1/4 »
Anonymous wrote: "Um, For that recent post of "Assassin’s Creed III Avatar Accessories for XBox 360" ,don't you think Connor is to pale compared to his real skin tone in the game?"

Connor appears pale because he is actually a Caucasian girl, since I used my Avatar to model the Connor costume. 

Hence why George Washington has flowing blonde locks, glasses, and Hylian ears. Really, I would have been more concerned with that historical discrepancy than the alleged whitewashing. But that’s just me.

<} Rafiq

Anonymous wrote: "Rafiq. You, me. Marriage. I'll buy you ice cream later and we can eat it in a tree."

Marriage? But this is so sudden! Let’s take it slow, Anon. I’ll definitely take you up on that ice cream, though.

<} Rafiq

Anonymous wrote: "I find it really amusing how everyone is getting really excited about trying to get gameplay footage and stuff, but people like me who went to PAX can just sit back and laugh at you."

One man’s pleasure is another man’s schadenfreude, I suppose.

<} Rafiq

tagged as: #answer #anonymous

Anonymous wrote: "omg the facepaint is going to be sort of like major guyliner. that sounded so ignorant towards native traditions but fuuuuuu thats gonna be awesome!"

While I personally believe that the black around his eyes is probably for practical reasons rather than tribal ones (he’s using the paint to block the sun reflecting from the snow from blinding him, kinda like football players using eye black for the same basic reason), I am curious to see it in action. Although the article escapes me now, I remember distinctly that Connor’s appearance would vary with how you played the game—either more Mohawk or more British—so I wonder if the make-up becomes more pronounced if you’re more Native American? That would be amazing.

Either way, he’s totally rockin’ that look.

<} Rafiq 

tagged as: #answer #anonymous

Anonymous wrote: "I think the reason some feel hostile towards Connor is because he's "American". It's something I noticed while dividing my time between here (US) and Asia. I know the game's set in a time before people were considered a "US citizen", but it seems like people would be more critical to Americans than anyone else. It's kind of difficult to explain, but I'm not saying Americans are bad nor that everyone bad mouths Americans."

Here’s the thing: Connor isn’t “American”, in the sense that he’s a Colonist. Ironically, he half-represents the one group in American history that has suffered the most at our hand, and yet there are still those suspicious that his role in AC3 is going to be a study in American jingoism. I have a feeling that this attitude is born of educated ignorance: people who believe that they are knowledgeable on a subject (in this case, the Revolutionary War), but are, in fact, just spouting half-truths and biased information.

This isn’t necessarily their fault, either. The whole of the Revolutionary War is so shrouded in American myth-building that many of the American gamers playing through AC3 are going to come across key events and historical figures and go, “Wait, what?” Our entire history is taught with such a nationalistic leaning that once you go on to college and actually learn about what really happened, you get really angry because it seems that you were lied to in high school. It’s messed up.

That being said, being critical of a character because he’s American, when in fact he’s A) half-British, half-Mohawk native; B) living in a British colony because America is just a fever dream at this point; and C) is not a representative of whatever viewpoint you have on America because the America you probably condemn won’t exist for another century; is asinine. Altair’s Syrian and Ezio’s Italian backgrounds were not causes for alarm, and Connor’s background shouldn’t be either.

Feel free to have whatever opinion you’d like of America; just realize that the present, in this case, is far removed from the past.

<} Rafiq

Anonymous wrote: "Is it true that names are going to appear on more people that you kill in AC3? It concerns me to label every guard. I think I will make be feel worse about killing them."

Ah, I believe you are referring to this picture?

This was the graphic used to introduce the article “Selecting victims in Assassin’s Creed 3: These are real people, and  this is where and when they died” over at The PA Report. Since the point of the article is to emphasize the fact that “Every single person [in AC3] is a legit person, and they die in the right place at the right time,” the graphic is just illustrating that idea. People will not have floating obituaries ‘round their heads during the game. No worries.

<} Rafiq 

Anonymous wrote: "Adding to that last ask about Connor: the original preview for Ezio showed nothing about his personality. It was meant to be taken as a demo of what you will be able to do in the game, not to show his personality. Just because he killed somebody one way does not mean that his whole character will be predatory and ruthless. It's more of a teaser/demo of the abilities that'll be available in ACIII."

Very true. At this point, Ubisoft is going to be trying to sell AC3, which means showing off the Anvil Next engine, the new game mechanics, the weaponry, and getting gamers who aren’t necessarily fans of the franchise to pick up an Assassin’s Creed game for the first time. Connor’s characterization isn’t that important for the studio at this point; Connor’s ability to kick major ass is. So that’s what we’ll see for the time being.

Great point, Anon!

<} Rafiq 

Anonymous wrote: "Can I confess something, bureau leader? I'm afraid that I'm not going to like Connor. He seems to be way too ruthless to me, and I don't like that he's been likened to a predator. I know we don't know much about him, but I don't think he's going to compare to Altair or Ezio, who were so compassionate and empathetic. :/"

Honestly, I have stumbled upon this sentiment quite frequently today since the new trailer was released. Many people, such as yourself, watched as Connor stalked down a terrified soldier and shot him in the leg with the sole intention of slowing him down, not killing him. Vicious, and some would argue cruel and predatory, like a cat playing with a mouse before eating it. However, because I am contrary, I am going to argue against these points to prove that, while Connor is a killer by trade, he is not necessarily a cold-blooded one.

Let me break down the new trailer as I see it. We have a soldier, scared out of his wits, running for his life as an assassin chases him through the trees. The man is quite aware that he is a target—Connor is not stealthy about his approach—and yet he keeps running in a straight line. His military training would have taught him that an erratic target is harder to pin down, so why not try to shake his doom? Two possible reasons that lend themselves nicely to why Connor shot him in the leg.

1.) The snow. Ubisoft and Alex Hutchinson have been touting the Anvil Next engine and its weather simulation since March, and have been discussing its effects on gameplay for just as long. Snow impedes movement, almost making it impossible to dodge or move quickly, and both Connor and the soldier know this. That’s why Connor’s in the trees, and why the soldier moves to open ground; the soldier’s one shot at getting away is to have Connor slowed down by the snow too. However, to prevent his target from escaping, Connor shoots an arrow in his leg so he can catch up.

How is this not ruthless? Why couldn’t have Connor shot the man dead instead of just in the leg? Here’s a better question: How do we even know that Connor means to kill him? What if our mission is to capture this man alive? To question him? The display of weaponry is to scare the information out of him. And that brings me to point number two.

2.) The setting. Can I be over-analytical for a moment? Let’s take a look at a still from the reveal trailer.

We have Connor overlooking a major battle from a ledge covered in snow. Now let’s look at a still from today’s trailer:

Now, I could easily be over-analyzing this, but the soldier appears to be desperately crawling up to a ledge. His escape route, while it should have been more evasive, has been stubbornly drawn in this direction. Could this soldier be trying to reach the troops at the bottom of the valley? Does he have valuable information that could sway the outcome of the battle? Is Connor trying to get this information to prevent a major victory for the Templars? It could explain why he doesn’t kill the man outright: he needs the man alive.

While his methods can be argued to be more vicious than some, to say that Altair and Ezio were compassionate and empathetic is a stretch. Yes, in their old age they came to realize the importance of the Creed, and of humanity, but both did some equally vicious things in their youth. Don’t you remember The Beginning in Assassin’s Creed? Altair’s entire philosophy was “It matters not how we complete our task, only that it’s done.” Talk about cold-blooded; he kills an innocent man only because he was in the way.

And Ezio? His first kill is so filled with rage and lust for revenge that he stabs Uberto Alberti FIVE TIMES. There was no room for empathy in his vengeful heart at that time.

So who is to say that Connor is not like these master assassins in their youth? We are following Connor through thirty years of his life; clearly he is not going to be the same man at 20 that he will be at 40, just as Altair and Ezio were not. While you are free to have whatever opinion you’d like about Connor Kenway, remember that our knowledge of him is limited, and that a man does not have to end his life the way that he began it.

<} Rafiq 

Anonymous wrote: ""No canon is true, every ship is permitted.""

Here it is, the new motto of Tumblr and FF.net!

<} Bureau Leader

tagged as: #Anonymous

Anonymous wrote: "What I fail to see is why wait five years, and the first AC was released in '07, when that crappy book (I read it, it's dull as dish water) was published, AC would have been well into development, I'm a studying games designer, there really wasn't all that much a space in time for this to be a shameless rip off, there isn't even a central story of Templars being the villians that needed stopping, they weren't even in it!"

This is a very strong point. I dug up this ancient interview with then Ubisoft Montreal producer Jade Raymond about the development of Assassin’s Creed:

Xbox Gazette : How long has Assassin’s Creed been in development ? Can you present the main designers?

Jade Raymond :
 Assassin’s Creed has been in development for over two years. Immediately after shipping Prince of Persia the sands of time a small core team was given the mandate to create a new IP specifically designed to take advantage of next-gen hardware. Patrice Desilets: Creative Director, David Chateauneuf Level Design Director, Alex Drouin Animation Director and Richard Dumas Lead Gameplay programmer already had a ton of ideas of where they wanted to take next gen gameplay. Claude Langlais and Dominic Couture who led the technology for Sands of time had their own vision for the engine and tools of the future. The fact these people as well as other core members from The Sands of Time had already worked together means that they were up and running with a long list of ideas to prototype from day one. I joined the team a few months into conception to help give more focus to the team’s pre-production efforts, add a little more structure to the milestones and build out the team. While the core team is same core team from The Sands of Time we have also added specialists from other teams at Ubisoft and the Game industry at large. Ubisoft asked us to redefine the action genre for the next-generation of consoles and the only way to achieve such an ambitious goal is to put together the right team: People who have proven that they can work together to deliver a hit as well as experts with diverse backgrounds.

This interview took place in October of 2006, which means that Assassin’s Creed had been in development since at least 2004. Sands of Time shipped in November of 2003, and Beiswenger received his copyright for Link only ten months prior, on January 30, 2003. So if we take what Raymond says literally, there were only 10 months for someone in Canada to stumble upon a self-published book from an unknown American author and rip off its story. However, Raymond clears that up too:

Xbox Gazette : What were your sources of inspiration for Assassin’s Creed?

Jade Raymond :
 Obviously we had a lot of inspirations and references, but here’s how it started: Patrice Desilets our Creative Director as well as some other key members of our Creative team read a book about the Assassins and then started to do a lot of research about the clan and the 3rd crusade. The more we discovered about these people, the more we wanted to make the game. Even the Assassin Motto “Nothing is True, Everything is permitted” fits the game medium perfectly. We developed our main character, Altair as a forward thinking missionary of sorts, on a mission to end the 3rd crusade.

So, if anything, the Hashashins should be angry, not Beiswenger. I realize that it doesn’t touch upon the Link vs. the Animus aspect of the lawsuit, but the devices are dissimilar enough that the Idea-Expression Dichotomy should rule in Ubisoft’s favor.

Thanks for bringing up such a good point!

<} Rafiq