Everything You Want to Know About Assassin’s Creed Shadows

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After years of fans asking for an Assassin’s Creed game set in feudal Japan, Ubisoft has finally announced Assassin’s Creed Shadows. Set in the age of samurai and shinobi, the game brings elegant katana duels and ninja arts to the series. So what does Shadows have to offer? Here’s everything you need to know about Assassin’s Creed Shadows !

Everything You Want to Know About Assassin’s Creed Shadows

Assassin’s Creed Shadows is set during the Azuchi-Momoyama period of Japanese history. Our story begins in 1579 and continues through the early 1580s. Shadows is the first game since Assassin’s Creed Syndicate to feature Assassins and Templars in their “classic” forms.

Numerous historical figures play important roles in the story mode, including Japan’s “great unifier” Oda Nobunaga and the master ninja of the Iga clan, Fujibayashi Nagato. Much like Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Shadows features two main characters, and you can switch between them as you play through the story.

The first of these two leads is Naoe, the fictional daughter of Fujibayashi Nagato. Naoe was trained by her father to become a skilled shinobi. Our second hero is Yasuke, a real historical figure. Originally from Africa, Yasuke came to Japan with the Portuguese in 1579 and soon became a samurai under the protection of Lord Oda Nobunaga.

Shadows is the first Assassin’s Creed game that lets you take control of a real-life figure from history.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows Stealth and Parkour Elements

As the name suggests, stealth is a big part of Assassin’s Creed Shadows. The new global illumination system has the power to create dynamic light and shadows that affect enemy vision. You can now hide in the shadows and even become the lord of darkness by destroying lanterns or killing torch bearers.

Everything You Want to Know About Assassin's Creed Shadows
Everything You Want to Know About Assassin’s Creed Shadows

Servants in Shadows also introduce a new NPC type that sits between civilians and enemies. While they can’t fight, Servants can call for reinforcements and raise alarms. They have their own patrol routes and patrol at night with flashlights. They now have the option to knock down enemies while performing a stealth takedown, allowing for a more pacifist gameplay experience.

Prone ground crawling is a new feature to the series, allowing you to maintain stealth and sneak through small openings to sneak up on your targets. Naoe also has a grappling hook that can grab onto any roof edge, as well as a number of other gadgets and tools.

Unlike the rope-like grappling hook in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, this one uses physics simulation to allow for dynamic swinging. The grappling hook can be used to quickly climb up to ceiling spaces above corridors, allowing you to easily ambush enemies patrolling below you.

Eagle vision returns, allowing you to see NPC silhouettes through walls. Enemies are highlighted in red, while new servants are highlighted in orange. The drone-like bird used to scout areas and mark targets in Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla is not available in Shadows. You’ll need to do your own reconnaissance.

Everything You Want to Know About Assassin's Creed Shadows
Everything You Want to Know About Assassin’s Creed Shadows

As a shinobi, Naoe is the most skilled at stealth. Yasuke can also use stealth, but due to his body structure and armor plating, he does not provide as smooth an experience as Naoe.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows Combat and RPG System

During this period of Japanese warfare, shields were not used, so your gear does not include any defensive options other than your armor. Evasion is vital. As a samurai, Yasuke can block incoming attacks and perform various parries using his weapon.

Naoe can also engage in combat, but cannot block or parry; instead, he can ‘deflect’ the enemy’s blows.

Enemy armor’s durability can be broken during combat. Almost every item in the game can be dynamically damaged by your weapons. Katanas can cut through bushes and baskets, leaving dazzling slashes. Arrows can leave puncture marks, and guns can shatter stones into tiny pieces.

Everything You Want to Know About Assassin's Creed Shadows
Everything You Want to Know About Assassin’s Creed Shadows

A variety of weapons from the era are available in the game, including katanas, kanabō war clubs, yari spears, shuriken, kunai, and kusarigama (chained sickles). Yasuke’s ability to use arquebus rifles gives him long-range attacks. Each weapon has its own skill tree. Taking the time to use a particular weapon will increase your proficiency with it accordingly.

You can create and customize your own katana from assembled components. The Transmog system also allows you to customize your gear to look exactly how you want it to. Yasuke and Naoe have individual skill trees and gear, but they share XP, collected weapons, and resources.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows Dynamic Map and Seasons

Assassin’s Creed Shadows is built on a newly updated version of the Anvil graphics engine. The new graphics technology enables global illumination, breakable props, more detailed asset meshes, and much better lighting.

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The updated Anvil graphics engine has allowed the rendered map to have dynamic seasons. Season change is determined by your story progression to maintain historical accuracy, but each era has ‘steps’ that it goes through to create a sense of authenticity.

Everything You Want to Know About Assassin's Creed Shadows
Everything You Want to Know About Assassin’s Creed Shadows

Each season comes with unique gameplay features. For example, when plants bloom in spring and summer, there will be bushes and tall grass to hide in. Then in autumn and winter, these plants die off, eliminating hiding spots. In winter, the water freezes, preventing you from getting into pools and ponds and hiding.

And the icicles hanging from the roof edges are a bonus! Be careful… Don’t let the enemy hear you. Seasons also affect NPC behavior. In the summer, you can see enemy samurai cutting down the bushes looking for you. In the winter, enemies stay closer to fires and warm places.

A fully dynamic weather system provides suitable climatic conditions for both the region and the season. Severe weather conditions such as dense fog, howling winds and snow directly affect the vision and sound of enemies. Storms can also be seen as an opportunity to mask your footsteps.

The world has a surprisingly detailed ecology system. For example, in spring, the wind will blow away the pollen produced by the trees, creating a visual feast. The map size is similar to Assassin’s Creed Origins. The map is divided into regions based on real historical regions of Japan, including Iga (home of the shinobi), Arima (the site of a great battle), and Omi (an agricultural region).

Everything You Want to Know About Assassin's Creed Shadows
Everything You Want to Know About Assassin’s Creed Shadows

Iconic sync points return, but in a redesigned way. Climbing to the top no longer spawns a bunch of icons on your map, and no longer triggers a rotating “drone” shot of the area. Instead, at sync points, you can scan the area for standout points of interest, and then hunt for them when you’re back on the ground.

Thankfully, despite this small change, sync points still act as fast travel points.
Shadows is set in a time of thriving urbanization, trade, and warfare. This means a wide variety of locations are included in the game, including towns, trading posts, farmlands, and massive castles.

Beyond these settlements there are mountains and forests.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows Assassinations and Missions

Shadows features a non-linear story that focuses heavily on objectives. You’re free to pursue these objectives in any order you choose. Ubisoft has tried to create a more satisfying journey by being a bit more hands-off.

While the story is still goal-oriented, the studio hopes to provide more player autonomy by guiding players in the right direction using clues rather than telling them directly where to go. Most of the main quests can be completed as either Yasuke or Naoe. However, both characters have their own special quests that can only be played by them, as well as special introductory story quests.

Everything You Want to Know About Assassin's Creed Shadows
Everything You Want to Know About Assassin’s Creed Shadows

Beyond the main story, there are also side quests and world activities as usual. Important things to find on the map include castles, temples, shrines. You can also create a spy network consisting of agents who can be sent on missions to gather intelligence on your targets. There is also a shelter where you and your allies can gather.

Developed under the leadership of Ubisoft Québec (Assassin’s Creed Odyssey), in Assassin’s Creed Shadows, players can master two complementary playstyles as Naoe and Yasuke, with each character having their own unique progression paths, skills, weapon options and statistics.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows Price and Platforms

The standard edition of the game will be available for €79.99/$69.99 on next-gen platforms, and €/$69.99 on PC and Apple Mac via the Mac App Store. Fans who pre-order Assassin’s Creed Shadows will also receive an additional mission with any pre-ordered edition.

Everything You Want to Know About Assassin's Creed Shadows
Everything You Want to Know About Assassin’s Creed Shadows

You can find what the Gold, Complete and Collector’s editions of Assassin’s Creed Shadows include below.

  • Gold Edition: Includes the base game, the Season Pass (a bonus mission with additional unlockable content, as well as two expansion packs), and 3-day early access to the game.
  • Complete Edition: Includes the base game, Season Pass, Complete Pack, and 3-day early access to the game. Complete Pack: Includes the Sekiryu Character Pack (Naoe and Yasuke outfit and weapon, accessory, and mount), Sekiryu Hideout Pack, 5 Skill points, and a red/black photo mode filter.
  • Collector’s Edition: Base game, Season Pass, Complete Pack, physical content, and 3-day early access to the game. The physical content includes a Steelbook, game world map, Naoe and Yasuke Statuette, life-size Naoe’s Katana Tsuba, a Wall Creed Scroll, an 84-page collector’s art book, and 2 sumi-e lithographs.

Studios that supported the development of Shadows:

  • Ubisoft Belgrade
  • Ubisoft Bordeaux
  • Ubisoft Bucharest
  • Ubisoft Chengdu
  • Ubisoft Kyiv
  • Ubisoft Manila
  • Ubisoft Montpellier
  • Ubisoft Montreal
  • Ubisoft Odessa
  • Ubisoft Osaka
  • Ubisoft Pune
  • Ubisoft Shanghai
  • Ubisoft Singapore
  • Ubisoft Sofia
  • Ubisoft Tokyo

Assassin’s Creed Shadows will be available on Ubisoft+, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Amazon Luna, Macs via the Mac App Store, and Windows PC via the Ubisoft Store and Epic Games Store on November 15, 2024. So what do you think about the production?

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