Friday, February 8, 2013

Diary of an Assassin – Ninth Entry

Note: As I have now moved into the recently released Assassin’s Creed 3, these diary entries will contain spoilers about gameplay and story. Please read cautiously. If you do not want these things spoiled, please read after finishing the game.

Assassin’s Creed 3 ends in a weird place. Desmond is dead. The earth and its population are safe from the solar flare through a global aurora borealis. And Juno is free, planning her rise to power to conquer humans once again.

Ubisoft announced yesterday during their Q3 2012 earnings call that Assassin’s Creed 3 sold over 12 million copies worldwide, making it the most successful entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Following on that note, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot stated a new Assassin’s Creed game will be coming Ubisoft’s 2014 fiscal year, which runs from April 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014.

The question everyone wants to know: What setting will it take place in? Guillemot noted the next game would have a protagonist and take place in a new setting. Traditionally, a new hero has meant a new numbered sequel. Assassin’s Creed 2 introduced Ezio, and Conner for Assassin’s Creed 3, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the next game will be Assassin’s Creed 4.

The Assassin’s Creed series has also always moved forward in time, moving from the turn of the 12th century in the first Assassin’s Creed, to the late 1490s in Assassin’s Creed 2, to the time of the American Revolution in the mid-1700s in Assassin’s Creed 3. If I put my speculation hat on, the next Assassin’s Creed, whether it’s a number sequel or not, could take place during the Civil War. It could follow-up on the scene at the end of Assassin’s Creed 3 when Conner sees slaves being auctioned off; cementing the idea that freedom in America isn’t done until there is freedom for all. It would allow Ubisoft to use the same engine and continue to American theme into the next game.

Ubisoft could also go way off in the other direction and pick a different time and setting altogether. There are numerous fan submitted art exploring Assassin’s Creed games during ancient Egypt, climbing pyramids, sphinxes, and taking down pharaohs, or the wild west, hunting down templars in small rural towns. An Asian influence, taking place in either China or 1600 feudal Japan, could be interesting and it already is support in the narrative. During one of the Subject 16 puzzles in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, he tells Desmond to find descendant of Eve, or a woman called Eve. Shao Jun, a member of the Chinese order of Assassin’s and the inventor of the rope dart, visited Ezio after Revelations. Ubisoft could kill two birds with one stone with a female protagonist and setting it in China during the 1500s.

Of could, Ubisoft could capitalize on the success of the naval ship battles in Assassin’s Creed 3 by following the pirate route, which seems to be the likely. A reddit poster claimed to see the title Assassin’s Creed: Black Flags on someone’s laptop on a plane, while a second reddit poster claimed to describe the same thing, but as a piece of DLC for Assassin’s Creed 3.

Either way, despite the annualization of the franchise, I have yet to grown tired of the Assassin’s Creed series. It’s one of the few titles that manages to explore the annals of history, while making it entertaining and interesting.

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