Our Assassin's Creed Wishlist
Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series is at an important juncture. While 2015's Syndicate was a quality game, the series' yearly installments are grinding on the public. With the rumor that Ubisoft may put the franchise on ice for a year, we look at what we want to see from the series going forward.
Warning: there are some series spoilers in this article.
Make A Plan And Stick To It
The series' story has had its strong moments, like exploring the First Civilization storyline back in Assassin's Creed II and Brotherhood, but in both modern times and back in the animus, the series story feels aimless.
It can be hard to keep rolling on a story spread over so many games, but Ubisoft has to get a clear handle on where the story is going and then get there with purpose. Whether we're talking about the exploration of historical memories via the Animus or the modern-day storyline, we need clear story objectives and strong character arcs that provide continuity across entries.
Better characters can help anchor the series, and the resultant stability could be a foundation for a more coherent overall story. Not only would we like the First Civilization story to continue (which was talked about at the end of Syndicate), but quality attention needs to be paid to the modern-day storyline to re-establish why today's events are important.
One idea to help with the latter is to continue to make most or all of the modern-day content non-interactive like in Syndicate. Perhaps it will enable Ubisoft to concentrate on telling a story that's worth following instead of splitting gamers' attention by wandering a modern game world that is only filled with half-baked gameplay segments that most players would rather avoid.
It could also be interesting to see future AC titles give more depth to the Templars and why their competing philosophy may have its own validity. More exploration of the sides' philosophies and reasons for their age-old conflict would only serve to deepen the story now and for the future.
Bring Back The Gang
There have been various fellow Assassins that have joined the game's main character during the franchise (none more so than last year's AC Syndicate with the Frye twins), but we miss the crew mechanic introduced way back in AC Brotherhood. These assassins had to be found, recruited, and trained to be full-fledged Assassins, available to you at a moment's notice. They were deadly when called upon and were customizable, infusing them with more meaning than the random street thugs you can call upon in Syndicate.
Perhaps players could play as would-be assassins through perma-death side missions and storylines, allowing you to have a stake in the assassins that become a part of the fold without their stories overshadowing the main narrative. This would be a natural fit with the previous AC mechanic of sending your acolytes on missions around the globe on official Assassin business.
A New Type of Open World
The Assassin's Creed franchise takes place in a large world, but there are things that the series could embrace to move it into a more true open-world structure.
Player choice could shape what happens next in the world and story. Instead of merely killing enemies in order to liberate parts of the world map, players' actions could change the direction of the narrative for good or bad, blocking off and opening up doors to new targets, endings, and other twists and turns.
Assassin's Creed needs to take a cue from The Witcher 3 and offer compelling side-quest content that flows beyond just tailing people and/or assassinations. This shouldn't be too hard to accomplish seeing as how the series has always been good about detailing historical data about its characters and locations, and it's already explored different types of side missions such as AC Unity's murder stories. We all know that our main character is a deadly assassin, so giving us more engaging activities between the inevitable killings would be nice. Perhaps the investigation element from the first AC needs to come back bigger and better than before.
As far as getting around this open world, we hope it's like the sea-based adventures of Black Flag in that Ubisoft makes an attempt to give gamers a full-fledged feature that encourages map exploration and is plugged into the overall gameplay loop via loot, crafting, XP, etc.
Finally, it would be great to get back to the bases like in AC II and Unity that players can invest in and watch grow with pride. It's not hard to see you can take them into numerous directions by letting players customize them to a degree we've not seen yet in the series.
Bring Back AC Revelations' Tower Defense
What's on your Assassin's Creed wishlist? Let us know in the comments section below.