The Assassin’s Creed series has so far avoided a particular period of time, but embracing this setting could make stealth more important than ever.
Many fans believe that Assassin’s Creed should never venture into one particular era, but this setting may be the key to revitalizing the series’ stealth gameplay. The open-world franchise has let fans explore centuries of history, ranging from Ancient Egypt to Victorian London and hitting various periods in between. However, a particular era of history remains unexplored. While there are some periods that fans would consider to be bad Assassin’s Creed settings, these periods could make stealth an important mechanic once again.
The Assassin’s Creed franchise started out back in the Third Crusade, with players sneaking through crowds and dashing across rooftops in historical cities like Jerusalem and Acre. Since then a wide variety of time periods have been visited like the Italian Renaissance, the American Revolution, Ancient Greece, and the Viking Era. The most modern period that the series has explored so far is Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s setting of 1860s London. While major historical events also occurred in the 20th century, the Assassin’s Creed series has so far avoided venturing into the 1900s due to the effect it could have on gameplay.
While there is a modern-day story in Assassin’s Creed, no major entry has ventured past the 1800s. This is likely because more recent settings threaten to compromise the franchise’s three core pillars of parkour, stealth, and melee combat. Modern cities are simply too large for players to believably freerun across, due to the presence of motor vehicles and the massive verticality of modern skyscrapers. Melee combat is also a relic of the past, with 20th Century battles being universally fought with firearms, and the presence of guns could also make stealth obsolete. However, the proliferation of firearms in the 20th century could actually help the Assassin’s Creed series restore its emphasis on stealth over combat.
Assassin’s Creed With Guns Makes Stealth More Important, Not Less
By embracing more modern Assassin’s Creed settings like World War 1 or the Roaring Twenties, Ubisoft can return the open-world franchise to its more stealth-focused roots. 20th Century time periods are certainly worth exploring, with events shaping our modern world and existing as an important part of the Assassin’s Creed mythology. By giving enemies access to powerful firearms, and giving the player character a limited arsenal, the Assassin’s Creed series can become more focused on stealth than parkour or sword fighting. A game set against the backdrop of World War 2 or Ireland’s Troubles could essentially function as a historical Hitman game, with players approaching targets using crowds rather than disguises. Handguns could be a useful tool once the player reaches their target, but enemies with much greater firepower would help motivate subtlety.
With the upcoming launch of the Assassin’s Creed Infinity game hub, Ubisoft will be able to deliver a much wider range of Assassin’s Creed experiences. 20th Century architecture and weaponry risk interfering with the series’ parkour and melee combat systems, but a more modern setting could make stealth the primary focus. An Assassin’s Creed game set in German-occupied Paris or Al Capone’s Chicago would force players to use social stealth, lest they be gunned down before they reach their target.
Next: What Assassin’s Creed Infinity Could Really Mean For The Series’ Future