This is a very big moment for Ubisoft. Annualizing the franchise without it following the story is completely different than shipping out new titles with a handful of new features.
Assassin’s Creed was by far one of my favorite franchises for gameplay and story. The way they finished Ezio’s story was phenomal and couldn’t have been more perfect.
With the transition into the American Revolution they really dropped the ball, Connor/Haytham were boring characters, the areas you explored were pointless, and they added a bunch of gimmicky features. The only place it really did well was ship combat, and I couldn’t get enough of it.
For a studio that put together surveys to see what players wanted, we have been inundated with pointless crafting mechanics up until the ship combat. Hell I thought we would have some sort of campaign co-op with the addition of Brotherhoods in the series, but instead the game boasted no such thing.
Black Flag will really put them to the test, if they made a revolution uneventful, I fear for the future of the series. If they ruin pirates by pulling a “Call of Duty” yearly release, it might spell death for the franchise.
This game will either have to push people to a new storyline or they will have to do something revolutionary themselves. Like I said, I was a huge Assassin’s Creed fan, I thought they were getting a raw deal in the GOTY category and their story was very underrated. So they will need to make their next game a lot less confusing outside of the animus and leave the hunting/crafting in the dust.
Or they could just make a new experience. Like making a brotherhood-centric game, players would create their own assassin in present day, and then jump into different time periods with friends with fully customizable assassins in that era as well.
With exciting ship combat, combat specializations, and strategic assassination attempts, it could bring something new to the table.