The trailer for Assassin's Creed Codename Hexe sees a camera pan down through a murky forest, while raised voices and barking dogs are heard in the background. Eventually, the scene settles on an Assassin insignia bundled together out of sticks, hanging from a branch by a length of string. The background then disappears, replaced by something that looks suspiciously like a summoning circle, confirming the name 'Hexe' (pronounced hex-ay').
We work in the dark...That's all we can say for now about Assassin’s Creed Codename HEXE.#AssassinsCreed pic.twitter.com/01YM9uXtr8September 10, 2022
That's pretty much all we know about the game right now, beyond executive producer Marc-Alexis Cote's description of it as "a very different type of Assassin's Creed game." That's led some fans to speculate that we're getting a full-fledged horror experience, while others think Hexe might be VR-first. Either way, however, some players think they've already cracked the game's setting.
Over on Reddit, user Comrade_Jacob says that the name immediately reminded them of 1922 Swedish silent film Häxan, an early docu-drama about the history of witchcraft. Other players have pointed out that 'Hexe' is the German word for Witch, which seems to all-but lock down a Germanic setting for the new game.
Other players have dived deeper still, noting that the script used in that summoning circle is 'Magi', which was created by a 16th-century Swissphilosopher. A fan translation claims that the text simply reads 'We work in the dark to serve the light', but it's another valuable clue, especially as it's also noted in the announcement tweet above.
Finally, that original comment also references the Malleus Maleficarum, a treatise written in the 15th century by a Catholic clergyman which equates witchcraft and sorcery with outright heresy. The book was responsible for the rise in brutal punishments for those accused of witchcraft throughout the Renaissance.
Those clues, combined with the noise of angry dogs in the teaser trailer, suggest Hexe could be set during the Wurzburg Witch Trials. These took place between 1625 and 1631 in Central Germany, and while they weren't the only trials of their kind at the time, they were some of the biggest Witch Trials of the period.
While the community's guesswork is founded on some decent historical foundations, we're unlikely to find out more for quite a while. The immediate focus of everything announced at the Ubisoft Forward and Assassin's Creed Showcase was Assassin's Creed Mirage, while the likes of Japanese-focused Assassin's Creed Red, as well as Assassin's Creed Hexe aren't likely to arrive until 2024 at the earliest.
Arguably the most important news of the night focused on Assassin's Creed Infinity.