A Victorian London setting for Assassin’s Creed games has been suggested by fans of the franchise for as long as one can remember, but it wasn’t until now that Ubisoft decided to go with it. Speaking to the Official Xbox Magazine, Creative Director Marc-Alexis Côté said that the series needs to be modernized a bit, and there’s no better way to do it than to set it during “an age of transformation” like the industrial revolution.
One of the things that I think the series needs in order to innovate is to have a more modern setting; to modernise the experience. Both in terms of gameplay and in terms of narrative, and there’s no other place to do that than an age of transformation. An age like the Industrial Revolution.
Côté went on to say that the city of London in the 1800s is one of the team’s “biggest investments.”
Our biggest investment, without a doubt, is in the city itself. In creating a city that lives and breathes. A city that is, for the first time in the history of the franchise, full of movement. The city is split into seven different boroughs. The key to the experience is to make each of those boroughs feel very different for our players. I want our players to have a voyage through the city as they travel from the riches of Westminster to the poverty of Whitechapel.
Explaining why Ubisoft didn’t consider a Victorian London setting before, Côté said that a lot of factors had to be considered before making that decision. For instance, Victorian London has “much wider” streets and a “long field of view,” requiring the “power of next-gen” to do the setting some justice.