Alright, this should be my last Assassin’s Creed (AC) post for a while. Should as in I don’t have any other ones planned.
We’re five months out from Valhalla‘s release date, and the rumor mill is working overtime on “leaks” and theories of varying degrees of believability for the next entry in the series. While I have precisely zero insight into the next AC game, I do have several — *cough* many *cough* — ideas about what I’d like to see in a future game.
And so, I give you the elements that would make up my perfect AC game. Be aware, this post doesn’t take into account the likelihood of any of this actually happening.
Setting & Story
Let’s start with the basics. I would have nothing left to wish for if Ubisoft made an AC game set in Tudor England. While I’d be very happy with Elizabeth I’s reign, my preference is for Henry VIII’s reign, so I’m writing this for that era.
The game should stick to the general area around London, as there’s more than enough to do and see around there. That area alone includes Hampton Court, Nonsuch Palace, Whitehall Palace, and the Tower of London! There could be satellite maps — like Valhalla’s Vinland (North America) — to cover battles fought, Calais, and/or the field of cloth of gold. But keeping the map smaller makes it less exhausting.
The Assassin/Templar battle is easy. Henry is an easily-led king in his younger days. Cardinal Wolsey, then Thomas Cromwell are the Templars seeking to lead him. And the battle easily spreads to his wives. Catherine of Aragon and Jane Seymour, devout (some could say controlling) Catholics, are clearly affiliated with the Templars. Anne Boleyn, Anne of Cleves, and Catherine Parr, with their liberal, Protestant leanings, are affiliated with the Assassin’s. Catherine Howard is either neutral or with the Templars.
And — plot twist! — just when the Assassins think they’ve won (Cromwell’s favor has waned and Anne of Cleves is Queen) we discover that Henry himself has become a Templar, thus explaining his change from Bluff King Harry to Henry VIII, tyrant. The story practically writes itself.
The dissolution of the monasteries? The English Templars are trying to locate a piece of Eden rumored to be in England to enable them to rule over the other Templars. After all, I’m sure there’d be some hostility after Rodrigo Borgia tried taking over everything after getting his hands on the Apple of Eden. And the never ending power struggle between courtiers? “Encouraged” by the Templars to keep the populace busy and unaware of more important things. Tell me you wouldn’t play this!
And what would this game be titled? Reformation. Henry VIII reforms the church. The game could reform the series. And (as I’ll cover below), the game itself is a reformation of the best bits of other games in the series.
OK. We’ve got our setting and story, now we need our Assassin. Let’s have Kassandra’s daughter.
Hear me out. We know Kassandra is still alive. And with her appearance at the end of Odyssey, it’s clear that she kept with the times. With her age, it is likely that she is rather, if not very, wealthy. Henry’s court was one of the most predominant in Europe. There’s no way Kassandra didn’t visit.
Considering her sex-positive attitude, I image she will have much sexy time fun throughout her centuries, especially since the staff will protect her from disease. And that much sex, not to mention her feeling of duty to her bloodline, will surely lead to children. And so we have Kassandra’s daughter. Let’s call her Helen. Kassandra would know that name well, and it was still in use, though rare, in Tudor times.
As Kassandra’s daughter, it would make sense that Helen have some of, or many, of Kassandra’s abilities, and perhaps extras inherited from her father. I’d imagine Helen would receive a “modern” education, as well as thorough weapon training from her mother. And given Kassandra’s fight against oppression, she would surely encourage her children to join the Assassins. Plus, it’s time the series give us an Assassin main character again.
While Kassandra would likely refrain from much time at court to conceal her lack of aging, Helen would surely be welcomed. A young, wealthy, single woman? The men would be falling all over themselves to keep her around.
And, best part, having a female protagonist — and ONLY a single protagonist — would force Ubisoft to market her properly.
Bringing Things Back
As I mentioned earlier, part of the name Reformation is about bringing back some of the amazing features that got left behind for one stupid reason or another. Here are my suggestions.
I’m starting here because my proposed Eagle Vision is an amalgamation of the evolution of Eagle Vision throughout the series. It doesn’t come from one particular game.
So here’s where things get really fun. It makes perfect sense for Helen to have a falcon of her own which would give us all of Ikaros’ abilities. As a bird trained to hunt, it would certainly be able to pinpoint animals, like the Raven sort of does in Valhalla. That would need to be fixed for Reformation, though. Helen’s falcon would locate all animals with the same ease Ikaros finds enemies.
Henry VIII’s reign begins shortly after ACII takes place, so we know that Eagle Vision is at its prime in the genetic pool. Helen would have almost certainly inherited it from her father, which means we (the player) can have our beloved Eagle Vision back, perhaps like Syndicate or Black Flag. But because Helen is so much closer to the original bloodline, she can run while Eagle Vision is active.
I want to see the coin scatter brought back. It was fun and useful to throw some coins on a busy street so the NPCs would block oncoming assailants.
Ezio’s easy blending ability — done properly, not like the failed attempt in Valhalla — should come back as well. It would be highly useful in the densely populated London streets and Tudor courts.
We have to have some form of zipline. I’m sure there’s an invention by da Vinci that could be adapted to do the same thing. Or perhaps he developed a “secret” invention just for the Assassins. Either way, give us an easy way to get to the top of buildings and those insane Tudor vaulted ceilings.
Let’s also have an ability like Evie’s Chameleon, because that’s beyond useful. Just blend right in to the nooks and crannies to avoid people.
I also want the combat alerts back. Preferably with an on/off option, because I know they aren’t for everyone. Oh, and fight club. Because fight club.
I definitely want to see the auto-mount feature brought back and improved upon. And the ability to attack from a horse needs to come back as well. The wide range of gear should come back, too. Without the extra time spent on an enormous map, there’s more time for unique gear.
Since Helen could inherit Kassandra’s — or perhaps I should say Leonidas’ — spear, she should get to use some of Kassandra’s abilities. This means I could get my favorite Ghost Arrows of Artemis, Rush Assassination, and Death Veil abilities, or something very similar to them.
Really! There are two things from Valhalla worth keeping: Horse swimming and map markers. While it probably wouldn’t be the most important for the horse to swim in 1500’s England, there are rivers around London, so it would still be useful.
The multiple map markers are a must. They were long overdue.
And the Other Games?
To be frank, I don’t remember them well enough to know if I’d want to bring anything back from them. I have fond memories of ACIII and Black Flag. I remember having issues with Unity and being thoroughly unimpressed with the original AC and Origins — except Origins was very pretty.
Ubisoft should get back to the way the story was seamlessly woven into real, verifiable history. That was one of my favorite things about the series. I loved that, technically, the story could have happened exactly as you played it. You hardly even had to suspend disbelief. The main character’s actions in those games had an impact on history, as well. They helped win important battles, or saved major historical figures, so that history would have been different if they hadn’t been there. The series has gotten away from that, and has moved further away from it with each game, going back to Unity.
Gear & Abilities
While I feel that Reformation should pull from previous games for the way gear and abilities are handled, I want to call them out separately, beyond what I’ve mentioned above, as they’ve become so integral to the AC series. Also, my thoughts for Reformation’s gear and abilities pull from several games, rather than just one.
I absolutely want to keep the gear appearance customization introduced in Odyssey, but without the cost imposed by Valhalla. Why you should have to pay for something that was previously free, even if only using in-game currency, is beyond me.
Reformation would also give the opportunity to explore other forms of clothing or pieces of “gear.” I’ll cover that more below.
For abilities, the current ability tree is perfectly acceptable, although “standard” Assassin abilities should be available from the get-go. As an Assassin already, Helen wouldn’t need to learn how to whistle to attract enemies or how to assassinate. And she should be completely familiar with Eagle Vision and “communing” with her falcon.
What Not to Include
Before I get into my ideas for new things, I want to cover a few things I absolutely do not want to see included in Reformation.
Although true to the era, I don’t want to see any bear baiting, dog fights, or other forms of sport that involves the suffering of animals. I also don’t want to have anything to do with boats and sailing. If I have to board a ferry to get from one side of the Thames to the other, or to travel with the court to one of the palaces, that’s fine, but I’m tired of captaining boats. We’ve had three games in succession that involve boats, and that’s quite enough for me.
I could also do without bounties and bounty hunters and mythical creatures. As I mentioned above, it’s time to get back to verifiable fact.
I don’t necessarily mind the preponderance of easter eggs, but not at the cost of the story or game quality — Valhalla. The game should come first, and, if time, easter eggs can be added.
It probably goes without saying, but I want a game without game-breaking glitches.
Of course, I game can’t just be a mish-mash of previous games. There needs to be some cool new things.
There must be jousting, although Helen would likely need to disguise herself as a man to participate if we’re staying true to history. Archery tournaments, however, I believe were open to anyone, and would also be a nice addition. Perhaps also Bowls, as a potential side game.
Considering the more modern setting, I feel like you’d need more stealth-based skills and abilities. Something to do with poisoning or eavesdropping, perhaps? Or maybe forgery? Those abilities also open the door to new types of gear, like sealing rings with major family crests or containers for poison. Perhaps era-appropriate clothing with special additional compartments.
As for eavesdropping, perhaps Helen has a faithful hound she can commune with in a similar way to how she communes with her falcon. Imagine the possibilities if she can hear, see, and smell what her hound does. There could be side quests where she follows scents to find people, or listens in on covert conversations.
A charm offensive ability for non-combat use could make Helen’s suggestions irresistible.
It’s surprisingly difficult to come up with abilities, but perhaps that’s because I’m unfamiliar with Tudor fighting styles.
Wrap it Up!
While it’s unlikely anyone from Ubisoft will ever see this post, should that actually happen, I give you leave to use my ideas, provided I receive a copy of the game and DLC access.
A girl can hope, right?
So, I leave you with my thoughts on the logo. Tell me in a comment, would you play AC Reformation?