Assassin’s Creed 3 creative director Alex Hutchinson has said he doesn’t mind if the “truth” told in the series is uncomfortable, as long as it’s backed up by facts.
Speaking with GI International, Hutchinson said alongside the truth is a “subjective layer” to the story, which is where the series’ fiction comes into play.
“Usually we’re trying to be truthful,” Hutchinson said. “And we like it–I should say we don’t mind it–if the truth is uncomfortable, if we can back it up with facts. When we were dealing with the Borgias [in Assassin’s Creed 2], we were saying the Pope is a really bad guy. But if you do any amount of research, it’s pretty clear we didn’t make this up and it’s pretty well documented.
“And it’s the same with the Founding Fathers [in AC3]. These are real people; they have their ups and downs, their opinions. And when we can find documented evidence of an opinion they had or something they asked for and it was just true, then we were happy to put that in the game. But we tried not to have our subjective layer come into it; we saved that for the fictional storyline and the fictional characters.”
In Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation, the main character, Aveline, is a former slave, which was a topic the development team didn’t explore deeply in in the core title. However, it was a topic in which Liberation scriptwriter Jill Murray was unable to avoid.
“We tried to present [slavery] objectively without crossing over into commenting on it,” Hutchinson said. “We didn’t want to take one step into that issue and then not deal with it, so really for us, it’s not a topic we try to tackle in this game.”
“For me the importance of talking about things outweighs the fear,” Murray said. “The fear you can deal with by doing your research, by talking to people, by really looking deeply into the character, understanding how they work, how they respond to their environment. To me, it’s so much more important to talk about things, I’m willing to set the fear aside long enough to do my research and make sure I get it right.”
Hutchinson also touched on the topic of the differences between the US and European versions of the advertising for the game. PR outlets in the US, reportedly, don’t want to show Connor killing “Americans”, something will notice in the TV spot below, courtesy of Joystiq.
“On the team, it’s been funny because we know the story and what happens,” Hutchinson said. “You’re very much in between these two forces and you’re essentially killing Templars. You’re not really killing Redcoats or Bluecoats.
“You’re killing the fictional bad guys, so it’s more on the marketing side that people have been debating. And we also know that as soon as the game is out and people play it, a lot of this will go away.”
Assassin’s Creed 3 and Liberation are slated for release at the end of the month.