Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft’s attempt to teach millions of gamers about history and weird conspiracy theories at the same time, has skippped a year with no entry in 2016, provided you don’t count this year’s remaster of the Ezio games. But that doesn’t mean they’re not hard at work on more sneaking and stabbing, and apparently that sneaking and stabbing will take a more open, less scripted form.
While chatting with Le Monde, Serge Hascoet, who serves as Ubisoft’s chief creative officer, had a fairly interesting discussion of just where the franchise is heading:
I don’t want the player to go through a story created by someone. We have games like that still, but I ask more and more that we let the player write their own story — that they set themselves a long-term goal, identify the opportunities that are open to them and choose not to follow a path that was decided for them.
Or, in other words, instead of a main quest, you get an overarching goal, a bunch of ways to achieve it, and how you get it done is up to you. If you pay attention to Ubisoft games, they’ve been leaning towards this more and more. Watch Dogs 2 doesn’t really have a “main quest” that needs to be done in a particular order, but rather a string of pranks you can pull off in any order you feel like, and that unlock other pranks. How this applies to games going forward should be interesting to watch, but hopefully the idea of an overarching “spine” for a story isn’t done in completely, if for no other reason than later Assassin’s Creed games have been kind of endearing in their modern plots where you run around inside game companies and read other people’s emails.