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As we all know, there will inevitably be a new Assassin’s Creed releasing this year. While it hasn’t been announced yet, I want to get ahead of the story and give my thoughts on how this next entry can move the series forward. These are the top five changes that I think would improve the next Assassin’s Creed.
5. Female Protagonist
Although we already have Aveline from Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation and the HD version, it would be great to have a female main character in a game that’s not so poorly reviewed. Players have already seen numerous female assassins in the series and the lore certainly mentions plenty of them. Unless it is absolutely essential to the narrative that the next protagonist be a male, I think it would be a nice change to play a female assassin in the new Assassin’s Creed game.
4. Improve The Assassin Recruit System
The system that allows players to recruit and train their own team of assassins was introduced in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and has since become a staple of the franchise. Assassin’s Creed III improved the formula by making the recruits actual characters instead of random NPCs. If this system is brought back in the next entry, I would like to be able to interact more with the recruits. Maybe make them vital characters in the story. Also, the minigame that is used to train the assassins can be revamped. At the beginning of every game, I never get to use my recruits in fights because I’m always sending them out on missions to train. If they were to level up primarily by being summoned in combat, players would have more incentive to actually use them.
3. Pick Up The Pace Of The Present-World Story
Assassin’s Creed IV did little to progress the plot of Juno and her evil schemes in the present timeline. In fact, unless you’re a big fan of hacking computers, there was almost nothing interesting about the world outside of the animus in the last entry. It feels as if Ubisoft is just stalling right now, trying to stretch out this story as long as they can. It’s like the last season of How I Met Your Mother in video game form. The next Assassin’s Creed entry should introduce players to a new present-world protagonist (preferably one who talks) and have him/her quickly go on the offensive against Juno. The storyline can be resolved in one or two games and the series can move on to something else.
2. Reduce The Number Of Rooftop Guards
One of the most annoying things in every Assassin’s Creed is the rooftop guard. For some reason, this series that supposedly encourages rooftop travel puts guards on so many rooftops that sometimes I’d rather stay on the ground. Seriously, what the hell are those guys doing up there!? I understand when soldiers are posted on top of an important building. But what are they guarding on top of some random person’s house in the middle of a quiet neighborhood? And is it a crime to be on a roof? There seems to be no rationalizations for limiting the players’ freedom on rooftops when that freedom is a selling point of the franchise. The next game in the series should simply get rid of these annoying soldiers except in situations when a guarded roof actually makes sense.
1. Take A Year Off!
Assassin’s Creed IV was one of the best-selling games of 2013, so it is understandable that Ubisoft wants to make a lot of them. But I can’t be the only one who’s suffering from franchise fatigue here. Pumping 30-40 hours every year into an Assassin’s Creed game has become exhausting. At this point, for me, the best thing that can happen to this year’s entry is that it doesn't happen. Ubisoft Montreal should give players a break and take two or three years to make a game that will truly move the series forward. But this will happen the day we persuade just about everyone at the company to start hating money (loosely quoted from the classic Adam Sandler film Mr. Deeds).