With an Assassin's Creed Valhalla sequel almost certainly on the cards at Ubisoft, which period of history should the franchise head to next?
2020 has been a gaming goliath, and right up there with this year's biggest releases was Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Ubisoft's next chapter not only concluded a trilogy for Layla Hassan, but also catapulted the story forward and set up an inevitable sequel. As with all things Assassin's Creed, Valhalla jumped between the past and present as it told the story through the modern-day and the eyes of a brutal berserker called Eivor.
Even if some think it was a little close to Sony Santa Monica's God of War, the Viking setting of Valhalla was a win for most. The problem is, it'll probably be the last time we pick up our axes and hack through some Anglo-Saxons. This means it's once again back to the drawing board to see where we go next. The end of Valhalla neatly set up the next game in terms of Loki being a modern assassin, but as for where the Animus takes the Assassins, it's anyone's guess. With this in mind, let's run through the possibilities.
Assassin's Creed Old West
If you're ready for a rootin' tootin' time in the Old West, Annie get your gun for a cowboy-themed Assassin's Creed. As the series enters its thirteenth year, players are expecting something new every outing. Pistols at dawn have proved popular with Rockstar Games' Red Dead series, with the highly-anticipated Red Dead Redemption II proving there's a market for this kind of adventure as it became one of the best-selling games of all time.
Interestingly, a memo in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag mentioned several settings included Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the American Midwest. If we're logically ticking these off the list, then a cactus-packed desert of cowboys and Indians could be next. The AC series has already had us galloping around on horseback, so stick on a stetson and saddle up.
Assassin's Creed Caesar
If you thought the time of the Vikings was a bloodthirsty period of history to visit, why not bathe in the blood of your enemies with the rise and fall of the Roman Empire? Picture the scene of gladiator battles and a level of thrilling chariot chases, all while Julius Caesar watches from a balcony and prepares to turn down his thumb to decide your fate. The Romans were known for their epic battles and even more epic assassinations, so this one fits nicely.
More than just wild speculation, Assassin's Creed Valhalla also sets up the idea of a Roman conquest. Roman ruins were scattered throughout Britain as the Eivor and the rest of the Vikings tried to claim the land for themselves. The idea of a Roman game might be a little too similar to the Greek-set Assassin's Creed Odyssey, but if we leave it a few more years, it could be worth a punt.
Assassin's Creed Cyberpunk
Again taking a leaf out of another developer's book, isn't it about time we hopped in the Animus for a look into the far-flung future? Assassin's Creed games don't need to be limited to flicking through the pages of history. Assassin's Creed Valhalla set up Basim (as a reincarnation of Loki) to be the big bad moving forward, and if he's anything like the Trickster God, he could switch things up with the Animus and move forward instead of backward.
From Blade Runner to Ghost in the Shell, The Fifth Element to Minority Report, sci-fi futures are explored all-too-often on the silver screen, but not so much in video games. We're often cast out into space on a doomed craft, while Death Stranding represented a particularly glum and depressing future. What we want is a full-blown Cyberpunk 2077-inspired Assassin's Creed where assassins have to take out three-breasted cyborgs in a neon-splashed nightmare.
Assassin's Creed Arthur
Dragons, quests, and round tables - get the boys together for an Arthurian Assassin's Creed for the (dark) ages. We've encountered mythological beings from Egyptian, Grecian, and Norse mythology, meaning the Knights of the Round table and their various conquests are crying out for a retelling. Britain has worked well in the past for the series, and as Assassin's Creed Valhalla showed, there's still plenty to do on this tiny island.
Imagine the Assassins heading back to look for the mythical blade known as Excalibur, also being hunted by a modern-day version of Morgan le Fay trying her witchy ways to rewrite history. It might not be the most historically accurate version of Assassin's Creed, but what's a little poetic licence? With Merlin by your side and a touch of magic, an Arthurian Assassin's Creed has the potential to cast a spell on us all.
Assassin's Creed War
The Call of Duty and Battlefield games have duked it out for years, so where's Assassin's Creed in all of this? The conflict between the Templars and Assassin's lends itself perfectly to two sides going to war in the trenches. Considering there have been so many Assassin's Creed games, it seems odd that we haven't at least toyed with the idea of a World War rumble.
More than this, we could have an epic two-game arc that covers both the First and Second World War. Bringing Russia, Germany, the USA, France, and the UK into one giant brawl, this one practically writes itself. A World War version of AC would add new mechanics in terms of planes and tanks, which might lead to accusations the franchise has lost some of its parkour elements. Still, you could have our leading Assassin climbing up the side of Hitler's home and sneaking in a window to try and assassinate him.
Assassin's Creed Shogun
Time and time again, there have been calls for Assassin's Creed to swing a samurai sword at Feudal Japan. Going full Kill Bill, fans have been demanding Ubisoft cover this period of history for longer than we'd care to remember. Ironically, Assassin’s Creed 3 creative director Alex Hutchinson told Official Xbox Magazine, "People on the internet suggest the most boring settings. The three most wanted are WWII, feudal Japan and Egypt. They're kind of the three worst settings for an AC game". Hutchinson was proved massively wrong with Assassin's Creed Origins being a big win in Egypt, so let's prove him wrong again.
There are so many different periods of Japan you could visit, so it's up to developers where they'd want to take the story. Perhaps the only thing going against the idea (now), is the fact Sucker Punch Productions just did this expertly with Ghost fo Tsushima. The stunning action-adventure game was already compared to Assassin's Creed in terms of mechanics, and we've got to admit, Ghost of Tsushima might've even out-ACed Assassin's Creed. Would Ubisoft simply be setting itself for a noble sacrifice on its own blade if it tried to take on Ghost of Tsushima?
The curtain is closing on what has been one of the biggest years ever for video games in terms of new release and next-gen hopes. Thankfully, Assassin's Creed Valhalla has held its own and managed to be one of the year's shining stars - despite complaints it was a God of War 'rip-off'. Sony is currently working on a God of War sequel, meaning Ubisoft would be wise to leave this period of history alone and find somewhere new to call home. We know there will be an Assassin's Creed Valhalla sequel, the question is, where will it be set? From the rumble of the Romans to the swish of the Samurai, we'll have to keep our eyes on this one.
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