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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"So, what's the deal with two Assassin's Creed games?"

"Ugh! Ubisoft is just trying to take more of our money!" you might say. "At least one of these games will suck since they were both made by the same company, so one obviously got more work on it than the other!" others may say. This is me adding my two cents on why there are two Assassin's games this time around.

First of all, yes. Ubisoft does want your money. They are a corporation. They make money to provide for their employees and continue business. Nuff said. Though to say that either game is a simple cash grab is far from the truth. Whereas Revelations could be considered the cash grab in the series, every other game is (kind of different). With the exception of all the Ezio games, Assassin's Creed isn't going the way of Call of Duty just churning out whatever. As much as I dislike Ubisoft's business practices, I have nothing against their games... save for the fact I still have to use Uplay on my computer if I ever want to play just about any Ubisoft game.
Lastly, no. The fact that the same company has worked on two games at once does not always mean at least one game will suffer from the lack of attention being divided. If I may use an example, I am a fan of Dark Souls. When I heard Bloodborne was coming out from the same developer, using my common sense and eyes, I noticed that the game was near complete. A thought popped into my head. Since Dark Souls 2 had come out not too long after this footage was released, I surmised that the game was in development during Dark Souls 2. I was... less than ecstatic which I regret now. I also thought that one game would have suffered from the division of team support at the company. And considering From Software's staff is pretty sparse compared to other companies, I was... slightly justified in thinking so. However, I forgot that each game in the 'Souls' series has had its own team tied to it, with very few overlappings in between of staff. Each game was given the attention it needed by a specific group of people and the games were released. How does that apply here? AC is Ubisoft's big money maker. It comes out around every two years and is the way they pretty much pay their bills. To think they'd give any less than their all on what is essentially the lump of their proverbial paycheck for the year is absurd.
So what does this actually mean? Why are they releasing two AAA main titles at relatively the same time? Each game is tailored to a different player. For me, I'm going Rouge (the game not... the other thing). Each game is surprisingly different. Rouge is extremely close to what the other games have been while Unity is the new kid on the block. Unity is meant to show you what the big title for AC will be from now on. New pretty much everything. Its like the next Call of Duty trying to show up the previous title. Whereas Rogue is going to be fresh while still grounded. Rouge is going to follow a story that is almost completely far removed from the others, making sure its a different experience for story telling aspects while giving the player the things we've come to love. Unity is like the rebellious son trying to get away from his dad, being almost totally different and doing his own thing. Ubisoft talked about how they are going to split up the two titles so this is more of an appetizer for what is to come. Rouge will split off into ship combat while Unity splits into new stuff. If I had to choose, it would be Rouge. It seems like whoever is working on the game, seems to want to look at the stories of the past to enrich the one they're making. Flipping our ideals and making us play as what we've come to know as the bad guy. Thereby developing a new narrative focus on the two spectrums instead of the Templars just being "evil cause they're evil". Apart from that they're doing away with the forced multiplayer I've always hated in the series so I'm glad with that.
Its not to say I won't play Unity, just if I had to choose between just one I would pick the one that caters to me. I'm always a 'having fun is better than pretty graphics' type person. The game could look worse than a pile of crap but as long as I'm having fun, I'm having fun. Kind of like someone asking me if I prefer Saints Row or Grand Theft Auto. They're both two different games with different vibes. While GTA is more about satire and world events, Saints Row goes for the big one and just has fun with itself. Neither game is superior, they just give me different feelings and neither will satisfy the same feeling.
In short, two AC games is the divergent we may be seeing more of. Differences in similarities that each cater to one specific group while not necessarily alienating the other.

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