4. My Assassin, My Way
The last point got me to thinking: "Isn't it about time that I get to make my own assassin?"
I don't mean simply being able to customize my character: there's a lot to be said, given the life of the series, to offer the same kind of openness in how my assassin plays that the series offers in exploration. I guess what I have in mind is an RPG approach to the series, allowing players to pick classes/roles and really expand what you can do as an assassin.
What if, instead of an agile, master-of-hiding free-runner, you were a tank able to take massive damage or stun groups of enemies in order to make your escape? Or a character whose whole thing is crafting ever-more-complex weapons to use (or sell) instead of finding blueprints around the world?
Hell, the whole idea of being an assassin is embracing freedom and doing whatever you want. Well, I wanna be my own kind of assassin, dad, and if that means trading in parkour for a part-time job building guns, then so be it!
3. One Location, Clearly Defined
It feels like between the third and fourth games in the series, Ubisoft has begun thinking of Assassin's Creed-land as a world defined by numerous locations with a handful of missions. Gone is the depth and breadth of the Renaissance Italian cities of Assassin's Creed II, replaced by lean-to's, shacks, squalid settlements, and trees - so many trees.
What if the series returned to the days of massive, complicated cities, littered with mysteries, puzzles and missions. What if you could enter most of the locations, if pockets of the city had different factions, different conflicts, and different mechanical priorities (one side of the city will require you to be stealthy, the other requires more direct combat), and a deep well of history for the ambitious player to explore.
The one-city approach I'm suggesting here feels even more attractive given how the designers on AC II were able to grow and show the development of their cities over the years - something that felt somewhat less present in III.
Plus, I miss really being an urban ninja. Death to trees!
2. One Game, Multiple Assassins
The series has made leaps through history in the past (typically with the same character) and III, for all of its failings, offered a nice switcheroo with the introduction of Haytham for the game's first few hours.
I say more of this. Let's see several assassins in the same period following the commands of the order from multiple perspectives. With the exception of Ezio, most of the assassins to date have been from the poorer end of the social strata - what if a multi-character game allowed us to see a particular period through the eyes of rich, poor, veteran, novice, male, and female assassins, offering a bit of breadth and scope to the otherwise narrow stories of the series.
Also, not for nothing, but why don't we have a full game featuring asshole-Batman Templar, Haytham?
1. Get Weirder With the DLC
Even if the story was largely forgettable (and bad when it was memorable), Far Cry 3 was a hoot to play, even if we all kind of wished the islands offered a little more variety and weirdness. Well, Ubisoft was listening, releasing the standalone Blood Dragon, which took all of the mechanics from the base game and adding lasers, dragons, cyborgs, and Michael Biehn.
Now let's see that applied to Assassin's Creed. Again, III made some inroads on this front, offering the episodic Tyranny of King Washington DLC (putting our nation's first president on an evil, baller throne), but we'd like to see some Blood Dragon-level weirdness from this series.
Could you imagine an expansion set in a Game of Thrones-style dark fantasy world? What if you had to hunt direwolves? Holy crap, I want that game right now.
Oh, and if Far Cry 3 gets Michael Biehn, Assassin's Creed should get the American Ninja himself, Michael Dudikoff.
Previously by Charles Webb