After more than a year of waiting and guessing, we finally learned a little more about what Assassin’s Creed Infinity is. As part of today’s Ubisoft Forward Assassin’s Creed Showcase presentation, it was said that Infinity is a “hub” that will link future Assassin’s Creed games together. But after a detailed interview with project manager Mark-Alexis Kote, IGN learned much more about Infinity.
Assassin’s Creed Infinity will be home to many games of different genres and duration. It will combine premium games in boxes with paid and free content. There will be a multiplayer mode that will combine the eras of the franchise. And this will be the place where the modern history of Assassin’s Creed will now live.
But let’s start with the basic concept of Infinity. This is not a video game and not a replacement for the traditional Assassin’s Creed games. This is a platform that will host both past and future Assassin’s Creed games, starting with Codename Red, a Shinobi-themed role-playing game that will appear in the future. This full-fledged single-player role-playing game with an open world can be purchased in the same way as any other Assassin’s Creed game.
“You can buy [Codename Red] in a box,” confirms Cote, vice president and executive producer of Assassin’s Creed. “But the first thing you’ll see [when downloading] is Infinity [hub], which makes it whole. But you can also buy Hexe [the second Infinity game] separately. That’s how we imagine things today. So these are all the same games that we created, but combined in the Infinity hub. And obviously, if you’re in the Infinity hub playing for Red, you’ll see Hexe come and be available as a memory that you can explore.”
So, Infinity is something like a launcher. But instead of displaying games as a collection similar to a library, as in Steam or Ubisoft Connect, Infinity will wear the appearance of the Animus interface in the universe. New entries in the series will be displayed as DNA memories, not as games. Kote, however, notes that we should expect Infinity to be more than just an Assassin’s Creed-style launcher, and it will evolve over time.
“So [Infinity] won’t start out as a game,” says Kote. “The version of Infinity that we are launching will not be the final version of Infinity. This is something that will evolve over time as our experience grows and we will be able to tie them together more. So I think it opens up a whole world of possibilities for what we can do, and it goes far beyond just launching for our various games.”
The version of Infinity that we are launching will not be the final version of Infinity.”
Although technically Infinity is not a game, it will have elements that we associate with Assassin’s Creed games. From now on, Infinity will be home to the modern or “meta” storyline of the series.
“People who like to just dive into the past will be able to jump right in there, and they will never be interrupted, and they will never need to know who Desmond and Leila are,” says Kote. Thus, it is implied that the action of the main games will now take place exclusively in the past.
So, if Infinity has a storyline but is not a game, does that mean we won’t be controlling the modern protagonist anymore? I’m asking if the meta plot will be limited to things like audio logs and email chains.
“The way we tell the story will change over time,” says Kote. “This is what we are doing in the long term, not in the short term. But the abstraction that we want people to have [Infinity] is your Animus. This is your DNA researcher on the desktop. You are the main character of the story.”
As an example of one of the elements of the traditional Assassin’s Creed games that will be transferred to Infinity, Kote points to the codex entries. “There used to be an encyclopedia in our games. But for everything to look coherent, like something that always grows in time as you explore the past, [the encyclopedia] has to be something that will be in the Infinity hub.”
Cutting out a modern storyline from the main games will undoubtedly be fantastic news for a segment of the devoted and active audience of the series. But Infinity does not stop there, responding to the criticism of the audience. Future Assassin’s Creed games released in Infinity will vary in both size and genre. Codename Red is a role—playing game in the tradition of Origins, Odyssey and Valhalla, but Codename Hexe will mark the beginning of a less formulaic period for the series.
“What I can confirm to you is that [Hexe] is not a role—playing game,” says Kote. “When I say it’s a different type of game, I want people to exceed the expectations of Origins, Odyssey and Valhalla. They are all iterations of our RPG design, right? But Hexe and Red go different ways.”
“I think this Infinity approach also allows us to have different experiences of different scales,” he adds. “Not everything has to be a 150-hour role-playing game, right? To bring more diversity to the places we decided to visit and to the way we decided to present these periods.”