The new “Assassin’s Creed” was designed by the Ubisoft studio in Quebec

The new “Assassin’s Creed” was designed by the Ubisoft studio in Quebec
The new “Assassin’s Creed” was designed by the Ubisoft studio in Quebec

Founded 27 years ago, Ubisoft Montreal, with its 4,000 employees, is the largest video game studio in the world, recalls Nathalie Bouchard, general manager of Ubisoft Quebec. Founded in 2005, the little brother from Quebec has around 600 employees.

But the Quebec studio is taking the lead in the design of the next opus of the long series Assassin’s Creedthe majority of which was produced by Ubisoft Montreal.

Ms. Bouchard emphasizes that this is a great opportunity for the Quebec team to lead a project.

The Quebec team took overAssassin’s Creed Syndicate from 2015 andAssassin’s Creed Odyssey of 2018, and developed the action-adventure game Immortals Fenyx Risingreleased in 2020.

Ms. Bouchard emphasizes that Ubisoft studios can alternate between the role of leader and collaborator on projects.

“It’s very motivating and helps develop the skills and talent of the team,” explains the general director.

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Revealed this week asAssassin’s Creed Shadowsthe newest game in the historical action-adventure series takes players to feudal Japan, a setting long requested by fans.

“When we start an ‘Assassin’s Creed’ game, we have a lot of ideas about possible settings, but a lot of people contribute to choosing a setting. It’s not just the studio that decides,” explains Charles Benoit, director of the new game.

He points out that the designers looked at data about what players wanted, their own preferences and also what they wanted to do in the future. “And then for us it felt like it was time to go to Japan, it was something we wanted to do for a long time.”

Stealth

The previous installment of the franchise, AAssassin’s Creed Mirage, marked a return of emphasis on “stealth”, and the name of the next game suggests a continuation of this commitment. With Shadows (shadows), there has been an effort to “modernize the stealth experience,” Mr. Benoit says: “the perception of the enemy is more dynamic than ever.”

“Now we take into account light and shadow. This is the first time in the franchise. Additionally, dynamic weather impacts how [les ennemis] perceive you (…) Heavy rain can obstruct their vision.”

The game will feature two protagonists: the samurai Yasuke and Naoe, a female shinobi or ninja.

“If we think of feudal Japan, we immediately have in mind this image of large castles, samurai and ninjas,” underlines Mr. Benoit. So we wanted to bring back shinobi and samurai because they’re so interesting.”

The franchise has a tradition of having players interact with rewritten versions of famous characters. But this time, one of the characters is truly taken from Japanese history: Yasuke was a foreigner recruited as a warrior by Oda Nobunaga, a powerful daimyo or feudal lord of the 16th century, explains Charles Benoit.

“What’s great about this character is that you can experience Japan through his eyes, those of a foreigner, and most players experience Japan at the same time. So we felt it was a great opportunity for us,” he says.

The characters of Yasuke and Naoe will have stories that will eventually intertwine, the game director explains, and players will have the option to alternate between him and her as the game progresses.

“It feels new in terms of play style because the two characters play differently. They have different parkour animations, the world perceives them differently, they have different stories, he says. It’s a refreshing feeling when you go from one to the other.”

Another reason is that it is the first “Assassin’s Creed” designed for new generation consoles, explains Mr. Benoit, referring to the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X and S.

This technological upgrade comes with improvements such as a setting that seems more alive, with a full cycle of seasons, explains the game director. “We believe that there are many elements that make this game a sort of new beginning for the franchise.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows is scheduled to be released on November 15.

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