It’s not exactly a problem, but it is a little weird…
The upcoming Assassin’s Creed game, Valhalla, has just been unveiled. And while its cinematic trailer looks amazing and definitely gets us intrigued, it seemingly puts across a point fans have been pointing out for years now: Ubisoft has outgrown the Assassin’s Creed franchise.
So what exactly do we mean by this? Well, ever since Assassin’s Creed Origins, the Assassin’s Creed franchise essentially hit a reset button and got rebooted, however this reboot for many seemed to show that Ubisoft is using the AC license to keep fans committed and interested in the game, but Ubisoft themselves have been creating totally different games from what Assassin’s Creed started as. Now don’t get us wrong, we don’t actually hate this, considering it’s given AC games a new lease of life and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is one of the best open world games released in the last few years. However, if you were to look at the original Assassin’s creed, and most of its sequels dating up to 2015’s Syndicate, and look at the trailer for Valhalla, you can see that the games seemingly have nothing in common except for the signature Assassin’s wrist blade shown at the very last minute of the new trailer. In fact, Valhalla seems like it’s going to be an open world Norse epic inspired by the series Vikings, with the trailer showing little connection to the already established AC story and tropes and instead doing its own thing. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey also had a similar feel for some, aiming more to be a full on spartan game than a traditional assassin’s creed game while using the franchise’s already established mechanics and features to be the backbone to its own new ones. Valhalla might even be a bigger departure in that field, and it just proves that despite making Assassin’s creed games on what’s now a two year basis, Ubisoft doesn’t seem to want to make assassin’s creed games anymore, but has to so it essentially hides new game ideas within them.
Now we could be wrong, after all Ubisoft does get pretty experimental with AC games and my personal favorite, Black Flag is more of a pirate game than an Assassin’s game, but in comparison to recent entries it was a lot more faithful. And it’s not hard to see Ubisoft preferring to hold on to the Assassin’s Creed name. After all it’s their most profitable franchise. There’s no way that they would ever be willing to completely do away with it forever. In fact Ubisoft has become a pretty methodical publisher with game studios it relies on to make specific kinds of games. These tend to include the open-world massive multiplayer destiny style game (e.g. Ghost Recon Breakpoint), the slightly creative , more single-player focused game( Watch Dogs Legion comes to mind) , the slightly more experimental game (For Honor or Brawlhalla come to mind) and then the expected Assassin’s Creed game whose profits can save the company if one of the other three doesn’t hit it’s mark. This means that an Assassin’s Creed Game always has to exist, and since that’s the case, studios charged with making AC games probably don’t have much freedom to make anything else, so they’re seemingly integrating whatever games they want to make into Assassin’s Creed. And that’s honestly a bit of a shame because who knows how needing to be consistent with AC game might hold these studios from going all out and creating something totally different. It’s simple a sign that perhaps Ubisoft should ease up on the AC franchise and explore something totally different, just like they did when abandoning the Prince of Persia franchise for AC in the first place. That likely won’t happen, but it’s a good thought to think about anyway. Until then, we can all pretend we’re Ragnar Lothbrock in AC: Valhalla instead.