Assassin’s Creed Shadows – Another One Of Ubisoft’s Titles

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Assassin's Creed Shadows.

Another day, another unsure scenario for Ubisoft. We’re referring to the hot drop of the first cinematic reveal trailer for Assassin’s Creed Shadows. Y’all remember when Assassin’s Creed was a stealth franchise, and we all collectively wanted a Japanese shinobi/ninja-themed game from them? Well, guess what?! We got it, but, we’re not too impressed. It’s actually pretty understandable to think about when you consider the fan outrage over their Star Wars Outlaws paywall idiocy.

Like, we feel that Ubisoft just doesn’t like money, now. Or at least not from the audience that’s been long-time fans since the beginning of the series. But now that segment of the fandom got burnt out with the incessant RPG-centric bloated and lifeless open worlds. Besides, they were just reskinning environments of older titles, which is the height of laziness in this day and age. Anyway, let’s break down the issues of the game we have and tell you exactly what problems we’re predicting.

What Was Revealed In The Assassin’s Creed Shadows CGI Trailer?

Assassin's Creed Shadows.
(It’s visually impressive, but that’s about it, and no signs of gameplay, which is a bad sign.)

So, what’s got us riling up about the Assassin’s Creed Shadows reveal? Well, to understand our perspective, first, you gotta know what information the trailer was containing. So, for those who were sleeping, here’s a gander of the CGI trailer for the game.

There’s Hardly Any Information About The Game And Opens The Door To Speculation

So, anyway, the presentation is spot on, we got to see the brewing conflict in Japanese history. We see two characters that we assume will be the leads. We’ll get to the characters a little later; right now, let’s focus on what else we saw in the reveal. It’s too much left to speculation and yet, the emotional note feels spoiled. Keep in mind that this is just from observing the trailer. It feels like we have already been given the summary of the story.

It’s gonna be a showdown between the Bushido, AKA Samurai, and possibly one shinobi or, should we say, kunoichi. We don’t know if the shinobi order is even a thing in this backdrop. Funny how the Assassin’s part of the Assassin’s Creed is still getting the undermining treatment, huh? But, yeah, it seems the two lead characters will be teaming up to fight back against the oppressive samurai regime. While we don’t mind that, Ubisoft’s assurances for stealth-centric gameplay have been blatant lies in the past with Vahalla, Origins, and Odyssey.

But Ubisoft isn’t without the potential to convince us that it can change course. Proof is that Assassin’s Creed Mirage, though not perfect, was a decent return to form. Also, that Ezio tune kicking in at the last few seconds of the trailer instantly spiked our interest in the game. But then again, when you rely solely on nostalgia to sell your newer games, that means your franchise is struggling.

Related: 100 Of The Most Iconic Video Game Soundtracks (100-81).

What Are The Problems With The Assassin’s Creed Shadows Right Off The Bat?

So, without wasting another second, we’ll tell you exactly why we have some serious issues with Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Shadows. No joke, this is a repeat of the fumble and failure of Star Wars Outlaws all over again. Why? Well, just take a look at the trailer again. Go ahead; we’ll wait and then check your observation skills.

1.) No Gameplay At All, But Ubisoft’s Got The Gall To Ask Players To Pre-Order The Game

No gameplay, nothing, nada.

Right, then. So, this is where things get muddy, and if you’re a keen observer, you’ll agree with us on this. Assassin’s Creed Shadows trailer was wholly cinematic. There wasn’t even a hint of gameplay in it during its entirety. Now, while that might not be an issue for some, we certainly smell something fishy. It’s not gonna be the first time a new Ubisoft title is completely subpar and utterly garbage from past ones. Need proof? We’ll give it gladly; check out our comparison of Skull & Bones (2024) and Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag (2014).

You’ll notice that after getting stuck in development hell, and with the latest resources behind it, too, Skull & Bones is a failure in every sense. Why? ‘Cause its inferior. to its decade-old inspiration. We fear, until we see some actual gameplay, this reservation will remain, valid because of Ubisoft’s abysmal track record.

We could be wrong here. But no gameplay is usually a sign that the game is too rough to show to the audience. Now, we can even see that changing down the road, but as things stand, we just got a glorified cutscene and synopsis of Assassin’s Creed Shadows, nothing more.

2.) Two Main Characters Who Are Fine But Can Create Logical Problems, Plotwise

Now, let’s talk about the two lead characters in Assassin’s Creed Shadows’ trailer. These two are fine for what the game’s trying to go for, but even in this, some things don’t sit right with us. Let’s see what those are by discussing both characters individually.

Naoe – The Kunoichi, AKA, The Female Shinobi

The kunoichi.
The kuonichi lead character is a great choice for the Japanese A/C game.

First, you have a Japanese woman who’s shown being forged in the fires of the tragedy of war. She is Naoe, a young lady who’s lost her home and family in the brewing political conflict in feudal Japan. For the most part, we got no issues with her, she’s even shown getting tossed around a few times. The problem is that her transition to an expert-level assassin character is a pivotal moment that was best to keep under wraps. We’ve seen everything storywise that’s important.

Also, if Ubisoft is serious about Naoe’s gameplay focusing purely on stealth action, then it better commit. Like seriously, one stealth kill and then a 100-men melee brawl-fest isn’t what we want. Unfortunately, since we never got any actual gameplay footage, this is another concern. But Naoe’s cool; she’s the part of the trailer that’s the most interesting by far.

In fact, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that her character model and the expressions on her face, if they’re the same in-game as in the trailer, could push her to become a fan favorite. We’ll go even so far as to say, Naoe, if she’s written well, could possibly stand on equal footing within our list of unique games with hot and cool female heroines.

Related: The Worst Female Characters In Video Games 2024 Edition.

Yasuke – The Black Samurai Tank

Yasuke the Samurai in Assassin's Creed Shadows.
Yeah… no, we’re not digging the whole Samurai as a lead character vibe.

Ubisoft has a tendency to take liberties with the actual historical stories and characters. But they also strive for authenticity, too, or so they claim. Unfortunately, Ubisoft samurai character in Assassin’s Creed Shadows, Yasuke, is gonna be tough to fit in story-wise.

He is of African descent and, historically, was never an actual Samurai, only a retainer. But we don’t mind that Ubisoft bent that historical fact; he looks imposing and intimidating, which is badass. The problem is that his presence feels forced. Also, Ubisoft, you’re telling us that the whole Japanese Assassin’s Creed setting doesn’t warrant a male Japanese character in the lead role? Seriously, Ghost Of Tsushima does a better job of showcasing how a stealth action game should be than anything Ubisoft puts out.

Let us put it this way: Would y’all be all right if Ezio wasn’t Italian in Assassin’s Creed II, Brotherhood, and Revelations? We didn’t think so; the same logic applies here. This feels like such a missed opportunity here, but that’s our personal view here.

3.) The Gameplay Divide Between Stealth And Combat-Focus Will Create A Jarring Experience

Gameplay problems we see in this one.
One’s a stealth-centric character, the other’s the opposite of that; yeah, it’s gonna be off-putting to OG fans of the series.

Look, again, it’s Ubisoft’s fumble for not giving us proper gameplay for Assassin’s Creed Shadows. If they had, we wouldn’t be bringing this one issue we see in the gameplay. First off, the jarring disconnect between the two characters is going to be awful.

Why? Well, let’s see, one lead character is a female with a petite figure and, oh yeah, of JAPANESE DESCENT! She’ll blend in, no problem. However, the trailer showed her taking on enemies head-on, too. This begs the question, will this game make stealth just an optional and forgettable part of the gameplay?

Naoe Is Fine, But Even That’s With A Caveat

Proof of concept?
This still wasn’t part of the trailer that dropped for the game, but we think it’ll be in the final product.

So, Naoe is the one you’ll be using for the stealth style of tactical gameplay. She is lithe, her swiftness, agility, and precision will be her main features. If Ubisoft manages to stick the landing with this one, it’ll fill the void in our heart of a proper Tenchu game. We know she’ll be the main we’ll be maining… nyuk nyuk~

Yasuke’s Gameplay Is Ubisoft Shoehorning The Warrior Arch-Type

Yasuke looks cool, but out of place.
The man is slicing heads like they’re butter, it’s awesome but out of place.

The big problem with this game is that if you decide to play as Yasuke it wouldn’t be an Assassin’s Creed game anymore. It’ll be a melee button-mash fest. Explain to us, Ubisoft, how in the fudge is a well-endowed black-skinned samurai supposed to blend in within a society of Japanese folks? How does that make sense, lore-wise? Wouldn’t everyone just see him coming from a mile away? Also, his gameplay style, as alluded to in the trailer, feels out of place and hardly subtle in a stealth game. He’d be the perfect fit among the greatest action games of all time.

Please understand that we’re not needlessly hating on Assassin’s Creed Shadows in our critique of the trailer. No, we’re just highlighting our own issues with the game and speaking on behalf of the OG fans. The ones who’ve been with the series since the start. So, when we say that we feel like Yasuke wasn’t the best choice for a protagonist in a Japanese Assassin’s Creed game, we’re not against him being the lead in another pure samurai game. In fact, now there’s an idea, Ubisoft! Make a samurai game all about the fictional escapades of Yasuke.

4.) The Pricing Absolutely Sucks

Assassin's Creed Shadows is being used for vile swindling by Ubisoft.
Oh, clever, very clever Ubisoft. We are both appalled and amazed by you finally showing your true colors in swindling gamers out of their hard-earned money.

Ohh, boy~ now we really wanna rip into Ubisoft for this one, and learning this, you’ll want to as well. Why? Well, here’s a hint: there’s a season pass for Assassin’s Creed Shadows. There’re already 3 story-DLC campaigns in the works. Oh, but the price point is where it gets truly infuriating. They’re asking you to pay $70 for a game you won’t own, as per Ubisoft’s stance that gamers should get comfy with the idea of not owning games. Oh, but it gets worse, people. You see, Ubisoft has also put a mandatory requirement for an online connection to install the game before you can play it. We smell the same moronic idiocy as WB Games embracing the live service gameplay model.

Related: WB Games CEO David Zaslav Shifts Blame To Rocksteady Studios For His Failures.

There are even more pricier Gold and Ultimate Editions, too, if you’ve got money to burn. Seriously, people, stop buying this crap. Just for the privilege of 3 days of early access or a few exclusive items and missions, you’re paying $110 or $130. But those weren’t enough money-grubbing ways of Ubisoft, oh no.

For a game with questionable direction to lore and game design, with no gameplay footage, they want you to subscribe to their service to milk money out of you while you wait. It might look enticing, but it really reeks of greed. When you add in the $18/month numbers, you’re paying for something you won’t get your hands on until then.

5.) Predatory Consumer Tactics By Ubisoft For Assassin’s Creed Shadows Are Vile

Vile tactics bu Ubisoft.
It is baffling people pay for this, STOP IT!

They’ve even gone to great lengths to make the subscription even more attractive, putting a blue outline around it to highlight it. The significantly seemingly low price point of $18 seems mighty fine after you cross the threshold of $70, $110, and $130, so you’re bound to go for it. It’s bloody genius, horrifying, and sickening how they’re using consumer psychology on the customers. This is something despicable by Ubisoft and is making us anxious about the future of gaming in general.

But Assassin’s Creed Shadows is the game we truly worry about. Cause at this point we have no idea what’re we even buying! So, yeah, it feels appropriate to call Ubisoft out on their BS. Hey, if not owning the game you buy is okay, according to them, then pirating a game you don’t own is perfectly fine, too. Fair’s fair, eh?

How To Stop Ubisoft’s Incompetent, Greedy, And Soulless Exploitation Of Assassin’s Creed?

Alright, so that was all about the problems we have with Ubisoft for their horrendous business practices. Now, here’s the bit where you can do your part in making your voice heard. Trust us; these bigshots will listen if the customer base unites and gives Ubisoft the mid-finger. So, here’s what y’all need to do to get Ubisoft to back off from bastardizing the Assassin’s Creed franchise and, in particular, Assassin’s Creed Shadows:

Don’t Pre-Order Assassin’s Creed Shadows

So, the first thing to do is to showcase a little maturity, fellow gamers. Don’t cave into the pressure and act impulsively. DO NOT pre-order Assassin’s Creed Shadows. Simple as that, once they see this response and their expectations aren’t met, they’ll have to investigate its cause. This will give them pause and re-evaluate their own position. They’ll realize gamers cannot be fooled by the glitz and glamor of CGI trailers. Abstain from pre-ordering the game is step one.

Wait Till The Games Go On Sale

Now, the second part that y’all will have to endure is to wait a couple of months after the game’s out. It would be better if you could wait a couple of years until the DLC campaigns and complete edition are fully fixed from bugs. Also, every kind of glitch and crashing issue is fixed, too, but we know not everyone’s that patient. So a couple of months will do. The trick is waiting for a sale for Assassin’s Creed Shadows. When it’s heavily discounted, say 60 to 70% off, then buy it.

Related: Suicide Squad Kills The Justice League On Discount At Amazon.

Demand To See Gameplay On Ubisoft’s Social Media Before Buying The Game

So, this one will require a fair bit of effort on all your parts. But trust us, it’ll be worth it. The thing to do is post constantly and tag your fellow gamer friends, too, on them. What will you be posting? Well, it’s the demand to see actual gameplay footage. It’ll drop eventually, but they asking us for money when they show zero in-game content; it feels fraudulent. So, what better way to show them the error of their ways than by repeatedly asking for gameplay footage? If it’s rough when they drop the footage, then don’t bother buying Assassin’s Creed Shadows.

Wait For Reviews And Demo To See If The Game’s Any Good

Last but not least, we wholeheartedly recommend not ever buying a game, be it Assassin’s Creed Shadows or any other, before getting a feel of the buzz and word of mouth surrounding it. Why? Well, ’cause it could be great, or it could be a real stinker. So, instead of risking buying a steaming pile of dog crap, you better take the cautious approach. Wait for reviews of the game before making an informed decision. Speaking of reviews, we’ve reviewed one of 2024’s excellent offerings, Stellar Blade, but also one of the year’s biggest disappointments in Alone In The Dark (2024). Check’em out.

Final Thoughts On Assassin’s Creed Shadows Reveal

Welp, that’s our detailed hottake analysis of Assassin’s Creed Shadows, folks. Yep, we might seem pessimistic, but call it the bitterness of being soured by Ubisoft one time too many. They have this bad habit of digging themselves into holes they can’t get out of, and we always catch them with their pants down, figuratively, of course. But yeah, Assassin’s Creed needs the ninja-style stealth action game that fans are calling for since the series’ inception. This is Ubisoft’s chance to do right by our fans, but so far, it feels like a lot of hot air and chest-thumping. They literally have nothing to show us that’ll convince us to buy the game.

So, what do you all make of this mess by Ubisoft? We wanna hear from y’all, so feel free to fire away your thoughts in the comments below. This one’s gonna blow up; we just know it, so become part of the conversation with us. We sincerely wanna know the sentiment surrounding this game from our readers. Now, before we take off, we’re gonna point you toward a video game company that’s actually getting positive buzz. We’re talking ’bout the 2023 Meta-Critic Publisher Of The Year, Capcom! They are the 2024 MVP for us, too. We cannot gush about their success enough. Anyway, we’ll sign off for now, but check back in soon for more spicy hot takes and juicy game scoops. We’ll see y’all in the next one.

Author

  • Rafi Ahmed

    Retro(and modern) gamer, proud comic geek, anime connoisseur, and opinionated peach without a filter. I'm bringing you hot takes, recommendations, and what-if fantasy scenarios and championing the gamer cause against corporate greed. You're welcome!

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