The Assassin’s Creed series began in the Holy Land, where we were introduced to the eternal struggle between the ancient orders of the Templars and Assassins as they waged covert war over the Piece of Eden, an ancient relic with the power to guide mankind and shape their destiny. As we learn by the end of Altair’s journey, there are more pieces scattered throughout the world.
Since then, we’ve stalked doomed souls through the cobbled streets of Florence, roamed the endless plains of the new world, sailed the Caribbean waters, navigated the French Revolution and dominated the streets of Industrial London. Now, rumor has it the series is heading back to the Middle East/ North Africa with 2017’s release possibly landing us in Egypt.
Let’s set the rumors and speculation aside and just daydream for a little bit about how great an Assassin’s Creed set in Egypt would be and what it would mean for the series.
Until now, the series has steadily jumped through the ages while adhering to a chronological order of historical locales and real world events (with a touch of creative imagination, of course). Assassin’s Creed always provided astonishing worlds to traverse and discover. The care that goes into creating these environments never fails to deliver an engrossing setting for the player to lose themselves in. It’s one of the series most beloved qualities. So picture what Ubisoft could do with the treasure trove that is Ancient Egypt.
Yes, yes, the series has moved in a chronological progression through time, but it would be a tall order to try and ground the narrative in modern day or near-future Egypt. I doubt the developers are eager to work around the Muslim Brotherhood or the regional tensions. It’s all too recent. So, Ancient Egypt is a no-brainer. Luckily, there’s a lot to work with here.
Endless dunes of shifting sands provide a struggle to trek through but a joy to slide down, while also offering the developers a chance to play with player movement just as the deep snowy fields took their toll on Connor’s mobility. The sands could come to play an integral role in the puzzle elements of the game, hindering or helping you along the way. They could also conceal an array of viscous creatures, snakes and scorpions, to contend with. Perhaps one could find use for their stingers, poison and leather through a complex and revamped crafting system.
The streets of Cairo are home to bustling bazaars and beautiful architecture. Streets littered with stray cats and wild dogs. Who knows, maybe we’ll get the chance to feed and adopt some of these cute, furry bastards as companions. Ancient Egypt is not as restrictive as the French Revolution or London. What little is known about the period leaves a lot of room for the team to fill in the blanks. What will the cities look like? What will be the day-to-day life of people living there?
The most obvious and exciting part of the Egyptian setting, the Pyramids, would have to play a central role in the game. With some having been completely built and others still under construction, the opportunity for a revolutionary change in the parkour system seems inevitable, at least one hopes. The series redefined player freedom with its debut, it’s about time for the Assassins to take the next leap.
Not only would these wonders of the world be a joy to scale but they’d also offer an opportunity for tombs and dungeons to return to the series. Assassin’s Creed II had Ezio scouring ancient tombs in search of some wicked new threads and those puzzle-driven tombs were one the best parts of the game, evoking nostalgic memories of Prince of Persia’s glory days, not to mention adding an awesome optional diversion, if you could find the tombs that is.
Imagine creeping around in the shadows underneath the Great Pyramid of Giza, navigating hidden traps slated for tomb robbers. Perhaps you could stumble upon an occult ritual by an iniquitous cult as they attempt to control and domineer the Gods of Egyptian Mythos. A chance to interact with Osiris, Ra, Anubis and the like. Who wouldn’t kill for that?
From the days of the Third Crusade to the smoggy 19th century London air, a lot has changed. Altair’s arsenal was simple. He relied mostly on his hidden blade and exceptional athleticism to deliver justice to his Templar foes. Jacob and Evie’s gear, on the other hand, has you rope darting from rooftop to rooftop and gunning foes down in grimy alleyways. And while there is an undeniable satisfaction in firing off a few rounds from a revolver and watching thugs drop like sandbags the thrill of striking from the shadows quickly and quietly is ever the more gratifying.
A jump back in time this far would leave all that behind and, if set far back enough, would make even Altair’s gear seem hyper advanced by an Ancient Egyptian Assassin’s standards. We can expect to the see the staple hidden blade, perhaps in its earliest of manifestations, along with some other basics. Most likely a short bow or slingshot for ranged engagements. But we can be certain these few tools won’t be all that’s on offer. What other contraptions will the developers cook up?
Every entry has brought with it cameos and plot roles for the most influential and inspirational figures in history. The personalities created for them are always entertaining, especially if you happen to know a lot about the actual historical figures.
It’s pretty fun to see how the game’s narrative weaves around it all, gracefully dancing between reality and fantasy. Should gamers find themselves in Egypt this time around, depending on the timeline chosen, they may be treated to audiences with the likes of Julius Cesar, Cleopatra, King Tutankhamen, and oh so many more. Such regal figures are not without their refined tastes for luxury and are likely to be surrounded by equally majestic creatures, like Tigers.
As previously mentioned, Ancient Egyptian theology is fascinating to this day and would be a great resource for a dab in the supernatural; fitting, as the traditions of the occult world have their roots in Ancient Egypt. Whether its through fighting necromancy or supernatural intervention, gamers need to have the opportunity to engage with Ancient Egyptian Theology.
Turning a New Page for Assassin’s Creed Lore
The Assassin’s Creed lore has become quite complicated over the past few years. Since 2010, the series has seen an annual release of main titles as well as a good helping of side entries. The narrative is bloated and at times feels convoluted. A jump back to a time before the days of Altair would mean the plot of the new game has to be centered on an origin story. This gives Ubisoft the chance to clarify some things and direct the story better for future installments.
Let’s not forget that the game may have finally seen a delay in its annual release model for the first time in years. This is a truly promising sign. Many players wouldn’t mind waiting an extra year between installments if it meant the final experience would be richer, a bigger step forward from the preceding entry.
So, what are your thoughts on the speculation and rumors? Do you think the game will be set in Egypt? If so, what do you want to see? If not, where do you hope the series ends up next? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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This post was originally authored by Ahmed Khattab.