E3 was certainly very sequel-heavy this year, but I couldn't help but be impressed with what Ubisoft Montreal is doing for "Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood." Apart from the standard story-based missions, they've layered in strategy and city-building elements to make the experience even more well-rounded than the already-excellent "Assassin's Creed 2." But even with these changes, there are certain aspects that will remain true to form for the franchise. A mind-f*** of an ending, for example.
I spoke with Patrice Désilets, the Creative Director on the project, shortly before he left Ubisoft earlier this month. Based on our discussion, it didn't seem that he knew that his upcoming plans were outside of the company, as he freely discussed the future of the franchise. But he started by discussing the end of "Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood."
"The other day I was recording the ending of 'Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood' with Desmond, with Nolan North. He was reading it and then he was like, 'Credits?! You mother f***ker! What do you mean credits?!' And I was like, 'Well, it ends there.' [Patrice makes the sound of Nolan grunting in frustration]. He's really into it, which is great."
While Patrice didn't embellish more than that, it sounds likely that you'll be staring at your TV, mouth gaping, just as you've done at the end of the first two "Assassin's Creed" games. If you don't like ridiculous cliff-hangers, you should probably be playing "Kinectimals" instead.
Knowing full well that Désilets would never divulge the setting of the "Assassin's Creed" game after "Brotherhood," I followed up by asking him where he thinks the "Assassin's Creed" franchise would never go. His answer was a bit surprising:
"I don't see why we would do a World War II setting. We could do it, it would be fine. Like, let's go assassinate Hitler. But really? I know everyone's asking for a Japanese 'Assassin's Creed,' but I've been talking to some Japanese people and they're like, 'Don't do it. We do our own historical thing.' I've been fighting a lot saying it's not going to be a ninja, but then I'm like, why not? But I ask myself, how many games can we make in World War II? That's maybe the only [setting] I'd say is not interesting to me."
With Désilets' departure from the series, it does open up the possibility of an "Assassin's Creed" game being set in World War II. It's worth noting, though, that he was in charge of laying out the timeline of the centuries-long battle between the Assassins and the Templars, and if World War II wasn't factored into that, maybe it'll be skipped entirely?
Whatever Ubisoft ends up doing, we can at least look forward to a solid installment in "Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood," which is most definitely not an easy cash-in, what with its added gameplay mechanics and multiplayer modes.