Based on recent leaks, it seems like the Assassin’s Creed franchise is headed to VR with the upcoming title, Nexus. Leaked gameplay showcases menu gameplay, logos, and more. The title reportedly features multiple protagonists from previous titles, including Ezio, Kassandra, Connor, and Haytham.
Ubisoft’s stealth-action open-world series Assassin’s Creed is arguably one of the most recognizable franchises in the modern-day video game industry. The decade-and-a-half old series takes players across different time periods, as they relive the memories of the protagonist entangled in a millennia-old secret war between two factions, the Assassin’s Brotherhood and the Templar Order. While the series has maintained a more or less yearly release, recent entries in the franchise have taken a different path, both in narrative focus and gameplay loops.
The most recent entry, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, was released back in late 2020 with post-launch support expanding to the current year 2022, a year longer than originally planned. However, with Valhalla trotting towards the end of post-launch support, fans are wondering what’s next for the franchise, and the answer seems to be Virtual Reality.
Assassin’s Creed Nexus will reportedly let players assume the role of well-known assassins such as Ezio, Kassandra, Connor, and Haytham
While discussing the future of the iconic series, one has to address the officially announced title, Assassin’s Creed Infinity. Infinity was confirmed late last year following a series of leaks regarding the franchise. Set to be a life series title that will be more of a platform for the future of the franchise, details regarding Infinity are currently scarce. Animus, the in-universe simulation device that lets people experience memories of the past, will reportedly play a significant role, with fans speculating it to take a similar form to what was teased at the start of Unity. However, before expanding with the live-service model, Ubisoft seems to be taking the franchise in a new direction, Virtual Reality.
Ubisoft previously expanded its franchises into VR, such as 2021's Far Cry VR: Dive Into Insanity and 2017's Star Trek Bridge Crew. A VR Assassin’s Creed was announced back in September 2020 on Ubisoft's official news website, when they announced that the iconic franchise, along with Splinter Cell, would be headed to VR, specifically Meta’s Oculus Rift. Back then, not many details were shared other than the fact that the titles were being developed by Ubisoft’s Red Storm Entertainment. However, new details and a gameplay video seem to have been leaked.
As shared by Reddit user u/Echiketto, who had the opportunity to play the beta build of the VR title Assassin’s Creed Nexus, the game will consist of mission-specific open-sandbox areas, but will not be a proper open-world. He also shared details regarding the weapon arsenal, which primarily consists of swords, hidden blades, throwing knives, smoke bombs, and the crossbow. Additionally, the combat is more timing-based where players have to wait for the enemy to drop their guard in order to attack. Echiketto also mentioned that the player can parkour while holding down the A key.
All in all, Nexus sounds like a fun side addition to the expanding world of Assassin’s Creed. The gameplay footage seems to be close to the finishing stage, with available beta builds. Considering Ubisoft is rumored to have Ubisoft Forward set for the summer, it won’t be farfetched for the studio to surprise debut Nexus at the event.
What’s next for Assassin’s Creed?
Since the first title back in 2007, Ubisoft has been expanding the world of the Assassins and Templars. However, with recent titles, the conflict between the Assassins and Templars seems to have taken a backseat whilst newer games flesh out the world more.
With Infinity, Ubisoft is taking the series on a live-service route, and while that might seem to go against everything the single-player narrative-driven titles have stood for, if done correctly, it could actually transition quite well into a live-service model.
As for what’s next in the aspect of the mainline title, several rumors and in-game data mining seem to be hinting towards a smaller title featuring Basim, which is currently under development as Rift. The title, originally planned as the fourth expansion of Valhalla but later expanded into a full title, seems to be bringing back a lot of elements fans have been asking for.
All in all, the future of Assassin’s Creed seems to be quite diverse and vast. However, the question remains whether it can unite the already brittle fanbase or divide it even further.