DISCLAIMER: The following first entry in this article series does contain spoilers that may apply to the gameplay and overall story arc of Assassin’s Creed and Assassin’s Creed II. Be advised that by reading this article, you may ruin your experience playing through the games themselves.
Critically speaking, Assassin’s Creed II has been widely considered to improve on its predecessor in almost every way possible. Visuals, narrative, production value, and combat system- all of the aforementioned properties have at least been tweaked(and at most, upgraded) with a financial system layered in for good measure. If this is indeed the case, how should Ubisoft approach properly concluding this trilogy after two additional side stories? This question may have been answered by Silicon Knights in the previous console generation.
1. Use the established mythos of the series to its fullest potential.
True to the franchise and in many ways similar to Eternal Darkness, gameplay must remain tied to two different eras at all times. The ability to temporally co-exist is a core mechanic, but to be unequivocally great, it could use a kick in the groin. This could be accomplished by revisiting early areas in the game, but in the present day and by a “bleeding-effect” enhanced Desmond Miles. Environmental degradation and overgrowth would also help enhance this type of “full-circle” storytelling.
As for the aforementioned early areas, they would consist of the events in the memory sequences of the six entombed assassins. A new iteration of the Animus(3.0, stolen experimental Templar tech, for example) does not require corporeal DNA, but instead allows the user to re-live past events through a “virtual slice” of human data. Each memory cycle would be comprised of the affairs of a distinctive member of the guild.
Just as pages from the Tome of Eternal Darkness helped Alexandria Roivas to unearth the book’s storied past, these DNA-decoded memories would assist Desmond in discovering the Pieces of Eden that those very rogues fought to sheath from the rest of the world. Assuming the guises of varied individuals could keep the combat from stagnating, as each would have a dissimilar fighting style. Once Mr. Miles ascertains the locations of each “Apple”, the time then comes for his newly acquired skillset to be put to use.
This begs the question: why not simply leave the artifacts uncovered and out of the tightening Templar grasp? You will just have to wait until part two.