Assassin’s Creed Shadows: release date, editions, gameplay, plot and what you need to know

Assassin's Creed Shadows Offers Two Collectible Gear Sets in 1:1 Scale But the Price Isn't for Everyone

Assassin’s Creed Shadows: release date editions gameplay plot and what you need to know

Here’s all the key information about Assassin’s Creed Shadows, from the release date and editions available at launch, to what you need to know about the plot and gameplay.

Japan has always been one of the most desired historical settings by Assassin’s Creed fans who have finally been satisfied with Assassin’s Creed Shadows , previously known as Codename Red. The new chapter of the Ubisoft series therefore takes us to the Land of the Rising Sun of the sixteenth century , a period of turmoil and internal conflicts for the nation, proposing the open world formula and action RPG dynamics typical of the series, but with some really interesting innovations, the most important represented by the presence of two protagonists, the shinobi Naoe and the samurai Yasuke , who alternate during the game, offering different points of view on the narrative and almost diametrically opposed approaches in terms of gameplay.

In this article we have summarized everything you need to know about Assassin’s Creed Shadows , such as the release date, the reference platforms and the physical and digital editions that can be purchased, with in addition an overview of the story and gameplay, so as to arrive prepared for the launch.

When does Assassin’s Creed Shadows come out? Release date, platforms and early access

Feudal Japan is a setting full of charm and long coveted by fans of the Assassin's Creed series
Feudal Japan is a setting full of charm and long coveted by fans of the Assassin’s Creed series

As revealed by the first cinematic trailer presented last May 15th, Assassin’s Creed Shadows will arrive on the shelves of physical and digital stores on November 15th 2024 .

It will be available on PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC . This latest version can be purchased through the Ubisoft Store, Epic Games Store and is included in Ubisoft+, the subscription service which at the price of 17.99 euros allows access to all the titles published by the French company from launch.

Instead, the game will not arrive on PS4 and Xbox One , with Ubisoft understandably deciding to set aside these consoles with over ten years of honored career behind them in order to create a modern and cutting-edge experience from a technical point of view.

There is also the possibility of starting playing Assassin’s Creed Shadows 3 days in advance , therefore from November 12th, thanks to the early access bonus guaranteed by some of the special editions of the game, which we will talk about in detail shortly.

Physical and digital editions, bonuses and pre-orders

Yasuke is one of the two protagonists of Assassin's Creed Shadows and is based on a real historical figure
Yasuke is one of the two protagonists of Assassin’s Creed Shadows and is based on a real historical figure

Assassin’s Creed Shadows will be available in several different formats. Regardless of which one you purchase, by pre-ordering or pre-purchasing the game you will receive the exclusive mission “Alone like a dog” as a bonus , however no further details have been revealed at the moment.

Physical editions

Starting from the physical editions, we have the Standard Edition, the Gold Edition and the Collector’s Edition , to which are added exclusive versions on sale only from Amazon Italy and GameStop.

The Standard Edition will be available on PS5 and Xbox Series On instead of this version there is the exclusive Limited Edition, sold at the same price, which includes the “Sekiryū” character pack for Nanoe, with a set of equipment and weapons, the Sekiryū Beast and the decorative object Dragon’s Tooth. Only from GameStop , however, is the Special Edition available which includes the same “Sekiryū” package, but this time with tailor-made armor for Yasuke.   We continue with the Gold Edition , on sale for 109.98 euros on PS5 and Xbox Series In addition to the base game, this edition includes early access on November 12 and the Assassin’s Creed Shadows Season Pass, which, according to information shared by Ubisoft, includes a bonus mission already available at launch and two major expansions that will be released after launch.   We conclude with the Collector’s Edition of Assassin’s Creed Shadows, on sale exclusively at at the price of 279.98 euros. In addition to the base game (in physical format for PS5 and Xbox Series , the Sekiryū Refuge Pack, five talent points, and the Red Dragon filter for photo mode. However, the highlight is represented by the collectibles included in the package, in particular a statue depicting the two protagonists, Naoe and Yasuke, we have listed them below:

  • Statuette of the two characters Naoe and Yasuke
  • Exclusive Steelbook case
  • 84-page hardcover collectible artbook
  • Life size Naoe katana tsuba
  • World map
  • Creed scroll measuring 70 x 30
  • Two sumi-e lithographs made by artist Yoichi Wakui

At the time of writing the Collector’s Edition is sold out, clearly due to the high demand from players. With a bit of luck Ubisoft could decide to increase the quantities distributed of this edition or perhaps some players could give it up, so if you are really interested we suggest you constantly monitor its availability.

The rich Collector's Edition of Assassin's Creed Shadows and its contents
The rich Collector’s Edition of Assassin’s Creed Shadows and its contents

Digital editions

Moving on to the digital editions of Assassin’s Creed Shadows, we have the triptych represented by the Standard Edition, the Gold Edition and the Ultimate Edition .

The Standard Edition is on sale at the price of 79.99 euros on PS5 and Xbox Series In addition to the aforementioned pre-order bonus, this version does not include any extras.

The Gold Edition is on sale at the price of 109.99 euros on PS5, Xbox Series In addition to the base game, this edition includes the three-day early access bonus (with the possibility to start playing from November 12th, instead of the 15th of the same month) and the Season Pass, which includes an exclusive mission at launch and two expansions arriving in the months following publication.

Finally, the Ultimate Edition is offered at 129.99 euros on all platforms. Includes all the contents of the Gold Edition, in addition to the Ultimate Pack, whose contents we have summarized below:

  • The Sekiryū Character Pack, featuring gear and weapon sets for Naoe and Yasuke, the Sekiryū Beast, and the Dragon Tooth item
  • The Sekiryū Shelter Pack, featuring four unique ornaments to customize the shelter for your shinobi league
  • Five talent points
  • The Red Dragon filter for photo mode

As mentioned previously, Assassin’s Creed is included within the Ubisoft+ subscription service in the form of the Ultimate Edition, therefore with all the contents listed above, including early access on November 12th.

If you are interested, we refer you to the pages dedicated to Assassin’s Creed Shadows on the PlayStation Store for the PS5 version , on the Xbox Store for the Xbox Series

Is an internet connection required to play?

Naoe is a deadly and silent shinobi
Naoe is a deadly and silent shinobi

Yes and no. Assassin’s Creed Shadows does not require a constant Internet connection to play. In short, it is not an always online title. However, you will need to connect to the network to complete the installation, regardless of whether you purchased a physical or digital copy. This is a one-off event and therefore from that moment on you are not obliged to connect to play.

For completeness of information, the press release from Ubisoft reads: “Assassin’s Creed Shadows will not require a mandatory connection at all times. An online connection will be required to install the game, but it will be possible to play the entire title offline and explore Japan without any online connection.”

PC system requirements (provisional)

Naoe's official artwork
Naoe’s official artwork

Minimum and recommended PC system requirements for Assassin’s Creed Shadows have appeared on the Epic Games Store , which we report below, immediately specifying that they are provisional and therefore could prove more or less different from the final ones. This information, among other things, was removed from the Epic Games store within a few hours, with Ubisoft probably intending to present the game’s hardware requirements only once the work has been completed, so take it as purely indicative information.

Minimum requirements

  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel i7-4790/AMD Ryzen5 1600
  • Video card: NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB or AMD RX 570 4GB
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Storage space: 100GB
  • DirectX: DirectX 12

Recommended requirements

  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel i7-8700k/AMD Ryzen5 3600
  • Video card: NVIDIA GTX 2070 8GB or AMD RX 5700XT 8GB
  • 16 GB RAM memory
  • Storage space: 100GB
  • DirectX: DirectX 12

Story and setting

Thanks to his strength and size, Yasuke is better suited for open battles
Thanks to his strength and size, Yasuke is better suited for open battles

The Assassin’s Creed series has accustomed players to experiencing stories in fascinating settings and historical periods and in this sense Shadows is absolutely no exception. This time the Animus will take us to visit feudal Japan in the 16th century, in the final stages of the Sengoku period, an era known for the vast political crisis suffered by the country, still divided into small fiefdoms at war with each other.

In this historical setting, we will experience the stories of two very different characters in terms of background and ambitions. Naoe is a shinobi who decided to follow the path of revenge after her village was razed to the ground by the army of daiymo Oda Nobunaga, whose ranks include the other protagonist, Yasuke, a real-life samurai of African origin . For reasons currently unknown, the two protagonists will decide to join forces and embrace the Creed, leading to an era of great change for Japan, between the political intrigues and internal wars of the country and the eternal struggle behind the scenes between Assassins and the Templar Order.

Gameplay: two protagonists with opposite approaches

Naoe is a shinobi and as such specializes in stealth approaches
Naoe is a shinobi and as such specializes in stealth approaches

In line with the previous chapters of the Assassin’s Creed Shadows series, it is an action RPG that mixes hand-to-hand combat and stealth action, set in a large open world that can be freely explored and in which players can engage in secondary missions, optional activities or simply admire the virtual reconstruction of feudal Japan.

With this chapter Ubisoft seems to want to return to giving greater relevance to the stealth phases, at the same time without displeasing players who love a more direct approach. In this sense, the choice of the two protagonists is very appropriate, given that both specialize in opposite approaches. Naoe is an expert shinobi who uses shadows and ninja techniques to thin out enemy ranks without being noticed, while Yasuke is a massive warrior who uses his size and power to dominate in open-face duels, using katanas, two-handed maces and other melee weapons. As confirmed by Ubisoft, the structure is open and allows, we presume with some exceptions of a narrative nature, to choose the character and consequently the preferred gaming style.

Blade combat, stealth and progression

In Assassin's Creed Shadows it will be possible to destroy parts of enemy armor
In Assassin’s Creed Shadows it will be possible to destroy parts of enemy armor

As mentioned, Yasuke is an expert fighter and can wield numerous types of two-handed weapons, including spears and maces, parry enemy attacks and perform powerful blows, capable of even destroying enemy armor. Naoe, on the other hand, prefers more practical weapons that fit well with the fighting style of a shinobi, such as kunai, shuriken and kusarigama (a scythe tied to a long iron chain). Regardless of the character used, Assassin’s Creed Shadows will not offer defensive equipment, such as shields, with players having to carefully evaluate their positioning on the battlefield and execute dodges and parries with the right timing.

The stealth phases have been partially reworked compared to previous chapters. For example, now lights and shadows will play a fundamental role in hiding from the sight of enemies, also thanks to a new global illumination system designed specifically for this purpose. For example, it will be possible to destroy lanterns or eliminate targets armed with torches to reduce the brightness of the environments or create shadow areas useful to avoid being detected and a new on-screen indicator has been created that indicates how visible the player’s character is. It’s not the only new feature, as Shadows introduces the ability to crawl on the ground, non-lethal eliminations and a grappling hook with which to quickly reach roofs and advantageous points.

We also know that Naoe and Yasuke will share the experience points earned and the inventory collected, but will have separate individual equipment and abilities. Speaking of the arsenal, each type of weapon will have its own tree of learnable skills and the more it is used by a character, the greater his skill with it. A separate discussion for the katanas, which can be made from scratch, improved over time and customized thanks to the materials obtained in the game world.

Huge map and seasons

The passing of the seasons will not only change the appearance of the game world, but will also have an impact on the game dynamics
The passing of the seasons will not only change the appearance of the game world, but will also have an impact on the game dynamics

From the details shared by Ubisoft, we know that Assassin’s Creed Shadows will boast a vast and enormous game world comparable in size to the Ancient Egypt of Assassin’s Creed Origins. If you love oriental settings, you will be satisfied: castle cities, ports, sanctuaries and rural landscapes typical of Japan at the time. In particular, Shadows is set in the central region of Japan, with the map divided into areas that replicate real-life provinces, such as Iga, Arima and Omi, and it is logical to take for granted the presence of the capital Kyoto and other well-known cities, such as Kobe and Osaka.

We also know that the game will feature a season system, with summer, autumn, winter and spring following one another as we progress through the campaign. Each season transforms the landscape in a unique way and also has features that impact gameplay. For example, in summer and spring the vegetation will be more lush and consequently there will be more bushes and tall grass to hide. In winter, however, the water freezes, preventing swimming in ponds and pools, while the icicles that form on the edges of the roofs can fall, revealing the player’s position to the enemy.

The trailers for Assassin’s Creed Shadows

To conclude with this special, let’s see the main trailers for Assassin’s Creed Shadows released so far, in order to familiarize ourselves with the setting, the characters, the gameplay and the technological advancement that the Ubisoft series has been able to implement after abandoning the the now old generation PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows – Cinematic Trailer

Assassin’s Creed Shadows-Video diary on the protagonist

Assassin’s Creed Shadows – Video diary on the setting

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