Assassin’s Creed is a series I’ve always been interested in, but surprisingly let down by. The first Assassin’s Creed drew me in when it was originally announced. It was the first title that looked as if it was doing something worthy of being called “next-gen.” Unfortunately, while Assassin’s Creed was a wonderfully pretty game to look at and featured some truly innovative game design,in the end it was repetitive and suffered from underdeveloped ideas.
When the sequel Assassin’s Creed 2 was announced, it wasn’t until well into the game’s coverage on news sites that I became interested. In fact, the exact moment the game appeared on my radar was when I learned the game could be played entirely in Italian. I don’t speak Italian, but just knowing I could indulge in such an experience was exciting to me. After the game was released, and I heard and witnessed for myself the depth Ubisoft had added to the gameplay, I decided I would give it a shot. Due to whatever circumstances, I didn’t get very far in the game; whether it was from distraction from other titles or a lack of motivation, I lost interest and never went back. Not because it was a bad game, but because I just forgot. After that, and the establishment of annual sequels for the series, I became ambivalent the this world of secret societies and hidden wrist blades.
Then Assasnin’s Creed 3 was announced.
As you can probably surmise from the title of this post, this announcement has once again roped me into the hype for this series. Everything revealed about Assassin’s Creed 3 is promising to me. The setting is absolutely the most interesting the series has had so far. We’ve seen numerous images of an assassin, obviously belonging to the Brotherhood based off his attire and abundance of the “A” symbol on his weapons and accessories. The notion of playing as a Native American assassin is very appealing, to say the least.
I mean, look at this guy! He’s decked out with a tomahawk (which I believe will eclipse the wrist blade as his signature weapon), 2 flintlock pistols, a saber, and of course the wrist blade. He’s also wearing the blue hue the American soldiers wore, and his notched hood is adorned with an eagle — a symbol not only in the Assassin Brotherhood, but also in Native American spirituality. Chances are, this eagle symbolism will play a role in either the plot or characterization of this new protagonist.
Beyond that, he has fur boots, beaded jewlery, and other touches that make him visually unique when compared to the past heroes Altair and Ezio.
Obviously, because we’re playing as this nameless warrior, he is in some way related to the series’ main character Desmond. This is where the Assassin’s Creed loses me: I don’t care about Desmond. I don’t care about what’s happening outside of the Animus, or at least none of the games have shown me why I should care about the “real world” events. I don’t really see why these events which occur in these Animus missions require the Animus to tie them together in the first place. Albeit, I haven’t completed AC2 or even touched its two sequels, but from what I gather, most of the narrative in those games revolves solely around Ezio’s life and actions, not Desmond’s. I understand there are probably several reasons for this that I’m blissfully unaware of, I just wish the historical settings — which is 95% of the game anyway — was where the entire narrative took place instead of them being linked by some (admittedly cool and unique) sci-fi element. I just don’t find it necessary I suppose.
But then again, this is a videogame, and what really matters is the gameplay. I am excited to see what gameplay changes this new setting and protagonist will bring. And I’m sure that’s something we can all agree on, as the main complaint I hear leveled against both Brotherhood and Revelations is that they did little to really branch out the narrative or expand the gameplay in ways that warranted a full sequel. Now that we’re getting the next “true” numbered entry, I hope we’ll see some great new ways to assassinate wise-guy Templars and pakour over historical buildings.
It’s rumored the game with feature an open wilderness landscape (in addition to cities and towns, like Boston, Massachusetts) that will rival AC Brotherhood’s Rome area. It apparently will have climbable trees (is it sad I’m excited that this is a feature?). I would hope this means the inclusion of things like wildlife and using trees and bushes as cover/camouflage. Of course, Metal gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is one of my favorite games, and I’m a huge fan of Western movies and Red Red Redemption, so it’s probably just wishful thinking. The fact that I’ll be wandering the New England wilderness and possibly interacting with cats like George Washington and Ben Franklin (Da Vinci’s replacement, perhaps?) is enough for me.
Like I said, I don’t really care all that much about Desmond, or this Eden stuff, or weird supernatural/sci-fi business. What I’m really invested in are the historical events and stories that are unique to this setting, and, of course, how fun the game will be to actually play. When I need my story fix, I have an entirely different videogame threequel to go to; I want Assassin’s Creed 3 to be the ultimate sandbox stealth/assassination game.
As the months go by, we’ll see more and more on Assassin’s Creed 3, and I’m sure I’ll become even more interested. How about you guys? Are you looking forward to this game? What changes would you want to see in the Assassin’s Creed series? For me, it feels great to be excited about this series again. In fact, I’ll be going out of my way to finally pick up Assassin’s Creed 2 again and play it through to completion (though whether I’ll do so playing entirely in Italian remains to be seen). Hopefully, I’ll finally get to see what all the hype was about.