Nov 06, 2012 08:33 AM EST | By Juan G. Rodriguez
Ubisoft's latest game in the Assassin's Creed series recreates the American Revolution, but in setting its game in this time period the developer has to handle to other issues of the era, slavery and the displacement of Native Americans.
In a recent interview with Time Magazine, the game's creative director, Alex Hutchinson discusses how the developer dealt with these topics and how playing as a Native American protagonist changes the game's ending.
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"In a videogame, the narrative is usually built around challenge, and a challenge can be overcome through perseverance, so you always know that you're going to win: There's never a surprise when you succeed in a game, there's just the satisfaction of having done it," Hutchinson told Times. "In AC however you're reliving history, so you know how things are going to pan out and you have even less choice, which presents a different problem and also an opportunity."
Hutchinson says that Connor is fighting for many goals. He will achieve some of them, but one will ultimately fail. Ubisoft is hoping the game's narrative will get people to look at their own history differently.
"We wanted to create a story where the lead character has many goals: to help the patriots; to fight Templars; to help his people find a place in the new country," Hutchison said. "The reason was we have a few goals, which the player will eventually achieve through history or effort, but also one that is destined to fail. We wanted to use the history of the Native American people in this period to shine a light on the efforts of the protagonist, and also hopefully to get people to think of their own history a little differently."
The issue of slavery is only touch upon slight in the game. According to Hutchinson this was because of the time period that Assassin's Creed III takes place in. The developer could not find enough historical data to make the topic a central theme in Assassin's Creed III.
"We realized early on we needed to either make slavery the central issue of the game, or leave it as something that existed but not engage hugely," Hutchinson told Time. "If this game were set during the Civil War then obviously it would be the central theme of the game, but we didn't feel like we had enough in the historical record to make a case for it in AC3."
The topic is not completely avoided in the game. There is even a sequence where he meets Samuel Adams. Connor criticizes Adams' position on slavery and Adams' avoidance of speaking publicly on the issue. In another recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, the game's lead writer Corey May discusses this moment in the game.
"Sam is saying, 'Well, we have bigger fish to fry ... and then we'll deal with the issue of slavery after,'" May said to the Los Angeles Times. "Connor is saying, 'How can you say that you're fighting for freedom when you're not practicing it in your own backyard?'"
The issue is in the game but is kept in the background, because the developers didn't want to force the issue before it historically came into the public eye, according to Hutchinson's interview with Time Magazine.
"It is discussed in the game, and we've tried to be true to history in terms of how many slaves were in the cities we're depicting and what kinds of presence they had," Hutchinson said. " But we didn't want to force something into the public discussion that wouldn't become a very public issue for several more decades."
Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed III is now available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. A PC release will follow on Nov. 20, while a Wii U version will be available at the consoles launch on Nov. 18.
Interested in what historical events and figures were left out the game? Check out another interview with scriptwriter Matt Turner about what was left on the cutting room floor here. Check out the great images from Assassin's Creed III's multiplayer mode in our slideshow here.
Did you know that Assassin's Creed III's protagonist Connor could be getting two more games? read about it here and watch the trailer revealing his story here. Have you seen the AC3 weapons trailer? Check it out here. Read about the planned George Washington DLC here. Read about the exclusive content coming to the PlayStation 3 version here.
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