A new Assassin's Creed game was inevitable; it was only a matter of time before it came along. May's big Walmart Canada leak suggested an announcement could be coming soon, and following another, more specific leak, Ubisoft has confirmed the game and said it will show up at E3. Here's what little we (possibly) know about the game--titled Assassin's Creed Odyssey--and what we want to see at E3 2018.
What We Know So Far
Ubisoft has done little more than confirm the new Assassin's Creed, so little is certain. The publisher did recently say it has an unannounced triple-A game launching during the current fiscal year, which runs through March 2019. It's unclear whether this game is a new IP or part of an existing one, but the fact that it didn't tout it as a new one suggests it's a sequel--meaning Assassin's Creed fit the bill perfectly. (Of course, it could have also been a new Splinter Cell.)
The aforementioned Walmart Canada leak has already been proven correct about a pair of games, Rage 2 and Lego DC Super-Villains. That doesn't mean the other games that were listed are real, but it did make the one for something simply called "Assassin's Creed" a bit more believable.
Further bolstering the case for a new game is a report by JeuxVideo, which obtained an image of a collectible keychain. The packaging features what could be the name of the game, Assassin's Creed Odyssey. The keychain itself is what looks like an Ancient Greek helmet; combined with the name, Ancient Greece could very well be the game's setting. The teaser video above also features a rather 300-ish clip of someone being kicked off a cliff, further reinforcing this assumption.
What's Confirmed For E3?
The new game is officially called Assassin's Creed Odyssey. The Walmart Canada leak and possible release timing would make E3 the perfect time for an announcement, but we've gotten that a bit early, presumably thanks to the leaks. Ubisoft had previously teased it would have something to reveal during its press conference.
It might feel a little soon for a new game, as Assassin's Creed Origins only released this past fall. But with the exception of the gap that preceded it, AC has traditionally seen annual installments. Odyssey could be a return to that release schedule.
What We Hope To See At E3
One welcome change we'd love to see is more variety in mission design. Origins frequently boiled down to clearing an enemy camp or rescuing a prisoner from one. Those are fine, but having more things to do--and more options in how to tackle a given situation--would help to keep things fresh, particularly during side quests.
Origins also improved upon the series' combat, but it remained relatively loose and unrefined. With Ancient Greece having such a rich history when it comes to fighting and warfare, we'd love to see this area of the game further overhauled.
Likewise, we want to see the world itself bolstered. Origins' cities were fascinating to explore, but outside of them, there were huge swaths of empty land that did little but pad out the world's size. One way of doing this could be to provide meaningful reasons to go places and collect things, rather than the numerous "go here and collect an object that serves no purpose" objectives in Origins. Our fingers are crossed that Discovery Tour also makes a return.
After so many rapid-fire sequels, Origins was lauded for introducing a number of new mechanics and RPG elements, even if it wasn't a complete reimagining for the series. The number of changes can perhaps be attributed in part to the additional development time that was spent on the game. If Ubisoft does plan to bring out a new entry this year, what we'd love more than anything is for it to demonstrate that this is another meaningful step forward for the franchise.