Typical - we wait around for one piece of Assassin's Creed news to drop, only for an overwhelming cascade of new information regarding the future of the hit action-adventure video game franchise to land at once! Ubisoft haven't exactly shied away from revealing as much as possible about Assassin's Creed Unity, but even so, what we've learnt about the project (and various other companion products) today is nothing short of revolutionary (aptly so, we suppose, given that the French Revolution itself provides the backdrop for the series' first next-gen storyline).
Four years on from this blog's première, we'd fully expect many members of our readership to know what's coming by now, yet just in case, here's a brief précis regarding this particular article format - our 'Round-Up' pieces compile news stories relating to a specific subject and/or franchise (the Marvel Cinematic Universe saga, for example, or in this case, Assassin's Creed) so as to allow you, dear reader, to bring yourself up-to-date on the latest official developments. Without further ado, here's everything fans are sure to want to know about what's next for Arno, Ezio and company:
- ASSASSIN'S CREED FILM ADAPTATION DELAYED - Fresh off their dual announcements of the development of a X-Men spin-off based around Deadpool and a setback suffered by The Fantastic Four, 20th Century Fox have announced that their planned blockbuster adaptation of the Assassin's Creed series (which is rumoured to be based on the storyline of Assassin's Creed II and therefore feature Ezio Auditore as its protagonist, though everything beyond the casting of Fassbender as the as-of-yet-unnamed main character is the stuff of conjecture at the moment) has been delayed indefinitely. Insiders report that a 2016 release is on the cards, but given how hectic a schedule Fassbender appears to be dealing with at this point in time (which could well be the reason for the delay, quite honestly), nothing's certain. The question that will be on everyone's lips, of course, is whether or not the adaptation in question will end up going ahead, yet to our minds, the opportunity for Fox to bring one of the world's most popular video game franchises will surely prove irresistible to the studio, regardless of the time and monetary investments required in order for them to do so.
- ASSASSIN'S CREED UNITY - DEAD KINGS DLC CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCED - Whilst it's safe to say that the vast majority of fans assumed Ubisoft Montreal would follow up Assassin's Creed Unity with several downloadable expansions soon after its global launch, at the same time, it seems a pretty safe assertion that the hardened followers in question were expecting said DLC to be announced after the product had shipped. Ever the defiers of convention, however, Ubi have gone ahead and confirmed that one of the DLC packs which will feature as part of Unity's Season Pass (currently selling for an RRP of $29.99) is Dead Kings, an expansion boasting a standalone narrative which takes place after the events of the main campaign. The selling point of this particular digital release is clearly the chance being offered for players to venture beyond the lofty confines of Rome as Arno and into the depths of Saint Denis (we're not speaking in metaphors here, either - the French city's catacombs will serve as the latest member of the titular Brotherhood's playground this time around), but aside from that, the prospect of sampling three exclusive new single-player missions in Paris and a wealth of supplementary activities (more details on those as they come) should be more than enough to entice even the most cynical of series veterans to return. Assassin's Creed Unity - Dead Kings will be released via the Xbox Live Marketplace, PlayStation Store and PC marketplaces in early 2015.
- ASSASSIN'S CREED CHRONICLES: CHINA ANNOUNCED - Most publishers would probably be more than content with simply revealing one new instalment of their respective franchise in a press release, yet Ubisoft evidently didn't feel it necessary to stop there by any means. Enter Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China, a 2.5-D platformer which the studio saw fit to unveil straight after confirming the existence of Dead Kings earlier today. What with all the uproar surrounding the lack of a playable female Assassin in Unity, it really should come as no surprise that Chinese warrior Shao Jun (who first appeared in the animated spin-off movie Assassin's Creed: Embers and was trained by none other than Ezio) will act as our controllable point of entry into the Chronicles sub-series, although in light of the increasingly concerning lack of female protagonists in the video games industry overall, we're certainly in no hurry to lament the publisher's prudent decision to pander to the vocal masses and head in this direction. We're promised forays into and onto famous landmarks of the titular nation such as the Great Wall of China (amongst others), so even if the product (which will follow Dead Kings' lead in launching as part of the overall Unity Season Pass package)'s gameplay only matches the sub-par Nintendo DS and PlayStation Vita Creed outings rather than the likes of Black Flag and, indeed, Unity, its visual splendour and diversity certainly won't be called into question. Expect to see Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China sneak onto PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC via their respective digital marketplaces in early 2015.
Keep it locked at On-Screen if it's new info on Unity, Dead Kings, Chronicles and the like which you're hunting for in the coming weeks.