Release date, gameplay, & everything we know

We are at last getting an Assassin’s Creed game set in feudal Japan with Assassin’s Creed Shadows. Now we’ve got a release date, Ubisoft has also shared a wave of information and details, so we’ve gathered together everything we know so far about Assassin’s Creed Shadows. Check it all out below!

Everything we know about Assassin’s Creed Shadows

What is the Assassin’s Creed Shadows release date?

After a 2022 reveal under the codename Assassin’s Creed Red, Ubisoft has now confirmed that Assassin’s Creed Shadows will launch on November 15.

However, as usual, you can also play the game three days early with the Gold Edition or the Ultimate Edition.

What platforms is Assassin’s Creed Shadows coming to?

Assassin’s Creed Shadows will launch for Xbox Series X|S, PS5, and PC via the Ubisoft Store and Epic Games Store.

Assassin's Creed Shadows

Is Assassin’s Creed Shadows coming to Xbox Game Pass?

Assassin’s Creed Shadows won’t be coming to Game Pass, but if you’re looking to play it via a subscription service, the Ultimate Edition will be available with Ubisoft+ Premium. Which brings us to…

How much does Assassin’s Creed Shadows cost?

Let’s break down the different editions here. You’ve got the Standard edition for £59.99 which includes the base game and the pre-order bonus quest Thrown to the Dogs, the Gold Edition for £94.99 which also includes the Season Pass and three days early access, and the Ultimate Edition for £114.99 which includes all of the above as well as the Ultimate Pack. This Ultimate Pack contains the Sekiryu character pack with gear and weapon sets for both protagonists, the Sekiryu Beast, and Dragon Tooth trinket, as well as the Sekiryu hideout pack with four ornaments for your hideout, five skill points, and the Red Dragon filter for Photo mode. These are available to preorder now.

Finally, there’s the Collector’s Edition for £239.99 which includes a lot. As well as all the bits mentioned above, you can also get the 40cm Naoe and Yasuke dual character statue, a Steelbook case, a Collector’s art book, a life-sized replica of Naoe’s katana tsuba, a world map, a creed wall scroll, and two sumi-e lithographs.

As mentioned, you can also play the Ultimate Edition with Ubisoft+ Premium for £14.99/month.

Assassin's Creed Shadows

What is the story and setting for Assassin’s Creed Shadows?

Assassin’s Creed Shadows is, as AC fans have long been asking for, set in feudal Japan. The game takes place in the late Sengoku period during the Azuchi-Momoyama era, although associate narrative director Brooke Davies says in the “Who Are Naoe and Yasuke?” trailer below that Yasuke arrives in 1579 “right when our game starts.” Ubisoft explains that the late Sengoku period “was full of foundational, pivotal events” with three major figures acquiring power “during an extensive Warring States Period. Social reforms reshaped and reorganized the land, farmers and religious leagues rose up to oppose powerful military clan warlords, and an artistic renaissance began that would later bloom during the Edo period.”

Yasuke and Naoe are Assassin’s Creed Shadow’s two protagonists. Right from the start, these two are presented as full of opposites and contrasts to give us two very different experiences. A report last year suggested that Yasuke was based on a real-life samurai, making him the franchise’s first historical assassin, and this has turned out to be the case: Yasuke is described as “the powerful African samurai of historical legend” who comes to Japan and is quickly involved with many notable figures of the time. Benoit says in the same trailer that Yasuke’s status as a newcomer discovering Japan will help the player learn alongside him, while that historical note from Ubisoft tells us a few facts about the historical figure himself: “of African origin, he arrived in Japan enslaved by the Portuguese; he impressed with size, strength, and wits; he served under the Japanese daimyo Oda Nobunaga.”

Assassin's Creed Shadows

Naoe, on the other hand, is a Shinobi Assassin from the Iga Province. Last year’s report again proves correct in that Naoe is the daughter of another real-life person — the “legendary Igan Shinobi historical figure” Fujibayashi Nagato, who appears as her father. This is how Naoe comes to have parkour, stealth, and assassination skills, as well as the values of “valor, benevolence, and wisdom.”

Interestingly, these two apparently become allies even though they start out on opposite sides. Oda Nobunaga is shown as attacking Naoe’s home and Yasuke is in his service at the time. Ubisoft tells us that Nobunaga comes to Iga Province for “the Second Tenshō Iga War” where Naoe’s father leads the defence. “The pair provide the player with opposing perspectives on Nobunaga and the means he used to achieve his goal of unification, and their overlapping perspectives throughout Shadows ultimately allow for a more nuanced look at the late Sengoku period.”

Assassin's Creed Shadows

The choice for two protagonists was, according to according to game director Charles Benoit, to fit into both “fantasies” for the player. “We wanted to have the Shinobi fantasy for sure, since it’s the best fit for an Assassin’s Creed. The Shinobis were the representation of stealth by spying and assassination, so it was a great natural fit. But at the same time, the Samurai is the Feudal Japan iconic fantasy and we wanted to be able to have it as an experience for players.” One character, Benoit says, wouldn’t “accurately fulfill the Samurai and the Shinobi fantasies, since they are coming from very different places in terms of the way to live, social classes and role in the Japanese society. So, we decided to have two characters and uncompromised fantasies. Also, it was perfect to really dig into our brand pillars: stealth and combat.”

In terms of the game world, Ubisoft says that feudal Japan will range from “spectacular castle towns and bustling ports to peaceful shrines and pastoral landscapes” with “unpredictable weather, changing seasons, and reactive environments.” Benoit adds that the game is set in central Japan “and the territories within it. The players will be able to discover landmarks and known cities such as Osaka, Kyoto, as well as hundreds of shrines and temples, which are still possible to visit in our present-day time.”

Assassin's Creed Shadows

What type of game is Assassin’s Creed Shadows?

Assassin’s Creed Shadows, the next game in the AC franchise, will be an open-world action-adventure RPG set in feudal Japan.

The dual protagonists and their vastly different backgrounds and fighting styles mean we get a good contrast when choosing how to play. Samurai Yasuke has a lot of physical strength to draw from while Shinobi Assassin Naoe relies more on stealth and speed, but it goes further than this with different stats, gear, skills, and weapons for each. Naoe will be armed with kunai, shuriken, smoke bombs, a grappling hook, and more, while Yasuke has katana, kanabo, bows, and more. Yasuke can manage feats of strength like blocking and parrying, breaking armour, fighting multiple enemies, breaking doors and carrying great weights. The two characters will meet with different reactions too, due to their different social statuses. Naoe can blend in as a “peasant” while Yasuke will have people bowing to him as he passes. This apparently goes even further, with some characters only wanting to work with one protagonist over the other.

Assassin's Creed Shadows

Interestingly, it seems Ubisoft is really leaning into these different playstyles, as only Naoe is described as having parkour skills and the hidden blade. That interview with Benoit tells us that you can switch between Yasuke and Naoe at nearly any point after they join up, aside from when you’re in the midst of combat or “an infiltration,” or any particular missions like personal quests. It sounds, then, as though you’ll have to choose which method of combat you want to take into each situation and stick with it, if Yasuke really can’t fall back on stealth tactics and the hidden blade.

On top of combat comes the other major parts of an AC game: exploring, gathering intel, and hunting down targets. According to the game’s site, we’ll be able to “build your network of spies to be your eyes and ears across locations to unveil new areas and hunt down your next target,” as well as “recruit several allies with highly specialized skills and abilities to help accomplish your missions.”

Romance and relationships will apparently be back, too, as Ubisoft mentions that along with meeting with different reactions from NPCs, “Naoe and Yasuke’s disparate personalities also lead them to have different relationships and rapports with other characters, and they don’t always feel the same way about people, nor do people always feel the same way about them. Romantically, they will also attract and be attracted to different types of people. Through the pair, players will get to experience a multitude of relationships.”

Assassin's Creed Shadows

What type of Assassin’s Creed game will Shadows be?

Assassin’s Creed Mirage was a break from the more recent direction of Assassin’s Creed games, going “back to the roots” of Assassin’s Creed with a focus on stealth and assassinations, and a more linear “condensed narrative structure. Assassin’s Creed Shadows, meanwhile, will continue in the direction Ubisoft was building on with Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla with an expansive open world and wider RPG elements.

“Assassin’s Creed Shadows is an open world action-adventure RPG, so we’re on the continuity and the evolution of the RPG that we built with Origin, Odyssey, and Valhalla,” Benoit says in the Xbox Wire interview. “We’re taking the experience we had on those past projects, taking what works best and improving what can be better to refine our RPG experience. We’re adding new RPG systems that will surprise the players, such as the League that Naoe and Yasuke are building, but more to come on this later!”

Will Assassin’s Creed Shadows have multiplayer?

No. Assassin’s Creed Shadows is a single-player experience.

Will there be any Assassin’s Creed Shadows DLC?

We already know of some DLC for Assassin’s Creed Shadows: to start with, there’s the bonus quest Thrown to the Dogs, which you can play on day one if you pre-ordered. All Ubisoft has to say on this one is “Help a loyal dog avenge his late master.”

Assassin's Creed Shadows

On top of that, the Gold and Ultimate Editions of the game also include the Season Pass, which includes two upcoming expansions. There aren’t any details for these yet, but oh boy, if the last Assassin’s Creed games are anything to go by, there will be a lot more where that came from.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows achievement list

We don’t yet have the Assassin’s Creed Shadows achievements, but we’ll be sure to update here when we do!

Assassin’s Creed Shadows trailers

Ubisoft has managed to squeeze a lot of info out of the game’s trailer so far. First there’s the official world premiere trailer:Then there’s the “Who are Naoe and Yasuke?” trailer where game director Charles Benoit and associate narrative director Brooke Davies tell us more about our characters:Then finally there’s the “Assassin’s Creed Shadows Explained – Samurai, Shinobi, and Feudal Japan” trailer, which goes into even more detail about the game, the history behind it, and the thought process behind the premiere trailer.

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