For dedicated fans of the Assassin’s Creed series, myself included, following the storyline of Desmond Miles has been quite the journey. Spanning four games and several hours spent traversing several historical landscapes, you can’t escape the feeling that the plot has been stretched farther than necessary. The last three games, dubbed “The Ezio Trilogy” by many, have focused more on Desmond’s ancestral memories rather than Desmond’s modern-day struggles, effectively slowing that plot thread to a crawl. Some fans have expressed frustration over this lack of progression, and based on statements recently made by the lead designer, Ubisoft is in agreement. Could Assassin’s Creed III be Desmond’s final curtain call?
In an interview with Official Xbox Magazine, lead designer Steve Masters weighed in on speculation that the Desmond storyline could be retired after Assassin’s Creed III. After the end of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, which was known to be the conclusion of the Ezio storyline, many began to wonder what the future of the franchise would be. It was later confirmed that the third instalment proper would have a new assassin, a new setting and would continue with Desmond’s storyline as the glue that holds it together. According to Masters, this could be the last time.
“What we’re trying to do is bring some finality to Desmond’s story” Masters stated, further adding “And we wanted you to feel a good sense of progress in what’s going on in the story. A lot of the misdirection and the way we’ve been meandering a little bit has been kind of frustrating as a player and for the audience.”
The “meandering” he is referring to is the cliffhangers that have capped off the two previous Assassin’s Creed games, which has proven annoying to some fans who wanted a bigger sense of closure. There is no denying that the endings were dramatic, however they left a lot of loose ends and it began to feel drawn out by the time Revelations came around. If what Masters is saying about Assassin’s Creed III holds true, this could be the finale that we have been waiting for. Mind you, it has not officially confirmed exactly what direction they are taking. Desmond’s end and how it might impact future instalments is not known at this time.
If Desmond is retired, it’ll be interesting to see what path subsequent games will follow. While some will miss Desmond, many others feel that the series has become formulaic, with yearly releases further diluting the experience. Perhaps a complete change will really give the series the shake-up it needs. In the meantime, we have a new game and a new protagonist to look forward to. Assassin’s Creed III will be released on October 30, 2012 for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC, and on November 18, 2012 for the Wii U.