Assassin’s Creed Shadows has a grappling hook to let its shinobi character reach places its samurai can’t

Assassin’s Creed Shadows has the one tool every video game needs: a grappling hook. But only one of its two protagonists can make use of the item to reach new areas.

The game’s two protagonists each have some “clear advantages” – samurai Yasuke is great at fighting, while shinobi Naoe is better at stealth and parkour. “We developed quite a bit of new tools for Naoe and stealth, and one of them is the grappling hook,” creative director Jonathan Dumont explains in a breakdown of the new cinematic trailer. “And the grappling hook allows you to climb over walls that you cannot climb with Yasuke, or without the hook, which opens different paths for Naoe.”

Dumont says “there’s quite a bit of hook points in the game, so within every layout that you’re going to see and sometimes to come in from a different entry point. So it’s an integral part of her stealth arsenal, as she can navigate much faster into the open world.”

Akim Milne, assistant director of cinematic design adds that Naoe can “take a much more vertical approach, and a lot of our locations are big castles, big tenshus with these giant walls. And it offers her a whole new vantage point for a lot of these missions where Yasuke doesn’t have necessarily the same opportunity.”

The notion that one character can reach places the other can’t suggests that Shadows might be putting more of a limit on your parkour abilities than other recent entries in the series, which have generally let you find a way to climb up just about everything. The idea of “hook points” might suggest that the grappling hook is a pretty static tool to get to predetermined locations, but it’s apparently a bit more free-wheeling than that.

“It’s all physics-based, so there’s a little bit of improbability sometimes when using it,” Dumont tells IGN. “There’s a danger to using it, but you could also perform assassinations from it.”

A grappling hook previously appeared in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, which was a game that also notably featured dual protagonists. It seems the spirit of that game is alive and well, even when swapping the setting from Victorian London to feudal Japan.

There are a lot more upcoming Assassin’s Creed games on the horizon. 

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