Assassin’s Creed Infinity Sounds Awesome But I Still Have No Idea What It Is

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There were a lot of announcements at Ubisoft Forward last weekend, and some didn’t even leak. From the underrated Valiant Hearts getting a Netflix-only sequel, to Crew 2 seemingly still getting updates, to Assassin’s Creed: Mirage’s age rating debacle, it’s all been a lot to watch. digest these last few days.


But the biggest question for me, and one that I can’t seem to find a good answer to, is, “what the hell is Assassin’s Creed: Infinite?

Ubisoft has done a lot of interviews to promote the future of the series and how they want you to think about the new game or service or product or thing. But the more I watch these interviews, the more questions I have. Sometimes it’s described as a “hub” for the series, sometimes it’s a “platform”, and in a Eurogamer interview, franchise head Marc-Alexis Coté clarified that whatever Infinity is , “[it] is not a game in itself.

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Related: Assassin’s Creed Infinity Needs To Be More Than A Content Mill

These descriptions make Assassin’s Creed: Infinity another game launcher except for this one series. This could be related to the story of the universe as Coté described access to Assassin’s Creed Red (the game set in Japan) or Hexe (the game set during the witch trials of the Holy Roman Empire ) as something that “you’ll see available as new DNA Memory which is available to you and you buy it directly from the Infinity hub. It also clarifies that Red and Hexe will see boxed versions, but even in those versions, “the first thing you’re going to see is the Infinity Hub” This all sounds pretty good, but I can’t help but wonder why?

Don’t we live in a world where Call of Duty: Warzone gets a sequel almost entirely because the main game still ties into a Modern Warfare install? Where do people get angry about having to load Epic Game Store or Microsoft Store on PC instead of just having to use Steam? Why would you put such unnecessary extra friction between your players and the game? The answer is less complicated than it looks – it’s so that Ubisoft can try to sell you other products. This has been implemented for years. When I returned to Assassin’s Creed: Origins in 2019, the first thing I saw was a big notification in the main menu about Odyssey launching. From a business perspective, it probably makes sense that Ubisoft would let me buy the next AC game while I’m in the main menu of the previous one, but how does that improve a player’s experience?

What do I get out of it other than an extra loading screen and probably two more splash screens for engines and devs? Ubisoft has hinted that Infinity will not only be a launcher, but will also be the hub for modern segments, which have been confirmed not to be in Mirage. It has not yet been confirmed if these segments will be the narrative linking all of these subgames together. It would make sense, but only up to a point.

Coté says that Ubisoft is trying to finally appease both camps of Assassin’s Creed fans with Infinity, those who enjoyed the “meta story” (the modern stuff) and those who don’t care about Desmond or Layla and just want play in historic sandboxes. He also touches on how the company wants to do more crossovers between games, like the DLC Vahalla and Odyssey, which saw the return of Kassandra to promote Vahalla. Seems like a great idea until you take it to its climax.

Those who love games like Mirage will have their standalone stealth games and side adventures that last a few hours, but those who care about the meta-narrative, well, what’s the story for them? If Infinity is indeed a living breathing game, tying together multiple RPGs that could last hundreds of hours each, then what do you ask of your fans? Surely Infinity will have a meta progression to go along with its meta story? Are you telling me that I’ll have to beat Red’s (say) 90 hour campaign to unlock a side character or memory in Infinity that I need to progress? Only to tell me then if I want to get a good sword for this character I will have to play 30 hours of Hexe to get to a crossover side quest where that’s the reward?

The problem I have with Infinity isn’t the concept, it’s the lack of clarity on what it really is. Is it just a menu where I can select my Assassin’s Creed games, or is it some kind of single-player MMO-style game where I work for hours and hours on content to improve a meta progression? Coté has confirmed that the team behind For Honor is working on a multiplayer element for Infinity, however, that too will be a separate module, not the overarching connective tissue binding players together and pushing them forward through these single-player games.

Why do we need this? What service does Infinity perform? If you wanted to create something for gamers who enjoyed the modern elements of the series, why not just create a game set in modern times? Instead, we’re being sold a game (which isn’t a game), which will keep players connected for years (in single-player games) and all in the name of progressing some sort of story or global mechanism, all for in the name of what?

Assassin’s Creed Infinity could be the best thing Ubisoft has made in years, or it could be another business plan sold as something gamers want. But right now, Infinity is everything and nothing, all at once, and none of that sounds appealing.

Next: Ubisoft Devs Don’t Want To Work On Assassin’s Creed Red Due To Project Leader Abuse Allegations

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