In one of the biggest IP creator battles of this decade, up there with the ownership of Call of Duty, Ubisoft has been locked in a long-running lawsuit with Patrice Désilets, creator of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. After being forced out of Ubisoft, Désilets attempted to work on a new game called 1666 Amsterdam, which he touted as “the new Assassin’s Creed.”
Work on the game became a legal issue when Ubisoft claimed Dsilets was infringing on Assassin’s Creed, effectively stealing from his own idea. Just last month, after years of in-fighting, the studio agreed to return 1666 and its assets to Désilets on the condition he drop the lawsuit against them. The creator and studio seem to have made amends and now the world is getting a first look at the game — or what it could have been.
From a Youtube video uploaded by game designer and writer Brandon Scheffield, we can now see in-game footage and an intro sequence for the game, featuring a lot of weird and delightful twists.
You begin the game as a crow that pecks the eyeball out of a criminal and then flies through the beautifully rendered city of Amsterdam. Keep in mind, all of this was running two years ago on a now defunct Xbox 360 platform. The crow delivers the eye-ball to our player protagonist who puts it into a cane that can be used for melee attacks or magic involving animals and, as we’ll learn, blood rituals. When he meets up with a gang of baddies, he burns the entire city block down and is un-disturbed by the flames. It’s pretty spooky and great.
Apparently 1666’s theme was “be worse than the devil,” which explains why players could control animals typically associated with satanic rituals like ravens, rats and black cats. There are few comparable properties to this, although in the interim the Dishonored series has picked up some of this gameplay work — although set in a steampunk world and certainly not as influenced by Satanism.
Now that the property is back with the creator, will we see 1666 rebuilt for modern consoles, or has the time for a devilish Creed clone passed by in the years this spent locked up in court?
Since then, Désilets has been working on the title Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey which has a only released a short reveal video that you can view here: