Tell Us Dammit: Best Period In History For Assassin's Creed?

Recently I've been getting pretty addicted to a podcast series called 'Hardcore History'. It's a series that focuses on specific periods of history and explores them in a fair amount of depth. My favourite episodes are a series called Wrath of the Khans, which focuses on the Mongol conquests. It got me to thinking the same thing I always think when I learn about history: how would an Assassin's Creed game work in that era?

And that got me thinking in more general terms: what historical period would you like to see in the Assassin's Creed series?

I have a couple of one's I'd like to see. I'd like to see one set in London during the Victorian era. I'd like to one set in Japan during the era of Musashi. I might even go for a weird one set during World War I or something. To be perfectly honest, I'm really looking forward to see how Assassin's Creed deals with the French Revolution.

What would you guys like to see?

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    Neolithic period.

    Edit : I'm semi-serious. the first people arc in the AC franchise would allow for that period to be something like the beginning of the assassin / Templar war. after the rebellion from the alien space elves. etc.

    Edit 2 : I'm a tad shaky on the fiction. only finished AC1-Brotherhood. I might be wrong.

    Last edited 21/08/14 11:20 am

    Colonial Australia, where you play as an Aboriginal, could be really intense and emotional but seeing as they won't even do women in the console titles this is somewhat of a stretch.

    also WW1 AC could be fucking incredible!

    Last edited 21/08/14 11:25 am

      No offence, but colonial Australia would be worse than ACIII.

      WW1 would be cool. Even WW2. How you'd weave the assassin stuff in with the greater technology.

        Colonial Australia is actually a really cool setting. So much dodgyness & corruption & violence was going on at the time. Pretty much like Deadwood.

        probably not a great setting for an international game franchise though.

          Yeah, it's extremely unrealistic, I think to be honest the more likely scenario is that they will do feudal Japan or continue with their rough progression through history and take us to the industrial age (i.e. WW1)

            Not sure about a game but a graphic novel or a live action web series about the Burke and Wills expedition in the 1800's would be awesome to tie into the AC mythology. Pretty much everyone died and only one man who made it to the northern coast survived when he was found by a relief expedition. Could see it as a Templar expedition to locate a first civ site or object/objects with our assassin stalking them, picking them off one by one. Perhaps he could be undercover and sabotaging the trek from within. Either way there has to be a boomerang assassination!!!

            lol @ unrealistic when we're talking about assassins, templars, alien races, a glowing apple that can wipe out entire populations...

            One of the makers of the games said a while back they're purposely avoiding Japan because its simply too cliche.

            Last edited 24/08/14 3:37 pm

          For me, one of the things I like about the series is climbing over interesting buildings. If the game was set in colonial Australia, it would probably have even duller architecture than AC3.

            Exactly this. While the AC series has some great moments of intrigue and the like, the series is known for (and was originally designed around) its parkour. A setting in colonial Australia, while interesting story-wise, would not make a good game as it would be worse than how AC3 turned out.

              I think Revolutionary Russia would be amazing for this. All the lush Tzar/Tzarina palaces would be fantastic

                Exactly why I think that Assassin's Creed: The Fall should be adapted into a game.

      Was Ned Kelly an assassin or a templar?

        Parkour in quarter inch thick iron plating and a giant tin can on you head with limited field of view.... What could go wrong?

        There's no way in hell he'd be with the Templars, but he probably wouldn't be an Assassin either. Allied or associated with them perhaps, but not part of the order. If he showed up his involvement would be more along the lines of what they did with Blackbeard.

      I don't know why you think they wouldn't do an aboriginal character dealing with western colonials displacing their people, given that they already did and he was the main character behind the marquee title AC3, instead of a side-game.

      (Also, the claim that they won't even do women in their console titles is a bit weasely as well. Not 'won't', but 'haven't yet', and that will be wrong if they ported the game that they DID do on handheld consoles AND PC, which I'm assuming you edited your post to 'console titles' to specifically exclude.)

        The problem is that Native Americans are the most well-known group of aboriginal people by virtue of being in America. That's why it was relatively easy to do that as opposed to playing as say an African American (I know the DLC for AC4 had it and the AC title on Vita had it but they're not main games as it were).

        Doing like a aborigine of Australia, the West Indies, South America, or some other colonial country would be tricky to justify for marketing purposes. Native Americans are, for want of a better word, easily marketed to the general gaming public.

          I dunno. Ubi's got the balls to handle smaller/lesser-known aboriginal populations. Like the protagonist of Far Cry 4?

            I'm not sure about Far Cry 4. While the character does hale from a remote area of the Himalayas in the Indian sub-continent, I'm curious how much of that heritage and culture will actually be shown. I'm being a bit cynical but it sounds like it's going to be more along the lines of "so exotic, so foreign, so mystical". It's like doing a tourist's interpretation of a culture through the medium of video games.

            Of course, Ubisoft has plenty of time to prove me wrong on that. For every great, immersive game they make, they have one that is painfully generic or just bland (looking at you Watch Dogs).

              Bloody hell, when you think about it, Altair was an Arab, Connor was a native American, Adewale black Haitian and a slave, Aveline a black slave (whose history I haven't studied as much, not having played Liberation yet - will on PC though), more protagonists in the AC series have been ethnicities that white gamer America 'can't relate to' than not.

              Regardless of how ham-fisted it may end up, it's probably not worth seeing them held up by some folks as the poster-child for not being 'inclusive enough' when they're probably the ones making the biggest strides for it in the AAA space. No good deed goes unpunished, huh?

              The whole lampooning of the Mighty Whitey trope that was Far Cry 3 pretty much got obliterated by Poe's Law, so it's clearly a difficult space to work in. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if we're not going to be seeing much culture/heritage in FC4 as much as the pervasive effect of modern westernization and its overpowering of traditional cultural values/heritage. Be prepared to see a beautiful, ancient, snow-covered temple getting exploded by militia/army, thundering down mountain slopes into oblivion. I'd damn near put money on it.

                I'll eat my words on that point. Ubisoft are far and away actually making an effort to have different types, genders, races, and cultures of protagonists rather than just White Guy #203 that most other Anglo-Western companies are using.

                I suppose the point that I was trying to make is that they have the opportunity to really delve deeper into the culture and background of these diverse characters and they don't quite reach the lofty ideals that I have constructed. So that's my bad for having too high expectations from the one of the few companies actually making an effort in this area.

                  Maybe. Can't blame anyone for thinking, "So close, yet so far." Not a lot of credit to be given for any performance featuring minorities if it's basically blackface.

                  What I've seen of the story in FC4 feels almost Austin Powers' Goldmember'ish, though. I really don't think they're going to top Vaas (in what little of a role he even had), but they're probably going to try. And it'll probably taint whatever else they achieve with the Nepali culture. It's a bombastic action shooter... probably not the best medium for the kind of cultural exploration folks might hope for, but as long as it's respectful, if not sensitive or comprehensive (which y'know. I'm here to shoot people and blow shit up, this isn't a documentary), I'm hoping it'll count as a 'win'.

                  Also, I dunno that it's your words that need eating as much as the people who've been taking any opportunity whatsoever to take a jab at Ubi about gender, when in the AAA space they're probably one of the leading performers at inclusivity.

              There's a video doing the rounds - uni sent their programmers to Nepal to get a feel for the area and the people and customs - it will probably be quite good.

              But yeah the villain is total Goldmember material!

      I wouldn't like to play as an indigenous Australian. No offence.

      Also, with them being such a highly isolated race of people, I couldn't see them being involved in the Assassin/Templar feud.

        did you ever wonder why the first European settlers to Australia seemed intent on wiping out the indigenous population?

        that's right. Templars attempting to wipe out Assassins.

          Plus ever wonder why they were so isolated?

          Not isolated. Hiding. Hiding a huge assassin training temple... then in the 18thC the temples learned where it was.

            I think were onto something.

            brb setting up a fanfiction dot net account.

            Have you ever wondered why people are discouraged from climbing Uluru now?

              Didn't Ernie dingo forcibly make a child perform the leap of faith of the top?
              I'm sure he assured the kid those conveniently placed spinifex plants would break his fall??

      The only problem is you'd have nothing to parkour off when your in the middle of a desert.

      My only argument against Colonial Australia would be the dodgy accents. Even though early Aussies probably would sound more British, I have flashbacks to living in America and listening to the voice overs for Outback Steakhouse advertisements.

        Unless they hired some actual Australians. It was pretty amusing that the Rakyat in FC3 sounded like New Zealanders. Ubi can probably swing something! Although I wouldn't rule out the possibility that they have actors on retainer who they need to make use of.

        Also, they'll shoehorn some American accent in there anyway. Some of the in-game 'game designer' notes from the characters made mention of fixing up Kenway's accent, in AC4.

          Apparently Ezio's accent was really dodgy too. I remember a petition circulating to have it changed to an authentic Italian accent.

            Yep Ezios accent was a 'movie italian' accent. It was pretty putrid lol. I've got italian relatives and they didn't sound much like that lol.

      There was a story I heard once about an Aboriginal who struck fear into the hearts of the Sydney colonists with the raids he carried out. Kept thinking at the time it would make an awesome game in the vein of AC

    Medieval, jumping around in castles and wondering countryside and villages would definitely make for a cool adventure, would also make for a nice change to have wide open spaces.

      Wasn't the first one Medieval, wandering the countryside in wide open spaces?

        it was somewhat medieval, but the environmental design was extremely linear.

      Open world? because black flag wasn't open world enough??

      I'd definitely love one between AC1 and AC2, somewhere in the 1300s. I really think they need to go farther back in history, it's been mostly gunpowder-related stuff since the second game.

    Ancient Egypt, Ancient China or Feudal Japan.

    I'd also like one set in New York, where you have all the powers of spiderman and kill people.

    Have they done Ancient Rome / Greece? Honestly don't know, I haven't played any AC game.

    But Rome would be cool, maybe around the Imperial Crisis or thereabouts.

      Remember when Desmond was exploring and found statues of Assassins past, which seemed to include some kind of female assassin using snakes/poison? My memory is foggy, but she seemed Egyptian or something, I think? Sets up the Egypt angle @screamface mentioned.

      Opens up possibilities for the Roman expansion into the Middle East and Africa, and maybe - just maybe - a slightly more intellectual game, with a greater stealth/politics focus, what with the poisoning and whatnot. And a female protagonist! And with that statue in place, it's the perfect call-back, saying, "Yeah, this was on the schedule all along."

      (Not that I don't enjoy seeing the ladies kick ass in combat, but I know I'm not alone in thinking that the AC series has always felt like something of a misnomer when being 'an Assassin' is more about tribalism and picking a political side than sneakily assassinating people. C'mon, try something new!)

        Remember when Desmond was exploring
        I haven't played any AC game.

        Can't say that I do. :P

        But, yes, that would be cool.

        I think it was in AC II when you find the cellar under the mansion. It was the assassin who killed Cleopatra with an asp.

          That one! Yessss! I wanna play that assassin.

          Edit:
          Amunet! From the AC wikia:
          http://assassinscreed.wikia.com/wiki/Amunet
          Amunet is the Egyptian goddess of air and invisibility, and the consort of the god Amun in the Ogdoad; her name means "the female hidden one, one who is hidden."

          Yeah. A sneaky assassin game could totally be had there.

          Last edited 21/08/14 2:11 pm

    They've stuck around the late 18th Century for quite a while now. It seems they're concerned about moving into the industrial era - so I think it's quite logical they could go back in time

    China Boxer rebellion 1899
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxer_Rebellion

    You'd have lots of elements to work for.

      Such a good period of time to work with. The cultures clashing. The social upheaval. The opium addiction. There is a tonne of stuff to work with and Chinese architecture of that time period is pretty picturesque as well.

    China during the three kingdoms period could be neat. Or any of the dynasties really. Could have multiple games under that. WWI could be interesting, but I imagine they'd probably make the assassin an American then which yaaawn. Same with WWII (and get it out of Europe). More crusades-related could be interesting or ooh the Hellenic period. Get on the Greco-Persian wars. Byzantine, Ottoman Empire, something with Cairo/Egypt as the background, right across North Africa you could make a damn good game with that. Then there's the histories of Africa or South America...

    There's so much potential and plenty of spelunking of history that could be done in this franchise that is starting to feel like it lacks imagination what with all the sticking in specific parts of European history and North Americas games.

    Last edited 21/08/14 11:41 am

      Given that Ubisoft is a French company and the head studio for the AC franchise is based in Montreal, I'd be very surprised if they set something in WW1 and made the protagonist an American. The US didn't really have a huge presence in WW1 until toward the end.

        Yes I know that, but given their general choices for characters so far, I wouldn't put it at all past them.

          - Muslim Assassin
          - Italian Aristocrat x3
          - Native American
          - Mixed-heritage woman from a French colony in North America
          - Scottish Sailor
          - French Revolutionary
          - Irish Templar

          You're right, they'd definitely make the protagonist of a game set in WW1 an American, even though the US wasn't engaged in WW1 until 3 years into the 4 year conflict.

      Definitely Three Kingdoms. I'm thinking conquistadors in South America would be awesome, with an Inca protagonist.

    Feudal Japan, or Medieval Britain.

    My top 2, x1000.

    The thing that sucks is, the more articles we post about our top Assassins Creed locations, the less likely they are to chose ANY of our favorite locations. They have said before they don't want to do locations that people want or ask for, they want to surprise us.

      I don't like those two I particular because they're overdone, very typical video game settings where as assassin's creed usually opts for less typical settings like the renaissance, crusades, American revolution etc

      I think either colonial australiabor NZ or The start of settlement in south america
      in both u ould be a native trying to defend ur race

    I would really like to see something take place in Russia. You could have the cities and then all the empty wide open land. However i was a huge fan of the setting for ACIII (might be one of the very few) so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

      We all loved the setting. The setting was not the issue.

    I think I know a good setting. Now all you history buffs, early medieval japan was like the colonisation of america & new zealand, all 3 were based on colonialisation & a fight between established armies. what makes early medieval japan was that the people who called themselves japanese only inhabited a portion of the series of islands & that there were multiple indigenous tribes that inhabited other portions of japan. Only until the middle medieval japan did the the japanese control a significant portion of japan. Now if there were to be an assasin's creed game about this period, you would be a member of the indigenous tribes trying to fight off the yamamoto tribe from making a world changing discovery as per as c rules.

    I think China would be cool -something to do with Marco Polo going there on a secret Assassin mission, and you play as a Chinese court bodyguard or something, who ends up working with Templars (or Assassins) to help or thwart Marco polos plans.

    Or Japan, similar story, where western barbarians arrive with the secret mission to find more alien shit in Japan, and you play as a ninja dispatched to thwart them by a local lord and end up working with Assassins.

    Could be stories of how the Templar/Assassin conflict reached Asia.

    I'd say there is a lot of potential in a WW2 setting. Infiltrating german bases, theft of the enigma machine being central to the assassins/templars plot, commando style stealth missions, para drops and so on.

    Roman Empire, Caesars dictatorship and war leading to his eventual assassination, it basically writes itself

    Quing Dynasty china (last imperial dynasty that sought to unify china and led to modern china)

    Meiji period japan (feudal to modern transitional time period)

    Wild West cowboys (as templars)/indians(as assassins) in a similar way black flag played out.

      They've written themselves an in-game out for any era that might involve cars. Apparently cars fuck up the animus. c.c

    Something around the fall of the Berlin Wall might be an interesting period, mainly because I'm watching Monster at the moment and enjoying it a lot.

      OT but what is Monster?

        Monster is a anime, extolled for its adult themes such murder, child abuse, corruption, conspiracies, deceit all thrown into post berlin wall era prague.. munich..etc etc you get the idea. It's actually pretty good.

          Cheers for that. Might check it out never been one for Anime but this sounds interesting.

          Last edited 21/08/14 1:04 pm

    As a throwback to the original game, AC could work wonders in the Reconquista of Spain and Portugal against the Moors of North Africa. It has all of the hallmarks of AC and you can go back to a time before firearms and "devolve" the franchise a little bit.

    The future. In space. Parkour in low gravity. Bobba Fett being all like PEW PEW and you dodging and going "who's this guy whaddafaark?!?" and then engaging your thrusters to boost into him and skewer with your hidden blades.

      Only if the story also goes into the intricacies of inter-planetary trade route negotiations and planetary blockades.

        Yeah, sure. Totally.

        But jetpacks and space and pew pew, man.

          Sure. But it'll just be that one scene, and whenever anyone wants their fix, that'll be the only scene they play.

            Why not go whole hog. The animus is a "perfect" recreation of the subjects genetic memory. Couple of handwavium modifications to a stock animus, you now have the Matrix. oh, whoops, Abstergo dun goofed and sent out a mandatory update to their consumer home animus tech (that in-game black flag was built for) and everyone collapses into the combined zeitgeist of all those hooked up at the time. You now have confused people all thinking they are assassins, bleeding through memories into new realities where Napolean led france during ww2 against the Holy Roman Empire.....in the year 3000. Enter an Assassin/Templar who takes the form of Boba Fett trying to find the central ancestor to break the chain......

    I've also been listening to that podcast series on a recommendation from my Dad. The Mongol conquest would potentially be really interesting, but I'm not sure if you could actually pull a decent AC game out of it - you're either part of an empire that enjoys systematic rape and wholesale slaughter of millions, or you're working with all the people that got completely done over by them. I think if you wanted to do something with that empire you'd need to fast-forward later on when the empire had fractured a bit. Perhaps something involving the supposed travels of Marco Polo to China, making friends with Kublai Khan and so on.

    I think an 'era of Musashi' Japan setting for AC would be the exact point you could tell the franchise was done and dusted and had utterly lost its way. Musashi's era was the tail end of the Sengoku period, he fought at Sekigahara which was the final battle before the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate. In other words, it's literally the most-explored Japanese historical setting in video games. Not saying it would be bad, but there are so many other periods of history that have no games at all. The vision statement for AC from the outset was that they wanted to explore periods of history that had never been done in games. If it had to be a Japan setting, then post-restoration Meiji era or the Taisho era would be a lot more interesting, plus contemporary with the recent games in the franchise.

    Since they've basically said the 20th Century is out of bounds (and thus cut off WW1 which I think would be a fascinating era) I think they're eventually going to have to go back to an earlier period. I'd have loved to see more stuff during the Crusades, for example. The oft-rumored Egyptian setting would be interesting. They'd never do it because it'd be too controversial, but something set in the 1st or 2nd Century around Jerusalem would be fascinating too.

    It seems like up until Black Flag they were picking out major cities and then setting games around those cities during interesting time periods - Jerusalem, Venice, Rome, Constantinople, New York, and now Unity is doing Paris. What are the other important cities out there? London immediately springs to mind, and a Victorian-era London setting would probably be pretty good for AC, though it's not a setting that's particularly unique. St. Petersberg during the height of the Russian Empire would be a really interesting spot to set a game around. Beyond that, nothing really jumps out at me.

    I want to see one set during the Mongol Empire's expansion under Genghis Kahn. It could be set in parts of China or eastern Europe, or a combination.

    What if we just go crazy and do a Mythology spin-off? Ancient Greece/Egypt/Norse, call on some God powers,

      They could probably fit that into the main continuity, actually. Just say that all the gods are from the First Civilisation, and the magic powers are advanced technology.

    Ancient Egypt or Greece I've love to see. Medieval England. WWI, but a focus on the Russian Revolution. Marco Polo and the exploration of Asia would be a great setting as well.

    There are two fairly recent events I would love to see the AC franchise linked together as a Templar conspiracy. Unfortunately both are very sensitive topics that would be difficult to present in a manner that isn't deemed offensive by society in general if presented in a video game.

    I would enjoy seeing a setting in WWII following the antagonist infiltrating and liberating the concentration camps. This would eventually lead into the pursuit of one of the mysterious Nazi wonder-weapons - in particular the UFO theories. The basic premise would be this wonder-weapon is actually the Templars experimenting on a piece of Eden in an attempt to unlock its full potential.

    Upon discovering the end facility during the WWII setting I would be interested to see if they could introduce another protagonists, potentially the grandfather or father of the current day protagonist. Upon the Templars escape with the piece of Eden at the end of the WWII act, the story could pick up in Ukraine with the final act being the Chernobyl disaster at the hands of the Templars last effort to unlock the piece of Eden.

    Very sensitive topics so I can understand why Ubisoft won't touch or expand on any conspiracies regarding either event.

    Maybe something south american could be interesting, something like Aztec and conquistadors.
    Machu Picchu in it's hay day, a different religion and style of warfare to explore

    Assassins actually existed during the Mongol period when the Mongols invaded Central Asia. They were such a pain to the Mongols that the Mongols eventually tried to wipe them out. As far as AC stories go it would the one that could be the most rooted in fact.

    Have it now set in Syria , Iraq or Gaza.

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