Thursday, November 22, 2012

Right foot yellow, left foot green

I have found a theme to latch on to in Assassins Creed 3, one that is much different than an of the previous games. The Assassins have always been presented as the 'good' guys who do what is necessary for the greater good. This greater good also means stopping the Templars, the 'bad' guys, who just want to control everything and everyone. As the series got longer in the tooth some nonsense about the end of the world has crept in, a plot wrinkle that I could do without, but the good buy/bad guy trope never wavered.

Not so this time around. Play for the first several hours as a Templar proves that their methods are not all that different from the Assassins. Their internal workings are almost indistinguishable. Once the Assassins begin their resurgence thanks to Conner the good buy/bad guy dichotomy is gone. When the game actually makes good on it name and the player gets to *gasp* kill someone the post stab, pre-death speeches come back. The Templars are always surprised at what Conner has done because they thought there were doing what was right. Conner quickly picks up on this, feeling bad for what he has done because these are simply men of conviction, just like himself. The player is forced to wonder if he is doing the right thing.

For example, a few chapters ago a member of Conner's tribe came to him looking for help. One of the Templars was going to forcibly buy out their land, land that they are sworn to protect because there is some important knick knack hidden there. Conner's first attempt to stop him resulted in the Boston Tea party. He followed the money. Achilies chastised Connor, saying that he should have killed them Templar.

'There was no need.'

Skip forward a few hours and he is back, this time with soldiers. There is a fight and this time Connor finishes the job.

'I would have saved them,' says the Templar as he dies, 'I would have protected your people. Found a place for them. Now they will never have a home.'

Connor doesn't believe him, but anyone with even a cursory knowledge of American history knows that the native americans were the New World's punching bag for hundreds of years. It is possible that they would have been better off without the Assassins' interference. Maybe, just maybe, the Assassins are the 'bad guys' this time around.

There is another twist coming, I can feel it.

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