Assassin's Creed 3: Boston, New York, and "The Frontier." Notoriously absent from that list is a city that I considered to be a lock in the Revolutionary War-based title – my beloved Philadelphia. Having spent six years of my life in Will Smith's place of birth, I hoped for a chance to explore its auspicious beginnings with a hidden blade. It also makes perfect sense for inclusion, given its history as the heart of the American Revolution. So why isn't it included?
Though the oft-neglected city was planned early on for open world exploration in the game, creative director Alex Hutchinson told me it was eventually cut for gameplay reasons.
"When we started out, Philly was one of the cities that we wanted to do. In the end, we decided against it, 'cause when we mocked it up – as you know, being from Philly, it's an architecturally designed city, so it's on a grid. Which at first we thought would be cool – the first city in AC to be designed on a grid – and then you realize ..." Hutchinson said. His colleague picked up after him.
"Well it's on a grid and it's flat, and the avenues are super large. So that's like three things that made us say it doesn't work in an open world." Indeed, Philadelphia was architecturally laid out as a grid by Pennsylvania's first governor William Penn, modeled after European cities of the time.
But even the large avenues and rigid layout couldn't keep AC3 from Philly. "That said, there are key events that take place in Philadelphia," Hutchinson assured me. As for nods to everyone's favorite fresh prince during said events, we'll have to wait until October to find out.
[Image credit: Flickr user 'bengrey']