Historical fiction has always been the crux of Assassin's Creed. The gameplay mechanics (stealth, free-running, high-diving into haystacks, etc.) are an integral part of the title's execution, but the lore keeps players addicted.
In the franchise's early days, players split their game time between historical and modern backdrops, but the last few titles have focused on the past. However, according to Ubisoft, that's all about to change.
Last week, during a community livestream on Twitch (via Eurogamer), Assassin's Creed writer Darby McDevitta discussed Ubisoft's plan to fuel a modern-day narrative with the game's rich backstory. Specifically, he mentioned the town of Monteriggioni, from Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, influencing a present-day storyline:
"That only came about because [we] were able to reuse Monteriggioni from AC2. So the future—and this is the plan—is to smartly reuse things so we can have a more robust modern day."
Many fans were unhappy with the new approach that Assassin's Creed: Unity took to the present-day sequences, and McDevitta admits that the development team originally planned to expand on them. But Ubisoft was already fighting with tight deadlines, a new console generation, and an expansive historical setting, so the team decided to focus on those:
"We always plan to have more modern day but we have to be really smart about how we do it. There was a plan for a little more modern day in Unity. A plan; nothing that was actually cut."
Thankfully, Ubisoft isn't planning to spend an unreasonable amount of much time in the present day. In fact, McDevitta 's team is working on an expansive, historical backstory that will fuel the next 20 years of Assassin's Creed titles:
"We've created 500, 600, 700 years worth of history that we hope to start teasing out for the next 10, 20 years or however long we're around. I particularly love the lore. I've been working the past two years, with all the other writers, on getting a great document together on the First Civilization."
The next Assassin's Creed sequel is reportedly called Assassin's Creed: Victory and will be set in Victorian era England. Hopefully, McDevitta's team will find a solid balance between historical and modern settings.
Also, lets hope Ubisoft actually lets them finish the game this time.