After six years of silence, Sucker Punch Productions released Ghost of Tsushima — its first new IP in 11 years. The Sony-owned developer was hard at work with its latest release for the better part of the past decade, but before Sucker Punch began developing the samurai epic, the studio had tinkered with another game premise code-named "Prophecy." A demo leaked online Monday, and the little that was shown looks like everything Assassin's Creed should aspire to.
The leaks showcased the game’s stealth- and melee-focused combat as well as hints of alchemy weapons that can be used to melt through enemies and obstacles. The combat seems obviously influenced by the Assassin’s Creed franchise, but it was set in a medieval Victorian metropolis, much like the Thief series.
An 11-minute demo of Prophecy from 2015 first made its way onto 4Chan on July 20 from a Sucker Punch artist’s portfolio. It has since been reposted across multiple gaming forums and can be viewed in full here, but the footage will likely be removed by Sucker Punch eventually.
The demo includes cinematic and gameplay sequences that introduced Prophecy’s outlaw protagonist, Abel Tvorah.
His hometown has been overrun by an oppressive army that is seen demolishing a statue in the city square. Abel wants to reach a secret chamber that’s underneath the monument, but his plan is cut short by a group of guards that try to apprehend him for his past thievery.
This scuffle breaks out into a chase across the city, which demonstrates Abel’s ability to knock over ladders as enemies are climbing them, along with a special dust he flings can burn through steel armor and iron window grates. More leaked character models also revealed concepts for monster enemies, which suggest Prophecy could have been a fantasy stealth game instead of a period piece adventure, which feels like a more exciting direction than that of Ubisoft's Assassin’s Creed series.
With a name like Assassin’s Creed, you’d think the Ubisoft's franchise would involve more stealth and subterfuge, but many of the more recent entries have been about killing hordes of enemies in different periods of history. Now, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is going down the path of a Viking role-playing game, a far cry from the game’s original concept.
While incomplete, Prophecy oozes Assassin’s Creed’s original allure, allowing the player to parkour through an old city as a shady thief with an arsenal of deadly weapons. While Ubisoft has shifted away from its series’ stealth origins, Sucker Punch could technically dust off Prophecy one day to make a game that hearkens back to the glory days of Assassin’s Creed. Whether it's that or Ghost of Tsushima 2, Sucker Punch is primed to deliver a solid next-gen action RPG at some point in the coming years.
There’s no confirmation that Sucker Punch completely canned Prophecy besides the fact that it instead focused on developing Ghost of Tsushima instead for several years, but it could easily revisit the new IP sometime after the PlayStation 5 is released.
So there's still a glimmer of hope for Assassin's Creed fans that want a title that nods at the franchise's medieval stealth roots, and from a totally different developer.
Either way, let's get more dark fantasy action RPGs out there.