This article contains one paragraph that will spoil the ending of Assassins Creed 3, if you haven’t already played it. It is clearly marked so be warned.
It is well known that last year’s entry into the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Assassins Creed 3 (AC3) was received under controversy and complications. However, selling 7 million copies in its first month AC3 set records for Ubisoft sales. Whilst members of the gaming community could not help but to criticise the new protagonist Connor Kenway being described as “too boring”, “lacked emotion” and being labelled as a “terrible assassin”. The game itself released with its own list of issues. Bugs and glitches were in abundance which not only required a day one patch but also a thanksgiving patch and a third patch released at a later point. These problems couldn’t help but dampen the mood for the highly excited audience.
Don’t get me wrong, personally I loved Assassins Creed 3 from the new setting of The American Revolution to the introduction of new assassin Connor, a bulkier, stronger and hot headed, Native American fighting for his freedom. Whilst all games have their issues (glitches and bugs) this was something I was able to overlook as a massive man of the franchise.
As much (unnecessary) negative feedback Ubisoft received from the gaming community. They did however get one aspect right that everyone could agree on. The addition of the naval missions, taking the wheel of an armed and fully crewed vessel, you command the ship to dominate the high seas to aid in your quest for freedom. General consensus stated that this is an amazing gameplay addition not only changing the game pace but giving the franchise an all new feel.
Months gone by and talk of AC3 died down, that was until Ubisoft released their first trailer for Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag (AC4). A new entry into the franchise, a new assassin in Edward Kenway and the first entry to have a number and a title.
Ubisoft are clearly sticking with what works with their formula, the naval experience that made last year’s entry such a well-received hit. You will again be taking control of your own vessel, sailing the open seas from port to port in the Caribbean, engaging in naval warfare, high seas exploration and claiming sunken treasure.
Coming to platforms this generation and next generation. Ubisoft have the opportunity again to build an amazing amount of hype and anticipation with a new world to be explored, a new assassin which will undoubtedly have a major influence on history as we know it and building upon the strong foundations of their naval maritime gameplay formula. Ubisoft can certainly make a statement for the future of Assassins Creed at video gaming’s biggest arena E3. Can they take the opportunity to shine above the rest of the open world adventure games that are set to release roughly around the same time. Particularly Watch Dogs, running on the same game engine, Anvil-Next and also developed by Ubisoft. This seems to be what the majority of focus is on at the moment.
Perhaps the most interesting point for myself to look at is, will the gaming community accept this new entry with open arms and wallets after the controversy and criticism of AC3 or have the yearly instalments to the franchise become too boring, mundane and repetitive?
Taking into account the ending of AC3 I am excited to see where Ubisoft can take the series and how they can continue their present day story after Desmond sacrificed himself to give humanity a small glimmer of hope at survival. Edward, clearly being part of Desmond’s blood line raises the question, who is controlling the animus this time around and to what purpose?
Time will tell but will Ubisoft take the opportunity at E3 to set this instalment apart from its predecessor? Can they take a step above the rest in the genre of open world adventure? Tell me what your thoughts are in the comments below.