Today, I give thanks that there is yet another trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Unity crouching in a corner of my inbox, hidden hype-blades snarling somewhere within. I’m genuinely grateful for this one because it manages to contain all of the reasons I’m excited about a new Assassin’s Creed alongside most of the reasons that I’ll probably stop playing after an hour or two. The good stuff first – Ubisoft’s gargantuan CreedCrafting studios make big budget pop culture history that I’m always delighted to explore. The bad is the cloaked figure leaping from a rooftop, doing the same old things in another city, in another time. Following, jumping, stabbing, killing. Where’s the mystery?
I love the cities of Assassin’s Creed and I want to be a tourist in them. The data about locations that acts as a form of collectible already provides a basic framework for sightseeing and how I’d love to see that aspect of the games fleshed out. The distracting future-bollocks could even keep its place – the Animus used as a sort of Total Recall vacation machine for those bored of the cyberpunk future. Fancy escaping Neo New York? Take a mind-trip to 18th century Paris and bring back some holiday snaps to bore the relatives with.
Yes, of course, I’m hankering for a walking simulator of sorts built within the historical spaces of Assassin’s Creed. That’s how I play the games anyway. I’ve managed to play three of the blighters for many an hour without discovering anything about the plot at all. Something about Dan Brown wearing a time-travelling sentient hoodie, I believe.
Imagine if some of the time and resources that went into developing the extraordinary technology behind exclusive speedy pants and ‘walking very slowly behind somebody’ missions went into expanding the options for sightseers though? These would be some of the finest digital worlds ever created.