If you hate a mission in Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, you won't need to head to a discussion forum to complain about it. The game will allow you to rate a mission right after you've completed it.
Eurogamer reports that after each story mission, you'll see two things: your stats and a little box that says "Rate This Mission." If you want, you can grade that section of the game on a five-star scale. Here's a scoring guide I just made up:
- "I just bombarded a fort, swam ashore and murdered its commander. I love you, Mr. Ubisoft."
- "I just bombarded another fort. It was pretty much the same thing but still kinda fun."
- "Jesus, how many forts are in the 18th century Caribbean anyway?"
- "Escort mission."
- "Does traveling for twenty minutes to talk to an NPC really count as a mission?"
"The idea behind this feature is to be able to get the input of our players on their appreciation of each mission," Assassin's Creed 4 associate producer Sylvain Trottier told the site. "The rating is anonymous and is sent to our servers to be analysed."
It's not as though gamers don't already have a way to voice their opinions. They can catalog every way that a game disappoints them on Twitter, Facebook, forums, Metacritic and so on. However, it's rare to find a game that will solicit feedback from you every step of the way. Ubisoft's going to get a lot of targeted data to help them identify what works in Assassin's Creed and what doesn't.
My only criticism with this feature is that there's apparently no way to elaborate on your rating. It would be nice to be able to write a few sentences about why I gave this mission five stars or that mission one star. Some missions might be great in some spots but terrible in others, and I'd love to be able to pinpoint what my issues are. I suppose Ubisoft thinks that only a small minority of players would write out comments, though, given how awkward it is to write text messages with a gamepad.
On balance, though, "Rate The Mission" sounds like a great addition to Assassin's Creed 4. Depending on how Ubisoft's experiment goes, they might include the feature in future titles as well.
"It's the first time as far as I know that we are doing this," Trottier said. "It's a test, we don't know how much data we will collect from there and don't know if people will use it or not but we think it was worth trying it to get the direct feedback from our players."
Assassin's Creed 4 will debut on Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U at the end of October. The Xbox One, PS4 and PC launches will follow in November.