After last year’s stellar outing to ancient Greece in Odyssey, Assassin’s Creed (AC) hasn’t seen this level of popularity since the game’s first sequel became an instant classic and took the world by storm. But the higher the teams at Ubisoft rise, the harder the fall could be. To help turn that fall into a perfect leap of faith a lot of factors need to be carefully considered. One of the biggest being the next historical period the game will take the player on a bloody virtual tour through. Ever since Odyssey’s enthralling ending, my brain has been pondering on the exact same question, and I think I may just have the five best options for the franchise. Listen up Ubi, or don’t, they probably won’t.
This article will contain spoilers for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
Let’s get the easy answer out of the way first. Ever since players rolled credits on the original game fans of the series have been begging Ubi to send their Assassin’s brotherhood to the birthplace of the ninja. And it would make total sense to do so, especially now. Even without the role of Assassin being a perfect fit for the country’s rich and epic history, ninja and samurai games are kind of a big thing right now. With titles like Sekiro, Nioh, the upcoming PlayStation exclusive Ghosts of Tsushima, and even the visually spectacular new anime Doro, Japan’s brutal history has definitely pierced the zeitgeist. Black hoods, those cool toe shoes, and the franchise’s iconic hidden blade, they all just fit too well along one another for this not to be a reality one day. And yes, the franchise has technically already been to Japan, but we’re talking about a fully-fledged open world AC game here, not a surprisingly entertaining side scroller that you should definitely check out if you’re a fan of the franchise.
England has already had its time to shine in the AC timeline in the underrated Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, but that was during the industrial revolution, where gangsters and street gangs ruled the land. There is still however an iconic bit of English history that the AC franchise could take and run a dozen miles with. And that iconic bit of history is in the time of England’s prestigious knights. While Camelot and King Arthur aren’t real, Atlantis isn’t either, but that was a huge part of Odyssey. And with Camelot comes a whole host of legends that would fit perfectly in with AC’s more fantastical lore. Maybe Merlin is a surviving Precursor and Arthur’s legendary sword is actually a piece of Eden. The game could even star Arthur as he has his kingdom and sword taken from him by a Templar sect within Camelot’s walls, and now with all the odds stacked against him, Arthur must sneak his way back into his lands, amass an army, and take back what is rightfully his. From seeing the knights of the round table form and be a part of the Assassin’s order, to getting to actually use a piece of Eden as your main weapon, the possibilities for this era are both too many to type and too exciting to imagine without actually getting to see it on a console one day.
World War II
A frequent stomping ground for videogames, World War II has been featured in many first person shooters, but not many third person open world experiences. Outside of the Saboteur, I’m hard pressed to even think of one more title. And so there is still room for the AC franchise to innovate in this well-trodden period of history. WWI was briefly featured in Syndicate, but that was within the confines of London, not out there in the heat of the battle with the foot soldiers in the trenches. Outside of the many historical figures the team could populate this AC game’s world with, there were also stories of a lone soldier equipped with nothing more than a longbow and sword running across the battlefields and keeping the advance of the Nazis back. He has been dubbed ‘Mad Jack’ and I don’t know about you, but this sounds like the perfect figure to be the protagonist of an Assassin’s Creed game. A lone heroic soldier using old tech to thwart evil’s oppressive rise as Hitler’s experiments have lead him to the discovery of a piece of Eden, the script writes itself. Or at least it will if you hire me Ubisoft, my CV is available on request.
For a lot of players, the weakest part of every AC game are the segments set in the modern day. Personally though, I love them and wish there was more of the story behind why people are jumping into the Animus so often. When the series was still centred on Desmond, I would have bet anything that the third and ‘final’ game in the franchise was going to have you play as Desmond in the modern day taking down Abstergo and the Templars once and for all. Now obviously that didn’t happen, instead Desmond got killed off in the most anti-climactic way imaginable, but we did get some more extended sections of being a modern day assassin and you know what, they were damn cool. So why not have a full game where we can see how the archaic hidden blade and ever evolving tech of today marry to create the perfect assassin. While robbing the series of its historical setting would take away a lot of the charm of Assassin’s Creed and make it become less distinctive from even fellow Ubi franchise Watch Dogs, that would just mean the team will have to be even more innovative to help make a modern day assassin just as entertaining as one from ancient Greece. It would be a hard sell, and many fans would riot, but done right I think this could add a lot of needed lore to this section of the AC mythos and please the long-time fans, as well as showing that this franchise isn’t just a one trick history trotting pony.
The Precursor Era
Speaking of AC lore, the biggest source of it is the ancient godlike race that came before us puny humans, the Precursors. More than 12 games in we still really do not know much about the creators of humanity and what life was like when they walked the Earth. The reason the Animus works and we get to use eagle vision is because the protagonist of the game has traces of Precursor DNA in theirs, so it would make sense that one, maybe even the first of the protagonist’s line was a Precursor. So why can’t we use an Animus to go back and see for ourselves what the gods were up to. Time being a flat circle and all, maybe the Precursors had a version of the Assassins brotherhood and the Templars within their society meaning we could still see a lot of the familiar elements that make an AC game an AC game, but this time around with a lot more glowy lines on everything. From Adam and Eve’s escape,to the drama surrounding the solar catastrophe, to the creation of the pieces of Eden, or something completely new, what to explore in this society brimming with potentially great lore is almost endless.
So there is my list of the top five places Assassin’s Creed should visit next. Which was your favourite? Have any suggestions of your own? Voice your opinions in the comments down below and thanks for reading.