6 New Historical Time Periods for Future Assassin’s Creed Games
Good video game franchises never die. No matter how final the ending might seem, no matter the status of the development company, any franchise that makes money is going to live on. Which is good news for us Assassin’s Creed fans! Even though Desmond’s story came to a pretty grim (and lame!) conclusion in Assassin’s Creed 3, I can’t imagine Ubisoft not giving us more games and more historical goodness in the years to come! Shall we begin the countdown to Assassin’s Creed 4?
As everybody knows, the Assassin’s Creed games all take place in the past, with richly detailed recreations of some ancient civilizations for your stabbing pleasure. First we visited Jerusalem during the Third Crusade, then Rome at the height of the Italian Renaissance. A then quick stop in Constantinople preceded a visit to the American colonies during the Revolution! The war between the heroic Assassins and the evil Templar has been waged for centuries all across the globe. Almost any era or historical event is up for grabs.
So where will we go next? Which historical era should we visit in the next Assasin’s Creed game? Especially if that game arrives on next generation consoles, with better graphics and processing power? I’m so glad you asked, because I just so happen to have six suggestions! Join me after the jump.
6. American Civil War
This one is a no brainer after Assassin’s Creed 3 so wonderfully pulled off the American Revolution. Not to say that all future Assassin’s Creed games have to be about America, but the American Civil War is ripe with larger than life characters, glorious battles and a very human struggle. Whether it’s brother vs. brother, freeing the slaves or the rights of the Confederacy to secede from the Union, there are a lot of meaty themes for a game like Assassin’s Creed to sink its teeth into. The conflict of the Assassins vs. Templars could split families down the middle, just like the conflict of North vs. South. I’d even go so far as to recommend that be the actual storyline. Have the game star two brothers, one fighting for the north and one fighting for the south. One of them is recruited by the Templars and the other is chosen as the game’s Assassin. Heck, to get really creative, perhaps the game would star both of them, and the player would jump back and forth from Assassin to Templar as they meet in the fields of battle.
I think it’s safe to say that the Assassins would fight for the North while the Templar would side with the Confederacy. But we all known Assassin’s Creed games are never that cut and dry.
Players could get missions from Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, or spend time with Jefferson Davis or Abraham Lincoln. He would be a far cooler President to meet than George Washington. Maybe the player even has to chase down and catch John Wilkes Booth after the assassination in Ford’s Theater. And during the war, there are dozens of high profile battles to join, with Gettysburg a definite standout. And you just know the Assassins had to have played a part in the Underground Railroad. Maybe the game’s Assassin could be a runaway slave, returning to the south to free the rest of his people. Or perhaps the Assassin is Connor’s own grandchild. Considering how close a Civil War game would be to the American Revolution, it could work as a direct sequel to Assassin’s Creed 3. That would be a lot of fun. Though I can’t imagine Ubisoft doesn’t already have some plans in place for a sequel.
5. Bohemian Revolution
Speaking of fascinating culture, how about the artistic and cultural revolution of 19th century Europe? Granted, most of what I know about the Bohemian Revolution I learned from Moulin Rouge. But that sounds to me like the perfect atmosphere in which to raise an Assassin. There were hints of gypsies in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, and I think that culture and that world should definitely be explored. What better way to symbolize the plight of the Assassins against the Templars than having a band of killer gypsies battle the aristocracy? It would be a colorful and philosophical exploration of assassinations, with the hero meeting artists and learning the secret gypsy arts. Plus, I can’t imagine Ubisoft isn’t dying to set a game in Paris. Free-climbing the Eiffel Tower? Why isn’t that a thing yet?
4. Great Depression
I don’t think it would be too much of a stretch to blame the stock market crash of 1929 on some sort of sinister Templar plot to rule the world. America and the rest of the world plunged into financial ruin. Dust storms sweept over the midwest. Shanty towns in New York City. The Great Depression would be thick with culture and atmosphere, the struggle of the little guy in a cruel and unforgiving world. What better place for the Abstergo Corporation – the modern day Templars – to get their start? We could see the birth of Abstergo as the Depression-era Assassin tries in vain to fight against that power. Or maybe the Assassin can hitch a ride west with the Joad family and fight the power in California. And how do the ideals and creed of the Assassins stand up to such poverty and degradation?
Not that there would be many great historical conflicts to take part in or people to meet, but like I said, the atmosphere and culture of the world at that time would be fascinating to explore.
3. English Civil War and the Commonwealth
America wasn’t the only country to have a Civil War. In fact, there’s probably been a lot of them. But right now I’m talking about the English Civil War starting in 1642, when supporters of the Parliament rose up and overthrew King Charles I. Then from 1649 to 1659, there was no monarchy in England, and the people ruled as the Commonwealth of England. It’s actually a fairly fascinating story, one that an American schlub like me knows absolutely nothing about. (Thank you very much, public schools.) But this entire event sounds absolutely perfect for Assassin’s Creed, delving into and fleshing out a complex time of political upheaval. There were three civil wars in that time as Charles tried desperately to hold on to power, but in the end he was tried and executed, and the people rose up under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell.
If ever there was a political figure that needs to be woven into the Assassin’s Creed mythology, it’s Oliver Cromwell. The story of a commoner who rises up to help depose a king and then takes over for himself? A few years after the Commonwealth was established, Cromwell became Lord Protector for life, and was even offered the crown, though he turned it down. But he may as well have been king. He led military campaigns in Scotland and Ireland, which fanned the flames of further war. And after Cromwell died, the various kingdoms fought again until Charles II returned and the monarchy was restored. This is just a nutshell explanation, but there is definitely an epic tale to be told, especially from the point of view of the Assassins and the Templars. Is Cromwell evil for wanting a republic rather than a monarchy? Some of his policies were definitely evil. And many people view him as a regicidal rebel rather than a patriot. You’d have to talk to a real British person to figure out whether the Assassins would be for or against Cromwell. Or maybe the game would have shifting allegiances, helping Cromwell get into power, only to be appalled at what he does with it.
There are a lot of options and political intrigue in this time period. And if Ubisoft was willing to stretch out the time frame a bit, like they did in Assassin’s Creed 3, they could always start the game in 1605 on the Fifth of November…
2. Robin Hood
Of course Robin Hood was an Assassin. It’s so obvious. And his Merry Men were his Assassin Brotherhood! It just fits together too well to be ignored. They could establish that the entire Robin Hood legend is based entirely on that era’s Assassin Brotherhood, and the main character could be Robin Hood himself. The battle against Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham is too perfect, because clearly John worked with or for the Templars. Other characters like Little John, Maid Marian and Friar Tuck could all be given some kind of historical context, and we already known that King Richard appears in the first Assassin’s Creed game. So we know the Brotherhood was active in that time period. Just establish that there was one branch in England at he same time.
The Frontier from Assassin’s Creed 3 could easily be transformed into Sherwood Forest. Running on branches and tree tops, living in some kind of forest village, that’s exactly like Robin Hood. Assassin’s Creed 3 even introduced archery with a bow and arrow. Connor might as well be an American Robin Hood! Not to mention you’ve already got the town of Nottingham to play with, and surely we need an Assassin’s Creed game where the hero climbs and explores a medieval English castle. Or maybe I just want Ubisoft to use their game engine to make the greatest Robin Hood game of all time. Either way, this game needs to be made.
1. World War II
The grand daddy of them all. Arguably the greatest, most all-encompassing and powerful moment in the history of the world. Millions dead. Continents at war. Devastation on a scale never before perceived. And in the midst of it all, one lane Assassin fighting for freedom. Video games love World War II. At any given time in that conflict, there had to be dozens of different video game protagonists fighting the Nazis all across Europe. So why not add one more? World War II provides a scope and a theater that no previous Assassin’s Creed game could match. Visit London and stop some Nazi spies with Wintson Churchill. Fight alongside General Patton in the European Theater. Storm Normandy on D-Day! Or sneak into Berlin and assassinate Hitler himself in his very bunker! Suicide my ass, he was killed by a hidden blade!
For my money, the Assassin should be a member of the French Resistance. He could start the game fighting Nazi invaders in Paris (and climbing the Eiffel Tower, dammit!), and then travel all across Europe as the war progresses. Ride motorcycles through the streets of London during the Blitz. Join paratroopers in the highest freefalls the games have ever seen. Help smuggle Albert Einstein out of Germany. Stop the Templars from getting the bomb. Attend one of Hitler’s rallies in disguise. Recruit new Assassins from all over the world. Hang out with Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin when they posed for that picture on the bench.
I know it’s kind of cliche for video games to take place in World War II, but there’s a very good reason for it. That conflict was one of the greatest the world has ever seen. And no game will give it as much reverence or treat it with such awe-inspiring grandeur as Assassin’s Creed. Plus come on, don’t you just want to stealth stab some God damned Nazis!?
Those are my ideas, what are some of yours? What time periods or historical events would you want to see in future Assassin’s Creed games? Share with us in the comments!