Unveiling the Shadows: A New Dawn in Assassin's Creed's Journey to Feudal Japan

In the twin worlds of gaming, fandom is aflutter with the news that the venerable Assassin’s Creed franchise is turning its attention to the exotic and acerbic period of feudal Japan to create a new stealth action-adventure game. Assassin’s Creed Shadows, in development now, will change the very nature of the action-adventure genre and is going to take stealth action gaming to an entirely new level. Not only are people introduced to the historical era of the late 16th century in shogunate Japan where the age of the ninjas is coming into its own, people are being introduced to a new dual protagonist system that is going to take the gaming experience to a new level.


Yasuke, the outsider samurai with roots in West Africa, is physically powerful and brings a dash of narrative depth (he’s a foreign-born warrior in Japan) This conflict between contrasting character archetypes – of samurai and ninja – is crossed with creativity. For example, Yasuke, the outsider samurai with roots in West Africa, is physically powerful and brings a dash of narrative depth (he’s a foreign-born warrior in Japan). His broadsword can be used to charge through enemies and other in-game hurdles, bringing a variety to the gameplay.

Such is Naoe’s skill, the trajectory of her movements stealthy and graceful: she is every bit parts of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. There’s no shift in genre – in fact, with the kusarigama (called the twin hook and chain in the novel), Naoe carries the throw-and-chop weapon that is true to the franchise’s love of silent kills. She uses; Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels does the same. The darkness that hid their presence helpfully pushed out all other senses. The night air, frigid and harsh, slightly chapped my exposed skin Illustrator Wu is also careful to enrich Kate’s fight scenes with the same qualities that make Naoe’s so distinctive: as the Shadow of Death, who strikes at armies from the front and the back, Kate moves with phantom power.


Feudal Japan acts as both a backdrop and a battleground, with the player’s characters caught in the middle of a war on corruption The game introduces Yasuke and Naoe more than halfway through, which is a significant shift. Players are given the option to switch between character playstyles, moving between Yasuke and Naoe at any time and using each to complete mission objectives in different ways. Either player can charge into combat on horseback, execute deadly strikes from a rooftop, assassinate at a distance, or covertly slit throats after luring an enemy into a dark corner to end their lives. The option to execute missions in such versatile ways offers a certain richness to the narrative, and also gives the player the ability to learn more about the story from both character perspectives.

YASUKE'S CHARGE: A Battle for Freedom

Yasuke’s fight style brings a healthy dose of action, with clubs, muskets and other instruments of war used to extend the scope of his charge against a system of oppression. Yasuke’s most notable duel against another samurai serves as a showcase of a more violent combat system that drives home its own kind of righteousness by embracing bodily contact and brute force. The player is able to support Yasuke’s charge through characters by charging through enemies and obstacles themselves.

NAOE'S STEALTH CHARGE: Shadows Within the Shadows

In this, Naoe carries the spirit of classic Assassin’s Creed play forward with renewed vigour. Greater mobility via her dodge, and the addition of the ability to extinguish light sources, creates a more intricate series of interactions between shadow and silence, a dynamic which enriches her character and elevates the stealth gameplay, subtly encouraging the player to become more fully invested in the role of assassin. Likewise, the deployment of the series’ traditional features (jumping and free-running, on-guard combos, optional stealth play) alongside new developments (Naoe’s grappling hook) emphasises the gradual evolution of the series while remaining resolutely true to its heritage.

A VIVID WORLD AWAITING DISCOVERY: The Living Tapestry of Feudal Japan

Ubisoft’s version of feudal Japan is a feast for the eyes. The world of Assassin’s Creed Shadows is alive with seasons that progress over time and weather patterns that vary according to the time of day. This background is as much character as the events taking place inside it. In fact, it affects what happens in gameplay, and even affects decisions on how to approach a mission.


One gets the feeling that with Assassin’s Creed Shadows it’s not just that Ubisoft are venturing in a new historical setting, they are also pushing the envelope of imaginative new ways forward; a greater emphasis on the dual protagonist system, increasing reliance upon strategic aspects of game-play, and a vibrant, reactive world, create the possibility of a new standard for the series. Far from paying homage to ninja fans, Assassin’s Creed Shadows is a radical reimagining of what the Assassin’s Creed property can deliver.


Charge is more than just a one-dimensional element of gameplay; it can refer to momentum, power – to push forward regardless of obstacles. Assassin’s Creed Shadows draws on this dynamic to create a rich, engaging experience that is as cerebral as it is adrenalised. Charge provides a rhythm that is rewarding and involving whether it’s the physical charge of a character into confrontation or the psychological charge of a player through the story.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows will be released on 15 November, the latest instalment in one of the most thrilling sagas there is. Get set for feudal Japan, as players fire away with another series of shinobi-fortunately enhanced guns. One thing is certain: both innovation and quality are showing no signs of slowing down.

Catch up with everything that’s happening and be swept up in the palpable excitement for a game that promises to push the barriers of historical action-adventure gaming like never before. The dark times are approaching, and with them, a new day in Assassin’s Creed.

Jun 11, 2024
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