I’ve got to be honest here, and admit to how much I love the Americans and their culture. It’s shaped so many of us, through their media and influence, and while I’m not always a fan of their politics, I’ve met enough lovable Yanks, that I’ve actually formed long-lasting friendships with.
I’m also rather jelly about the intense level of patriotism that the country has, an ideal which doesn’t always gel well with the rest of the world.
With Assassin’s Creed 3 set in the founding age of America, you’d be forgiven for thinking that we’d be rushing headfirst into a game that’s all stars and stripes while bald eagles fly over a raucous display of explosions and cannon fire.
Except that in Assassin’s Creed 3, America doesn’t even exist yet.
“The truth of the matter is that America didn’t exist until 1783 and that’s when our game ends,” lead writer Matt Turner told OPM UK. You see, before that pivotal date in history, the rest of the world saw America as a colony instead of a nation, with the battles between the colonists and British being described as a “civil war on foreign soil”.
Our hero of the game, Connor, fights for neither the American or British sides, as he happens to be far more interested in planting his tomahawk inside the face of Templar agents.”At that point it’s not about American or English; it’s about English and English and that’s something we want to be very clear on,” Turner said.
It’s not about America ra ra, it’s about freedom and community and about how people are treated in that kind of a situation. And how they want to find their own identity. I think that’s something that’s universal to anybody.
It’s a rather risky move to take, detailing the beta days of America, an era that wasn’t immune to controversy either, such as the fact that slavery was still a common practice back then.”It’s something we’ve been very aware of.Everybody had slaves at that point; the first groups who rallied around emancipation didn’t come around until 1787,” Turner said.
That was very much after our game and slavery was maintained in culture. We feel that kind of a subject deserves a certain amount attention because it’s so serious and it needs to be treated with utmost respect. We’re definitely not going to shy away from it in terms of not showing it.
Slavery however, won’t be the key focus in the game, Turner explained.
We’re going to show what was there and what people did in that time but we want to be careful with how that’s covered and how much of it is there. It’s an important topic. We won’t be afraid to show that it’s there but we’re not going make it the focus of our game.
If there’s one thing that I love about Assassin’s Creed, is that it can be a very dynamic history lesson over several hours. The games are infamous for their attention to historical accuracy, a feature that gives it a respectable edge.
Assassin’s Creed 3 arrives on PS3, PC and Xbox 360, at the end of October this year.