Note: [All opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of GamerXChange]
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – We have seen the debut trailer, some gameplay, and screens. We have heard the first bit of details on the game and I must say, the concept seems pretty cool. I love the new environments and I love the new gameplay elements. Still, I can’t help but not care about this game too much. I have a problem with this Black Flag and my problem is that it’s an Assassin’s Creed game. I just can’t help but feel that if this game was not an Assassin’s Creed sequel, I would be more excited for its release.
Now before you jump down my throat, hear me out. I have been playing the Assassin’s Creed franchise since it first launched in 2007. I admit that the first game was a little hard to swallow. It took me a while to play it because it just didn’t grab my attention. Finally, I beat the game. The ending was interesting and I thought, “Hey, if they’re going to continue the story, I’m going to check it out!” And so they did. Assassin’s Creed II came out, I picked it up at launch, and I couldn’t put that game down. The gameplay, cities, and story were just amazing. To this day, Assassin’s Creed II remains my favorite out of the series. Then came Brotherhood, a nice expansion on AC II and another great installment of the franchise. But then something else happened – Revelations; And then Assassin’s Creed III. The convoluted mess and disappointment that those last two titles were kind of dampened my burning love for this series. Now here comes Ubisoft talking about pushing out a new Assassin’s Creed game every year, because it’s what gamers “want.” I beg to differ, Ubi.
I still plan on picking up Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, maybe out of the strained hope that the series will redeem itself from the last two core installments. Maybe it’s out of some misplaced loyalty I have to the Creed. One thing is for sure, it’s not because I’m excited for the game. I think I need a break from the Animus, hidden blades, and the drawn out story surrounding the events of Assassin’s Creed. I think I need a break from all of the leaps of faith from ridiculously high precipices. This is just one dive I can’t take with much faith. The series has let me down. Maybe I’m just tired. Maybe I’m bitter. Maybe… But imagine for a moment that Black Flag wasn’t an Assassin’s Creed game.
Pirates! Arrg! Who doesn’t love pirates? Stories and movies like Treasure Island and Pirates of the Caribbean captured our imaginations and hearts for pirate adventures. Who doesn’t like a good pirate story? In fact, I think I’m going to talk like a pirate for this whole paragraph, so avast ye! Aye, a pirate’s life’s for me! Alright, well, maybe I won’t do it for the whole paragraph. But pirates are cool. They’re cool. I admit it: I – THINK – PIRATES – ARE – COOL – in the very fictional sense of the terms pirates (note: I do not condone any modern or past forms of pirating in reality). Black Flag seems to capture that very essence of a pirate’s life. Sailing the high seas, searching for booty -erm, treasure, battles of epic proportions, exploring jungles, and so much more. I like the ideas. I like the lush settings of places like the Caribbean islands. In fact, any time I see them in entertainment media I get a little excited because that’s where my roots lay. Deep sea diving, pirate fights, oh man, Black Flags looks like fun! But then there’s always the reminder that it’s an Assassin’s Creed game. I’m reminded that this trip back in time isn’t the whole game and even those parts will be sullied by the Creed. I’m reminded that this won’t be some original story about a pirate’s life, but it will have to tie in to the last Assassin’s game that I played. I’m reminded of so many things and I lose any bit of excitement I have for the game.
Now, if you’re reading this, Ubisoft folks, maybe, just maybe, you can drop the whole “Assassin’s Creed IV” part of the title and every other part of the game that has to do with the battle between the Templars and Assassins – oh, and that whole mess with the First Civilization. Think you guys could do that for me? Make this a game just about pirates? That would be cool, right?! Right?! … No? You’re not going to do it? Well, it was worth a shot.
I for one think that if this game was simply named, “Black Flags” and had nothing to do with Assassin’s Creed, I would be pretty darn (excuse my French) excited for this title. For now, I’m tired. I’m hopeful – but I’m tired. My hope is that even though the series has caught the Call of Duty syndrome, even though it ended in a disappointing mess the last few rounds, my hope is that there will be redemption. I hope that playing Black Flags will wash away my complete apathy towards the series at this point in time. Better yet, I hope that Ubisoft will give the series a rest for a while. I, for one, would have preferred Black Flag to be a new IP.
Am I alone in this thought process? Would you guys be more excited for Black Flags if it wasn’t an Assassin’s Creed title? How do you feel about the game’s announcement and the fact that Ubisoft wants to put out a new game every year? Sound off in the comments below!