February 2019 is priming to be a huge month for video game releases, with numerous big names slated to compete for gamers’ limited budgets and attention. We’re even getting four released at once on the same day, which doesn’t really help in deciding the one to go for. There’s no way to buy them all, or even play through within a span of a month, but this list has my own personal picks for titles I’m looking out for. The release dates aren’t set in stone, and a few could always get delayed sometime further, but each is so far listed to drop February 2019. I mostly focus on bigger names here as they’re the ones I’m most excited to play in the coming months, although I’d love to hear about any great picks I may be missing in the comments below.Continue reading
I originally planned to write this post as an introduction to a list of games on my radar set to release in February 2019, however, it would simply result in too much reading for one to digest without falling to boredom. Thus, I’m separately covering the few major hits remaining in the last week of January, which will further break up the already intense competition of big releases primed for February 2019, and vie for gamers’ limited budgets and time. There’s no way to buy them all either, or cover the entire spectrum of releases, with many left behind as the strong leads take over. While much of my selection consists of larger games, and I’m sure the comments can point out some gems I’ve missed here, I list the ones I’m personally interested in so far.Continue reading
Open-world games are by far my favorite way to spend time when I boot my computer to sit back, relax, and enjoy a few hours of entertainment. Undefined by a specific genre, these now cover a myriad of gaming concepts and have come to include a broad range of franchises and new IPs. Yet in recent time, I’ve been feeling an increasing sense of fatigue when it comes to playing open-world titles, and I’ve spent some time thinking as to why it may be. Perhaps I’ve played way too many by now, and simply interjected little variety through experiencing different genres. That wouldn’t be the case, though, as I’ve never had such a problem in the past. So, what exactly led me to start getting exhausted from games I play and enjoy most often?Continue reading
Any game becomes instantaneously more fun when you’re playing with a friend or a group, especially if you’re sitting in the same room. Whereas consoles enjoy a larger suite of titles multiple people can play at once, the case becomes much less so when looking at the PC platform. While most PC gamers indeed prefer having a desk setup, there are those who like to have a high-end gaming station hooked up to their TV set, myself included. This makes the lack of extensive split-screen options in PC gaming a challenge when trying to find titles one can enjoy with friends, and few developers choose to include the feature across the platform, even if it may be present in a console version. Looking at Steam’s split-screen releases, there’s little to find between the many LEGO games and low-quality indie releases, so I’ve rounded up a list of picks that qualify to deliver a fun and rewarding experience for multiple individuals. LEGO games aren’t bad either, although their appeal is limited to a much younger audience than most of the hardcore PC gamer base. The options aren’t broad, and one will see quite a few racing games included, but these are the titles I’ve had the most fun with playing alongside friends.Continue reading
E3 this year was absolutely packed with game announcements, many of which were highly anticipated by fans over the years. Among many sequels, Cyberpunk 2077 reveal that easily stole the show, and games we won’t get to play for a good few years, E3 2018 also included some really strange games. Either their design idea is out of the ordinary, or the setting these games take place in is unlike anything normal we have seen in the past, making them stand out from the crowd. A few of these games feature totally absurd ideas to make them really oddball from the E3 lineup, which I’ve put together in this list. Whether these titles have potential to surprise us, or simply give players an interesting concept to explore, they each deserve a spot on this list for doing something new and are still worth looking forward to.
With E3 2018 about to pass by and already extensive media coverage of game announcements, there are plenty of titles to get excited about for the years 2018-2019. All major publishers accounted for, games revealed cover a wide selection of genres, and while at this point in gaming most are classified under sequels, many are genuinely interesting continuations. Although frankly a good few games were leaked by a Walmart games posting a month before the E3 event, the full reveals during the expo actually showed us trailers and gameplay. Confirming with a few sequels I expected to happen, the E3 showcased many games that I’m really excited for in the coming years. Most of these are bound to become huge successes, and greatly expand on the ideas of their IP, although it is always worth exercising caution before pre-ordering as the industry has taught us over the years. Most of the entries on this list came announced with gameplay trailers aside from a few, and following the press conferences with the gaming media, there is lots of information already available for many titles. To note, this is my personal list of all games that I’m excited about and won’t reflect everyone’s opinion of the games announced over the course of E3 2018.
The Racing genre has existed on PC since the inception of video gaming (not quite right at the start, but a little bit past Pong), and always offered a diverse set of disciplines and gameplay types. This genre covers about every racing discipline taken from the real world, ranging from illegal street racing to tough-as-nails Spa 24 hours competition, and beyond that, there are many futuristic and other creative titles to make the genre as widely available as possible. Now you can even play car soccer in Rocket League, or drive massive 18-wheelers in likes of Euro Truck Simulator 2 – the genre has it all for everyone. Among the endless games and disciplines, however, the racing genre can be quite overwhelming with hundreds of games to select from, although only the very few make it among the best racing titles: those that focus particularly good on the specific thing they do. I’ve compiled a list of my personal favorite picks that are completely worth gamers’ time and money investment, and these titles represent the best in video game driving and competition. Here are my best picks for the best racing titles on the PC platform.
Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box/Remastered
Burnout Paradise is an incredibly fun racing playground that doesn’t hold players back through endless cutscenes. I really enjoyed its free world design, as instead of endless sub menus, Burnout Paradise does everything directly in-game. As the series was already popular and known for its high-speed racing and spectacular crashes that Criterion Games are so good at, setting Paradise in an open world with diverse sets of events and collectibles created one of the best open-world designs at the time of its release (2009). Burnout Paradise was unique for those elements, and very few if none racing releases have offered gamers anything similar to the charm of blasting through Paradise City to then get taken down or crash into a wall you failed to see seconds before. With high-speed cars and intense fun, Burnout Paradise continues to shine to this day as one of the best racing games. On PC, The Ultimate Box edition still holds up really well with high-res textures and stellar framerates, now we just have to wait for the Remastered version to pop up on Origin. From what I’ve read so far from PS4/XOne reviews, Criterion have nailed the remaster perfectly, and I can’t wait to see how the PC version shapes up.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010)
If you want to experience high-speed chases between racers and the police, 2010’s NFS Hot Pursuit is your best game to go for. Sorry NfS Rivals, but you simply didn’t live up to the promise despite your Frostbite 3 engine. Hot Pursuit still holds up really well too, and Criterion’s signature crashes are more spectacular than ever in this title more so than in their other releases. Hot Pursuit offers two separate single player modes, however there is no story to be found here, which worked excellently as NFS games tend to be bad with plot anyways. With wild police chases across the gorgeous Seacrest county, you’re always guaranteed to have fun, and Criterion Games’ signature crashes are still spectacular to this day. Within the two career paths available, the map is dotted with racing events, and packing a diverse set of cars, Hot Pursuit still holds as my favorite in the series so far. The Seacrest county police department are insanely equipped with most exotic cars, which always brings fun to race events, and not only would players get to use them, but also go up against them in pursuits. NfS Hot Pursuit is still spectacular, and it is a shame it’s open world is completely void of activities, however for the single player, it is absolutely worth getting.
Trackmania Turbo appeals to a certain niche of racing game fans, particularly those who enjoy competition and actively engage in the modding community, and Ubisoft’s racing series has developed a steady fan following. While I haven’t played any game prior to Turbo, its refined experience and unique design offers something new to those seeking a more challenging racer than their Forza or GranTurismo. Trackmania Turbo is all about racing against the clock on tough tracks, and only after I’ve transitioned to the more difficult levels, did I discover just how painfully challenging this game can be. Finishing just within a split second past the gold medal can and will be infuriating, especially after 20 or so prior tries, however Trackmania enables quick restart at a press of a single button. It doesn’t offer a traditional racing experience, but don’t be quick to dismiss the game for a bad racer. For those who enjoy competition against the clock and their friends’ times more so than the single player AI, I’ll definitely recommend picking Trackmania Turbo up.
Trials Fusion is not a conventional racing game in a sense, although I’ve enjoyed it far more than most games out of this list. RedLynx’s motocross racer (if it can even be called that) is a unique blend of fast-paced racing and increasingly complex difficulty curve, which has always been a staple of the series in the past. Fusion is not only the best looking game in the series, but also its most refined and complete experience yet. Set in a futuristic dystopia, Trials Fusion has a surprisingly interesting plot, and while the background dialogue is limited at its best, it fleshes out more about the events in the world. Along with that comes some of the best visual design I’ve seen in gaming in general, and by that I don’t mean the graphics, but rather the excellent art design the team over at RedLynx created. To add, Fusion features a brand new trick system for the series, as well as diverse motorcycles and even a quad bike, and its DLC content is an excellent addition to the basic tracks available. With lots of challenge, but also fun to be had, Trials Fusion shines, and while the studio had a large misstep when they released Trials of the Blood Dragon (see what they did there?), I hope the studio comes back strong with a better successor for the series.
Project CARS 2
For motorsport purists, Project CARS 2 offers one of the most authentic racing experiences in video gaming, and with about 30 licensed tracks and 150+ cars, there is lots of challenge to be found. While it doesn’t have a straightforward career mode, Project CARS 2 gives players opportunities to create their own racing seasons spread across multiple racing disciplines. It isn’t a juggernaut of Forza Motorsport, but the quality of production Slightly Mad Studios came up with is spectacular, and don’t forget the studio has dabbled in EA’s NfS Shift games in the past. Project CARS 2 also has more option for steering and handling than most could handle, but that’s the beauty of it – you can make the experience as easy or hardcore as you like, although I’d still recommend playing it with a steering wheel setup rather than a controller. All in all, Project CARS 2 is a worthy contender to likes of Forza and GranTurismo, and offers racing fans something a little more extensive than 800+ car lists, and succeeds on those merits as with fewer cars, it is more focused on individual handling and the racing experience.
For those who can’t handle the serious racing model of Project CARS but still want to enjoy a competitive motorsport experience, GRID Autosport is the next best thing and offers a slightly less complicated ride. With Codemasters’ expertise in arcade-style sims, GRID Autosport delivers a fun racing experience spread across 5 distinct racing disciplines, some of which aren’t featured in racing sims far too often, and of course, GRID still offers closed street tracks. With a diverse selection of cars, GRID Autosport is a very accessible racer with competent single and multiplayer modes, and even has split-screen on the PC which is an extremely rare occasion on the platform. The studio has since focused on its excellent Dirt and improving F1 series, although GRID is not off the table in the future. It was a hard one to choose between GRID 2 and Autosport as they’re very similar in visuals, gameplay and handling, however this title takes the list as the better racing title in the series. All GRID games are excellent really, and you can often find them at really cheap prices. At this point, I’d be hoping to see another entry in the series at some point soon with an even better experience.
Forza Horizon 3
Have you ever wanted to go off-roading in a Ferrari but that’s too expensive in the real world? Forza Horizon 3 has you covered, and it is the ultimate racing playground for the kids in us (with the Hot Wheels expansion that’s literally what happened). Set in beautiful Australia, Horizon 3 is an entirely open world, so you’re free to go anywhere in any car available to drive, and with plentiful of side activities and hidden collectables, trying to 100% the game would take at least about 40 hours or so. Featuring some of the world’s most exclusive cars that can be driven across vast beaches, busy cities and gorgeous rainforests, Horizon 3 is the ultimate arcade racer, and features a large map full of things to find. Available on both Xbox One and Windows 10, Horizon 3 gave PC gamers one of the best racers on the platform, even if the game’s exclusivity to the Microsoft Store takes a drag when something doesn’t work. Knowing Windows 10, I’ve ran into those quite often by myself, and the game won’t let you proceed at all past the starting menu simply because it failed to log into Xbox Live. But aside from those gripes, Horizon 3 is an excellent sandbox racer and there simply isn’t a better open world game currently on the market.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005)
In the street racing world, EA has failed to topple the success of its 2005 Most Wanted title for years, and while the game certainly shows its age and can’t be digitally purchased, for those who held on to the game might still be able to play it on modern systems. Yes, the resolutions would be low, but NfS Most Wanted is a better street racer than older Underground or newer games like 2015’s NfS reboot (still decent but it had frustrating flaws). With a nicely done career mode and a diverse set of cars, which to be fair are more limited than most gamers will be used to, but with each customizable car and a fun city to explore, there’s plenty of charm and personality in Most Wanted, and the soundtrack has some of the best music selection in an NfS game. Taking down the bosses and outrunning the cops was entertaining, and the plot had some nice twist points presented in quality cutscenes. Ah, the good old days. It’s a shame they haven’t come up with a better street racing game since then, although EA could greatly benefit from a remaster for this title.
Forza Motorsport 7
With Motorsport 7, Microsoft again made its juggernaut racing series available in the Windows app store, and while the experience is held back by the now annoying UWP platform, there simply isn’t another racing game with a 700+ car garage on PC. Forza has always been an excellent racing simulator, which up till recently was confined exclusively behind the Xbox platform, and Motorsport 7 improves on many aspects of its predecessors, with better visual detail, effects, and a longer career mode than found in Forza 6 before it. With an extensive career mode across various car disciplines, Forza 7 pushes to be the most accessible game to draw in new players, and with additional challenge of intense rain effects and night time races, the game is at its best on PC especially. Although it comes at a price of 100+ GB download, which is never ideal for gamers with slow internet speeds, Forza 7 visually looks spectacular, and graphics aside, it also offers hundreds of tracks and just about every car variety existing in the world. If you ever want to race a jacked up Ford Transit van on the Nurburgring, consider it possible in the Motorsport 7.
Since DiRT Rally released in 2015, Codemasters have been returning the series back to its original Colin McRae roots, and now with DiRT 4, they now offer something in between the serious DiRT Rally and the past arcade entries, which also happens to be their most feature-complete title yet. With two distinct handling models (I’d recommend going for the more challenging of the two), and an excellent track generator technology, DiRT 4 features an extensive career mode with endless possibilities for rally stages and includes around 40 of world-famous rally cars of the last 5 decades. With a sweet multiplayer mode added in for good measure, DiRT 4 is a solid gaming experience that doesn’t just focus on rally events either. For added measure, Codemasters included the TrailBlazer events where you compete in race-spec trucks, as well as the official Rally Cross mode. The only thing missing is the Hillclimb mode from DiRT Rally, which is a shame, but perhaps it wasn’t the developer’s intention to include it in the slightly more casual 4th entry. Either way, I can definitely recommend DiRT 4, as it is easily the best title in the whole series.
Shift 2 Unleashed
Before Slightly Mad Studios went mostly independent, they worked with EA to produce some of the highest points in the long running Need for Speed series: NfS Shift and Shift 2 Unleashed. The original offered EA’s take on the racing formula established by GRID, which also blended arcade and simulation racing into one to appeal to more gamers and offered a good balance between a solid career mode and intense multiplayer, but released in 2009, has since been mostly forgotten. Shift 2 Unleashed that followed drastically improved the original’s gameplay and structure, including an expanded car selection and a detailed career mode. What I loved the most is you were free to visually customize your car similar to older street-racing titles, and some of the best designs are possible to create with countless modification options. Without clearly defined racing disciplines, and available performance enhancements, Shift 2 Unleashed appealed even more to arcade racing fans than GRID made possible. Slightly Mad’s title played more casual, and with a superb handling model, was one of the best arcade-sim racers on the market. It still holds up well and can be grabbed from either Steam or Origin at ridiculously low prices, which is already enough of a selling point to try out this game. Shift 2 Unleashed remains an excellent racing game, and while the more recent Project CARS titles certainly took the crown with extensive simulation options, Shift 2 Unleashed is fun in its own.
Euro Truck Simulator 2
Sometimes fierce racing competition can be exhausting and you just simply want to drive down a highway at normal speeds listening to the radio, the Euro Truck Simulator 2 is about the closest driving game that represents the idea. Yes, you’ll be driving a big truck across Europe with a single task to manage your company and deliver goods between urban centres, but the experience is oddly satisfying and the menial tasks actually help unwind as hard as it is to believe. As a PC exclusive, Euro Truck Simulator 2 is extremely customizable, and gameplay can be dialed far back to simply sit back and relax, but at the same time, one could opt for playing this game entirely with manual transmission and on a steering wheel setup. The best thing, of course, is custom music in the radio, which brings your own music to the game, and while you drive across long stretches of road, the feature comes in handy. While it is completely the opposite of arcade racing games, and it can be odd to play a driving game with a certain set of rules, Euro Truck Simulator 2 is an extremely detailed and satisfying experience, with far more depth than just driving a truck.
The Mass Effect series is widely regarded as one of the best sci-fi franchises in the gaming industry, and apart from last year’s Andromeda, the original trilogy is also regarded as some of the best games ever created. In this stellar RPG experience, it is easy to miss out the set of game mechanics the series offers and especially its action, backed up by an extensive set of solid weapons in the arsenal. Although weapons are just a small part of the overall Mass Effect experience and it is easy to overlook them, the arsenal in Mass Effect packs some of the best weapons in gaming, and across 4 entries, the series features some of the best guns to be found in gaming. Across a range of shotguns, sniper rifles, assault rifles and heavy weapons, Mass Effect offers something for every plathrough style as well and with extensive sets for each type, there is something to be found for everyone. This list is formed on my objective opinion only and won’t represent everyone’s picks, but spread across multiple games and weapon types, part of it would tailor to everybody’s taste. These weapons are organized in no particular order, but the 10 chosen are the best weapons in the Mass Effect franchise.
The Prothean Particle Rifle obtained from Mass Effect 3’s From Ashes DLC mission is an assault rifle limited only by the heat formed from discharge, enabling continuous firing until it overheats. To add to that, this rifle packs a serious punch and allows to eliminate multiple enemies with ease once you upgrade the ammo capacity, which keeps the fast-paced flow of combat. With its unique design, the particle rifle is one of the best weapons in the entire series and its capabilities overpower most other guns in the arsenal and while heat management becomes crucial at times and introduces an unnecessary micromanagement element, it never interferes in the action. While Mass Effect: Andromeda features a similar weapon in form of the P.A.W. rifle derived from Remnant tech, I never found its punch as satisfying as the Particle Rifle in Mass Effect 3 and the damage of the Prothean weapon is significantly higher than the Remnant rifle in the next entry.
N7 Crusader Shotgun
The N7 Crusader Shotgun has the highest DPI out of all shotguns available and only the Krogan-engineered M300 Claymore rivals the power of the Crusader. The N7 Crusader is seriously heavy and thus most players won’t use it, but the tradeoff can sometimes be worth it. The Crusader eliminates most enemies with a single shot, and especially works best in Charge-based Vanguard builds with its serious damage but short range, giving biotic-light players an opportunity to create a powerful assault build. Equipping the Crusader leaves little room for other weapons, which is one of its downsides and even the highest level of Light Materials upgrade barely fixes that, but its incredible power makes it a serious tool for competitive players, who can still opt to add a pistol and an SMG into their loadout.
Nothing says “Collateral Damage” more than the experimental Reaper Blackstar. Available in Mass Effect 3 on multiple missions, the weapon can be used in instances against overwhelming odds, and the game is generous enough to let players use the Blackstar on multiple occasions. Although developed by Human researchers, the prototype is heavily based on Reaper tech, which means serious damage is to be expected from it. The Blackstar delivers a powerful punch that can eliminate a brute or a harvester with one shot. The downside is a long charge time before the shot, which makes its timing crucial on missions where this weapon is available as you definitely don’t want to waste its high damage output. The Reaper Blackstar is one of the best weapons in the game, and although Mass Effect 3 removes the opportunity to carry heavy weapons, its limited use is made worthwhile by the sheer power it delivers.
Collector Heavy Beam
Back when the player character could carry heavy weapons in Mass Effect 2, the Collector Heavy Beam is the most powerful in the game, and available to those with DLC packs installed. Many no doubt wish it offered unlimited ammo, the limited capacity of the Collector Beam is still enough to get Shepard out of the toughest enemy encounters. Similar to the particle rifle, the Collector Beam fires continuously, however instead of overheating, it is depleted once all ammo has been used up. The damage output significantly increases the more the beam is discharged, which makes it particularly strong against heavy mechs encountered in the game. The Collector Beam is much more powerful than the game’s other heavy weapons, and can also be used on larger groups, which gives it a lot of versatility, thus earning it the spot on this list.
Black Widow Sniper Rifle
If you actually manage to have good luck with a stealth build, the Black Widow is the ultimate sniper rifle in the arsenal and makes long-range combat a breeze for skilled players. Combined with the cloak ability, the Black Widow is a serious threat to enemies, however the rifle’s heavy weight somewhat limits the ability to use biotics. For ranged combat, however, the Black Widow is ideal, and for those who prefer to stay still, it is an ideal murder weapon, given it eliminates most enemy threats with a single headshot. Its design is military-grade through and through, but there’s some beauty to it, although you won’t be focused on that while sniping off enemy heads and while its limited capacity can prove to be a disadvantage, higher damage is a worthy tradeoff in a stealthy character build.
M96 Mattock Assault Rifle
The conventional Mattock rivals damage levels of the Prothean Particle Rifle, and while it won’t offer unlimited ammo, there are plenty of crates in the world to replenish it. Firing in single-shot bursts, this assault rifle packs a serious punch with each hit and only a few rounds are necessary to eliminate most targets, which makes it another powerful contender on this list. Unlike most weapons on this list, the Cerberus-made Mattock is also available across multiple games, first being given to players in Mass Effect 2 and available on offer in both 3 and Andromeda that followed. The Mattock is extremely satisfying to use and is only one of the few assault rifles out of the broad arsenal that can be considered truly great, which made me choose it more often than not when replaying Mass Effect 2 or 3.
M560 Hydra Rocket Launcher
I’ve always liked the fact that Mass Effect never had conventional rocket launchers and the M560 Hydra proves that at many levels. While the power of its 4 combined rockets significantly lacks behind a single shot of the Reaper Blackstar, it is good enough to eliminate most heavy mechs in the game. Additionally, the Hydra packs in more ammunition which makes it great for multiple discharges in combat, and can easily eliminate Brutes before they even reach the player character. While I’d rank it third among the heavy weapons on this list as the Hydra is not a particularly impressive rival to those, but its unique attributes still make it a worthy contender among the best weapons.
Sweeper Assault Rifle
The Sweeper assault rifle based on Remnant tech is a sweet weapon players can build in-game and I found it to be one of my all-favorite assault rifles to use in the series. The Sweeper fires in 3 shot bursts and features high damage to eliminate most targets quickly, and generally is among the more interesting assault rifles in the entirety of Andromeda arsenal. The Remnant tech is a research tree worth investing in for all kinds of players and there are multiple high damage weapons available to construct once the blueprints are researched. The Sweeper is among the best Remnant weapons available in Mass Effect: Andromeda and I’ve used it for most of my first time playing the game. With its high damage output and precise accuracy, the Sweeper handles better than the laser-beam P.A.W. Rifle and its satisfying punch makes it one of the best weapons not just in Andromeda, but the series in general.
N7 Hurricane SMG
Among SMG and Pistol categories, few weapons pack a serious punch to grant them a place at this list, but the N7 Hurricane just barely makes it under the requirements. Compared to the rest, its damage is relatively limited, however its precise handling and large ammo capacity make up for that by giving players a light versatile weapon that goes along well with heavy weapon and shotgun character builds, as well as biotic-focused players. The N7 Hurricane is quite far from powerful, and is only worth using on base enemies with no shields, but tackle on a few upgrades, and this Submachine Gun can be satisfying to use as a sidearm.
It will be amiss of me to avoid including melee weapons into this list, but the Omni Blade is a seriously powerful melee tool that works well with Vanguard Builds and its striking power eliminates melee enemies with ease. While the Omni Blade has been seriously downgraded in Mass Effect Andromeda and is far from enjoyable to use, the Mass Effect 3 version is a stellar melee weapon available by default in the game. The animation for melee hits in particular is very well designed and shows Shepard lunge forward with an omni blade on each hand, making for an extremely satisfying tool available for melee combat.
Inferno Sniper Rifle
The Inferno is highly capable, and similar to the Prothean-based Particle assault rifle, avoids reloading through heat management, which allows for a few high-precision shots to be fired in quick succession. This sniper rifle is not limited by its ammo capacity, which makes it useful in extensive combat sections in Mass Effect: Andromeda, and while its damage output is quite low to compete with Black Widow, the Inferno has its own unique traits to make it a memorable weapon in the entire series, which earns it a spot on this list.
*all images are credited with their original sources
Assassin’s Creed: Origins significantly reimagines the way an Assassin’s Creed game should be designed, and its new RPG direction gave us one of the best games in the entire franchise. It is up for speculation whether Ubisoft intends to release a new game every 2 years on a new schedule or if we’re about to start getting sick of annual releases like in the past, but Assassin’s Creed: Origins lays a solid foundation for future games to follow that might allow Ubisoft to release new and interesting annual releases. So far rumors on a new Assassin’s Creed are very minimal, but one could guess about potential leaks at E3 2018 or the internet. As Origins is still very fresh in the gamers minds’ with Curse of the Pharaohs that was recently released, it is not a concern so far whether we’ll get a sequel in 2018 or the following year, but here are the features many would want to see from the next Assassin’s Creed outing. While the list is mostly formed from my own opinion, the features I speak of are in no doubt wanted by many gamers. Here’s what I’d like to see in the next Assassin’s Creed game.
*all images used have been captured in Assassin’s Creed: Origins
Setting – Ancient Greece
Assassin’s Creed: Origins has perhaps the best-designed world in the entirety of the series and its ancient Egypt setting has been flawlessly executed as the game transitioned from Action to an RPG with character progression, numerous quests and diverse gear. Following on from Origins, the next Assassin’s Creed could explore settings like Ancient Greece or Rome with similarly vast and diverse worlds that Ubisoft can build in a similar way to Origins. Ubisoft could potentially follow up with a direct sequel to Origins set in ancient Greece, although introducing completely new characters is also a great option to keep the series fresh. A similar gameplay format to Origins would be ideal for the sequel as well, although I’ll talk about it in detail later in the list, and we can have another excellent Assassin’s Creed on our hands. Ancient Greece serves best as a setting, and can potentially introduce a better overall plot more involved with the world’s politics and struggles, but regardless of which setting Ubisoft chooses, a sequel to Origins can prove to be another excellent game in the series.
More Ship Gameplay. Give players their own ship.
We haven’t seen a ship-based Assassin’s Creed game since Rogue in 2014 that was essentially a copy-and-paste game formed from Black Flag, although AC Origins features multiple naval missions that involve similar gameplay to the adventures of Edward Kenway, however still lacked personal elements such as ship customization or diverse missions based on the gameplay. The new Assassin’s Creed could bring back more sea-based gameplay and even give players their own ship perhaps. Set half the game in the Mediterranean Sea and islands allied to ancient Greece and we can have a really excellent game that blends AC Origins and Black Flag into a one well-designed game. Ubisoft could also give players the ability to dock in multiple cities and then free roam a large portion of the world on a mount to complete quests. Switch it up with sea-based exploration and gameplay both in the open world and the game’s plot and we can have a really interesting game on our hands and perhaps the strongest Assassin’s Creed yet. With that said, ship combat is also one of the best gameplay systems in the entire series and many gamers no doubt would want to see another Assassin’s Creed game based around naval exploration and combat.
Meaningful skill system.
With the new RPG direction, Ubisoft nailed about everything in Origins apart from the skill system, which was mostly composed of XP bonuses and various other dull abilities and only gave players a few really interesting skills to play with. In the sequel, Ubisoft really needs to improve upon the skill tree by giving players more interesting attributes to invest in. Perhaps give us a better skill system through numerous passive abilities or more interesting actives like the Charge Attack in Origins, and the skill tree can be much perfected. Another ancient setting also begs for more interesting tools that the main character could use and introducing an entirely separate skill tree dedicated to passives and gear wouldn’t be a bad idea. The goal would be to eliminate the endless boring skills seen in Origins and give players a more meaningful progression and skill systems to create an even better game than the already excellent Origins.
Keep game design from Origins
AC Origins has the strongest game design of all releases in the franchise, supported by relatively high review scores across the board, and keeping all of it intact would be crucial to create a sequel just as good as Origins. RPG gameplay has proven to work really well in the framework of Assassin’s Creed and is one of the highlights that make Origins very enjoyable across 60+ hours of gameplay, which makes sense to follow up with a similarly-designed game in the future. There are very few flaws in the gameplay of AC Origins and the involving combat was also one of the strongest points in the entire game, giving players something more challenging than a counter-hit formula of its predecessors. Having taken 2 development years to overhaul many of the game’s systems, Ubisoft should stick with the formula they came up with and only focus on improving these gameplay systems. The RPG design also made up for some very interesting side quests that fleshed the world out and as such, it only makes sense to stick with the new direction for at least a few games moving forward. AC Origins’ game design was one of the strongest points in the game, which allowed the game to secure high scores across the board in gaming media, and Ubisoft should retain all of the Origins’ systems to secure commercial success for the series.
World Size Same or Bigger than Origins
With Origins, Ubisoft have created the biggest open world yet for the series, giving players a large varied world with multiple major cities to explore. For the sequel, the developers should focus on changing some exploration systems such as collectibles, that haven’t been all that engaging in the form of animal nests and relic locations, as well as on further expanding the size and density of the game’s world. If we were to stick with the ancient Greece setting, this will allow developers to create large-scale cities and various villages with the overall world size similar to Origins if not larger. AC Origins has lots of interesting locations to visit and explore, which makes up for a lot of the fun during gameplay and the diversity ensures players don’t get bored of exploring these regions for treasure, viewpoints or enemy camps. A sequel should follow up on the same structure and give players a multitude of locations contained within an overall world map. Given the scale Origins achieved, Ubisoft already has a solid foundation for game world design and can build upon it further in the sequel.
Retain Meaningful Side Quests
Side quests in Assassin’s Creed: Origins were one of the strongest points in storytelling, putting the drama of the main plot to shame, and significantly fleshed out the world of ancient Egypt through dialogue that provided backstory on the struggles of Egypt, additionally introducing new characters that the protagonist already knows in the game. Side quests provided for numerous laughs throughout their completion, and the amount of thought placed into these can sometimes be staggering. For example, in Origins, side quests ranged from exploring depths of ancient tombs to reflecting the struggle of Egyptians against unofficial occupation by Greece, to solving murder mysteries and so on. The constant variety in side quests always introduces something new to the game, which makes completing those missions not only compelling, but sometimes satisfying with the outcome. A sequel should thus just follow a similar template and expand even further on the diversity of side quests available in the game, which would make for even stronger game design, but again, Origins already set the bar quite high for the series moving forward.
Expand gear variety
Origins has a pretty much perfect weapon selection for its gameplay design, but we could always go for more and more variety and content. Weapon selection worked really well in Origins and covered every gameplay style available to the player, which made experimenting with builds really satisfying. One major improvement to add would be multiple build slots to allow players an easy switch between multiple character presets. With diverse weapons such as bows, swords, spears, two-handed axes, two-handed swords and various other blunt weapons and sharp pikes, Origins had a perfect weapon variety to cover both heavy offence and stealth builds. Giving players multiple build slots in the sequel would allow players to easily switch between multiple presets, and the sequel would need to expand its weapon variety to a significant extent. Depending on the game setting, we might just see even more weapons in the sequel.