Assassin's Creed 3 is true, speculation is permitted
It’s hard to decide whether to praise or berate Ubisoft for putting out an announcement for AC3 with nothing more than a release date (October 30th) and the news that it’s been in development for three years. The fact that game announcements can even happen like this especially coming from a company that could afford twenty seven marketing departments if they were needed is truly surprising. Whether you’re Half Life 3 or Primal Rage 2, it doesn’t make sense to announce a new product without at least something for people to look at or some news to get excited about even if it’s teaser trailer with some simple motion graphics of the game’s title or juicy details like, “Assassin’s Creed 3 will feature a third hidden blade hidden in the new protagonist’s boot!” Everyone already knew AC3 was coming out this year, but it just seems like the inevitable kick ass trailer we’re going to get at E3 this year has been soiled by this squeezed-out fart of an announcement.
That said, it’s a few days later and we’ve had time to calm down. Let’s recap what we do know about AC3. The game comes out October 30th, and has been in development for three years. Wait, three years? This has been in development since Assassin’s Creed 2 was released? Oh Ubisoft Montreal you sneaky bastards! You’ve managed to put out some good (but not great) games to tide fans over, expand the AC universe, and keep up with the business-friendly yearly release model for the series while working on the proper third entry at the same time! Now that’s how you use the vast resources of an international company.
That might be more credit than they deserve, but there’s so many more possibilities to consider knowing that AC3 has actually had a long enough development cycle to anticipate more than another expansion pack for AC2. It isn’t unreasonable actually expect this proper sequel to have the level of innovation that occurred between the first and second games. There are so many questions now. Will a significant part of the game be set in present time with Desmond as some kind of techno-enhanced Assassin with a jetpack? Considering the sense of urgency established at the end of Revelations, it’s hard to believe any necessity for him to be hooked up to the Animus again. Our heroes are at the maguffin that is going to save the world already. Maybe we’re dealing with a different descendent who is seeking the information or doodad needed to get into the vault? Desmond’s attempted, but squandered opportunity for characterization in Revelations has come and gone, so a new character might need to step up and don the white hood. What other kind of gadgets could a futuristic assassin make use of? Are we going to see modern firearms introduced to the series? That’s something to think about if the rumors of an American Revolution historical setting are true.
It’s amazing to see how much more speculation is possible when a game from a yearly release series has had more than a year to become great.