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[BLOG] Ubi finally speaks our lingo, even if it doesn’t

September 10, 2022. It’s the date that will go down in history as the day that Ubisoft finally decided to speak the fans’ language when it comes to Assassin’s Creed. Figuratively speaking, that is. Because for some reason, Ubi only hires French-speaking developers that can’t pronounce the word ‘alliance’ or – in some cases – have difficulties with the name of their own game. But there are certain words that Ubi has picked up on. Words like ‘Feudal Japan’ and ‘back to the roots’. And that alone is worth celebrating, even if leaks ruined every single surprise that Ubisoft had in store for us.

Hex (you’ll get the reference later), the last 15 minutes of Ubisoft Forward 2022 were almost worth sitting through the other 75. I tuned in around 8:45 pm CEST to ensure I wouldn’t miss a single frame of Assassin’s Creed, kind of expecting it to be the closer. Trackmania, Anno 1800, Rainbow Six, a shit ton of mobile announcements… I really couldn’t care less. And the constant plugging of Ubisoft+ by two former interns that LOOOOVED every single game and can’t wait to play them all… riiiiiight. Next, please! But hey, that’s all part of the Ubi deal, even if it almost made me scratch my own eyeballs out.

And in the end, it’s good that I didn’t. Because if I had, I wouldn’t have been able to see the first trailer of Assassin’s Creed Mirage. With rumors flying back and forth, I couldn’t wait to see how much truth was hidden inside of them. And as a matter of fact, almost everything got confirmed. And that gives me a lot of hope for the few remaining details that weren’t yet acknowledged. Plus, it also gave me the feeling that Mirage might truly be the one game we’ve desperately been pleading for.

See what I mean? Rooftop action, the return of throwing knives, and a crowded Baghdad serve as the perfect foundation for the familiar feel, one that has been absent for many years. And even if a trailer doesn’t necessarily mean shit, it does tick a lot of AC1 boxes that haven’t been ticked lately. And that “Ezio drop” at the 3:02 mark… goddamn, Ubisoft. You have to bring it now. There’s no way you’re turning back on it after teasing us this.

But as it turns out, Ubisoft has quite the agenda with Assassin’s Creed. While details are still very obscure when it comes to Infinity, it has become apparent that it’ll serve as a hub. Connecting players worldwide is the angle, opening a gateway to revamping online multiplayer experiences. Is that something Assassin’s Creed needs? I’m not entirely convinced about that yet. The community is great as is, exchanging ideas and stories throughout AC history. But I’m not sure if multiplayer game modes have what it takes to contribute to the massive community. I don’t think fans have it high on the list of demands. Then again, I could be wrong about that.

What the community has been demanding – for quite some time, to be exact – is an AC set in Feudal Japan. With the unveiling of Assassin’s Creed: Codename Red, Ubi finally seems to give in to those demands. In my honest opinion, Assassin’s Creed: Codename Red might be coming just a few years too late to feel unique. With Ghost of Tsushima – which has been referred to as “the Assassin’s Creed game Ubisoft refuses to make”, Red might have a hard time living up to that one. Plus, with Red being developed by Ubisoft Quebec, Red continues the RPG path previously walked by Origins and Odyssey. So don’t get too comfortable with the idea of old-school AC experiences after seeing Mirage.

Lastly (since I’m not even going to dive into the mobile game called Jade), Codename Hexe aims to take Assassin’s Creed into a darker alleyway. Marc-Alexis Cote claimed he “can’t wait for our fans to tear apart that trailer and find out all its secrets”, and it would be a shame to disappoint him. For those who’ve been rummaging around the interwebs lately, Hexe’s announcement couldn’t be more obvious. The ominous forest, the logo made out of twigs, and the rune-filled octagram tell us enough; we’re stepping into witch territory. I mean, even the word “Hexe” is German for witch. Is Hexe going to take a jab at the German witch hunt that took place in the years 1628-1630? Maybe…

Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that Ubisoft is far from done with Assassin’s Creed, even if the hardcore fanbase almost was. The return to the roots with Mirage might be the single best decision Ubisoft has ever made to save the franchise. What Yves Guillemot plans to do with Red and Hexe could potentially restore it further, if handled correctly. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind if the RPG elements got ditched altogether. But I guess I’ll have to accept that Mirage will likely be the one and only exception.

Oh, and about that Netflix deal… it’s tricky to comment on that one at this point. Netflix is sort of a mixed bag when it comes to game adaptations. The Witcher is decent if you’re able to watch it from the author’s perspective, but Resident Evil… yikes! Let’s just hope that Ubi knows what it’s getting itself into. It’s not like they’ve had it all under control when they decided to cram 10 years’ worth of lore in one movie. I mean, even the intro video of the showcase did more to me than that entire plothole-ridden Fassbender flick. No offense, Michael.