When Ubisoft finally announced the release of Assassin for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in late October, the company had already been making a splash with its first-person, open-world title, Assassin’s Quest.
With Assassin’s Story and the long-awaited Assassin’s Chronicles, the publisher had finally gotten its franchise on a solid footing.
And as we now know, it’s looking a little different than that.
Black Flag, as the title suggests, was the first game from Ubisoft that didn’t feature an open-ended story.
Instead, the developer opted to create a single, overarching story that would span two main timelines.
The game opens in the present day of a post-apocalyptic Africa, where a small group of humans has been driven to extinction by the forces of a mysterious force known as the Templar Order.
The player will play as the protagonist, a member of a small band of hunters known as “The Assassins,” who were tasked with tracking down and destroying the Templars.
“The Assassins are the last survivors of a doomed race of humans, driven to destruction by the Templar,” reads the title of the main game’s main mission.
The game’s plot is the story of the band’s quest to defeat the Templaries and save their race from extinction.
But it doesn’t end there.
In addition to the main story, the game also introduces a slew of side quests, mini-games, sidequests, side quests and more.
While these sidequeries are all well and good, there’s one thing they don’t do that Assassin’s fans had been waiting for: they’re playable.
At launch, the gameplay of Assassin was incredibly open, and it didn’t matter if the game was multiplayer or single-player.
You could explore the world, complete sidequesters and questing missions, and go on missions with other players.
But when the game finally went to a full launch, players were faced with a series of technical issues that kept them from getting their first taste of what was to come.
For starters, there was no way to pause the game, but that didn´t stop players from being able to move around freely.
As a result, players weren’t able to make use of some of the game’s other features.
Players had to manually turn on and off voice chat and other game-related features, but they could still access online multiplayer and other features via the main menu.
This was not a good look for a first-party Assassin’s game.
Even though the main storyline is the same, players could not save the game.
If you went into the main mission and didn’t save the save file, the mission would be automatically reset.
This meant that if you missed an important mission or missed out on a sidequest, you couldn’t do anything about it until you reloaded the save.
Additionally, the way that the game handled save file management was very inconsistent.
If players wanted to save the mission, they had to first quit the game and then re-start the game from the beginning.
If they wanted to reload the save, the character would have to restart the game by selecting the “reload” option.
One of the most frustrating aspects of Assassin is the fact that, even though the game promised a story that spans two eras of the same continent, Ubisoft chose to limit the story to a single timeline.
So if you want to play as one of the characters from the main campaign, you can only do so after you’ve beaten the game once.
And since the game would normally allow players to save and load the game at any time, the lack of any real story progression meant that players weren´t able to enjoy the game the way they could have.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Ubisoft’s lead designer, Jean-Yves Guillemot, explained that this lack of an overarching story was intentional.
“In the end, it is important that players are able to experience the game in a very unique way.
The goal is to allow them to explore and discover the world and the characters they meet along the way,” he said.
“To give the players that chance, we wanted to provide the opportunity to choose a side.”
What’s worse is that Ubisoft did this in a way that made it harder for players to actually enjoy the gameplay.
For starters, the story would never allow players access to multiplayer, so it wouldn’t allow players the opportunity for multiplayer co-op, which would have allowed players to play the game cooperatively with one another.
And while there was an option for players who wanted to play with a friend, Ubisoft didn’t let them.
There were also technical issues with the game that caused it to crash at times.
For example, if you attempted to load a saved game, the save would be lost and Ubisoft would display an error message that read: “Could not save game.”