This article originally appeared in Xbox World magazine.
While Ubisoft Montreal remain tight-lipped on the single-player story in Assassin's Creed III, we've had a revealing chat with the team at Ubisoft Annecy, who are handling the multiplayer side of the game. Turns out they've got their own story to tell, and it could have a significant impact on the entire Assassin's Creed lore...
"The multiplayer is so big today that it's already a game on its own. We've been given the right to develop the Abstergo storyline since the beginning, which is a big responsibility," says Damien Kieken, Game Director at Ubisoft Annecy. So, what does he mean by 'develop the Abstergo storyline'? In AC3, you play as a member of the public. Abstergo have turned the Animus into a commercial product, which sells the dream of 'reliving the past in HD'.
Multiplayer has a persistent, evolving story running parallel to the game's modern day plot...
It's a clever way to create a persistent online career, and therefore keep players engaged with AC3's excellent multiplayer for longer. In previous games there's been little sense of community or incentive to build up your online persona. That changes here, "Abstergo Entertainment will give you insights on the company's future initiatives by granting you access to files and information on products that will soon hit the market," said Keiken in an earlier interview. "As you progress in the game and level up your character, you access these files and videos. Every month you'll have new challenges to unlock new content that will continue the storyline throughout the year."
DES? OH, CONNOR
A persistent, evolving online story that runs parallel to the Assassin's Creed III modern-day plot? This could have huge implications for the way the Desmond side of the game - the events taking place in 2012 - actually resolve themselves, "What are the real motivations behind Abstergo's sudden initiative to release such a revolutionary product to the public?" asks Keiken. "A product that is redefining the way we're thinking, the way we're living..."
Assassin's Creed has always been smart with the way it integrates its various modes and spin-offs, making sure each of them matters in the overall game lore. There's no doubt this shift in the multiplayer story will play large in Assassin's Creed III's end game.