I have Assassin’s Creed fatigue. I watched this trailer for the next game and I am not even remotely looking forward to it. And I love the Assassin’s Creed franchise. I played a ton of the games. But there have been far too many games and Ubisoft needs to make some changes so that I — and the rest of the fan base — don’t drop our top hats and walk out on the franchise. Here’s some things they can do to make sure that doesn’t happen.
1. Release the game less often. This is an easy one. Your customers can only play so many games and you kill hype if you over saturate.
2. Introduce a new game mechanic. In Assassin’s Creed Black Flag and Rogue, the best new mechanic in these games was your boat. You got this awesome, big boat, with an awesome singing crew, that you could upgrade up the yin yang with tons of cannons. What more could you want? An enormous ocean to explore? Done! We need something like in the next Assassin’s Creed game; something unexpected.
Two suggestions I can think of would be squad/platoon fighting mechanic or a general/commander mechanic. The squad/platoon mechanic I’m referring to is something akin to something reminiscent of the film Gladiator or 300, where you can fight with a small squad against an enemy force, employing tactics and working together as a single platoon.
The general/commander mechanic refers to the player taking the role of the commander on the battlefield, yelling orders to his army and eventually even joining the fray on the battlefield. You can get some real memorable, medieval, Braveheart, Lord of the Rings-esque moments out of a mechanic like that. Just some ideas.
3. We need more interesting settings. Ubisoft is a French company. The settings they thusly choose are going to lean toward France, Europe, or to the West in general. It’s time to step outside your comfort zone and pick a setting you might not be so comfortable with. This is risky from a business standpoint. Many countries that Ubisoft might seek distribution in likely have laws against any interpretation of history that diverts from the official narrative (Ahem… China). However, the introduction of a new setting and an accompanying new mechanic would help to revitalize this weakened franchise.
Here are a few to consider: the Qin wars of unification of China which would be great for the commander/general mechanic mentioned above; the rise of the Roman Empire and the use of the squad/platoon mechanic mentioned; and the Vietnam War and perhaps new jungle-stealth mechanics and gun handling mechanics. Again, just some ideas. Step out of your comfort zone Ubisoft, the franchise needs something new.
In conclusion, Ubisofts needs to do something to improve this franchise. What helped Black Flag and Rogue was that awesome boat and vast ocean to explore, which helped express the setting better. A new environment with exciting new game mechanics to match an unexpected new setting. That’s what I think we fans want. Not more of the same.
Just some food for thought Ubisoft.