The lights are on
A new Assassin is a big deal. Signifying a new numbered entry in the series chronology, the introduction of a new hero in Assassin’s Creed II brought numerous changes to the gameplay, storytelling, and tone. Assassin’s Creed III continues that trend with the introduction of Connor, a hero who brings along fundamental changes to the game experience. We quizzed the developers of Ubisoft Montreal about the new character in order to get a detailed picture of what fans can expect.
The new hero of Assassin’s Creed III is born into a Mohawk tribe in what is now upstate New York, and given the name Ratohnhaké:ton (prounounced ra-doon-ha-gay-doo). Born of a Mohawk mother and a white English father, his heritage places him with a foot in two very different cultures of the period. “We want to explore this notion of duality,” says creative director Alex Hutchinson. “He’s of neither culture. And if we’re going to talk about the American Revolution, we didn’t want you playing Mel Gibson from The Patriot. And we didn’t want you in a military uniform. The AC universe is one step back.”
Adopting the more manageable name of Connor for his interactions with the colonists, this new hero is a very different character from his predecessors Altaïr or Ezio. Altaïr was at first arrogant but capable, and later stoic and idealistic. Young Ezio was a brash romantic as eager to get into a fight as hop into a beautiful woman’s bed. They were both, in their own way, very big personalities. Connor is reserved and quiet. When he speaks, he carefully considers what he wants to say. Where previous protagonists began their stories without a clear set of guiding principles, Connor has those in place early on. “We wanted Connor to be more of a freedom fighter," Hutchinson says. "He’s not out for personal revenge. If he sees injustice, he will help. The notion is that he fights for his people, and he wants his tribe to be relevant in the future of America. He fights for the Patriots because he believes that side of the conflict is just, and he fights for the Assassins for the same reason. “
Players will witness broad swath of Connor’s life, stretching from 1753 to 1783. The period is fraught with historical turmoil. The French and Indian War began in 1754. The American Revolutionary War erupts in 1775. In between, American colonist agitators, Native Americans, and British loyalists created a hotbed of political turmoil and frequently violent conflict. While the period is filled with historical drama, Ubisoft is careful to point out that the story is squarely focused on Connor and the continuing conflict between the Assassins and Templars. “The story we’re telling is the story of the Assassins versus the Templars,” Hutchinson explains. “The American Revolution is the backdrop. He will be caught up in the Revolution throughout the story, but it’s not about winning the Revolution. It will cross over, but the narrative is about Connor’s journey.”
NEXT UP: Connor's early history, and how he fares in a fight.
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