Assassin’s Creed has given players a glimpse of what it would be like to live in a different period of history. With its meticulous attention to detail and worldbuilding, the series has brought players to ancient lands and moments in time never before created as expansively as the series has.
We’ve been to ancient Greece, Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs, participated in the Viking invasion of Britain, fought alongside revolutionaries in France and America in two separate revolutions, and sailed the high seas in the Golden Age of Pirates. Assassin’s Creed has it all — but there are so many more locales and historical eras it has yet to explore.
With a new Assassin’s Creed Infinity in the works, the rest of history may soon be at your fingertips. Exploring the past can take unexpected turns, and it’s anyone’s guess where the next games will be set. Without further ado, here are some settings and periods of history that the series could explore in the hopefully not-too-distant future.
Sengoku Period, Japan
Medieval Japan is a popular setting for video games, and with good reason — the Sengoku Period, in which Japan was plunged into a bloody civil war, has some of the most iconic historical figures and events that shaped the nation to what it is today.
Given the setting, and the obvious fact that video games first emerged from Japan, it’s no surprise that medieval Japan and its host of Samurai have been popular subjects, as depicted in books, movies, and video games like Ghost of Tsushima, Nioh, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
That fact alone should not disqualify the setting from its inclusion in Assassin’s Creed. The Japanese setting has made appearances in previous Assassin’s Creed games, specifically referring to the foundation of a Japanese Brotherhood of Assassins during the Sengoku period. The setting was also the subject of a French novel in the Assassin’s Creed Fragments series.
Previous references aside, Assassin’s Creed Japan could put players in the role of a Shinobi from Iga province and begin during Oda Nobunaga’s genocide during the Second Tensho Iga War, ultimately culminating in Nobunaga’s assassination, and the events thereafter.
Three Kingdoms Period, China
As China plunges into civil war between three rival kingdoms, the Wei, Shu, and Wu at the end of the Han Dynasty, an obvious power vacuum emerges in the region — making it ripe for conquest by the Order of the Ancients, long before the establishment of the Templar Order.
It wouldn’t be the first game without any actual Templars — Valhalla, Odyssey, and Origins all featured prototypical versions of the order before it was properly established, after all.
As the Mandate of Heaven is fought over by the rival factions, what if — in the world of Assassin’s Creed — the Mandate was an actual, physical Piece of Eden? Sci-fi content aside, the Three Kingdoms setting is one that’s highly popular in both Japan and China, and the historical themes of court intrigue and political assassinations are popular story devices in local dramas — and who better to create the game than Ubisoft Shanghai?
The Reign of Kublai Khan, Mongol Empire
As popularly depicted in the Netflix series Marco Polo, an Assassin’s Creed game set during the height of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century could see the assassin operating in service of Kublai Khan, the tyrant-turned-statesman.
Much like Ezio Auditore’s adventures throughout Renaissance Italy and Turkey, a game set during this period could take place throughout northern China, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and North Africa — essentially traveling down the Silk Road all the way to Baghdad, and see the player besieging castles and burning cities to the ground in the name of opening more trade routes.
Unlike other Assassin’s Creed games, much of the combat ought to be mounted, and take place over vast expanses of terrain made possible thanks to current gen hardware.
The Reign of Vlad the Impaler, Wallachia
Setting it during the reign of Vlad III Dracula, a game set in medieval Wallachia could see the player taking up arms against — or even join forces with Vlad Tepes, who is described as a Templar in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.
It’s the place where vampire myths were born, replete with Gothic castles and other dark environments, it would be an Assassin’s Creed like no other.
The medieval Romanian setting is also home to members of the Assassin Brotherhood, when Assassins who allowed the Ottoman Empire’s march into Wallachia formed an alliance with the invading force — prompting one assassin to defect to the Templars in defense of his homeland.
Assassin’s Creed isn’t always about being on the side of the Assassins. In Rogue, players take on the role of a Templar on the hunt, after all. It wouldn’t be too outlandish to suggest that players do the same here.
The Black Death, Mid-14th Century Europe
Set at the height of the Black Death in the Middle Ages, Europe is plunged into chaos. Flagellants walk the streets chanting about sinning and redemption while bodies flood the streets, carted into mass graves. Plague doctors attend to the sick and dying to no avail.
It’s the perfect scenario for both the Templar Order and the Brotherhood of Assassins to emerge from the shadows and vie for power and dominance in medieval London, Paris, Regensburg, and Prague.
A game set in this environment would mostly take place in cities and the surrounding areas, with a massive focus on urban exploration. It would be a return to the game’s form in Assassin’s Creed 2 and explored (somewhat clumsily) in Syndicate. With current gen hardware and improvements to the traversal and combat, it’s about time the series returned to the streets.