The next Assassin’s Creed game is set to shake up the series established formula by taking the franchise back to its roots. This leaked Assassin’s Creed game will reportedly offer a smaller scale adventure with a greater focus on stealth.
News comes via Bloomberg (opens in new tab), which reported that this unannounced Assassin’s Creed project originally started life as an expansion for 2020’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. It has since morphed into a standalone game due to release later this year or in early 2023. Sources suggest this transition is primarily due to publisher Ubisoft's need to fill out its release schedule, which is looking a little sparse right now.
Information on the project is relatively thin on the ground but it will apparently have a smaller scope compared to recent entries in the Assassin’s Creed series that have each offered in excess of 100 hours of content. The gameplay will be stealth focused, which marks a departure from Valhalla’s more action role-playing game oriented approach to enemy encounters.
The greater focus on being sneaky makes sense as the game will feature Basim, a member of the assassin’s order first introduced in Valhalla. The setting of a new Assassin’s Creed game is always a crucial element, and this instalment will reportedly be set in the city of Baghdad. The time period is unknown, but the game may be a prequel to Valhalla, which is set towards the end of the ninth century.
Analysis: Assassin's Creed purists will be pleased
Assassin’s Creed purists are likely to be pleased to hear this news. Since the franchise’s semi-reboot with 2017’s Assassin’s Creed Origins, some long-time fans have bemoaned the series shift from primarily a stealth-action game to a large-scale action RPG.
The last two entries in the series, 2018's Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Valhalla, were also criticized for content bloat which this new game may avoid thanks to its smaller scope. Based on this leaked information, it would seem Ubisoft is hoping to recapture what made Assassin’s Creed such a juggernaut in the first place.
Retooling content originally planned as DLC for Valhalla doesn’t mean the most recent entry in the long-running series is now complete. The game’s third major expansion, Dawn of Ragnarok, is still primed for launch in March. This comes in the wake of a free crossover DLC with 2018’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey that launched in December.
Long term, Ubisoft has ambitious plans for the franchise. Assassin’s Creed Infinity was confirmed by the French publisher last year. Reports have since surfaced suggesting it will be a live service game that takes place across multiple time periods.
Infinity is almost certainly still years from release, which is likely why Ubisoft is planning to release a smaller scale Assassin’s Creed game in the interim.