[WARNING THIS ARTICLE HAS SPOILERS FOR MOST ASSASSINS CREED GAMES INCLUDING THE LATEST ENTRY VALHALLA]
One of the biggest features of Assassins Creed gameplay is its ability to take players into time periods and experience historic events with a spin. It's one of the biggest allures of the game, being able to go and be a part of the biggest events that has shaped human civilisation to what we are today. A part of that fun, comes from trying to guess where the next instalment will be based, in which I have been doing my home work to do exactly that. But before we jump into where it will be based, we have to think about the time periods that we have already seen and witnessed. In the picture below I have made a rough (approximate) timeline of the key notable assassins throughout the series history. I know there's a few missing, but the key players are there.
Upon reviewing this list of assassins, its nice to see that as the timeline moves on, so does the number of assassins that we are exposed too grow, suggesting that the order is ever growing. Although, if you pay attention, there's a significant milestone in the story that we have not had officially given to us, between the events of 873 and 1173 CE. Can you spot it? If you hadn't noticed, the official transformation of 'The Hidden One' to the 'Assassins Order' or 'Creed' has taken place, although we've not ever been given those events. We know in the events of Assassin's Creed 1, Altair is already in a fully established Assassins Order. Where as in Assassins Creed Valhalla, Basim and Hytham both work as a part of 'The Hidden Ones'. So, in my opinion, this is a fantastic time period for the team at Ubisoft to play with. Telling us the story that is the origins of the Assassins Creed.
I mean there is a gaping hole between 49 BCE to 870 CE, that is yet to be filled, and is another area that the future game could take place. But ultimately, the events that occur here are too similar to that of what we've seen with Odyssey and Origins. But too get a better look, lets review exactly that. The image below shows the time periods that we've experienced with the series, and again we can use this to dissect what gaps/opportunities there are for time periods and locations to take the story next.
Based on the timeline overlapped with the events, its clear that in the early stages of the story, and the rebellion against the order, started primarily in Europe and West Asia, with 'The Hidden Ones' later on, being set up in Egypt. From here the assassins numbers grew quickly and started to spread throughout the world. But based on the location of the assassins we hear from in the early timeline content, it's clear that the most Assassin's activity was taking place in Europe and Western Asia up until the late 1400's. This of course has the exception of Litani and Wei Yu, although these were pre 'The Hidden Ones', meaning these could have just been people who had been exposed to Darius's hidden blade and rebelled against the order in siloed instances.
I feel that a good direction for the story would be to explore that little section we haven't seen, in clearing up how 'The Hidden Ones' became the 'Assassins Order/Creed'. Now considering how important the Assassins order is, it would make sense that the setting up of the order would hold symbolism and be done in a place that holds the power to act as central hub to be able to make the changes to ultimately 'rebrand' the Hidden Ones to the Assassins Creed easily. So, the location needs to be close to where the majority of Assassins are currently. So, this leads me onto what I believe is a great time period and place for the animus to take us to in the next game.
I believe that the next Assassins Creed game should take its events to the Abbasid Caliphate. To align it to our timeline of events (above), this time period took place in 750 to 1258 CE, which is a sweet spot for the timeline as it's in that significant gap in the assassins time period.
The Abbasid Caliphate is right in the center of the events of most of the other games. Its only a short distance from Europe and Italy. It even links directly into Egypt, meaning this has significance/ties to where 'The Hidden Ones' were founded, giving it even more weight. Assassins Creed takes a lot of concepts around religion, mythology and belief and uses these to help craft fictitious stories to align with its futuristic Isu storylines. This time period matches straight into this perfectly as The Abbasid Caliphs were Arabs descended from Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib, one of the youngest uncles of Muhammad. The Abbasids claimed to be the true successors of the Prophet Muhammad by virtue of their closer bloodline. To add to the feature of Assassins Creeds battle and fighting mechanic, there is plenty of room for conflict as it was around this time period (780 - 1180 CE) that the Byzantine wars would have been taking place.
Finally, this would fit perfectly with Basim now being our playable future character, as the animus could be used to trace his bloodline back to the founding of the Assassins Order. Although, remember Basim is actually from 870 CE, so he would need to trace his liniage (if he has any) and find where his ancestors might have been buried. Additionally, the location fits into Basim's story, as he tells us that he is from Iraq, and frequently visited the libraries of the great library in Baghdad, which is right in the heart of the geography of this time period. Maybe we'll even have a moment to play as the child of Basim, and have Basim talking to his past self, whilst living his child's life as an assassin, in the animus. Inception levels of crazy!
This is all speculation, and me taking an educated guess. But, be sure to go on our social media pages and tell us where you would like to see the next Assassins Creed game take us too!
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