From the outside, the Assassin’s Creed series can appear to be a rather serious adventure. There are assassinations! You’re dashing across rooftops! Guards could be chasing you! Sometimes, there is even swashbuckling! Exclamation points! It all feels like it could and should be a very frantic affair. But, now is the perfect time to be a little more methodical.
Ubisoft recently revealed its plans for 2017 and 2018. Namely, that it should definitely have The Crew 2, Far Cry 5, South Park, and a new Assassin’s Creed. Those are all huge and highly anticipated games. They would also all appeal to the same audience. It would behoove Ubisoft to make Assassin’s Creed stand out more by making this a more lore heavy installment.
Allegedly, supposedly, Assassin’s Creed Origins will focus on storylines. Perhaps even in different time periods! There will be no towers. It seems like it could be more lore-heavy. That is exactly what the series needs after a year-long break. While everything we know is supposition at this point, it wouldn’t hurt for Ubisoft to double down on an engaging tale. We need engaging tales. We want to care about our Assassins and know why they are justified in, you know, assassinating people.
Think about the earliest Assassin’s Creed games. We were involved with Desmond’s story as he learns what it means to be an Assassin. While more recent entries were enthralling, it sometimes felt like the characters were there as an excuse to put us in an exciting new area. This is especially true of the Assassin's Creed Chronicles games. They were an interesting take on the series, but really felt like an excuse to send us to new places and add more diverse characters without really giving them the sort of fleshing out of a AAA installment in the series. A narrative-heavy new installment could bring the focus back to the story, rather than visiting and carrying out tasks in exotic locales.
I suppose I’m suggesting Assassin’s Creed take some cues from games like Dishonored or Prey. Both are games that are quite active, but can also feel methodical. You learn a lot about the people in and worlds of each title. While Ubisoft usually does an above average job with the characters and settings of Assassin’s Creed, going above and beyond with this entry, even if it is at the expensive of a less open world or fewer parkour opportunities, could be to the game’s benefit.
Activision is going to have some action-packed series out this year. The Crew 2 and Far Cry 5 are major games. It feels like making the next Assassin’s Creed a narrative-heavy experience is the best possible course of action. Let its others franchises focus on being crazy and flashy. Let this one be more mature and subtle.