Narratives in an open world game can make a game boring and dull.Usually, it drags you away from who the character is and gets you more into the story. The game just doesn’t feel right and isn’t as fun as it should. However, Ubisoft did an amazing job with Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag. It keeps everything balanced. It keeps the player on the edge of their seat from start to finish.
That’s what you need in a game. A well built environment and a story/plot that keeps the player occupied and prevents him from thinking about anything else except the game and nothing else.
In an interview with Examiner Darby McDevitt, a long time Assassin’s Creed writer talked about his priorities when it came to the plot and the rest of the game.
“I think that the future of open world storytelling is actually more experimental than people give it credit for. I’ve always looked at something like Joyce’s Ulysses as the model, where you don’t focus on plot so much as world building and character over a driving, focused single person narrative.
“And you focus on making sure the character matches the theme as closely as possible so that when the player goes off on his or her own, it feels in character. I think we hit that pretty well in Black Flag.
“I was less interested in driving the plot forward and more into making the player feel like a pirate – this theme of constant acquisition that’s so common in games fits the setting so well,” McDevitt said.
This balance that McDevitt talks about, it’s not something that other writers from other genres have to think about. They don’t think about these things at all. How much is too much. How much of a narrative is too much and how much freedom should the player have or not. We’ve seen this series keep this balance perfectly. I applaud Mr. McDevitt. He has done a fine job indeed.
In the past, we’ve seen Ubisoft use there characters for one game but the impact that single character has on the story and the story of that place is amazing and that character isn’t forgotten. Ezio is an exception. The Ezio era, although long, was quiet memorable. Players never complained about the same character being in multiple games rather then one. But it seems Ubisoft is finished making those kinds of plots. They plan to do things differently but keep everything sample that we love about these games.