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Release Date: October 30, 2012

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Assassin’s Creed III Will Go ‘Back to Basics’ – Story Spans 30 Years

Posted on March 9, 2012 AT 08:42am

THE BUZZ: Alex Hutchinson, creative director of Assassin’s Creed III, revealed at a GDC panel that the team aims to strip back the complexity of the series’ mechanics and story.

He also revealed that the story takes place ”over 30 years, beginning before the Revolution and ending after the Revolution.”

“I think one of the joys of having a new character and a new universe is that we can strip it back and we can go back to basics,” he added.

Hutchinson accepted that the last three games have become incredibly complicated and inaccessible to new players.

“I think that there’s an element in the Ezio trilogy… I think it’s very hard when you have a story that’s going from game to game to game, that’s relatively consistent, to remove things. It doesn’t make sense to people logically that in the second game they would lose something that they had, fictionally, hours before, so we’ve had a problem with mechanics that weren’t as tight as perhaps they could have been.”

The major problem was immediacy – how long it took to actually assassinate someone – in Assassin’s Creed 2.

“It’s a hugely complicated game, it has many different features, it’s a long game, getting people up to speed as quickly as possible is a big challenge. We know we have a learning curve, we know we need to introduce a lot of new mechanics, so what we looked at was reducing the time to assassinate,” he revealed. ”In AC3, we promise you that within 30 seconds of putting the disc in the tray, you will in fact be assassinating someone. That’s a promise.”

EGM’s TAKE: It’s true that the story of Assassin’s Creed has got a little complex, however that’s also part of the draw. This enriched and deep world that can draw players in. Hopefully the team will simply start again with Assassin’s Creed III and not dumb down the experience, as that would not please core fans. Developers should always aim to please current fans first and new fans second.

Matthew Bennett, Associate Editor
Matthew Bennett finally got his big break with EGM three years ago, following years of volunteer work for various sites. An ability to go many hours without sleep and a quick wit make him ideal for his role as associate editor at He often thinks back to the days when the very idea of this career seemed like nothing but an impossible dream. Follow him on Twitter @mattyjb89. Meet the rest of the crew.

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