A new batch of details on Assassin's Creed III have surfaced, giving plenty of new information on the game's combat, cities, and storyline.
While we already knew that the game would begin by showing our Native American hero, Connor, as a child living with the Mohawk tribe, we now know a bit more about how he becomes involved with the Assassins. Apparently, his village is attacked and burnt to the ground early in the game, and the elders of the tribe tell him to seek out an ancient and mysterious order that help him take his revenge. We're going to go out on a limb here and say it's the Assassins. Call it a hunch.
Once Connor finds himself embroiled in the Revolution, the game will take its historical accuracy pretty seriously. The franchise has always been good about that, but the exact figures for the third game are a bit mind-blowing. More than 80% of the game's characters will be based on actual people who lived during the Revolution.
Some of the most famous figures of the era — George Washington, Ben Franklin, and the like — have already been confirmed to make an appearance, but Ubisoft has now confirmed that French general LaFayette will be joining them, ridiculous hairline and all.
Assassin's Creed III will be bringing some major changes on the gameplay side of things, too. Combat and free-running both have new control schemes (though it's not yet clear exactly what has changed), and the game's traversal system has been updated so that everything you encounter that looks climbable certainly will be. In other words, if it looks like you can climb it, you'll be able to climb it. No more running at the cliffside and wondering why you can't grab that rock that's sticking out.
But will the cities of Assassin's Creed III even be big enough to make freerunning fun? It's a common worry, and a well founded one given that New York and Boston weren't that impressive during the war, but Ubisoft has come up with a novel solution to that problem. Their recreation of Boston is actually three times larger than the real city was at the time. It's a bit of a departure for the series, sure, but if it gives us more to climb, that's all right by me.
In addition, each city in Assassin's Creed III should feel much more alive than in previous iterations, thanks to a brand new AI system. Rather than wandering around aimlessly, inhabitants will now go about their daily routines, working during the day and heading home at night. If someone needs your help, they'll come running up to ask you, and familiar NPCs will even acknowledge your presence from time to time with a greeting.
Despite what you might expect, Connor won't just be fighting British soldiers. Assassin's Creed 3 will offer a much wider variety of enemies than in previous titles. That includes other Native Americans, who can move around the wilderness just as swiftly as Connor. And once you're in a fight, don't expect the same button-mashing waltz from the last few games. This time, enemies won't just wait around patiently to attack you one at a time, they'll give you everything they've got as soon as they get the chance.
To help level the playing field, Connor will have access to an expanded arsenal of weapons. We've already seen the tomahawk and longbow in action, but joining them will be a rope dart similar to those used in Chinese martial arts. With it, you'll be able to pin enemies from your perch above them, presumably allowing for long-range stealth kills.
Assassin's Creed III is out for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on October 30 in North America and October 31 in Europe and Australia.