It feels like one of the collective wishes of the Internet has been granted today as Ubisoft announced, hot on the heels of the release of the refreshingly good Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and ahead of the motion picture adaptation, that Assassin’s Creed will not have a new game in 2016.
Assassin’s Creed is the gaming world’s whipping boy for the case against annualized releases. While Call of Duty pulls this trick as well, the sheer scale of an Assassin’s Creed game means that the stress fractures brought on by a quick turn-around are more readily apparent.
Last year’s Unity could be seen as the tipping point in the series. With a buggy launch and a poor reception, despite its decent co-op mode, Unity left the series balancing more closely to irrelevance than ever. Ubisoft needed to right the ship with the follow-up title, and thankfully Syndicate was the shot in the arm Assassin’s Creed needed. Continue reading Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is a Great Return to Form
Even though this current generation of video game consoles isn’t wrapping up for at least another year, the new generation looms over the horizon. And thus, this warrants a look back at our recent past to honor the best of new franchises we were introduced to this gen. The list is based mainly on what franchises I found to be most compelling over the years. These opinions belong solely to me, but please feel free to list your own in the comments!
First, the games that didn’t make the cut. There are some awesome games here, but they just didn’t move me enough to make the list. All of them are still fantastic, though.
Video game timelines are funny things. On one end of the spectrum, you’ve got the annual release titles — the familiars of our hobby, such as Call of Duty, Madden, Assassin’s Creed, Mario and the like — and on the other side of the spectrum you have the folks that release games when they’re good and ready — the Valves and Square Enixes of the world. Today’s post concerns the first group.
With the recent quality dip of franchises such as Assassin’s Creed, the underwhelming “next gen” (but still the same old) gameplay of Call of Duty: Ghosts and the staleness of other titles like Mario or Madden, it seems like there are quite a few annual releases in need of a good old fashioned sabbatical. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike these franchises. Far from it. I just think that perhaps an extended break might give developers a chance to come back to the table with fresh eyes and maybe a few gameplay or art tweaks that might reinvigorate things again.
Take Madden, for instance. I’m a dude that loves watching just about any random NFL game I can find on TV, but you almost couldn’t pay me to play a Madden game. Here’s the game of football — a rough-hitting, edge-of-your-seat, strategy-on-the-fly sport played by athletic gods — and EA manages to make a game that feels boring. Contrast that with something as historic as Mario or Zelda, two imaginative franchises that don’t quite excite the way they used to (unless they go retro or reboot one of the older, better games in some way), and it starts to feel like maybe it’s time for these guys to rest just a little while.
So without further ado, here’s today’s Pixel Count. Get your votes on and tell us what you think in the comments! It doesn’t even have to be a yearly release — just a franchise that you think might benefit with some rethinking.
There are two types of franchises in video games: the ones like Final Fantasy, where each game is a completely separate world with new characters and new experiences and the ones like Mass Effect where there is a continuing narrative that flows from game to game. These two aren’t the only franchises that are like this of course, but they are two of my favorite and I think they best represent the example I am trying to make. So I wanted to ask the GamerSushi Universe which type you prefer.
Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. With Final Fantasy’s template, you know every time that you are getting something radically different from the previous game. Sure, certain themes and elements will be the same, but it’s kind of exciting to get immersed (or annoyed) by a whole new world with new characters to fall in love (or hate) with. Not to mention new gameplay ideas and mechanics that seem revolutionary compared to the previous entry. Far Cry 3 is a great example of this. There is a downside to this, though: as we saw with Final Fantasy VII, sometimes the game is so popular that deviating from that story will only irritate its legion of fans. Final Fantasy VIII is all but forgotten by Square Enix these days. It was only years later that they thought to capitalize of FF VII’s success, but by then it was too late. Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: The Continuing Story?
The most appealing aspect of the Assassin’s Creed series is the ability to experience different periods of human history through a sci-fi wrapper. Thanks to the prolonged presence of Renaissance Italy’s Ezio Auditore, the need to travel to a different era was reaching a high. Thankfully for Assassin’s Creed 3, Ubisoft moved the clock up a few hundred years, dropping you in Revolutionary America in the moccasins of Connor Kenway (real name Ratonhnhaké:ton) a half-Mohawk, half-British assassin.
With a new setting, a new engine and the possibility of wrapping up the modern day storyline of Desmond Miles, Assassin’s Creed 3 seemed poised to make the same sort of leap that the series did with Assassin’s Creed 2 back in 2009. Did Ubisoft manage to pull it off, and can Connor replace the venerable Ezio? Continue reading Review: Assassin’s Creed 3
A yearly release schedule is a tough notion for any game, let alone one as deep and time-consuming as Assassin’s Creed. We were all pleasantly surprised to get Brotherhood so shortly after Assassin’s Creed 2, but the prospect of Revelations seemed to burn a lot of people out.
Focusing on the later years of Ezio Auditore’s life, the game moves out of Renaissance Italy to Constantinople where Ezio tries to find the keys he needs to get into a secret vault built by Altair, the assassin from the original game. Throwing in new gameplay concepts and an upgraded multiplayer mode, does Revelations deliver or does it fall flat like so many missed Leaps of Faith? Continue reading Review: Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
In a day of big news all across E3, the biggest news perhaps came at the end of Ubisoft’s wacky, boob-showing, animal killing, eSports-toting conference. With a move that surprised everyone, Ubisoft unleashed an unannounced new IP titled Watch Dogs, a cyber-punk inspired open world game that looks like Assassin’s Creed meets Shadowrun meets Grand Theft Auto IV.
It really is hard to put into words what makes this (gameplay) demo so impressive, so I think you should just watch it for yourselves. Ubisoft gave no indication of a release timeframe or even a system, but the visuals make it out to be something that might even be next generation.
The most impressive part was the way everything was inter-connected, and all the tools the player has at his disposal. It’s hard to figure out if the end was a hint for multiplayer, but the possibility sure is exciting.
Let’s face it: this generation has been one of a kind. Some of the best quality games we have ever seen. And some of the worst service and disasters we have ever seen. As consoles have become more complex, there is a lot more room for errors and I don’t think any opportunities for screw-ups have been missed. But…the games, man! They are so good! But are they enough to overcome the PSN Hack, the Red Ring of Death, the terrible DLC debacles, the DRM nightmares, constant patches due to broken games on release day and the countless other crap we suddenly have to deal with now?
I mean, Uncharted, Gears of War, Bioshock, Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Portal and the Arkham series, just to name a few, are all amazing new franchises that stand with some of the best all time. But is the high quality of the product enough to call this the best generation? Or is the terrible state of things for us consumers too much for these stellar games to overcome? Hit the poll and then hit the comments!
As the end of this generation draws near we’re seeing an increase in the amount of franchises that are taking a stab at faster release cycles. Call of Duty has been pulling this trick for a while but even titles with a bigger scope like Assassin’s Creed and Dead Rising are trying to give us a new game every year.
The term “new game” may be a bit of a stretch because in the rush to meet the deadlines a lot of these titles are getting flak for not adding enough to previous iterations. While waiting years for a game may be painful, is it preferable to basically buying what equates to an expansion pack? Continue reading The Case Against Annualization
Now that we know all about Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and its place in the series as the conclusion of Ezio’s story, people are starting to wonder what the future settings of Assassin’s Creed will be. Judging by your comments on the article, we’re all a little sick of the Renaissance (and the annualization of the titles) so which time period should the games visit next?
This has been investigated a bit over at IGN, who can turn out an interesting feature when they want to. They suggest four unique settings that haven’t really been explored in the gaming space outside of a few recent titles. While a Wild West Assassin’s Creed would end up being unfavorably compared to Red Dead Redemption, a post-World War 2 (that conflict being a period the developers wanted to avoid) game focused on the hunting down of Nazi war criminals who escaped prosecution would fit rather well into the existing fictional framework as well as provide players with a relatively fresh setting to discover.
One of the most appealing things about Assassin’s Creed has always been, at least for me, the dedicated recreation of parts of our history not usually explored in video games. While I’m practically gagging for an AC game set in feudal Japan, a post-WW2 or Industrial London game would be tip top as well. What do you guys think will be the setting of the next Assassin’s Creed? Will it be another slice of the past, or will we finally get to see Desmond steal the spotlight? What would make for interesting multiplayer arenas? Go!
There’s a special spot in gamer hell reserved for sequels with a quick turnaround. Left 4 Dead 2, Halo 3: ODST and in some cases, Call of Duty, have all received stick for coming out “too soon”, according to the Internet. So it is with Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, which was announced before the dust on Assassin’s Creed 2 had even settled.
Coming out such a short time after its predecessor, and tacking on a seemingly unnecessary multiplayer mode, Brotherhood fit the bill for the quick “cash-in” built to capitalize on the good will of AC2. Slowly, though, perception of the title began turning around as media came out revealing that the multiplayer wasn’t a shoddy tack-on and the single player campaign was going to add interesting new mechanics. Critical reception is very, very positive, but what’s the GamerSushi stance? Continue reading Review: Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
The not-quite sequel to Assassin’s Creed 2 drops on November 16th, so that gives you more than a month to learn all the tricks of the trade so you can pwn the noobs once the game is officially out. If you do download the beta, try to remember that it is for testing purposes, so if you see something glitchy, be sure to let someone know. We wouldn’t want Mitch to buy it on Day 1 and then have the game crash on him, would we?
In case you have no idea what this is all about, check out this nifty guide of Seven Things To Know Before Playing Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood from the fine folks at 1UP. I plan on downloading this right now. Should I expect to see anyone else on there? Anyone a big enough fan that they plan on signing up to PSN Plus just to taste the beta?