The Assassin's Creed franchise returns sooner than expected this year with a direct sequel for AC2, Brotherhood.
As Ezio's story continues he is now a legendary Master Assassin in the city of Rome. That's all very well and good but it's the never before seen multiplayer that we're interested in.
Read part one of our interview with Ubisoft Montreal designer, Patrick Plourde to find out exactly how this new layer to the epic tale will work.
Assassin's Creed 2 came out last year, Brotherhood is coming out only a year later. Do you worry this is going to dilute the brand?
Honestly, I think Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 was actually appreciated. I think if this was a completely new setting with a new hero one year after, we would probably surprise the player and maybe reactions would be 'this is probably rushed'.
For us, since it's a direct sequel to AC2, it's a continuation of the Ezio story we know and we'll be able to convince people that actually it's not rushed. It's like a new season of a TV show. We have established characters, we have an established setting, we can move on to just telling a brand new storyline, introducing new skills, new features within a known frame that we actually spent more time polishing and figuring out how we're going to introduce new characters.
The thing is it's going to be proven with the game, we have the script written down and it's as big as AC2. We promise when players play it they will realise the scope. On our side, we know it's ambitious, it's interesting and there's a lot of content we're going to provide to players.
I don't think they're going to see or feel anything different. The technology is ready, we know what we are doing and we know our character. We're building on top of AC2. It's going to be pretty big.
As you've explained you've done lots of stuff but would it be fair to say this is Assassin's Creed 3?
In terms of scope, yes it is Assassin's Creed 3, in terms of a brand we want to keep the numbers for when there is a new protagonist and a new era. It's more consistent. So you have Assassin's Creed in the crusades, Assassin's Creed 2 which is in the renaissance... let's say that we go onto the moon for Assassin's Creed Astronaut; that is going to be Assassin's Creed 3 - I don't want to spoil anything.
The historical setting is so important in the franchise.
I'm sure some people will say 'it's the same character and setting, you could have done this as DLC'...
For me it's like Uncharted 1 and 2, it's Nathan Drake, it's the same time period and it's the sequel. It's the same angle, we have Ezio and I think in terms of narrative what is interesting is, for AC2 it was all about the growth of Ezio from a young Florentine nobleman to a master assassin who was more rugged in his early 40's.
With the end of AC2 you had that guy as a master assassin; he'd been on a mission all his life and then he learns that he's a prophet, but a prophet that is just a vessel for a message and that message has been delivered. You learn that in the vault at the end of AC2 so what's the goal of your life next?
I think, also, to start with a guy that is middle-aged, you're in a period of your life where you're changing your focus, you're more retrospective; 'what am I going to do with my life next? What is my next step?'. It's a new step, a new beginning generally for people and I think it was a huge opportunity for us to work with that. We wanted to explore what going to happen to him next. And that is what players are going to see.