We all know Assassin's Creed is a very creative franchise, or at least it almost was.
When I first heard of Assassin's Creed, I thought I'd found a game with such glowing potential that the franchise would introduce a whole new world of story telling and fluid game play. Then I played the first game.
The story was there, the vast, open world was there, the freedom, the parkour, the bad-assery, it was all there for the most part, but then the game showed one fatal mistake, it's lack of good game play.
For those who don't know, the game followed one, simple and mundane formula.
- Watch cut scene telling you who to kill.
- Go to the region where your target is hiding.
- Search around for interrogation, eaves-dropping or pick-pocketing objectives.
- Get noticed and kill off a bunch of guards by spamming "counter-attack".
- Track target.
- Spam "counter-attack"
- Kill target
Not only did this recycled formula weigh the game down and turned it into a repeating bore, but the combat also showed it's game-breaking abilities.
The combat was so painfully easy, so void of challenge that it quickly lost the magic it held with it's super satisfying animations. The combat consisted of literally spamming the counter-attack button until you won. Any horde of faceless enemies could be easily dispatched by spamming this single button. Even if you were unlucky enough to get hit, if you got back to spamming that counter attack, your health would regenerate in no time. There was so little challenge, the game quickly became a dull blade.
Three games later we see Ubisoft make few adjustments to the formula, but maintain their ever so obedient fan-base. The animations got cooler, the parkour became more complex, the weapons, more abundant and new, but the games kept their sub-par game play and their crazy lack of challenge.
Then came Assassin's Creed 3.
Don't get me wrong, not much changed, the combat was still too easy, the formula changed a bit but remained lacking in variety. Basically there was no noticeable difference.
But wait...what's this!?
We were sailing.
And this was were the match sparked the flame. The player got something they never had gotten before, the freedom of the open sea. The game introduced a new form of game play, it was epic, it was big and it was Which was exactly what the franchise needed, finally, we could do something other than spamming counter attack. Unfortunately, it was short lived as the game still focused on land-based combat.
Then... it happened.
Assassin's Creed 4. Or as I like to call it... PIRATES.
AC4 had given us what we'd been waiting for, something different. The game would focus on sailing, looting, the open seas, naval combat. It was fantastic! I, like many players ditched the whole assassin get-up and threw on our pirates' coats, grabbed our cutlasses and pistols and took the high seas.
The combat was still easy, but who cared!? WE HAD SHIPS, we had freedom.
We could fire cannon volleys and sling hooks onto the enemy vessel and reel her in. We could board our enemy's ship while our men fired muskets off deck. We could climb the mast and cut down the enemy's flag as we watched our men cut the poor enemy sailors to bits, ripping the ship apart, as well as her crew.
But the best part was the challenge at sea, you couldn't just take down a Man O' War with your stock ship, you'd be pummeled, and that was the beauty of it, there was a sense of danger, a looming threat that we actually had to worry about!
The franchise was finally out of the rough, it had found it's identity, THIS, was the future of Assassin's Creed, this was where it belonged.
Then Unity Happened.
From everything that I've seen, it looks like Ubisoft ditched the sailing and went back to their not-so-trusty formula. What am I expecting? Boredom. Simple, easy, mundane, casual. All these words describe my predictions for this game.
My question is, why? Why throw out what was clearly adored and functional? Something that made players go "Yes. This is it", something that showed POTENTIAL? We could of had a new era of AC games, a promising one.
But of course that was too good to be true. Now we will probably get the same recycled game we've gotten before- but wait! This time it's in France! If you can't sense my sarcasm, well, those are the limitations of text.
Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions, maybe this game will show me something new and interesting, but at this point, I highly doubt it.