Ubisoft has just announced Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and frankly I don’t see the appeal. Assassin’s Creed III was average at best and the series completely lost me there. Instead of focusing on a yearly release here’s a few ways Assassin’s Creed could win over some new fans.
1) Redesign the controls
Are you looking forward to another battle against a control scheme that fights you? Personally I can’t wait to get stuck on ledges, or have my character stop climbing due to a contextual struggle of what to clip onto next, again. The controls needed fixing five games ago, yet we continue to soldier on, ignoring how broken it is. I want to see a serious focus on fluidity of movement, a bit more freedom instead of linear set pathways and less stickiness to the climbing. I’m sick of the controls only feeling smooth when I am going where the game wants me to, rather than where I want to.
2) More secondary missions and ambient activities
Main story missions are fun and all but when I look at games like Grand Theft Auto IV, Saints Row: The Third and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim I wonder why the Assassin’s Creed franchise hasn’t taken a leaf out of their book. The series could benefit from some more engrossing side stories, some mini games or maybe even a bit of free roaming on the high seas. I really would love to feel a little more satisfied outside the boundaries of the main story. The forests in Assassin’s Creed III only seemed to have animals to hunt and patrols to kill. How about some hidden side missions, or caves to explore? Think outside the box and fill up our sandbox with activities.
3) Better guns
Shooting guns in Assassin’s Creed III was an awkward experience. I’m not saying they need to start bringing in a whole new arsenal of weapons, but how about a more refined and easy to use system? Pistols will probably get an overhaul based on the pirate theme of the Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and embracing and rewarding gun use would open up more diverse approaches to combat and, shock horror, perhaps even some interesting new ways to assassinate targets.
4) Reinvent the game
Though the image above is far from something we are likely to see out of the Ubisoft camp (though I have a feeling my website partner in crime Dave might disagree with me on this), it does beg the question, what if Ubisoft did take it this far? Imagine how refreshing it would be to run around a perfect futuristic utopia? What if protagonist Desmond is really just fleeting memory of a future family member? Ideas along these lines are exciting steps out of the safe and repetitive style Ubisoft has been using so far. I would love to see where the series could end up with some skew takes on its universe.
5) Co-operative play
Is it too far fetched a idea to want to play this with friends? Picture you’re working as a team creeping through bases and planning assassinations together. Imagine chasing an escaping victim only to have him skewer himself on your buddy’s hidden blade. Brutal! Maybe implementing it in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is too much of a leap but taking into account all of the awesome ideas the series has brought into its multiplayer, it very well could revolutionize the way you play. I truly believe this needs to happen at some stage.
So peeps, sound off. What do you want to see in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag?