Location Scout: Boston, New York, and the Frontier in Assassin’s Creed III

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Location Scout: Boston, New York, and the Frontier in Assassin’s Creed III

Assassin's Creed III: St. Paul's Chapel

Manhattan’s St. Paul’s Chapel, completed in 1766, would have been a modern marvel in the era of Assassin’s Creed III. Bottom right: Photograph

Part of Assassin’s Creed III’s ample appeal lies in its fastidious recreation of Revolutionary War-era America, a time of great uncertainty and even greater promise. Developer Ubisoft Montreal has gone to considerable lengths to accurately recreate historic locations across the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, referring to era maps and historians in order to bolster the game’s authenticity.

We recently spoke with lead designer Steve Masters and creative director Alex Hutchinson to learn more about the game’s slavish attention to detail in recreating late 18th century colonial America. Enjoy!

Assassin's Creed III: Old State House
Assassin's Creed III: Boston Street
“In Boston, you’ll see a lot of places you could see today, from the old statehouse to Fenway Market to a pub called the Green Dragon Tavern. Using maps from the era, we recreated Boston at a 1:3 scale, including a lot of the surrounding countryside with towns like Lexington and Concord.”
— Steve Masters, Lead Designer, Assassin’s Creed III
“One of my favorite details is how we’re bringing the crowd to life in a more dynamic way: rats, pigs, goats, sheep, are all sharing the streets and it gives a different ambience. We’ve also got kids for the first time, and seeing that difference in height gives a richer feel to the crowd life.”
— Steve Masters, Lead Designer, Assassin’s Creed III

“One of the most challenging things with a city like Boston is the road layout. There are a couple of big, straight streets that our tech really was not set up for, so we had to create a lot of new tech to populate those big streets with people and make sure that can see them way out into the distance.”
— Steve Masters, Lead Designer, Assassin’s Creed III

Assassin's Creed III: Faneuil Hall
“There was also the big question, what’s going to be an interesting landmark to climb? Take the architecture of houses of this era — roofs had a pretty steep pitch, and that’s something we wanted to represent in the game. But changing the architecture meant we had to adjust the way the character plants his foot. Supporting fighting on this steep sloped terrain…it was all stuff that was new for us, and really challenging. It just took a lot of care and time.”
— Steve Masters, Lead Designer, Assassin’s Creed III

Assassin's Creed III: Frontier

Assassin's Creed III: Frontier
Assassin's Creed III: Frontier
“You’ll go to Valley Forge, you’ll go to Bunker Hill…There are a wide variety of environments you’ll encounter, from pine forests to swamplands to rolling plains and old-growth forests. You’ll see bears fishing the river, wolves howling on a cliff, bobcats sunning themselves…”
–Steve Masters, Lead Designer, Assassin’s Creed III
“The frontier is an amalgamation of all parts of the American Northeast, it’s a huge chunk of America condensed into a smaller space. When you reach the frontier, we wanted the feeling that it’s you versus the elements — that sense of untouched wilderness.”
— Alex Hutchinson, Creative Director, Assassin’s Creed III
“There are 26 animal types in the game, from beavers and deer to wolves and bears, and you can even use bait to attract certain kinds of animals. This is really fun if you bait wolves to a British convoy, which will obviously end in carnage.”
–Steve Masters, Lead Designer, Assassin’s Creed III

Assassin's Creed III: Bowling Green Concept

Concept art for Bowling Green, NY circa the late 1700’s

Assassin's Creed III: Bowling GreenAssassin's Creed III: Wall Street

In-game screenshots of Bowling Green and Wall Street

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6 Author Replies

  • The level of detail in this game is amazing. Already pre-ordered :)

  • 6 more days!

  • Most anticipated game of 2012 for me! Beautiful game! 5 more days for USA!
    -“All we wanted was our freedom.”

  • Is it true that hackers have gotten the PS3 master key?

  • actually it almost 4 days til it out, nice Manhattan’s St. Paul’s Chapel :) , where there any familiar places we might see and know?, my question is this how big is the Map this time ?

  • “This is really fun if you bait wolves to a British convoy, which will obviously end in carnage.” I know what I’m doing as soon as I get the bat ! Lol.

  • plz let it be Oct 30th already, I want this game now T_T

  • *bait. XD

  • Still my favorite series this generation. And this is one of the many reasons why!

  • I hear the world is huge, bigger than the other titles.

  • @Sid Shuman
    I’m gonna make my question a bit clearer than before. Will linking ACIII and ACIII Liberation unlock anything in Assassin’s Creed III on PS3 not the other way around. When will we be hearing on Liberation’s multiplayer? Tomorrow?

    • Not sure about new content in the PS3 game, I’m asking, but I think the primary focus is the Vita content. No word yet on multiplayer, not sure exactly what it is yet

  • Assassins creed 3 will not have a midnight release on psn. “When the game releases on October 30, 2012 some time between 11am to 5pm (PST), you will be able to download your game from the playstation store.”

    So basically, anyone who pre-orderd from psn will not be playing this game untill the 31st.

    I wish i would have pre-orderd from gamestop, I won’t make this mistake again.

  • This game looks amazing, but I’m honestly more excited for Liberation on the Vita. I am back into this series again :)

  • I think the assassins creed series is one of the best series ever created :-)

  • Getting the special edition with encyclopedia. I have no idea how to link this with my upcoming Liberation, but excited to try! I live in CA, but have visited Boston, Philly, Va, etc, where these sites still exist & look mostly the same, so I expect to have mind blown, multiple times.

  • Got the GameStop Collector’s Edition, the GameStop Ezio Vanbrace Replica (got it already), the Liberation Vita Bundle, and the Collector’s Edition Guide. Yes it took 2 paychecks to pay it all off but I say it was worth it.

  • i’m happy AC3 takes place during the revolutionary war. I wanted this since playing AC1. I’m from near Boston and new england is filled with history. So i am somewhat filled with pride to have a great game put me there. Being true to history. like having the Boston tea party and Boston massacur which is what set in motion to us Becoming a free nation. I’m happy they are Being true to the cities by having old maps give them proper lay out rather then making it up.

  • Do you get anything extra for pre-ordering assassins creed liberation from gamestop? I put $120.00 on my psn wallet to purchase the AC3/ACLiberations bundle, but now that i know there won’t be a midnight release,(and i cant get any of that back to purchase the game at gamestop) I guess I’ll go to gamestop and buy acliberation at midnight, so i can atleast play one on the 30th, and find use 60 dollars on something else.

    This game looks amazing, and hopefully as groundbreaking as GTA was.

    Time seems to be moving slower and slower the closer we get to the 30th.

  • I’m so excited for this game! I can’t wait to be walking around in 1775 for the first time in a video game!

    Maybe next time Ancient Greece? I’m taking a history class and exploring the TRUE Hellanistic area would be so cool! (not God of War style with the mythology), the REAL Greece.

  • Anybody see the southpark where cartman freezes himself (hoping to be unthawed in 3 weeks), because he feels like the wait for the nintendo wii is literally killing him?

    I feel this way about AC3.

  • Will there be southern states such as Virginia where the battle of Yorktown was located?

  • I can’t recall looking forward to the release of any game quite this much.
    Maybe GTA San Andreas.


  • @12 how do you know?

  • @24
    As of yesterday, when you purchase any version of AC3 (AC3, AC3Gold,AC3Gold+Liberation) it tells you that the game will be available for download sometime between 11am and 5pm (PST) on October 30. 2012.

    I have also been told by several psn customer service reps as well as a cust service rep from ubisoft that the exclusive ps3 missions will not be available with the digital version of AC3.

    So basically anyone who purchased AC3 from the PLAYSTATION network is basically getting the XBOX version of the game (being that those missions are what seperate the Playstation version from the Xbox version.

  • great :D

  • One think I like to ask, I know u guys are busy on ACIII but on what point u guys gonna start promoting ACIII Liberation? Do u think ACIII got enough spotlight? I heard the console version already broke pre-order record, don’t u think its time to shift your focus on liberation? I mean its so close to release date and we still know nothing on the MP. At this pont I’m really starting to worry about this games.

  • Liberation is fun so far, but I am only on Sequence 2. The bayou is cool, though I’ve encountered one random glitch so far that sent me tumbling into an underground abyss as well as my death.

    Really looking forward to diving into AC3 though as the environments are simply stunning.

  • Game looks amazing! but i have a question about the exclusive content. do we get that if you just go buy it at eb games? or do we get it, if we pre order?

    Much appreciated
    And i cannot wait to play this game!!!!

  • Spolier alert: Sequence 1 2 & 3 you play as connor’s father

  • @25 You’re kidding… right? If we (The PSN users who preordered) miss out on content exclusive to all PS3 copies of a game because we pre ordered digitally on the PLAYSTATION 3 itself I am going to… No. The only thing I can actually do is rage and NEVER make a digital game purchase on PS3 again, and hope that others take note of this and don’t buy digitally either. That would simply be complete BS to miss out on system exclusive content because we pre ordered ON the system. And that is poor decision making on Sony’s part (OR Ubi’s part… whoever decided that digital pre orders wouldn’t get the exclusives). I had a whole rant typed out, but shortened it to this because it would just be childish.

  • This game looks unbelievable. I would encourage everyone to check out the trailers available on the PSN store which include developer commentary. I pre-ordered my copy today and I can’t wait till the 30th!

  • + androx11 on October 23rd, 2012 at 4:28 pm said:
    I have a question. I’m planning on buying the digital version of Assassin’s Creed 3 next week–which will get me over $100, wooo!–but I was wondering, does it include the missions that are exclusive to the PS3? Or is that only for retail copies?

    + Kristine Steimer on October 23rd, 2012 at 4:54 pm said:
    Woo! :) The PSN version does include the missions that are exclusive to the PS3.

  • @25 and 31, and to reiterate what 33 said:
    Morgan just tweeted me back and confirmed the PS3 exclusive missions are part of the digital download, as they are PS3 related, not disc. So, no fear, PSN will be the same game as the disc, just no pre-order bonuses.

  • what would be cool for assassin’s creed fan , i would love conner as ps home avatar & even the Aveline as an outfit on ps home

  • @25 thanks

  • I didn’t pre-order on-system for one reason only. I wanted to keep as much space free on my HDD as possible. I never knew about the exclusive stuff we would get until earlier this month. I also believed it only came with the new PS3 console. Luckily, that mistake was cleared up for me quickly. It’s just too bad they’re not holding the midnight release at the GS where I pre-ordered the game. But I have Borderlands 2 to keep me busy.

  • I wish I could sleep and wake up on October 30th :|

  • Day and time for the download please

  • i never got why they didn’t put philadelphia in the game… it just never made sense

  • They obviously did extensive visual research and it really paid off ACIII is stunning!

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