Assassin’s Creed – The Desmond Collection, Part 4

Assassin’s Creed is a videogame series by publisher Ubisoft. The player takes the role of various assassins all throughout history and explores historical settings, meets real people from those locations and kills most of them. It is a very enjoyable series.

This is the fourth part of a multi part series I’ll do on the technical and designphilosophical parts of the first five games. I will close it with a final part talking about the rest of the series in broad strokes, as it is not needed to retreat already explored topics. Click here to read Part 3.

In 2014 and 2015, Ubisoft released 2 Assassin’s Creed games each year. I will talk about the secondary games here, Liberation HD; an HD port of the AC3 companion game for PS Vita, and Rogue, a spinoff of the series where you play a Templar for the first time.

I’d like to note that both Liberation HD and Rogue were not very well recieved because they were deemed inferior ripoffs of other games. The fact of the matter, however, is that both games are significantly better than the other games they were released with. Liberation HD harkens back to AC2 while Rogue is basically a sequel to AC4, but in good this time.

Liberation HD focuses on Aveline de Grandpre, our first female playable character. Setting is New Orleans and the surrounding Bayu but other locations are explored as well. While being relatively short and light on content, what’s there is very good and enjoyable.

Rogue is set between the prologue and the main game of AC3 and as such you’ll meet various characters from that game as well as new ones. It chronicles the downfall of the Assassin Brotherhood in America, something only hinted at in AC3. It, too, is a very short game, even shorter than Liberation HD but it has a lot more content than the former game.

The writing in both games is pretty solid, and both games were developed by the same small studio using mostly recyceled assets from previous games. As such it is no wonder that the games look and play remarkibly similar and have similar content to earlier titles. However there is one big diffrerence: The games are actually fun! While Liberation HD plays more like AC3 did with climbing on trees and more ground based missions, Rogue plays more like AC4 with the naval combat. But unlike AC4, Rogue is actually a great Assassin’s Creed game, with interesting missions, well thought out locations and much more user friendly design. Everything AC4 did wrong, Rogue does right and everything AC4 did right, Rogue does better. As a matter of fact I’d be surprised if anyone would think AC4 is better than Rogue if they played Rogue first.

As for Liberation, it doesn’t really resemble another AC game, yet it has a similar structure to AC2, which is great. The biggest drawback of this game is the lack of anything interesting to do once the story is over. But that’s why we have our fake reimagining, no?

To make AC Liberation HD a better game we don’t need much. Tweak a few of the missions that are awkward, add Aveline voiceover during loading screens instead of the text display, similar to Connor’s narration in AC3, make the city more lively by having people talk randomly and add in more sidequests since the people are awkwardly silent in this game. New Orleans is quite small so maybe we could make it bigger by making the locked off Forest area west of town accessable. Adding in a few more Assassination Contracts would surely help as well. The Bayu is quite well done but other than hunting crocodiles there is not much to do there as well. We could add in a few more sidequests there, too. The Aveline Mission from AC4 should be moved from that game to Liberation because, well, it IS an Aveline Mission, so it would make for a great post-game bonus.
We could also add in a new set of missions where Aveline has to use her detective sense to find hidden keys. We could add in a vault beneath New Orleans where you could acquire a new Assassin’s Armor that would also dub as Ladys dress: The Armor of Hope, an Assassin from AC Rogue. And we could do the same in the Bayu to find another Assassin Outfit that would also dub as Slave outfit, the clothes of Mary “James Kidd” Read from AC4. Tie everything together with a new sequence (more on that later) and you’d have an exceptionally well crafted game.

As for AC Rogue there is very little we’d need to change. My bigget gripe is that the game opens with Ezios Theme. So either make Shay a descendant of Ezio (that would explain the Eagle Vision) OR change that theme to the overall AC Theme debuted in AC Revelations and refined in AC3. Other than that, the game is fantastic, but I would add two more sequences, both set before the broken one but after the main story is over..

One would be set in the late 1760s and Shay would crossover with Aveline. This sequence would have him hunt her for information about the artifact he is looking for. This sequence would be set during the time before Aveline heads to Mexico and could tie over some empty plot points from Liberation HD as this would also be the new sequence in Liberation HD but from Avelines point of view. In this sequence I would have Aveline retrieve a key from Shay, the first to enter Hope’s tomb. This way both games would be tied together perfectly.

The second new sequence would be set during AC3 and Shay would go after Connor. It would involve Shay trying to find and kill Achilles with Connor defendng him, similar to a scene early in AC3 where connor defends Achilles from some raiders. It could further the relationship between Shay and Achilles as well as Achilles and Connor and of course there would be a companion sequence to that in AC3, which I talked about last time

And just like that, we would have another set of brilliant games. Unfortunately Ubisoft is not known of listening to me so all those things will probably never happen. But one can dream.

Come back later for our final part of this where I discuss the remaining games and the future of the series in broad strokes.

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