#Assassinscreed made a lot of noise these past few days as several information about the future of the franchise leaked on the internet. This has become common thing for Ubisoft who seems to have some difficulties keeping its employees quiet.
Anyway, fans are not going to complain about everything that we've learn from those leaks. I've always been a big fan of Assassin's Creed. The continuing fight opposing Templars and Assassins, the gorgeous periods and locations that the games provided us every year, the mystery surrounding "Those Who Came Before." And I have to admit, unlike many I loved the meta story involving Desmond. That's for me what made the game so different from others at the time.
Unfortunately, the franchise seems to be running out of steam since Assassin's Creed III and the demise of Desmond. The game became more and more repetitive, less and less inventive with its stories and completely ditched its present storyline. Paris was beautiful in Assassin's Creed Unity but Arno's story wasn't compelling at all making it a flat game despite its gorgeous setting. I haven't played Syndicate yet but of what I heard the same inherent problems seems to repeat themselves.
What partially made people lost interest in the franchise was the release rhythm, far too rushed for a lot of players. So hearing that Ubisoft might take a year-off - it hasn't been confirmed yet - is a blessing. The decision would have been made after Unity's controversial release and the critics surrounding the game.
A New Hero For A New Trilogy
The information allegedly released by a person working at Ubisoft and then cross-checked by Kotaku, who revealed before anyone else Unity and Syndicate, suggest that the new Assassin's Creed could be called Empire and would take place in Ancient Egypt. Also, we would be controlling a former slave for a new trilogy possibly including Rome and Greece.
What made the success of Assassin's Creed in its early days was its primary characters, particularly Ezio Auditore Da Firenze. Assassin's Creed II is still wisely considered as the best entry of the franchise. We followed Ezio literally since his birth and saw him grow and age as the world evolved around him. We saw him all his life looking for answers about his destiny, questioning the appropriateness of his quest. All those elements made him a character to whom players could relate on a deeper level.
That's what I want to see in future installments of the game. It worked before and it'll work if they give it a shot. The story really needs a breath of fresh air. Besides, the time period would place the game before the creation of the Assassins and Templars orders. We might see their creation and their fallout during this period. It could be really interesting to see how those two ideologies progressively formed and opposed to the other.
A More "Witcher Feel"
The Ubisoft employee also mentioned that Assassin's Creed would take inspiration to The Witcher on a storytelling point of view, but also in the player progression throughout the game. The Witcher is a real masterpiece but I don't want to see AC literally rip-off the game. Assassin's Creed is not an RPG and it doesn't have to try to be one when that's not the identity of the franchise.
However, I wouldn't complain if Ubisoft took notes of the way The Witcher was written. Every quest felt really important on the game, even the side ones because a lot of work was put into it. The only other game I can think of that made such an incredible work is Skyrim. That's something AC missed a lot. The game often lost itself into missions that unnecessarily lengthen and weakened their story. Every mission need to feel important and continuously bring something to the narrative if they want to land with a compelling and engaging story from beginning to end.
Also it is said that they won't be recycling animations. That's an issue Assassin's Creed had for a long time, the feeling that despite the new characters and locations we always saw the same moves from one assassin to the other. Unity and Syndicate tried to change a bit the mechanics but it still felt too similar. So I'm really looking forward to it as it could radically change our way of playing and take us out of our comfort zone.
A New Location Three Times Bigger Than Black Flag
According to the leaker, Empire would be three times bigger than Black Flag. In other words it would be as big as Unity. AC Unity was already a big game with a lot of places to explore but Ubisoft seemingly wants to be more ambitious and use the full potential of the new generation of consoles.
Horses that were an element missing since AC III are back as are boats. The environment is said to be more luxuriant, colorful than previous games. That's something I'm really looking forward to see. Assassin's Creed has never been a really colorful game, not totally dark but pretty monotonous. The only game that broke that rule was Black Flag and it was one of the most beautiful AC.
Imagine an incredibly blue sky while riding your horse in a giant sand desert. There is no best way to immerse into a game. Also, it was mentioned that the game was seamless, meaning that their won't be loading while entering or leaving a city. The game will only gain more credibility if this turns out to be true. Historical reconstitution is one of Ubisoft strengths and I know they will not disappoint.
The game seems to be in early work at the moment but it got me really excited. The wild rumors haven't been confirmed for now but they are completely believable considering Assassin's Creed current state. Ubisoft needed to find a new direction for their winning franchise and they may have found it.
2017 may well be the year of the renewal for Assassin's Creed and I can't wait to see it.