Now that we know for sure the 2016 Assassin's Creed film officially takes place in the same universe as the Assassin's Creed games, it's time to dissect exactly how closely they're connected to the latest game release: Assassin's Creed: Origins. Ubisoft's flagship action-adventure series got its latest entry last week when Assassin's Creed: Origins released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, which, along with offering up lots of Ancient Egyptian parkour action, revealed the overlaps between the game and film.
When Ubisoft first released the original Assassin's Creed 10 years ago, it's hard to believe they or anybody else in the industry knew quite how popular it would become. Now with 19 different entries in the game series and a feature film starring Michael Fassbender, Ubisoft has firmly positioned AC as one of the biggest and most popular game series on the planet, right alongside the likes of Call of Duty, Halo, and Uncharted.
As fans will know, the Assassin's Creed games take place in two distinct time periods: the near future and the chosen historical setting. Using a device known as the Animus, subjects are able to use ancestral DNA to visit the memories of their forefathers. The wider mythology follows a bloodline of legendary Assassins that have left their mark throughout history working against their nefarious enemies, the Templars, with each new adventure deepening the lore.
This year's latest entry in the series, Origins, takes players further back than ever before - all the way to Ancient Egypt where the centuries-long conflict between the Brotherhood and The Order of the Ancients (predecessors of the Templar) has its roots. The modern elements, however, tie more directly into the film.
The movie followed Fassbender's Callum Lynch in the Madrid arm of Abstergo (a modern-day Templar front) where he came into contact with Sofia Rikkin (Marion Cotillard) and her father, Alan (Jeremy Irons). The movie follows Cal learning to become an Assassin like his ancestors, in the end killing Alan. Most of the Origins connections pre-date the movie's events, providing greater knowledge of what how the Rikkins operated.
All The Assassin's Creed: Origins and Movie Connections
The main link is an email chain between the game's protagonist Layla Hassan - a modern-day Egyptian-American and former employee of Abstergo Industries who's delving into the past - and Sofia. We learn that Sofia "discovered" Layla, who is a brilliant mind in the field of DNA memory. However, her employment didn't work out because of her reckless nature and inability to adhere to protocols. In the emails, Layla continues to give advice and ideas to Sofia, trying to curry her favor - and it doing so drops some bombshells.
On February 10, 2014, Layla explains the need for an "inverted six-axis motion rig" - the physical version used in the film (a separate image in the game even shows Cal using it). Three days later on February 13th, Sofia responds; at first taken aback by such a ludicrous idea, she seems to accept it as a great proposition, stating that even a chief engineer is on board with. Nearly an entire year later, there's another email from Layla to Sofia, begging for a response in light of the latter going completely silent. Naturally, Layla feels betrayed that Sofia would pick her brain for a specific idea then use them without credit.
Then the real gut punch: Sofia finally responds to Layla on August 3rd, 2016 with nothing but bad news; she claims that she can't trust Layla to offer her employment or any official credit, virtually shrugging her shoulders as she tells our hero to basically move on. Furious, Layla responds the next day with an angry email calling out Sofia's disgusting attitude, fully breaking the relationship. All of this culminates with the news about Sofia's father's death from the events of the movie, which we later learn has been covered up by the Templars as an accidental gas leak rather than targeted assassination.
These are all set before the main events of the game, but nevertheless directly tie Assassin's Creed and Origins together. There's no actual appearances from Sofia, Cal or any other movie characters in the game, but the connection is unavoidable powerful.
Back in 2015, Ubisoft made it clear they were planning an elaborate continuity between the film and games. Now, two years on, we're finally getting to see the payoff. And, considering the long development period of both mediums, it's unlikely the end here.
Assassin's Creed: Origins is now available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.