Interview: Assassin’s Creed 2

Game Director Benoit Lambert on Batman comparisons, Ubisoft recruitment drives and the Ponte di Rialto.

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, September 30, 2009

Looks a bit "ooh matron" if you ask us.

Looks a bit "ooh matron" if you ask us.

Batman is an amazing game, I really like it – but it’s a game with mechanics you know about, that you’ve already experienced in other games. So it’s a great game but it doesn’t impact much, even if the quality of the design work is amazing. What we’re trying to do with Assassin’s Creed 2 is challenge ourselves with what we can do differently, what we can do with other aspects.

VGD: Your team has expanded quite a lot recently, I understand.

Lambert: For this game?

VGD: For this game.

Lambert: Yes, we have 200 working on the game. We have two teams in Montreal, we have one team in Singapore, and we have one team in Annecy.

VGD: Which particular areas of Assassin’s Creed 2 are the new people focussing on?

Lambert: The team in Singapore, thanks to its expertise, brought us all the linear – what we call “secret locations”, linear maps. So when you talk about linearity we do have linear maps, we have five hours of Batman-like settings, where everything is more “set up”. Not everything is about killing and stuff, because we want to make sure you get a bit of breath air, changing the pace. It adds a lot to the game experience, for sure. Around 5-7 hours of gameplay.

The team in Annecy, they brought a lot to the enemy database. So something that I was talking to you about earlier, the fact that we can collect that data from the real world… Everybody who plays the game is not only a fan of killing, the fantasy of being an assassin, they are also attracted by the fact that we are very true to historical facts.

Besides his hidden daggers, Ezio can wield several melee weapons.

Besides his hidden daggers, Ezio can wield several melee weapons.

So you can have that information about the Ponte di Rialto, you can have information about the specific kinds of business that happened at the time, specific paintings that were done at the time. We have more information about the universe, not only about the game but also about the universe, that is bringing you into the Renaissance.

There’s also the Villa. The Villa is pretty close to what you have in Fable 2 – it’s a place you can invest in. And by investing in it you are going to make the Villa better and better, brighter and brighter – more up to date, more refreshing buildings, buying or repairing stuff which gives you access to secret passages where you can find treasures.

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