What’s next for Assassin’s Creed after Origins? We examine the evidence left in Ancient Egypt to make some educated guesses. Spoilers ahead, obviously.
According to Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot, Assassin’s Creed is “officially back” after the latest installment Origins managed to double the sales of its predecessor, Syndicate. We agree with that assessment, describing the Assassin’s latest outing as having “all of the fun of Black Flag and the narrative depth of Ezio’s trilogy” in our review.
So what’s next for Assassin’s Creed? Origins is chock full of nods to the past, present day and future of the series so we decided to piece it all together and do some homework to make 4 educated guesses.
Last Warning: Spoilers for the ending of Assassin’s Creed Origins and the previous games in the series ahead. Scroll down at your own risk.
1). The continuation of Bayek’s journey
Lets recap: At the end of Origins, Bayek has set up a home base for the “Hidden Ones” AKA the Assassin’s in Egypt in Memphis while Aya has set up a bureau in Rome. Cleopatra VII Philopator is currently the Pharaoh of Egypt, overseen by the Assassin Order and Julius Caesar has been killed. The game ends in a very turmultive time for Egypt and Rome. In the history books, Julius Caesar is succeeded by a three man dictatorship often referred by historians as the Second Triumvirate, the victors of a Roman civil war in which Egypt was almost continually threatened. This consisted of Mark Antony, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (another of Caesar’s generals) and Octavian (Caesar’s great-nephew and adopted son). The trio went about killing the group who murdered Caesar (the Liberatores which, according to Origins, included Aya) and finally succeeded in 42 BC at the Battle of Philippi. The Second Triumvirate then divided up the Roman Republic into 3 different sections. Mark Antony was granted rulership over the eastern provinces, including Egypt.
From here, the trio of dictators started to fight with one another as they jostled for power. Mark Antony and Octavian almost came to all out war until Antony married Octavian’s sister (even though he was having an on again, off again affair with Cleopatra who he bore 3 children with). Antony and Octavian’s hostilities towards one another continued when Lepidus was dispelled from the Second Triumvirate (for attempting to take control of Sicily) and in 31 BC, a civil war broke out between the pair and Octavian declared war on Egypt and Cleopatra. That same year, Mark Antony and Cleopatra’s forces were defeated and the pair fled to Egypt where they committed suicide.
The power struggles of this period seem ripe for the interweaving of an Assassin’s Creed plot thread. While Cleopatra has been told in no uncertain terms by Aya that the line of Pharaohs is ended (although her son Caesarion was proclaimed Pharaoh until he was captured and killed by Octavian quick sharpish), the enigmatic ruler still played a vital role in the power plays of this period (and, if Ubisoft wanted, they could easily have her continuing her association with the evil order of Origins). It also stands to reason that if Antony or Octavian knew of the Pieces of Eden (which are currently in the guardianship of Bayek), they’d want them to help them in their quest for power. Either way, Bayek is one of the series’ most fleshed out and interesting characters to date and he should be the second character to get a direct sequel.
2). An Aya/Amunet focused sequel
One of the biggest reveals of Origins is not the formation of the Assassin Order. It is the reveal that Aya, Bayek’s wife, is actually the legendary Assassin Amunet, a name she chose for herself at the end of the game. For those Eagle visioned gamers among you, you might recognise that Amunet was one of the 7 assassin’s whose statues adorned the walls of the Sanctuary (beneath the Villa Auditore) in Ezio’s trilogy of games.
For many of the same reasons that a continued Bayek plot would be interesting, so too would an Amunet focused sequel – more so, perhaps. Aya was directly responsible for the assassination of Julius Caesar, making her part of the Liberatores which, led by Brutus and Cassius, formed one side of the Liberators’ civil war. This group took their legions east and conquered all of the eastern provinces and kingdoms from Greece and Macedonia all the way to Syria.
Tracing Aya’s journey through the Roman Civil war, perhaps in a recreation of Greece, the location of the battles of Philippi, is a mouth watering prospect. Aya had undoubtedly the most interesting missions of Origins itself and she makes for a very compelling character by the time the credits roll. One could also speculate that Amunet might have been responsible for the death of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, given that the statues of the Assassin have her commanding snakes around her arms and that Cleopatra’s alleged suicide was due to the bite of an Asp snake. Coincidence? I think not.
3). The origins of legendary assassin Leonius
3 generations down the lineage line from characters alive during the Origins time frame, Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus AKA Caligula was born. This means that it’s possible that Aya and Bayek might have still been alive and kicking (ass) at that time, although in old age. Coincidentally, there’s another legendary assassin that was shifting proto-templars from their mortal coil around that time – Leonius. The Assassin’s, led by Leonius, had determined that Caligula had been backed by the Order of the Ancients and killed the 3rd Roman Emperor.
While it’s less likely we’ll be returning to Rome for a second time in the Assassin’s Creed series, it would make for a very tidy tie in with Origins to have a game kick off towards the end of Bayek and Amunet’s life and the start of another with Leonius. Rome did make for a very interesting location to traverse with Ezio during the Renaissance period but it would be fascinating to revisit those locations more than a thousand years earlier when they were at their peek.
4). Something else entirely
One of the most interesting developments in the Modern Day aspect of Assassin’s Creed Origins is the partnership of the Assassin Brotherhood with Layla Hassan. Through the numerous documents on Hassan’s computer and strewn around the cave she was using as a base of operations in Egypt, we can glean that she was an integral but under appreciated part of the Animus project. So much so that the Assassin’s want her as part of their team. While she stopped short of throwing her hat in with the Brotherhood, she’s certainly going to be working on something Animus related moving forward.
What could this mean? Well, a new type of Animus exclusively for the Assassin’s would give them a leverage they’ve been lacking since the liberation of Desmond Miles. If Ubisoft knew in advance that the next Assassin’s Creed would be something a little different then this would be a great way to tie the modern day aspect of it into those changes.
Alternatively, Assassin’s Creed has now covered the origins of 2 legendary assassins – Amunet and Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad. Aside from Leonius, which we’ve already covered, Ubisoft could expand to cover the other legendary assassin. There’s Qulan Gal, the Mongolian archer who, alongside Altaïr’s son Darius, killed Genghis Khan. Then there’s Darius (no, not the same Darius), who was the first person to use the hidden blade (the very same blade that ended up in the hands of Aya and Bayek) to kill King Xerxes I of Persia. There’s also the chinese assassin Wei Yu who killed the tyrannical Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Lastly, there’s Iltani who poisoned Alexander the Great who had used the Staff of Eden to conquer the Kingdom of Macedonia.
The fact remains that Ubisoft have been unpredictable with this series since the end of the Ezio trilogy. Revolutionary America, Paris, London and Egypt have had little to do with one another aside from the modern day Ancients arc but it feels like the soft-reboot with Origins could bring a more aligned progression to the series. Here’s hoping, at least.