Assassin’s Creed is one of the most popular video game franchises of recent years, with numerous installments set across history.
It has been just 14 years since Ubisoft first dropped Assassin’s Creed, an ambitious game of its time that whetted fans’ appetite without fully quenching their thirst. The concepts contained within the sole outing for Altair in the Middle Ages were interesting, but the technology didn’t quite allow for the ambition required to pull off such an inventive and innovative game.
Many argue that 2009 saw the best AC game released, introducing Ezio and the world of Florence during the Renaissance period. There have been 12 standalone titles on three generations of consoles, with a further 12 spin-off titles on different platforms. Recently, Ubisoft announced a new direction for the series, following on from the recent trilogy of games.
Tech Radar reports how Assassin’s Creed Infinity will not be the next game in the series but rather a live service game. The concept sounds much like the Abstergo Industries theme from AC Unity, a fully functioning platform where users can dip in and out of memories across history. If it means the end of the pointless modern-day sections of the games, it will definitely be a good thing.
It will evolve over time, so it is likely to link any new releases together in one place. Think of logging in to your PlayStation or Xbox and seeing all of your titles there. AC Infinity will work something like that; you will join the platform and be able to dip in and out of any time period Ubisoft has coded. It opens possibilities for them to release smaller titles and missions in different time periods, assess their popularity, and then decide where to base large-scale games.
Historical accuracy has always been a core driver behind the games, with the most recent three heading off to Viking England, Spartan Greece and Ancient Egypt. The latter made for a fantastic experience and perhaps could be marked out as the defining Ancient Egyptian game. Pyramids, the Sphinx and a bustling Cairo, have been used throughout gaming history as a backdrop: the 8-bit game CJ’s Elephant Antics had an Egyptian level, as did Tomb Raider. Now, even on mobile devices, you can find distinctive Egyptian themes and music everywhere you look. Online gaming provider Gala Casino has titles such as Eye of Horus and Cleopatra Gold which use Egyptian themes to good effect, drawing on familiar imagery to create the ambience of the era. Book of the Dead on iOS and Android can even help teach you about the period, but nothing is quite as effective as AC Origins in bringing it to life.
That’s why Infinity is such an exciting concept. Ubisoft has always done a great job at bringing a period to life, not just Egypt but Revolution-era France or Victorian England. They draw from actual events and craft them into a fictional story that teaches you about the era and delivers a solid gaming experience. A standalone hub that brings the titles together is mouth-watering and ambitious and could serve as a knowledge base for historical content. How many games can claim to truly educate not on one slice of history but from the dark ages to the industrial revolution?
Assassin’s Creed was reinvented once, with the release of Origins after Unity flopped, and it seems Ubisoft is refusing to stand still with their headline franchise. Assassin’s Creed Infinity perhaps represents the future of gaming, not so many titles being released but the ongoing development of themes and ideas, similar in that respect to the episodic Hitman series or the constant updates on GTA V.
The future is very exciting for AC fans because the past is poised to become even more accessible.
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