What is Assassin’s Creed: Rising Phoenix? No really, tell us, we have no idea. This mysterious title first cropped up earlier this year in a leaked image of undetermined source, showing the name and very little else, and since then any further information regarding Assassin’s Creed: Rising Phoenix has been virtually non-existent.
For those who think this sounds like a great way to build up hype and interest, you are probably right. If Assassin’s Creed: Rising Phoenix is anything other than a red herring, then we can probably expect an official reveal or announcement from Ubisoft somewhere down the line. In the meantime, however, another tease has been found planted in the modern-day section of swashbuckling pirate adventure Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.
The eagle eyes at iGoGaming have spied a sticker in one of the Abstergo Entertainment offices bearing the Assassin’s Creed: Rising Phoenix logo over a background that is easily recognizable as Abstergo HQ, where fans of the series will have many fond memories of running around, entering codes into elevators and stabbing people. This clears up any doubt as to whether or not the previously leaked image was legitimate, and also opens up a whole new world of questions. Let’s start asking a few of them.
With a symbol of resurrection as potent as a phoenix, it’s hard to ignore the Desmond-shaped elephant in the room. After an ambiguous magic button killed Desmond off at the end of Assassin’s Creed III, it was subsequently revealed that his body was picked up by Abstergo and DNA was extracted from it in order for the Templars to continue exploring the ancestral memories of “Sample 17,” meaning that his genetic legacy can live on for many more games to come.
The first glimpse of the name Assassin’s Creed: Rising Phoenix showed the title in front of a location that appeared to be the lair of Erudito, a collective that opposes Abstergo Industries and which also sent Desmond useful information, such as the passwords to all of his friends’ e-mail accounts. Without Erudito, we may never have known about the dispute over stolen yoghurt in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, so this is definitely an important entity within the Assassin’s Creed universe.
The question, therefore, is what a title that has been previously connected to Erudito is doing in the headquarters of Abstergo’s entertainment division. Of course, other encounters in Assassin’s Creed IV have shown that Abstergo Entertainment is far from immune to enemy infiltration, and it would make sense for a member of the Erudito Collective to be operating from inside Abstergo and passing information to the outside.
Back in the real world, Assassin’s Creed: Rising Phoenix seems like a plausible title for either Assassin’s Creed IV DLC or a handheld title like Assassin’s Creed: Liberation, which will soon be getting an HD release for PC, PS3 and XBox 360. Given Erudito’s past interest in Desmond and the subtle hint that the collective may have moles inside Abstergo Entertainment, could we possible see Desmond resurrected for another game?
That could well just be wishful thinking, since I’m of the (unpopular) opinion that Desmond was an interesting modern day protagonist who didn’t get enough screen time in the previous games. It’s not like the Assassin’s Creed franchise is short of possible routes for the resurrection motif; the central conceit of the series involves reviving the memories of long-dead ancestors. However, since Ubisoft is unlikely to use a modern-day setting for any of the main games now that the historical aspect has been established as a key selling point of Assassin’s Creed, it would be nice to get a small spin-off title based on the modern storyline of the games.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is available now on Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Wii U. Next-gen releases arrive with their respective consoles. To find out more about the game, read the Game Rant review.