After a two-year wait, Assassin's Creed Origins launched last week.
And boy, was it worth the wait. It's massive, hence why our review isn't ready yet — check back early next week. Anyhow, while I've only played the first few hours of it myself, it's been an eye-opening two hours. Ubisoft's promise of a fresh start for the franchise seems to be paying off. The gameplay is familiar but refined, and the location seems bigger with more depth than ever before.
Minor spoiler alert!
The story, though, keeps the roots of the franchise truly alive. Familiar names and faces are mentioned — both from previous games and last year's film — and there's also a sneaky glimpse of someone else very familiar. But not from Creed, oh no. From Watch Dogs, Ubisoft's franchise about modern-day hackers.
In the first real-world segment we come to (yes, Assassin's Creed Origins finally takes us back to the modern day!), we get to interact with a laptop. On that laptop are a ton of files. There's plenty of interesting reading, and as you're trawling through emails and saved documents, lots of past names and references start to pop up.
One folder, though, titled 'Olivier Garneau', has a very interesting photograph stored within it. In the photo, a man is laying on the ground — presumably the Garneau mentioned — and another man stands at the side of him, firing a gun.
The man with the gun? There's no mistaking that figure. That's without a doubt Aiden Pierce, the sour-faced protagonist from the original Watch Dogs.
What does this mean? Well, if it is Aiden Pierce — and come on, look at it. Of course it is — then it surely means that Watch Dogs and Assassin's Creed are taking place in the same universe, and likely even the same timeline. Abstergo Industries and Blume - the corporations from Creed and Watch Dogs respectively - exist together in the same world, and are quite possibly connected together in some way that we don't understand just yet.
This little image is discovered just after Assassin's Creed Origins' prologue, so still very early into the game. I've not yet got as far as to encounter any more real-world segments yet, but as I do, I'll be scouring them with a fine-toothed comb for any more indication of Aiden Pierce, or even Marcus Holloway, Watch Dogs 2's protagonist.