Ubisoft, you sly devil you. We know exactly what your game is. Having the whole of history to toy with through the power of the Animus does, unsurprisingly, give you the keys to unlock and manipulate any era in time. And, in turn, bury each and every period with a bed of Easter eggs and tongue-in-cheek inside jokes. We know—we've seen them stack up by the truckload in nearly every single Assassin's Creed instalment to date.
Of course, Easter eggs are all part of the development phase, as they have been for the last however many years now. And for us, it has always been a pleasure being able to unearth them, if only for the bragging rights. But as far as Assassin's Creed goes, Ubisoft sure know how to store one or two hidden features around its plateau of time-hopping adventures. In our opinion, though, these have to be the best of the bunch.
5. Keith Flint in Assassin's Creed Valhalla
We never would've guessed that the guys over at Ubisoft were fans of The Prodigy, to be fair. And yet, Valhalla went on to feature none other the late Keith Flint himself, lead singer of the legendary electronic punk band. Although not calling him out by his exact stage name, the references all pointed in the right direction, and it acted as a pretty awesome tribute to the pioneer of the mismatch genre.
Head to Essexe, and you'll eventually stumble upon Keith, who will then send you out on a new quest. Along the way, you'll have to fight a bishop, which Keith narrates over by saying “SMACK MY BISHOP,” among other tongue-in-cheek references. And then, to top it off, he'll go on to call you a “Fire Starter” for blowing up some barrels. So, say what you will—but that's Keith Flint, in the virtual flesh.
4. Watch Dogs' Aiden Pearce in Assassin's Creed Origins
Ubisoft certainly isn't shy when it comes to promoting their own works within works. A connection that was made quite some time back, of course, was the one between Watch Dogs and Assassin's Creed, both being worlds sewn by Ubisoft. As it turned out, a little extra legwork could reveal some of their mutual connections, if only subtle ones.
As Layla in Assassin's Creed Origins, you can access the laptop and, in turn, examine an article about Oliver Garneau, chief creative officer of Abstergo Entertainment, being gunned down by a mystery figure in a trench coat and scarf combo. Shock horror—it was Watch Dogs‘ very own hacker boy himself, Aiden Pearce. A nice touch, and an easy way to push more content down players' throats, for sure.
3. The Assassin's Creed Movie is Canon
A lot can go wrong with movie adaptations of popular video game franchises, hence the reason for most directors preferring to steer clear of interlocking the two together when it comes to the plotline. But as it turns out, the Assassin's Creed movie is, in fact, linked to the video game world, meaning Desmond, Layla, and all those other assassin folk, are based in the same reality.
To make it clearer, you can see the chain of emails on Layla's laptop in Assassin's Creed Origins. Upon receipt of the emails, you can see the details regarding the claw-inspired Animus, which featured in the movie. And who else could create such an otherworldly design than Layla Hassan herself? That's right, people. Origins' Layla Hassan came up with the blueprints for the movie's biggest prop. Small world.
2. The Time Lord in Assassin's Creed Origins
For anyone who enjoys Dr Who, know that Ubisoft actually made the effort to shovel in a sneaky reference of two in its Assassin's Creed Origins entry. The iconic phonebooth, to be precise. And call that what you will, but we think we know a Dr Who reference when we see one. And that, right there in the shallow depths of Sapi-Res Nome, is the Doctor's TARDIS.
Venture out to the east side of Letopolis and you'll eventually brush shoulders with the legendary relic. Though, don't expect to be able to waltz right in and take it for a spin to another dimension, as it's more or less a cosmetic made entirely out of stone. Shame, as it could've been the portal to another twenty-five Assassin's Creed games. Missed an opportunity with that one, Ubisoft.
1. King Arthur's Sword in Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Having an entire open-world setting to experiment with means also having an endless amount of opportunities to stuff in Easter eggs and sneaky references in any given nook and cranny. Take Odyssey's Lakonia, for example. Who would have thought one could quite simply waltz up to the highest peak and claim King Arthur's legendary sword right off the bat, right?
Turns out, it could be one of many references, though it does seem to link up with King Arthur moreso than anything else, as it is, quite clearly, a sword in a stone. What more can we say? Ubisoft knew what they were doing with this one, and so did we. It's a chuckle on the side, and a feature that makes some of the surrounding barren wastelands a little less monotonous. Well played.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.