Houses, resources, battles to the death…the usual.
When you think of the word “utopia,” what comes to mind? A place without suffering, full of fulfilled dreams and meandering days? Where no one has to go without something essential, and everyone loves and respects one another. Or perhaps a heavily wooded training ground full of assassins doing battle and fighting for dominance? If you’re one of the crazies in the latter camp, it looks like Ubisoft has something for you.
Say hello to Assassin’s Creed Utopia: a strategy-lite city builder from the team behind the upcoming AAA spectacle Assassin’s Creed III. Set prior to the start of the big sequel’s American Revolution, in the 17th century, the Facebook title will task players with building a colony from scratch, and keeping it alive and well over the 150 year period that leads up to the arrival of the first settlers. To this end, the game seems like it will follow very closely the status quo we’ve seen in other metropolitan sims, complete with the creation of more advanced structures, gathering of resources, and collection of gold.
Underlying the basics, however, Ubisoft promises an asynchronous 3D battle system in which players will pit their assassins in training against one another, or band them together in “limited time epic battles,” likely deployed to the game on specific occasions. I’m a big fan of the way casual genres are branching out and combining to explore more audacious combinations lately, and hope that Assassin’s Creed Utopia can follow through on what looks – at first glance – like it could be a colonially themed Battle Nations. With that said, the company’s social gaming history has been spotty at best (I’m looking at you, Assassin’s Creed Rearmed!), and key to how enjoyable this will be is the game’s willingness to do something clever with its more rote city-building components – beyond using them to milk you for money.
Saddled with an ambiguous “winter” time slot for release, we can likely expect to see Assassin’s Creed Utopia around or on the same day as the release of Assassin’s Creed III, which hits North American shores October 30th.