Releasing in conjunction with Assassin’s Creed 3, Assassin’s Creed: Liberation was a landmark title for the series. Not just because it introduced Assassin’s Creed’s first female protagonist in the lithe-but-lethal Aveline de Grandpré, but also because it proved that the PlayStation Vita, its exclusive platform, was a handheld gaming system viable enough for an entertaining, cinematic, graphically rich AC spinoff.
So is it a model Ubisoft wants to revive? Following the today’s official announcement of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, the franchise’s next, Golden Age of Piracy-set main installment, rumors are suggesting that a second PS Vita AC game is also on the company’s 2013 manifest.
Ubisoft intends to fully unveil Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag on Monday, where ostensibly we’ll learn more about its protagonist (who’s said to be the grandfather of Connor Kenway), its setting (which is believed to be the Caribbean Islands, circa 1715) its overall plot (which is aligned perfectly to spotlight pirate legends such as Edward Teach and Bartholomew Roberts), and gameplay (expect the stellar naval combat of AC 3 to take center stage… plus pistols!). According to VGLeaks, however, another Assassin’s Creed title is in development that has yet to be announced.
Of course, “another” Assassin’s Creed title could refer to a next-generation iteration of Black Flag. Ubisoft has had plenty of access to next-gen design architecture over previous year, as last week’s Watch Dogs gameplay footage on the PlayStation 4 emphatically demonstrated. With Sony’s future console setting sail this Holiday season, its arrival (not to mention, potentially, that of the next Xbox’s) falls well within the October/November release window favored by Assassin’s Creed.
Assuming the rumor refers to a truly separate Assassin’s Creed title, though, natural speculation would have it landing on the Vita. Ubisoft was unbent about continuing to support the Sony handheld during an investor meeting last week, and in justifying further commitment it championed the sales of Assassin’s Creed: Liberation, which is brushing up against the 600,000-unit mark. Assassin’s Creed is a bona-fide third-party blockbuster on a platform that can count them on one hand. And with the near-infinite number of stories capable of being fleshed out within the AC canon, creative barriers to frequent Vita spinoffs, like market barriers, seem rather minimal.
Perhaps Ubisoft will reveal the rumored second title when they unfurl Black Flag next Monday. Considering Sony plans to make the Vita an integral part of the PlayStation 4 experience, it’s always possible that future AC titles on the Vita will (for better or worse) become direct ports of the franchise’s main console iterations. But if not, the potential spin-offs are endless: pirate adventures with Black Flag tie-ins, more colonial gallivanting similar to Liberation, or even a title that delves into a different historical era altogether.
Ranters, how would you like to see Ubisoft extend the Assassin’s Creed series on the PlayStation Vita?
Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag has been confirmed for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and PC. Its release date is anticipated for this Fall.
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