The Ubisoft shared universe continues to grow as the likes of Far Cry and Assassin's Creed join together at the Marvel Cinematic Universe of gaming.
From Bethesda to Ubisoft, Square Enix to Activision, video game publishers mean big business. While the world of cinema is dominated by the likes of Warner Bros. and Disney with their franchises, more and more publishers are branching out from their legacy titles and connecting their biggest games together in a shared universe.
Looking at the House of Mouse in particular, we've seen the might of the Marvel Cinematic Universe grow from the tiny acorn of 2008's Iron Man. Video games are exactly the same, and when it comes to the idea of a cleverly woven universe, Ubisoft arguably does it best.
Back in the day, Ubisoft was remembered for Rayman, but jump forward to 2020 and it boasts everything from Assassin's Creed to Far Cry. This year has been huge for Ubisoft thanks to a tonne of releases including Tom Clancy's The Division 2, Hyper Scape, Watch Dogs: Legion, and Assassin's Creed Valhalla.
2021 is set to be another massive one with the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake and much-hyped release of Far Cry 6. As with every Ubisoft game, you should keep your eyes peeled for a treasure hunt of Easter eggs to unite the UGU - Ubisoft Gaming Universe.
What is the Ubisoft shared universe?
More than just Ubisoft games having the odd reference to each other with each new release, there's a prevalent theory they all form part of a shared universe. It's important to remember that sometimes an Easter egg is just that and nothing more. There's a reference to blue meth in Far Cry 3 as a homage of Breaking Bad, however, the fact the show's Giancarlo Esposito is playing big bad El Presidente in Far Cry 6 is just a coincidence.
For the idea of a shared universe to work, we need to dive a little deeper into the lore of Ubisoft's fan-favourite franchises. Of course, let's remember the whole idea of the Tommy Westphall Universe hypothesis that claims EVERY TV series ever made is part of the same fictional universe set inside the mind of the St. Elsewhere character. We're not going quite as out-there with the Ubisoft idea, but still, it's neat to think developers have probably mulled it over a thousand times before.
Creating a shared universe is no easy feat. The writers of LOST reportedly had a whole bible of expanded backstories and timelines to make sure continuity flowed. In terms of Ubisoft, its ever-expanding slate of games and different settings creates and equally challenging task.
At the start, it was simply an Easter egg hidden here and there - like the Assassin's Creed Abstergo logo in Far Cry 3. These days, the crossovers are coming hard and fast as they also bleed into the story. With each new Ubisoft link, there's another stitch in the tapestry of the UGU.
Examples of the Ubisoft shared universe
Easily the strongest connection is Splinter Cell favourite Sam Fisher appearing in Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Here, Fisher asked for your help during a mission. Most players took this as confirmation of the UGU, however, let's remember that Sam also mentioned Metal Gear's Solid Snake. As it stands, no one is pitching the idea of Konami sharing a universe with Ubisoft, but then again, it's also plausible.
Fisher himself has become something of a central figure to shared canon, effectively serving as the Robert Downey Jr./Iron Man to the whole thing. His iconic Splinter Cell goggles can be spotted in Assassin's Creed Odyssey and his outfit is available for a mission in Far Cry: Zero Dawn. More than just a nod to the character, the stealth suit is actually called "Sam Fisher", confirming the Third/Fourth Echelon operative exists in multiple franchises. In reality, it's probably simpler to admit that at least the games based on a Tom Clancy property fall into a shared universe. Others could just be Easter eggs.
There's plenty of support for an entirely united Ubisoft universe. Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs also seem to be fully connected thanks to a crossover between Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. In Black Flag, you're sent to spy on Abstergo Entertainment CEO Oliver Garneau. He disappears toward the end of the 2013 game and leaves a major question mark over his whereabouts. Well, unless you play the OG Watch Dogs. Here, it's confirmed protagonist Aiden Pierce was hired to kill Garneau, which is also backed up by Assassin's Creed: Origins showing CCTV of the incident.
Problems come from the likes of Far Cry 5 and Far Cry: New Dawn seemingly ending the world with a nuclear holocaust, which would wipe out the events of the Watch Dogs games being set in the near future. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has cleverly dodged that bullet with the introduction of its own alternate timelines, so who knows, maybe Far Cry 3's Vaas has an Infinity Gauntlet knocking around?
The trend of Ubisoft connecting its games doesn't look like it's one the publisher plans on abandoning any time soon. Assassin's Creed Valhalla's modern arc includes an audio file of protagonist Desmons Miles, while there's also a bizarre reference to Death Stranding. On its own, the Death Stranding egg is another tie to Hideo Kojima, Solid Snake, and Metal Gear.
Those at the top haven't discussed an Ubisoft shared universe, but looking at how many games came out in 2020, it's surely one developers and writers will have to discuss at some point. All we need now is an army of Raving Rabbids to topple El Presidente in Far Cry 6 and it'll all come together nicely. You heard it hear first!
Images via Ubisoft