Last year, we closed a chapter in the Assassin’s Creed 2 games, with the release of Revelations. It took a tired and disillusioned Ezio Auditore to a new part of the world, an Middle Eastern land of danger and intrigue. And also, den defence, a feature that felt tacked on and unnecessary, as it added very little to the experience. Den defence won’t make a reappearance in Assassin’s Creed 3 however, as it’s been replaced with naval battles that the developers believe will actually complement the game.
Speaking to OPM, Ubisoft Montreal’s Alex Hutchinson explained where the idea for these naval battles came from, saying that “We thought, ‘What is it about this period that makes it special?’, and it just came up again and again in the history that the navy was such a big part of it.”
It’s how you got to America. It’s how imported goods got to America. It was a key factor in dictating the outcome of the Revolution itself. All of these things kept telling us that this was a big deal, and you couldn’t do the Revolution justice without the sea.
No one had really done a third-person action-adventure sailing game before. You’re controlling navigation and combat at the same time. You can walk around your boat, but once you take the wheel you’re steering the boat almost the same as you would in any vehicle in the game.
At the same time, you’re ordering your crew to fire different weapons,whether it’s round shot to sink the boats or chain shot to take out masts. The fun of it is juggling those things.
You don’t see too many games centred on naval battles these days, especially one set in such historic times, where wars were won or lost at sea. If Ubisoft can pull something off that is more Master and Commander, and less the Poseidon Adventure, then good for them.
Because at this rate, anything is better than den defence. Brrrr, still gives me the shivers every time I say that.