The Average Gamer

Assassin’s Creed 4: Wishes and Rumours

Ubisoft are widely expected to announce Assassin’s Creed 4 today and the leaky rumour mill is spinning wildly. Both Kotaku and The Examiner are spreading their watermarks far and wide, doing an excellent job of obscuring the images they’re claiming to leak.

Assassins Creed 4 Leak - Nicholas Gigante Assassins Creed 4 Leak - Kotaku

Apparently ships will be heavily involved. Perhaps even pirate ships, hence the Black Flag subtitle. Another whisper around the internet is that it might be based in Victorian London, though this smacks more of UK gamer’s wishful thinking than something with any evidence behind it (so far). I’d love it – old London architecture would make for some wonderful scenery. Hell, when you’re playing an Assassin’s Creed game, it’s almost impossible to walk around London without thinking “Yup, Ezio could climb that.” Just look at Westminster Cathedral.

It’s a rich era with plenty of history. You’ve the shipyards, the workhouses, the international trade, providing easy links to Africa, India and beyond. In fact, just look at this wikipedia entry for the Victorian Era.

A couple of weeks back, GamesRader ran an Assassin’s Creed 4 – What We Want to See Next piece. Ignoring the fact that they spread it across 12 pages, one of the points caught my eye – Get Back to Basics:

“We’ve enjoyed watching the series grow and evolve with each new entry, but the next Assassin’s Creed needs to refocus its efforts on what made us love the series in the first place. We didn’t embrace the series for Homesteads, tower defense minigames, or Portal-esque first-person puzzles. We play Assassin’s Creed because being an assassin is fun.

We’re hoping the series can refocus on exploration, stealthy kills, and exotic locales, leaving behind almost all of the ancillary features it accumulated over the years.”

What was the core of the Assassin’s Creed games? All I ever seem to do is run around the rooftops or wilderness, occasionally stabbing guards but mostly just running and then jumping into haystacks. Sure, there’s that whole Assassins vs Templar storyline and sometimes you get to ride a horse. But it seems to me that the core appeal is the ancillary stuff. The characters you’d meet along the way, the architecture and the alternative histories. In Assassin’s Creed 3 you have the massive naval battles. In Ezio’s trilogy you have Da Vinci’s crazy devices. Piloting the flying machine was a bugger, but it was also one of the game’s most memorable moments.

In comparison to those, I found the actual assassinations underwhelming. Watch for a while, sneak behind a pillar. Maybe hire some prostitutes or throw some money and then stab someone in the chest and listen to them mumbling something incoherent about how you’re a bad person who doesn’t understand how powerful his opponents are. Or perhaps not, in the case of AC3. Whatever the outcome, they always seemed like a necessary evil to me – there was little Hitman-style planning involved. Just another person to kill.

Are you ready for another Assassin’s Creed?