Ubisoft: ‘Watch Dogs’ Is ‘Showing The Path’ For ‘Assassin’s Creed 5′

Nov 19, 2013 by  

Assassins Creed 4 PC Delay

Ubisoft may have had some missteps in the past with their Assassin’s Creed series, but they put everything they had into the franchise’s next-gen debut, and didn’t disappoint. But even as Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag enjoys a second wind on the Xbox One and PS4, fans can’t help but wonder if they’ve seen everything that improved hardware can bring to the established formula.

According to the game’s lead gameplay designer, that’s far from the truth. Black Flag may have scratched the surface of next-gen’s potential, but the development team is anything but satisfied, and taking inspiration for the future from some of Ubisoft’s most highly-anticipated next-gen titles.

Anyone who played through Black Flag knows that the developers outdid themselves compared to previous installments, swapping confined cities for a full-blown recreation of the Caribbean Sea (read our review). Sailing from location to location already represents a serious step forward for the series from a technical standpoint, but a shift in overall design as well.

In an interview with GameReactor, lead game designer Jean-Sebastien Decant explained that the improvements were just a brief glimpse of what the company hopes for the series on next-gen hardware:

“We thought about next-gen graphics and in order to explore that we used the high-end PCs on the side, and then we continued just what we started with the previous games and build upon that. I think next next-gen is going to be for the next games. The next games are going to be much more on the next-gen side. This one is really on the edge.”

“I think we’re going toward a gaming place where the open world will be shared with other players. More and more. Socially speaking, but also maybe multiplayer stuff. And we will have to consider the open world much more like a platform that we could sustain for years.”

Assassin's Creed IV MP Header

Although Ubisoft once earned praise for taking its unconventional approach to online multiplayer with the Assassin’s Creed series, the idea of ‘online multiplayer experiences’ has drastically changed in just the last few years. And as next-gen developers are already claiming, the ultimate goal is bringing players together on levels never before seen, without having to sacrifice the power of a singleplayer story.

If melding strong singleplayer with social interactions is the goal, the developers of Assassin’s Creed 5 don’t have to look very far to see one approach to next-gen multiplayer that is already turning heads. Although Watch Dogs may be coming a bit later than expected, Decant knows the connections are clear:

“Absolutely, Watch Dogs is kind of showing us the path for the future… Absolutely. But we have to create a… We have to respect our brands. So if we have to go that way with Assassin’s Creed we have to think about how it could fit into Assassin’s Creed.”

Those words will come as a comfort to fans of AC who are in no hurry to see Ubisoft’s third-person titles drift close together – or have little desire for a Creed title set in modern times (although the odds of that seem slim). But Decant was quite candid about the fact that the developers realize they still have work to do:

“The core pillars are still social stealth being able to blend into the crowd and finding a way to reach your target without being seen. There is this idea of having the parkour – you can jump around – and then the notion of freedom that combines everything.

Next Gen Roundup - Assassins Creed 4

“These are the roots of Assassin’s Creed. We will try and work and build upon them. We cannot tell you that we’re happy and this is how we want the game to be and we’re going to do ten more games with exactly that same gameplay. No, we are unhappy. We want to do more… There are lots of things we want to refine on the combat side, on the parkour, on the stealth. Of course.”

There’s no question that the core gameplay of Black Flag still possessed many of the frustrations fans have become familiar with, so to hear the lead designer confirm that there is still work to be done is promising. It’s too early to say if next-gen hardware can alleviate the most nagging concerns and frustrations, but at least Ubisoft isn’t blind to them (a point supported by the implementation of player-ratings for Black Flag missions).

From Watch Dogs to The Division, integrated multiplayer across multiple platforms seems to be the plan for Ubisoft’s main titles. However, Decant promised that simply adapting Assassin’s Creed to mimic other games isn’t the plan; as the pirate setting walked hand-in-hand with the new open world and naval progression, the designers would need to find similar stories that justified future expansions.

Ubisoft has already given a few hints as to where the series might head next, but which setting or time period do you think would make cross-platform multiplayer a no-brainer? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag will is available now for the PS3, PS4, Wii U and Xbox 360. An Xbox One version will be released alongside the console.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: GameReactor (via OXM)

22 Comments

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  1. hope assassin creed set in anicent china .

  2. this is why i like ubisoft – they generally speaking try to improve their games with every new entry into a series. EA and activision should take books and books worth of notes on ubisoft’s approach to the gaming business ;)

  3. China, Romania or Bucharest. But u have to think of places that are rich with history and culture. I am a writer and I write microscrips I would love to help in game development I am a power house of ideas and imagination so I believe that they will pick a perfect place and time to start their fallowup ac game. :)

    • Your a writer that can’t spell follow up, I’m sure your great at what you do

      • F u ok I was on the bus holding my 7month old.

      • I can spell ok I was on the bus holding my 7month old.

  4. China, Romania or Bucharest. But u have to think of places that are rich with history and culture. I am a writer and I write microscrips I would love to help in game development I am a power house of ideas and imagination so I believe that they will pick a perfect place and time to start their fallowup ac game.

  5. Black Flag is a disappointment! Not sure i can get excited about AC 5.

  6. I wonder where the fifth will be set tho. I was hoping it was gonna be Feudal Japan or Ancient China. If not, then somewhere in Brazil or in a tropical forest. Black Flag had the best gameplay so far and I loved it (even though Ratonhnhake: ton is still my favorite assassin)

  7. For ur info I can spell its just hard to txt while sitting between two fat ppl on a bus.

  8. Japan please! Yes I know the Samurai/Ninja theme is kind of overplayed and unoriginal nowadays, but it would be the perfect setting for an AC game.

    Japan is so immensely rich in history, it would be a travesty not to have an AC game set in Japan.

  9. During the 1630′s until 1644, Chinese people rebelled against high taxes imposed by the Ming Empire. Emperor Taichang also died of mysterious causes, one of the three mysteries of the late ming dynasty. If you do not like a Chinese assassin, how about a Portuguese one. Plus you have new combat, new setting and Hong Kong,Beijing or even Edo and Kyoto to explore(if you want Tokugawu Japan as well).

    • Maybe they could also add some modern day type stuff in Japan or China? They could base it in modern day Japan and then have side missions in Japan or something? I was a real fan of the modern day missions and stuff in AC4 but wasn’t fond of how it just ended… Maybe they could put in some work into the modern day missions like in AC3?

  10. The Balkans, the best navy battles were in the Adriatic sea b.c. and early n.e., 3 empires were fighting for west Balkans, Rome(west), Bizantin (east) and all the northern empires fighting for their pass to Mediteran.

  11. Hope they set it in the Philippines (Philippine revolution against Spain)

  12. I have already put so many hours into AC 4. Cant stop playin it. I know it still haves some of those familiar issues that other AC games have but being able to do pirating makes it so much fun. Good pirate games are rare and this one delivers. I would eventually like to see a WW1 setting for the game. I know very little history of that war. I would like to see alot of other places but ww1 would be the right amount of modern day/olden times. I know there will be more guns but I believe some still used swords/bayonets.

  13. I think an ancient Rome or Greece setting would be amazing and would allow for naval battles on the Mediterranean.

    • … Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. Been to Ancient Rome done Ancient Greece bought the t-shirt.

      • Ancient Rome being in the B.C. Era. Yes, you go to Rome in II and Brothered, but that was in the late 16th and early 17th century. That’s not zncient Rome.

  14. Ancient Egypt or Ancient Greece would be sick they both are rich in culture and history.

  15. One thing that I thought would be cool was an AC set in South America during the time the Spanish attack the Aztec. One flaw with this is the assassin’s life might be too much like Connor’s in AC 3. But the cities you could travel could be Tenōchtitlān or some other ancient civilization cities deep in a rain forest. Or one game set during the Civil War. This game could follow TWO assassin stories. One that fought for the Confederacy and one for the Union. And at the end they could confront and maybe one dies or they agree to fight together. My last idea, one game set in China when the Huns attack. And you could meet the people (or person) that invented gun powder, Maybe. I don’t know if that is the right time period or not. All of these games would be amazing.

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