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Assassin’s Creed Shadows brings the open-world series to feudal Japan

Ubisoft detailed Assassin’s Creed Shadows yesterday, a game that’ll look to change things up (a little) for the series.

A shadowy time

For a fairly long time now, Assassin’s Creed fans have wanted a game set in feudal Japan. So when the Assassin’s Creed title “Codename Red” was first announced back in 2022, the hype train started rolling for many. We haven’t seen anything on the game since, but like the ninja that will (partially) take the spotlight in the upcoming title, a full detailing on Assassin’s Creed Shadows has sprung up from nowhere. Ubisoft dug into the game that’ll be this year’s AC title yesterday, at a special online event, and took the wraps off of Naoe and Yasuke.

Yes, there’ll be twin heroes in this new AC, including both a shinobi with Naoe, and a samurai with Yasuke. That latter name might ring familiar for you too, if you’re into the history of Japan, since he’s actually based on a real man. In a break from tradition, Assassin’s Creed Shadows will put players into the boots of an actual historical figure, and in this case it’s the first (only?) African samurai.

And yes, if you’re paying attention, that is another break from tradition. Shadows will be set in feudal Japan, but only one of its playable characters will actually be Japanese. More changes include a base-building mechanic that’ll have players actually creating customized hideouts, and a world that changes with not just weather, but seasons by way of Ubi’s Anvil engine.

Oh, and another big change? This one’s current generation only. The Xbox One and PS4 are set to be left out in the cold.

Here’s the first look at it in action (though this is non-gameplay)

Players will experience the intertwined stories of Naoe, an adept shinobi Assassin from the Iga Province, and Yasuke, the powerful samurai of historical legend. Discover their personal stories, meet pivotal historical figures, and shape the duo’s common destiny as they usher in a new era for Japan.  

As Naoe and Yasuke, players can master two complementary playstyles, with each character featuring their own progression paths, skills, weapon options, and stats. Whether they embrace Naoe’s stealth skills or Yasuke’s combat prowess, players will have plenty of ways to approach objectives. With Naoe, they will experience refined infiltration mechanics using light, noise, shadows, and changing surroundings to avoid detection from enemies. With Yasuke, they will be able to take on larger groups of enemies with brutal precision. 

The game will let players explore a vast open world with a variety of landscapes evolving through weather and seasons. From spectacular castle towns and bustling ports to peaceful shrines and pastoral landscapes, feudal Japan comes to life with unprecedented dynamism built from the ground up with the latest version of Anvil engine and the power of new-gen consoles.  

In this troubled period, information is key and will be at the heart of the renewed exploration mechanics. Players will build their own spies’ network to unveil new areas and hunt down targets. Allies with highly specialized skills and abilities can also be recruited to help during missions. The creation of their own customizable hideout will enable players to enhance their network and train their new crew. From base building and layout to decorations and accessories, they will be able to craft a unique place to call home. 

Ubisoft press release

Buying in

As seems to be the norm now, the Standard edition of Assassin’s Creed Shadows will be priced in at $69.99 USD, though it’ll be joined by three more versions. Those include a Gold, Ultimate, and (naturally) Collector’s Edition.

  • The Gold Edition will include the base game, the Season Pass (including a bonus quest with additional unlockable content as well as two upcoming expansions) and 3 days early access to the game. 
  • The Ultimate Edition will include the base game, the Season Pass, the Ultimate Pack and 3 days early access to the game. The Ultimate Pack will contain the Sekiryu Character Pack (Naoe and Yasuke outfit and weapon, trinket and mount), the Sekiryu Hideout Pack, 5 Skill points and a Red and black photo mode filter. 
  • The Collector’s Edition will include the base game, the Season Pass, the Ultimate Pack, physical content and 3 days early access to the game. The physical content will be a Steelbook, the World map, Naoe & Yasuke Figurine, life-size Naoe’s Katana Tsuba, a Wall Creed Scroll, an 84 pages collector’s artbook and 2 sumi-e lithographs. 

Stay tuned, because the first look at actual gameplay will be arriving in June, and from there it’s on to launch. Fans can expect that to happen worldwide on November 15th for the PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. You can dig in a few days earlier on the 12th as well, but only if you’re either an Ubisoft+ subscriber, or you pick up the above-detailed Ultimate Edition.

About Jason Micciche

Jason's been knee deep in videogames since he was but a lad. Cutting his teeth on the pixely glory that was the Atari 2600, he's been hack'n'slashing and shoot'em'uping ever since. Mainly an FPS and action guy, Jason enjoys the occasional well crafted title from every genre.

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