Assassin's Creed Shadows: Everything we know so far about Ubisoft's next RPG

Assassin's Creed Shadows cinematic screenshot
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Assassin's Creed Codename Red is Assassin's Creed Shadows, and it's landing on November 15. A cinematic reveal trailer was unveiled on May 15 just days after Ubisoft confirmed the official title, and boy is it looking like a treat to round off the year. 

The open-world samurai RPG is the next big flagship game in Ubisoft's long-running stealthy series from Ubisoft Quebec. Set in Feudal-era Japan and featuring dual-protagonists Yasuke and Naoe, this upcoming Assassin's Creed game will see us slicing and dicing our way through foes as two iconic real-life characters from Japanese history.

Assassin's Creed Shadows is now confirmed to be one of our new games for 2024. But with other upcoming Ubisoft games currently in the pipeline - including Star Wars Outlaws - it's certainly a busy time for the publisher. We also have the the likes of Assassin's Creed Hexe and Assassin's Creed Infinity to look forward to later down the line, but for now, here's everything we know about Assassin's Creed Shadows following its big reveal.

Recent updates

Our Assassin's Creed Shadows guide was updated on June 10, adding the latest gameplay details following a showing at Ubisoft Forward 2024.

What is Assassin's Creed Shadows?

Assassin's Creed Shadows is the official name of Assassin's Creed Red: the next major RPG game in the franchise from Ubisoft Quebec, following the success of 2020's Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Developer Marc-Alexis Cote, who has served as both creative director and producer on some of the best Assassin's Creed games, described Shadows as Ubisoft's "next premium flagship title" before teasing that it will be "the future of our open-world RPG games on Assassin's Creed." 

Assassin's Creed Shadows release date

Assassin's Creed Shadows cinematic screenshot

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Ubisoft has confirmed that Assassin's Creed Shadows will launch on November 15, 2024. The release date was announced at the end of AC Shadows' cinematic reveal trailer on YouTube, meaning we're only months away from playing the sprawling RPG offering.

Assassin's Creed Shadows platforms

Assassin's Creed Shadows cinematic screenshot

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Assassin's Creed Shadows will launch on PC, PS5, PS4, and Xbox Series X only, according to Ubisoft Store listing data (via Wario64 on Twitter). That means that Xbox One and Nintendo Switch players will be unfortunately out of luck. Apple has also confirmed that it release on Mac at the same time.

Assassin's Creed Shadows pre-order

Assassin's Creed Shadows pre-order

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Assassin's Creed Shadows pre-orders are now live, and can be purchased via Ubisoft or your platform of choice. On PC, AC Shadows' standard edition will set you back £59.99 / $59.99, while the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions cost £69.99 / $69.99.  If you want three days of early access to Assassin's Creed Shadows as well as a season pass, the gold edition clocks in at £94.99 / $109.99. The £114.99 / $129.99 ultimate edition has all of the above as well as the Ultimate Pack, encompassing: 

  • "The Sekiryu Character Pack including gear and weapon sets for both Naoe and Yasuke, the Sekiryu Beast, and Dragon Tooth trinket. 
  • The Sekiryu Hideout Pack including four unique ornaments to customize the hideout for your shinobi league.
  • Five skill points. 
  • The Red Dragon filter in Photo mode."

Finally, the Assassin's Creed Shadows collector's edition gives you the ultimate version of the game as well as a belter haul of physical media and collectibles, including statues of Yasuke and Naoe, an art book, world map, lithographs, and more. The PS5 and Xbox Series X versions will include hard copies of the game discs, while the PC version contains a digital download code. You can purchase the AC Shadows collector's edition from places like Game in the UK, or GameStop in the US.

Assassin's Creed Shadows trailer

The Assassin's Creed Shadows trailer above was unveiled on May 15 2024, giving us our first proper look at the setting, characters, and lore of its world. The trailer introduces us to Yasuke and Naoe, a samurai and shinobi respectively, who will serve as our dual-protagonists in this story that wants to deliver the power fantasies of two very different Azuchi-Momoyama era warriors.

From the trailer, we can glean that Yasuke's playstyle favors the slick arts of the samurai, while Naoe's quiet, deft work in the shadows more closely resembles the AC series' stealthy origins. With Assassin's Creed Mirage having delivered a taste of this in 2023, it's clear that Ubisoft is trying to strike a balance between old and new Assassin's Creed by giving the player the chance to utilize both combat styles in one game. We see evidence of this aplenty in the above trailer - and also, will Ezio's theme ever not give us chills?

Assassin's Creed Shadows characters

Assassin's Creed Shadows Naoe and Yasuke character selection

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

The rumors werte true: Assassin's Creed Shadows will feature two playable characters in the form of Yasuke, the first-ever Black samurai, and a ninja-like female Shinobi named Naoe. It looks like you'll be given the choice between characters before a lot of main missions, and your favorite character will largely be dictated by your favored playstyle.

With both characters sharing the stage as leading actors, we will be able to make use of each of their unique combat skills. Yasuke will be the heavy-hitter as a samurai, while Naoe is our more classic AC-style assassin given her quiet and stealthy ninja ways. Ubisoft has described Naoe as a "farmer warrior," taking on "the role of protector" in the game as she fights to defend her province of Iga. Her storyline looks set to revolve around political upheaval, invasion, and the fight for survival against insurmountable odds.

Yasuke, on the other hand, is of the Oda clan, led by prolific Japanese unification figurehead Oda Nobunaga. Having impressed Oda with his large stature, welcoming of Japanaese culture, and strong sword-arm, Yasuke is widely considered the first ever Black samurai in Japanese history. 

Assassin's Creed Shadows setting

Assassin's Creed Shadows cinematic screenshot

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Assassin's Creed Shadows is set in Feudal Japan, more specifically, during the Azuchi-Momoyama era. We also know that its Assassin's Creed Origins-sized map has been made "more realistic" in terms of mountain scale, meaning we will be exploring a rich historical fantasy that is built to feel weighty and true to life. That also goes for the physics-based grappling hook sported by Naoe, which is sure to give her a leg-up when it comes to traversal. Think of AC Syndicate's Evie, only better.

The franchise has explored no fewer than 10 different locations around the world since the series made its debut 15 years ago, but it has never ventured into Japan – until now that is. Marc-Alexis Cote originally said that Assassin's Creed Shadow's historically-steeped context will "let players explore one of their most-awaited settings ever," giving us the chance to "live a very powerful Shinobi fantasy." 

Assassin's Creed Shadows gameplay

Assassin's Creed Shadows will be changing things up in terms of expected AC gameplay, combining heavy attack-style combat opportunities through Yasuke's samurai gameplay and more stealth-centric sneaky work when playing as Naoe. Players will get to swap between the characters to explore the world and engage in missions, similar to how things worked in Assassin's Creed Syndicate. 

In terms of the classic tower and map unlock mechanic, AC Shadows will see players using towers slightly differently. Even after activating an eagle point, you won't be able to access all POIs immediate. Instead, highlighted areas will appear on your map for you to investigate, potentially as in Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Origins, and Odyssey respectively, to encourage player exploration across its sprawling open world.

The extended gameplay reveal shown at Ubisoft Forward 2024, embedded above, gives us a closer look at the dynamically different ways Yasuke and Naoe move and engage in combat. Yasuke makes an impression with his studded baseball bat-like kanabo, the weapon of the Oni in Japanese folklore, which he uses to deliver slow heavy attacks. He cans swap to the trusty katana to deal more rapid hack and slack melee attacks. Being such a big guy, Yasuke is not your guy if you're opting for stealth. Enter Naoe, our resident shinobi and living shadow extraordinaire.

Naoe's gameplay looks wildly different to Yasuke's favoring the quick and quiet approach with the help of the retractable Hidden Blade on her wrist. With the help of her grappling hook, she can traverse over suspended distances with acrobatic ease, adding an intriguing level of verticality by way of AC Shadows' implementation of realistic physics to deliver a movement experience that feels authentically light, lithe, and fluid. She can even hide underwater to sneak up on her foes, and have you seen that neat little forward-roll after dispatching an unassuming victim? She is the Assassin's Creed dream.

Assassin's Creed Shadows development

Assassin's Creed Shadows screenshot showing female protagonist Naoe

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Assassin's Creed Shadows started out as Assassin's Creed Codename Red when Ubisoft announced it alongside a litany of other AC games back in 2022. Developer Ubisoft Quebec cut its teeth creating expansions for Assassin's Creed 3 and Assassin's Creed: Black Flag, impressing the powers that be enough that it became the first studio outside of series creator Ubisoft Montreal to be handed the reins of a mainline instalment. Ubisoft Quebec went on to lead development of 2015's Assassin's Creed Syndicate and 2018's Assassin's Creed Odyssey.

Josh West
Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Josh West is the Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar+. He has over 15 years experience in online and print journalism, and holds a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Feature Writing. Prior to starting his current position, Josh has served as GR+'s Features Editor and Deputy Editor of games™ magazine, and has freelanced for numerous publications including 3D Artist, Edge magazine, iCreate, Metal Hammer, Play, Retro Gamer, and SFX. Additionally, he has appeared on the BBC and ITV to provide expert comment, written for Scholastic books, edited a book for Hachette, and worked as the Assistant Producer of the Future Games Show. In his spare time, Josh likes to play bass guitar and video games. Years ago, he was in a few movies and TV shows that you've definitely seen but will never be able to spot him in.

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