The parallel, sci-fi meets history-rich conspiratorial narrative of Assassin’s Creed is one of my all-time favorites, and while I definitely enjoyed Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and Rome is a stunningly realized setting, the game didn’t push Desmond’s modern-day story forward the way I wished it had, even though the mechanics were clearly in place for it. Still, the game did provide a greater sense of the worldwide reach of the conflicts at play in the series, which is appreciated, and, like any self-respecting Creedie (trademarked), speculating about what setting and time period the franchise will go to next is a constant source of enjoyment.
So we’ve put together a list of five historic settings that we’d love to see for the next Assassin’s Creed game. We limited ourselves to the past for this list, so we might be back soon with our picks for modern day cities too. But we’ll see. For now, power up those Animuses (Animi?), because here we go.
1. 18th Century London
London is one of my favorite cities in the world, so I would love the chance to explore Britain’s capital city circa the 18th century. That would place the story just on the doorstep of the Industrial Revolution, a period of exponential advancements in technology, economics, transportation, politics, and pretty much every facet of society on a world-altering scale. Even before that though, you have the coming together of England and Scotland to form the United Kingdom in 1707, and all of the historical and political implications therein. In addition to providing a compelling backdrop against which to tell yet another historically rich conspiracy tale about the battle between the assassin’s and Templars, the geography and layout of London would fit in perfectly with the parkour-heavy gameplay. Plus two words: chimney sweeps.
[image source: west-group.org]
2. 1890s Chicago (1893 World Columbian Exposition)/1890s Paris (Exposition Universelle)
I realize that this entry contains two distinct time periods and settings, but I’m lumping them together because they share a common theme: the World’s Fair. I am a huge fan of Erik Larsons’ Devil in the White City, so the idea of being able to freely explore the Chicago World’s Fair (aka the World Columbian Exposition, with the world's first Ferris Wheel. Imagine climbing that thing) and the surrounding city in search of the next piece of Eden is just too amazing for words. Plus, it would bring the AC franchise stateside for the first time (outside of references to American cities in emails hidden in previous games), which would be interesting.
1890s Paris would be equally as compelling because of the presence of the Exposition Universelle, which shared many of the same aesthetics as Chicago’s, and you just know Ubisoft would have a field day coming up with some elaborate hidden treasure stuff surrounding the building of the Eiffel Tower.
3. 1860s Japan (Meiji Restoration)
Similar to the Industrial Revolution in Europe during the 19th century, this period in Japanese history brought with it huge advancements, major governmental shifts, and, most interestingly for the AC universe, the dramatic decline of the samurai, brought on by intense resistance between the samurai and the Japanese army and the government. This could then be used as a way to introduce ninjas into the mix, especially since ninjas had become a sort of secret organization by that time in Japan's history (Order of Assassin's, anyone?) Unprecedented industrialization, strong ideological conflicts, and an incredibly lush and visually distinct environment to explore? Sounds like a winning combination to me.
4. 1500s Constantinople
The establishment and rise of the Ottoman Empire would not only be a stylistically and narratively strong setting, but it would also be a nice way to expand the “empire” themes established in previous games. With a strong central figure like Sultan Suleiman I, who brought about some of the most significant expansions and developments in the empire’s history, and was responsible for sparking its cultural Golden Age (art and AC go hand in hand, as you know), you have that strong historical figure anchor the series is known for. And seeing as a lot of AC developers worked on the Prince of Persia series, giving them the chance to return to a similar setting but with a AC slant would be kind of great.
[image source: G.dallorto]
5. 250–900 AD Central America (Maya Civilization)
Per Stephen “Elaborate Cosmology Fan” Johnson’s suggestion, this is perhaps the most intriguing setting from a narrative perspective because the famous Mayan 2012 disaster prediction plays a major role in the overall AC story, and Desmond’s modern-day adventures just so happens to take place in an increasingly tumultuous 2012 as well, connecting the two time periods more solidly than any previous game. In addition to all of the scientific and religious elements, being able to traverse the elaborate and bafflingly advanced Maya cities would be crazy, especially since you would be able to witness the civilization’s collapse from within, and with an AC-laced spin on it. Plus, there are plenty of temples and underground caves and tunnels to turn into acrobatic playgrounds, which is always welcomed.
Thank you to everyone who has presented their own predictions for the next Assassin's Creed location. There have been some awesome submissions, and I always get a kick out of reading them. So keep them coming!