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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How Not To Screw It Up - Assassin's Creed 4

If you saw my latest review on DARK, you'll know I thought the game BLOWS. Before it came out, I was going to do a new segment like this one, saying the things they should avoid in order to make it at least a passable game. That was more for vampire games in general. Its not that I expect the developers to read this, more like a mental note for anyone who wants to make games or people who like games and want to see my own personal opinions that I've developed through the years.
Assassin's Creed has always been a... decent series. Its been showing us some nice things and cool things along the way with questionable choices that make us go "Really? You thought that was a good idea?" Some of these things involve dumb AI, the fact you can get rid of notoriety completely just by tearing off a few posters and... Desmond... in general. First off, I do like Assassin's Creed and I did sort of like the third one (Assassin's Creed 3, not Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, though that was the best in my perspective). Also there haven't been many pirate games. Personally I'm for the ninja persuasion when it comes to the 'ninjas v. pirates' argument but pirates are pretty badass in their own right. Stealing, killing and just generally fun (literature wise that is). There's not much to hate about them. So why is it hard to make a pirate game?
1. Keep the open world aspect... open.
Open world games are great. The problem is the open part. Most times games confine you for a story mission or just a mission in general. Skyrim being a great example, causing you to go into extremely linear caves and places. I want freedom, flexibility, mobility. Being an assassin is all about this. I get some times this must be, but for the most part open worlds don't express the open-ness in missions.
2. The character does not have to be good, just don't make him annoying.
A bad character (morality wise) can be interesting. While people may say our new protagonist is completely unlikable, who cares. My major gripe with Desmond was he was trying to be a liked or a relate able character... which he failed at. All of us would love what we're seeing: cool technology, exotic locals, fact we are gaining killing skills from a long blood line of our ancestors who were all badasses. How is that not awesome? Desmond was all 'I don't like responsibility' 'I want a normal life'. Dude, you are a descendant of badasses... try to be one.
3. The story is weird and confusing. Drop it if you would.
The run down for AC is some dudes were here before man. However, they were killed off because of a comet or something. They left some stuff for humans so we could save ourselves. Hold up, if they died (this far advanced race, even more advanced than the game's current date of past memory machines and stuff) how are the humans still alive? Underground? Space? Where were our descendants living when this happened? This is too confusing... The way I see it is the story is... there. I don't care about it, I just want more killing. Don't make it a major part of the game. Now that Desmond is pretty much dead, I'm really interested to see where the story will go. New protagonist in a chair? One of Desmond's cousins? His dad? Long lost twice removed sister? You get the point. Maybe a girl would be nice. Insecure gamers get butthurt over the idea of playing as a female badass (ie. Metroid and Tomb Raider), but it would be a nice development. The PS Vita title doesn't count either. I want one (at least a DLC character) at least once on the consoles.
4. Assassinations should not be the 100% main focus.
In a game about assassins... I don't really care for the major assassinations. I personally like the cat and mouse deal where we screw with someone to the breaking point. Not in a torture sense but less 'He has to die' and more 'Let's have some fun'. Sounds sick? Not really. All the best stories about revenge or honor killings never just kill the bad guy immediately. Perhaps this is a different view. I know a better idea! What if we were given...
5. Choices!
Yes, actual story changing choices. Do I kill this guy? Nah. Will it come back to bite me in the ass later? Linear is not terrible but sometimes I feel like being the character rather than simply living with him. I know this goes against what the who theme is (killings in the past) and would screw with the continuity but some small things wouldn't hurt, right? Wait... I have the perfect idea! What if...
6. The ACTUAL main character was fully playable and has a big role in the story.
Desmond did... NOTHING. I don't care what you say. He did nothing. 3 did the most with him and that was boring. For the new guy (maybe gal), can we explore the world they are living in? Maybe hiding from Abstergo, or upgrading their base. Finding new people to take on as assassins, routing out corruption in the world, making assassinations change the world, for better or worse. It would make the game more realistic and a thousand times more awesome. Make it so I have two different games I can play instead of one. I would love that so much.

Again, these were just thoughts. I love the AC series and like most people I have a few gripes. I can't wait to get my hands on their new installment... as well as one of the new next gen consoles to run it at its best.

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