One year ago we published an article looking at when and where the next Assassin's Creed could be set. We completely missed the mark as we didn't think the franchise would go even further back in time to Ancient Greece. So instead of trying to predict what's next we thought we'd supply Ubisoft with a wish list of the settings we'd like to see featured in a future Assassin's Creed. Be warned that some of the speculation in the text below is based on things that could be considered spoilers for those who haven't played Odyssey to its completion.
For now it seems likely the next Assassin's Creed title will be released in 2020 (then again we thought we wouldn't get one this year, so who knows?), and while we don't feel completely done with Layla Hassan (who has been the modern-day explorer in Origins and Odyssey) in some ways past and present did come together in a neat way towards the end of Odyssey. It should also be noted that while China, India, and Russia would be interesting settings for a full-scale Assassin's Creed we feel given that they were featured in the Chronicles games they're unlikely to get a full-scale title in the next few years.
This is probably the most requested era and time period among fans and players and there has been rumours and hints of the series potentially heading there next. Setting the game in Japan offers plenty of interesting opportunities, the most obvious one would be to the late Edo period and the fall of the Shogunate, but there are certainly interesting earlier periods as well, one that could perhaps be explored is the invasions of Kublai Khan in the 13th century. Ubisoft does tend to want to feature prominent historical figures after all. The Nobunaga period is another option, as it provides us with a ruler that even us Westerners are vaguely familiar with.
If Ubisoft wants a third entry in a potential Origins and Odyssey trilogy with Layla Hassan continuing her investigations, a return to Rome would make a lot of sense as it would keep the trilogy in geographical proximity. Rome is familiar ground for AC players, but there are lots of great periods where you could stick a new game without infringing on anything done in the past. The fall of the Western empire would be one option, but there could be a reason to look at its establishment as well, moving back even further in time than Odyssey. A direct sequel to Origins set in Rome would also make sense, particularly given how many of the key events took place there towards the end of the game.
North America has been covered in Assassin's Creed, but what about the conquest of South America? Surely that would be an awesome period to depict in a game. The Spanish conquistadors and European diseases made quick work of the Aztec, Mayan, and Incan empires, and while we do know a lot about these people and their cultures, there's also plenty of room for conspiracies and fiction. Were the Incan god-kings Templars? Or were they invading Spanish? What role would the Assassins play?
In some ways, Vikings could serve the same role as Pirates did in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. It would be something of a standalone entry in that sense since the height of Vikings precedes Altaïr's exploits in the first Assassin's Creed.
What would be interesting with Vikings is that it would allow for a very large and varied map given Viking exploits both to the east (all the way down to Constantinople) and west with the British Isles, and potentially north with Iceland. This would also allow for more historical figures to potentially be involved too. The fact that Norse mythology and Viking culture is more prominent in movies and video games than ever before makes it more likely, even if we still feel that this is a long shot.
The Great Depression (Mid-War Era)
We appreciate that it would be difficult to set an Assassin's Creed title during a full-blown World War, but what about the period in between them? It would make for an interesting almost modern day setting with an assassin capable of travelling to all corners of the world. It would most likely be a very different Assassin's Creed than the open-world action-RPGs of late, but it's a setting we'd really like to see realised as it would be a natural transition into a full-blown modern day Assassin's Creed.
The Thirty Years' War
If Ubisoft is looking for a great conflict that spanned a long time with religion (Protestants and Catholics) at the centre, then The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) would be an interesting setting. It would also be a good opportunity for Ubisoft to set a game in Germany and the neighbouring countries. Well, pre-Germany if you will. It's a major conflict that caused a lot of changes in society, yet today, it is largely overshadowed by the two World Wars. Yet its consequences and where the religious lines in Europe were drawn can still be felt today. Clearly, Ubisoft passed on this era in favour of the American Revolution when moving on from Ezio, but perhaps they feel an urge to fill the gap in their timeline.
This would without a doubt be the riskiest move Ubisoft could make, to create a game that switches the focus from the past to the present and the ongoing struggle with Abstergo. Some would argue that Watch Dogs is what Assassin's Creed in the present day would be, but we're not entirely sure that would be the way to go. We'd honestly love a Tomb Raider-style adventure where Layla Hassan (or another protagonist) would hunt for artefacts and explore tombs while perhaps fighting a Big Brother-style Abstergo (much like Watch Dogs). In fact, it feels like a bit of a waste to get as little of Layla and her crew as we did in Origins and Odyssey. Surely there are great backstories to explore there.
So what's going to be next? The smart money is on Japan and Rome in our opinion. Then there's always the possibility that Ubisoft wants to make use of one of the settings in the Chronicles titles, perhaps during a different time. And we're quite intrigued by the prospect of a South American entry. We're also quite sure Ubisoft has some other interesting ideas of where to go next that we'd never be able to guess. If you like to gamble you're no doubt intrigued by the odds of a modern day Assassin's Creed, but we really doubt that's happening any time soon. Let us know where you think the next game in the series should be set down below.