If you hadn’t already heard the news, Ubisoft recently confirmed they will not be releasing a new Assassin’s Creed game in 2016, which marks the first year without a new major title since 2009. Instead, the company will be “stepping back and re-examining” the franchise for the time being. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot added that they may not continue their annual release cycle once the series returns. This of course would be unprecedented for Ubisoft, but it could also mean the dawn of a new era for Assassin’s Creed, which, frankly, has been in a rut for the last several years. Don’t believe me? Let’s start at the beginning, with the original Assassin’s Creed for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.
First, let me say that Assassin’s Creed is one of my all-time favorite video game series. I love the idea of exploring different time periods through the lens of a secret conflict between Assassins and Templars. I still remember watching online footage of the first game and being awestruck by the pairing of 12th-century period elements and free-running gameplay. And once I actually sat down and played the game in 2007, I was hooked. The exploration, the setting, the religious themes — they were all fantastic. But the game’s masterstroke — and the main reason I kept coming back — was the modern-day frame story.