At the rate Ubisoft is going no setting is off the table in the quest for never ending sequels. But the recent success of Ghost of Tsushima has set a deservedly high bar for a game set in feudal Japan with its praiseworthy gameplay and laudable story to the point that even in the most ideal of circumstances a game set in medieval Japan would never improve on GoT to such a degree that it is universally seen as the superior product. Even if this potential Ubisoft masterpiece was objectively better than GoT, it would ultimately deliver an experience that has already been seen before and thus not garner the same enthusiasm.
But ask yourselves this: Why does Japanese history seem so focused on the Middle Ages?
The answer is quite obviously the appeal of Samurai and the Bushidō which they follow, the mystique of ninja and the political intrigue and legendary figures of the Sengoku Jidai among other subjects.
These aspects of history are the perfect backdrop for a thought-provoking story as well as heart pounding action.
But what if there was a way to experience many, if not all of those narrative framing devices in a time-period far removed from the warring feudal states.
A setting where you gain a deeper insight into Samurai and their Bushidō, explore the mystique of ninja with more malleability to their depiction and marvel at the political intrigue and legendary figures of the Meiji Revolution
That’s right. The death of the Samurai as a social class is an excellent framework from which you can dive into the intricacies of Bushidō, Shinobi being in the background of this era (albeit very much existing) allow you to use them with less restrictions without interfering with the actual historical events and while not a grand battle royale like the sengoku jidai the meiji restoration still has more than enough drama for an excellent story or two.
Should the game be set during the Boshin War the game’s plot would run parallel to the events of Syndicate so the era is not something entirely foreign. The main difference between Victorian London and early-Meiji Japan however is that the latter is an active war zone. Thus there would be no need for gimmicky concealed weapons like cane swords (they’re still quite cool though tbh). No one would bat an eye at a samurai carrying swords, spears, bows and guns, and that brings me to another point.
The immense weapon variety. Ubisoft’s MTX strategists would have a field day with the never-ending library of weapons from not just Japan but from cultures such as China and Korea and of course Europe and the U.S.
Another aspect that I personally found intriguing is that there was a previous, failed imperial restoration during the 14th century when emperor Go-Daigo temporarily overthrew the Ashikaga Shogunate in what came to be known as the Kenmu Restoration. Interestingly enough this lines up suspiciously well with one of Desmond’s matrilineal ancestors as seen here. This ancestor surely did or witnessed something extraordinary in order to be specified by Abstergo along with figures such as Altaïr, Ezio and Connor. Their story could be told either as a separate DLC for those desiring a medieval ninja fantasy or as a continuous part of the main story for the player t experience á la memory seals in Revelations which would make for an interesting connection between to the Historical protaganist and the desmond ancestor. The Kenmu plot could perhaps focus on what made that restoration fail and the meiji restoration succeed. Perhaps a Piece of Eden. Oda Nobunaga's Sword of Eden is most likely still around but I'd prefer going back to apples or maybe introduce a new piece.
If you somehow managed to make it all the end you should firstly congratulate yourself lol I do have much more detailed ideas for how I would create the story and would be willing to share what is basically a fanfic that has been brewing in my mind for a few months.
- If there ever is a Japanese Ac game it should NOT be set in feudal Japan
- My Pitch for an Assassin’s Creed Game set during the Sengoku Jidai (Japanese Warring States Period)
- Tenchu: Ninjas Done Right.
More about Assassin's CreedPost: "AC Japan with a twist (brace yourself for a wall of text)" specifically for the game Assassin's Creed. Other useful information about this game:
- Noob Questions and opinions after getting to Athens for the first time.
- Assassin’s Creed 2: secret codes found in glyphs
- Assassin’s Creed III would have worked better as a linear game. [SPOILERS from a 9 years old game… God I feel old]
- New setting regarding rumours about future games and the AC writer comments on a setting in Brazil and Conquistadors.
- My definitive ranking of every AC game
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