As it stands, the Assassin’s Creed series has already gone way further than the originally intended 3-title franchise. With so many extra games that have been released to fill in the story, along with Liberation on the PS Vita it has certainly shown that Ubisoft has made the series much more deep and complex as they continue to be released. While our friends over at Ubisoft assure us there is an “ending” to the series, which means hopefully at this point that they’ve got it all planned.
I doubt that we’ll be seeing it anytime soon, but there is an end in sight. With all these extra games coming out for this franchise though, and with no way of knowing how many more titles there are going to be, before it’s wrapped up we can’t help but wonder what’s coming after Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag and if all these extra titles are doing the franchise any good.
Let’s take a look at the history of the franchise as it moved forward. With all the opportunities to expand on the Assassin’s Creed universe, the popularity as well as the the obvious fact that they’re making a mint on the series. The games got more complicated, people enjoyed played Ezio Auditore Da Firenze, so we got three games featuring the good old guy. These were some great ideas actually, they helped flesh out the gameplay better as well as found the formula to making a good, expansive world that didn’t end up feeling too repetitive. Characters like Leonardo Di Vinci and Uncle Mario certainly helped add to this game too compared to the original title, whose character, for the most part were not all that memorable in comparison.
According to Ashraf Ismail from Ubisoft, they’ve got a rough idea of how the series is going to end at this point, but are still committed to the yearly game release. He has also mentioned that Ubisoft is keeping this ending “rough” because they are still focusing on fans and what they want. If we as gamers want more in the series we may be lucky enough to see it. It’s great that they are committed to the series, but is it the best thing for it at this point?
As it stands, we’ve seen a whole lot of titles for this franchise. With Ubisoft now holding to the one release a year plan they require a whole lot of developers, money and time. The last Assassin’s Creed title that took place in colonial America wasn’t received as well as the second title in the franchise. Gamers complained that the game felt fractured, there were too many developers working on it at once and that it was overall an unpolished experience that didn’t have the same experience as the previous games. This was really too bad, since quite a few folks were pretty excited to get the chance to play through the game as an American Native as well as a much more rural and under developed world.
This is somewhat understandable though, with so many different studios that were working on Assassin’s Creed III it’s tough to keep a even thumb on everything and everyone. It’s great that Ubisoft is committed to the series, but sometimes that means slowing things down a little bit, a game a year is a pretty tough schedule and it certainly doesn’t leave much margin for error, especially with the amount of money that is bouncing around for just one of these games. Ubisoft is clearly leaving things open for expansion as the game moved forward, but are they making the right call? They should be staying true to the original idea as best they can. The fans are just that, fans.
This is because they like the series, and the games are good so people are going to be willing to play them moving forward. Sure, you may lose some gamers from one game to the next, but Ubisoft is certainly picking up more fanfare with each new title. By adding more games to the series they may be delaying or stagnating the story, as gamers do have a tendency to become bored of the same old thing after awhile.
Even though Assassin’s Creed III wasn’t accepted as well as the previous games in the series, the new game Black Flag that’s coming this fall looks very promising. It was a bit of a leap many thought at first, especially because folks were expecting to get a more modern game, something that moved forward a bit more in time. In this case though we’re playing a pirate. With all the new mechanics like being able to either board and capture a ship or burn it to the water line, as well as changing the very basis by which all the older game mechanics function really is breathing some new life into the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and from what we’ve seen of this title so far there is a whole lot of promise. Hopefully it’s enough for gamers to relinquish any doubt that gamers may have after the previous title.
As the franchise moves forward we can expect even better combat and supporting characters as well as some real island hopping fun as we travel the ocean looking for ships to plunder and hidden booty to claim. It seems that Ubisoft has really re-invented the franchise with this game though. We can only hope that there is more to the game than just what we’ve seen at this point. It does look promising, but the longer the franchise keeps going the more they have to re-imagine it. Every time Ubisoft does this too, they risk getting further away from the original game and it’s story. As it is, things have already gotten a bit ridiculous from the storytelling side of things, and while we don’t want to ruin anything for anyone who isn’t current with the franchise, it’s starting to sound a lot like a soap opera, with betrayal, hidden alliances and broken hearts. As Ubisoft moves forward they are flirting with ruining the foundation they’ve set up.
So moving forward what can we expect? As a game that takes place in near future and we just hop back to the past through genetic-memories, where are they going with all of it? At some point Ubisoft’s history is going to catch up with with the present times they’ve carefully crafted for the game.
A “rough,” idea of where the series ends is not going to be enough for gamers, unfortunately. At some point, regardless of gamers who want the series to end, or gamers who want the series to continue into the future the series is going to have to end. By now, though Ubisoft has committed to the series as it is now, moving forward. Let’s hope that it won’t devolve into a quick-cashin by the end of the series. The way things are going now though, we most likely won’t be seeing an end to this successful franchise anytime soon.