Exclusive – Assassins Creed 3 Developer Interview | Gamerillaz

Exclusive – Assassins Creed 3 Developer Interview

Exclusive – Assassins Creed 3 Developer Interview
 

We have gone barking mad over Ubisoft’s next title, Assassins Creed 3. The monkeys here are jumping around from wall to shelf to desk and on each other wearing bed sheets as hoodies while slapping one another around with their tomahawks – just wait till they start drinking… Meanwhile I and a few of the more sensible apes decided to have a chat with one of the developers about the new AC3 installment. We threw a few questions at Alexander Hutchinson, the Creative Director of AC3 and he threw back some answers. We hope they help to fill your boots until the game is released next week just in time for Halloween on October 30th. Enjoy.

GZ – Before you decided on Revolutionary America as the setting for AC3, how many viable locations had you narrowed it down to and what location was the closest runner up?

AH - We have so many ideas about where to take the franchise, but we don’t like talking about them until we’re ready to announce them! But any pivotal moment in history where we think we could fit our ongoing storyline would work: we have more good options than bad!

GZ -It’s the 5th full title in the series, what new elements have you added in this Assassin’s Creed to make sure fans of the series stay interested and what features from previous games have you eliminated?

AH - Having a character with a Native American background who then joins the Assassins gives us access to not only all the usual Assassin tools, but a bunch of new equipment based on his heritage. His basic weapon is a tomahawk, which gave us a huge assortment of new attacks, especially when you remember that all of Connor’s new fight is dual handed.

At first we thought we couldn’t add a bow as a weapon, as most people had switched to rifles and pistols in this period, but with further research we found that many tribes were still using a bow and arrow to hunt from horseback as they were faster and more accurate on the move. So luckily we managed to justify it, and add a really iconic weapon for Connor.

However pistols and rifles are a feature of this period so Connor can use those, but luckily they’re single shot weapons and for enemies they were also notoriously inaccurate so we remain a primarily close combat game.

We rebuilt the combat system from the ground up. Everything from the player strategy to enemy types to animations and camera implementation is new. Connor’s combat system is based around a two handed fighting style, so he uses either tomahawk and knife, assassin’s blade and knife, as well as many other combinations. The core for us is a redesign of the health system, so that instead of having health units and needing to heal after combat, you now have a regenerating health system which means you can’t regain health during combat – you need to escape and rest. This exponentially increases the challenge.

We also built brand new archetypes and enemy behaviours, and redesigned the player strategy to push players to use all the different buttons on the controller and all of Connor’s moves from counters, to offensive moves, to tools like pistols and throwing knives.

GZ - What are the major improvements to the fighting system and what have you done to attract gamers who have not previously played the series?

We have a brand new fight system which encourages the player to be more aggressive, with more intelligent enemies who use pistols as well as melee weapons, and we allow players to use tools like pistols or the rope dart simultaneously with their tomahawk or knife as well at all times.

GZ -  Connor is a very Irish/Scottish name, is this an indication of our hero’s European heritage? Is Connor an ancestor of Desmond?

Connor is his adopted name. His birth name is Ratonhnhaké:ton, but there are some story moments that lead him to adopt a more Western name during the game. And yes, all the Assassins have been ancestors of Desmond, although obviously that doesn’t mean they are ancestors of each other!

GZ – Will there be any references to Ezio or Altair in AC3 and if so can you tell us how significant it will be?

AH - There are hundreds of references to the Assassin’s Creed universe, the First Civilization, the back story and other events we’ve only hinted at up to this point, but we’ve done so much with Altair and Ezio that we’ll be giving them some time to relax. We want this game to be as easy for new players to get into as possible, while still rewarding our long time fans!

GZ – Will we get to learn more about the Pieces of Eden and their creators in AC3?

AH - I won’t spoil anything, but people who have been following the franchise since AC1 will be happy!

GZ – In following up AC3, do you envisage multiple installments in the same era within the main series (as seen with AC2, AC Brotherhood & AC Revelations), or instead a new chapter with AC4?

AH - We don’t want to spoil anything for the future, but people love new characters and new settings, so while I think that Connor and lots of events from AC3 will echo through the franchise for years to come, I don’t know that this means we’ll have multiple successive games with him!

GZ – Who is the better assassin, Connor, Altair or Ezio? If the three assassins had to fight it out which one would win?

AH - I’m biased but after three years working on AC3, I am very fond of Connor. But they all have their strengths: Connor would beat you in a fight, Ezio would steal your girlfriend, and Altair would kill you in your sleep. How’s that?

GZ – If an assassin had a blade to your throat and wanted you to quickly sum up Assassins Creed 3 in just a few words what would you say?

AH - Experience a thirty year journey as a half Native American Assassin, Connor, as he becomes caught up in the American Revolution, meets George Washington, pilots his sailing ship across the high seas, hunts bears in the woods, battles the harsh North American winter, builds a Homestead and tries to end the Templar threat in this new continent.

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