Assassin’s Creed 4 is at high risk of fatiguing the popular franchise. Since 2009, Ubisoft has released a new Assassin’s Creed game every year with varying degrees of critical and commercial success. Despite steady improvements to the graphics, mission structure, multiplayer and overall amount of content, the series still hasn’t had a considerable jump in gameplay as seen from the first Assassin’s Creed to the second.
It now rests on the shoulders of Assassin’s Creed 4 to prove that another journey into the Animus and through history is capable of innovation and won’t be a tired romp in the past. The most crucial thing Ubisoft must do is ensure that Assassin’s Creed 4 is ready for release when it arrives on Oct. 29. Any gamer who played Assassin’s Creed 3 during its first few weeks of release experienced a good deal of glitches and issues. Some of these problems were addressed with a day one patch, others took quite a while to be ironed out. It’s important that Ubisoft releases Assassin’s Creed 4 without all these issues. Shipping a game out to the public and out to reviewers in an unfinished form makes it feel rushed. And because Assassin’s Creed 4 is aiming for a next gen release as well, it will be held to very high standards. The game must come out of the gate looking and playing strong if it is to make any considerable impact and be well received by the industry.
One thing to consider is that Assassin’s Creed 4 also has the moniker of “Black Flag” attached to it. Despite announcing the game a few months after the third’s release, Ubisoft must have enough faith in the game to label it as more than just an expansion. Whether the pirate focus is just an excuse to reuse the well received naval battles for an entire game is a different story. Gamers don’t just want to play “Assassins of the Caribbean” so hopefully some exciting directions will be taken when blending the past and future elements of the narrative. And with Watch Dogs arriving soon after, Ubisoft will need to make sure both games are phenomenal and worthy of open world distinction. Maybe, just maybe, all Assassin’s Creed 4 needs is an ocean of water to keep the series alive and more than just a current generation staple.