Assassin’s Creed to infinity and beyond?

Assassin’s Creed, making people think they can parkour from Istanbul to Boston while hiding in conveniently placed haystacks since 2007, has recently confirmed Ubisoft is working on the next installment in the franchise. However, to the surprise of many, Ubisoft chose not just one culture and historic period to highlight but rather said that there will be multiple. According to a recent Bloomberg article, “Infinity will contain multiple settings with room to expand to others in the months and years following its debut”1. This is interesting since the last time the Assassin’s Creed franchise tried a multiplayer/service style game was Unity which, let’s face it, was a flop at first, but now it’s fun! Not many took advantage of the new innovative features.

Assassin’s Creed Logo (Copyright Ubisoft)

With the huge success of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (estimated 1.8 million copies worldwide2) fans were eager to speculate on the newest setting. Cries for Feudal Japan, Ancient Maya/Aztecs of South America, or even World War Two echoed across Assassin’s Creed chatrooms while Ubisoft was silent. For years, the pattern of Assassin’s Creed releases were every year, or every other year, but due to scandal at the top of the Assassin’s Creed creative team, fans were not sure what studio was going to take on the project. It appears that this time around all the teams (Paris, Montreal and USA) will be working together to create the service driven game.

Ubisoft Logo (Copyright Ubisoft)

The last time there was a major shift in Assassin’s Creed gameplay was in Origins, with the introduction of the full RPG gaming mechanics. While customizing your assassin with skill points was introduced back in Unity and Syndicate, Origins was the first time a full skill tree and RPG choices were used. To say the very least the reviews were mixed. Some thought it was wonderful that Assassin’s Creed was re-inventing itself to keep up with today’s gaming trends, while others were disappointed that the game focused more on character building and weapon upgrades rather then stealth and story. As Ubisoft released Odyssey with a HUGE map, but with the same mechanics of Origins, fans thought it got boring fast. Valhalla seemed to be the best of old versus new, with stealth once again being at the forefront of the gameplay while having a perfect balance with character customization and weapon upgrades.

Assassin’s Creed Origins cover art (Copyright Ubisoft 2017)

But why the shift from a story driven game to a online server style game?

It seems that major gaming companies saw the success of games like Fortnite and decided to experiment with the genre. Games like Red Dead Redemption 2 now has Red Dead Online, and even some Nintendo games are testing out these features. But Ubisoft is not a stranger to online style games and knows what has worked and failed in the past.

As a former Assassin’s Creed streamer, and fan of the series since the release of Assassin’s Creed 3 in 2013, seeing the game change many times over the years (RIP Desmond) I am curious to see how this new installment will not only work and also fit into the Assassin’s Creed story and universe.

Sources:

1 Assassin’s Creed Infinity to Offer Live Online Game Service – Bloomberg

2 Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is the biggest Assassin’s Creed game launch in history – Gematsu

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