Assassin's Creed 4 won't necessarily be set after the events of Assassin's Creed 3, according to Ubisoft producer Francois Pelland. The franchise's grounding in 'genetic memories' means it can leap around the timeline at whim, which is good news for those who consider Colonial America one fast-forward too many.
"It's a question we've been getting a lot," Pelland told the Metro at a preview event. "It's not a moving forward thing, it's all based on lineage and on DNA and therefore it has nothing to do with time. The next game could easily go backwards as much as forward, no problem."
We suggested Ancient Egypt, Imperial China and revolutionary Russia as alternative settings in a feature prior to the game's reveal, drawing on our knowledge of Assassin's Creed lore. There's hope for the idea of Assassin's Kung Fu yet, then.
Pelland also addressed concerns over Ubisoft's handling of the era's politics. Fear not, Limey lovers - Assassin's Creed 3 won't be about unrefined American supermen boshing tea-sipping, limp-wristed Brits. "When you think of the American Revolution, when you think of that period, the joke that was is that it was a 'civil war fought on foreign soil' - for the British. When you think of that period there were colonies, but America was not even a concept - it was still a very European colony.
"So when you think of that, it was set on different ground, it was not in Europe, but it was really not the America ra-ra-ra kind of thing. It's the birth of it, it's when you think of France it's what triggered the French Revolution as well. So it's really the starting part of the American century but there was not even the concept of being an American at the time. When you think of Boston and New York, there was a French part. The major battle of Yorkton, that was a decisive battle, there were more French soldiers than colonists or Patriots.
"So in New York still, if you go to the south of Manhattan you have those really winding roads that are a lot more European. It was the Dutch district. And you had as well a lot of Germans at the time in that fight."
Too long, didn't read? America hadn't been invented yet, so there won't be any American supremacism. Pelland also pointed out that both colonials and their oppressors can be Templars; Charles Lee, once offered the job of leading the revolutionary forces, may be a Templar turncoat.
New hero Connor is part Native American, moved to take up arms following the destruction of his home village. In keeping with the series' scholarly exactness, Pelland and his team intend to be as faithful as they can to the plight of Native Americans during the period, but Ubisoft won't take a position on their destruction, containment and dispersal.
"When you think of that period, especially with the Founding Fathers, we have records of their day-to-day agenda," he said. "For some reason we knew exactly where Ben Franklin was in 1772 on September 3rd. It's weird that we have that kind of accuracy but with everything we're trying to be accurate to the historical fact, and that includes the Native American and the African Americans of the time.
"They were a part of history and that's one thing... we don't want to take a position on that. There's things that happen, as you say the outcome of the native community is well known. That being said that's the one thing that we've been extremely good with is to have an extremely respectful and very good relationship with the Native American community. We're working really hard to make historical facts true within the game, but to not judge."