So today the “Box Art” for Assassin’s Creed 3 was leaked before the announcement on Monday 5th. And indeed, the setting this time has jumped forward a couple hundred years to the American Civil War.
A lot of people are criticising this, saying that it is tasteless – especially as the 5th March is the day of remembrance for the Boston Massacre. So maybe the timing of this is a bit wrong – that said, you simply cannot fault the logic that this will drum up headlines across the board, both in the gaming press and the mainstream press, and as the saying goes – no publicity is bad publicity.
However, the setting is quite interesting. Speaking as someone who has followed the convoluted mess that is the Assassin’s Creed storyline, and their insistence that at least some of the founding fathers were Templars, this simply won’t be a simple case of America vs Great Britain (because quite honestly, that’s becoming rather childish). The hero, on first glance, appears to be of Native American origin, which will paint probably worse on the Americans than the British. Of course, there’ll likely be casualties on both sides of the divide, because assassins believe in equal opportunities. Or so I like to convince myself.
The problem is the question of how the setting will change the parkour gameplay that many have come to know, love and associate with the series to date. Ubisoft have sometimes had a bad track record when it comes to putting more emphasis on the combat rather than to the free-running parkour exploration and gymnastics that many have come to say they are very good at. Until we see actual gameplay, it is unknown if the series will take a change of direction in terms of gameplay. I would say however that it wasn’t the parkour that let down AC2: Revelations, but how fiddly and silly the whole thing had become. Less is most definitely more; AC2 was the epitome of this, and Brotherhood just added a more streamlined approach.
It will be interesting to see how Assassin’s Creed 3 pans out over the course of the year, before its release in the Christmas period. Which will include about a dozen games which I want.
This does not bode well for my bank balance, especially seeing as the Wii-U is due around there as well. That said… AC3 for Wii-U? Sign me up.