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Is Assassin’s Creed heading in the right direction?

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Ubisoft clearly has big plans for Assassin’s Creed. The historically focused franchise has become arguably the publisher’s most important product, so it was no surprise to see Ubisoft’s latest showcase the series title. In fact, it felt like the entire presentation was there Because Of the murderer’s religion. The property had its own 20-minute ceremony inside show, as if to emphasize its position.

And this is where we heard all about the future of the franchise. Three (PlayStation related) games were unveiled: Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Assassin’s Creed Red, and Assassin’s Creed Hexie. she is A lot of things of Assassin’s Creed, even though Red and Hexie are at least two years apart.

The performance has us wondering if the series is headed in the right direction; Longtime fans will know that the franchise has had its ups and downs over the past 15 years. Assassin’s Creed has always been a blockbuster property – really cementing itself with Assassin’s Creed II in 2009 – but is the time now, or is Ubisoft in danger of oversaturating its own market?

Assassin's creed Valhalla

Doubling down on the religion of the killer

There are no two ways about it: Ubisoft is doubling down on all things Assassin’s Creed. And from a business perspective, the move is coming. The series got a hugely successful second wind in 2017 with Assassin’s Creed Origins – a game that reinvented the property’s structural blueprint, adding a massive open world as well as RPG elements. 2018’s Odyssey built on these aspects and was an even bigger hit for the French publisher, making more money than any of its predecessors.

But it’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla that undoubtedly played a key role in pushing Ubisoft to invest in such elaborate plans. Despite its tumultuous 2020 release and the corresponding controversy surrounding its microtransaction store, Valhalla is the most commercially successful installment in the series, boasting nearly two years of post-launch support and all of the assets claims the throne as the most profitable sport.

As far as Ubisoft is concerned, the numbers don’t lie: Valhalla is constant proof that Assassin’s Creed is on the rise, and people want it. more. Codename Red is, by the publisher’s own words, going to follow in Valhalla’s footsteps, offering an “open world RPG” set in feudal Japan. But that’s only one side of Ubisoft’s two-pronged approach…

Assassin's Creed Mirage

Assassin’s Creed is being split into two parts

Maybe Ubisoft’s plans for Assassin’s Creed are Overzealous, but at least it seems aware of the fact that not everyone has the time (or patience) to play through a 120-hour RPG. This is where Assassin’s Creed Mirage enters the equation – a small-scale project that harkens back to the more ‘traditional’ titles in the series, both in terms of length and gameplay design. Not to mention a low price tag.

During the open world RPG trilogy era, some fans have found themselves pining for old-school Assassin’s Creed. In terms of individual installments, Odyssey and Valhalla are easily the biggest departures from what Assassin’s Creed once was, heavily favoring action combat over stealth. To be fair, this change in direction has served Ubisoft in particular—again, the property is more profitable than ever—but at the same time, if you have the resources and brand power to do it, everyone’s happy. Why not give it a try. ?

Assassin’s Creed is essentially splitting along two separate paths. On the one hand, you have RPGs — time-sync games that are going to try and emulate the success of Valhalla. And on the other hand, you’ll have the ‘traditional’ Creed titles — smaller in scope and offering a more focused experience.

On paper, it should work. By not having every new game be a giant RPG, players are less likely to burn out, and, at least in theory, the development cycle is given more room to breathe. However…

Assassin's Creed Syndicate

How much is too much?

Originally before hitting the reset button on the franchise in 2017, Assassin’s Creed was in serious Need an overhaul. Its gameplay structure had become incredibly stale, and Assassin’s Creed Unity in particular left an indelible mark on the series’ record, thanks to a horribly buggy, borderline broken release. Its successor, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, wasn’t a bad game, but it can be identified as the point where Ubisoft was left with little choice but to rethink its flagship IP. Sales numbers weren’t what they used to be, and review scores were slipping.

You see a lot of crap online regarding the open world RPG trilogy, and how those games “aren’t an assassin race”. But it’s easy to forget that annual releases buried the series before Origins arrived. There were people sick of the old formula – and that’s why it was rediscovered in the first place. There’s an argument to be made that Mirage is rehashing those old ideas, now that everyone seems to have forgotten that ‘traditional’ games were too familiar for their own good.

But we’re willing to give Ubisoft the benefit of the doubt with Mirage. It’s been seven years since The Syndicate, and you’d hope that the mistakes of the past would have little bearing on Bassim’s future adventures.

The worry, then, is that Ubisoft is about to oversaturate its own franchise. Mirage is 2023, Red is — supposedly — either 2024 or 2025. Hexie is…well, the way it’s being described, it almost seems like Hexie might share the spotlight with Red, especially since it’s meant to be a more small-scale project. We’re looking at three new console Assassin’s Creed games to be released in two years or so.

Needless to say, all eyes will be on Ubisoft’s schedule.

Assassin's Creed Talking Points

Assassin’s Creed Infinity sounds weird, but it makes sense

Assassin’s Creed Infinity is perhaps the key to all of Ubisoft’s upcoming plans. Although Mirage isn’t a part of it, it’s clear that the publisher wants Infinity to be the glue that holds Assassin’s Creed together for the foreseeable future.

For those who don’t know, Anant will act as a hub for the series, starting with Lal. This is where the ongoing modern day story of the property will be held, and it allows Ubisoft to produce Assassin’s Creed as a kind of live service product.

At first glance, this all seems a little strange, but take a step back and it starts to make sense. Live service elements have been present in Assassin’s Creed games for years now. In-game purchases on rotation, daily quests, seasonal events – things that turn the likes of Valhalla into something more than just a single-player campaign.

Not everyone wants to see elements of the Live Service in their games, but Assassin’s Creed – in line with the rest of Ubisoft’s portfolio – is leaning more and more into them with each new installment. It seems like Infinite would be an effective way to bring all of these things together under one big Assassin’s Creed umbrella.

Whether this turns out to be a good thing, we’ll obviously have to wait and see.


So, how do you feel about the future of Assassin’s Creed? You’ve read our thoughts, but be sure to have your say by voting in our poll, and then explaining yourself in the comments section below.

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