Turnip And Swede: Assassin’s Creed In Victorian London

Cawww bloiiiimey chaaaynge yoooor 'aaaat guvvvnah?

There is, I have discovered, a certain wonder and horror in learning that Assassin’s Creed is coming to a city you know and love. Excitement to see your streets and buildings recreated in shiny history-o-vision for you to explore crashes into dread of how horribly it’ll mangle your city’s culture and history. The open-world murder simulator series is coming to Victorian London, Ubisoft have quietly sorta confirmed after “target gameplay footage” of something named Assassin’s Creed Victory leaked to Kotaku. Imagine the mockney accents.

Kotaku report that the video they saw had one of those stabmen fighting atop a carriage rattling through the streets of Victorian London, chasing a Templar through Charing Cross station, grabbing a hat from a lady to disguise himself, swinging on a grappling hook, stabbing men, and stabbing men aboard a moving train. It sounds like the sequence is from a scripted mission, so who knows whether these bits will be standard any-time actions, but there it is: grappling hooks and hats.

Supposedly it’s named Assassin’s Creed Victory, or was at this point in development, and is due to be the next game, launching in late 2015. Development is lead by Ubisoft Quebec, who’ve worked on the series before under the command of Ubi’s Montreal studio.

Ubisoft confirmed the video was real in a statement to PC Gamer. They didn’t say that this “conceptual asset” represents the finished game, but the video and ideas are/were real:

“It is always unfortunate when internal assets, not intended for public consumption, are leaked. And, while we certainly welcome anticipation for all of our upcoming titles, we’re disappointed for our fans, and our development team, that this conceptual asset is now public. The team in our Quebec studio has been hard at work on the particular game in question for the past few years, and we’re excited to officially unveil what the studio has been working on at a later date. In the meantime, our number one priority is enhancing the experience of Assassin’s Creed Unity for players.”

I’d expect a formal announcement somewhere from March to July 2015. Or a cryptic teaser campaign hinting at something we know clearly is Assassin’s Creed in London. But hey, at least this year’s Assassin’s Creed Unity has now been patched enough that people have faces. Ubisoft are tossing free DLC at people to make up for the game’s shonky state.

72 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Godwhacker says:

    I’ve always looked at Big Ben and thought, ‘That thing is great, but it’d so much better with a short beam coming out from the top and a cart full of hay underneath’

  2. Premium User Badge

    basilisk says:

    As a big fan of the AC series, I honestly find this a bit disappointing. Just another huge European city in modern history when they could have done something different and unpredictable. There is so much to choose from, and they used to be good at reaching for the unexpected.

    It’s true that their huge and gorgeous recreation of revolutionary Paris is a fantastic achievement, and the city is easily the best part of Unity, so London should be spectacular as well. But it’s also true that the engine is creaking and I’d much prefer the series taking a year off to fix the basics first.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      London had to happen and it’s something i wanted to see, but in all honesty i think Ubisoft should get the hint that the series fatigue has reached new highs, meaning a bigger change like China or Japan ( or others ) was far more needed.

      • Barchester says:

        I understand that a lot of people are suffering from series fatigue with AC, but personally, I’m loving Unity to bits right now. It’s the first game in the series since Revelations I really feel compelled to really complete, including all the side quests. III and Liberation didn’t really do it for me, and I thought Black Flag was a nice gimmick that lasted way too long in a world where there was a lot to do in one big location where every island or town looked the same.

        Assassin’s Creed has become a James Bond series for me. They come out regularly, some are great and some are passable, but they’re always entertaining. And everyone will have their own favourites. I can’t stomach the Roger Moore films but love On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, for example.

        • Volcanu says:

          You dont like the Roger Moore films? Consider my eyebrow quizzically raised, Sir!

          • Barchester says:

            Prepare to consider my moustache twirled in a dastardly manner then! Have at you!

            In all seriousness though, they’re too comical for me. The Connery films were quite serious with a few comedic moments in it and a slight hint of mischievousness in Bond. The Moore films reversed that entirely and played for laughs too much. They’re not bad movies at all, but they’re not for me.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Timothy Dalton was the best Bond.

          • Barchester says:

            I’d dare argue that George Lazenby was the best Bond, but that’s just personal preference of course.

          • jonahcutter says:

            Lazenby is perhaps the closest to how Bond is in the actual Ian Fleming novels. And “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is arguably the high point of the 60’s Bond films. It has all of the classic elements, and it’s pitch perfect in them. From the plot to the long, tense chase sequence to the score. Plus, Bond actually falls for someone (Diana Rigg at her intelligent sexiest).

            It’s a great film.

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            phuzz says:

            Blimey, I thought I was the only person who thought Moore* was a bit cheesy and thinks that On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was the best film!
            It has the best Bond girl, Diana Rigg (if only I was 40 years older), and the best Bond theme, We Have All The Time In The World by Louis Armstrong.
            What’s not to like?

            * He was only picked because his name sounds like a Bond character. Roger Mo(o)re! eh? eh? Know what I mean squire!?

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          Don’t get me wrong, i’ve had a good time with more or less all the AssCreeds, some less then others off course but still i’m pretty happy with them. The only reason Unity is still parked for me is that i’m waiting for the next “real” high end GPUs to hit the market, hopefully in time for The Witcher aswell.

          But i also understand that a lot of people are really waiting for some fresh air, and i wouldn’t mind that either.

    • Crafter says:

      This is the wrong game serie for doing that. AS is an industrialized IP.
      They are going to churn out one game a year for as long as possible with as few differences as possible. In itself, it is a wondrous achievement, such AAA games are demand multiple years of development but yeah the result is very predictable and a bit boring..
      Innovation in this subgenre will probably come from another game studio or not at all (or you know, just the incremental feature creep we have right now with AS).

      • Premium User Badge

        basilisk says:

        The series has been industrialised for a very long time, yet no one really expected it to jump from Renaissance Italy/Constantinople to the American revolution and from there to the golden age of piracy, all of which were surprising and interesting choices. This argument doesn’t really make sense. It’s only with Unity/Victory that the progression started getting a bit too obvious.

        • Crafter says:

          you expected them to explore stay at the same place and time ? seriously ?

    • yabonn says:

      Eugh. Alices’s wonder and horror for me, just resignation : will revolution be very mob-ruly, or completely mob-ruly? Are thoses historic pearls forever clutched?

      To be honest I haven’t played the Unity one. Even for Paris fun, I’m not ready to check how deep in their Burkean asses the team’s historians were for this one (is there an early Napo? is he small? eugh.).

      • Premium User Badge

        basilisk says:

        There is indeed a Napoleon and he is of perfectly average height. And no one even tries to make a short Napoleon joke at any point when he’s on screen (which is in fact relatively often).

        The revolution is highly simplified in Unity, but then again, it had to be. Few historical events are as crazy convoluted as this one. But it may have been too much; the focus is on Arno’s story rather than the revolution itself.

    • Premium User Badge

      FhnuZoag says:

      Hang on though, wasn’t Victorian London actually *ugly as hell*? You aren’t going to get any swooping rooftop vistas with the pea-souper obscuring everything.

  3. brgillespie says:

    I think it’s insanity that they haven’t featured Japan yet. Not the medieval Japan, but that rocky post-medieval pre-industrial Japan.

    Alternatively, China.

    • sharkh20 says:

      Edo Era Japan would be pretty awesome.

      Or the three eras after.

    • unangbangkay says:

      There is the China-based side-scroller.

      Ubi did go on record to say that an AC game set in medieval (i.e. Edo and Sengoku-period) Japan would feel “overly familiar”. Which is kind of rich coming from the people that make Assassin’s Creed, but he does have a point in that there are a lot of “ninja” games, and that would invite comparisons that the series wouldn’t always win.

      As for the industrial period, Japan had an extremely rapid transition from “post-medieval” to “industrial”. Once the isolation policy broke, the different factions quit fucking around and upended all the technological tea tables. The Bakumatsu period would be a pretty good setting for an AC game that wanted a Japanese flavor without going full ninja.

      • Ross Angus says:

        THIS.

      • brgillespie says:

        Thanks! After Googling “Bakumatsu era”, that would be the time period I was referring in my rather uneducated fashion. :)

        I think the transition could easily tie into the Assassins/Templars conflict.

      • Heliocentric says:

        I’d even allow them to call it Assassins Creed Ronin without balking.

      • soulblur says:

        Seems like a natural fit. And shifting the location might allow Ubisoft to get away from one of the more irritating aspects of the series (for me at least): the focus on the conflict between Assassins and Templars. Or as far as I can tell these days: two groups of indistinguishable murdering bastards. A third faction could be introduced, perhaps just protecting Japanese people (or even just a clan) from the machinations of the AvsT conflict.

        In some ways, it would be a natural progression for the series: the protagonist of Black Flag wasn’t really an assassin at all, and had little interest in their aims.

        Other things I’d like to see: better focus on stealth. More interesting and demanding combat. Greater variety of objects (ie, fewer haystacks). Character progression (like Ezio, over the series). Choices with consequences – for example, whether you accept a series of assassinations from the Assassins or from the Templars (or perhaps not even as spelled out as that – perhaps just from agents you suspect are working for one of those groups) – and this affects what missions you can choose later and which groups gain power. A setting like Bakumatsu would allow for lots of political maneuvering that your assassinations would back up, without so much of the AvsT bothering.

    • Anthile says:

      I would argue the Japanese Bakumatsu/Meiji Restoration/Boshin War era would make for an even better setting. That period had a large amount of actual assassinations, often in broad daylight. There were also the four Hitokiri, larger than life samurai-assassins, as well as the ever-controversial Shinsengumi. There is no need for ninjas.
      The Boshin war had naval battles, so they have that covered, too.

      • brgillespie says:

        I didn’t realize the era had an actual name, but this time period would be the one I was (trying) to convey. I agree, it’d be an awesome setting for an AC game.

    • yurusei says:

      I really don’t see how associations with the ninjas would be a bad thing – perhaps they should try and weave a story inside that doesn’t wholesale upend the entire history and culture of the Japanese ninja. Another Edward story? An European slave that was with the first Spanish Galleons that sailed into Japan and was somehow inducted into the ninja order? A meeting between Dutch European assassins and Japanese ninja? An exchange of culture and ideas that are birthed from that?

      I’m especially excited for the many possibilities that can come out of that. Setting it on Dejima Island, that wedged-shaped Gaijin cordoned land during the Isolationist Period would be a great leaping point.

    • Haplo says:

      I’ve been telling anyone who’ll listen that they absolutely need to set a game in the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom- an 1850s-60s theocratic rebel state in Qing China set in and around the former capital of Nanjing and Shanghai, with principles based on its autocratic leader’s interpretation of Christianity, a man who believed that Jesus came to him in a vision and that he was the brother of Christ himself. Meanwhile European factions observe from the sideline and consider manipulating or supporting one group or another…

      I mean, come on. As far as AC games go that practically writes itself.

    • maninahat says:

      India seems like an obvious choice, what with its extremely colourful locales, huge architectural diversity, and ridiculously diverse array of various weapons. Also, I have a huge indian oil lamp in the corner of my room, that for some reason has what looks exactly like the assassin’s creed logo on it: link to farm6.staticflickr.com

      I think there is actually a comic or side scroller set in India, but I’d like to see it done properly.

  4. brgillespie says:

    Maybe even make it open-world-ish, where you can side with the popular history version of samurai fighting to keep the old ways, or join the industrialists that want to modernize their country.

    Yes, I know that would be very Last Samurai-ish, but whatever, as long as it is fun.

  5. Alice O'Connor says:

    Here’s my wild and facetious prediction: turns out, YOU were Jack the Ripper and all those women were Templars with scrolls hidden in their guts. History solved!

    • Anthile says:

      “Jack the Ripper” was my first thought as well. As if there aren’t already enough games with shoddy, shoehorned in serial killer side quests. I’m looking at you, Skyrim, Divinity and Dragon Age 2.

      • woodsey says:

        Holy shit, I’d completely wiped the DA2 one from my memory. That was… bewildering, to say the least.

    • Ross Angus says:

      Guts? Guts. GUTS!.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      Better still the game ends with the protagonist realizing the entire Assassin/Templar war has been a figment of their imagination this whole time, a shared delusion passed on genetically, and your family has just been killing random historical figures for no reason since the Crusades.

    • mattevansc3 says:

      Aww, can’t we be a little bit more inventive and go with Spring Heeled Jack? That at least has the parkour elements.

    • Premium User Badge

      Thirith says:

      Scrolls? Feathers, you mean, surely!

      On a more serious note: Since I’ve always enjoyed the series most for its sense of a place and time, I’m really looking forward to this. Victorian London may be less original than, say, Japan or China, but for me it’s the balance between familiarity (e.g. exploring idealised versions of places that I’ve been to – I enjoyed Brotherhood‘s Rome twice as much after a holiday to the Eternal City) and novelty (I’ve seen movie and TV depictions of Victorian London, but I’ve never explored it myself). For all the valid criticism leveled at the series (and some of the personal bugbears – one person hates the modern/future bits, another gets a kick out of them), it’s usually done that bit right, as far as I’m concerned.

    • Turkey says:

      Cue the cacophony of a billion NPCs uttering the same 3 lines about Jack the Ripper as you push them aside to have a casual conversation with Charles Dickens.

    • Spacewalk says:

      You won’t even need a knife when the guts don’t render.

    • Eggman says:

      That would be an awesome indie game plot.

  6. Barchester says:

    London, brilliant! I’m loving the return to big European cities after the series spent far too long in colonial America, where all cities at that time were quite generic and same-y for my tastes.

  7. RARARA says:

    Seeing the image on top I got excited thinking that a game is finally featuring cross-dressing as a stealth mechanic.

    But alas, t’was only a hat.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    At least Big Ben and St. Paul’s appear to be in the right places. When I went to London in Wolfenstein: TNO, my brain couldn’t reconcile their imagining of how far Big Ben was from the river with my every-day experience.

    • c-Row says:

      Reminds me of this promo image from Hellgate London were reality around the Thames seems to heavily bend.

      • Shiloh says:

        That was taken after the big New Year’s Eve party in 2011. Looks much tidier now.

  9. Shiloh says:

    That’s proper East End, that is. Look, in the image, the train even leaves from “this halt Walford”.

    Fingers crossed for Dirty Den making a cameo, although hopefully not in front of his webcam knocking one out, or stabbing a foreign hansom cabbie.

  10. Turkey says:

    I’m guessing the next none-main-one is cowboy times, and the next major one is St. Petersburg 1917.

    • All is Well says:

      Or the American Civil War! Two well-defined sides amidst political turmoil. Sort of the standard setting. The October revolution might be a bit trickier, as I think it might be hard to sell either side as “good guys” to the American or European public. Personally I’d love for any game set in the Russian Revolution, or much rather the ensuing Civil War. In the East! Like Beloe Solntse Pustiny!

  11. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    At the rate AC games are coming out, the setting time should overtake real time before too long.

    AC: Tranquillity, set on the circa-2097 moon colony. You heard it here first.

    • Anthile says:

      I have the head canon that I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream is the end point of the Assassin’s Creed timeline.

      • Dilapinated says:

        ..That alone might actually rekindle my interest in the series.

  12. mattevansc3 says:

    Regarding the VA, one of my friends that has done game VA before was going for an audition this week for an undisclosed game where the eventual employer would be Ubisoft Newcastle.

    The audition piece seemed a bit “flowery” but would fit in with that timeframe. Hopefully this means more Brits doing the VA so less chance of dodgy mockney accents.

  13. ravencheek says:

    So all of the comments are now guessing where the next game will be set, does anyone actually care about this one? Or the fact that Ass Creed has now become the yearly 3rd Person version of Call of Duty?

    Yearly release, slight change in time-line, setting, god awful story that nobody cares about. Yep sounds like COD.

    Is it just me that couldn’t care less about this game series now it has officially devolved into Ubi’s cash generator which has a yearly release schedule?

    The last one was released horribly broken and bug riddled, Ubi knew this hence the review embargo before release, and their shameful propaganda that locked 30fps looks better than 60fps. And they are already trying to distract from that with this teaser at the next one?

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I’m actually loving Unity – first one since AC2 that’s sparked my interest. I love the far more personal story too.

      • Barchester says:

        I’m with you, SanguineAngel. So far it’s my favourite AC since they left Italy, and I’ve played every game in the series. As long as they keep putting them out annually and keep delivering the same level of quality and scope in their open worlds, I’ll keep coming back for more.

        • SanguineAngel says:

          I’m unlikely to pick up Victory so soon after the release of Unity but the setting does intrigue me. Since it’s been developed in parallel I am not sure it’ll have the same focus on the personal rather than global storyline though. I’ll likely get it a bit further down the line though but I do feel there are other settings that would be more interesting.

          Ubi definitely make their games to a template and produce them at a rate of knots but I don’t think that’s a reason to knock individual games. Unity undeniably has technical issues but the game underneath is great on its own.

          • ravencheek says:

            Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more forced or obvious shill post in my life.

            No relevance to the original post just “Well I think it’s great”, “I TOO think it’s great. It’s great we get great games of this great calibre”, “I also enjoy these great games, can’t wait for the next great one”.

            Nice try Ubi shills.

          • green frog says:

            @ravencheek

            You’re being obnoxious. How DARE someone like something you don’t like!

          • SanguineAngel says:

            Hi ravencheek! Thanks for your excellent and inoffensive post. As it happens my initial post was a pretty direct response to one aspect the initial comment. I then responded to the next comment partly because I both agreed and disagreed in part. I don’t know if you spotted this but I was trying to say that I actually enjoy unity on its own merits despite its flaws. I think ubisoft employ some ludicrous practices in many respects. Relevantly in this case is the template to which they seem to enforce all their games. However, I was trying say that this does not prohibit an individual game from being good.

            Sorry for the late reply – I am an egotist who enjoys looking at replies to my own past posts! So only just saw this.

    • Premium User Badge

      basilisk says:

      The games have been on an annual schedule since AC2 (2009). I’m not a big fan of that arrangement, but I find it odd when people (i.e. you and another poster above) present it like it’s something new.

  14. SanguineAngel says:

    I’d love them to have returned to the middle east for a chance to do it properly, to be honest. Or as others have suggested – India, Africa or Egypt might be a nice change of pace. I real cultural shift.

    I’m quite intrigued by the Victorian London setting but I can’t help but feel they’ve sort of jumped ahead of themselves. (knowing that they trend forward in time so are unlikely to revisit earlier periods in future instalments)

  15. Geebs says:

    Assassin’s Creed: Pyrrhic

  16. rapier17 says:

    What amuses me is that I (accurately, it appears) predicted on a forum that Victorian London would be the next stop for the AC games, just after Unity was released. My theory is you’ll play ‘Jack’;

    “…an Assassin who’s knocking off Templars and in response they frame him through the Ripper murders, leaking out his name so he becomes known as Jack the Ripper and as the story progresses his ‘allies’ turn their backs on him until in the end he’s been ostracised and is wanted for the murders. Or something.”

    Wonder how accurate that’ll be.

  17. TheTingler says:

    If Unity is anything to go by, does this mean that all the characters in Victorian London will have French accents?

  18. Muzman says:

    Con sider yoursewf, a’ ‘ome.

  19. thekelvingreen says:

    Imagine the mockney accents.

    Given how revolutionary Paris was full of broad Yorkshire drawls, I imagine that Assassin’s Londoners will all be from Sao Paulo.

  20. Zenicetus says:

    Oh ho…. what do you want to bet that Joseph Bell will show up here, who was the possible inspiration for Sherlock Holmes. Can they resist doing that? Holmes was the first person I thought of, instead of the Ripper, when I heard about the setting.

    Here’s the Wiki page on Bell: link to en.wikipedia.org

    Could the protagonist actually be Bell? The age isn’t quite right, but maybe it’s not a stretch. They could flip the story arc to the other side like they’re doing with the new side project, and make Bell a Templar vs. the Ripper as an Assassin. I sure wouldn’t mind more actual clue-finding and deduction, instead of being led by the nose through scripted stealth missions.