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Ubisoft Universes Are Crossing Over

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
In recent Ubisoft games, there have been a lot of hints that all their games are coming together, and may even take place in the same universe.

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The Ubisoft Universes are Crossing Over

In 2017, Ubisoft changed their logo for the first time in 14 years to this. While at the time we thought it was a mere simplistic update to their previous purple portal design, recent releases have gotten us to realise that this logo may be more symbolic in the direction their franchises are going.

It’s never been above game studios to throw in sly references to their other franchises, previous instalments, or even completely different games under the same publishers. But in recent years Ubisoft, have gone above and beyond when it comes to the intertextuality of their fan service. It’s gotten to the point where franchise timelines are starting to merge together similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We’ve now believe they may be forming together into 3 major timelines represented the 3 spirals seen on their logo.

Why 3 timelines and not one? Because of the ending of “Far Cry 5”, which saw the world hit by a nuclear war in 2018, which was doubled down upon in the recently released “Far Cry New Dawn”. Present day sequences in “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” don’t reflect this world changing event. So unless Ubisoft plans on setting all their future franchises with that nuclear backdrop, its doubtful that’ll Layla Hassan holding down in a fallout shelter for future installments, especially since that would ruin the narrative that series has been building upon since Origin’s.

Still Ubisoft have never been strangers to throwing in links between games in the same series. While all of the Assassins are known to each other dating back hundreds of years, there’s more bizarre connections than just equipping Edward Kenway with Ezio’s trademark costume. One of the first major connections to a shared universe came in 2014 with “Watch_Dogs.” While the release was a little polarizing, for those who stuck with it there were more than a few hidden Easter eggs to be found. In one of the many segments where Aiden Pearce can hack into personal cameras, we see a clip of a father watching his son play video games. He seems to be playing “Assassin’s Creed: Revelations” specifically, though his dad doesn’t enjoy the game nearly as much as the kid, instead asking why he’s talking to the guy he just murdered. However the biggest connection comes in a criminal convoy mission, where Aiden is tasked to kill Abstergo CCO Olivier Garneau, who was originally introduced in “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag”. That mission even claims that he’s QUOTE “Targeted by the Brotherhood”

At the time, this was widely considered to be an easter egg between the two games, but the link was made canon in 2017’s “Assassin’s Creed Origins” through the files on Layla Hassan’s computer, which show that murder taking place at the hands of Aiden Pearce himself.

There’s a connection between Assassin’s Creed & another Ubisoft franchise, Most recently there was a limited-time “For Honor” event called: “For the Creed,” which saw the Assassins and Templars introduced as major, playable factions. It was a return to the Renaissance period fans loved so much with the Ezio trilogy, and to capitalize on Ezio’s popularity the “For Honor” dev team included him as the general you had to fight if you found yourself on the side of the Templar Order. If you were lucky enough to be an Assassin, then you’d be fighting the main antagonist of “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood,” Cesare Borgia, all over again. While this would certainly be cool enough on its own, the teasers threw out some even more intriguing hints – namely, the appearance of the Abstergo logo. Abstergo’s position as the malignant corporation fronting the modern-day Templars makes this all-the-more sinister, since in “Black Flag” and beyond they’re portrayed as a video game studio. Perhaps Ubisoft’s meta jokes have finally come full-circle, and by playing “For Honor” we are actually accessing ancient memories. Or maybe Ubisoft really have been Abstergo Industries all along.

Based on all that, we can confirm that the Watch_Dogs, Assassin’s Creed and For Honor set up the foundations of Timeline 1. Ubisoft has a naval combat game on the horizon titled “Skull & Bones” and while it hasn’t been released yet, the fact that it’s a spiritual successor to Black Flag would make it a likely candidate for this timeline as well.

Onto Ubisoft’s next big series “Far Cry”, where only recently have the games started connect to each other through their similar premises: charismatic, complex villains; large, closed off maps; and the knowledge that nobody is coming to help you. But one unusual common thread throughout “Far Cry” is Hurk, a unique character who has shown up in every “Far Cry” since “Far Cry 3”. You even meet his ancient ancestor, Urki the Thinker, in “Far Cry Primal” , Ubisoft also couldn’t resist throwing in a thinly-veiled “Assassin’s Creed” jab in that game through Urki’s quest “Fly like a Bird,” which mocks the death-defying leaps of faith all the Assassins do. Though, unfortunately for him, that’s not a hay bale he lands in. (Shows him landing in a giant pile of dinosaur poo). Since it’s more of a spoof, a moment like this doesn’t really connect the two game universes together.

However the most recent Far Cry entry “New Dawn” has shown connection to another major Ubisoft franchise: “Splinter Cell”. While you don’t see Sam Fisher himself, you do come across a series of notes signed with his initials. These notes refer to the immediate aftermath of “Far Cry 5’s” nuclear apocalypse ending, as well as Fisher’s concerns about his daughter’s wellbeing after his plane, the Paladin, crashes down in rural Ohio. He also throws him some stray comments referring to “the Division” in Chicago, which is surely a reference to that other big Ubisoft IP. This may have a deeper connection than you think though, as Sam’s notes indicate that he’s heading to Washington D.C to find Sarah … and guess where the upcoming “The Division 2” happens to takes place. Considering that series shows the United States in disarray, it is possible to link that title with the events of Far Cry 5, since that game’s villain Joseph Seed used the unseen political chaos as his proof to assert his message upon his followers.

“Splinter Cell’s” Sam Fisher long-running voice actor Michael Ironside took a brief hiatus from the role in 2013, leaving “Splinter Cell” fans searching for his voice everywhere. He returned as Fisher in a DLC for “Ghost Recon: Wildlands”, And while his presence is mostly highlighted by the retirement of Solid Snake, there’s a key piece of information that would tie both “Ghost Recon” and “Splinter Cell” to the Far Cry universe. In the closing cutscene to Sam’s mission in “Wildlands” his tech operator Karen says this: (“Chairmen of the Joint Chief’s says there’s a possible “Empty Quiver””) “Empty Quiver” is the United States military terminology for the seizure, theft, or loss of a functioning nuclear weapon. And since the ending of Far Cry 5 ends with a nuclear apocalypse that we now know that Sam was apart of, the connection is way too big to be coincidental. After all it would only take the detonation of one nuclear bomb to get everyone to launch their missiles in retaliation, if planned correctly.

We’re not done with “Ghost Recon Wildlands” though. It had another crossover DLC event starring Caveira,Twitch and Valkyrie from “Rainbow Six Siege” linking that title to this continuity as well. Furthermore all of “Siege’s” seasons since the release of “Far Cry 5” have taken place outside the United States in nations unlikely to be targeted by Superpowers in a nuclear war. It’s also worth pointing out that “Ghost Recon” “Rainbow Six” “Splinter Cell” & “The Division” have another unique calling card: Tom Clancy, where previous titles have had endless cross references between series in the past. While the author may have passed away in 2013, his estate continues the allowance of titles under his name. Based on all this information we can confirm that all of Ubisoft’s active Tom Clancy franchises as well as Far Cry are set in Timeline #2.

So that leaves us with a few other titles, “Rayman”, “Beyond: Good & Evil”, “The Crew” & “Starlink: Battle for Atlas”. Immediately all of these games except “The Crew” have one unique factor in that they’re all set on different worlds, while “Starlink” and the upcoming “Beyond Good & Evil” have space travel within different single solar system possible. So it’s very easy for these franchises to co-exist in the same timeline without affecting one another is a major way. But then where does “The Crew” fit in all this? Well it turns out there is a connecting a connection between “Starlink” & “The Crew 2”, both titles have the possibility for vehicles to change shape. A feature known as “Starlink Technology” though in “The Crew 2” this ability is never explained, in fact it may be a precursor to “Starlink”. It’s a loose connection yes, but that racing series doesn’t seem to fit anywhere else.

That’s almost it but there’s one problem: Where do the “Rabbid’s” fit into this? As they seem to have connections to all 3 timelines. Well luckily there’s a factor that doesn’t anchor them to any fixed dimension. In “Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time” its established that they have a Time Machine that’s made out of a washing machine, where they would cause mischief and change parts of history in their image. “Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle” took this concept one step further, by establishing that the device is also able to travel to different universes. In that case Nintendo’s “Super Mario” universe, which obviously isn’t part of any Ubisoft timeline. This would mean that the Rabbids can easily hop between dimensions either inside or outside Ubisoft’s canon. And since they’re not very bright and are prone to causing ripples in the space-time continuum by incompetence or mischief; If you find any continuity issues like key items outside these theorised established timeline, you can basically explain that issue as “The Rabbids Did It!”

So lets recap one last time, Timeline #1 consists of: “Assassin’s Creed” “Watch_Dogs” “For Honor” and possibly “Skull & Bones”. Timeline #2 consists of Tom Clancy’s “The Division” “Rainbow Six Siege” “Ghost Recon” & “Splinter Cell”, as well as “Far Cry”. And Timeline #3 consists of “The Crew” “Starlink” “Rayman” & “Beyond Good & Evil”. With the Rabbids being able to travel between any of these timelines, though obviously not intentionally. That would be frightening if that’s true: The Rabbids being the bridge between timelines? Who knows what chaos they could cause.

Ubisoft may yet find more opportunities for Easter eggs and crossovers, however, through their recent team-ups with Nintendo. We were lucky enough to get “Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle” and the Star Fox Team has appeared in the Switch version of “Starlink: Battle for Atlas.” Could this also mean that other Nintendo franchises are likely to cross over as well? Only time will tell what ambitious crossovers Ubisoft will come up with in the future.

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