Following E3, we take an in depth look at what to expect from the next batch of Triple A titles coming your way in the not too distant future.
Assassin’s Creed is quickly becoming one of the most popular cross-gen titles; topped by only Call of Duty and a scattering of sports games. With annual releases now being confirmed until Ubisoft deems the story complete, speculation as to where the setting of the next Creed game will be is the talking point of most gamer’s next 365 days.
This year’s addition, and the first exclusively made for next-gen consoles, sees the Assassin’s and Templar’s historical conflict returning to Europe, weaving a story through the streets of Paris in Revolutionary France. The player takes the role of French Assassin Arnot, yet we still know very little about his back-story; the aspect on which Assassin’s Creed games can be won or lost. The series is yet to receive the critical acclaim of the second in the series, released in 2009, and although last years addition, Black Flag, earned itself positive scores, it was still not quite what everyone wanted.
To return once again to the top of gamer’s wish lists, Assassin’s Creed Unity needs to refine its story as well as its gameplay. What made ACII so engaging was the strong emotional connection the player had to the protagonist, Ezio. The story followed his introduction into the Creed giving him a beleivable motive as to why he had to do so, to avenge his family (who can’t empathise with that decision?)This story laid the foundations for what is now called ‘The Ezio Trilogy’ and is Assassin’s Creed in all its narrative glory.
Recent stories have felt more of a second thought in the series though, they have been forgettable to say the least. If Unity can just give us a character with a bit of heart, emotion and charisma topped with a true motive, they could be onto a winner.
Similarly, in terms of gameplay, critics have often lamented the lack of development – highlighting a system that hasn’t really changed since 2007. Missions have become repetitive: follow this person, don’t get seen, find that item – rinse and repeat. Unity, which returns to Europe, has a fascinating city in Paris at its disposal and it would be a real shame if were to be wasted. Give us more variety in how to approach missions, or scale buildings – Option A might be the easiest, but option B is far more interesting. Variety is king and that is what gamers want.
Arguably the most interesting new development seen at E3 was 4-player co-op ability. This gives you and 3 friends (or online companions) the chance to take down the Templars together. While this will certainly give players more variety in approaching missions, there is still little news or whether this is a compulsory game mode or just the latest addition to online features. The problems with the former being that online connectivity is still elusive in many parts of the world, and to make it compulsory would be like sticking a big middle finger up to those gamers.
Assassin’s Creed Unity certainly looks the part, with beautiful graphics bringing the cityscape of Paris to life and hordes of people gracing the streets and rooftops. But whether or not it is more of the same or something completely different, we’ll have to wait and see. Come back here for more.
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