Anyone who has been keeping up with the Assassin’s Creed series knows that there is an impending forth installment on the horizon. The details on the next Assassin’s Creed and what that game will actually entail is anyone’s guess, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t speculate and hope right? Brotherhood is an amazing game, but it isn’t perfect. There are several things I think the team at Ubisoft can do to improve the gameplay and the overall experience. So, here is what I would like to see in the next Assassin’s Creed.
1. A New Assassin Ancestor
I love playing as Ezio, running around in Renaissance Italy and all, but it is about time the series moved on to a new location and a new character. I do not think Ubisoft would revisit Ezio for a third time anyway, what with all of the references to the master assassin’s increasing age and the fact that his story was closed out quite nicely.
With a new character comes a new location, story, and time period, so introducing a new playable character would give the series a chance to feel fresh again. Exploring the major cities around the world has been one of the major contributors of my continued purchase of the AC games. Introducing a new city or two where I can climb historical landmarks in a new time period would be a treat.
Perhaps the developers will follow the adventures of the Assassin’s Creed: The Fall comic or maybe introduce an entirely new character to the series. Even moving the time period to something like the French Revolution would be something you don’t normally see in video games, blending into the crowd during a riot, taking advantage of more advanced technology, and helping to overthrow the Templar order in a time of social and political upheaval.
2. Faster, more responsive combat
One aspect of the Assassin’s Creed games that desperately needs vast improvement or maybe a complete rework is the combat system. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood improved on the old mechanics by adding a chaining finish move system into the combat. This worked well enough and was exciting at first, but the system has no lasting appeal. The combat still comes down to waiting for a guard to attack and killing them with a counter attack.
The ability to chain kills together brought the combat close in feeling to how Batman: Arkham Asylum felt, and that is the path the designers need to continue to go down. The new assassin should be able to move about the battlefield freely, attacking, countering, and dodging from one enemy to the other in quick succession all in a smooth flow of chained animations. Even using items like throwing knives and pistols on the fly (ala Batman’s Batarangs) would make the combat more action packed. Enemies should react dynamically to eliminate the time players spend waiting to counter attack, and dodge, perry, and attack the assassin when they see an opening. Making the action happen faster and flow better would be a great stride in improving the combat and make it more exciting to play.
3. Bring back the chasing and escape gameplay
The original Assassin’s Creed method for assassination was one of stabby stab and then get the hell out of there. I liked that mechanic but it seems to have fallen off the wayside in the last two games. I think the next game needs to bring it back. I mean, who assassinates some important guy then stands around after, kills 30 guards, and then just walks away? There should be an enemy type that requires you to run away. Since the series is getting to the point in history where guns are more commonly used, the addition of powerful riflemen could give you a reason to flee instead of stay and fight. Narrowly escaping a situation with bullets ricocheting at your feed and nearly grazing your head would be something straight out of a Zorro movie.
4. Revamped parkour system
It is about time that the parkour system in Assassin’s Creed got a little bit of attention. There have been too many times where I have accidentally jumped off the side of a building or hopped up on a ledge that I did not want to. The mechanics work well most of the time, but there are just a few annoying hitches that need to be cleaned up. For instance, make it so it is easier to walk off of an edge. Currently, Ezio will either lose his balance and grab onto the ledge at his feet or make a huge leap. It would be much better if the assassin could just walk off of an edge and not always catch himself. I can see why it was designed the way it is. The developers do not want the player to accidentally fall off of buildings, but in reality, the mechanic slows up the entire system.
5. Better enemy AI
You assassinate a guy in the middle of the street, a guard sees you and gives chase. You hide in some hay and the alert dissipates. Right after all of this you can run circles around the same guard and he will do nothing. You can even push him and he still won’t try to kill you. It’s like the guards have the brain of a goldfish. The guards need to have better eyes, ears, and brains so when you are stabbing one of them through the chest, the other guards aren’t still thinking, “That guy looks suspicious.”
6. Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse
There are way too many options in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. For melee weapons you can use, a knife, sword, or double blades. For ranged there’s a pistol, throwing knives, crossbow, and poison darts. You can call on courtesans, thieves, mercenaries, and assassins. Everything in each category does basically the same thing. And who the hell even used the parachute?
Since the next Assassin’s Creed will most likely take place in a new location with a new Assassin, this is the chance for the development team to start fresh and clean up the piles of features that have accumulated from three games. Make each weapon unique, every ally necessary, and every item fun to use. This could also force a more innovative mission structure making it essential to use specific items and weapons to reach your goals while giving more variety to the missions themselves.
The Assassin’s Creed series is definitely one of my favorite of all time but there are those minor annoyances that just need to be ironed out. With the track record the Ubisoft has with the series, you can almost be sure that each game will only continue to get better and better.
That is all I have for you boys and girls. Is there anything that you wish the developers would add (or subtract) from the current Assassin’s Creed formula? Let us know in the comments below.