I don’t want to act like the be all end all of Ubisoft’s newest Assassin’s Creed game with the making of this post. Hell if I’ll be even close, let’s be entirely clear here. I’m fucking small-time. Flea in in the pea soup on a raft in the ocean on a speck in the galaxy. This is just a small disclaimer: Just because I’m acting cynical doesn’t mean I’m not excited for this game. But I want to try my best to give a sort of realist position on the looks of the game to start a conversation about the potential pitfalls of this game before hype makes such a thing impossible.
Everything I type is just my own personal opinions and precautions I’m taking to stay as as safe a buyer as I can be while still appreciating E3 content and trailers. With a little spin to give a sort of prediction of this new title in the grand series.
So, I’ve seen every trailer to date and I think that it goes beyond saying that the gameplay and graphics of the newest installment of the Assassin’s Creed series look like the answer to many of the problems that permeated literally every game to date. The problem is, we were showcased only a handful of the new. I got to see some snazzy graphics and super tight cooperative play in one trailer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62QxAJegws8), which I enjoyed a lot. But it’s hard not to notice how much more smoothly every movement was, from a purely gameplay aesthetic. The female narrator’s presumed character was graceful for the most part, making me think this whole thing was scripted or practiced a shit ton. Fine, that’s the most obvious conclusion ever. It’s worth pointing it out, though, since cooperative play could easily have been shown in it’s most optimal visage: four skilled assassin’s leaping through and coordinating their attacks. I’ve played AC3’s wolf pack: it’s indeed awesome and while admittedly small scale, we should all remember or look up gameplay of this match mode. While ideally it’d be a badass mode to play, not only are most of the players incompetent but Assassin Creed’s modus operandi has been creating the godliest assassination game ever created. This leads to a show offy narcissistic feel in multiplayer modes, and more often than not people act in ways to show off to their coop players who’s the man in stead of discretion and utmost concentration. My prediction is that Coop without friends is going to be Wolfpack all over again if not to slightly less worse degree. Sure, the mode itself isn’t flawed but Assassin’s Creed’s style is almost too narcissistic to work with others. Hopefully I’m wrong, but yeah.
Coop still looks awesome but hopefully the parameters for enjoyment doesn’t crash in response to how many stupid noobs are going to accompany you in a mission. Another trailer was totally single player in experience. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izoa3d3rMYs) In this one we get to see one of ACU’s most proudly claimed improvements: making descent as free flowing and precise as ascent has been. I’m just going to reserve judgement on how well functionally this works until we play, but we’ll see eh? It looks very nice though. The other two things mentioned here that got me smiling was disguises and stealth, but it’s about fucking time that any semblance of stealth makes into a game about killing people as a way of life! It’s like if Call of Duty finally announced that grenades and explosives have found their way into the game as if it’s innovative and not just improving the feel of a realistic shooter. So while I’m psyched to see these things finally find their spot in a console Assassin’s Creed game, I’m pissed it took so long. Also, given how game changing these two modes are I wish we’d have seen more of it. Hell, disguises was only vaguely mentioned so for all I know it might be far more contrived than it should be, becoming some sort of disguise QTE instead actually allowing your character to feel the brunt of being human by not dressing like a bloody mass murderer and having limited equipment within certain disguises. This is my biggest gripe about the series I love so much, after all. For all it could have been from the start, Ubisoft sold and traded off to make your assassin feel as unkillable and godly as ever. Fighting was easy as all hell, climbing was shown to comprise of nothing more than a few button presses, and you were allowed to just be fully loaded at all times as if non discreet weaponry and badass hooded clothing was just the norm. I feel like the quicker Ubisoft abandons catering to the power fantasy demographic, the better the games can be. We’ll see if the two sneaky features become integrated enough to feel like anything more than a short aside from the usual power thirsty feel of the game.
The new weapon, the phantom blade, is basically a silenced range kill so it’s welcome but not so innovative, and Eagle Pulse’s necessity will only be revealed with gameplay from actual players. Honestly I could do without the Eagle sense entirely and go for more subtle indicators simply because it again adds to the wrong narrative I’ve wanted Assassin’s Creed to follow. Instead of being a quick witted assassin, you’re a god with the name of assassin. Odds are my narrative is a dream few care for or Ubisoft cares little for this far into the franchise. So honestly I suspect stealth and disguises to be minimal and eagle pulse to be a little crazy in scope and use. Coop is going to be a subjective experience given the sort of “power fantasy” play style Creed openly invites online, and I won’t go into graphics much.
We were all there to see what happened to Watch Dogs, I won’t hold my breath mainly because it isn’t a big deal to me in the first play though honesty is just fundamentally important.
Verdict? Well, no shitting around on this one. Wait for some gameplay footage and reviews like always, and form your own opinions on it. I personally would have done the same anyway but I’m questioning whether or not I should give in a little to my hype or justlet it ride out.
Again, this is all my own opinion and of course I know these are just on some silly trailers. But I think it’s worth noting that these trailers are for trying to sell us the idea of innovation whilst I’m not sure ACU or AC as a series can hold up to the sort of curse of iteration I feel they’re forced to go with.
-A skeptic self-proclaimed bard.