Alexandre Amancio, creative director for Assassin’s Creed: Revelations has said when it came to bridging the stories of both Altair and Ezio for the game, the team made sure it avoided “collapsing under the weight of our own mythology.”
Speaking in an interview with the Guardian, Amancio said the series’ narrative is “very rich and complex,” and mysteries really needed to be wrapped up as well as “set things up for what is to come.”
“We’re giving players some answers from Assassin’s 2 and Brotherhood, we’re completing the destiny of Altair, and we’re tying it in to what’s coming in 2012,” he said. “And obviously, our over-arching storyline has to do with the end of the world in 2012 – we need to set up everything for the conclusion of that narrative. In this game, you’ll get to understand why Ezio is so important and how his destiny his aligned to Altair’s and to Desmond’s. ”
Amancio said one of the main themes of Revelations is to also help players understand the motivations of all the cast while experiencing key points from Altair and Ezio’s lives. This may sound as though all these different layers of from each characters past and present lives could get confusing for the development team, and thus spill over into the game, but Ubisoft has a plan in place which helps out with the multi-layered realities.
“We actually have a small team whose sole purpose is to ensure that everything is coherent,” he said. “One of the rules we have with AC is that anything that we state, anything that happens in the game, becomes part of the reality – part of the encyclopaedia. We really want to avoid revisionism, and it’s extremely hard, especially with crossing destinies, different realities, different timelines.
‘We wanted to avoid compiling a game bible that’s 2000 pages of stuff nobody reads. So we use very visual schematics, we have all the timelines up on the walls – we always understand the relationships between characters and all the situations. It’s very hard: sometimes we have a really good idea, but it just doesn’t fit with the whole structure and we remove it – coherence is very important.
We do have narrative arcs that complete – and Revelations is the completion of one narrative arc: the arc of Ezio and Altair. We actually also have the completion of a Desmond arc. It’s good for players to feel the completion of certain stories – we can always hint at and open others. This series is such a rich universe, it has all these underlying conspiracies that criss-cross with history, so it’s not like we’re missing ideas and initiatives for other narrative arcs…. So it works like a TV series in the sense that it will have a continuation over many seasons, but it does have a conclusion.”
Amancio also divulged that there will be more historical figures in Revelations, and while he wouldn’t name names, he did elaborate a bit on Suleiman the Magnificent, who was once the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. His uncle, Sehzade Ahmet, is also present in the game.
It is a really interesting interview, and if you head on through the link, you can read up on the team’s trip to Istanbul (Constantinople in the game), and well as how the team made Ezio older yet wiser this time out.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is due on PS3 and Xbox 360 in November, with a PC and possibly Wii U version to follow.