Assassin's Creed 3: Where Desmond, Connor and The Apocalypse Collide

The world will end in 2012. At least according to Assassin's Creed. "It's been said in previous games that 2012 is the year of the solar flare and in the Mayan calendar it's the end of the world," said Alex Hutchinson, the creative director of Assassin's Creed 3. "Obviously it's something we can't dodge anymore. We think it's exciting that the real timeline and the fictional timeline are going to align. So we do have plans. We don't want to spoil it, obviously, but we're trying to resolve some of the big issues in the game regarding Desmond." The franchise is, after all, focused on Desmond, and how his wayward ancestors play their roles in staving off the End of Days. Assassin's Creed Revelations wrapped up the contributions of Altair and Ezio, and Assassin's Creed 3 introduces a new hero to the mix: Ratohnhaké:ton.

The world will end in 2012. At least according to Assassin's Creed.

"It's been said in previous games that 2012 is the year of the solar flare and in the Mayan calendar it's the end of the world," said Alex Hutchinson, the creative director of Assassin's Creed 3. "Obviously it's something we can't dodge anymore. We think it's exciting that the real timeline and the fictional timeline are going to align. So we do have plans. We don't want to spoil it, obviously, but we're trying to resolve some of the big issues in the game regarding Desmond."

The franchise is, after all, focused on Desmond, and how his wayward ancestors play their roles in staving off the End of Days. Assassin's Creed Revelations wrapped up the contributions of Altair and Ezio, and Assassin's Creed 3 introduces a new hero to the mix: Ratohnhaké:ton.

Sorry, what was that? I asked Hutchinson to pronounce the new hero's name. "We're at the point where we're making sure with our name advisor that we're pronouncing it correctly so I'm not going to butcher it right now. But basically the name that he'll be using most of the game, once he joins the Assassin's Order...is Connor."

Connor's original name comes from the Mohawk tribe, in which he was born. Hutchinson pointed out that it's the first time in the franchise that an assassin is born of an oppressed people.

"Altair is a guy where being an assassin is a job. He's driven by duty," said Hutchinson. "Ezio is driven by revenge. He's kind of an Errol Flynn character. We wanted a guy who's a defender of the people. He fights all kinds of injustice wherever he sees it. Whether it's his people or the oppression of the patriots by the redcoats. He's more of a man of the people."

Hutchinson went on to explain the difficulties of introducing a Native American as a leading character.

"It's been a big challenge...we had a group that we needed to present in the right light earnestly as possible. So the actor playing Connor is half Blackfoot. He's actually Native American. That was important to us. We have advisors on staff who are going through the scripts, going through the history. Even little things, like how you would act in front of an older member of your group, we wanted to make sure we were as close to reality as possible."

It's also important to integrate the origins of the character. Assassins in previous games were primarily urban dwellers, born and raised in cities. Connor, on the other hand, is at home in the outdoors.

"We want you to be a predator in the wilderness," said Hutchinson. "We want this notion of you in the trees being invisible while a Red Coat patrol meanders in the snow below you and you're picking them off one by one. That notion that in the frontier, in the wilderness, your enemies are ill at ease. But your character is very comfortable. This is his playground."

"It was a headache. No one dies....in the Revolution, all the famous people, they die alone at age 85 at home."

Cities, as we've already learned, still play a big part in Assassin's Creed 3, and, as always, historical accuracy is paramount.

"80 percent of the characters in the game are real people," he said. "Play along with Wikipedia and your history books if you want. Big characters like George Washington. Ben Franklin's in it for a little bit, but most of the time he spends in France during the American Revolution, so he's not always there. Lafayette, Charles Lee, Paul Revere. There's a long list of people."

Unfortunately remaining historically accurate doesn't always make things easy, explained Hutchinson.

"It was a headache. No one dies. That's the worst thing. In the Revolution, all the famous people, they die alone at age 85 at home. We pride ourselves on the fact that every target and every real person who dies in the right year at the right place. There's liberties in how they die, but even finding targets was challenging. But it's a good challenge. I really hope people try to catch us out on it."

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