The news of Assassin’s Creed Valhallah coming this year is wonderful, it’s just a shame that it isn’t making its way to the Switch. Ubisoft should do the right thing and grace the Switch with an exclusive.
It is unlikely to happen, Ubisoft are all in on the next generation with Valhallah, and I certainly wouldn’t be expecting a port of that to make its way to Nintendo’s machine, even if the long rumoured upgraded version was ever to see the light. But Ubisoft have an established relationship with Nintendo, just look at the success of Mario and Rabbids and the special version of Starlink. They have also shown a willingness to engage with the platform as shown by the recent Remastered releases of Assassin’s Creed 3 and the Assassin’s Creed Rebel Collection.
If Ubisoft were to create an Assassin’s experience just for the Switch, it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve released an episode of the franchise without releasing it day and date on the “main” consoles. There are a few examples, but the highlight was surely Liberation, one of the few Vita games I played. Although I was pretty damning of some of the features that were designed with the Vita in mind, I really enjoyed the New Orleans setting and was especially enamoured with the ability to swtich Aveline into different outfits to suit different missions. While subsequent games in the series have expanded on different outfits offering perks, or even going full RPG, Aveline’s outfits were uniquely tailored to different playstyiles.
It was the inclusion of Liberation with the Assassin’s Creed 3 remaster on the Switch that pushed me over the edge into buying the bundle. The prospect of being able to enjoy Aveline’s journey without those Vita special missions is quite exciting. And having been spending a considerable amount of time over the last few weeks replaying Black Flag on the Switch, I have to say that the mechanics of social stealth, and of course the sailing, don’t feel out of play on Nintendo’s console that can. While some FPS titles that have made the move over to the Switch can be a bit awkward to play, especially when undocked, I’ve had no problems taking Black Flag wherever I want.
Ubisoft have shown that the pre-RPG version of the Assassin’s Creed formula can work on the Switch, and I truly believe a more in-depth RPG styled game would work just as well. An adventure focused on the Viking lands before Eivor sets sail for Britain would be a joy, or even a title riffing on the themes of Rogue where you take the opposite side to Eivor and Assassin’s brotherhood would be a welcome change of pace for the series. Failing that, Ubisoft could go out on a limb and work with Nintendo on creating an Assassin’s styled Mario game. It’s been well rumoured that a selection of Mario titles are planned for release this year to celebrate the famous plumbers’ 35th Anniversary, so what better way to do that than to further embrace the alliance with Nintendo?
The truth is of course that I don’t expect any big moves from Ubisoft to create a new Assassin’s game solely for the Switch. The install base might be growing all the time, and it has proven able to handle something of the scope of The Witcher 3, but without seeing a port of an AnvilNext2 game like Unity or Syndicate come out of the woodwork, I think my dreams are just that, dreams.