We talk to Alex Hutchinson, creative director of Ubisoft's upcoming action adventure, about historical settings, new characters and immersive combat.
What has the reception been like for Assassin's Creed III on PS3?
We couldn't be happier; we're overwhelmed by how positive everyone has been. We tried to plan a lot of things to show people the breadth of the game. We have a city demo in Boston and a naval demo. We also have a frontier demo that shows weather, trees and animals. It's been great, people are really, really positive.
Why did you decide to introduce a new character into the series?
We always wanted to do that. Our plan was always to explore pivotal moments in history, layer our fictional story over those big moments and find fresh places to explore. Hopefully, moving forward, you'll see more of this.
How is Connor Kenway connected to Desmond Miles, and will we be seeing him in this title?
We're trying to keep it a secret what we'll do with it, but if you've played the game you'll know that the big day for us is 12 December 2012, which is coming up very quickly. Our fictional story and the real-world story will cross over and there will be more Desmond than you've had before, but we're keeping the specifics under lock and key for now.
Can you tell us a bit more about Connor's weapons and how they'll be used in the game?
When we decided that Connor was a Native American he came with some nice ideas that seemed like a nice fit – like the crossbow and the tomahawk. Then he has his tools that the assassins give him, like a new spin on the hidden blades, rope darts and a few old favourites coming back too.
Previous titles have been quite tightly based on historical events and even included some famous faces – will Assassin's Creed III follow suit?
We have more information on this piece of history than we did on previous games. About 80 per cent of speaking characters in the game – there are dozens and dozens of them – are based on real historical people. Everyone is in the right place at the right time and events play out as they did then. You'll meet George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, the Marquis de Lafayette and Charles Lee – lots of famous people.
One of the new features is the naval battles – what has been the reaction to that so far?
I think with a big popular series people are both desperate for change and a little scared of change. We were curious to see how people would respond and it's been overwhelmingly positive so far. It looks beautiful. It's still built around navigation, combat and action adventure so it's very much in line with the core gameplay.
How involved have you been in Assassin's Creed III Liberation on PlayStation Vita?
It's connected to Assassin's Creed III and we've worked on the story. They're inheriting a lot of our technology and gameplay innovation so in a weird way we all worked on it as well. We're just trying to make sure that it works within the Assassin's Creed universe.
Assassin's Creed III comes to PlayStation 3 on 31 October 2012. Keep up with all the latest news on the upcoming blockbuster at playstation.co.nz and PlayStation.Blog.