Above all Connor wants to keep his Native American people safe, but to do that he'll need to understand the strange European culture threatening them. What better way than running a homestead?
In AC3 Connor will be responsible for a homestead where it starts out as a small trading outpost but can eventually swell to more of a home as more people come to live and work.
The Ubisoft team have also been very careful not to fall into the trap of bogging down the story with too many references to past Assassin's Creed games. "The whole Templar and Assassin story arc from the very beginning starts to become complicated," said mission director Philippe Bergeron in an interview.
"It’s one of the complaints that we have from previous games, people had trouble getting into it, so I wanted to have a more – not dumbed down story, but easier to understand and easier to get across." Bergeron didn't want a 'bonsai mission tree' like in GTA IV where you couldn't tell what was optional and what wasn't before moving forward.
"...I really wanted to be more like: if you want to know what the main story is, just follow the yellow brick road. Follow the nuggets and you’re gonna be told a story. It’s a directed storyline that we try and keep simple, because Assassin’s Creed has a legacy," he explained. Connor doesn't get to escape the women in his life - he'll get his marching orders.
"Connor’s a little bit more strong-willed," said Bergeron, comparing him to Ezio who readily undertook missions from his mother, sister and many others. Connor will be more independent, but his tribe is a Matriarchy.
"He listens to his mum, and he’ll listen to the matriarch – coming from a Native American heritage, the Mohawk, it is a matriarchal society; the village elder, who’s female, will give guidance in the beginning."
"And then as he moves out of his village and goes into the world, he starts meeting Achilles, who becomes like your mentor. At first, Connor is more like “yeah, whatever old man, you’re too old for me”, and then as he gets to know him he starts to learn “no, this is a wise man” and starts to respect him and follow him a little bit more."
It's the pursuit of justice that guides him, says the mission director. "He believes in the right thing to do. The continuation of his culture, and of his village, is his main goal. He sees these Europeans encroach on the lands and threaten his way or his people’s way of living, and he wants to protect that at all costs. That’s what guides the whole thing."
One way Connor will seek to save his people and their culture is to in fact better under European culture, and how to navigate their world. To that end Ubisoft introduce the homestead. "The homestead is not necessarily to save the village; it is to raise money in a sense. It sort of plays into it. He comes to understand the concept of commerce and of relationships, which are not as familiar to the Native American cultures; they’re much more family-oriented."
"At first he doesn’t really understand the concept of social interaction with other people not of the tribe. It sort of forces him not necessarily to become European, but to understand European culture," added Bergeron. Throughout the game we'll come across people who we can direct to the homestead as NPCs come in one of two categories; gathers or producers.
"Either they’re resource gatherers, like they cut down wood or create lumber for you, or they modify your existing material. So in that case, that woodworker will modify the existing lumber that you have to make barrels, chairs and whatnot out of it. And then you sell that stuff on the market. So most of the homestead is your money generator."
"The entire economy is based around acquiring new people, making them work, putting them to good use, and then you start setting up trade routes with the different merchants that you meet through the game, and the start selling your merchandise . You either sell raw materials or modified materials."
That's where naval trade routes also play a crucial role. In previous Assassin's Creed instalments we've had the chance to invest in businesses but this is the first time we've gotten something that seems so fluid and natural. Check out thebetween Philippe Bergeron and VG247.
Assassin's Creed 3 releases on Xbox 360 and PS3 October 31st, and on PC November 23rd.
Assassin's Creed 3's Connor driven to "keep his village safe," nurtures homestead
05 October 2012 | By Simon Priest