Ubisoft have revealed that the upcoming instalment in the Assassin's Creed franchise was pretty much finished one year ago, but the developer thought Assassin's Creed: Odyssey is better left to stew for a while than to be rushed out.
Indeed, rushing a game out too early is such a prevalent problem that it's close to becoming a rule, although Ubisoft are apparently too wise to fall for that trap. Assassin's Creed has grown into a sprawling, reputable franchise and the company's creative head Serge Hascoet said Ubi are dead set on keeping it that way.
Ironically enough, Hascoet said that the best way to keep the franchise the same way is to change, which is exactly what happened Assassin's Creed: Odyssey's new fighting system and RPG elements. He said that adding new mechanics is a delicate recipe that must be balanced with the tried and true concepts, such as leap of faith and other staple moves and gimmicks.
Player choices are the name of the game and Assassin's Creed: Odyssey lets players take off their hood or play as Kassandra - all without the ridiculous fanfare that usually follows these announcements. "The philosophy we have for all the games is player expression, player freedom, and autonomy of the player", he added.
As for development, Hascoet stressed that launching Assassin's Creed: Odyssey was not a matter of convenience, but quality. "If the team has enough time to produce and polish something, if it's at the highest quality, I think people can enjoy an experience of 80 hours every year", he said.
He seems to have squashed any hopes of the Creed going back to Ezio unless for cameo appearances, because that's one of the eras Ubisoft consider done and dusted. As much as fans won't like to hear it, Hascoet highlighted that the Assassin's Creed franchise has always been about the story and settings, rather than characters.
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey launches for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on 05 October 2018. You can find Hascoet's full interview with Gameinformer here.