Assassin’s Creed 3 To Span 30 Years, Feature Changing Seasons
This month’s Game Informer reveals quite a bit about Assassin’s Creed 3. In an article focusing on the game’s environments, key details about the setting, scope and tone were dropped, including the tantalizing hint that game will put the American Revolution into somewhat real historical context.
It is now officially confirmed that the game will span 1753 to 1783. We could spend all day talking about the crucial events of the period, but we’ll limit ourself to one thing: 1753 is the year 21 year old George Washington was appointed a Major in the Virginia Provincial Militia by Royal Governor Robert Dinwiddie. The next year, Washington was sent by Governor Dinwiddie to secure the interests of the Ohio Company against French competition in the Ohio Valley. Washington’s small unit was accompanied by a group of Native Americans led by Tanacharison, a member of the Iroquois Confederation. Tanacharison had apparently been enslaved by the French at one point in his life, and in what appears to be an act of revenge he murdered French-Canadian commander Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville; unfortunately, he did this while de Jumonville was in Washington’s custody. Whoops.
The French believed it was an assassination, sparking a major diplomatic crisis that by 1755 blew up into what we call the French and Indian War, what the Brits call the Seven Years War, and what Winston Churchill argued was the real First World War. The war ended with a total British victory. France seceded all of their North American territory, removing the threat of foreign invasion that had kept the colonies firmly loyal to the crown. Without fear of the French, Colonists failed to see further need for the British Government to govern directly, which contributed to increasing unrest during the 1760s. Which is to say, the appointment of an obscure Virginia rich kid to an important command position in the local military, intended to serve local business interests, helped set in motion a chain of events that led to Britain losing their biggest and most profitable colonies just as they were turning into the world’s first superpower. If there isn’t a wealth of pseudo-conspiracy lore to mine in that, Ubisoft is doing it wrong.
Incidentally, the game’s protagonist is a young Mohawk of mixed English/Native parentage. As the Mohawk were part of the Iroquois confederation, it’s almost certain he’ll be taking part in the events that spark, well, everything leading up to American Independence.
The article also confirms that Assassin’s Creed 3 will feature, for the first time in series history, changing seasons. This is fitting, as it will take place during some of the key events of the Revolution, likely including the notorious winter at Valley Forge. In addition, Boston and New York are confirmed urban locations. Sadly, Ben Franklin will not be serving in a role Similar to Leonard Da Vinci in the Ezio trilogy, but he will be a large part of the narrative, being as he was at the center of both American politics and America’s developing cultural identity.
The mid -18th century is a period that often gets boiled down to American independence. That a video game of all things is going to actually expand that normally narrow context is kind of awesome. I’m sure that AC3 will continue the series’ tradition of having a completely incomprehensible mythology, but Ubisoft’s attention to period detail has always been, for me anyway, the biggest draw. Well, that and the awesome assassinations of course. Assassin’s Creed 3 looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun.