Assassin's Creed is Ubisoft long-running tentpole series. It started in the Holy Land during the Crusades to the far-reaching terrains of Ancient Greece and now the latest chapter will be set in feudal Japan. We have always thought that shinobis would be a natural fit in a series about assassins but given the glut of the Assassin's Creed world, can this latest instalment reinvigorate the franchise?

Assassin's Creed: Shadows was first known as Assassin's Creed: Codename Red when it was leaked in 2022. (It was leaked alongside another game-in-development, Assassin's Creed: Codename Hexe—about the witch trials in the Holy Roman Empire.) Shadows was further leaked at store listings while a marketing push was made via an ARG that led fans to the number, "1579", which is the year when the first Black samurai, Yasuke, was believed to arrive in Japan.

The Trailer

You'll get to see Yasuke in the trailer, alongside Naoe, as the two of them embark on a quest against the backdrop of civil wars and social upheavals during the Sengoku period. It appears that you can switch between Naoe and Yasuke with different play styles—stealthily as a shinobi or more combat-based as a samurai, respectively. Players get to explore an open-world feudal Japan, where according to Ubisoft's creative director, Jonathan Dumont, Shadows will be "a little bit more to the size of Assassin's Creed Origins".

Other reported features for Shadows include a light metre, where you can snuff out light sources so that you can hide in the shadows; there will be a settlement system with customisable buildings, dojos, shrines, armoury and more; seasonal changes that will impact the environment you're in.

The trailer looks promising. And given the sudden interest in historic Japan, it's high time that we have a Japan-centric chapter to the Assassin's Creed franchise.

Assassin's Creed: Shadows is expected to be released on 15 November, 2024 and is available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. Pre-orders are now open.