As you may know, a few days ago, Ubisoft officially revealed the latest entry in the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ saga, entitled ‘Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’. Trailers, screenshots, and even its very first criticism have all been circulating the internet like bees to honey. As it is the case, we now present you 6 things we’d like to see in this upcoming pirate-themed adventure.
Warning! The article contains spoilers from past installments of the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ franchise.
A more likeable protagonist
This was a problem with the lead character in ‘Assassin’s Creed III’, Connor, and to a certain degree with Altair, in the original ‘Assassin’s Creed’. The problem with both these heroes was that players didn’t really get to know them as much as Ezio, or even Haytham, who, ironically, was playable for only a few hours in the third numerical entry. OK, so they were both assassins, and both were fighting to protect their clans (even if Connor’s wasn’t actually part of the assassin’s league), but that was pretty much it.
Altair only seemed to present a more human stance when confronted by his master, who turned out to be the 10th templar, and, again, ironically, he was infinite times more likeable during the memory missions from ‘Assassin’s Creed: Revelations’, a game which featured Ezio as the main guy, not Altair. As for Connor, the only time I saw him as more than a killing machine was when he was arguing with Achilles, or his father.
Ubisoft has already released a few details on Edward, our newest assassin, portraying him as a charming, but reckless ladies’ man, so we might be seeing a few of Ezio’s traits in him, which can only be good.
Do you remember collecting all the flags in the original ‘Assassin’s Creed’? Or maybe all the feathers in ‘Assassin’s Creed II’? No? Well maybe because the rewards were so insignificant, (in the case of the first ‘Assassin’s Creed’ they were none-existent, except maybe for the Xbox 360′s achievements) that gamers couldn’t really care to finish their collection. In this upcoming entry, Ubisoft should give players something more than a new sword or pistol, after they spend hours upon hours of scouring the seas in search for these collectibles. And don’t think that by adding underwater exploring capabilities you can just throw a few hidden collectible chests here and there and be done with it; gamers expect more out of you.
Less following, more leading
If there is one persistent gameplay element which has been featured in all entries, then that is the stalking. I’ve got nothing against following a few people here and there, but these kind of missions need to be either severely cut down in numbers, or rethought. I simply cannot remember how many times have I failed a mission, only because I bumped into a slave who made me trip and get discovered by my target. Same thing happened when I was following from the rooftops/trees, only this time the guards were giving me a hard time.
A better ending
‘Assassin’s Creed III’ had, in my opinion, the worst ending in the entire franchise. Not only were we left “hanging” when Connor’s story ended, but the way the present-day story concluded left something to be desired. OK, Desmond’s dead, and Juno now takes over the world; it seems that she’s even worse than the templar order, and now Earth faces an even deadlier opponent than the Sun. So what’s the problem? Well the problem is that this is all gamers will get out of ‘Assassin’s Creed III’. They won’t find out what happened to Desmond’s friends, the general world, or even if the assassins would forge an unexpected alliance with the templars in order to defeat Juno.
I understand that Ubisoft already had plans to continue this storyline ever since one of their development teams concluded ‘Assassin’s Creed: Revelations’ (that’s when they started working on ‘Black Flag’), but gamers would never know that, so if you present ‘Assassin’s Creed III’ as the “end-game,” the “all roads have been leading to this,” then you need to stick by your word, and deliver.
Oh, and an actual “boss-fight” this time around would be appreciated. Calling the chase at the end of ‘Assassin’s Creed III’ a bad conclusion for Connor’s story would be an understatement.
It’s weird to ask for something like this when talking about a game featuring assassins, but as the franchise developed over the years, we started seeing ‘Assassin’s Creed’ as more of an action/adventure franchise, than a series which would encourage stealth approaches. Ubisoft needs to give players more incentives for going the stealth way, and more than that, most missions (except for the naval ones, of course) should offer 2 options: the hard way, in which gamers will have to fight with all their strength to overcome the difficult enemies, or a more easier approach, in which players will have to “scan” their surroundings, and find an alternative, more secluded path, in order to avoid a direct confrontation.
No more hand-holding
It’s fairly simple actually: give players an objective, and that should be it. Gamers don’t need their hands hold; they don’t need to be instructed as to where they should go, which guards should they kill in order to reach said objective/assassination target, and so on. ‘Assassin’s Creed III’ severely limited players’ control during its campaign missions, and that needs be gone in this latest entry.
That’s pretty much it! Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below, and also tell us what you would like to see in ‘Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’.
Vlad Pintea is a senior editor of news and features here at Analog Addiction, and sometimes he even reviews games. You can contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, My IGN, on Skype, Steam (all at the same name: vlad94pintea) or Facebook (Vlad Pintea). Have a good day, and remember: stay calm and keep on gaming!