Ubisoft teased us with ‘evidence’ that Desmond was still alive all the way back in Black Flag. (Security stations all with his photo front and centre, as though he was considered high-risk to watch out for.)
It’s reasonable that if Abstergo wanted to throw off any snooping assassins, they’d claim him dead and reference autopsies etc etc, so that ‘evidence’ is questionable from a narrative perspective.
But Ubisoft crafted multiple security stations overtly indicating otherwise. If it was deliberate and not a mistake made multiple times, it could be absolutely killer. They’ve played a long game. Introduced a host of new characters and kept Desmond away to give us a chance to tolerate/like them. Reception seems to have been lukewarm. But we do know them now.
Now it’s time to back Desmond. To give us a reason to care about these randos. To give us a game set in the modern age with a new Brotherhood being built, ending with the protagonist who started it all.