I should start off by saying that no official announcement has been made by Ubisoft in regards to the next Assassins Creed game, but there have been two notable ‘leaks’ that are apparently from the next iteration. This article is going to look at the two leaks and hopefully source some validation for ‘Empire’ being set in Egypt.
You may recognise the above image, for it was the first image to be revealed in regards to the next generation of Assassins Creed. The most notable thing that links the image to the series itself is the iconic symbol of the assassin on the shield. Fun fact : that symbol is derived from the image you would see if viewing the head of an eagle in flight, from above.
In regards to the image however, at the time it was best to take it with a grain of salt due to the fact that it could have easily been faked. Despite this it got the hype train running for a trip to Egypt has been on the wishlist of many fans of Assassins Creed, especially as we get closer and closer to the present day.
However, further confirming that the next step in Assassins Creed was the above image that was found on Reddit, not too long ago. The account that posted it was deleted shorter after, in the fashion of leakers. In the photo we are granted a view of a simple style boat, which is wonderful to say the least, and historically, quite accurate as Egypt did have boats at the time which the above image is set. Not to mention, they would be the most useful of tools, based on Egypt’s dependency on the Nile river.
This image shows us that it is set in the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, based on the quest in the top left corner, which references Khenut’s Villa. Khenut or Khenit, was one of the main Queens of the final Pharaoh of the Fifth Dynasty, Unas. Now, since most Assassins Creed games feature a setting that is undergoing some sort of strife or historical change, the fact that it is set during the reign of Unas could be a strong sign. This is because Egypt, at that point in history, was undergoing a period of steady economic decline and a decrease in power, which would lead into the First Intermediate Period.
However, if it is set in that time, it is disappointing, as there may not be any interaction with Pharaoh’s and Queens that players may have heard of before. Figures such as Hatshepsut, Ramses and Seti, and even Tutankhamun, were some of the most notable rulers of the Two Lands and if it is set at the end of the Old Kingdom, we will not see them in the game.
But back to the image. There is also an optional quest to hunt and assassinate a Crocodile. This seems out there and weird, but in Ancient Egyptian times, the hunting of animals such as Crocodiles and Hippopotomi, by the King was seen as the triumph of order and peace (Maat) over chaos.
These leaks and their historical accuracies seem to confirm that the next Assassins Creed game will be set in Ancient Egypt, at the end of the Fifth Dynasty. With the lacklustre reception of AC Unity and the underwhelming week one sales of AC Syndicate the series may be taking a trip back to its roots, deeper into the past, which in my opinion is incredibly wise. And I am not just saying that because I love Ancient Egypt.