Content of the article: "My hopes for the next entry"
Let me start off by saying that I've really enjoyed Origins, Valhalla, and a little less – Odyssey. They've all been what I expected them to be and I really think Ubisoft has learnt a lot from them. However, they just aren't what I want from Assassin's Creed – so here's what I think they should do instead:
- Go back to their old formula. By this, I don't mean to scrap everything they've done recently and enhance the old formula – I want them to look at it and think about all the ways they could bring the new stuff together with the old stuff. It's clear that the majority of the community wants clean and stylish combat – so why not bring that into their open world? It's clear we want parkour to take the focus once again – so why not bring that back again?
- Smaller world. This might divide some people but I truly believe that the three functions Assassins Creed thrives on is a mixture of parkour, world design, and story. Without these and nothing else, we get something quite mediocre (cough, cough – Odyssey). This is why I hope they take inspiration from the old games, like Black Flag, which executed these near perfectly. I want large, impressive, lived in cities where parkour is the focus EVERYWHERE. They don't have to get rid of the country sides in England, or the deserts of Egypt – that's not what I mean. A little empty space helps. However, we need less of that filler content and more of the huge and impressive cities present in Unity. I'll mention Black Flag again – it did it near perfectly. For another example: Could you imagine AC Unity, except instead of one big city, it was 2 big cities with a little bit of country side and perhaps a river separating them? That is what they need to do to elevate the old stuff and bring it to the next generation.
- Templar conflict. This is much more self explanatory than the previous – we need this to take a focus once again. While I thoroughly enjoyed Valhalla, the thing that I loved most was the Assassin/Templar conflict which unfortunately, took a major backseat. What we got instead was an enjoyable, yet largely unnecessary focus on Eivor and her clan. Take Valhalla's story, remove the fluff and filler, and expand on the Templar VS Assassin conflict – that is the PERFECT story for any Assassin's Creed game.
- Cultist system. I actually think this was the most ingenious and interesting gameplay addition that I'm thankful for. Quebec may have displeased a lot of us with Odyssey, but O lord am I pleased they introduced us to this marvellous concept. To put it simply – you find clues, uncover the 'cultist', kill them, unlock a clue 'part', and repeat until you take down the entire 'cult'. While Valhalla executed this gameplay loop pretty well I think some changes need to be made to make this PERFECT. First, make this the core gameplay loop of the entire game; it makes sense for an ASSASSINS CREED game, and it's actually incredibly fun to track them all down. Second, expand on how you discover clues; don't hold our hand, encourage us to explore the world and look for leads ourselves. For example, as we explore we could find some people chatting about a meeting and then decide to follow them back to their home. Then we check around their house for a letter and boom – we have a clue. That clue might tell us to go somewhere, and then from that location we could sneak about and overhear a few conversations about someone important and what they look like. From there the possibilities are endless – pickpocket the guy, interrogate him, kill him. Then, we obtain a final clue leading us to the location of a target. This loop is interesting, but most importantly engaging and FUN.
- Assassins Creed is NOT an RPG. The new games have been good but boy have I been disappointed at how much they have steered away from the old stuff. Something that I miss most, as strange as it is might be, is how close and big your character model is. In the old games they were close up to your camera, and relatively big to help you feel more immersed and get a sense of how large everything is around you. In Unity, looking at the Notre Dame from a rooftop or looking down off it felt impressive as fuck. Now, in the new games, the camera is far away and you look quite small. Actually, scrap that, everything looks small! Looking from the ground or a rooftop at a cathedral doesn't look impressive AT ALL. They look tiny! Standing on top of a cathedral and jumping off it isn't as impressive and fun to do now because the ground is so close to you. There's quite a few more instances, such as the UI and how obtrusive it can be, or abilities with cooldowns, that just don't fit. Assassins Creed is not an RPG and it shouldn't try and be.
While I know that the next game probably won't take any of this into consideration – I hope that at the very least, the next one does. Thanks for reading! 🙂
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