You’ll be playing as Ratohnaké:ton, a new hero of Native American and English heritage. If the prospect of attempting to pronounce a name with a colon in it sends shivers down your spine then have no fear, he’s going by the far more pronouncable ‘Connor’. The real war between the Assassin’s and Templars is still waging behind that of the Revolutionary War, with Connor exploring bustling colonial towns and fighting through the aformentioned battlefields to hopefully bring an end to the Templars’ plans once and for all. The trailer also confirms tree-based navigation, with Connor as nimble in the forests of the frontier as Ezio is on the rooftops of Constantinople.
The game is powered by Ubisoft-AnvilNext, a new engine that promises breakthroughs in visual quality, character models and AI.
That’s what’s been officially announced. Now for some juicy secrets, yet to be officially confirmed. Don’t read on if you’re not interested in spoilers.
The game takes place between the years of 1753 and 1783 in the cities of Boston and New York and the surrounding American frontier. Players will experience Connor’s childhood on the frontier as he is raised by the Mohawk. Unfortunately, they eventually clash with white colonists who burn down Connor’s village, causing him to dedicate his life to the oppression of tyranny and injustice. You’ll meet important characters such as George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, who, like Assassin’s Creed 2’s Leonardo Da Vinci, is a rather handy inventor. There’s going to be a lot of grey moral areas in the narrative – the Templars aren’t going to be cast as all-out bad guys, but idealists who truly believe their actions are the best for humanity.
The frontier – a large bulk of open-world wilderness – will appear in the game, and will be 1.5 times bigger than the entire map of Brotherhood. It will feature a third of the game’s missions and gameplay content, and will include smaller colonial settlements among the larger cities. You’ll be able to hunt animals for resources, and you can use natural navigational elements like trees and ledges to hide and spring attacks on your enemies. It’s also rumoured that the entire world will change with the seasons – if it’s winter the rivers will freeze, giving you more terrain to work with.
Combat is going to be greatly improved too. You’ll fight with both a hidden blade and a tomohawk, enabling you to perform double counters and multiple takdowns. There’s no more target locking either – the game will automatically detect your target. Perhaps most importantly counter and block are now mapped to the same button, so you can’t just sit there and idly deflect attacks until you feel like making your move. You’ll need to show real skill and timing if you want to stay alive. It’s all about constant movement, dancing from one target to the next while avoiding incoming blows. You can even kill enemies while running without it impeding your movement.
So there you go. BioShock Infinite and Assassin’s Creed 3 both confirmed for an October release. There’s much more of this still to be revealed. Make sure you grab issue 84 of X360, out on April 18, to learn more.