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Assassin’s Creed Shadows release date, trailer, story, and gameplay

Assassin’s Creed Shadows release date takes us to feudal Japan and follows the alliance between a ninja shinobi and the first Black samurai.

When is the Assassin’s Creed Shadows release date? We’ve been clamoring for an Assassin’s Creed set in feudal Japan right from the series’ inception. After 16 years, that dream is finally a reality, and there’s plenty to learn about its characters, gameplay, and real-life historical events before launch.

PCGamesN first got wind of AC Shadows during the Ubisoft Showcase event we attended in 2022. Previously known as Assassin’s Creed Codename Red, this latest entry in the stealth RPG game series transports us to the turbulent Azuchi-Momoyama period. We’ll witness Obu Nobunaga’s bid to unify Japan through the eyes of dual protagonists Fujibayashi Naoe, the fictional daughter of ninja master Fujibayashi Nagato, and Yasuke, Japan’s first Black samurai and the first playable historical figure in the series. We’ve got all this and more ahead of the Assassin’s Creed Shadows release date.

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Assassin’s Creed Shadows release date

Assassin’s Creed Shadows is due to release on Friday, November 15, 2024. This was confirmed by developer Ubisoft in the game’s official world premiere trailer.

Codename Red’s name change came only a few days before its official reveal, in a marketing push by Ubisoft that included the official logo for Assassin’s Creed Shadows. The Assassin’s Creed Shadows launch date was finally revealed two years after its initial announcement, though this means there’s only a short time until we can finally play it for ourselves.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows is available on PC via the Ubisoft Store and Epic Games Store, as well as on Mac, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Amazon Luna.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows trailer

The Assassin’s Creed Shadows world premiere trailer introduces dual protagonists Naoe and Yasuke and teases their respective backstories. After a chance encounter on opposing sides of Nobunaga’s unification efforts, the two pledge to find an alternative path to the vengeance they seek, and instead work together to “trust, rebuild, and follow the blade.” Of course, this also entails investigation, infiltration, and some good old-fashioned assassination.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows story

Assassin’s Creed Shadows kicks off in 1579 – the same historical year that Yasuke arrived in Japan – and spins out from there, as both Naoe and Yasuke are confronted with the human cost of Japanese unification after Nobunaga deposed the Ashikaga shogunate.

The open-world map will include the Iga, Arima, and Ōmi provinces – in fact, the world premiere trailer may have already given us a glimpse of Nobunaga’s attack on Iga during the Tenshō Iga War in 1581. Kyoto will also likely serve as the main city, with Osaka and Kobe as potential locations that Yasuke and Naoe will visit on their travels. The trailer also depicts Naoe’s infiltration of Takeda Castle on Mount Shiroyama, which should serve as a landmark story mission.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows may also incorporate the Honnō-ji incident into its plot, in which samurai general Akechi Mitsuhide rebelled against Nobunaga. With a 13,000-strong army under his control, Mitsuhide marched on Honnō-ji and assassinated the daimyō before the complete unification of Japan. Much of this incident is shrouded in uncertainty, making it the perfect opportunity for Ubisoft to put its own spin on historical events within the Assassin’s Creed universe.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows gameplay

AC Shadows is an open-world game roughly the same size as Mirage before it, striking a happy medium between Valhalla’s exhaustive scope and Mirage’s pared-back approach. We can also expect to travel through various historical locations in central Japan, from remote mountains, rural farmland, and enormous castles built to scale. This recreation of 16th-century Japan is brought to life with dynamic weather, seasons, and a lighting system that makes stealth more viable than ever.

While the CGI trailer didn’t include any in-engine gameplay, it did give us some indication of how our two protagonists differ in combat. Naoe’s fighting style captures the classic Assassin’s Creed experience of stealth-driven parkour and agile swordsmanship, with we’ll also have ninja staples like shuriken, grappling hooks, and throwing knives at our disposal. Meanwhile, Yasuke is an armored fighter who favors heavy weapons like the kanabō. This all-out offensive approach stands in stark contrast to Naoe’s careful infiltration.

We expect that, just like Syndicate, certain missions will demand that you play as either Naoe or Yasuke for story purposes, while we can switch freely between the two during free roam. Assassin’s Creed Shadows will likely adopt the same assassination system as previous games, allowing players to choose their preferred target, investigate, and strike from the shadows – or in plain sight.

Between missions, Naoe and Yasuke can retreat to a fully customizable hideout in a surprise throwback to Unity. This small hub allows players to recruit and manage their network of shinobi allies, as well as upgrade and decorate the hideout itself.

On a technical level, Ubisoft has confirmed the Assassin’s Creed Shadows online connection requirements, which should come as a relief to those with poor connections or prefer offline games.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows special editions

There are three editions of Assassin’s Creed Shadows available to purchase on PC: Standard, Gold, and Ultimate. Each one includes a pre-order bonus that unlocks the ‘Thrown to the Dogs’ side quest. The season pass bundled into the Gold and Ultimate edition includes a day-one bonus quest and unlockable content, as well as access to two future expansions that Ubisoft has planned.

The Assassin’s Creed Shadows Gold edition includes:

  • Base game
  • Season pass
  • 3-days early access

The Assassin’s Creed Shadows Ultimate edition includes:

  • Base game
  • Season pass
  • 3-days early access
  • Ultimate pack
  • Sekiryu Character Pack
  • Sekiryu Hideout Pack
  • Five skill points
  • Red Dragon photo mode filter

That’s everything you need to know ahead of the AC Shadows release date. We’ve got plenty of stealth games and ninja games to prepare for your expedition across feudal Japan, as well as some other upcoming PC games to look forward to this year. Alternatively, check out our AC Mirage review for our assessment of where Ubisoft’s long-running series is right now.