While it is true that this title is more of a minor one in comparison to the massively expansive mainline releases that the Assassin's Creed franchise has recently seen, it is still a release that will hold a lot of relevance to the overall story that the series tells. With the temporal and physical setting that the game is set to boast, many long-term fans of the franchise will want to make note of the inherent links that Assassin's Creed Rift will most likely have with the original Assassin's Creed.
Assassin's Creed Rift is the upcoming latest release of the storied Assassin's Creed franchise, which is rumored to be released sometime at the end of 2022. The game was originally set to release as DLC for the already DLC saturated Assassin's Creed Valhalla, but it has clearly proven to be so expansive that it warrants its own standalone release.
The title Assassin's Creed Rift is currently only a working title, and like many details of the game, may differ upon actual release. The main elements of the game that have remained consistent through different sources are the game's setting and involved characters. The game is reportedly set around the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, with other key cities within the Middle East being likely to make additional appearances within the game. The main protagonist for Assassin's Creed Rift will reportedly be Basim Ibn Ishaq, a central character who appeared consistently within the story of Assassin's Creed Valhalla.
Basim Ibn Ishaq was born and raised within Baghdad, giving further credence to the rumored main setting of the game. Basim was also a prominent member of the Hidden Ones, with whom he joined at a very young age. The Hidden Ones were the first iteration of what would become the Assassin Brotherhood, established by Bayek, the protagonist of Assassin's Creed Origins. Eventually becoming a Master Assassin, Basim is very skilled in combat and traveled globally as a part of his role within the Brotherhood.
A very interesting aspect of Basim's life is that he is a Sage, being a human reincarnation of the Isu God Loki, an aspect of his life that became more apparent to him with age. With Assassin's Creed Rift most likely taking place before the events of Valhalla, it will be interesting to see how this gradual realization is potentially explored within the game's story.
With the aforementioned physical and temporal rumored settings of Assassin's Creed Rift, keen fans will realize that the game will potentially be the closest in time and place to the coveted classic that is Assassin's Creed 1. While it is true that the original title pales in comparison to the largely expanded formulas of its many successors, the first Assassin's Creed laid the foundations of what would become such an iconic and defining franchise.
With many fans feeling a fatigue towards the current state of Assassin's Creed, a return to its roots will undoubtedly be a breath of fresh air for fans of the more methodical gameplay of the original titles, while still maintaining the integrity of the more open-ended and RPG-like elements of the newer games. One of the most obvious inherent connections between Rift and Assassin's Creed is the close geographical proximity that both games share. The original Assassin's Creed is set in Jerusalem, Damascus and Arsuf, in what would become modern-day Israel, Palestine, and Syria.
With Assassin's Creed Rift being most likely set in Baghdad, the two titles will both be set very close to each other, with Iraq bordering Syria and being extremely close to both Israel and Palestine. In this way, the game will inherently share the same geopolitical conflicts within their stories. One of these conflicts could very well be the Templar threat, with the Templar vs Assassin war being a more and more reserved aspect of recent Assassin's Creed titles. With the Holy Land of this part of the Middle East holding significant historical and cultural value to both the Assassins and Templars, it could be fascinating to see how the seemingly never-ending conflict between these two opposing factions came to be.
In terms of a temporal setting, it is at this point a matter of conjecture and estimation, with no concrete evidence yet being revealed as to what time period Assassin's Creed Rift will be set. What is known is that the game will have to take place before the culminating events of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, meaning it will take place some time before 873 CE. With the original Assassin's Creed primarily taking place in the year 1191 CE, there will be at least a 300-year gap between the settings of both games.
While this means it is very unlikely that Basim will meet the iconic original protagonist Altair Ibn-La'Ahad, it could be possible that Basim plays a very large role in establishing the presence of what would become the Assassin Brotherhood within the Middle East. It would be remiss for Ubisoft to revisit a place so relatively close to the original title in both place and time without in someway revisiting Altair. Interestingly, Altair is known to be birthed from Assassin parents, meaning the Ibn-La'Ahad lineage is ripe for further representation in the upcoming title. If the rumors are believed to be true, then long-term fans of the franchise have a lot to be excited about within Assassin's Creed Rift.