Ubisoft has released new screenshots of Assassin's Creed III as well as a Q&A with creative director Alexander Hutchinson who gives more details about the game.
Assassin’s Creed 3
General Q&A – GamesCom
Answered by: Alexander Hutchinson, Creative Director
What is the battle of Chesapeake and why is it important?
The Battle of Chesapeake on September 5th, 1781 is a pivotal moment in the American Revolution. Fought between a French fleet led by Rear Admiral Francois Joseph Paul, Comte de Grasse and a British fleet led by Sir Thomas Graves, the battle featured 43 ships. Although technically a stalemate, the French stopped the British from reinforcing or evacuating Lieutenant General Lord Cornwallis’ besieged forces at Yorktown in Virginia. Forced to surrender, this was the start of the negotiations that ended the war and resulted in the British recognition of an independent United States.
Our demo takes place during this battle, as Connor aboard the Aquila, plays a pivotal role in the outcome of the battle.
How does Connor get his hands on the Aquila?
How Connor finds and becomes captain of the Aquila is part of our overall narrative and we don’t want to spoil anything! Suffice to say he doesn’t build it himself…
What are Connor’s motivations when on board?
Connor’s goals are, as always, to further the aims of the Assassins in the New World, a quest which takes him in many directions simultaneously. He tries to preserve his people’s place in the New World and to help anyone in search of freedom against tyranny, which often finds him either hunting Templars amidst the opposing captains, or aiding those who would wish to free themselves.
How would you define the naval gameplay experience?
Our goal was to build a believable, exciting action simulation of the historical naval experience. As Connor, you are simultaneously in control of navigation and your crew, so you must balance steering the ship away from obstacles or other vessels, while commanding your men to raise or lower the sails and to fire the cannons. It’s exciting, intense and players will experience the biggest action set pieces we’ve ever produced in the franchise. We think we’ve preserved the open world feeling of the game and provided a truly unique experience.
In terms of missions, we have some that are related to the core story, as well as a unique side narrative that deals with a specific Templar, and then a set of Privateer missions which let players just enjoy taking on an assortment of enemy ships under different conditions.
But personally, I’m most excited by the dynamic weather: it’s a full wind and wave simulation, which lets us turn calm, beautiful seas into raging storms either systemically or whenever the mission demands.
Will there be assassinations on sea?
Absolutely! The sea battles are not just fought with cannons. Sometimes you need to switch to chain shots to bring down your opponent’s masts so you can board them, and take them out in hand to hand combat.
What are the major technical achievements with the Naval experience?
The water simulation is based on the Beaufort Wind Force Scale, which calculates sea conditions on a 1 – 12 point scale from perfect calm to huge seas and raging storms. This is simulated physically in terms of its effects on the boat, and also visually in terms of VFX. When we were first pitching it to the team early in 2010, the engineers basically said we were asking for exactly the opposite of what the engine does naturally: we build large, dense, urban spaces with hundreds of characters onscreen for a player to run around in, and we were asking for huge, empty, seascapes with a highly detailed ships and a fully controllable boat: the fact that it works at all is a massive compliment to the engineering team who worked on it, led by our Technical Director, George Torres.
Can you customize the Aquila ?
No customization but players will get the chance to upgrade the Aquila with different types of ammo and amount of cannons.
What kind of missions will we find in the Naval?
There are missions that you’ll need to complete to get through the main path of the game as well as extra missions that are part of the side narrative and the Privateer contracts. The side narrative is focused around a very specific Templar who has spent his life at sea, while the privateer contracts connect to the economy and allow the player to trade more easily via sea routes.
How many weapons do you have available on the Aquila?
You have four shot types: round shot, which is a base shot type used for sinking enemy boats quickly; chain shot, which aims high and rips down masts which you need to disable an enemy boat to board it; heat shot which sets fire to the enemy boat – more powerful than round shots, with a shorter range; and grape shots a nasty type of weapon, efficient against small ships, where the crew would load the cannons with any broken object, piece of metal and other junk on the deck and fire it at the enemy ship in hopes of disabling the crew.