Jerusalem. Renaissance Italy. Turkey. Revolutionary America. The Assassin’s Creed franchise has covered a huge time period, visiting a plethora of locations. With Assassin’s Creed 3 coming out in just a few weeks, one question remains very clear: what next?
Warning: spoilers for the previous AC games ahead.
In the AC franchise, the primary plot point is that of the world’s end in 2012. We’re fast approaching that date both in real life and in the game, as we saw in the ending to Revelations – a damn good ending to boot! I think it’s safe to say that Ubisoft aren’t planning on ending such a money-machine of a franchise just yet, so the world is probably not going to end this time round. Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last we see of Desmond. He’s starting to get quite stale as a character, and this game would be a nice place to end his story – we’d have a tidy package of the ‘Desmond Trilogy’ (and a nice re-release opportunity as well). Sorry Nolan North, but your time has come.
But what of Connor? Will he leave us at the end of AC3? Associate Producer Julien Laferrière has said that whether we see Connor again or not is all down to fan reception (Eurogamer), which means this could be the only game we have with him: but that could all change if he proves to be a smash hit. From what I’ve seen of him so far, I’d love to see another game with Connor. Better still, there’s tons of ground (literally and metaphorically) for Connor to cover in historic America, and it would be quite cool to explore some more of the USA’s history through Connor. We could even see Connor visit some other locations: I’m certainly not the only one desperate for a London based AC game! China could even be a possibility (and a great opportunity for a travel montage in the first trailer!).
Having said that, I don’t think that Ubisoft will return with Connor. I have a very strong feeling that the franchise needs some sort of reinvention: something completely different, breaking from the ‘History is our Playground’ concept. Something with ‘Those Who Came Before’. Possibly something set in the future. Or, better still…something in the present day.
Think about the Desmond sequences from previous games. The ones where he’s jumping around the Colosseum, or exploring the vault. Now imagine a whole game based around that. The assassin jumping from skyscraper to skyscraper in New York. Blending in with dense crowds in London. Hell, even climbing the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Forget the fact that history is our playground. The world is our playground. And Ubisoft should take advantage of that. An Assassin’s Creed game featuring 5 or 10 different cities of the modern day world, all recreated just as wonderfully as Rome was in Brotherhood. Now that would be good.
When all is said and done though, we can only wait until Ubisoft announce something. Maybe they’ll use a combination of the above ideas: release a couple of Connor games during the years between now and the reinvention. Maybe we’ll see something that no-one could have predicted. Or maybe we’ll see exactly the same stuff we’re used to. I’m sure that there will be some teasers in AC3 as to the direction in which the franchise is heading. For now though, we must watch, wait…and play the hell out of AC3!
Assassin’s Creed 3 is out on the 31st October on PS3 and Xbox 360, coming to PC and Wii U later.