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What if? Golden Age of the Netherlands

Assassin’s Creed was always the way to go for young people who are interested in history. Instead of reading stories about people who have been long dead, you can now see them in the flesh, while an arching story combines all the stories. History is no longer dead because it is alive and well in Assassin’s Creed. During the What if? Series, I will delve deeper in the possibilities the Assassin’s Creed’s stories can go.

We start off quite close to home for myself, The Netherlands during the Golden Age. During this period    in time, the Netherlands literally ruled the world. The country had lots of colonies overseas and there was no expense spared. This actually got them in quite the lots of trouble with neighboring countries, who were competing with them for spices and resources. Wars started and ended almost every year, but the Netherlands ruled the seas. They’ve even gone so far to sail up the Thames and steal the British royal captain’s ship during the war with England.

So how can Assassin’s Creed fit into this piece of history? Well first of all there was quite the load of shady transactions, deals and backstabbing during this period of time. Competitors had to be killed off or silenced in other ways, enemy shipments needed to be stopped, either by being stolen or being destroyed, and then there was the slave trade. Besides all this, there was a war going on against Spain and loads of political backstabbing and bribing.

If Assassin’s Creed would go into the history of this country during this time period, this would probably work best as a combination of both Unity’s and II’s city system and IV’s sailing system. How you might ask? Well, how I see it, the player would have to travel between cities during missions via a worldmap. During the travel, you can actually be attacked by pirates or enemy vessels. This would result in a sea battle, the likes of Black Flag. When you arrive at a larger city, for example the large city of Amsterdam, you can actually traverse the city and complete quests.

The game would have at least two larger locations:
– The Dutch coast, with Amsterdam as a main location. Probably Dordrecht and Middelburg could be represented as well.
– The East-Indies (a map in the style of Black Flag)

During the game, the protagonist would visit (small pieces of) London in England and fight against the Spaniards in the game (during the Dutch-Spanish war). The 80 years war and 30 years war would be represented as well as the VOC (Dutch West India Company). All in all, this would make for an interesting take on history, as we see a small country rise to become one of the world’s strongest powers. The player would start off as a young Assassin and over the course of thirty to forty years, we would see him grow older and rise from an apprentice to a master Assassin. The focus would be on a narrative story instead of full player freedom, as we have seen in Assassin’s Creed II.

Not only would we see the time period of the 17th century, but we could also see dozens of connections to the events of Assassin’s Creed III. We could meet famous Dutch captains like the privateer Piet Hein and Admiral Michiel de Ruyter and see how they met their ends, which weren’t pretty at all. This part of history was full of back stabbing moments, poisoning and (a lot of) assassinations, so who knows? Perhaps the Assassins were present during those moments…

Oh yeah, did I mention the cannibalism by dozens of Dutch Citizens when they murdered two prominent politicians during the period?