Where will the next Assassin's Creed take place? When will it take place?
You could guess off a survey, or you could consider the theories of Kotaku's biggest AC fans, one of whom claims to have seen Assassin's Creed III in action.
You will find below a bunch of theories our readers have made about the new game. Some were offered in the comments section of a story I did about the ending of the game. A few came through in e-mail, including one from a person who says they were shown a portion of ACIII by Ubisoft. I could not verify that person's account, so take it with as many grains of salt as you need.
Prepare for spoilers, of course...
For the record, once I finished the game, my best guess was that we'd spend some of our time as the new 16th-century Chinese assassin Shao Jun who was introduced in the new Assassin's Creed Embers short film (and who was prominently featured in the series' recently-issued encyclopedia). I also guessed that we'd spend some of the new game in the city of the First Civilization, which we get a glimpse of in the end of this month's Assassin's Creed: Revelations
Here are the best guesses I got from readers:
- Reader Andrew Bettner: "Im 95% sure that they are going back to Desmond's childhood home."
- Reader editor26: "Why upstate New York and not... Montreal? Might your target be off a few hundred miles That's the base of Ubisoft's production of the game, one of the oldest cities in North America, and pretty much the seat of the European new world until the 18th century. If I'm a European and I've got some amazing artifacts I want to hide in the 1500s, I'd sure as hell head there.
- Reader mortpetit: it'll probably never happen, but i gotta say early that early 1800s India would be awesome. You've got a bunch of different factions like the Mughals, Sikhs, Marathas, and East India Company, crazy weapons, beautiful landscapes and cities, and diverse, rich cultures would combine to create an environment without equal."
- Reader Blackdawn451: " I am 80% sure that it will take place during the French Revolution. Look up the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and watch [the Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood ending again."
- Reader Rennie_B: "There is one crucial element you may have forgotten in your attempt to figure out next year. In Brotherhood once you solved the Subject 16 puzzles you met a "ghostly image" of Subject 16 in the Animus. He tells Desmond to find Eve, or as it's written in the encyclopedia "Cryptic as ever, Subject 16 alluded to the necessity of finding a woman called Eve." And also in the Encyclopedia, (if it wasn't common knowledge) it is reminded to us that Subject 16 was in fact a descendant of Adam, hence the video we were able to see when solving his puzzles from ACII. (Otherwise known as "The Truth")
"Of course Shao Jun isn't Desmond's relative in any way. Desmond and his line have been the conduits, the messengers. The one that will be the connective line between Adam and Eve.
"She is a descendant of EVE. She must be.
"So now, Desmond and his team need to find her most current relative and get her into the Animus, therefore leading to my ultimate theory: AC3 will be a FEMALE protagonist, set in China and we'll get some time with Shao Jun. Because watching "Embers"? There was clearly some time and love put into not only the art style of all the opponents from China, but the story told both through the mini cinema AND the encyclopedia are the perfect set up for 3. Oh and the gameplay jump? Could be so lovely.
"At least that's my two cents after beating the game/watching "Embers" and reading through most of the Encyclopedia ^_^;"
- Reader armfish: "Old-old school Japan. Ninjas."
- Reader dropsplah: "Assassin's Creed III will be where we discover that all these games have actually been the memories of a protagonist we haven't even met yet. Somewhere in the far-flung future, our new main character is sitting in The Animus 5.0 reliving Desmond's life as he relives Ezio's and Altair's. "
- An imaginative reader who e-mailed me: "We could play as Altair's son in Alexandria, Egypt. There's supposedly a great library under one of the pyramids there. This would be a great setting for the franchise. A most outlandish theory would be Desmond has now got Subject 16's memory's. He said in a cutscene that our memories are the sum of a person... something along those lines. He also said they could share his body for awhile! When he grabbed him at the end, when the island was in deletion, he could have somehow transferred his ancestor's memories to him, opening up a whole new story arc!"
- A guy who e-mailed me and said he saw Assassin's Creed III in action several months ago, but who I couldn't confirm was legit: (I'm paraphrasing what he told me.) The game is in America, during the Revolutionary War, starring a half-American/half-Native American assassin who meets George Washington and builds up a homebase farm of some sort. He mentioned a mission involving tracking redcoats on a frozen lake (the ice could be weakened so they fell through) and a level involving three-mast ships in grand combat. [Note from Stephen: Would be cool if it was true, no?]
- And, finally, another reader who e-mailed me and went with "American Revolution"— or is that "Civil War"?—based on some blurry evidence: "I believe that the next game (Assassin's Creed 3) will be set in America during the Revolution. The symbols mentioned at the end of Brotherhood came together in more then one place but America was one of them. I imagined that they could build it much like ACII was by using New York, Boston and Philly in place of Venice, Florence and Tuscany. When the Da Vinci DLC dropped and the location was in New York I almost shit cause I would love to see an assassin styled after a Paul Revere kinda look. Anyway while I was shopping on Ubisoft for my Encyclopedias I watched the making of documentary and was astounded to see a piece of art in the background of a shot while they were interviewing an artist for the book [Note from Stephen: Actually, it's Richared Farrese, a writer/editor on the book and that could just be some pretty fan art that someone sent in... or an excellent tease. Who knows!].
"I have sent along the shot which is not of a high quality but you can see it shows what appears to be a Revolutionary era Assassin and some soldiers holding what looks like the American Flag. You can also still see this video on the site. I will look up the address and send it your way. Let me know what you think." [Another note from Stephen: It might be a Civil War uniform, actually. And that image is behind multiple interviewees, so it's probably something they wanted us to see. Watch it yourself.]
UPDATE: Christophe Grandjean from UbiWorkshop in Ubisoft Montreal tells me that the Civil War image that appeared in the Encyclopedia is a "Carte Blanche", a term the team uses for drawings of assassins that were dreamed up by outside artists and submitted to Ubisoft. Another words: not canon, just for kicks.
Which theory do you like the most, Assassin's Creed fans?