Players have already uncovered one Assassin’s Creed Easter egg in Middle-earth: Shadow of War, as the game’s enemies may refer to the stealth series in some voice lines. But it seems that this isn’t the game’s only reference to the Ubisoft franchise.
This latest Assassin’s Creed Easter egg can be found in the Middle-earth: Shadow of War trophies/achievements list. Players of the new fantasy title are able to unlock ‘Everything is Permitted’ for 30 Gamerscore (on Xbox One) or a bronze trophy (on PS4). The description for Everything is Permitted explains that it can be unlocked when players “shame an Assassin until he becomes deranged”.
‘Assassin’ is an enemy type in Middle-earth: Shadow of War and shaming an enemy is a perfectly normal thing to do. But many fans are interpreting this trophy/achievement as throwing some shade at the Assassin’s Creed series.
When Middle-earth: Shadow of War‘s predecessor Shadow of Mordor was released, there were many comparisons between that game and Ubisoft’s series. The comparisons were so frequent that Assassin’s Creed 2 combat designer Charles Randall even suggested that AC2 code and assets had been included in Shadow of Mordor.
“Nothing is true; everything is permitted” is also one of the primary philosophies of the Assassin’s Creed. The Shadow of War trophy/achievement may be trying to say that it put Ubisoft in a bit of a frenzy when Shadow of Mordor was released, using Assassin’s Creed as heavy inspiration.
As far as throwing shade goes, developer Monolith Productions has done a good job here. While its game undoubtedly borrows some mechanics thatAssassin’s Creed helped to make popular, according to reviews of Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the new game still seems to hold its own. It wouldn’t be so clever if Shadow of War took inspiration from the Ubisoft franchise but didn’t do it well.
Moreover, although shade is usually employed to take someone (or something) down a notch, Middle-earth: Shadow of War seems to be doing it in good fun. Monolith Productions doesn’t seem to have done this in a mean-spirited way and if anything, it gives fans of both franchises something to smile about.
And who knows? With Assassin’s Creed Origins set to launch later this month, perhaps Ubisoft will find a way to mention of Shadow of War right back, proving that everything really is permitted when it comes to the art of shade.