Feature: Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Splinter Cell & Watch Dogs – One and the Same?

Ubisoft has a fine portfolio of games, just looking through their catalogue of titles shows why the publisher is succeeding where many have failed, but is the secret to success repetition?

It could be argued that repetition is killing off any and all innovation within video games. Call of Duty is one franchise that really stands out as one that has not stood the test of time too well. Each and every year we’re delivered a new Call of Duty, each of which promise to be the ‘next big thing’ but despite all the hype and publisher bullshit we all realise that it’s the same game again, just a little different.

So why is Ubisoft different? Assassin’s Creed has as many games as Call of Duty, maybe even more. Splinter Cell has been around just as long as the aforementioned shooter yet we don’t see complaints of it being an old franchise.

Simply put; repetition. Where other games fail to capitalise and improve on their strengths, Ubisoft has been able to take features that work well and incorporate them across their entire library of games, well, almost entire library. It’s only a matter of time before Rayman is given hidden blades and night-vision goggles.

If you’ve played through Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, Splinter Cell and Far Cry 3 then you’ll notice a few features that carry over from game to game.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity will have a new “last known location” feature, but anybody who played Splinter Cell: Blacklist and it’s predecessor will instantly recognise it as an old gameplay tool. You won’t need to learn how to use it, you’ll already have mastered it before even playing the game.

Sneaky Sam, could he be the modern-day Ezio?
Sneaky Sam, could he be the modern-day Ezio?

That’s not all that Assassin’s Creed: Unity is taking from Sam Fisher’s adventures. Eagle vision, in a way, is basically Sam’s night-vision goggles. Both allow you to see hidden dangers and targets and drastically change the view of the world. Similar? Definitely. Different enough to still be considered fresh? Probably, but that’s up to you to decided.

Far Cry 4 isn’t any different either. In fact, it’s basically Assassin’s Creed dressed up as a first person shooter, albeit different enough that not many would notice.

Get to the top, just don't expect a bale of hay at the bottom...
Get to the top, just don’t expect a bale of hay at the bottom…

Far Cry 4 will feature high-points that you need to reach in order to “see” more of the game’s map. Sound familiar? Of course it does, it featured in Far Cry 3 and before Far Cry 3 it was a staple in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, first coming in to play back in 2007 with the original Assassin’s Creed.

You could say that a lot of Ubisoft’s upcoming games owe a lot to the Assassin’s Creed franchise, seeing as so much has been lifted from it and placed into other games.

He used to work at Abstergo, now he just fixes Cola machines. Templar life isn’t all that glamorous…

Watch Dogs is another that stands out, literally placing you in a modern-day Assassin’s Creed game, though with less parkour and an even less interesting playable character.

Blood-Dragon watch dogs
Blood Dragon also shows up within Watch Dogs.

It even goes as far as including references to Assassin’s Creed IV throughout the game. There’s even a mission named “Requiescat in Pace,” and within it you are tasked with chasing an Abstergo employee who fled to Chicago. When you target this man and scan him you’ll see his profile reads “Target by the Brotherhood.”

Repetition is without a doubt working in Ubisoft’s favour, though how long for we can’t say. In the mean time we’re enjoying the games they make, even if they all have an overwhelming sense of familiarity about them.

It has been theorised that they are all inter-connected somehow, but that’s another article for another time…

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