More details on upcoming Assassin's Creed games have emerged.
We learned a great deal about what Ubisoft has in store for Assassin’s Creed in the recent Ubisoft Forward stream, where the company unveiled Assassin’s Creed Mirage and provided a sneak peak of what lies ahead with Infinity, Codename RED, Codename HEXE, and more. Since then, more details on what the future holds for Ubisoft’s flagship franchise have continued emerging, and here, we’ll be going over some of the biggest talking points.
ASSASSIN’S CREED MIRAGE LENGTH
Something that Assassin’s Creed games have been criticized for frequently in recent years is how bloated they often tend to feel. Massive open worlds and a large amount of content are one thing, but Assassin’s Creed almost seems to go overboard with those things- Valhalla in particular was deemed unnecessarily large by many. Thankfully, it seems like Ubisoft is dialing things back a little bit with Mirage, which is supposed to be a much shorter game. As confirmed by vice president executive producer of Assassin’s Creed Marc-Alexis Côté in an interview with IGN, the game will be roughly as long as some of the older games in the series, which should translate to roughly 15-20 hours. Given how leaks have repeatedly claimed that Assassin’s Creed Mirage started development as another expansion for Valhalla before being spun off into a standalone project, the shorter length makes sense.
ASSASSIN’S CREED MIRAGE PRICE
Assassin’s Creed Mirage’s shorter length and smaller scope will be reflected in the game’s price as well. Ubisoft has confirmed that on all platforms – PC and current and last gen consoles – the action-adventure stealth title will retail for $49.99. Of course, a Deluxe Edition will be sold as well for $60, which would bring it in line with (most) AAA releases’ prices. Mirage isn’t being viewed as a AAA game by Ubisoft though, hence its lower starting price.
NO LOOT BOXES IN ASSASSIN’S CREED MIRAGE
Shortly after Assassin’s Creed Mirage’s announcement, several store pages for the game went up online bearing an extremely rare Adults Only (AO) ESRB rating, suggesting that the game would feature real gambling. That, of course, was a concern for a great many people, but Ubisoft has since clarified that the game’s ESRB rating is still pending, and that it will not feature any real gambling or loot boxes whatsoever. Can we still expect in-game monetization in other forms? Probably- it’s still Ubisoft, after all. But at least we can be assured that the game won’t have loot boxes.
ASSASSIN’S CREED INFINITY
Ubisoft has also finally started providing concrete details on what Assassin’s Creed Infinity is going to be. The live service platform will serve as a hub for future instalments in the series (after Mirage, that is)- but it’ll take a somewhat different approach than what some may have expected. Upcoming titles like Codename RED and Codename HEXE will release as separate products that you can purchase individually like you would any new Assassin’s Creed release, though they (and other future AC games) will all feed back into and connect to the Infinity hub.
ASSASSIN’S CREED INFINITY – VARIED EXPERIENCES
Assassin’s Creed Infinity will be the umbrella under which future flagship premium Assassin’s Creed titles release, but that’s not all it’ll be. Ubisoft says it sees the hub’s framework as the perfect foil for delivering many different kinds of Assassin’s Creed experiences varying many genres and having varying scope and size. That will include flaghsip AAA releases, smaller and cheaper new games, free content, and more. Speaking to IGN, the aforementioned Marc-Alexis Côté said: “I think this Infinity approach is allowing us to have different experiences of different sizes as well. Not everything has to be a 150 hour RPG, right? To bring more diversity to the places we choose to visit and to how we choose to represent those periods.”
ASSASSIN’S CREED INVICTUS
One of those aforementioned unique Assassin’s Creed experiences that Ubisoft has in the works is a standalone multiplayer project that’s being called Invictus. Of course, starting with Brotherhood up until Black Flag, Assassin’s Creed prominently featured PvP multiplayer content, while Unity tried its hand at co-op gameplay. With Invictus though, Ubisoft is looking to deliver something that is much more accessible and has a much wider market. To that end, the multiplayer project’s development team consists of members of the teams that worked on (and still do) For Honor and Rainbow Six Siege. Interestingly, while plans are yet to be finalized, Ubisoft says there’s also the chance that Invictus will end up being free-to-play.
CODENAME HEXE IS NOT AN RPG
Of course, it’s not just the non-flagship Assassin’s Creed releases that Ubisoft will be trying different things with going forward. While Codename RED is going to go back to being an open world RPG, that won’t be the case with the game that comes afterward, with Ubisoft having confirmed that Codename HEXE is not going to be an RPG. So what is it going to be? That remains to be seen, but speaking to VGC, Côté again confirmed that HEXE will be “a different experience in terms of game and game structure”. Sure enough, the game’s teaser and the leaks about it being focused on witch hunts does seem to indicate that it’s not going to be an ordinary Assassin’s Creed game.
CODENAME RED TECHNICAL IMPROVEMENTS
With Codename RED, the Assassin’s Creed franchise will drop older consoles and make the jump to being current gen exclusive- which, of course, means that the game will be able to leverage the much more powerful hardware of the new consoles to represent a technical leap forward for the series in more ways than one. In the aforementioned VGC interview, Côté explained that RED will “mark a change technologically and gameplay-wise”, with developer Ubisoft Quebec looking to create “a more dynamic world” that “evolves” around players. Interestingly, improvements are also being targeted in other areas, including visual fidelity, complexity in environments, animations, AI systems, and more.
Côté said: “One of the big things that we are pushing is to have a more dynamic world, a world that evolves around you, and we want everything that you have on yourself to evolve as you walk through this environment – to show the wear and tear – and to improve the fidelity of the experiences that we are building, pushing our animation systems further to make the game feel more realistic than ever.”
He added: The more complex our environment becomes, the more challenging it becomes for AI… you just don’t want to have a nice looking tree or a bunch of different-looking trees. You want everything to be well embedded into the environment, that the environment becomes more difficult to navigate for the players and for the AIs. That’s where having mastery over our technology will help us differentiate when we come out with those games on next-gen platforms. We can leverage their power to make environments that feel organic that feel natural.”
POST-LAUNCH SUPPORT FOR INFINITY TITLES
While Infinity itself will obviously continue to grow and evolve following its launch (whenever that is), the games that are within it will have longer post-launch tails as well. Assassin’s Creed games have had traditionally strong post-launch support as it is (especially in recent years), but with Infinity, it seems like Ubisoft is looking to take that even further. Speaking to IGN, Côté said: “What I’m very excited about with Infinity is not just our big games, but this idea that we don’t replace the games with another game, you [don’t just] supplant your new RPG. I think these games can live for a longer period of time and we’re architecturing them differently than in the past. If you look at a game like Valhalla, most of its expansions were kind of around the game. Now one of the things that we’re thinking about is how can we grow this experience, this world, more like an MMO? Think of it as a single player MMO [rather] than what we’ve done in the past.”
It’s also been confirmed that Codename RED will receive post-launch support for years after launch with expansions and other new content.
Present-day storylines have been crucial to Assassin’s Creed for the majority of its life. When the franchise started off, the modern-day storyline revolving around Desmond, the Animus, and Abstergo was central to the larger plot. But though Layla Hassan’s story certainly brought some of that flavour back in the recent trilogy of games, by and large, that side of the larger narrative has become less and less popular among fans (and more and more contrived and needless). Going forward, however, modern day storylines will be decoupled from the main experiences. They will be featured exclusively as part of Infinity, while mainline entries like RED and HEXE will be set entirely within the past, with the abstraction being that Infinity is serving as the player’s animus and allowing you to jump between different memories and time periods.
Keyword: Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Codename HEXE, RED And Infinity – 10 New Things You Need To Know>