Where Will The ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Series Go Next?

Published 1 year ago by , Updated November 2nd, 2013 at 11:57 am,

Assassin's Creed possible future games One gameplay conceit that made Assassin's Creed stand out when it first arrived on the scene was the 'meta' fiction used to set up the gameplay and narrative; modern protagonist Desmond Miles was simply reliving the memories of his ancestors through a complex simulation, used to explain away generic elements like a health bar, game menus and even loading screens. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag takes this dual narrative one step further, transporting the player to a modern game studio called Abstergo Entertainment (there are almost too many jokes that we can make about evil game companies). As an employee, players are able to snoop around their colleagues' desks and company e-mail - video game characters like to procrastinate just as much as we do. One such e-mail, shown opposite, contains a list of possible ancestral memories from "Sample 17" (sound familiar?), some of which have already been visited during previous games, and others long-discussed by fans. Whether the e-mails are a transparent glimpse into Ubisoft's process or a playful tease, let's take a look at where the Assassin's Creed series might take us to next.

13th Century - Egypt/North Africa

Assassin's Creed - Egypt Assassin's Creed games are no stranger to war and strife, and in that arena the Crusades take away a lot of bloodstained prizes. As Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad in the franchise's first game, players could explore the Holy Land and cut the throats of higher-ups on both sides of the struggle, as the war between Assassins and Templars played out in parallel to the religious conflicts taking place. As players learned in Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Altaïr's daughter-in-law eventually moved away to the Egyptian city of Alexandria with her two children, meaning this particular memory sequence would likely feature one of Altaïr's granddaughters or great-grandchildren as the protagonist. After three games following Ezio Auditore through Italy and Constantinople, however, many fans regretted the lost opportunity to explore radically new settings and periods. 13th-century Egypt shares both a geographical and temporal border with the setting of the first game, meaning another adventure set against the backdrop of the Crusades. Appealing to those who loved the first game, perhaps, but not to those eager for something new.

14th Century - Ashikaga Shogunate, Japan

Assassin's Creed - Ashikaga Shogunate A Japanese-set Assassin's Creed game is definitely one of the most asked-for among fans, and would also take the series to East Asia for the first time. So far no Japanese Assassins have been featured in the series, and aside from the Chinese Assassin Shao Jun - appearing in the short animated film Assassin's Creed: Embers - the entire region has remained unexplored. Whereas other possibilities on this list might give the developers an opportunity to recycle old game elements and design materials, this step backwards in time and eastwards across the globe would likely call for a major redesign of the combat, and the creation of exciting new environments and architecture. Historians suggest that ninjas first started appearing during the 14th century, so the protagonist could be one of the very first of their kind. A word of warning, however, for those who are dying to see a Japanese Assassin's Creed game: Alex Hutchinson, the creative director for Assassin's Creed III has gone on record as saying that Japan would be a "boring" setting. Japanese Assassins would be boring? We'll take that under advisement.

18th Century - French Revolution

French Revolution - Assassin's Creed Do you hear the people sing, singing the song of angry men? If you don't, perhaps you'll hear them soon if we get an Assassin's Creed game set in the fiery French Revolution of the late 18th century. This has been a popular choice among fans - and we've made our case in great detail - not only because this particular period had such a resounding impact on both French society and the rest of Europe, but also because of the great historical figures that emerged from it. It also seems the perfect setting in which to tell a story about the Assassins, since "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" is a pretty catchy summation of the Brotherhood's general goals (and snappier than "nothing is true, everything is permitted."). Would the Assassins approve of the public execution of King Louis XVI, or simply sulk at the missed opportunity for an old-fashioned assassination? It might be too far back in history for any opportunities to perform a Leap of Faith off the Eiffel Tower, but eighteenth century France would be an apt backdrop for the story of the Assassins' rebellious attempts to thwart the Templars in power. Assassin's Creed V: Vive La Résistance? We'd buy it. Image by Pierre "Asahi" Raveneau.

19th Century - New England/American Midwest

Assassin's Creed - Old West What's the only thing better than Assassin ninjas and Assassin pirates? How about Assassin cowboys?! Alright, before we start the Great Pirate-Ninja-Cowboy War of 2013, let's take a closer look at the merits of seeing Red Dead Redemption done in the Assassin's Creed style. If Hutchinson was concerned about other ninja games precluding the possibility of an Assassin's Creed game set in fourteenth century Japan, then it's hard not to talk about Red Dead Redemption when the subject of making another open-world Old West game comes up. Rockstar Games created a titan on the American frontier with the 2010 sandbox game, and even now, it's a tough one to topple. That's not to say that this particular DNA strand of Desmond's isn't worth exploring, just that Ubisoft would probably need to create something significantly distinct from Red Dead's story and gameplay, and preferably from the design choices of ACIII as well. Just please don't bring that menu-based crafting/trading system back. Also: no giant mechanical spiders.

19th Century - Napoleonic Wars; Taiwan

Assassin's Creed - Napoleonic Wars Since Ubisoft is a French company, it's almost surprising that the developers have yet to make a game set in France. Ezio's story covered both the Italian Renaissance and the Ottoman Empire, so it's likely that both the French Revolution and Napoleon's battles would be witnessed through the eyes of the same Assassin. This wouldn't be the first time that the Napoleonic Wars have been touched upon; in Assassin's Creed II it was revealed that the key to the Emperor's success was one of the Pieces of Eden. As far as we know, Napoleon never attempted to invade Taiwan (then again, history books also kept quiet about the Native American man who steered Paul Revere's horse), so we presume Abstergo assembled data for two different ancestors in Desmond's matrilineal line in the 19th century. During much of this time Taiwan was under the rule of the Chinese Qing Dynasty, but in 1895 it was ceded to Japan after the Chinese were defeated in the First Sino-Japanese War, so if Ubisoft favors another wartime game then this could be an intriguing setting. Unlike the American Revolution or Renaissance, the history of Taiwan isn't widely known, offering new territory for the series to explore.

20th Century - Summer of Love

Assassin's Creed - Summer of Love Forget about the ninja Assassins, pirate Assassins and cowboy Assassins; what we really need is some hippie Assassins. They don't go around stabbing anyone, but instead leap off from the rafters to place flowers in the hair of their enemies. Then they give them a big hug and run off to have casual sex. Of all the times and places in the 20th century to choose from, this comes out of left field. On the other hand, it appears this memory sequence belongs to Desmond's mother, and if she was a flower child then perhaps his father was too. Just imagine a youthful Bill Miles (voiced by John de Lancie) tripping on LSD and playing an acoustic guitar at the slightest provocation. Yes, I think we need to see that. It sounds just crazy enough to work, and 1960s San Francisco could certainly bring the opportunity to scale enormous buildings largely missing in ACIII and Black Flag. Replace wooden carts full of straw with big piles of flowers and the future Mrs. Miles will be free to perform a Leap of Faith off even the tallest skyscraper. That's just how physics works.

Bonus: 19th/20th Century - Russia

Assassin's Creed - Russia Napoleon's aforementioned war campaign was going quite swimmingly until the military leader made the mistake of trying to invade Russia. Napoleon and his Grande Armée entered Russia in June 1812, confident of another victory, and six months later finally retreated from the icy lands leaving a trail of starved and frozen French corpses behind them. Given the fascinating and often bloody history of Russia, it's a real shame that the only Russian Assassins so far have been relegated to the tie-in comic books. Daniel Cross, the protagonist of "Assassin's Creed: The Fall" and "Assassin's Creed: The Chain," is the descendant of Russian Assassin Nikolai Orelov, who amongst other exploits tangled with Tsar Alexander III and met the brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla. Daniel Cross made a brief and profoundly dissatisfying appearance in Assassin's Creed III, but as a character who worked with both the Assassins and the Templars at various points in his life he could make for a compelling modern protagonist - even if we know how his story ends.


Shaun Hastings in 'Assassin's Creed 2' Those are just a few of the possibilities listed in that particular e-mail (there are more to be found along the way), but what should Assassin's Creed V be about? Ancient Rome? The Vikings? China during the Tang Dynasty? Germany under Nazi rule? Should Ubisoft throw the historical aspect of the series out of the window for a while and make an Assassin's Creed game set entirely in modern times? There are thousands of years of history and an entire planet to choose from, so tell us in the comments which time and place would be the perfect setting for the next Assassin's Creed.

TAGS: Assassin's Creed, Assassin's Creed 4, Ubisoft