The Future of Assassin’s Creed
Assassin’s Creed is one of the most beloved and successful video game franchises of all time. The majority of the games follow a very similar story formula. The player plays as a modern-day assassin who uses an animus (essentially a time machine for one’s consciousness) to transport into someone from the past.
The games are widely popular, using elements from history, sci-fi and fantasy. But in more recent years, the franchise was criticized for being too stagnant and that the games were riddled with bugs and unpolished. In response, they changed their gameplay formulas.
Beginning with Assassin’s Creed Origins, the franchise has created an role-playing game trilogy that has been both their most profitable and controversial entries in the series.
Origins was the first game in the franchise that was mostly RPG. But it was still widely popular with both new and old fans. It didn’t have the assassin iconography, but it made sense because it was telling the literal origins of the assassins.
But the next entry, Assassins Creed Odyssey confirmed the fears of the original fans. It took place before Origins which made no sense. This caused the game to have a very tenuous connection to the assassins’ brotherhood, and it fully embraced the RPG elements, whereas Origins is slightly more conservative in its changes. The new formula made it seem like Assassin’s Creed Developer, Ubisoft was making games in popular historical periods, not for the sake of the story, but for the sake of profits. There was no need for the story of Odyssey. It didn’t relate at all to Origins unless the player bought an additional expansion pack where they found out that the protagonist of the game was the ancestor to the protagonist of Origins. Ubisoft thought people would like to play as an ancient Greek demigod and they weren’t wrong. But at what point does slapping Assassin’s Creed branding on something without the assassins or the creed not work.
Fans made their views very clear, and the next game in the franchise, Valhalla featured the assassins. But the protagonists of that game made it very clear that they are not an assassin. They had the hidden blade but had not taken the oath. They had social stealth and other features of the original games, but a Viking is not an assassin. They do not follow the tenants. They do not “stay their blade from the flesh of an innocent.”
However, the critics have been heard. And like all corporations, Ubisoft bends to the will of the consumer. The next game in the franchise, Assassins Creed Mirage looks genuinely promising. It centers on assassins. It tells the story of a character from Valhalla and how he became an assassin. The game takes place in a dense cityscape which is what fans want. The game will be around 20 hours to complete, a far cry from the 80 hours for the previous RPGs but that is for the better. Higher quality, handcrafted material will be much more replayable and enjoyable for the players in years to come. It will feature smoke bombs and show the switch from the Hidden Ones to the Assassins Brotherhood. However, Ubisoft has several other projects in the works that do not look as promising to its longtime fans, Mirage looks like step into the right direction.