A little over a month has passed since Ubisoft lifted the lid on Assassin’s Creed III and sent the gaming media into a tizzy. We’ve learned what feels like a considerable amount of information about the game, from its setting and characters through to the enhancements and alterations that have been made from the earlier formulae. I’ve seen all of this information blow by me, been excited by it, but largely kept my mouth shut and fingers stilled over the impressions that I have received. This isn’t because I don’t like the series, or share the anticipation of the other writers here. I do. I think that Assassin’s Creed III could rank among the best that 2012 has to offer, but there’s something missing.
You may remember that, back when the first game launched, it was touted as the first in a trilogy. When it was released, we saw Altair ibn La-Ahad cast from the Order of Assassins, fighting to regain the prestigious spot that he once held and discovering the machinations of the Knights Templar, if not their reasons, in the process. The second game cast players as Ezio Auditore da Firenze, an man destined to become an Assassin in Italy over three hundred years later. After the murder of his family, he seeks revenge against the corrupt officials of Florence, while also unravelling the secrets of the Assassin Order. While his story arc continued over two further games, the originally-professed trilogy comes to an end this year, with Connor Kenway, a native American who becomes drawn into the American Revolution.
These stories have all been very interesting, but the biggest draw for me has always been the thread that runs through and connects them. This is the shared descendant of each of these three characters, the driving force of the series, Desmond Miles. Over the course of five games, he has been subject to the whims of Templars and Assassins alike as they have sought to inform themselves about history and the ‘Pieces of Eden’ that are central to the plot. Mixing the fantastic with the realistic and mythological, the games have been leading up to some grand conclusion to take place on the 21st of December, 2012, with Desmond being one of the central pawns in this.
Many have complained about his inclusion, preferring the escapism of the historical scenarios, but it cannot be denied that the role he has played in the series has been integral. It simply would not be the same without him. All along, Assassin’s Creed has been the story of Desmond, yet we have seen and heard precious little about the continuation of his story in what we have been presented of Assassin’s Creed III thus far. We know that Ubisoft intends to wrap up the story arc with this entry, noted by their original admission and the ending of Revelations, which sets it up almost flawlessly. But now, he has returned to the Animus, seeking more answers.
I’d like to know why. I want to know how much of the game will be based around playing as Desmond and what his goals will ultimately be. Very little information has been released about this portion of the game, but it is what interests me most. I’m aware that receiving answers would almost certainly spoil the game, but I am almost unbearably curious. Above all else, I suppose I finally want to see him get the attention that he deserves as the star of the series, rather than once again being shunted aside in favour of the novelty of his ancestors.
Thankfully, if a comment made by lead writer Matt Turned to CVG is to be believed, I may just get my wish:
“All I can say about Desmond’s story is you’re going to experience more Desmond than you’ve ever had before. We’re spending more time on the present than we have in past games. It’s a big part of our story and I don’t really want to give too many details away because I want people to experience what that is. But rest assured, you’re going to see a lot of Desmond. More so than in any past game.”
He may not have promised a conclusion, but it’s better than nothing. Now to go back to watching as everyone else speculates on Connor.