Unveiling Shadows: A Glimpse into Assassin's Creed's Latest Epic

Few video game franchises have inspired such loyalty among stealth-action fans as Assassin’s Creed, and its annual releases have set the gold standard for historical fiction, cinematic narratives and fluid gameplay. This year’s release has been generating a lot of buzz, what with the recently released trailer from its latest instalment, Assassin’s Creed Shadows, premiered at the Xbox Games Showcase which is part of the Summer Game Fest 2024 event. In this article, we’re going to go deeper into the shadows and see what Ubisoft has in store for its fans this year.

Enter the World of Feudal Japan

Exploring Assassin's Creed Shadows' Majestic Setting

The latest trailer, an audio-visual rollercoaster, situates us in the fantastically realised medieval Japan, a long-awaited destination by its customers. Following the game’s dual protagonists, Naoe Fujibayashi and Yasuke, we are encouraged to explore a land of mystery, wonder and danger.

Meet the Shadows: Naoe and Yasuke

Dual Prototypes, Dual Destinies

Naoe recalls the more acrobatic and subtle skills of the series’ origins, similar to the likes of Assassin’s Creed’s Altair and Ezio. Her fights are a dance of killing moves, smooth, clean and fatal. And Yasuke, contrarily, mirrors the brute force and sheer destructive power of the later action-RPG-focused instalments of the franchise, with an ability to create mayhem on the battlefield filled and supported by arms such as the mighty odachi and a polearm. His gameplay promises to be as brutal as it is breathtaking.

A Visual and Gameplay Marvel

Assassin's Creed Shadows: Reinventing the Creed

Based on what we’ve seen so far from the trailer, which focuses on bits of gameplay, Assassin’s Creed Shadows looks set to dramatically re-orient what fans of the series have come to expect from it. What most stands out are how it uses the in-engine storytelling and the incredible fidelity of its environment design to enhance the gameplay, both during quieter moments as Naoe sneaks around on rooftops and during the furious spear-spinning bloodbaths that sometimes break out as Yasuke shreds enemies by the dozen. From what the trailer shows, it looks like Assassin’s Creed Shadows will both look great, and be great at the same time.

The Path to Launch

Mark Your Calendars

Set for release on 15 November 2024 on PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC, Shadows looks set to be a new beginning for the franchise, if the promised depth of the upcoming full gameplay reveal at the Ubisoft Forward presentation on 10 June is anything to go by. We know that the narrative of Shadows has been divided into two, presumably to cover two chaotic years: the first taking place during 2021, and the second in 2022. The latter will likely see the return of the clever pig-mask mercenaries, who were a fun addition to the latest game. Fingers crossed that they’re not replaced by other equally vile animals.

Beyond the Shadows

What Else Caught Our Eye?

If Assassin’s Creed Shadows was the star of the show, it wasn’t the only title to get fans excited about the Xbox Games Showcase. From State of Decay 3’s deadly and dreamlike new cinematic trailer to the vintage vibes of the Metal Gear Solid 3 Remake, not to mention Life is Strange: Double Exposure – an unexpected return for Max Caulfield – there was plenty to get fans excited for what’s next in gaming.

Maximizing the Assassin's Creed Experience

Well, in its conclusion, Assassin’s Creed Shadows seems to be a carefully crafted love letter to loyal fans and newcomers alike. The medieval setting, the protagonist, and much of the gameplay are indications of a title that respects the established legacy of the Assassin’s Creed series as well as grows it in new directions. As 15 November approaches, one thing is certain: the shadows deepen and the adventure is likely to become one of the defining experiences of what an Assassin’s Creed game can be.

About MAX

Although I’m focusing on Assassin’s Creed Shadows here, Naoe and Yasuke have a new companion in the form of Max Caulfield, the protagonist of Life is Strange. Returning in the latest instalment, Life is Strange: Double Exposure, Max is proof that video gaming can master both the mechanics of storytelling and character development. Her story, like theirs, demonstrates the emotional impact and narrative richness that is possible in games. Looking down the road to this horizon, to these new adventures, and with so many more old friends on the way, gaming is entering a bold new future, a future that the shadows are paving for us with their howls, and their lights are bringing into being with their stories.

Jun 10, 2024
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