Assassin's Creed Shadows does not need an internet connection to run: 'You will be able to play the entire journey offline'

Assassin's Creed Shadows promo image
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Ubisoft has clarified that Assassin's Creed Shadows, the upcoming tale of a samurai and a shinobi in Sengoku-era Japan, will not require an internet connection to run. You will need to be online in order to install the game, but once that's done you can play offline as much as you want.

The confusion arose from Assassin's Creed Shadows' PlayStation Store page, which indicated that an internet connection would be required to play the game. That did not go over particularly well with some fans, first because Assassin's Creed is a singleplayer game, and also because of Ubisoft's penchant for pulling the plug on older games: The recent decision to shut down online support for The Crew, rendering it unplayable, helped spark the Stop Killing Games campaign that seeks to force game makers to ensure their products remain playable even after online support is ended.

In this case, however, it was apparently a mistake on Sony's part. "We wanted to share some early information on the upcoming launch of Assassin's Creed Shadows, following some questions we've noticed in the community," Ubisoft said in a message posted to Twitter.

"Assassin's Creed Shadows will not require a mandatory connection at all times. An online connection will be needed to install the game, but you will be able to play the entire journey offline, and explore Japan without any online connection."

The PlayStation Store listing has also been changed, and now says online play is "optional."

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Having to be online to install a game is annoying in its own right, but hardly unusual: Way back in 2015, the physical edition of Fallout 4 required a Steam download as part of the install process, and with day-one patches pretty much the norm these days, being online while installing a game is almost mandatory anyway. But being forced to go online to play a game is a whole different ball of pixels: Even with a semi-reliable internet connection at hand, I am compelled to ask, why the hell should I?

It is at this point that I would normally launch into a rant about the perils of the digital world and the rights we have surrendered to corporate behemoths in the name of convenience, but I'm pretty sure not many people are interested (at least, that's the impression I usually get when I go off) and it would all end up on the editing room floor anyway. So instead I will simply say that I'm glad it's not the case here: Assassin's Creed Shadows can be played fully offline, and that's how it should be.

We've only got a taste of Assassin's Creed Shadows at this point, but so far it's making all the right moves, and our hopes are high. It's set to launch on November 15.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.