I conversed with a couple of readers this weekend via email about Assassin's Creed, and our thoughts on the combat system, etc, and it got me thinking about the inevitable third installment in the franchise.
I believe I read somewhere a while back that it was a possibility that the protagonist for the next game might be a woman, and I really hope that's something they follow through with. Setting aside any awkwardness that might result from Desmond Miles slipping into the body of a female ancestor via the animus, I think it'd be a great change of pace for the game.
The biggest factor is the time period, and how far through history they can go before the game starts to drastically change out of necessity. For instance, eventually the entire sword-fighting aspect of the game will have to disappear simply because people stopped carrying swords as part of everyday attire.
Our assassin protagonist will also need to develop new tricks to deal with the age of the gun. Let's face it, neither Altair or Ezio are what I'd call "stealthy" assassins. Most of the assassinations they carry out are done so very publicly and often involve a hurried escape from an army of guards afterwards. AC2 did get around this a little bit by letting you use a poison blade, which could kill some of the targets without drawing attention.
Nonetheless, that sort of "heeeey I's in ur fort, killin ur boss" approach doesn't work as well when all of your enemies are carrying guns. Still, not a bad thing. Perhaps the assassins start to take a stealthier approach. Maybe I'm channeling my inner Agent 47 here, but I think it would be great if there was more of a focus on learning your target's routines, and executing an entry and escape plan without alerting anyone. Or even using the environment to make it look like an accident.
If I was choosing a time period for AC3, I'd pick the American Revolutionary War, hands down. Many women made vital contributions to the cause, up to and including secretly enlisting, so a good case could be made for a strong independant female protagonist.
Great locales, such as colonial Boston would provide a fun and interesting backdrop for the game, and a nice change of pace from the european architecture we've been seeing for the past two games.
Plus, there are so many ways to work the Assassin/Templar storyline into the American/British conflict. Since Ubisoft obviously doesn't shy away from wrapping historical figures into their fiction, how cool would it be to have Benjamin Franklin play the role that DaVinci plays in AC2?
Anyway, I'm just talking here, throwing out ideas for fun. I'm sure we'll get a hint of what Ubisoft has planned soon.