News surfaced late last week that we would be seeing more from the next title in the long running series of Assassin’s Creed games, and sure enough we did. Ubisoft unveiled their next project and the direction for the Assassin’s Creed series with the premier of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. While it is unknown exactly what the direction of the game will go, as we know that Assassin’s Creed III ended the story of the current-world prognosticate Desmond Miles, we know at least what the next character will look like and the overall theme of the story. The game looks to be taking its rightful place in the chronology of the Assassin’s Creed world, but after viewing the trailer, the game doesn’t really seem to grasp the Assassin’s Creed persona. Desmond was Assassin’s Creed, and even though we played as one of his ancestor through the majority of the games, the true purpose was to reveal what would then transpire to current times through the Assassin’s order. Ubisoft had a golden opportunity to let Assassin’s Creed go out on a solid note, but instead a game that should be a new IP, is instead milking consumers by slapping Assassin’s Creed in the title. In other words, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, shouldn’t be an Assassin’s Creed game at all.
Whether you were a true fan of Assassin’s Creed III and the direction it took the story, there is no denying that the heart and soul of Assassin’s Creed is dead with Desmond as the lead character. We have seen what there is to see from Desmond’s world and while it was a fun ride, it also became a bit overplayed. I have played every game in the series and enjoyed it immensely, but even those who share the same boat as I, can not deny that you, too, released a sigh of relief knowing that this was the end. Since the launch of the original game in 2007, we have seen a yearly release from the series which have all presented something exciting and fun, there is 5 titles in a series following the same story line which shows to be a little long-winded throughout. There comes a point where enough is enough. People can remember the Halloween movies, many thought that after III or IV it was enough, but because the name was recognizable they continued to milk the cash cow until it was shriveled up and dead.
Ubisoft seems to be doing the same with Assassin’s Creed. While I am in no way disputing that the game looks very interesting, and playing as a pirate with the likes of Black Beard and other famous pirates being the main foe looks fun; it also could have been a great pirate game where the player didn’t have to play as an Assassin, but as a bad-ass pirate instead. Ubisoft could have made a great game using the tools, resources, and even the lessons learned in Assassin’s Creed, as a series, and applied these concepts to this game; instead they have chosen to pull a Call of Duty, which too, is a money making machine for the industry. This is a continuing problem, not only with video games, but across all types of media…. where is the originality anymore, where is the imagination? There are great minds out in the world who have amazing concepts running through their heads, being penned on paper, among other outlets, but instead of being utilized, they go by the way side because the new IP a company once took a chance on is a recognizable logo, and title. We as consumers are expected to settle for a half finished idea and filled in with something that looks familiar rather than finishing out a great new start and story, because someone was too lazy to complete it or funds were running low and the company needed to slap something out to the public.
This is a continuing problem, not only with video games, but across all types of media…. where is the originality anymore, where is the imagination?
Assassin’s Creed IV looks good, and there is little doubt that I will play it, but I shutter at the thought that Ubisoft had the perfect opportunity to take a different direction. Even if compared to Assassin’s Creed upon launch, as long as the themes were different enough to not feel as though it is just a new skin over an old formula; the game would have still been destined for praise and accolades. Instead, we are expected to settle for another game in a series that is well respected and paid its dews to the gaming community. Unfortunately, that is what entertainment as an industry has come to, dollar signs. As long as Ubisoft and other companies can take money from your wallet to theirs, expect Assassin’s Creed to continue and gamers to continue to be handed nothing but mediocrity in the process.