After a divergence with Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin's Creed: Revelations, the franchise is finally moving to another era with Assassin's Creed III. After two years in development, Ubisoft has finally taken the wraps off the title. In a pair of interviews with GameInformer, Assassin's Creed III creative director Alex Hutchinson spoke about his team's hopes for the game.
"It's a scary thing to say, but I think the goal was to look next-gen on current-gen," Hutchinson said in GameInformer's print interview. "We have this goal to do something completely new, but still remain true to the franchise. People want that familiarity, but also something radically new. So we have the familiar pillars of fighting, navigation, and social stealth, but brand new environments and brand new ways to use them and extend them."
In his video interview, Hutchinson talked about the two areas his team really attempted to change with the series' newest entry.
"I come from a design background so I tend to looks at things in terms of what we can do design-wise. For me there were two things, the first of which is how we layer missions and how we structure the game design. I wanted to get away from the very linear nature of going from mission to mission that was in the previous game. Obviously, the story is this huge background in the game, but I think that having other opportunities in the world, other things to do in terms of side-tasks, the notion of player opportunity and letting people structure their own experience, was something I really wanted to work on," he explained.
"Also some core mechanical stuff: I think we can make a much better [fighting system], so we've been ripping that apart and rebuilding it from the ground up. Those two things were the big chucks that I wanted to do."
Hutchinson attributes the shift in the franchise's setting to a desire to bring something brand-new to the series after the amazing cities in Brotherhood and Revelations.
"We wanted to offer something that's really fresh. I always found it funny that the one thing you couldn't climb in AC is the one thing I've climbed in real life. There are plenty of games with forests, but the forests are just collections of assets; you walk around them. The fact that it's a tree doesn't matter. Whereas if we can make trees and the wilderness as much a playground as Altair and Ezio made cities, then it's huge," he said.
Assassin's Creed III is scheduled for an October 30/31 release in North America and Europe, on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC. Another version of the title is in development for Wii U.