Ubisoft skipped out on releasing a major Assassin's Creed title this year in order to give gamers a break due to the fact that it was suffering from franchise fatigue. Well, for next year's title they're making a major change to the series and here's what we know.
According to an interview that creative officer Serge Hascoet had with French newspaper Le Monde, the next Assassin's Creed title will not focus quite as much on a scripted narrative for the gameplay. Polygon posted up the English translation of the interview, where Hascoet mentions that the gameplay in the Assassin's Creed franchise has been put on the back burner and becoming less important to the experience. Ubisoft wants to change this around and wants the characters and world to be more interesting to players so that they can "amuse themselves".
Hascoet mentions that they wanted to change up the philosophy so that players can identify opportunities to tell their own story; utilizing emergent gameplay elements.
He cites the way players, gamers and users create memorable, mimetic moments using GIFs, YouTube and Twitter, and that the developers wanted to apply that kind of philosophy to the way that gamers engage with Assassin's Creed and its world, characters and story.
He mentions that they've already been experimenting with this kind of technique with Far Cry 4 and Far Cry: Primal, and they also offered a similar approach to the recently released open-world game Watch Dogs 2, but he's hoping that they can take it a step further with the next entry in the Assassin's Creed franchise.
Basically, Ubisoft wants to create the kind of experiences that made Rockstar famous during the mid-aughts with games like GTA: Vice City and GTA: San Andreas. Both games opened up the open-world genre where gamers could complete many of the missions the way they wanted, as well as explore and experiment by finding new mini-games and activities to participate in at different areas. In GTA IV they allowed players to make various choices that altered the different sub-stories and primary stories in the game to create different kinds of endings for various characters. They further expanded on this concept with GTA Online, where the sandbox allows players to tell stories with their own made-up actions.
Only the first Assassin's Creed opened the game up where players had more emergent possibilities and opportunities to complete missions in the way that best suited their play-style. The latter games began restricting the missions where players had to utilize certain techniques, features and scripted moments to complete the task(s) instead of organically reaching a victory state. For example, in Assassin's Creed III there were a lot of cool hunting missions in the game, but players had to follow a specific scripted set of events in order to complete them.
Hopefully with the new game we'll see more varied options and opportunities where players will have the tools to complete the missions as they see fit and the world will react accordingly, a little bit like IO Interactive's Hitman series, which is a perfect example of players being able to unfold their own narrative with their own actions. According to Hascoet the player actions will have long-term effects on the in-game world of the next Assassin's Creed, so it'll be interesting to see how that all works out when the game launches in 2017.