Being able to scalp enemies was part of the original plan for Assassins’s Creed 3, but it's now been axed after developers at Ubisoft Montreal discovered it's historically inaccurate.
In footage that hadn’t been seen before, Ubisoft's director of IP Tommy Francois showcased a concept video at a behind-closed-doors Assassin’s Creed 3 event last week in London. The video was taken over two years ago before the team hit the full development process. It shows the game’s new protagonist, the half-English, half- Native American Ratohnhaké:ton - or Connor as he’s more commonly known - killing an enemy, scalping him with his tomahawk and then delivering his macabre battle trophy as proof that he’s made a successful assassination.
The footage was fast-paced and brutal, making quite an impact among the journalists in attendance, but Francois went on to explain that scalping will not feature in the final game because the actual Mowhawk tribe of that era, who Connor was born into, didn’t actually scalp people. This wasn’t discovered until the development team started to look deeper into the history of Native Americans, colonists, and frontiersmen of the American Revolution period.
After seeing the hard-hitting footage, it’s a bit of a disappointed that we’re not going to get a chance to collect these macabre trophies (it certainly would have beat collecting feathers) but it’s all part of Ubisoft plans to make Assassin’s Creed 3 as authentic to the period as possible. After witnessing the smog of war from the fire of muskets and *William Prescott’s speech that he apparently made at the Battle Of Bunker Hill in 1775, which includes the infamous line "Do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes," it’s a plan that Ubisoft hopes will give gamer an interactive insight into this era.
If you don’t really fancy a history lesson though, Assassin’s Creed 3 will still be jam-packed with dynamic combat opportunities and Connor uses a tomahawk for some brutal close-up executions and his rope dart to snag unsuspecting enemies from the safety of the tree tops. We can live without the scalping.
Assassin’s Creed 3 launches on October 30th in North America and October 31st in Europe.
* Other people were also reported to have made the speech.