As one of the greatest video games series of all time, Assassin's Creed has taken us from the Third Crusade to medieval China, the American Revolution, Victorian London and more. With endless possibilities and endless opinions from the players, what would fans really like to see in the next game?
Recently, Ubisoft revealed Assassin's Creed Infinity. Inspired by Fortnite and Grand Theft Auto Online, this title is a live-service outing with the assurance of continual updates that will offer new locations and time periods for players to explore. It wouldn't be exaggerating to say that the reception for Assassin's Creed Infinity from the fans was like the studio was a cat that had gifted them with a bloodied corpse of an adorable woodland animal. "Ubisoft has come full circle and become Abstergo," joked one player, while others criticised the company for seemingly overlooking what the fans want from a new entry in the stealth series.
There's a sentiment among those who frequent the Assassin's Creed subreddit that the series has lost what attracted players to it in the first place. That RPG mechanics like the ones in Origins, Odyssey and Valhalla aren't compatible with the themes of the first few games in the series. That stealth has been sidelined in favour of open combat encounters, and that an in-game store encroaches too much on the experience of the game.
Check out our compilation of wins and fails from Assassin's Creed Valhalla. It's like Jackass if Jackass got going in 8th century England.
So, we've got micahyoutube on Reddit to thank for this survey of the Assassin's Creed community that tells us what the players would like to see in their ideal game. With over 300 responses to questions on the setting, parkour mechanics, story choices and levelling, this is a tidy slice of the cacophonous opinions on the series and it has some interesting insights.
Over three-quarters of the players who filled out the survey said that the game should be set between the 12th and 17th centuries, which is between when Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad and Ezio Auditore da Firenze were scrambling across rooftops and leaping into piles of hay. These heroes are beloved by the fans and it's evident that Ubisoft holds them in high esteem with Altaïr and Ezio outfits released for the protagonists of the later games.
When it comes to the geography of the world, however, it's not as clear cut. The options of one city like Unity and Syndicate and a mix of cities and open spaces like Black Flag were neck and neck, but the latter approach proved more popular. The parkour mechanics from Unity were also praised with 60% of people wanting to scale the environment like Arno. And, players want to use Shanks' pony (i.e., your character's own two feet) and an actual pony to travel through the world - intriguingly, not a lot of players wanted naval transportation to return in this hypothetical new game.
There was an overwhelming answer to the question of stealth in combat. Almost 88% of respondents asked for stealth to be the emphasis when taking out targets, which is dissimilar to the experience of the newer Assassin's Creed games. Moreover, the fans would rather follow a memory sequence in the story rather than a flexible and open approach to completing main and side quests, as seen in Valhalla.
As for the central character, over two-thirds of players don't mind whether they play as a man or a woman as long as they are a "good character", and 11% want to play as a man. Interestingly, the possibility of a determinant narrative divided respondents. Thirty-five percent of players don't want their actions to affect the story, which links to that trend towards a more linear memory sequence structure for the game. Twenty-five percent of players would like to see their decisions make a difference.
In sum, these fans want an Assassin's Creed game that is set in the early modern period so we might get a chance to meet Altaïr or Ezio again. Wherever in the world it is set, they'd like a city to explore every nook and cranny of, while leaping from building to building with realistic motions. The hero is living through their memories in a mostly linear sequence and there aren't too many major choices to make. Furthermore, this character isn't one to rush in like a bull in a china shop and would eliminate their enemies while as silent as the grave. If you'd like to crack on with that, Ubisoft, you'd have 300-odd happy players.
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