How about we have a little bit of fun here, last week a friend forwarded me a photo containing a “supposed” plot twist for Ubisoft’s up and coming Watch Dogs. The picture showed Aiden Pierce the main protagonist of Watch Dogs, hood sliding a car, guns blazing and a caption as follows “Watch Dogs Plot Twist, is a modern day assassin, descendant of Altair, Ezio, Conner and is Desmond’s nephew”.
For some of you those names in quotation may not mean a lot but they are in fact all playable characters of the Assassins Creed franchise. A franchise established back in 2007 which features and flaunts an amazingly powerful piece of technology. A device known as the “Animus” and using it you can re live memories of your ancestors encoded in the users DNA. That is just an example of the powerful technology that is present in the Assassins Creed universe. What we should really focus on is the incredible back story the universe has introduced. A society of assassins, masters of stealth, lurking in the shadows in the midst of war against the Templars. A corporation of global proportions consisting of many fronts with only one goal, world domination. Unfortunately for our heroic assassins over the years they have been fighting against the odds and losing the battle.
Watch Dogs on the other hand is new, so new in fact that its first entry will be arriving later this year. Whilst not a great deal has been revealed about its plot it roughly centres around the city of Chicago being controlled under one piece of technology the ctOS an operating system for the entire city controlling emergency responses, traffic systems and communication networks to name a few. Basically all forms of technology will be connected, intertwined and talking to the ctOS; Sounds like the workings of a corporation slowly but surely tightening their grip on a small part of the world, if you ask me. It is not known exactly what it is just yet that sets Aiden down the path of being a vigilante but from what I’ve gathered it seems to be family based and protecting them. Starting to sound a lot like an out numbered hero taking down an overwhelming power isn’t it.
The games share a common theme of good v’s evil, with good prevailing against the odds with liberty through chaos; contradicted by an opposing controlled and conformed ‘peace’.
Both games are currently under shared development by many of the fantastic Ubisoft branches. Whilst this may be the reason for a lot of similarities through shared ideas or a base design for games layout. There is no denying that aspects of game play and visuals gather a lot of similarities and strong elements present in both games.
Now like I said earlier this is all for a bit of fun. Let’s take a look at our heroes from both games. Any assassin from the Assassins Creed series, lets pick one to make it simple. Connor from Assassins Creed 3 and Aiden Pierce from Watch Dogs. Keeping in mind the century that differs the two characters.
Both characters keep their identity secret. Connor with the trademark assassin hood and Aiden with a hat and bandanna. Connor like all assassins sports one amazing weapon, the hidden blade a spring loaded blade that protrudes from a wrist gauntlet to silently assassinate targets. Aiden whilst not as aggressive, sports a telephone capable of hacking into any piece of technology within range. Explosions from fuse boxes or even a load dropping from an unmanned crane, those and many others all form the possibilities for assassinations from this modern day assassin.
Aiden’s phone sports the ability to look into people’s lives, in particular their bank account, using his phone can then withdraw a person’s earnings, unknowingly to them. Petty theft all games do it big deal! Even Connor can pickpocket people as they walk past. I know these are all game play similarities that nearly all games share but one very strong similarity stands out to me of these two Ubisoft developed franchises. During Watch Dogs to be able to access the city and the ctOS you must first hack into a tower controlling that local area. These towers contain a strong amount of resistance and stealth has been labelled as the best approach using what you can of your phones arsenal. This formula is very much similar to Assassins Creed: Brotherhood, although set hundreds of years earlier where you have to stealth (yet again) into a tower and claim it for your own, making life much easier in your quest. To escape these tower scenarios if things should go pear shaped? Parkour, running away from the threat using your surroundings to your advantage. Hood sliding a car or leaping a horse cart depending on your game. All the above point to similarities and potentially joint universes or at least just some great conversing between the respective developers.
The possibility of a shard universe between the two could be both a good and a bad thing. Some gamers have always wanted to spend more time in the present rather than the small portions offered throughout all of the Assassins Creed series. Watch Dogs seems to be perfect for what gamers are calling for and personally I am with them. I fully enjoyed my brief moments in the real world of Assassin Creed after being tied to the Animus for what can at times feel like forever. On the flip side however is that if this is a shared universe, there could potentially be two new Assassins Creed games out within a month of each other. Although vastly different games the yearly releases of Assassins Creed has become tiring and stale to some players. Also certain players might not take kindly to the share considering Watch Dogs seems to be much more grounded in comparison to Assassins Creed science/fiction genre, mostly through use of the Animus.
There has been a confirmation of a few small easter eggs shared between the games that will “blow the mind of players” said Ashraf Ismail; Game director of Assassins Creed 4, which releases just one short month before Watch Dogs. Of course no clearer details were offered forcing us to wait for both games to release which is quite a good sales pitch if you ask me. Whilst this doesn’t confirm nor deny the shared universe theory the face of Ashraf when asked the question certainly seems to be telling us something. Thanks to ElderGeek for the footage where the question in topic is asked around the four minute mark.
What could these easter eggs be? Only time will tell. Keeping in mind that all this is fun and games. I would love to hear what you, the readers thoughts are. Would a shared universe be a good idea? Are the similarities building toward something or are they simply examples of great communication between Ubisoft branches. Be sure to post your thought in the comments below and thanks for reading.