1666: Amsterdam sure looked a lot like Assassin’s Creed

By Brenna Hillier, Monday, 2 May 2016 05:30 GMT

Assassin’s Creed successor? Yeah, we believe it.

1666: Amsterdam sure looked a lot like Assassin’s Creed

Now that Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Désilets has regained the 1666: Amsterdam rights, he’s finally able to talk about the mysterious project. In fact, he’s done more than talk – he’s given us a look at it.

Footage of the cancelled game was shown during Désilets’s presentation at the Reboot Develop Conference in Croatia. It was captured off-screen and uploaded by Brandon Sheffield, who expressed a hope that Désilets would release a direct-feed version along with a bit of information:

“The game would have been for the PS3 and Xbox 360, and the footage comes from a build of that era, two years ago. It would have become next (now current)-gen if the studio had not closed,” Sheffield wrote of details shared during the presentation.

“The game’s theme is ‘be worse than the devil,’ which is why the protagonist can control animals traditionally associated with black magic. This footage shows a real player running through the game in-engine.”

As well as the quality issues you’d expect from this kind of capture, the footage naturally looks rough. The project wasn’t very far advanced when THQ collapsed, and Ubisoft cancelled 1666 almost as soon as it got hold of it, having purchased THQ Montreal just four months earlier.

Now that we’ve seen it in action, you can see why – and I’m not just talking about the last generation, early production visuals: it’s very like Assassin’s Creed, isn’t it? Exploring a historical city filled with crowds of NPCs, third-person perspective, patrolling guards, signature weapon, combo melee combat, murder as (apparently) the primary gameplay system… Even the crates on hook and tackles.

That’s not to say it doesn’t look cool. It seems the player could control birds, cats and rats at the very least, and interact with NPCs in ways Assassin’s Creed doesn’t support. I’d be super interested in playing it, especially if the idea was to be a villain – but it probably seemed pretty redundant to Ubisoft, which had multiple Assassin’s Creed games on the go already.

By the way, did you notice the cane? Canes were introduced as weapons in Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. Syndicate also introduced a busy river, which echoes 1666: Amsterdam’s canals. This isn’t to suggest any wrongdoing on Ubisoft’s part; it absorbed most of THQ Montreal’s staff, after all.

Anyway, don’t hold your breath for 1666: Amsterdam. Although Desiléts fought hard to get his baby back, he’s currently working on Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. I wonder if “the new Assassin’s Creed” will ever be resurrected?

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