Ancient Greece to the Roaring ’20s: 10 settings we’d like to see an Assassin’s Creed game

In Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag there is an in-game memo that suggests possible locations for future games. That got us thinking. In Black Flag you technically play as a modern day Abstergo employee testing a game focused on Edward Kenway’s life. In the guise of that conceit, during a mission you discover a memo in which executives from Abstergo discuss future “games.”

Now, these possible settings could be nothing more than fan service, a quick in-game nod to players letting them know that the developers also like to geek out over when and where future Assassin’s Creed games could be set. Even if one of the options is the setting of the next game, there are enough possibilities that it isn’t really a hint, just foreshadowing that no one will get until Ubisoft reveals the next game.

Here are the options the in-game memo mentions as possibilities:

  • 13th Century Egypt/North Africa
  • 14th Century Ashikaga Shogunate in Japan
  • 18th Century French Revolution
  • 19th Century Napoleonic Wars/Taiwan
  • 19th Century New England and American Midwest
  • 20th Century Summer of Love, America Pacific Coast

You can probably cross the last one off the list. Unless Ubisoft wants to introduce the “brown acid” bomb, it might be tough to make a game during that era. It’s worth noting though, that the list split up possible eras between the lineage of Subject 17 – aka Desmond Miles. So far the games have all used Desmond’s patrilineal line, including Altair, Ezio, Connor, and now Edward. There was, however, one other patrilineal setting listed that hasn’t been explored: “19th Century New England and American Midwest.”

Maybe this means something, maybe it doesn’t. There doesn’t seem any reason not to focus on the matrilineal line, or they may switch to a different lineage altogether.

Regardless, it got us thinking. The Assassin’s Creed franchise has taken naturally to the medium of comics, introducing an Assassin active during the Roman Empire, one in Russia during the birth of the Soviet Union, and another set in 19th century India. Short films are an option too, but games are where the series is most at home.

With that in mind, here are a few locations and eras we’d like to see the Assassin’s Creed series explore.

Ancient Greece and the cradle of Western Civilization (4th century BCE)

Ancient-Greece-2Besides the absolutely amazing settings Ancient Athens and surrounding areas could offer, this era is also known as “the cradle of Western civilization .” The AC series has grown more and more ideological in its portrayal of the Assassins and Templars, so what better time to really expand on that? Depending on what years story occurs, you could have your pick of historical characters. If the story went on long enough, you could train with Plato and march with Alexander the Great – or be the one to end his reign.

It would also help to expand on the mythology of the rival groups. The franchise is six games deep into the main series alone, and we still know very little about the origins of the Assassin and Templar orders. What better place to shed a little light on it than Ancient Greece? Plus, a toga-hoodie would be a sight to behold.

Ashikaga Shogunate and the heart of Feudal Japan (14th Century)

There’s no shortage of games set in Feudal Japan, but Assassin’s Creed could offer something different. This period is specifically mentioned in the memo, and it makes sense. The era saw Japan split into ruling courts in the north and south, which eventually became embroiled in a cold(ish) war, built around competing ideologies. Oh, and there would be samurai and ninja.

It’s already been established that there were Eastern Assassins, so it makes sense to expand on that. Taking the role of a Japanese Assassin, you could stab your way through the history of one of Japan’s most influential eras. Usually when games are set in this time, it is all about the samurai and ninja. Because they are samurai and ninja. Exploring the events that made gave rise to that class of warrior would very cool.

The forgotten mega-city of Cahokia (13th century)

Cahokia-2In the 13th century, there was a city in the region now known as modern-day St. Louis that eclipsed London in its size. Much of the history of Cahokia has been lost, but it was an advanced metropolis for its time despite the fact that few people today even recognize the name. This creates opportunity. A game set in what is essentially a forgotten city allows the writers to tell whatever story they want, while revealing a world few other entertainment properties have even considered. It also allows for an exploration of the Assassin’s Creed mythology throughout Central and South America.

It is simple enough to explain an Assassin presence in North America during the 13th century, and the setting would allow players to explore the Mayan, Incan, and Aztec cultures. The First Civilization is a huge part of those cultures, so expanding what we know of them is logical. Not to mention awesome.

The Romance of the Three Kingdoms (169AD to 280AD)

This period has already been covered extensively in gaming thanks to the Dynasty Warriors series, but that franchise barely begins to examine the era; button mashing your way through thousands of victims doesn’t really convey the intrigue or personalities of the era. For over 100 years three groups fought for control of parts of China, Mongolia, and Vietnam. Heroes were born, legends were buried. It’s one of the most popular stories in the world, and Western audiences could stand to get a deeper look at it. It also wouldn’t hurt to sell a few AC copies in Asia.

It would be an original twist to see the Assassins working their way through three rival kingdoms, navigating the military and political rivalries. The first game toyed with this idea by allowing you access to cities under opposing rule, but never really did anything with it. With over 100 years of warfare between three colorful and (somewhat) historically accurate kingdoms, there are endless possibilities. 

The Fall of the First Civilization (Unknown)

In the mythology of the AC series, the First Civilization created humanity as a docile slave race, but something went wrong along the way. Two humans, Adam and Eve, stole the Apple of Eden, setting off a chain of events that rippled down throughout time. What if Adam was an Assassin? Maybe the first Assassin?

A game set before recorded human history would give us more insight into the First Civilization, and allow for a completely original take on the world. While the current games use historical events as a backdrop, this setting could use religious and even mythological tales to fill out the story. Maybe Cain was a Templar that killed his Assassin brother Abel. Maybe you could race to survive Noah’s Flood. With no specific chronology of events, but plenty of quasi-historical facts to play with, the writers could go wild.

Gupta Empire and the Golden Age of India (5th century)

Back when the Roman Empire was falling apart and Western Civilization was beginning to view things like math and science as witchcraft, other regions around the world, like India, were doing just fine. For roughly 250 years, peace reigned over India under the rule of the Gupta family. Known as the Golden Age of India, science and art flourished, and the Empire stretched from Nepal to Pakistan to Bangladesh and throughout what is now modern India.

It eventually collapsed back into regional kingdoms, but the Gupta Empire during the 5th Century was one of the greatest civilizations ever known. This time period is ripe for an Assassins versus Templars showdown, and show a completely different culture than the games have touched on before. Not only could it focus on the rise of India, it would also have to deal with the fallout of the collapse of Rome. The biggest problem would be choosing which specific events to focus on – there would be many choices.

Paris in the Roaring ‘20s (20th Century)

Paris-1920s-2The more modern you go, the tougher it becomes to let the Assassin’s Creed series reach its potential. The introduction of guns – modern guns – fundamentally changes the nature of the game and would force it to be entirely stealth, or turn it into a third-person shooter. That’s why we may never see a completely modern setting for the series. There are some pockets where you could make it work though, including Paris between the World Wars.

Not only does this era allow the story to delve into the rise of fascism and the fallout of the First World War, but Paris in the 20s was also arguably the artistic heart of the world. Pablo Picasso and Earnest Hemingway drank in local bars while listening to Josephine Baker, jazz found a home outside of America, and a bohemian lifestyle resists the older concepts of government. The ideals of  are already there, and the post-war time could explain an apathy towards guns that works for the gameplay.

Victorian England and the heart of the world (19th Century)

This is one of the most requested settings for an AC game, and with good reason. It is also mentioned in the memo during one of the many fictional exchanges between Abstergo execs, specifically the period when Jack the Ripper was active. Victorian England (and Great Britain in general) is one of the most romanticized periods in history, and with good reason. The sun never set on the British Empire; it was the center of the known world. It was also a time of science and discovery, as well as the rise of occult practices, which gave birth to numerous secret societies. There is something appealing about running over the rooftops of a foggy and smoke covered London at the height of its power, and the secret societies lend themselves perfectly to the Assassin/Templar conflict at the center of the series.

Finding real people and incidents wouldn’t be tough either. Take Aleister Crowley, an occultist that joined the Golden Dawn before leaving to form his own religion Thelema, whose principle law was “Do what thou wilt.” That’s not so far from the Assassin’s “Nothing is true, everything is permitted” motto.

The Viking exploration of the New World (10th century)

This works on multiple levels. First, you could introduce the Vikings, and Vikings are awesome. That’s just a fact. They drink, they fight, they made merry, and they scared the hell out of everyone on the way to becoming legends. Beyond that, a story set during this time could address the collapse of “civilized” society in the West, and introduce an Assassin presence in North America.

Imagine a Viking Assassin fighting Templar barbarians, then heading to the New World, possibly to hide a relic of the First Civilization. It fits within both the franchise’s own mythology, as well as the history of the era – which is often more complex than people give it credit for. And again, Viking Assassins. 

The Wild West comes to San Francisco (19th Century)

Wild-West-San-Francisco-2bThe Black Flag memo mentions the “American Midwest,” and in the various email discussions the “execs” seem to specifically mean the “Wild West” popularized by people like Billy the Kid and Wild Bill. They both operated post-Civil War though, after weapons technology took a major jump, and musket based rifles were replaced by bullet-based weapons capable of firing far more shots. Again, it would change the nature of the games. Jumping back a few decades before the Civil War though, could offer the same themes without having to deal with that problem.

San Francisco in the 1850s was booming, and people from all over the world were flooding in, seeking to join the gold rush. It makes sense for this time of economic prosperity to be a focal point for both the Assassins and Templars. It also creates an opportunity to explore some of the deeply dividing issue that led up to the Civil War, rival ideals that would shape the nation, and with it the world, from that point on.  

What settings would you like to see an Assassin’s Creed game?  Sound off in the comments below. 

Emerging Tech

Probes exploring Earth’s hazardous radiation belts enter final phase of life

The Van Allen probes have been exploring the radiation belts around Earth for seven years. Now the probes are moving into the final phase of their exploration, coming closer to Earth to gather more data before burning up in the atmosphere.
Emerging Tech

NASA to launch SPHEREx mission to investigate the origins of our universe

NASA is launching an ambitious mission to map the entire sky to understand the origins of the universe. The Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission will launch in 2023.
Movies & TV

J.J. Abrams wraps production on Star Wars: Episode IX with a heartfelt message

Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has wrapped production on Star Wars: Episode IX, which he directed and co-wrote. Here's everything we know about the movie before it premieres in December 2019.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Gaming

Kingdom Hearts 3 on Nintendo Switch reportedly never going to happen

Kingdom Hearts 3 for the Nintendo Switch will likely not happen, according to Game Informer's senior editor, Imran Khan. Square Enix is reportedly considering an alternative in bringing the franchise to the console.
Gaming

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Gaming

Apex Legends dataminers discover upcoming characters and weapons

Dataminers have discovered code in Apex Legends that refers to characters named Octane and Wattson, and weapons named the Havoc Rifle and the L-Star EMG. Octane is believed to have a Stim Pack ability, while Wattson has the Tesla Trap.
Gaming

Bayonetta 3 still in the works, set to launch on Nintendo Switch this year

Bayonetta 3 was notably absent from the latest Nintendo Direct presentation, raising concerns that the game will be delayed. A Nintendo executive clarified that the Nintendo Switch exclusive remains on track for a 2019 release.
Gaming

Over 16,000 Apex Legends cheaters have already been banned by Respawn

Respawn Entertainment revealed that it has already banned over 16,000 cheaters in Apex Legends in the less than two weeks since its release. The developer may be working on an in-game feature to report cheaters.
Gaming

Get the most life out of your Xbox One controller with these tips

The Xbox One controller has fantastic battery life, but eventually your batteries will still die. To make it even better and ensure you never have to stop gaming, follow these tips.
Gaming

How you can share your best gaming moments with friends on the PS4

Check out Digital Trends' quick guide to everything you need to know to save your outstanding PlayStation 4 gameplay moments, share them online, and transfer them to your computer.
Gaming

A beginner’s guide to Far Cry New Dawn’s postapocalyptic Hope County

Far Cry New Dawn is yet another entry in Ubisoft's popular open world shooter franchise. But while it may feel quite similar in motion, the progression system is changed in a lot of ways. Our beginner's guide is here to help.
Gaming

Learn to scavenge like a pro with our Far Cry New Dawn crafting guide

Far Cry New Dawn revolves around the hunt -- the hunt for materials to craft new weapons, vehicles, and other useful items. It's easy to miss out on great opportunities to find new materials if you don't go off the beaten path.
Gaming

Here's our take on the best game-streaming services currently out there

You can still get your physical video game discs or cartridges at your local store or download games digitally, but another option is even more convenient: Game streaming. Here are the best game streaming services.