The new pirate-themed Assasin's Creed will unite the best traits of Assassin's Creed, Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Assassin's Creed: Revelations and Assassin's Creed III, the game's associate producer, Sylvain Trottier recently told me. But how?
Trottier talked me through what the Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag development team believes are the best features of the prior games that they can merge into the naval, open-world pirate-assassin adventures of Edward Kenway:
"From AC I it was the open-ended set-up. We wanted to make sure we [bring back] this feeling of liberty that the player had when they had an assassination target and could decide, ‘Do I go stealth? Do I go sneaky? Do I go Rambo-style? Do I go across the roof and do air assassinations?' This kind of liberty feeling that you can do the missions the way you want -- we want to make sure it's there in AC IV, too.
"AC II had a very good way of bringing new gameplay mechanics to the player by teasing them, teaching them how to use them, and then once they start to use it, challenge them with the experience of making them tougher. We want to make sure that all of our systems are built like that too.
"From Brotherhood, it was the fact that you had a main gameplay loop, but you had a lot of supporting systems that were really blending into the player experience. Like the Borgia Tower [sieges] and other stuff were really sustaining this experience. We want to make sure that all of our naval examples that I gave you before, for example, [note from Stephen: presumably things like crew recruitment, ship upgrading, raiding of other ships, harpooining whales, etc], are really supporting the main naval experience of the player."
"From Revelations, it was a very beautiful game, thanks to [Revelations and AC IV art director] Raphael [Lacoste] and his team. We're lucky to have them back on this game.
"From ACIII was this super-cool feeling of being part of history. We think we have a super-good setting that people don't know a lot about. They have this Disney vision of pirates, but they don't have the true feeling of the history that we can bring to the table with some freshness."
Sounds pretty good, yes?
Many sequels draw on elements of their predecessors. This one, it seems, is drawing on some particularly valuable traits. We'll judge if they pulled this off when the game comes out on October 29. It's slated for PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U.
NOTE: We originally tried to cook up an Assassin's Creed/Devastator combo image for this story, since Devastator is everyone's favourite Transformer made of smaller robots. But then our in-house Transformers braintrust remembered that Devastator is comprised of six robots.
Hence, Bruticus up top instead. This, folks, is the attention to detail you can always expect from Kotaku.