Last year was the first in a while that didn’t bring a mainstream Assassin’s Creed release — if you don’t count the movie — so rumors abound about what we can expect next. The latest ones claim that it will be called Origins and focus on open-world gameplay set in ancient Egypt. Much like Syndicate, it will feature two protagonists — a man and a woman — and a leaked screenshot has given us our first glimpse of one of them.
Rumors that surfaced last year gave us our first hint of the game’s setting, though the suggestion early on was that it would be called Assassin’s Creed: Empire. While the Egyptian setting remains the current prediction for it, Origins is a new name that WWG was told about by a claimed Ubisoft insider.
A leaked screenshot seems to confirm the setting of the game, as well as the fact that boats will once again be featured — though the one pictured is far smaller than the ships of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Even if the image leak is unofficial, Eurogamer has had it confirmed by three of its sources.
The quest noted in the top left of the screen has players following a particular character in a bid to “assassinate the Crocodile.” It’s certainly possible that the player is hunting a real crocodile, though the designation of “the” and the capitalization of “Crocodile” suggests it could be a pseudonym for someone.
The image leaker on Reddit also revealed that the game would have several shorter experiences that take place at different times, and that many of the developers from the fourth Assassin’s Creed game were working on this one.
Claims by earlier sources saidan internal Ubisoft video showed scenes from World War II-era France, a modern-day Abstergo Industries facility, and an unnamed Asian country — though whether that was gameplay or cut-scene material has not been confirmed.
Other sources have revealed that the game is an open-world experience, and that it will allow much more freedom for the player. Instead of tying character progression to the story, gamers will have much more control over how their assassins grow in power as they progress through it. That could add a lot more strategy to the experience and more role-playing gane mechanics.
The story, too, is said to be far less linear than previous games, with comparisons made with Bethesda’s Skyrim. With that in mind, WWG claims that the game will have more exploration and, because of that, Ubisoft has crafted a much larger sandbox for players to roam around in.
All of this is mere rumor and speculation for now, as Ubisoft has been unusually quiet about the next game in the series. However, following a lot of bugs and problems with recent entries like Assassin’s Creed Unity, it seems keen on taking more time with this release. Whether that will lead to a grander game than previous Assassin’s Creed titles remains to be seen, but fans are no doubt hoping for a more seamless experience.
Whatever the next Assassin’s Creed game is called, it is expected to be released in the latter half of 201,7 and will likely be shown off for the first time at E3 in June.
Updated 05-09-2017 by Jon Martindale: Added leaked screenshot and associated commentary.