So after a few leaks from Ubisoft (whether intentional or not), we just got Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. It features a setting in the high seas, where privateers are abound and booty is the objective, as well as a pirate assassin. What’s better than a pirate is a pirate-ninja, and that’s a dream combination. However, it does raise a concern, at least from how I see it.
NOTE: This is an attempt at writing an editorial about a video game based on information released at the time. This is not exactly the kind of posts I want to make in this website, but it’s still good to experiment anyway.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Teaser Trailer
To be fair, it seems like he’s into all kinds of wenches. I like his style already.
Protagonists and Personalities
This new game’s premise is quite awesome, with Edward Teach, rhum, and AAAAARGH MATEY’s all around, but it worries me a bit. The protagonist of Assassin’s Creed III, Connor a.k.a. Ratonhnhaké-ton (I call him Ratondoodoo) was not fleshed out very well as a character. Comparing him to the other protagonists of the series, Connor does seems shortchanged.
Altair had an arrogance that mellowed down and gave way to wisdom as the story progressed, and even was shown in the last days of his life as a Master of the Order. Then there’s Ezio, who had three whole games from his youth to his old age that showed him as a playful and vibrant young adult who then became more rugged and hardened with experience. As for that lady assassin in the Vita game, I don’t know enough to judge her character, but that’s beside the point.
Connor Be Redskin, Foo’!
Connor hasn’t had it yet. We just got AC3, where he was this generic brooding and angry character. Then boom, pirate ninjas in a different setting altogether. Come on Ubisoft, there’s so much potential with a Native American protagonist. In the game, he did go through awesome stuff like a vision quest through his youth in the process of becoming an assassin, as well as some unique rituals, fighting techniques, and so on (I really liked the tomahawk since I have a fetish for axes). However, we also saw that from Ezio, who got more space to expound upon his coming-of-age as an assassino. Connor’s technically a Mohawk, which is a tribe known for their hairstyle and warrior culture, so there’s so much more material to draw from.
There’s an old game that also had a Native American protagonist, which is Prey. That game went through development hell, but at least it got released with the hero Tommy going through satisfactory character development, along with the gravity walkways, portals, and out-of-body spirit-walking and arrow-shooting. That game was pretty cool, and showed a lot more about Native American culture than what I think was shown with Connor in terms of topics regarding maintaining traditions, the importance of the rite of passage, and so on. Of course, the least we could have is some personality from Connor, and it’s rather lacking in AC3, which is rather unfortunate.
Also, there’s the titular character from Turok. He has Native American heritage AND a mohawk. He also uses bow and arrow to kill rampaging dinosaurs and stuff.
Going off on a tangent, nothing beats the Cerebral Bore in Turok 2. Just watch this video and agree that this game franchise was pretty awesome (except for the third game).
The concept and aesthetics of an Assassin Order during the American Revolutionary War, a time period that I’m quite interested in, was enough for me to get interested in the game and the story it was to tell. However, seeing that the protagonist ended up like the underpowered version of Alex Mercer from Prototype from my standpoint, that does put a damper on things. Maybe my assessment can seem quite shallow for some and that I could use more exploration of his character to have more appreciation for what’s there, but I then stood my ground firmly when I saw how soon AC4 came up.
Maybe I’m just getting ahead with myself though. It’s just seems like a waste after all that development put upon Ezio, but it could be that they’re going with an alternating progression here. Altair only had one game and a cameo in another, then Ezio had three games. It could then follow with AC3 and AC4, with the pirate-ninja getting more character development as a result. That seemed like a viable hypothesis, but what gave it more sense was one detail that I was able to remember after some head-bashing on my keyboard.
Perhaps the crucial detail I missed at first was Desmond Miles, whose story has reached some sort of a climax-slash-anticlimax, which I won’t spoil here. Suffice to say, perhaps that’s somehow a good reason to switch to a different ancestor altogether. It’s just that I wish they explored the whole Native American angle further since I’m so fascinated with the whole culture, even more than I am with Renaissance-era Italy. But I guess we now have to settle with pirates, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is set for an October 29, 2013 release, right in the Fall season, and for next gen consoles too no less. That time period is usually a hotspot for major releases, and it seems that Ubisoft is looking forward to having their game sell hard, especially since they seem to know that most gamer crowds relate with pirates and ninjas. The idea of some pirate-ninja hybrid is just way too enticing to pass up, and the same goes for me.
I just wish that they consider expanding upon the story of AC3 later on, just so that we get more out of this franchise.
If you got this far, then please enjoy this awesome music video by Alestorm.
IT’S FUCKIN’ PIRATE METAL, HOW CAN YOU BEAT THAT?!
Give Some Feedback
Do you think that I got Connor all wrong? You don’t like pirates or ninjas? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions (especially the second one), then I think you’re just misguided, but leave a comment below anyway. I do appreciate the feedback.