From the Renaissance canals of Assassin’s Creed II to the turbulent, wind-whipped waters of Odyssey, the Assassin’s Creed series has for millions of players been a window into other worlds. The series is defined by its combination of subterfuge tactics, free-form parkour movement and a sensational sense of place, both geographical and chronological.
Yet if you have exhausted your explorations of the degraded Roman architecture of Francia and resigned your command over the trireme Adrestia, there is a range of alternative games like Assassin’s Creed. Here are five historical games like Assassin’s Creed, which draw on the defining traits of the series.
1. Ghost of Tsushima
For the player who wants another historic landscape to explore in the virtual world, Ghost of Tsushima is a natural next choice. A Playstation exclusive, its third-person action-adventure gameplay closely resembles the mixture of stealth tactics and open-world exploration that are familiar to the Assassin’s Creed series.
The setting of Tsushima is a real island that is part of the Japanese archipelago. During the Mongol invasions of Japan in the 13th century AD, troops of the Mongol army occupied the islands and defeated a small force of defending samurai. Jin Sakai is the protagonist of Ghost of Tsushima, and is a survivor of that invasion.
2. God of War
A stealth game this is not, but God of War is a good companion piece to the mythologically-inspired tales of the Assassin’s Creed games, especially the Viking-inspired Valhalla.
While its predecessors were simple hack-and-slash affairs, the resurgent God of War puts the story in the centre. Its open world bears comparison to Assassin’s Creed, but its take on the mythical realms of ancient Scandinavian is its own.
3. Raji: An Ancient Epic
Raji: An Ancient Epic is a smaller journey than the marathons of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and for that reason serves as an excellent palette cleanser. Its world design is inspired by the history and mythology of India while its story is punctuated with combat as well as puzzles.
4. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
While Uncharted 4 isn’t a period piece, its protagonist Nathan Drake is an antiquarian who frequently finds himself in historical places. It shares with Assassin’s Creed a satisfying system of traversal in Drake’s free running skills and large environments in which to use them. The blockbuster action of the Uncharted series is heightened by confident storytelling which can leave the convoluted backstories of Assassin’s Creed trailing.
A Thief’s End was originally released in 2016 on the Playstation 4. Its narrative threads draw players to Madagascar, the Scottish Highlands and the purported pirate enclave of Libertalia. Drake is, of course, an archaeologist in the Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider mould. All archaeology is in some sense destructive, but Drake’s methods warrant an investigation from UNESCO.
5. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Despite its reputation for punishing combat, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice joins our list of games like Assassin’s Creed due to its immersive historical setting in premodern Japan and its emphasis on stealth. It is less premised on role-playing than the Dark Souls games and pulls historical inspiration from the tradition of shinobi espionage warfare.
Among your armoury of subterfuge abilities is a grappling hook, which introduces some of the free-form movement of the Assassin’s Creed series. It takes place during the Sengoku period of Japanese history. Assassin’s Creed hasn’t set a mainline title in Japan. But between Sekiro and Ghosts of Tsushima, players are spoiled for alternatives.