Where Is Assassin’s Creed Going Next?

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is out, the multiplayer is up, and the campaign is as LONG as ever. Some people love the whole package, while others are finding the slow campaign very tiring and the multiplayer too random. But one thing that most critics and fans agree on is this: AC: Brotherhood is not the big innovative third instalment of the franchise, it’s AC: 2.1.

With Ubisoft free of Brotherhood now, and confirmation that a big new instalment of AC is coming some time in 2011, excited speculation has come to life concerning AC: 3. Obviously we’re not going to just sit out of the discussion and let all those other folks corrupt your mind…corruption is OUR job dammit.

Ubisoft recently reiterated, that because of the nature of the Animus, the AC games could literally go almost anywhere. The most popular rumour at the moment is a setting of Victorian England, in the sweaty and grim midst of any number of significant historical events. The developers could cover the British hopping over to Egypt, the Crimean War, Jack the ripper (hopefully not), and maybe even feature cameos from Charles Darwin. There is no doubt that the Victorian period has plenty to offer the creative minds behind Assassin’s Creed, and that they could completely flip the series on its head for fans.

Those of you who saw the ‘leaked’ image from Ubi or bought a special edition of Brotherhood, will have had a chance to look at the mysterious artwork picture, of a robed and hooded Eastern man standing in front of a pyramid with the AC logo plastered behind him, and an eagle flying towards him. Ubisoft have admitted that it is to do with AC…it would be very hard for them to deny that, but they claim it has nothing to do with any game. In all fairness the image was later revealed to be part of “ubiworkshop”, which are basically a side company producing animated short movies and comic books based on the AC universe.

So the Egypt edged picture could be perfectly innocent, but if we take a look at some of the other settings in the workshop art, the next standout one is a futuristic one. It shows a gentleman geared up like a grey storm trooper with a katana…and that iconic hood-look. Just imagining what the implications could be, based on these pics is very exciting. It shows that people within Ubisoft are thinking of the AC franchise in new and creative ways, and the promise of such a dramatic change would be SO well received (as long as the core formula can remain in-tact or in some form of appropriate equivalent) .

The Egyptian setting would be cool/hot, I can already imagine scrambling and jumping across sand coloured cities, with a headscarf and a dry throat. Concealing blades in brown-yellow cloths and gazing into the impossible depths of a sandstorm. The atmosphere and colour tones would be the perfect breath of fresh air for the franchise, and it could give it some space between the other AC games (let’s be honest here: the Third Crusade and the Renaissance looked more similar than most would like, in the jump between AC:1 and 2).

Don’t take that the wrong way though, the transition from AC:1 to AC:2 was beautiful for so many other reasons, and Brotherhood isn’t officially a new AC game, so AC:3 kinda has to break out of the repetitive aesthetic now if the Assassin’s Creed series wants to remain a ‘respected innovator’.

Talks of a female protagonist have crept up in more than one magazine interview with the developers, and on each occasion the question has been politely brushed aside. I should mention that there are also sketches of an (admittedly scantily dressed) assassin-like-lady (the wrist blades give it away) in the ubiworkshop, so who knows? The brains behind AC must at least be aware of this stuff…

The sci-fi futuristic landscape could also potentially blow our minds if implemented into an AC template. Just picture a bustling and haunting utopia of glorious neon and elegant towering architecture. A Raiden-like figure (male or female) sliding down the face of a cold black window pane of a courtroom, floating in the sky surrounded by crackles of lightning and thousands of tiny cameras.. I’m getting carried away I know, but come one, how awesome would it be?

Share your thoughts on what I’ve mentioned and hypothesized/fantasised and I’ll keep you posted with any more clues as they emerge.

Wherever they choose to take it, I just hope they tighten up the controls a little bit, and make the mechanics feel cleaner. Oh and multiplayer? Has to stay.