The Assassin’s Creed franchise has made history its playground for over a decade now. We’ve witnessed the revolutionary war, fought for liberty in the streets of Paris and freed Egypt from the yoke of Roman rule. The latest instalment will see us help invade and settle English lands as a Viking in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. It’s been quite the wild ride so far, but there’s is such a wealth of historical periods yet to explore. Here are just four historical periods that the Assassin’s Creed franchise should explore next.
4. Revolutionary Russia
The downfall of Czarist Russia is a fascinating, complex web of intrigue. It’s a tale with no heroes, only individuals with questionable intentions; the moral ambiguity that works well with the franchise. Possible plots are myriad. The feckless reign of Nicolas II, or the twisted machinations of Rasputin. The backdrop of all this would be the October revolution, that saw Russia resign from the eastern front and depose the Czar. Assassin’s Creed hasn’t ignored this setting, but a graphic novel can’t provide the same historical resonance that a fifty-hour narrative can.
3. The Fall of the Aztec Empire
The invasion of Mexico by a foreign oppressor, hungry for gold, leading to A clash of civilisations seems like the perfect backdrop for an Assassin’s Creed game. The less than stellar movie confirmed that an Assassin’s group was active in Spain, during the 16th century. Perhaps a sect of Assassins, passing themselves off as conquistadors, helping the Aztecs remove their Spanish oppressors. Being able to explore this setting, during one of the most tumultuous times in South American history would be a blast! Yes, history would have to be a bit malleable, but that’s the magic of gaming.
2. The Inter-War Years
I shudder to think how many games on WW2 have released over the years (apparently over 200). The Second World War is perhaps the most overused period setting in video game history. Little of the period between the wars has been explored in any meaningful way, making this a golden opportunity for a different kind of Assassin’s Creed game. The inter-war years were a tumultuous time politicly, socially and economically. This turmoil ultimately led to the rise of Nazism, and the horrors of that time. It’s a heavy subject matter which would require a deft hand. It would also give the franchise a chance to stretch its alternative history muscles, something they have done in past titles.
1. The Fall Of The Western Roman Empire
After a litany of underqualified emperors, economic stagnation and military blunders, the Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476AD. There is no underestimating the reductive effect this event had on the culture of Europe, ushering in the mysterious historical period known as the “Dark Ages”. The backdrop of a crumbling empire is the perfect setting for an Assassin’s Creed game. The fall of tyrants, the rise of religious institutions, a fascinating period to explore; these are the themes that the franchise has built itself upon. For those who found Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire a bit complex, this would be an opportunity to learn more interactively.