Well I just finished Assassin's Creed III and it was fairly enjoyable for a time. And then I killed the last dude but it didn't let me do anything more. Evidently, the whole running around in the present day cave thing had something to do with it. I have to say that the tag team between the ghost women was probably the worst thing I have ever seen in the series. I played the whole putting the power cube into place and watching the cut scene thing on mute and listened the the beginning of my new Alastair Reynolds book. I put in the last block watched one more cutscene and then the whole thing ended. If I never hear another Assassins vs Templars conspiracy theory it will be too soon. Drop that whole thing.
Here's my suggestion. Let's say that the Animus technology after the murder of whomever it was we killed, fell into the hands of some Anonymous hackers who then open sourced the code and now 3D printed several Animii. Now anybody can go back in time to any period of history filled with bloody violence and intrigue and step into character. Here's the thing, there was no time in this story where that whole premise of synching memories gave me more life bar or anything that I noticed. It was more all about crafting (2/3rds of which I never got around to) and buying better weapons. So really this whole freaking episode was horribly imbalanced as an RPG with levels. What it reminded me of more than anything else was Red Dead Redemption, which was bloody great. AC3 was great because the story was great, the animation was great and the main mission was great.
The fight engine is better than ever - better than Batman, better than in any other RPG even though Bethesda gets awesome props for their taking turn based fighting to the next level. The sea battles were groundbreaking AND awesome. Nobody has anything like it and I want more. The Assassin missions were very good, and the capturing sections of the cities was even more well done than in the previous editions. Climbing up steeples and trees to synch is getting pretty tired, but having oceans, remote islands, cities and wilderness - absolutely spot on. All the other modern day hokum is filler with one exception. Jumping around skyscrapers really does give me the shakes. You feel the fear of heights in AC3's skyscraper piece. I will say this, however. The only thing that could improve Assassins Creed's fighting system would be to add some cover and/or stealth features. That aspect of gameplay just seemed too much out of the control of the character. Give the Assassin a third of Sam Fisher's stealth tricks and you will have filled the fight engine thingy to perfection.
So drop the hooey and give us more historical shitstorms to drop into and alter with our badassery. And what could be better for that than piracy? Oh perfect. And it just so happens that I watched Treasure Island with Eddie Izzard, and it's probably the best pirate film ever - a great story done in two 90 minute segments. Everything else seems cheesy by comparison - kind of like what Saving Private Ryan did to WW2 movies. It borders on the imagination's rendering of the pirate adventures of Half Cocked Jack Shaftoe in Neal Stephenson's Baroque Series. (Which means Assassin's Creed 5 has to be Mongols and horse, sword & bow battle).
Watching the preview video today gets me all ready for this. Some maroon at Forbes wants more Animus, but I say it's time to shitcan all the backgroundery and get straight to the intrique of the simulated world. All of that was necessary to setup the universe but the reach of the Templars and Assassins grows more tenuous and unbelievable in each further episoode. OK I think I've made my point. Blackbeard? Great. There's got to be ships of the Line of Battle involved and all that. So I know if any of you Ubi guys are reading this, you're going to want to read David Davies.
And while I'm at it. let me suggest that you could probably spin off at least one more Master and Commander kind of game. Hey wait, there's a series isn't there? Hmm. I'm now newly all into naval battles and there must be a huge amount of history to mine. Multiplayer naval battles? That's got to be pretty cool, and replication of wind patterns and all that in recreations of battles? Awesome. I will have to say that having your ship's crew cheer when all of the enemy is sunk is a new kind of exhilaration in video games. I have never played AC multiplayer but something on this nature.. I'd like that very much.
Anyway. Three cheers for Pirates!