Happy Sunday, everyone! Welcome to Bonus Round, a look at the week’s biggest stories in gaming. Your news feed may have been dominated by… other events this week, but there’s still plenty of gaming news to discuss. In fact, we’re publishing on Sunday rather than Friday this week as multiple big events took place over the weekend, with lots of announcements. Let’s get into it!
Multiple Assassin’s Creed games announced
As reported by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier last week, Ubisoft announced Assassin’s Creed Mirage during a Ubisoft Forward livestream on Saturday. Mirage will take the series back to its roots with a game focused on stealth and assassinations, set in Middle Ages Baghdad. All of that sounds great, but unfortunately no gameplay was shown. We instead only got a cinematic trailer and an announcement that pre-orders for Mirage are now open ahead of a 2023 release. Mirage will cost a refreshingly affordable £44.99/$49.99, reflecting the smaller scope of the title.
But that’s not all! Ubisoft also announced a plethora of upcoming Assassin’s Creed games. Many of them so early in development that they still have codenames instead of final titles. There’s Assassin’s Creed Codename Red, an RPG style game set in Feudal Japan. Fans have been begging for a Japan-set game for over a decade, and the pressure will be on for Ubisoft to prove that Ghost of Tsushima hasn’t made this new game redundant.
Assassin’s Creed Codename Hexe is further off in the future, but its spooky teaser trailer suggests a witchcraft theme. In fact, outlets like EarlyGame have pointed out that ‘hexe’ is German for witch, so a European setting seems likely too. The series has delved into the fantastical before, with mythical creatures like cyclops and minotaurs popping up in Odyssey. Now, Assassin’s Creed seems poised to explore the supernatural.
Both of these games will form the basis of Assassin’s Creed Infinity, which Ubisoft describes as a ‘hub’ and a ‘platform’ for future games in the series. Few details were revealed on how this will work, but we will of course learn more in the future. Additionally, Ubisoft also announced Assassin’s Creed Codename Jade, a full open world game for mobile devices set in Ancient China. Anyone up for some parkour on the Great Wall?
It’s interesting that Assassin’s Creed is now a big enough enterprise that it can support multiple different styles of games. Assassin’s Creed as a brand means different things to different people; some are fans of the older games, while some favour the newer RPGs. Now, there’ll be new games in each of these flavours, catering to those separate audiences and the Venn diagram between them. With all these games coming soon, it’s no wonder that Ubisoft feels the need to build a hub to keep them organised.
Captain America and Black Panther team-up game revealed
Friday’s Disney + Marvel Games Showcase was mostly a snoozer, but one game did stand out. Skydance New Media announced an untitled Marvel game, starring Captain America and Black Panther teaming up in WW2-era Paris.
Not much was revealed about the game but we do know that development is being led by Amy Hennig. Hennig served as the writer and creative director of the first three Uncharted games, among others, so her involvement is worth getting excited about. The unfortunate cancellation of her Star Wars game means that it’s been a long time since we’ve seen a new game from Hennig; hopefully, this one will be worth the wait.
While we don’t know how this game will actually play, the teaser trailer indicates that Cap and Black Panther won’t be the only playable characters. Gabriel Jones, soldier in the Howling Commandos, and Nananli, leader of the Wakandan Spy Network are also featured. Captions reading ‘King. Captain. Soldier. Spy.’ suggest that we’ll play as each of these characters, using their differing skills to tackle different challenges.
I’ve been growing increasingly tired of Marvel movies, but I’ve adored games like Spider-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy. Add in the involvement of a decorated games industry veteran like Amy Hennig, and you’ve got a game that I’m very excited to see more of.
Cyberpunk 2077 expansion announced
During a Night City Wire stream on Tuesday, CD Proket Red announced the first major expansion for Cyberpunk 2077. Described as a ‘spy-thriller’, Phantom Liberty is coming in 2023 and features new voice work by Johnny Silverhand actor Keanu Reeves.
CD Projekt Red also announced that moving forward, all new updates and content will be exclusive to the current-gen versions of Cyberpunk. This won’t be welcome news to PS4 and Xbox One players but it’s not too surprising. Those versions of the game were lambasted at launch, and the consensus was that CD Project Red bit off more than they could chew trying to optimise Cyberpunk for the ageing hardware.
Joe and I both played through Cyberpunk 2077 earlier this year and really enjoyed our time with it. The game had an undeniably rocky launch, but the next-gen versions in particular represent a huge improvement. I’ll definitely be heading back to Night City and checking out this expansion. In the meantime, I should go back to Cyberpunk and try to get an ending for my character that isn’t massively depressing.