Gaming

Assassin’s Creed Shadows Launches November 15, Features Dual Protagonists in Feudal Japan

Ubisoft has today announced Assassin’s Creed Shadows which launches on November 15th. The game originally codenamed AC Red will be set in 16th century Japan and features dual protagonists, players will take control of Naoe, a Japanese Shinobi and Yasuke, a real-life historical samurai. Here is more info below…

Assassin’s Creed Shadows takes the franchise to 16th century Japan when it launches on November 15 on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Amazon Luna, Macs with Apple silicon via the Mac App Store, PC through the Ubisoft Store and the Epic Games Store, and as part of a Ubisoft+ Premium subscription. Players will step into the roles of a Japanese shinobi, Naoe, and – in a series first – a real-life historical samurai, Yasuke.

Ubisoft Quebec’s focus throughout the development of Assassin’s Creed Shadows has been to fulfill two iconic player fantasies – shinobi and samurai – and ensure that its late-Sengoku period setting, known for its political tumult, warfare, and dramatic social reformation, serves as an authentic backdrop for the pair. This means both protagonists offer vastly different gameplay experiences, and overlapping perspectives on a transformative moment in Japanese history.

The Late Sengoku Period
The development team was drawn to the late Sengoku period, also known as the Azuchi-Momoyama era, because it was full of foundational, pivotal events: the late 16th century saw three of Japan’s most important and well-known figures successfully take power during an extensive Warring States Period. Social reforms reshaped and reorganized the land, farmers and religious leagues rose up to oppose powerful military clan warlords, and an artistic renaissance began that would later bloom during the Edo period. It was a dramatic era, full of contrast, and the threat of the Portuguese – who had reached Japan a few decades before – loomed large.

Ubisoft Quebec went to great lengths consulting source documentation and building a network of expert historians, professors, and cultural consultants to help the team build a world as authentically as possible, from castle construction principles to tea ceremonies to tatami alignment. The team made trips to Japan to help them properly grasp the landscape and the culture, and more importantly, connect with Ubisoft’s Tokyo and Osaka teams, who helped with the creation of the game.

 

 

Yasuke: A Real-Life Samurai
The decision to include a playable, real-life historical figure of this era in Assassins’ Creed Shadows was two-fold: Ubisoft Quebec wanted to include a Samurai, and Yasuke’s story was open-ended enough to allow for creativity; there are still plenty of questions and speculation surrounding him. The fascinating facts, though, were undisputable: of African origin, he arrived in Japan enslaved by the Portuguese; he impressed with size, strength, and wits; he served under the Japanese daimyo Oda Nobunaga. There must have been something exceptional about Yasuke to succeed in the service of a personality like Nobunaga’s, the team explains, and the goal has been to expound on this in Assassin’s Creed Shadows through his curiosity, openness, respect for values and tradition, valor, warmth, and charisma.

He also offers a unique perspective on the period: players can discover Japan alongside him. On one hand, he serves as a warning for the colonizing threat that the Portuguese present, and on the other, he adapted and thrived in Japan, and can be viewed as an example of the meritocratic structure established under Nobunaga. In Assassin’s Creed Shadows, his historical story is established, and then developed and expanded from that point (the team won’t spoil how he’s linked to Assassin’s Creed’s lore; players will have to play the game to find out).

Naoe: The Blade of the People
While Naoe and Yasuke play very differently – Naoe is a shinobi who uses stealth, parkour, and gadgets, whereas Yasuke is combat-oriented and armored – the pair’s personalities ultimately complement each other to form a unique dynamic throughout Shadows.

At Assassin’s Creed Shadows’ start, Naoe is a 17-year-old from Iga, and the daughter of one of the era’s most iconic shinobi, Fujibayashi Nagato, who – despite a promise to keep her safe – is forced to train her to be his equal in battle. The team describes Naoe as ‘determined but compassionate,’ capable of taking down any enemy while showing compassion to victims of war and corruption. With her home province of Iga squarely in the path of Nobunaga’s conquest, she sees first-hand the destruction that war can bring, and vows to use her skills to help her people.

Two Sides of the Same Coin
Assassin’s Creed Shadows’ dual protagonists are ultimately brought together by Nobunaga, whose goal of unifying Japan takes his army – and Yasuke – to the province of Iga for the Second Tenshō Iga War. The Igan resistance, though greatly overpowered by Nobunaga’s army, is courageously led by Naoe’s father. The two protagonists find each other through Nobunaga, although, for obvious reasons, they don’t exactly get off to a great start. The pair provide the player with opposing perspectives on Nobunaga and the means he used to achieve his goal of unification, and their overlapping perspectives throughout Shadows ultimately allow for a more nuanced look at the late Sengoku period.

The difference in their social stature is reflected in the world itself, which will respond differently to the player depending on who they are playing as. Naoe, for example, can present herself as a peasant and garner appropriate reactions; that is, if she wants to be seen at all. Yasuke, on the other hand, comes from a different land, but his status as a samurai garners respect from others, so people will bow to him on the streets. Characters can have different expectations of the pair, and in some cases, will prefer to deal with only one or the other.

Naoe and Yasuke’s disparate personalities also lead them to have different relationships and rapports with other characters, and they don’t always feel the same way about people, nor do people always feel the same way about them. Romantically, they will also attract and be attracted to different types of people. Through the pair, players will get to experience a multitude of relationships.

Looking Ahead to Launch
Right now, Ubisoft Quebec is in the process of iteration and review, spending a great deal of time ensuring the details are just right. Assassin’s Creed Shadows introduces a number of innovations to the series – including changing seasons and the use of light and shadow, both of which factor into its gameplay – but more than that, it’s about the journey through Japan. The game world is dynamic and highly detailed, built with the goal of letting players get lost within it – and as both Naoe and Yasuke, players will have new, unique ways to connect with the beauty that surrounds them.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows takes the franchise to 16th century Japan when it launches on November 15 on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Amazon Luna, Macs with Apple silicon via the Mac App Store, PC through the Ubisoft Store and the Epic Games Store. Play the Ultimate Edition 3 days early as part of the Ubisoft+ Premium subscription which includes the season pass, bonus digital content, and the pre-order bonus quest “Thrown to the dogs”.

Source: Ubisoft

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