Come on. This would be perfect. Plague, the industrial revolution – fans have been demanding this since day one.
The big pull here would be the opportunity to see the Templar organisation at its heart for once. So far Ubisoft has delighted in throwing out a bunch of English villains (Come on, Ubisoft. Even Hollywood has given up on that trope) which gives the impression that a big part of the Templar brotherhood’s scheming happens in good old Blighty. A game about all-out guerilla warfare against the Templar war machine, armed with new technology in a city that’s evolving on every corner, bristling with disease and poverty, still in the grip of the British Empire. It’s a steampunk wet dream. Hell, Ubisoft would double their profits on steampunks alone.
The obvious historical reference here would be Jack the Ripper – a rogue Templar or Assassin turned from the cause to all-out murdering in the name of exposing the Templar/Assassin conflict to the general public, perhaps the sparking point of some tense Haytham/Connor style collaboration as both sides are forced to put their differences aside and track down Jack with the ominous clues he left behind, ultimately becoming responsible for his mysterious disappearance.
There’s so much potential here from a historical and visual point alone – I’d love to see the same engine used to recreate revolutionary Paris turned to London on the verge of industrialisation. Your character could change between looking noble and well-to-do to raggedy and impoverished depending on the mission, hiding amongst crowds of the upper class or dwelling in the gutter, posing as a beggar, only to strike at your target when he least expects it. Ubisoft could make one hell of a world here, but it wouldn’t be an easy task.
A FUTURE METROPOLIS
It’s relatively easy to make games in historical settings. There’s a wealth of cool stuff to do throughout history but a game completely set in the present day and beyond must be on the horizon. Admittedly the flimsy present day storyline only really serves as an excuse for Ubisoft to bugger off to revolutionary Paris, the Caribbean, and Renaissance Italy without having to launch a new franchise every time, but it’d be great to see the future of the conflict explored a little more. It would take away the comfortable situation of having storylines essentially pre-written and force the development team into a new area.
Watch_Dogs is a half decent estimation of how a modern day AC might play – with more refined gameplay, obviously. Hiding spots and parkour would need to be revamped to suit the environment, and gunplay would definitely need some intelligent design, but imagine scaling skyscrapers and construction sites to see a neon skyline all around you – Tokyo, New York, London (Please. I just want to see an Assassin’s Creed game that doesn’t portray all British people as domineering empiricists). The options are endless whether it’s near or distant future. A tazer gauntlet for taking out people who are just in the way, a MGS4 style chameleon hood for stealth – a futuristic Assassin’s Creed would be a sandbox for new gameplay elements and would breathe some life into a game that must be running out of different ways to stab people by now.
It would also be a massive opportunity to consolidate some of the storyline, answering lingering questions – whilst posing a whole bunch of new ones that could be explained retroactively with future titles.
Okay, hear me out. It’s unlikely Ubisoft will cover the Nazi regime until it’s as far away as the golden age of piracy is now – and I don’t think any of us doubt that Assassin’s Creed will be continuing that far into the future.
So past the fact that we probably won’t be alive to play Assassin’s Creed: Axis and that the people who do will be doing it with immersive virtual reality headsets and hidden blade peripherals that simulate the feeling of actually stabbing someone in the spine, picture it.
There’s enough mysterious political intrigue going on in this period of time – an Assassin could fit in perfectly behind the scenes, undermining the fascists. There’s a huge scope for potential protagonists – picture an ex stormtrooper seeking redemption for the horrible things he’s had a part in, using his knowledge of the Nazi war machine to undermine it from within. It could center around the 20th of July plot – a failed attempt on Hitler’s life intended to seize military control back from the Nazis and garner peace with the western Allies. A perfect opportunity for Assassin’s Creed to return to the more sensible route of working quietly behind the scenes of historical events – because Edward and Connor Kenway fighting at the forefront of major factual events is just a stretch too far.
I’d love to see even one of these ideas see the light of day in any capacity. The future’s looking bright with Unity just around the corner, but we’re yet to see if it’s truly the invigorating force Ubisoft claims it is.
As usual, leave your thoughts or opinions in the comments!