The developers of the Assassin’s Creed franchise have always gone out of their way to take great care in maintaining the historical accuracy of the people, places, and imagery featured in their stories. This doctrine has remained unchanged during the development of the franchise’s upcoming installment, Assassin’s Creed III. The developers have stated that the game will take place in New York, Boston, and the American Frontier, which includes smaller settlements like Lexington and Concord. We have been shown gameplay videos that take place in the latter two areas, but have been shown nothing of New York.
In a recent interview, creative director Alex Hutchinson gave some hints on what gamers can expect to see when they enter New York for the first time in Assassin’s Creed III. The overall scope of the city will encompass the more developed areas of Lower Manhattan and the then-swamp laden outskirts. Iconic landmarks such as Canal Street and Trinity Church will also be included, and the city will reflect:
A lot of Dutch influence… we have those unusual buildings with fake fronts… and then sloped roofs behind them. That changes the free-running a little bit. It’s most of lower Manhattan, the tip that was there at the time. The population wasn’t anywhere near as big as it is now obviously, so we were able to get a lot of the city in that was actually there.
Much of the design of the city will reflect the damage done by the Great Fire of 1776 and the Battles of New York, Brooklyn, and Long Island; all three battles comprise a campaign which was fought by both sides between 1776 and 1777.
The inferno – the cause of which is still unknown to this day – destroyed hundreds of structures and enveloped the southwestern portion of Manhattan which at the time was one of the most developed areas of the city. The fire had longstanding effects that were felt until the departure of British troops in 1783.
The Battle of New York and the Battle of Long Island/Brooklyn were fought around the same time as the fire. The latter was the largest of the entire conflict, with 32,000 British troops taking on 10,000 American troops for control of New York City. The British eventually gained control, and the city itself remained a major point of contention in the war as the British mounted western advancements in an attempt to cut off Colonial-occupied Boston from the rest of the colonies. This strategy ultimately proved to be futile.
Assassin’s Creed III is being developed and published by Ubisoft and will be released on October 30th, 2012 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC; a Wii U release is also planned.