Up until the announcement of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – released later this month – Ubisoft’s time travelling, Templar-stabbing franchise had always maintained a measure of rough chronological certainty. Linear, straightforward hops through history have already taken series protagonist Desmond Miles from the 12th Century Holy Land, to 15th Century Italy and onto 18th Century America. Now, the game’s developers are counting back the AC III clock – just a bit – to delve greedily into the Golden Age of Piracy.
With the Assassin’s Creed opus now confirmed to move both forward and backward in time, many previously missed eras are right back in contention for a fifth core outing. Classical Greece; blood-soaked Sparta and enlightened Athens, murderous Mongol hordes and hidden Ninja warriors are all available for play, should Ubisoft so choose to include them, but where does Assassin’s Creed 4 director Ashraf Ismael hope to take the series next?
Speaking to Examiner this week, Ismael revealed his fondness for the Ancient Egyptian era, an iconic civilization hidden beneath the sands of time and rarely explored by modern day video gamers.
“There’s a lot of interesting periods and time places we haven’t been to that I would like to see […] I’m not saying we are going there, but one day I would love to explore Egypt as a setting for this game. Ancient Egypt could be a really cool place. We have a really cool explanation for how we can do this, and it is with this Animus device that allows us to go to anytime in history.”
Given the typical demands of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, namely famous faces playing out infamous conflicts, the best bet for any Ancient Egyptian-set outing is likely to be around 30BC, i.e. the dawn of Roman rule in Egypt. Starring the likes of Cleopatra, Marc Anthony, Julius Caesar, Augustus, Brutus and Cassius, and revolving around the doomed love affair of the former three parties, the plot would leave plenty of room for assassination, intrigue and full-scale conflict.
Interestingly, the wider Assassin’s Creed timeline already takes many of these events into consideration, naming Caesar a Templar tyrant, and his slayers as members of the early Assassin’s Order.
Where would you like to see the Assassin’s Creed series head next? Is the animus device the greatest narrative conceit in all of gaming? Have your say in the comments below, and be sure to check out Assassin’s Creed 4‘s pre-launch loot right here.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag arrives on October 29th 2013, for Xbox 360, Wii U and PlayStation 3 platforms. Xbox One & PS4 versions are slated to debut alongside their respective consoles.
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