unique games.
MTV: If you had to put your money down on a grudge match between Connor and Ezio, who would you pick?
Alex: I’ve spent three years living with Connor and he can be a mean SOB, so I’m gonna go with Connor. Ezio’s too much of a pretty boy! Connor gets dirty…
MTV: Have we seen the last of Ezio Auditore?
Alex: For at least a little while. It’s like superheroes… they never stay dead! But I think we’ve got so many exciting plans moving forward that we have some new stuff to show. Sure, he’ll pop up… everyone will pop up through cameos in the future, but I don’t think you’ll see a big Ezio game.
Assassin’s Creed 3 comes out on the PS3 and X-Box consoles on Tuesday, October 30th just in time for the holiday season!
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