Source: Former GameSpotters' game-review start-up Giant Bomb.
What we heard: One of the highlights of Assassin's Creed was its medieval setting. After starting with a futuristic flourish, the well-reviewed and wildly popular platformer transported players to the Holy Land in the 12th century. As the hooded killer Altair, players leaped from rooftops in Jerusalem, strolled through souks in Damascus, and slit throats in Acre.
All of Assassin's Creed's locations were re-created via detailed graphics based on an all-new engine crafted at Ubisoft Montreal. Thanks to the aforementioned sci-fi twist, the game's recently revealed sequel could be set in virtually any time period, opening near-limitless possibilities for an all-new locale.
But while such places as ancient China and feudal Japan would seem likely suspects for Assassin's Creed 2's setting, a dark horse candidate appears to have merged. While taping an upcoming episode of Gametrailers' show Bonus Round, Giant Bomb cofounder (and ex-GameSpot editor) Ryan Davis chatted with fellow guest and analyst par excellence Michael Pachter.
During the course of the show, the Wedbush Morgan game-industry soothsayer said that Assassin's Creed would be set "several hundred years" after the original game, "sometime in the 1700s." Not content with a time frame, Pachter went on to "speculate that the French Revolution could be a potential setting." Said revolt, which began in 1789 with the storming of the Parisian fort-cum-prison the Bastille, was among the bloodiest changes of government in history. During the subsequent Great Terror, led by proto-Stalinist strongman Maximilien Robespierre, thousands of nobles and political opponents were sent to the guillotine en masse. Eventually, the ranks of the beheaded included Robespierre himself, who got the chop in 1794.
The official story: When asked to elaborate, Pachter politely declined to comment. Ubisoft had not responded to requests for comment as of press time.
Bogus or not bogus?: Too little to go on. With so much bloodletting and urban chaos, the French Revolution would be an interesting setting for Assassin's Creed 2. The subject is also close to Ubisoft's collective heart, given that the cash-flush francophonic publisher is itself based in Paris.
That said, keep in mind that even by Davis' account, Pachter was "speculating" about a "potential setting." Also, the breeches-and-powdered-wig era would likely be much less appealing to 21st-century gamers than the original's medieval environs.