pyroclast-hasanewblog wrote: "Hey, I wanted to know your opinions on the AC3 team focusing less on the Hidden Blade, which has tied all of the previous games together as the assassin's greatest weapon, and Connor's lack of a lip scar like Altair, Ezio, and Desmond have?"

There are two reactions that I have experienced regarding Ubisoft’s subtle changes to the AC formula: the gut reaction, and the thoughtful reaction.

My gut reaction is probably similar to many of you as more and more news of AC3 has been released. A lot of “Wait, what?” and “How can you change that?” and “WHYY?!?” Whether we like it or not, the Assassin’s Creed franchise has become formulaic as of late, and sometimes a diversion from the familiar, from the expected is a shock to the system. Change? I DON’T WANT CHANGE.

However! That was just my initial reaction. As my mind siphoned this info away from my histrionic gut, I slowly digested what I was actually being told, instead of what I was wildly assuming. Connor Kenway is different than any of the assassins with whom we’ve interacted. He isn’t a Master Assassin, he doesn’t oversee a faction like Altair or Ezio, he’s a lone wolf. It’s logical to assume that he taught himself how to fight, how to kill, and that these skills are going to mirror the ones he uses to hunt. A hidden blade, while practical as a weapon for subtle assassinations within the packed city streets of Jerusalem or Rome, won’t kill a bear. So for Connor to favor other weapons over the adopted hidden blade, and to motify the hidden blade to be used more as a knife (perfectly suited for skinning game), makes sense. It adds depth to the character, instead of copying and pasting a previous form over him.

As for the lip scar, it’s the same thing. Aesthetically, seeing Altair, Ezio, and Desmond lined up with the lip scar works beautifully at a visual level. It links the three together without much thought. However! The most important, and most obvious, point to recall here is that SCARS ARE NOT HEREDITARY. For Connor to also have the exact same scar in the exact same place as three guys, one of whom is directly related to everybody, starts pushing the boundaries of coincidence towards the absurd. It seems that the AC3 team has tried its best to bring as much realism to this game as it could; I think this minor character design quirk just hit them as unneeded. And it is. Connor not having a lip scar is not going to make him less of a character. In fact, it makes him more of his own character.

And that, I think, is Ubisoft’s overall intention.

<} Rafiq

Michael Fassbender in "Assassin's Creed": 5 Reasons This is Cool 

Michael Fassbender is a busy guy these days. The German-born thespian is currently slated to appear in director Steve McQueen’s next film, “Twelve Years a Slave,” and Ridley Scott’s “The Counselor.” But somewhere in the midst of all that work, he’s finding the time to both co-produce and star in the big-screen adaptation of the mega-hit video game"Assassin’s Creed."

Now, before you shrug off the announcement as just another entry in the historically pitiful line of game-movie crossovers, here are five reasons to get excited about Fassbender’s trip through the Animus:

  1. Fassbender Adds Credibility
  2. Game: The Indie Movie
  3. Fassbender Pulls Double Duty
  4. 'Assassin's Creed' Has a Rich and Varied Canon
  5. A Great Actor Could Mean a Better Cast

Click the above link for elaboration!

John Beiswenger on the Assassin’s Creed Lawsuit 

The Internet is known for its more passionate, vocal users. Whether it’s trying to raise breast cancer awareness via Facebook or petitioning the world’s nations over important issues, people who would otherwise feel powerless can add just a little bit to a cause. They might do it to feel better about themselves, to fit in with their friends or maybe, just maybe, everybody genuinely likes to do a little bit of good in their lives. There’s another side to it though, when the passion, when the anger is misdirected and somebody ends up victimised; it happens all too often.

[…]John Beiswenger, the author behind a series of novels in which a corporation sends people “back in time” via ancestral memories, is the latest victim of overly-defensive Internet masses.

If the novels’ scenario sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a very similar plot to that found in the hugely successful Assassin’s Creed games. But Mr Beiswenger is more than just a novelist and, as a quick scan of his website will attest, he’s working towards things that will genuinely improve the lives of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people. At 75, the product research engineer probably shouldn’t be the victim of a smear campaign, a stunt that left his books rubbished on Amazon, rude emails sent via his website, and thousands of people he’ll never know actively hating him. It’s just not right.

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pyroclast-hasanewblog wrote: "So I'm playing AC2 right now and onto one of Subject 16's puzzles.... And one of them shows George Washington with an Apple! Do you think he is an Assassin or a Templar or just some douche who ended up with the Apple?"

Ah, Apple #3. So much of the chaos in American history can be tied back to you.

To deem whether or not George Washington had ties to either the Templars or the Assassins, we must look at the history of that particular Piece of Eden. According to AC II (and using the AC Wiki to refresh my memory), Apple #3 was brought over to this country by the Freemasons from Europe, presumably before the Revolutionary War. Now, when I say Freemasons, I’m sure this pops into your head:

The film National Treasure—probably one of the more recent narratives involving the centuries-old organization—have the Freemasons being born out of the Knights Templar, although the connection is very weak at best:

There is a tenuous link between the Freemasons and the Knights Templar, a mysterious order of knights founded in 1119 to protect Christian pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land. Many Freemasons today say they are the spiritual descendants of the knights.

According to legend, the Knights Templar discovered the greatest treasure in human history buried beneath the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. What is true, scholars say, is that the knights became wealthy and powerful, and they may have rivaled the influence of some European kings.

"They’re mysterious because they were so sensationally successful," said Lisa Bitel, a history professor at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. "The idea behind lots of these conspiracy and treasure stories is that any individual could happen upon a forgotten relic of the past, join with other like-minded mavericks, and use this relic for personal redemption or universal good.

But in the early 1300s, the knights were suppressed and executed. Whether they found Solomon’s treasure is not known. No treasure map has ever been found.

However, to implement this to the AC Historical Timeline, we know for a fact that A) the Templars found Solomon’s treasure; and B) that they weren’t all executed in the 1300s. For the Freemasons to be “spiritual descendants” of Templars…well, let’s not get too hasty on the finger pointing just yet.

The true, non-Nicolas-Cage-related history of the Freemasons is just as interesting as the movie. The organization was created right along side the emergence of the Age of Enlightenment, wherein man began to trust more in science and his senses than in a omnipotent being. To sum up this idea, look no further than to the motto of the Royal Society in 1660: “Nullius in Verba” or “On the words of no-one”. Due to its direct connection to this intellectual movement, the Freemasons felt it necessary to spread the philosophy:

During the late 1700’s, it was one of the organizations most responsible for spreading the ideals of the Enlightenment: the dignity of man and the liberty of the individual, the right of all persons to worship as they choose, the formation of democratic governments, and the importance of public education. Masons supported the first public schools in both Europe and America.

Further, many of those fighting for the Colonies during the Revolutionary War were of the Freemason Order:

Many of The Founding Fathers of America were masons, most famous of whom must be George Washington. But it included Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere and Thomas Jefferson. Though Marquis de Lafayette was not an American but a Frenchman, he was a mason and he helped in the American War of Independence. These men were the first to ever plan the Constitution of a country along the ideals of The Enlightenment.

So what does this all mean, in the context of Assassin’s Creed III? While it is obvious that the Freemasons do have a tie back to the Knights Templar, their ideals—freedom of the individual, power in the hands of the many, not the few—line up more closely with the Assassins. George Washington has possession of the Apple in 1781—two years before the end of AC3, which means Connor must be aware that he has it. We also know that the Apple stays closely tied with the American presidents, as it pops up multiple times within American history. The only known Templar to gain control of it is Lyndon B. Johnson, who became president after the assassination of JFK. Since we know that the assassins were aware of George Washington’s (and other presidents’) possession of the Apple and didn’t do anything to capture it, we can assume that they did so because it was they who had possession of it. George Washington is either an Assassin, or someone within their allegiance.

And that, folks, is your history lesson for the day.

TL;DR: George Washington is a part of the Assassin Brotherhood.

<} Rafiq

On AC as a yearly title… 

submitted by volantedesign:

I’m as big a fan as any of the Assassin’s Creed series, which is not to say that I love it unconditionally, just that I trust Ubisoft to do well by the series, and to not let me down. If they want to make the series into an annual title, that’s fine by me. It is bound to continue to be more interesting than annual sports games, and to fit my own gaming preferences better than the Call of Duty franchise—and it’s many off-shoots—does. The always seem to try to build on past games, rather than repackage last year’s game with new skins; sometimes to great effect [AC:B], others not so much [Den defense].

That said, I feel like the game series will have to change somewhat to fit it’s new state of being. If they want to keep us interested, it’s going to take more than a new setting and cool ancestor every year, because that will just become boring, and repetitive, no matter how disparate the settings become. Eventually we will feel like India is a reskinned Constantinople, and that Desmond’s ancestors may have all just been cold-blooded killers determined to fight overpopulation, rather than for the cause against Templars.

If they want to keep me interested, they are going to have to really build up the metaplot. What is going to draw me to buying next years game is not going to be the prospect of watching 80 year old Connor die, but a desire to continue the story of our modern day assassins. They should make sure it is the modern day plot, and it’s justifications for reliving the past are both interesting, and believable, as well as more of an important part of the story, rather than a side not at the end of each game, stringing the story along by a single thread which could be summed up in Desmond’s own words after meeting Minerva at the end of AC2: “What the fuck?”

Anonymous wrote: "personal opinion question what do you think is with the naval battle video and Connor's outfit change I remember them saying something awhile ago like if you start leaning towards one side your outfit changes to it, could that be why he looks like that? or is it something I'm missing? maybe a disguise mission or something"

First, I’d like to apologize for sitting on your question for a couple of days; I’ve been trying to find that article you referenced (because I swore I read it too!) and it’s eluding me. It’s times like these that I wish I had my own personal Shaun Hastings, le sigh.

Anyway, about that Naval Battle: gah, everything about it makes me fangirl like crazy. The epic scale, the weather mechanics, and not to mention Connor’s authentic costume change. While Connor may don a tricorn hat and captain’s coat in order to impersonate a Colonial sailor, it is possible that this outfit change could be a plot point, like Ezio losing his armor in ACB.

Or it could be a skin that you can buy/download.

If you pre-order AC3 from Amazon in Germany, there are two different bonuses, both of which come with a different Connor skin.

There is the “Traditional” Colonial Assassin’s Uniform:

And the “Captain” Assassin’s Uniform:

Now, I don’t know about you, but that Captain’s skin looks awfully familiar.

Whether or not the skin will be something you can download, something you can buy in-game, or something that Connor will favor if he’s more “Colonial” than “Native” remains to be seen. However, in my personal opinion, I really hope that Connor’s actions in the game change his outfits because I think that would just add another level of immersion in an already amazing-looking game.

<} Rafiq

Editorial: Could Assassin's Creed Work as a Movie? 

While there hasn’t been any new news regarding this project since last year, if you recall, Ubisoft made a deal with Sony Pictures in order to start a film franchise revolving around Assassin’s Creed. This editorial speculates writers and directors for such a project: mainly David Fincher (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) as directors, and Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) and Steve Kloves (the Harry Potter series) as writers. 

But what do you think? Are these strong selections for an Assassin’s Creed movie? Or do you have someone better in mind? Sound off below, or in our Ask, and let us know!

First Impression of the Assassin’s Creed III Demo 

Gameplay Video:

It takes place during the Battle of Bunker Hill. You mission is to assassinate British General Pitcairn. It begins by walking through a group of American soldiers being pumped up by what seems to be a high ranking officer. Connor walks through them and walks into the battlefield with hundreds of soldiers firing at each other. Connor can only advance between rounds of firing. Connor sneaks by the soldiers and traverses through trees and rock climbs and fights off a few enemies with some awesome dual wielding combos and flanks the enemies and enters the British encampment. Connor goes running into the camp and perform a continuous assassination on Pitcairn which means he will kill 2-3 people between him and the target but he’ll never stop moving between killing those guys (hatchet to the back of the head of one guy and push him away, then hidden blade the next guy and roll forward off the kill and then kill the general a la typical AC).


GT wasn’t lying about the animation system. Imagine Uncharted in an open world game. He’ll slide, swing, jump under/over branches, run across branches like the trailer, free scale cliffs by putting his hands in the cracks, react to explosions, change his posture according to where he’s standing like near a wall and even between branches/trunks. Combat is really fluid and dual wield is awesome. You really get the seem that Connor is a hunter and one with his environment. The trees don’t look too prebaked (you can kinda tell where you can begin) and do resemble real life trees in the sense that its never really a straight shot and doesn’t look like jump a little to the left and then a little to the right. You’ll jump on a 45 degree log and run up to another and swing to another and land between a trees trunk (V shaped trunk) and then jump to another branch and run up that branch so you can then free climb a cliff.

This was taken from a blogger over at GameSpot, so you may want to take it with a grain of salt. However, everything described fits the stills that we are seeing, so I think this is legit. 

I so need a leaked, high-quality video right now.

(Source: gamespot.com)