No Matter How Good Assassin’s Creed Shadows Looks, I Can’t Trust Ubisoft

Will it be another "Play one, you've played them all?"

Story Highlights

  • Assassin’s Creed Shadows is finally a reality, and it’s a long-awaited travel to the lands of Japan.
  • Dual protagonists, intertwining stories, and glimpses of past mechanics paint an interesting picture.
  • The game still doesn’t feel like an “Assassin’s Creed,” and Ubisoft will surely ruin the gameplay.

For better or worse, Assassin’s Creed is one of the biggest gaming franchises in current times, one that went from being a masterclass to a hollow, formulaic mess. If you want a timestamped report of Ubisoft’s fall from grace, Assassin’s Creed’s entries are a good starting point. Still, I went into Assassin’s Creed Shadows’ showcase with an open mind, and I’ll admit, there’s some potential here.

YouTube video

Sengoku-Era Japan, The Next Stage

If there’s one thing Assassin’s Creed has consistently upheld over the years, it’s the historical setting, whether actual or mythological. And since the series’ very beginning, a Japanese setting has been sought after by countless fans. The demand surfaced right after Assassin’s Creed 2, and it took Ubisoft 15 long years to finally make it a reality. A long-awaited setting in this massive franchise was hard to ignore, regardless of Ubisoft’s antics.

Thus, a Japanese Assassin’s Creed turned some heads for sure. And now, with the reveal trailer here, we also know the specific era. It will be set in the Sengoku period, a time of strife, conflicts, and foreign interlopers all around. What will you, the player, be doing amidst all this? Stay tuned.

An era full of conflicts and internal politics | Source: Ubisoft
An era full of conflicts and internal politics | Source: Ubisoft

Dual Protagonists, Double The Possibilities

Yeah, you heard me right. Assassin’s Creed Shadows is going to introduce dual protagonists in this chaotic setting. You’ll follow Naoe, a mysterious Ninja with a tragic past and a heavy burden, and Yasuke, a name you’ll be well familiar with if you’re interested in Japanese history. The only African samurai that actually existed in history as a retainer of Nobunaga, yes, it’s that Yasuke.

The existence of dual protagonists is a tool to facilitate two very distinct playstyles. The developers wanted to tell the story of “a samurai and a ninja.” These two entities couldn’t be assimilated into a single character, and thus two protagonists were selected — the ninja Naoe, and the samurai Yasuke

Yasuke and Naoe | Source: Ubisoft
Yasuke and Naoe | Source: Ubisoft

As you must’ve guessed, Naoe specializes in stealth tactics, silent takedowns, infiltration, and espionage, while Yasuke is a power fighter; a straightforward brawl specialist. The gameplay reveal will tell more, but knowing it’s Ubisoft, don’t keep your hopes up too much. Naoe will need 10 levels more than a target to assassinate it.

From the little glimpses we got in the trailer, it seems Yasuke and Naoe start off as enemies, but find a common goal at some point, which brings them together to cooperate. The details of the plot as well as the gameplay mechanics remain a mystery for now.

Past Concepts Come Together

Assassin’s Creed Shadows’ reveal trailer shows that the latest entry seems to be blending some concepts from the past games. The most obvious one is the dual protagonist style seen only in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate before. Considering the devs are the same, it’s very likely a Syndicate throwback more than a GTA 6 inspiration.

Next up, we have the iconic hidden blade that Naoe pulls out right at the end of the trailer. Notice something unique here? It’s not the conventional variant, but a switchblade of sorts. But you knew that, right? You saw it right away. This was a reference to Assassin’s Creed 3’s protagonist, Connor Kenway (apologies, I can’t spell his birth name).

YouTube video

The hidden blade Naoe has is the same as the one Connor uses. That’s not all. According to a developer interview, Assassin’s Creed Shadows will feature an ally recruitment system similar to AC 3. Naoe and Yasuke can recruit certain allies to their cause, who can then be called to aid in various scenarios. The details are not yet known.

Connor's Hidden Blade in Assassin's Creed Shadows | Source: Ubisoft
Connor’s Hidden Blade in Assassin’s Creed Shadows | Source: Ubisoft

It Still Doesn’t Look “Assassin’s Creed”

After all that praise, you must be thinking “So, it’s a great game?” Well, it’s still very early. However, I’ll say this right now, Shadows might be a good game, but nothing in the trailer speaks “Assassin’s Creed” to me. Watch the trailer without the Assassin’s Creed name, and you’ll see what I mean.

What had happened to Assassin’s Creed?
byu/Nythrend ingaming

Over the years, the series has deviated too much from its roots. The name Assassin’s Creed is only a shell, one that makes money. These games stopped being “Assassin’s Creed” a long time ago. Shadows may be a solid action game or an RPG, but Assassin’s Creed is long gone. The fact that you need the hidden blade’s appearance to tell you “Oh, it’s Assassin’s Creed” speaks volumes.

Watch Ubisoft Ruin It All With The Gameplay Reveal

There’s another reason why I can’t be hyped about it no matter what. It’s because the game is by Ubisoft. Take a look at the last few Assassin’s Creed games, and you’ll see what I mean. Ridiculous, formulaic games all around, Vast open worlds with bland objectives, the need for a “level up” to assassinate enemies, and needless focus on the RPG elements, Assassin’s Creed is a shell of its past self these days.

How does Ubisoft get away with producing genuine trash assasin creed game every single time? ?
byu/Any-Firefighter-1221 inIndianGaming

As such, it’s hard to think a good Assassin’s Creed can come out now. The same fear applies to Assassin’s Creed Shadows as well. The cinematics may look good, but until I see the gameplay, there’s no way I’m making a decision. If Ubisoft’s depiction of a robotic and monotonous open world doesn’t change, you can be sure it’ll be another mess.

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Hanzala is a dedicated writer who expresses his views as opinion pieces at eXputer. He's always been fascinated by gaming and has been an avid consumer of many different genres for over a decade. His passion for games has him eager to encounter the latest RPGs and actively look for new Soulslike to challenge. He puts forth his experience and knowledge of gaming into captivating opinion pieces.

Experience: 8+ months || Education: Bachelors in Chemistry.

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