Well, this is sure to get the speculation stirring as to future games in the Assassin's Creed series. Fans of the franchise that puts players into the role of ancient assassins have long been voicing their desire for a chance to enter the realm of Eastern ninjas and samurai, with the publisher refusing to comment. If anything, Ubisoft has implied that a ninja or Japanese lead character in the series wasn't in their plans, but the announcement trailer for the animated film Assassin's Creed: Embers reveals that both a Chinese assassin and heavily armed Eastern warriors will be coming face to face with Ezio Auditore.
We've been excited to see Embers ever since it was first announced as the last chapter of Ezio Auditore's life, regardless of what that might mean for the future of the series. Following the aged protagonist of the upcoming Revelations, fans have been given little information on exactly what kind of trouble the Auditore family would be in for, aside from alluding to the return of enemies seeking revenge.
With the launch trailer comes a few more details and a plot synopsis, and it seems that Ezio won't be paying the price for his own past deeds, but those of a fellow assassin:
"Now living in a cozy Tuscan villa with his wife and their two children, Ezio Auditore spends his time enjoying the company of family, old friends and cultivating his vineyards. The life of this former Assassin Mentor will not stay quiet for long. One day a mysterious Assassin shows up at Ezio’s door quite unexpectedly, begging for Ezio’s aid. Will this old assassin’s fire die out before he can save the ones he love, or will it burn brightly one last time?"
While we may have expected that to have more to do with the Templars - the main antagonists of the upcoming game - the launch trailer shows a much more Eastern plot. Nothing has been announced officially, but the trailer begins with a female voice asking "how far would you go" to discover the truth? China to Tuscany is no short distance, but we think the secrets Ezio holds within his memories are more than enough motivation, for this young female assassin, and her pursuers.
Take a look at the launch trailer, and the screenshots below:
It seems that a young Chinese assassin Shao Jun has made a trek across the whole of Asia to find Ezio Auditore, seeking the truth he holds. She hasn't come alone though, as a handful of cannon-brandishing warriors, reminiscent of samurai have followed her and look to take out both master and apprentice. We don't know exactly what motivates these characters, but truly hope that Ezio can find some peace once and for all. While fans of drama would say that Ezio forfeiting his life to save that of a young assassin would be fitting end, we're suckers for a happy ending.
If that turns out to be the case though, then the possibilities are wide open for the future of the series, both in games and movies. We've got our own reasons for demanding a Japanese AC title, but considering how good the work of Ubi Workshop already looks, we might settle for a number of animated shorts following this new assassin.
It will be nice to see Ezio one last time, since Revelations will be his last game. We can only speculate that the upcoming game will end with Ezio fathering one of his children, since the passing of DNA is what concludes protagonist Desmond from reliving his ancestor's memories. What has us just as interested as this Chinese connection is the fact that the child seen in the trailer above is a young girl. Could a female protagonist be coming soon? Some fans may shy away from the bold choice, but getting to play as the daughter of the great Ezio Auditore da Firenze could be a proposition intriguing enough to break even the oldest of habits.
What do you think of our theories? Are you as excited as we are for the future of the franchise, or think we're reading a little too much into things? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.
Assassin's Creed: Embers will be released on XBLA and PSN on November 15, alongside Assassin's Creed: Revelations for the Xbox 360, PC and PS3.