But before all of that, Hutchinson needed a setting and a character. He wouldn't tell us why or how he settled on the American Revolution (nor would he say what other ideas came up), but he did explain why he believes it'll be a success. "We really believe this is the strongest setting so far in an AC game. Why? Because we think it's the most relevant setting," he said during a group presentation. "This is the birth of the nation. But even for other countries, especially in Europe, it's a key historical event."
By the way, for all his U.S pride, Hutchinson is an Aussie and he lives in Canada. We assume he's spent a lot of time watching Independence Day.The American Revolution was stage to major events and iconic figures, giving it a solid foundation as an AC time period. Though Assassin's Creed 2's Renaissance setting offered similar opportunities, Hutchinson remembered initial concern from fans.
"It's interesting. In retrospect, everyone's like, 'The Renaissance was a terrific setting for AC.' But at the time, when it was announced, everyone was like, 'Wasn't it just paintings and people with frilly sleeves. How could this be a setting for a video game? How could it be a cool story?'" Hutchinson told us.
Without speculating on other AC titles, Hutchinson said, "Assassin's Creed is flexible, where you can do a lot of stuff. As long as it's a big inflection point, and a dynamic point in history, there's lots of meat to chew on."
"At the time historically, the Native American population were mostly allied with the British. They cut deals with the French before and after [the Revolutionary War]. There's also a big percentage that've been assimilated either through Christianity or just moving into town, so it's a very fluid history," Hutchinson told us. Connor's facing the ongoing encroachment on his peoples' land, while simultaneously interested in assisting with the birth of America. "It wasn't a shooting war, in a sense [between settlers and Natives]. This is centuries of attrition. So it fits into that. The notion that he's trying to help these people find a place in what he sees as going to be a new country."
Assassin's Creed 3 is a rugged game set in a rugged time. Brutal combat, barely lived-in early US cities, and gritty characters like real life bad dude Israel Putnam are all sterling examples of why the next AC game will be a tonal shift from the charming Italian airs of Mr. Auditore. The setting seems all the more fitting, then, as the series is born anew.