Pick a random Assassin’s Creed fan from a group and ask them where they’d like to see the series next. Chances are high they will call you Japan.
Ever since making the leap from 12th century Syria to 15th century Italy when the first sequel to the game Assassin’s Creed came out, Ubisoft has demonstrated the exciting potential of its main storytelling device, The Animus. Using this MacGuffin, Assassin’s Creed games could theoretically go anywhere, to any time period, and to any conflict.
And yet, despite having the entirety of human history as a potential setting, Japan appears time and again as one of the most popular destinations for a future Assassin’s Creed.
“I feel like Japanese ninjas and samurai … would fit very well in Assassin’s Creed considering that Assassins are practically ninjas and samurai, only without the armor,” Reddit commenter ‘Demonic74’ tells USgamer via comment a Reddit thread.
It seems that every year there is news of a new Assassin’s Creed, interest is rekindled in an entry set in Japan. Just take this year’s most recent Assassin’s Creed Odyssey commercial, where an actor playing the Spartan assassin Alexios answers real questions sent by Assassin’s Creed fans to an Amazon Alexa device.
Around 2:56 a person asks: “Alexios, tell us when AC Japan is coming out.” To which Alexios responds: “Let me tell you what I know about Assassin’s Creed Japan. Not a thing! “
Researching, I can find articles on whether or not there will be an Assassin’s Creed game set in Japan as early as 2012, when Ubisoft was promoting Assassin’s Creed 3. At the time, Assassin’s Creed 3 Creative Director Alex Hutchinson told OXM: “People on the Internet suggest the most boring scenarios. The three most wanted are WWII, feudal Japan, and Egypt. They are the three worst scenarios for an AC game. “
Ironically, Ubisoft finally made an Assassin’s Creed game set in Egypt with Assassin’s Creed Origins. But a couple of years later, Hutchinson revised his statement to explain what he specifically meant when he called Japan a boring setting for an Assassin’s Creed game.
Speaking to Total Xbox in 2014 before Assassin’s Creed Unity, set in the French Revolution, Hutchinson said: “Feudal Japan would work like an Assassin’s game, sure, but I feel like it would start to look like ‘oh, have I played this? ? ‘You know what I mean:’ Oh, I’ve been a ninja before, I’ve been a samurai before.
I am inclined to agree with Hutchinson. While your comments are four years old at this point, I addressed a similar question to Assassin’s Creed fans for this feature. Why, when there are games like Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima, Software’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and Team Ninja’s Nioh 2, is there still such a high demand for an Assassin’s Creed game in a similar setting in 2018?
“Sekiro and Nioh are fantasy and not Japanese history. Ghost of Tsushima is close, but it’s a totally different era and probably without many historical characters, ”says Reddit user ‘HaukevonArding’. “I think it would be fun, but I understand why [Ubisoft doesn’t] do it “, add ‘QuickRelease1’.
Especially in video games, historical settings tend to gravitate towards certain places and time periods, most notably feudal Japan. That’s probably why we’ve been listening to Assassin’s Creed Japan requests for so long.
For example, here is an artist rendering of a 2014 Assassin’s Creed Japan game. Here is an article from 2015 on why the next Assassin’s Creed game should be established in Japan, and several more articles on how the next Assassin’s Creed game should be established in Japan. Assassin’s Creed could be set in Japan in 2016. Here are some hints that “confirm” that Assassin’s Creed will be set in Japan in 2017, including even a story about how Assassin’s Creed might finally arrive in Japan earlier this year. And none of these include the hundreds of YouTube videos on Assassin’s Creed Japan.
A recent development in the Assassin’s Creed Japan discussion is how Japan can offer a potential way back to the “classic” style of Assassin’s Creed games. “I really don’t mind having a Japanese [Assassin’s Creed] If it is going to be the same style as Origins / Odyssey because yes, we already have games like that, but what if it was like a Unity game? I’d have a lot of fun with that, “says user Sean3192.” Yes i like it [five] years ago, a game from feudal Japan would work especially because by then they could do another revamp of the series once people are fed up with the RPG format, “Ex-President1209 explains.
For some, the easy translation of Assassins in Japan via ninjas could mean that Ubisoft could ditch the RPG elements of Assassin’s Creed Origins and Odyssey and go back to a more action-oriented format. While Ubisoft is unlikely to leave the trajectory of recent Assassin’s Creed games, especially since the RPG elements are one of the series’ most positively received enhancements, it speaks to how natural Assassin’s Creed Japan feels to some players.
Which brings me back to Hutchinson’s comments from 2012. While they were controversial at the time, I can’t help but agree with him. Assassin’s Creed in Japan would be easy, and in Assassin’s Creed games since Assassin’s Creed 3, Ubisoft has proven apt to break the rules of what an expected Assassin’s Creed game should have.
Assassin’s Creed in feudal Japan would fit an old mold from the series. Namely, old Edo would have tall structures to jump from, a classic metropolitan location that can act as a standard hub, and the ninjas and samurai lend themselves to stealth and sword combat from Assassin’s Creed.
But Origins and Assassin’s Creed 3 proved that you don’t need a setting with tall structures for Assassin’s Creed. Odyssey and Origins showed how massive Ubisoft can make their worlds, eliminating the need for a city center. Assassin’s Creed 4 and Syndicate proved that assassins aren’t just about swords and swords.
In a recent Game Informer interview with Ubisoft Creative Director Serge Hascoet, he reiterated that the most important thing in deciding the next Assassin’s Creed game is the setting, not the characters. “When we decide what’s next, the main question is, ‘what is the next period we want to visit?’ That takes it all. ” And “want” could be the key word.
There’s a good chance that Ubisoft knows how conventional an Assassin’s Creed game set in Japan could feel, even with all the iterations and changes the studio can make. Hutchinson is right, there are a lot of ninja video games and only in the next two years will three come out. What makes Japan such a popular potential setting for Assassin’s Creed could be what is preventing Ubisoft from visiting the Land of the Rising Sun. After all, there is a lot of human history ready to be mined.
Header Source: Ubisoft, Assassin’s Creed Memories