Gabriel is under the weather, slipping in and out of consciousness, and his condition has given him terrifying glimpses into the after-now - but he managed to produce today’s strip, even in this prophetic state. I should have asked him to tell me what this Wednesday’s comic was, while he was still suffused with future-stuff. That would have saved me a lot of time.
The widely recognized and thoroughly enunciated fear is that content is being withheld from releases to sell a la carte after the fact. So what happens when that DLC grows, itself, into a full retail product? Are we okay with it again?
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood almost certainly began that way. Familiar assets and gameplay are too familiar for some reviewers, and as stewards of your leisure dollar, their assertions aren’t entirely without merit. You have played something very similar before, you have borrowed Ezio Auditore de Firenze’s body previously and you have stabbed and shot men, or simulated shadows of men, many times already. I’m of the opinion that the writing is better here, the focus is sharper, the corollary portions are simply executed at a higher standard - and you already know what I think of the multiplayer. This is a “real” Assassin’s Creed game, and not the leftovers one could reasonably expect. Making things, making anything, is a complicated business - you don’t always know what you’re making at the time. I could confer mercenary intentions on them, and if the product had felt diminished or sub par, I’d gather an improbably armed citizenry at their weathered gate. As it stands, I’m of a mind with Kortaco’s Stouffer Tancredo: to date, this is the best manifestation of their intention.
Perhaps as a result of its being their fastest selling game ever, we’ll see a new Assassin’s Creed game next year as well, which is reasonably considered cause for concern. If coming out every year means Bad Games, then obviously I don’t want it. Ubisoft is generally thought to have run Rainbow Six into the ground with Lockdown, and though Vegas (which came out the next year) was well loved, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 was generally thought to have been released too soon. GRAW 2 arrived in March of ‘07, and we haven’t seen it since. Generally speaking, they’ve been burned by attempts to wring their franchises out, bouncing brands around in their global development infrastructure, which is why I thought they’d stopped doing it. It may be that they don’t have a choice.