Assassin’s Creed is known for turning historical settings into open-world game maps, but some time periods and locations would be a very poor fit.
While there are many historical settings that would make for an interesting Assassin’s Creed game, not every setting would fit the series’ format. The historical sci-fi franchise follows the conflict between the Assassin Brother and Templar Order, which has been raging since before recorded history. Each new entry in the saga seeks to immerse players in a unique new time period through an original protagonist. Assassin’s Creed historical settings have been very diverse, but some locations and times simply would not fit the franchise.
Since the series’ first installment in 2007, the Assassin’s Creed The franchise has visited a huge number of different time periods and locations. The first game took players to the Holy Land during the Third Crusade, taking inspiration from real-world conflict between groups called the Order of Assassins and Knights Templar. Assassin’s Creed 2 then cast players as young nobleman Ezio Auditore during the Italian Renaissance, with two sequels following Ezio to Rome and Constantinople. Subsequent games have explored the American Revolution, the Golden Age of Pirates, Ancient Egypt, India’s Sikh Empire and Ancient Greece. With Assassin’s Creed Valhalla set in the Viking Age, the franchise has brought players to a massive variety of fascinating settings.
With Assassin’s Creed Valhalla putting players in the fur-lined boots of the Viking warrior Eivor, it remains uncertain where the franchise will bring fans next. The sci-fi saga has explored many unique and iconic historical time periods and locations, but there are infinitely more settings left to venture through. One popular choice for the next Assassin’s Creed setting is Feudal Japan, with many fans believing that the setting is a perfect fit for the series due to its propensity for sword battles and sneaking. Other fans would like to see full-scale games explore locations that have only appeared in spin-off titles or other mediums, like Russia or India. Ubisoft is set to reveal the next Assassin’s Creed game in September, and there are a few real-world settings that the franchise definitely should not explore.
A Modern Day City Would Ruin An Assassin’s Creed Game
Since its very first installment, the Assassin’s Creed The franchise has always had a modern day storyline that runs parallel to each game’s historical story. The first several games followed Desmond Miles, a former member of the Assassin Brotherhood who relives his ancestors’ memories using a device called the Animus. Following Desmond’s death in Assassin’s Creed 3 The franchise moved on to other modern protagonists, including nameless Abstergo employees and a new hero named Layla Hassan. While this modern plot is still a huge part of the franchise, a present-day Assassin’s Creed title would be a huge mistake.
Basically every aspect of modern life would remove what makes Assassin’s Creed so special. Cars, and the sheer size of buildings in modern cities, would make the franchise’s freerunning system obsolete. Melee combat would largely be replaced by firearms and third-person shooter gameplay, which would fundamentally change the series. Even social stealth mechanics would be ruined by the fashion and culture of the modern day. A modern-day Assassin’s Creed would essentially transform the series into Watch Dogs, another open-world Ubisoft franchise that lets players drive, shoot and sneak across cities while manipulating the world through hacking. The Watch Dogs: Legion character Darcy actually belongs to the Assassin Brotherhood, making a modern Assassin’s Creed game even more unnecessary.
A Wild West Assassin’s Creed Would Tread Old Ground
Like a modern day city, the Wild West is also a poor choice for an Assassin’s Creed game. The American frontier of the time period consists of massive swaths of undeveloped land dotted by small settlements of small buildings. This landscape would make stealth and freerunning impossible, and melee combat would need to be abandoned in favor of gunslinging gameplay. The Assassin’s Creed series also puts an emphasis on historical landmarks, which are few and far between in the Wild West. Arizona’s OK Corral and Colorado’s Buckhorn Exchange are historical staples of the frontier, but they pale in comparison to previous games’ landmarks like the Vatican and Alexandria.
On top of being a poor fit for Assassin’s Creed, the use of the historical Wild West in Red Dead Redemption means that Ubisoft is unlikely to ever touch 1800s America. Rockstar Games’ iconic franchise is a love letter to the Wild West, with players assuming the role of gunslingers like John Marston and Arthur Morgan as they explore the dying American frontier. Side missions like bounty hunting and horse breaking fully immerse players in the outlaw age, so an Assassin’s Creed game set in the Wild West would feel like a simple rehash.
A Polynesian Assassin’s Creed Just Wouldn’t Work
On the surface, Polynesia seems like a unique and fascinating option for an Assassin’s Creed setting. The Polynesian islands of the Pacific Ocean are known for their natural beauty and fascinating history. The group of over 1,000 islands, which includes the Hawaiian islands, Samoa and New Zealand, could allow for lengthy Assassin’s Creed ship exploration and combat. Between 1800 BC and 700 AD the indigenous people of Polynesia sailed the seas to discover and populate neighboring islands by using the stars to navigate the Pacific. This massive time period could allow an Assassin’s Creed game to take creative liberties while adapting a rarely explored culture and location.
Unfortunately, the Polynesian islands simply would not fit the gameplay of Assassin’s Creed. The chain of islands lacked large architectural landmarks, which would make freerunning and stealth impossible. Conflict between Polynesian tribes could create opportunities for combat, but experiencing the history of Polynesia would mostly be confined to naval exploration. While many Assassin’s Creed games do feature sailing, particularly Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flagan experience based entirely around navigating and connecting the Polynesian islands would be better suited to a spin-off like upcoming Ubisoft pirate game Skull & Bones.
There are countless time periods that Assassin’s Creed could explore next, but not every setting would be a good fit for Ubisoft’s open-world franchise. The modern day and Wild West would both make freerunning and melee combat impossible, and both have already been the focus on many different games. While expansion through the Polynesian islands would be fascinating to experience in a game, the setting’s lack of major cities sadly make it a poor fit also.
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