How Assassin’s Creed Origins can get us back on board the franchise

There was a time when Assassin’s Creed was the darling of the videogame industry. The first title brought something new to gaming, while the second entry fixed a lot of the issues from the first game but still shared a gripping story. Since those halcyon days, the franchise has been tarnished by buggy games, poorly applied tie-ins, over-saturation, and gamer apathy. The last mainline game in the series was 2015’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. The game received positive reviews and a Metacritic score in the mid-70s, but the Assassin’s Creed star seemed to have burnt out. This year sees the arrival of a new game, Assassin’s Creed Origins. The latest entry in the series gives us a new protagonist and a new time-period but will it be enough to bring the series back to its glory days? Here are some of the pitfalls that we think the game needs to avoid to bring the franchise back to its best.

Fewer collectibles
An Assassin’s Creed game wouldn’t be an Assassin’s Creed game without collectibles. However, we don’t need there to be hundreds of collectibles. Assassin’s Creed Unity was one of the worst offenders for this with there being hundreds of chests alone. Do we really need more than 100 collectibles in a game? We want quality, not quantity. Limit the number of things for us to scour the map for, but make them special, things that really aid us in our quest. Also, they could be made more challenging. The artifacts that you could collect in previous games were hard to find and difficult to obtain. This made them fun to find. The chests that you could ‘collect’ in the previous games simply required you to go to a specific point on the map. These sorts of collectibles are just added to lengthen the playtime of the game and are simply superfluous.

A sample of the collectibles available in just one area of the Assassin’s Creed Unity map

Self-contained
Speaking of collectibles, one of the worst kind of collectibles added to Assassin’s Creed Unity was a specific type of chest that you had to activate through a mobile game which was synced to your console game through Uplay. This was poorly judged and felt so wrong. I understand that Ubisoft is always going to have some sort of in-game connection to their Uplay service, however, there is a huge difference between getting an extra in-game costume and including a load of chests that require you to play another game on a different device. Keep Assassin’s Creed Origins self-contained so that I can complete 100% of the game, by just playing it and nothing else.

No multiplayer
This one is probably more controversial, but I think they should focus on the singleplayer and drop the multiplayer. Now, I don’t even know whether they have a multiplayer portion planned for this latest entry (it was ditched for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate) but I really hope not. There are enough elements that Ubisoft Montreal have to perfect for the game to be a success without having to worry about multiplayer. The problem is that if multiplayer is included, it will either compromise the singleplayer (in terms of functions and options), have a multiplayer section that feels inferior to the singleplayer (as there are things you can do in the campaign that you can’t online), or the multiplayer will just feel like a different game than the singleplayer. Leave multiplayer alone and give us an Assassin’s Creed campaign for the ages.

We don’t need a new Assassin’s Creed game EVERY year

Stop the annualisation
The fact that there wasn’t an Assassin’s Creed game last year was one of the smartest moves that Ubisoft has made with the franchise. First of all, it has allowed the team at Ubisoft Montreal a full three years to develop this new game (AC Syndicate was made by Ubisoft Quebec). Secondly, I don’t think most Assassin’s Creed fans feel the need for a new game every year. Those fans that are such hardcore obsessives over the series did at least get a movie version of the franchise as well as the 2.5D Assassin’s Creed Chronicles games. Releasing a game every year leads to oversaturation and a reduction in quality. If Ubisoft wants us to get back on board with the franchise I think it would be good for them to announce that there won’t be a new Assassin’s Creed released in 2018.

So that’s what I think that Ubisoft needs to do to get us back on board with the Assassin’s Creed franchise. What do you think? Do you agree with my list? What would you add? Are you excited for this new game? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.