Assassin’s Creed Shadows: Release Date, Trailer, Characters & More

Assassin’s Creed Shadows: Release Date, Trailer, Characters & More

Assassin’s Creed Red is now Assassin’s Creed Shadows, and with the cinematic trailer, release date, and extended gameplay walkthrough now here, there are plenty of details out in the wild about Ubisoft’s Feudal Japanese RPG. First revealed in September 2022 alongside Codename Hexe and Codename Jade, the new Assassin’s Creed game follows on from 2023’s Mirage and will feature two playable protagonists that’ll treat players to both stealth and force-style gameplay.

With the game set to release in November, we’re only six months away from launch in what’s shaping up to be a busy year for Ubisoft, with Star Wars Outlaws also on the horizon. Ahead of the launch of Assassin’s Creed Shadows, we’ve collated everything we know so far about the franchise’s next instalment.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows News and Leaks

What is Assassin’s Creed Shadows?

Image: Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed Shadows, previously known as Assassin’s Creed Red, is Ubisoft’s newest mainline game in the long-running franchise. It’s described as an open-world RPG set in Feudal Japan. The game follows the “intertwined stories” of Naoe, a Shinobi Assassin, and Yasuke, “the powerful African samurai of historical legend” as the two “usher in a new era for Japan.”

Assassin’s Creed Shadows Release Date

Ubisoft announced the Assassin’s Creed Shadows release date during the global trailer premiere, confirming that the game will release on November 15, 2024. This release date was reportedly accidentally revealed on YouTube in the trailer countdown description before being scrubbed, but we now have official confirmation that the newest Assassin’s Creed game will be in player’s hands before the end of the year – tracking with the general October to November release dates for previous mainline titles. 

Assassin’s Creed Shadows Platforms

Assassin’s Creed Shadows is set to release on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S. As rumoured, the new Assassin’s Creed game won’t be launching on previous-gen platforms like Xbox One and PS4. According to the Ubisoft store listing, it’ll also be available on Amazon Luna. Players can get the game on day one via Ubisoft+, the developer-publisher’s own subscription service.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows Trailer

The Assassin’s Creed Shadows trailer dropped on May 16, alongside an explainer videos on main characters Naoe and Yasuke. You can check out both below:

Assassin’s Creed Shadows Characters

Image: Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed Shadows will feature two playable protagonists, Naoe and Yasuke. Naoe is an adept Shinobi (ninja), while Yasuke is a samurai. Yasuke is based on the real-life African historical figure – a series first for a playable character – who served in the employ of feudal lord Oda Nobunaga, known as the “Great Unifier.” Not much is known about Yasuke, although we do know that he came to Japan in 1579 – the year the game is set to begin. 

In an interview with IGN, associate narrative director Brooke Davies spoke about Yasuke’s inclusion in Assassin’s Creed Shadows. “Yasuke is somebody who is going to tie together many of the most powerful figures in our era,” she says. “He really is a great point of entry to this as well, with Oda Nobunaga on one side, and on the other side the Portuguese that he arrives with. He really does a lovely job of connecting the dots historically, what we know factually. And then narratively, we had so much fun imagining the kind of person who would have this trajectory.”

Naoe, on the other hand, is a Shinobi from the Iga province, and while not directly based on any historical figures herself, her father in-game is confirmed to be Fujibayashi Nagato – the leader of the Iga Shinobi in the 16th century. When Nobunaga’s forces invade Iga, Naoe and Yasuke’s stories collide, and the two join forces for a common goal.

Based on the trailer and the follow-up character deep dive from Ubisoft, the playstyles of Naoe and Yasuke in Assassin’s Creed Shadows will provide both stealth-based gameplay as well as heavier combat. The developers said the decision to include two protagonists was due to wanting to bring both the Shinobi and samurai fantasy to the game. “We want the player to experience both, and we cannot squeeze both fantasies into one character,” game director Charles Benoit says. Given samurai and shinobi come from two different social classes, and lead very different lives and combat styles. While Naoe appears to lean more towards agile, stealthy combat, Yasuke brings a more strength-based combat style, wielding heavier weaponry and wearing samurai-typical armour.

Like Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, players will be able to switch between Naoe and Yasuke at any given time (except in the middle of missions), meaning the options for navigating the game and different situations vary from the typical assassin-style stealth, or pushing through with force. Each character will also have their own unique missions to be completed while they’re in the player’s control.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows Gameplay

Assassin's Creed Shadows
Image: Ubisoft

During the June Ubisoft Forward, we got an extended Assassin’s Creed Shadows gameplay walkthrough that showcased just how different the player experience is depending on whether Naoe or Yasuke is in control. On top of Yasuke’s tank-like build that sees him able to break down doors or thin walls simply by running through them, and combat with his kanabō, polearm, and katana during the walkthrough show off a character that can mow down enemies with brute force. Even walking through towns is different for the samurai – NPCs bow to him as he walks by and treat him like a celebrity, taking notice of him by virtue of his rank, stature, and the fact he’s Black. By comparison, Naoe inhabits the more typical Assassin playstyle, using stealth to sneak past groups of enemies or take them down one by one. During the walkthrough, we see her use a reed as a breathing device to hide underwater as she closes in on her target. You can view the full gameplay deep dive here:

The year-long season cycle in Assassin’s Creed Shadows was also explored during the Ubisoft Forward, with previews of the extensive map during summer, autumn, winter, and spring. Beyond the aesthetic changes between the seasons, each one brings with it new gameplay – Naoe’s footsteps and tracks are covered in the rain and thunder, frozen waterways put a stopper to swimming stealthily to locations. We’ll likely see even more of how each cycle impacts gameplay both for better and for worse as time goes on.

And yes, you can pet the dog.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows Setting

Image: Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed Shadows is set in Feudal-era Japan, specifically the Azuchi-Momoyama period, which is nestled between the turbulent Sengoku and more peaceful Edo periods. It’s been confirmed by Ubisoft that the game will take place in 1579, although as with many games in the franchise is likely to span over many years in-game as the player progresses. Fans have been waiting for a Japanese-set Assassin’s Creed game for almost as many years as the franchise has existed, and will finally be able to explore the much-anticipated location when the game releases in November.

Creative director Jonathan Dumont told IGN that the region the game takes place is a similar size to the Origins map of ancient Egypt, although the “environments feel wider” in comparison. This is because Ubisoft wanted to give a sense of scale to the mountains and feudal-era castles, according to the interview.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows Pre-Order & Price

Pre-orders for the new Assassin’s Creed game are now live across Ubisoft and major retailers. On the digital side of things, there’s the Standard, Gold, and Ultimate editions with varying extra digital additions including three days early access, a pre-order bonus, and the Season Pass. 

Based on pricing from Australian retailers, both the Standard and Special physical editions will set you back $109.95, while the Gold edition retails for $159.95. The special edition comes with the base game, and a Sekiryu Character Pack which includes gear and weapon sets for Yasuke, the Sekiryu Beast, and Dragon Tooth trinket. The Gold edition on the other hand includes the base game, and the Season Pass including a bonus quest at launch and two upcoming expansions.

The Assassin’s Creed Shadows Collector’s Edition is available for pre-order at EB Games for $359.95 AUD. The Collector’s Edition includes the following:

  • Base game.
  • Season pass with a bonus quest at launch and 2 upcoming expansions.
  • Ultimate Pack with Sekiryu Character Pack, Hideout Pack, and five skill points as well as the Red Dragon filter in Photo mode.
  • Naoe and Yasuke dual character statue (about 40 centimeters / 15.7 inches).
  • Unique SteelBook case.
  • Collector’s art book (84 pages).
  • Naoe’s katana tsuba (life-sized).
  • World map.
  • Creed wall scroll (70×30 centimeters / 27.6×11.8 inches).
  • Two sumi-e lithographs (13.5×19 centimeters / 5.3×7.5 inches).

Pre-ordering the Gold and Collector’s Editions at participating retailers will also allow players to get into the game up to three days before the official launch date.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows Review

Image: Ubisoft

When Assassin’s Creed Shadows launches in November, keep an eye out for previews and reviews. We’ll link any here once they go live.

Image: Ubisoft, Kotaku Australia

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