Given that Ubisoft’s highly anticipated Assassin’s Creed hits stores this Friday and didn’t turn out quite as well as we hoped, we thought we’d compile VideoGamer.com’s Top 10: Ways to make Assassin’s Creed 2 a masterpiece. We put our heads together in the office and we think Ubisoft need only follow our guide below and they’ll have a bona fide legendary game on their hands.
Tweak the free-running
The free-running in Assassin’s Creed is good, but it’s far from perfect. To start with Ubisoft needs to figure out how to free up your right thumb in order to manually control the camera using the right analogue stick. Altair could also do with a little more upper body strength, allowing him to pull himself up over ledges a little quicker. This would make fast-paced chases all the more enjoyable.
More variety in assassinations
For a game about an assassin, the assassinations in Assassin’s Creed left a lot to be desired. They nearly all played out the same and were basically impossible to carry out without alerting all the guards in the local area. Whether it’s making your target less obvious or simply trying to spot the target based on his location and actions, it shouldn’t be as easy as walking into an area and starting a fight.
Assassin’s Creed’s cities are full with citizens. The number of people wandering the streets is truly amazing to see, but most of them are just there to make up the numbers. Why can’t they each have something to say, and more of them need to trigger side missions and objectives. A citizen who needs to be saved from guards gets old after you’ve done the same thing a handful of times, and it just makes no sense for the same thing to be happening all over each of the cities.
A real ending
There’s no denying that the end to Assassin’s Creed is interesting, but it’s certainly not what we’d call satisfying. Assassin’s Creed 2 needs to explain a few more things without simply offering fairly cryptic clues. And at the end we need an actual conclusion. It’s fine to set up a sequel but we don’t want to be left with more questions than answers.
Improved guard AI
The guards in Assassin’s Creed have their moments, but all too often you can casually walk behind them and stealth kill them from behind. This isn’t what we’d call intelligent AI. You should have to work for your stealth kills. On the other hand, when giving chase they could do with being a little less aggressive and not quite so agile. Assassin’s Creed 2 needs to make you feel superior to the enemies in the game, so when you’re on the run you should have a clear advantage – less being knocked off ledges by rocks please.
Altair’s costume is superb, but could he not do a little more to blend in? Why not change into something a little more suited for the district he’s in and perhaps it’s not wise to carry a large blade on your back? While the notion of the public not being aware of such an assassin is believable for a time, given that there’s little way for the citizens to communicate other than by voice, surely by the end of the game your appearance and presence should be all too well known.
Having a combat system that relies on counters has its merits. Fights in Assassin’s Creed look great and anyone can get good at fending off a large group of guards, but more options for skilful players would be great. An optional combat system that plays similarly to God of War would be superb, as would a willingness by the guards to attack more than one at a time.
Do more with the cities
The three main cities in Assassin’s Creed and wonderful digital creations and something Ubisoft should be proud of, but more should be made of them. There needs to be more life, random occurrences, scripted events, epic moments and more interactivity. Most of the buildings in the game are for show and can’t be entered, while there’s very little sense of the citizens actually going about their daily lives – instead simply going along pre-determined routes.
Stealth gameplay works in co-op, as Splinter Cell has proved. Open city games work in co-op too, as Crackdown has proved. Combine the two, along with the improvements mentioned above, and Ubisoft would have a killer game on its hands. Just imagine Player 1 causing a slight disturbance in the town centre, maybe by starting a fight with a merchant. This then calls the guards away from their post outside a building, allowing Player 2 to enter, take up a safe position and await the arrival of your target.
No water death
How this is still even in modern games is beyond us, but please Ubisoft, don’t let Altair die when he hits water in Assassin’s Creed 2. When playing on the dock in Assassin’s Creed, if you miss a grab breaker you’re odds on going to get thrown into the obviously toxic blue liquid that the boats are floating on – presumably crew-less due to the fumes being emitted. It’s a simple thing, but surely a hard guy like Altair should be able to take getting a little wet.