Assassin's Creed is a franchise synonymous with stealth, parkour, assassinations, historical set-pieces and, above all, intriguing and fun characters. Recently, the franchise has also become known for its inventive RPG mechanics, which breathed new life into the stagnating series.
However, since the advent of the RPG saga of Assassin's Creed, the series has been missing out on one of the core aspects of the franchise, the multiplayer. Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, a beloved follow-up to the equally amazing Assassin's Creed II, was the first game to bring multiplayer aspects to the franchise.
Multiplayer used to be a crucial part of every game in the series since then, with unique game modes that utilized the stealth and parkour traversal aspects of the single-player campaign to full effect. The last game to feature a fleshed-out multiplayer experience was 2014's Assassin's Creed Unity.
Almost a decade later, it seems Ubisoft is finally looking at bringing back the fascinating and fun multiplayer gameplay to the stealth action-adventure series, via Assassin's Creed Infinity, a platform that aims to combine all AC experiences under one synchronized system.
Infinity will also be bringing back the multiplayer experience back to the series, albeit in a new and entirely revamped format.
Assassin's Creed Infinity is the perfect platform to bring multiplayer back to the franchise
The live-service model and post-launch support
Assassin's Creed Infinity was previously speculated by fans as the next mainline entry in the franchise. Instead of having a single historical setting, it will feature multiple different ones that will gradually be added to the game over time.
Ubisoft has been very upfront about most of its flagship franchises primarily focusing on the live-service model, with strong post-launch support and player engagement with various in-game activities.
The last three Assassin's Creed games have been a prime example of the live-service model that the French developer is pushing for, with multiple expansions, free post-launch add-ons, including new quests, weapons, armor, and other in-game items, and a plethora of end-game activities.
The last entry in the series, AC: Valhalla, had the most expansive post-launch support period in the franchise's entire history, with two full years of regular content drops and three massive paid expansions, along with a plethora of new and inventive game modes like the River Raids and Mastery Challenges.
The game even received a roguelite-inspired expansion called the Forgotten Saga. Ubisoft left no stone unturned when it came to supporting the franchise's live-service model, which makes the concept of Infinity even more fascinating, especially for players that are new to the franchise.
Assassin's Creed Infinity as the central hub for multiplayer interactions
While the multiplayer has been absent from the series for a long time, its return with Infinity seems like a really novel idea. Since AC Infinity will act as a hub for all future AC titles, it makes for the ideal platform to host the multiplayer aspect of the series.
While not much detail is available on how Ubisoft is going to implement the system going forward, the idea of multiplayer returning to the series at long last has fans really excited.
Ubisoft's idea of AC Infinity seems very similar to Call of Duty: Warzone. Since Call of Duty Modern Warfare (2019), Warzone has become a central hub for all current and future CoD titles.
Much like how Warzone is mandatory for every new Call of Duty multiplayer function to work, Infinity might be a similar extension of the single-player Assassin's Creed titles that players can choose to install if they want to engage with the community and partake in the multiplayer aspects of the game.
Announcements so far regarding Assassin's Creed Infinity
During the recent Ubisoft Forward event, Vice President and Executive Producer of Assassin's Creed, Marc-Alexis Côté stated that Infinity will be more like an in-game hub that players can interact with, and which will evolve over time as more games are released.
Infinity is also where the series' modern day storyline will reside going forward.
The whole concept of Infinity is designed to replicate the Animus, a machine built by Abstergo that allows users to access genetic memories of their ancestors. Côté also confirmed that players can buy individual titles in the series as they did previously.
However, when they boot up the game, they will be greeted by the Infinity hub, which will remain the same throughout every other title in the series, irrespective of the platform.
So far, Ubisoft has announced three titles that will fall under AC Infinity, Project Jade, an open-world RPG much like Origins, Odyssey and Valhalla, but exclusive to mobile platforms.
Project Red, the next mainline installment in the series, will take players to Feudal Japan and Project Hexe - even further into the future - and will take the series into an entirely new direction.
Evolving the multiplayer aspects of the series
Infinity can be a big step forward in not only bringing the multiplayer gameplay back to the series, but also evolving it into a more cohesive and enjoyable experience.
While multiplayer modes in Assassin's Creed games have never been a highlight of the experience, they feature some really unique and interesting ideas that can even work well with the modern AnvilNext engine.
Ubisoft did try to innovate beyond the basic hide-and-seek multiplayer modes in the series, with AC Unity's co-op missions allowing up to four players to undertake a story-driven mission that saw them either escort an NPC to safety or assassinate certain targets.
Although the co-op missions were fairly simple and short, they were a fun distraction from the main game's narrative.
Evolving a multiplayer experience in a series that is primarily known for its single-player, narrative-driven experience is easier said than done.
However, Ubisoft can take a look back at the old titles in the series for inspiration on designing fun and exciting multiplayer game modes for their new and upcoming titles, within AC Infinity.
Infinity is a very ambitious project, with how Ubisoft is aiming to implement the hub-system into their future Assassin's Creed titles. It remains to be seen how Ubisoft ends up delivering on this idea and whether it can deliver on the promise of a revamped multiplayer experience.