Why I’m Skeptical About Assassin’s Creed 4

Ever since I picked up the first one as an early Christmas present for myself, the Assassin’s Creed series has always been a particular favourite of mine; mostly due to my natural fondness for history. Assassin’s Creed 1 was a masterpiece to me at the time and while I reminisce with rose-coloured glasses and completely ignore the repetitive missions the assassination build-up had (Pickpocket, Eavesdrop, Beat-Up), I still believe that it was a solid and unique game with interesting ideas. It’s sequel Assassin’s Creed 2 is the perfect Assassin’s Creed game. Complete with an interesting story, great locations/gameplay and fantastic characters, AC2 had it all. The sequels to 2 (Brotherhood and Revelations) had me worried as I do tend to dislike annualisation of game franchises. They felt like jumbo DLC packs to me, which is not necessarily a bad thing. More of the same with a good few extra chunks added, some great and some not (tower-defence….) but overall, a genuinely touching end to the story of our charming assassin, Ezio.

Yet something went wrong with Assassin’s Creed 3. It looked like an Assassin’s Creed game, played like one, but it was not an Assassin’s Creed game. Or at least, not a very good one. The main character came off as rather annoying and less charming than our previous hero, there was a distinct lack of tall buildings/cities and it felt rather broken. For a game that took 3 years to build, it’s new engine was a buggy mess. When I played it, the main character Connor would clip through buildings or there were severe aiming issues with the bow and arrow. This is definitely not the standard I expected from AC games. The chase sequences in the game were downright broken and I was left with a sour taste in my mouth when I had to replay the same chase mission 15 times towards the end. I have patience like the next guy but this took it too far. Assassin’s Creed 3 was a very ambitious project with so much stuff crammed into the game. It’s a shame that the core features were not very fun or structured well to help support the extra features. Hunting was OK and so was the tree running but I wanted to get back to climbing tall buildings and being stealthy. After having such a dramatic opening, AC3 left me wanting more but never delivered. It was just OK all round.

Assassin’s Creed 4 will use the same glitchy engine from AC3 and will attempt to repair the damage 3 has done to the near-perfect nature to the game series by using the old cliché: Pirates! Yes, pirates are the focus for AC4. While I did enjoy the trailers and gameplay snippets that have been released, I realised that AC has progressed very far from its original premise. However, change is necessary to keep the game fresh and AC is the best platform to allow for change. I remain skeptical about AC4 for two reasons:

Will the engine be finely-tuned or will it suffer from glitches and bugs once more and will the game actually be fun to play or just a grind like Assassin’s Creed 3?

I just want a fun game with a solid main-game features (which appear to be sailing the ship, finding treasure, deep-sea diving and swash-buckling/hijacking ships) and whatever is tacked on as extra-features is just a bonus. Core gameplay first, then add your extras.

Assassin’s Creed 4, please don’t let me down. I’m relying on OnlySP reviews for this one because I’m not making the mistake of buying an Assassin’s Creed game for full price on launch day ever again. Fingers crossed.

  • Manuel Ricardo Garcia Arango

    Thanks for your appraisal of the series. I picked up the first one a year after it came out and it bored me out of my skull, even though I appreciate open games. I´ve been playing Assassin´s Creed III for a week and I have been tempted to uninstall it several times, mainly because some of the missions have to be carried out in a precise manner, so I had to look up walkthroughs to finally get the job done. I have to point out that stealth and jumping (platform games in general) aren´t my thing since I prefer FPS and TPS. However, I LOVED the new Tomb Raider game, and I wish they could make the new Assassin´s Creed games like that, because it has enough jumping crap, and particularly gritty and satisfying action. Just wanted to put my opinion out in the open in case someone feels like me.

  • Dakan45

    Well am not impressed and let me telll you why.

    Most of what you see here has been done before. The assasination
    missions in 2,Bro and revelations, the open world is basicly far cry 3
    with smaller areas and mountains you cant climb. Naval battles and tree
    climbing are from ac3. The upgrade system with hunting and treasures is
    like Far cry 3. Animus fragments? I think that existed in the previous
    creed games.You can bet some of those treasures will work like tombs did in
    the previous creed games. So basicly what is old, is new again becasue
    they didnt use it last time.

    It makes me wonder how will watch dogs will be since as many people
    say far cry 3 is just assasins creed with guns. Seems to me ubisoft has
    thousand of employees but they make games by recycling the same game
    mechanic ideas and repeteadly re-using them into the game, rather making
    some new script into the game. They seem like a well oiled up
    production line, rather a developer.

    Hell even the preorder bonus missions sound familiar.

    I am gonna post some names here: hidden secrets, a dangerous
    secret,sacrified secrets,hidden mystery,black island,lost mayan ruins,
    ghost of war.

    Good luck figuring out which of those missions are from creed 3 and which are from black flag.

    • Realkman666

      I think the problem is that the scope of these games is so big, there is so much money involved and so many people work on them that it’s just not feasible to change the direction. It would involve too much communication, paperwork, etc.

      When you introduce new ideas to the core of the experience, you risk wrecking everything, and they can’t afford that.

      • Dakan45

        Ubisoft has thousands of employes they are the biggest studio when it comes to manpower.

        I find hard to believe that ALL of them follow a patern on how missions are built and no one tries something diffirent. Being one of them must suck considering all your creativity goes to waste.