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What’s Happening With Next Assassin’s Creed

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Spoilers for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla to follow

The Assassin’s Creed storyline and development are in a vortex of madness, leading to a sea of confusion and perplexities for fans to uncover. The historical plot told a compelling and coherent storyline about a specific Assassin’s life, but the interwoven present-day sci-fi nonsense always introduced new and complicated story elements. With the release of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, it’s hard to predict exactly where things are going both in-universe and in the real-world development process. There are all types of rumors about the future of the series, the first being that it will take inspiration from Uncharted in that it will have smaller, open-world regions. 

I wrote about how the rumor was exciting since Assassin’s Creed of recent has been too bloated and long. Then, like a slap in the face, news emerged that the next Assassin’s Creed game will be live service; in other terms, it will be a never-ending money grab. On top of this, there is yet another rumor that a different Valhalla expansion was so big that it transformed into the next Assassin’s Creed game. 

What does all of this say about the next entry in the franchise? I’m not sure, but maybe all these rumors are the same thing. The live service title (Infinity) could be a platform, or home for all the Assassin’s Creed games going forward. Instead of yearly releases, Assassin’s Creed adventures will be added to infinity: the never-ending Assassin’s Creed platform. As for the rumors of an expansion becoming a full-fledged game, this could very well be part of Assassin’s Creed Infinity, and Uncharted could also strongly influence this entry. Besides, both the rumors say the same thing, that the next game will be a smaller experience that focuses on regions instead of a giant open world. 

In summary, I think the next Assassin’s Creed game will be the rumored expansion, turned into a full game, and it may be a part of the larger rollout of Assassin’s Creed Infinity. So now, we must speculate on what exactly this new entry will be, and luckily, we have some solid information to go off of. Featuring Basim, the assassin who accompanies Eivor on their journey, it will be stealth-focused in a small, open-world setting. I’m excited about some of these elements because they mark the franchise’s roots, which have been buried by action-oriented stories of mercenaries and Vikings. 

Basim was my favorite character in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and I often found myself wishing I could play as him instead of Eivor. This was mostly because Basim was a small reminder that Valhalla is an Assassin’s Creed game. He brought the stealth and traits represented by the classic Assassin’s Guild. While Eivor is pillaging towns for wealth, Eivor is stalking in the shadows and uncovering his next templar target. Basim served as a small reminder of what the series used to be. He and his apprentice even taught Eivor some Assassin tricks like blending into the crowd and how to use the infamous hidden blade. Suffice it to say, I’m happy to jump into the shoes of an Assassin once again and maybe, just maybe, be reminded of the good old days of Assassin’s Creed. That’s if the present-day shenanigans didn’t get in the way. 

Anyone who finished Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (I don’t blame you if you didn’t. It took me over 100 hours) knows that Basim is more than what he seems. Here is where it gets crazy; be warned, full spoilers ahead. Basim is the Norse God, Loki, who is an Isu, who is also, now alive in the present day. Oh, and he may also be the big villain of the Assassin’s Creed universe. Yes, Assassin’s Creed is bonkers, but I do have a quick explanation: During Asgard’s collapse, the Isu, who are an ancient civilization that created humans and also, apparently famous Norse Gods, decided to upload their genetic code into an Isu machine to survive the catastrophe and reincarnate in another period. Loki, after some murderous trickery, uploaded his genetic code and was reincarnated into Basim. He did this to get revenge on Odin, who reincarnated as Eivor, for killing his son, Fenrir. 

After the events of Valhalla, Basim is reconnected with the Isu machine and finds himself alive in the present day after an encounter with Layla, the current present-day protagonist, and Desmond, the previous present-day protagonist. Basim is now an undercover antagonist running amok in the modern Assassin’s Creed universe. Confused? I am too. All of this is to say that a game centered on Basim will heavily contribute to the present-day storyline and further the ongoing plot. As disappointing as Basim’s convoluted history is, before all of this, I saw an assassin. I saw a character that reminded me of Ezio Auditore, the best character in the series. Now, when I look at Basim, I don’t see a resurgence of classic Assassin’s Creed, but a constant reminder of the modern-day storyline in its most convoluted state. Basim is a good Assassin, and the new game will probably hone in on his adventures as the hooded figure in the shadows. With that said, it will be impossible to forget, as I’m doing an air assassination on an unsuspecting enemy, that this badass Assassin is also Loki and an Isu. 

Despite Basim’s baggage, he also brings back the Assassin touch we’ve been missing for years now. We are at a place in the Assassin’s Creed franchise where stealth is big news. While every Assassin’s Creed included combat, stealth used to be a viable and expected gameplay choice. The Assassin’s lore and the way assassination missions were planned out contributed to this. Since we don’t play as assassins anymore, it’s difficult to even consider stealth. The current version of Assassin’s Creed allows players to complete encounters with either a combat or stealth build. This sounds good for player freedom, but it also causes the series to lose its identity. It’s like the final mission of Hitman 3 being a linear shooting gallery, which did not fit with the core concept of Hitman and what people want to do in Hitman – experiment in a stealth-filled playground. 

Obviously, I’m glad that the next entry is rumored to be stealth-focused and equally as excited about the smaller open-world design. I’d much rather play in a singular city, in this case, Baghdad, instead of an expansive landmass filled with multiple cities. The latter values quantity over quality, favoring redundant side quests and a plethora of unnecessary question marks on the map. A smaller game can focus on the specific player interactions, decreasing the jank that comes from various Assassin’s Creed entries. There’s a reason why games like The Last of Us and Halo Infinite are so solid technically; it’s because the developers didn’t have to create a large open world. Instead, they can focus on player activities and create a game that’s fun all the way through. 

I expect this type of quality from the next Assassin’s Creed entry. It should be a carefully crafted region designed for stealth and parkour gameplay. By eliminating the need to easily travel long distances, the game can focus on the in-depth stealth mechanics that take advantage of the haybales, rooftops, and crowds in Baghdad. Of course, these are all predictions, but I think they are likely, based on the rumors at hand. It’s time for Assassin’s Creed to be more like an Assassin, and this next entry is lined up to be just that. As it is rumored to release in late 2022 or early 2023, we will know soon enough. 

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