It’s been a big July for fans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise: Assassin’s Creed Unity has grabbed attention by bringing the action to Revolution-era France, with a wealth of gameplay trailers showing off a living, breathing, next-gen Paris. Those looking forward to the upcoming title will also have a short film from director Rob Zombie to look forward to at Comic-Con.
However, Ubisoft hasn’t been putting all their Assassin’s Creed efforts in one place; while the publisher remains coy about a rumored last-gen Assassin’s Creed title, allegedly titled Assassin’s Creed Comet, there’s news of another Assassin’s Creed game – although it looks to be a far cry from the free-running violence of the main series.
Assassin’s Creed is jumping into the world of strategic card-battling, as Ubisoft has announced Assassin’s Creed Memories for iOS devices: a free-to-play game that will try to blend card trading/battling, strategy, and RPG elements. Ubisoft is teaming up with mobile free-to-play experts PlayNext and social gaming studio GREE on development for the title. Ubisoft has worked with GREE before, on the eventually-cancelled mobile title Assassin’s Creed: Utopia.
In the official announcement, Managing Director of Ubisoft’s Mobile Division Jean Michel Detoc explained the new approach:
“The card battle genre has been hugely popular around the world and GREE and PlayNext have demonstrated their know-how and expertise on such games… With such expertise, we really believe they’re bringing a great new way to enjoy the richness of Assassin’s Creed universe to mobile players.”
While it may be adopting a unique style of gameplay, Assassin’s Creed Memories will allow gamers to travel the world of the series. The iOS title will give players the choice of some more familiar locations, such as Colonial America and Renaissance Italy, but also promises to give intrepid gamers some brand new eras to explore.
In terms of gameplay, there is apparently a “deep and engaging” single player experience, with players able to travel through history with the new mobile Animus, but it seems as though there is a strong emphasis on multiplayer as well. Gamers will have the chance to take part in 40-strong multiplayer battles, with sides of 20 versus 20.
Players will also be able to recruit “fan-favorite” allies to defeat rivals, and will have a distinct solo experience to help them create the unique Assassin they want to be. Assassin’s Creed Memories looks set to have a huge level of customization, and that it ties in to the gameplay style itself. “The card battle genre is all about being able to evolve and grow great heroes,” said Eiji Araki, Vice President of Social Games at GREE.
Fans may be concerned about just how well this title will tie in with the main series — both in terms of gameplay and story. However, both GREE and PlayNext have been quick to show their Assassin’s Creed chops, with COO JT Nguyen explaining the company’s desire to “capture the excitement” that fans have come to expect from the series proper, and bring it to mobile gamers.
A worthy goal, but one that is easier said than done.
Assassin’s Creed Memories is set to launch worldwide on iOS later this summer, and will be free to play.