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Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag: What It Needs To Do
The next chapter in the video game behemoth that is Assassin’s Creed has been announced officially. The map has been leaked, and we almost certainly know that the game is centered around pirates… in the Caribbean. There will be no concrete details on the mechanics or features of the game until at least the 4th of March. Despite that, however, we’re trying to speculate what Ubisoft could bring to freshen the franchise.
The first thing that is needed is a return to a likable character who we can empathise with. Assassin’s Creed 3 replaced our beloved Ezio (who had his story stretched farther than needs be) with Connor, a half English, half native American. The character had nowhere near the level of character development that was seen in the previous games. Ezio was instantly a hit with me personally and with others as well I am sure. The new game needs a humorous, swashbuckling character to lead the pirate charge. Give him a set background, let us see him in short bursts growing up, and let us see what drives him (think of how we watched the death of Ezio’s family). Make him a great Assassin, but do not make us watch a cold-blooded killer for hours on end.
What to do with the ships, eh? The vessels that will presumably carry our new protagonist from point A to point B need to be more than a filler. Yes, have battles similar to the naval battles of Assassin’s Creed 3, but don’t add in unnecessary battles from nowhere to waste time in between a mission. In addition, let us customize the boats. If they are being used to travel all the time, let us customize weaponry on the ship and be our own interior designers with the captain’s quarters. Let us name them ourselves! I can see the ships with unique names like the ones I see for gamertags… The “FuzzyPanda” or The “GangstaLife271” would make for endless fun. The feature would be legendary. Lastly for the sea vessels, allow upgrades for speed and maneuverability. Let us grow to be our own Flying Dutchman, with immense power by the end. If these are not implemented, at least let us swing over to enemy pirate ships and commandeer them to gain leverage over faster or more powerful enemies than ourselves.
Allow us to choose our crew. This feature could be a genius addition to the game. Akin to Mass Effect, why not choose your crew from people you meet in different towns based on their different skills and abilities to cherry pick the most terrifying Assassin Crew ever?Characters who increase speed on the ships by being faster at tasks, men and women who have pin point accuracy with weapons to help you distract guards and kill targets, or how about each island has their own special skill and you have to build the crew as each area becomes available? The possibilities are endless.
A ton of land-based missions are a must. The map shows Cuba to be central to the locations available to us, and while the game is supposed to be pirate-based, this iteration must not stray far from the series’ roots. Chasing enemies over buildings and through bustling cities is what brings me back to the franchise. Captaining a pirate ship, bringing it up along side another ship, jumping across, and chasing enemies mere meters away will not interest people for very long. We need the thrill of the chase, the fear in the target’s eyes, and the possibility that we may fail.
Have a mission taking on a giant whale. There is an image of a large whale on the map for the game. Why not utilize this? Call it Moby Dick if you must, but make it happen. There will be a lot of time for mindless killing of same old humans, so change the pace up a bit. Make us change our weaponry to harpoon guns and strategically take down the beast. But please…please do not put glowing areas for us to hit on it or obvious weak spots for us. Many gamers are clever people and can figure out a difficult boss battle. Give us a challenge.
There has to be a cameo or a reference to Pirates Of The Caribbean. Ubisoft are making a game about pirates… In the Caribbean. There is no way the film cannot be referenced in this context. Put a drunken man constantly claiming he is a captain or include a mission where you must maroon a man on a small island swarming with sea turtles and a rum store. Things like this would harken back to and surpass the tongue in cheek “It’s a me! Mario” moment in Assassin’s Creed 2, along with the Metal Gear Solid Easter Egg in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood if it was handled appropriately.