When Assassin's Creed III came out last October for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC (as well as the Wii U a couple of weeks later), many people were thrilled with the changes made to the series. Rather than fighting through the usual settings that the series has become known for, this latest chapter took place during the American Revolution, introducing a new assassin by the name of Ratonhnhake:ton (which he later changes to Connor to make traveling easier), who is not only adaptable with a hatchet, but also with a bow and arrow set, as well as enemy weapons. (You should see what the guy does with a musket.)
Connor is only part of the story, as you also work through the modern day era with the persistent Desmond, who works with a small group of people to fight back against the Templars, who are now working under the name Abstergo. The story twists a bit with some mythos, including the possibility that the world could end on its proposed "doomsday" date of 12/21/2012 (which, obviously, it did not), but it's a fulfilling arc in an ongoing fight against this generational evil, and seeing it from both perspectives is rather cool – even though Connor gets to do the more stylish stuff, obviously.
In this week's Spoiler Alert we recap the events from the game, including what happens to Desmond and a couple of shockers that we felt were worth touching upon.
As the title indicates, there are spoilers ahead, so read at your own risk…
The game introduces you not only as Connor, but as Haytham Kenway, who's first introduced entering a Royal Opera House to assassinate a patron and steal a medallion. This is a Key to a Temple's inner chamber, one that he is sent to infiltrate. Along the way, he kills a slave trader and manages to free a group of Mohawks, including a woman named Kaniehti:lo. She is quite helpful in his quest for the Temple, and in return, he's asked to kill an enemy of her people, General Braddock. Their relationship actually becomes romantic over time, and as a result, Connor is born years later.
Fast forward to 1760. Charles Lee, a powerful Templar, initiates an attack on Connor's village, resulting in the death of his mother. He manages to escape, and, years later, chat with the Elder about his role as a guardian to avoid the discovery of the Temple. He's given a transparent Sphere, which will serve as a communication tool for Juno, who has been in constant communication with Desmond in the present day. So it plays an integral part in the storyline. He learns to become an assassin, and the story begins to take shape during the American Revolution.
In the midst of visiting Boston and seeking out supplies, Connor has a brush-in with the Templars that result in his framing over the Boston Massacre. But this doesn't phase him, as he is able to kill a number of them while helping out in the ongoing war between the Patriots and the British, completing a number of missions for historical types, including Benjamin Franklin. He later reunites with his father, who helps him hunt a rogue Templar, but a letter indicating George Washington's changes to the land forces Connor to double back to his village, where Mohawks are in conflict with the Patriots. Connor is able to save most, but is forced to kill his childhood friend, Kanen'to:kon…something that shakes him up effectively.
Back in the modern day, Desmond finds himself seeking power cells and having to rescue his father, William, after he's captured by Abstergo. In the process, he manages to kill the creators of the Animus, the tool responsible for extracting his past memories – Daniel Cross and Warren Vidic, both Templars.
Then we shift back to Connor, who discovers that his father is actually sympathetic for the Templar cause, looking to replace president George Washington with fellow Templar Charles Lee – the one responsible for the death of his mother. As a result, Connor infiltrates Lee's headquarters, Fort George, where he not only disposes him and gets a hold of a special key, but also has to begrudgingly finish off Haytham.
He returns to his village, where he finds no people, but does relocate the Sphere. Juno tells him to hide the key where it cannot be found, and he does so – allowing Desmond to find it in the modern day era. This allows him the opportunity to activate Juno and save the world from the forthcoming apocalypse, though he will sacrifice himself in the process. Minerva, one of Juno's fellow members of Those Who Came Before, opposes the plan, mainly because Juno will be brought to full power, in a place to possibly conquer humanity. If Desmond doesn't do anything, however, a solar flare will take place, leaving him as one of the few survivors, called upon as a God that will put him in power, retaining a cycle that's been running for generations. Desmond chooses to sacrifice himself, however, and activates Juno. The survivors leave as a global aurora protects the Earth from destruction, and Juno, pleased with the decision, prepares for her role.
Again, very cryptic, but for fans of the Assassin's Creed series, it does make sense in a way. It's just sad to see Desmond go out the way he did, though he does serve a very important role over the course of the story. And despite the fact that the next forthcoming game will tell the story of an entirely new assassin, there's still room for Connor, who, in the game's epilogue, returns to his village only to discover that his tribe has moved on to settle debts, possibly opening the door for him to travel elsewhere. So what happens next is anyone's guess…though the forthcoming downloadable content, led by the first chapter, The Tyranny of King Washington, could very well reveal what's next for him.
Assassin's Creed III is available now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii U and PC.