Part 2 adds more possibilities to the mix....
UPDATE - Assassin's Creed 3 announced - details, screens and scans here
Assassin's Creed III Limited Editions Detailed and Priced HEREby dkpatriarch
© 2009 David HiltonWhen and where will Assassin's Creed 3 take place? In Part 1 I outlined four possible options and now with Part 2 we will look at several more. With so many clues revealed through codex, 'subject 16' revelations, symbols on walls, Pieced of Eden locations, and 6 statues in the Tuscan villa, Ubisoft could be directing us to the next instalment, or just throwing around a lot of food for conjecture. UPDATE 7/3/12: Below is my suggestion in 2009 of the Seven Years War (French-Indian War) which actually is when Assassin's Creed III begins. I explain there why it is a good starting point for the American Revolution.
So, the next few are:
5. / Rome/ /
In keeping with my argument that there is no reason for this series to continue in chronological order, and with hints both in the games and from other sources, Assassin’s Creed 3 may go back to ancient times.
Inevitably when you are dealing with ‘ancient mysteries’ and objects of ‘sacred power’ these will reach back to earliest times. These times could be biblical or mythological: Ancient Egypt or Lost Atlantis.
There are hints of an Egyptian, Roman and Persian Assassin in Assassin’s Creed 2 (statues in the villa), but there is also the French comic book Assassin’s Creed: Desmond which details the Assassin Aquilus, son of Lucus, who attacks generals of the Roman Empire.
I would welcome the series going to ancient times and there are many pivotal times and interesting places that can be explored.
There is Alexander the Great, who may have been poisoned (though this is less and less seen as likely), and his wars took him from Greece, to the Middle East, to Egypt, to Persia and to India. Rich pickings for locations there!
What about the feud between the Macedonian leaders who took control of a divided empire after him? There were assassinations and wars between them for many years.
Or you could go further back in Ancient Greek history and look at the Trojan War, with the city of Troy as your city to explore. A Piece of Eden is said to have helped in the use of the Trojan horse.
If Ubisoft chose the Roman Empire in the time of Antony and Cleopatra and their wars against Octavius (who would become the first Roman Emperor, Augustus) they could include Egyptian cities among those the Assassin must navigate and pursue his or her craft.
Alexandria was certainly one of the premier cities of its age and Ancient Rome would be a joy to free-run through.
Certainly those options above involved important historical periods and their influence still echoes into our modern world.
Alexander’s empire and his Hellenistic culture changed the East and the Pax Romana after Augustus allowed Roman influence to develop and expand all along the Mediterranean and the North.
The problem is that there were no Templars before the Crusades, so they would have to be linked in somehow as it is unlikely Ubisoft will introduce new adversaries for the clan of Assassins to deal with.
How this would plausibly be done is beyond me.
6. Reconquista of Spain and the Spanish Inquisition
Much of Spain was once owned by Muslim Moors who had crossed from Africa into the Iberian Peninsula.
The architecture of cities like Seville, Granada, Toledo and Cordoba reflected the often more sophisticated knowledge of the Moors in a time when Christian kingdoms tended to be suspicious of science.
However the Western kingdoms never stopped trying to reconquer the land, and when the Crusades became popular in Europe many knights, including the Templars before they were disbanded, went to fight in Spain.
Eventually in 1492 the reconquista was complete with the end of the last Moorish bastion in Al Andalus (Granada) and shortly thereafter Jews and Muslims were ejected and the infamous Spanish Inquisition expanded.
Until then, the city of Toledo often stood as a contrast to the turmoil. It was where the three monotheistic religions (Christian, Muslim, and Jews) had relative peace and shared knowledge and culture (La Convivencia).
Not only would the cities of this period be fantastic to explore in an open-world style, but there were plenty of intrigue, plotting, and waring. Sometimes the enemy was of your own faith.
The Crusades against the Moors and the subsequent expulsions of Muslims and Jews and the struggles and suffering faced by people during the harsher periods of Inquisition provides a colourful canvas for storytelling where an Assassin can operate against any number of enemies.
Even though the Templars had been disbanded, many of their knights in Spain and Portugal actually still remained organised together, though under a different name, like Knights of Christ.
7. Modern Times
After the conclusion of Assassin’s Creed 2 it looks like Desmond has everything he needs to go off and find the temples and many gamers argue that signifies that we will remain in modern times.
Even if the importance of the Animus has changed, Desmond’s time ‘bleeding’ could still enable the next game to involve a different time. I personally will be disappointed if we are stuck in modern times.
We’ve seen plenty of modern open-world or near open-world games, including the free-running Mirror’s Edge and the Prototype-type city. Modern rectangular skyscrapers feature in way too many games as it is, and I’ve ranted and raved in previous articles against any more games in modern American cities like New York.
However, I do think there could be more scope for Desmond’s parts of the games featuring more prominently in the third part, since he seems to have a clear mission now.
However if this is the case I would still like to see mini-visits to the past to discover directions, perhaps in Eternal Darkness-style level structure. Then there could be different members of the Assassins clan in different times.
Though the wide open worlds we are used to from Assassin’s Creed 1 and 2 might be more limited to single cities or locations, the narrative will take precedence.
The other option is to make the modern locations interesting ones that still exude history, like Rome, Prague, Istanbul, Rhodes, Tunis or Tallinn.
Or they could be really daring and return to Jerusalem, this time in the present, with all the tensions that exist there now. After all, many think the city significant to Armageddon, the final battle between the forces of good and evil, prophesied to occur at the end of the world.
I could be way off base here, but there is reference to the date December 21, 2012, the so-called End of the Age or End of Time for the Mayan calendar.
Not only that, but I found this book titled THE NEW TEMPLE AND THE SECOND COMING: The Prophecy That Points to Christ’s Return in Your Generation, which has an interesting outline that is not only about the end times, but about Temple treasure, Jerusalem, Temple vessels, and scrolls:
You will examine the biblical prophecies and research data that together solve end-times mysteries, including:
- the search for lost Temple treasures
- revealing discoveries in underground Jerusalem
- the process of recreating sacred Temple vessels
- unexpected clues revealed in the Copper Scroll and the Ezekiel Tablets
- the latest plans for rebuilding the Temple
Is this where Ubisoft are headed with the Assassin’s Creed series? A race to cause/prevent Armageddon? Do Abstergo/ The Templars want to create some sort of Armageddon as a way to their ‘New World Order’ where religion is exposed as false and they hold ultimate control? After all, Abstergo is also a Latin verb, meaning “to cleanse”.
I’m really not excited about a game set in modern times, but if something like the options I’ve outlined takes place I might not mind so much.
8. Cathar Crusade in Southern France
The Albigensian Crusade against the Cathar ‘heretics’ of the southern Languedoc region of France in 1209 is interesting in that it pitted Christian armies against each other, much like the Constantinople conflict a few years earlier I outlined in Part 1. Also like that conflict, the Crusaders were involved not only in a ‘Crusade” but in a more political, commercial, and territorial conflict than anything of religious significance.
The Roman Church certainly was getting sick of the “Good Men” preaching their dualist Gnostic heresy, but this was a war sought by the Northern Kingdoms to claim the wealth and territory of the South.
The region of Languedoc was a fiercely independent territory with its own advanced culture and language (Occitan) and respect of learning and art (for example the courtly love troubadour tradition), and had a well educated nobility for the times (familiar with Arabic advances in mathematics for example).
It had excellent trading routes on the Mediterranean, was tolerant of sects like the Cathars who contrasted with the local clergy who were seen as apathetic and corrupt, and allowed women a higher status than in other kingdoms.
In contrast, much of the North was illiterate, poor and intolerant. They not only wanted to wipe out the heretics, they wanted to take the South for themselves. The assassination of a Papal Legate in 1208 allegedly by a knight of the Count of Toulouse provided the outrage to begin the war.
The results were a series of bloodbaths and the eventual formation of the Holy Inquisition. Most in the South were not Cathars, but to the Crusaders there was to be no distinction: “Kill them all,” was the battle cry at Beziers, “God will know his own.”
30,000 armed soldiers descended on Beziers and the town’s 15 000 men, women, and children perished. The heavily fortified city of Carcassonne withstood their siege until being betrayed dishonourably by the Crusader army, the city’s commander taken prisoner while under truce.
In the end the south was subjugated and annexed into France and the Cathars hunted down for years by the Inquisition.
The Templars were said to have been neutral in this conflict, but an Assassin’s Creed game can easily incorporate them and the Assassins into the intrigue, assassinations, betrayals, and search for the mysterious Cathar treasure that comes with the period.
Was the infamous Templar treasure that Jaques De Molay, last Grand Master of the Templars, supposedly safely hid before the King of France, Philip le Bel’s, coordinated assault on Friday the 13th October 1307, the same as the Cathar ‘treasure’?
One of the artifacts is supposed to have been in Rennes-le-Château, which is in Languedoc. Or was it safely secreted away in Scotland (maybe in a sort of ‘temple’ in Loch Ness like Desmond is after?). Could it therefore be related to the modern day Abstergo struggle in the games?
Certainly Carcassonne and its region would make a great locations to run, jump, duel and stab in. In fact it still looks magnificiently medieval today.
9. The Fall of Quebec and New France (The Seven Year’s War/ French-Indian War)
This one I suggest with a slight smirk. It is for those who want Assassin’s Creed to remain chronological and also for the Montreal-based Ubisoft studio which is making the game.
It would certainly help them keep their research costs down since the studio is actually in the province of Quebec, Canada, which was part of New France. And one of the artifacts is supposed to be in Montreal…
I’m not sure how the Templars and Assassins would fit into the plot exactly, but the backdrop of the Seven Year’s War (or French-Indian War) during the 1750s and 60s presents plenty of conflict in Europe and the New World between England and France and their native allies which changed the fortunes of those Empires and the world.
How? As Winston Churchill describes, it was the first “world war”, as it was the first conflict in human history to be fought around the globe.
Not only that but the end of New France meant the 13 colonies (American colonists) no longer needed England’s protection and would later rebel to form the United States of America.
France went into debt during this war and in supporting the American War of Independence, which helped create the circumstances that led to the French Revolution.
England became the foremost naval and economic power.
Though the conflict was spread out, the wars in New France would be the best setting for the game, though the story still could at least begin in Europe.
In the most dramatic battle, General Wolfe and the English, using an amazingly risky strategy of a stealthy landing that paid off due to a series of lucky circumstances and mistakes by the French, won the Battle of the Plains of Abraham at Quebec City, which is still the only fortified walled city in North America today.
The English went on to win all of France’s North American territories, only to face the War of Independence against the American colonists later in 1775.
As for the game, Quebec City would make an excellent city in which to free-run and assassinate neo-Templars. Under a blanket of snow the game environment could be fresh and have new features like having to avoid enemies who can see footprints or blood that has dripped from wounds in the snow, or watch out for slippery rooftops.
The major problem is determining how to play the conflict as it is doubtful Ubisoft would want to make all of the French or the English or the Natives good or bad, but simply use individuals in the conflict as enemies. It would be like the newer Star Wars films where evil agents played both sides against each other for their own ends.
To conclude Part 2…
Let’s face it: Ubisoft can do whatever it wants. It has left enough openings to explore Assassin’s Creed a variety of different ways. It could be a trilogy like originally planned, or it could go on longer as recently stated. It could be primarily based in modern times with little stints into the past, or it could still use a historic period as the major part of gameplay.
Ubisoft is not bound by the history it uses as a backdrop. Already we have seen a female Templar in a celibate religious monastic military Order. This simply would not happen (though there is the legend of a female Pope, Pope Joan…but she pretended to be male).
Nor is it bound by what we as gamers have interpreted from the lore of the games. They may want to surprise us and take us into another direction, using what we’ve learned so far and twisting it to make a mockery of our conclusions.
In any case, Assassin’s Creed 3′s mysteries certainly provide food for thought and I can’t wait to hear where and when they decide to set the next game.
• Where would you like to see Assassin’s Creed 3?
Remember that David’s prediction of the current location and era was correct, so perhaps his predictions may well be close to the mark for the next iteration. Make your vote count, as we send these articles to Ubisoft, and they can see your comments and the poll. We had many votes on the issue in Part one, so let’s see what we have to say here in part two.
• Missed out on PART 1? Click HERE.
And even more Assassin’s Creed:
- Assassin’s Creed III Limited Editions Detailed and Priced HERE
- Assassin’s Creed: Revelations Update- The End of The Beginning? – Read more
- Previously On…Assassin’s Creed: story catch-up video, here
- Assassin’s Creed Revelations: Flamethrowers – Did they exist back then? Read More
- What Assassin’s Creed Could Learn from Shadow of the Colossus - Read More
- Assassin’s Creed: Revelations: All the facts revealed – read more
- Assassin’s Creed 3: Set in American Revolution? - check here
- The Assassin’s Creed Effect: 3 Templar Games in 2011 – Read More
- Assassin’s Creed 3 – Where and When to Next Part 1. –Read more.
- Assassin’s Creed 3 – Where and When to Next Part 2 –Read more.
- Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Review (Single Player)
- Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Review (Multiplayer)
- Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood: (Almost) Modern Warfare – do you agree with new direction? Look Here.
- Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood novels HERE
- Assassin’s Creed Ascendance Animated Film teaser HERE
- Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood: Beta Kill Video and Verdict here.