Castlevania producer teases a ‘warring ideology’ as basis of Assassin’s Creed animated series

Ubisoft

Coming off the success of Castlevania’s first season on Netflix, producer Adi Shankar is looking to the future.

In an interview with Polygon about the success of the show, the conversation turned to Shankar’s next project: an animated adaptation of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise. Although Shankar couldn’t give away too much about the show, he did say he is using a storytelling approach with the characters and worlds in the Assassin’s Creed universe that’s similar to what he did with Castlevania. The series, Shankar said, will be about more than assassins hopping around town and taking down people who stand in their way.

“In the same way that Castlevania is about generations of a family across different time periods, Assassin’s Creed is more about a warring ideology,” Shankar said. “That is what Assassin’s Creed represents, that both [Assassins and Templars] have their own hypocrisies built into their own ideologies — and I want to explore those different, conflicting ideologies. That is the core mechanic of what makes Assassin’s Creed work.”

In the Assassin’s Creed fiction, Cain — as in the Biblical brothers Cain and Abel — founded the order that would eventually become known as the Knights Templar. One of the main differences between the Templars and the Assassins is their position on free will. While the Assassins hold that free will is central to humanity’s prosperity, the Templars oppose it, believing that people need order and structure to succeed.

Based on what Shankar said, this philosophical disagreement will likely be a core part of his Assassin’s Creed series.

There are still many aspects of the show that we don’t know about — including where the series will air and when it will premiere — but Shankar said things are in development, and more information is coming soon.

Comments

It’s not a "tease". It’s the entire underlying point of the the AC franchise. I mean, seriously, for a traditionally gaming focused site, it’s kind of embarrassing to use that as a hook for an article. It’s like saying that Star Wars teases ‘wars in the stars’.

Really enjoyed the brief glimpse of what’s to come with Castlevania, and I hope the next season gives us a little more to chew on.

But Assassin’s Creed? Ugh. The problem with AC is that the underlying sci-fi story has always been less interesting than the game itself. Any time it popped up, you’re reminded that the nearly entire game is meant to be a simulation — a game within the game.

The plot of Assassin’s Creed is just a laborious justification for the GUI. And that’s a bad start for any kind of real storytelling.

Or it’s an interesting take on time travel, that lost it’s more compelling elements once Desmond was killed off.

It isn’t time travel, though. It’s not even Quantum Leap-ing. You’re literally just roaming through a simulation based on someone else’s memories. It’s a fact-finding mission, and nothing else. A very personal kind of retroactive spying.

Not only is it narratively dull, but it removes any sense of moral agency from the player. What does it matter if you kill an NPC? They’re just bits and bytes. Doing so doesn’t reach back in time and cause that person (if they ever even existed) to die.

As for Desmond, I couldn’t wait to see him go. Would have liked to see the rest of the plot go with him.

I thought the point of AC2’s fourth wall breaking ending was that it was more than just a recording.

I don’t know, that was the last AC I put a lot of time into.

To each his own. I for one enjoy the idea of time travel tourism (precisely what Abstergo spins the Animus into). Sure the series uses dubious science, but I like the concept of a window into the past via genetic material. And the hallmark of the series has been exploring the landscapes and cityscapes of history, so I don’t mind if Desmond isn’t actually time travelling, as long as I still get to explore those spaces.

Desmond was always a wet noodle and the modern day components were completely uninteresting to me after the reveal that it was all "Assassins and Templars in the modern world". Anything interesting and compelling about the series was always in the alt-history they were crafting and had little to do with the overarching meta-plot.

The socio-political struggle between the assassins and templars was interesting. The Apple of Eden? Not so much.

What I think would benefit AC is to fully flesh out the modern day components, so people would be doing missions both in the Animus and ‘IRL’. Then there’s this juxtaposition of different resources and tactics of different times (no like AC III, that was still too basic), and then there could be an actual installment unique story to the modern setting (like how each game follows one story inside the Animus) as opposed to just snippets of a meta-story. I’d totally go for that.

Beg to differ. I love the AC lore, and am very much looking forward to a show. Couldn’t care less about Castlevania. Initially I couldn’t understand why they are even making a cartoon out of Castlevania as the story is pretty dumb and trite. But I wound up enjoying it! Good, pulpy fun. Hopefully you will be similarly, pleasantly surprised by the AC cartoon.

AC games often said Templars and Assassins were about two different ideologies and both were working towards the welfare of mankind in their own ways, but in reality there were very few attempts at showing a little nuance there. The Templars are mostly shown as caroonishly evil monsters while the Assassins usually seem kind and, of course, on par with what we currently consider PC. Nice for the anime to take a more differentiated approach, would be nice if they’d improve on the writing for the games as well.

Are the Assassins shown to ever acquire and hold actual power? If that happened, I can see how their creepy "Nothing is true, everything is permitted" ethos could get genocide-y real quick. Especially when we see that they have no qualms whatsoever about slaughtering huge numbers of soldiers and guards even in situations where, being masters of stealth, they don’t really have to.

Yeah, that’s another thing that always felt off. In each game, the Assassin’s are extremely skilled and efficient, wipe out all their foes and take control over cities and whole landscapes formerly in Templars’ hands despite being fewer and with less ressources – then the next game starts with them beaten down and having to regain power and influence all over again.

I understand it’s different areas and epoches, but still … it’s kind of ridiculous, all in a lazy attempt to portray them as the underdogs so that the player roots for them.

As for their creed, I think it was explained it simply means ends justify means … so what happens when they achieve their goals is anyone’s guess. There’d be no need for means, but Syndicate clearly showed they’re not so different from the Templars, only called "nice" for some reason.

Hey if we’re going to start getting a bunch of good video game shows out of Netflix, can we finally get a show about dragon age or mass effect already? Those are game series that actually have decent plots to them.

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