Thanks to Ubisoft, we had the chance to sit down for a chat with Assassins Creed’s II and III Production Manager Julien Laferriere, who visited Australia for the media preview launch of Assassins Creed III.
The venue started with an introduction and Q&A, followed by the chance of testing the game on Play Station 3 and Ps Vita, and let us tell you it`s fantastic and features new amazing things, such as the capability of hunting animals to survive in the middle of the forest, mini games and some epic navy combats where you have to command your own ship and defeat enemies in the middle of the sea in order to protect your allies.
The game is set against the backdrop of the American Revolution in the late 18th century, and introduces a new hero, Ratohnhaké:ton, of Native American and English heritage. Adopting the name Connor, he becomes the new voice for justice in the ancient war between the Assassins and Templars.
Check our interview with Mr. Julien Laferriere below:
SR: First of all, thanks for your time, man.
SR: First question is how does it feel to be involved in one of the greatest video game sagas ever?
JL: (Laughs). Wow! I mean, it’s… I feel like it’s an honour, honestly. It’s really a privilege, and I think everybody on the team sees it like that. A lot of people love that game and look forward to it, so we’ve put a lot of love into it. Fans and players in general? We love to hear what they have to say. We read all the comments on the blogs and the forum posts and we just want to make a good game that players will like.
SR: When did you first get on board with the project, and how did you react when you got the letter saying “We are doing another Assassins Creed Game”?
JL: (Laughs). I’ve been on the franchise for 5 years now. I started on AC 2, and then I did Brotherhood. After doing Brotherhood, there was already a team working on AC 3, prototyping some stuff like the forest and the naval battles. Then the senior producer, Francois Pelland, asked me if I wanted to join the team. Obviously I said yes. (Laughs).
JL: That’s a good question. Um. It might be a cliché, but I’m very happy about what we did with Connor. I feel that he’s a very complex and rich character and you get to live key moments of his life and really understand where he’s going. So, I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m working on the game so he’s very close, but I really like Connor. In the Ezio trilogy, I was a big fan of Leonardo da Vinci. I liked the way he was portrayed. I really liked that character a lot. So yeah, it would be a close call between Leo and Connor, but I think Connor wins.
SR: Are you guys concerned with moving to another main character and not keeping with the Desmond story?
JL: We are continuing the Desmond story. Like the metaplot of Assassin’s Creed is a lot about Desmond as well. So we’re following the Desmond story exactly where we left it off after Revelations. But to answer your question… I mean, Ezio was such a popular character, right? Fans loved him. And that’s why we made three games with Ezio. People were loving that guy, so coming up with a new character… obviously there’s always butterflies in your stomach…when you’re gonna introduce that guy. And so far the response has been pretty positive. We’re very happy with the way things came out with Connor. I think he feels very different but very true to the Assassins in the same way. So, we’re pretty happy now, but I can tell you that when we first introduced the character, we knew we had something interesting, but we hoped that players would think the same thing.
SR: Which one is your favourite feature of this new game?
JL: My personal favourite feature is the addition of the forest, it’s true. For me, the forest was the first thing that we prototyped…the first thing that we said we had to do, you know? We have to do the forest. We also have a lot of new stuff in the game. Like – the map itself is really big, really fresh, really new. But all the game play that we have…all the new ingredients come from the forest. Like the hunting, for example, the free running, the climbing. All of that comes from the forest and we transpose those ideas in the cities. So for me, it’s really the forest that’s my favourite.
JL: Ah, honestly – and this is the real answer, it’s not the ‘PR’ answer – I’ve been so busy with working on the single player portion of the game that I can’t really comment on anything going on around the game, unfortunately. I’m so focused on making this game.
SR: Do you have any favourite actors you’d like to see play them?
JL: I don’t know. I mean, there are a lot of good people out there. I just hope that it’s somebody who fits the character, you know, and that it’s true to the story that we’re telling. I wouldn’t necessarily want to see a big name actor. I would just want to see somebody who would play the role right, you know? I don’t have any examples, but for me that would be important, you know? To have somebody who stays true to the character – who doesn’t try to portray him differently from what he is.
SR: So, after Assassins 3, what is next for you guys?
JL: We’re all gonna be on vacation. A well-deserved vacation, for sure. I mean, we’re all gonna take some time to rest. What are the future plans for the franchise, the next stuff coming up or whatever? You’ll have to wait, and you won’t hear it from me because my job here is to talk about AC3; I can’t really comment about the future.
SR: Well, thanks so much for your time. It’s been a pleasure talking to you.
JL:: Thanks to you and enjoy the game
Assassins Creed III will be available in Australia on October 31, 2012
Interview thanks to The Spotlight Report