Assassin's Creed Shadows

Assassin's Creed Shadows Preview: We explain how Yasuke approaches "assassinating" a target

We've seen a bunch of Yasuke gameplay, specifically showing how the samurai sieges the same castle as Naoe from the recent gameplay presentation.

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Okay, let me start this off with a disclaimer. This is going to be a weird preview. As part of Summer Game Fest in Los Angeles, Ubisoft presented a behind-closed-doors look at Assassin's Creed Shadows, however it wasn't exactly a glimpse at anything people haven't already seen in the gameplay shown off at the Ubisoft Forward. So, if you haven't already, check out the new gameplay footage below, as this preview essentially serves the purpose of explaining what an alternative version of this very gameplay section includes.


Effectively, Ubisoft showed me what happens when Yasuke takes on the same castle infiltration and "assassination" as Naoe. There was also a brief additional taste of Naoe's more aggressive options, which I'll get to later, but for the most part I'm going to explain what happens when Yasuke attacks a protected castle during the middle of the day.

First of all, Yasuke isn't an assassin. He isn't nimble, fast, or quiet. He's a beast, a tank, a force of nature and that is perfectly reflected in his play style. Where Naoe strikes from the rooftops and excels with stealth and remaining in the shadows, Yasuke is the attack-first, ask-questions-later type of individual. This was proved in this alternative gameplay, as Yasuke walks into the castle boundaries, trades katana blows with a heavy enemy, devastating his armour and cutting him down in a few strikes, all before charging at a barricaded door and bursting through it without breaking a sweat.

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Following this, Yasuke whips out his musket, guns down a few threats from a distance before taking aim at an explosive barrel to dispatch a wider group of conglomerated foes. We then got to see Yasuke use a dash attack that allows him to quickly close the distance between him and a foe and then conclude with a hefty strike that would annihilate most basic enemies. Then, because Yasuke cannot be stopped by traditional means, he charges through several Shoji screens separating him and his target Lord Hayashi, like the Kool-Aid man bursting through walls, all before dispatching his target with a brutal katana-impaling through the abdomen. After cutting down a few stragglers attempting to stop Yasuke on his exit from the castle, the tall and imposing samurai rides off into the sunset. That's pretty much the main way the two character's differ when it comes to approaching an assassination task.

Assassin's Creed Shadows
Assassin's Creed ShadowsAssassin's Creed Shadows

Now it should be said that Naoe has some more aggressive skills that allow her to take a more full-frontal approach to the very same task presented in the gameplay above. She can use her mobility and speed to nimbly decimate any armour protecting enemies all before unleashing a killing blow. She can also throw kunai to detonate explosive barrels, and use a few unique abilities of her own, but generally speaking, the core elements that make up how Naoe operates can be seen above.

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But before concluding this short preview, let me throw a few more details your way about the game. It's set in the late 16th century during the Azuchi-Momoyama period, there are weather systems that can roll in out of nowhere and massively affect the gameplay, you can choose to play as Yasuke and Naoe whenever you see fit, but there are core story elements where you are required to choose one or the other, and there is a spy network system that reminds me of some of the management elements we saw in older Assassin's Creed games that allow you to learn more about targets before looking to seal their fate. Also, co-game director Charles Benoit revealed to me in an interview (which you can see below) that the map is around the same size as Assassin's Creed Mirage, that the team tapped the Osaka and Tokyo teams to ensure the world felt authentic, and that we'll learn more about how Naoe and Yasuke became friends at a later date, as the initial reveal trailer seemed to show the two characters at odds.


Judging by former Assassin's Creed protagonists, Yasuke feels like a bit of a caricature, the next step on this evolution that we've seen Bayek, Alexios/Kassandra, and Eivor take throughout Assassin's Creed Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla. But just because he doesn't depict nor embody the typical assassin traits doesn't mean he isn't a blast to watch in action. As for Naoe, as we have seen a few different times, she seems to more closely resemble Basim from Mirage, and together the two provide the ultimate way to indulge in the Assassin's Creed fantasy. Either way, I'm excited for the game, the opportunity to actually go hands-on down the line, and looking forward to learning more about this depiction of Feudal Japan ahead of its full debut in mid-November.

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