Why Assassin’s Creed IV might be the biggest game in the world

Even with all this advanced communication tech, and the smart systems put in place to make sure all the teams are creating a game that feels properly unified, you’d expect some inconsistencies to slip through the net. And that’s exactly what happened during Assassin's Creed 2.

“I was a game designer on Assassin’s Creed 2, and I wasn’t aware of it,” says Guesdon. “It was an Easter Egg created by Singapore. It was the first collaboration, and Singapore made all the Assassin’s Tombs. Some of the Montreal studio went to Singapore to start the studio--they were made up of people who created PoP Sands of Time and the first Assassin’s Creed--and they created that Easter Egg in secrecy.”

He’s talking about the giant squid that you can find in the Santa Maria della Visitazione Assassin’s Tomb in Venice, if you peer into the water for a few seconds. This Easter Egg is something that very few members of the Assassin’s Creed 2 team were even aware of until it started popping up in videos on YouTube.

“A few of the experts we brought over for AC2 had previously worked in Montreal on AC and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time,” says Luhe when we ask him about it. “It was a long-running joke with AC2 script writer, Corey May, that he wanted to have a giant squid in one of his games, but had never made it happen before. So we decided to slip that into one of our Assassin’s Tomb levels. Montreal knew about it before it was released, but they didn’t know we were working on it. It was quite fun. We created it as a bug, sent it over to them and asked them to check it out, and they immediately got the joke and everyone enjoyed it.”

Will the giant squid be making it back for the extremely watery Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag? No-one at Ubisoft is denying it.

There’s little doubt that the multi-studio development of the Assassin’s Creed has made the series better. Yes, Assassin’s Creed 3 felt bloated, but never incoherent. Having so many creative people to manage throws up a massive bunch of logistical problems, but it also means you can make bigger, better games more frequently.

Guesdon reflects on the process: “Creating a game is hard. Creating a game when you’ve got multiple teams around the world is even harder. But I think we’re doing a pretty decent job with Assassin’s Creed. We use as many channels of communication as possible, we use networks, video calls, physical visits. It’s not easy, but as long as you have good people, then anything is possible. It makes me feel that Assassin’s Creed--as a game--is much greater than the sum of its parts.”

Following Black Flag’s exciting E3 2013 showing (technical issues aside) we’re inclined to agree. Biggest game in the world? Maybe, maybe not… but it’s certainly the most global, and that’s an impressive boast.

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  • kezins - June 24, 2013 4:49 p.m.

    I'm skipping AC4. I felt like the first two games were awesome and the rest have just been cash ins. If they keep it up with the annual releases, they are going to burn everyone else out on it eventually too.
  • Dave2123 - July 25, 2013 4:25 p.m.

    You should really play AC3; it is better than 2 and especially better than 1. I haven't played Brotherhood or Revelations so can't comment on them, but AC3 is by far the best game I've ever played.
  • larkan - June 24, 2013 4:08 p.m.

    The last good AC game was 2 for me. Revelations and Brotherhood were simply re-hashes of 2 with some minor content added. 3 was unbelievably boring. When I have to spend 3-4 hours playing tutorials before I can get into the meat of a game, I'll move on to something else. I'm not even going to mess with 4, I don't see the point. It's the same games over and over again with more npcs and micro management of things that really don't matter in the end. They should go back to keeping things simpler like they were in the first 2. Not every game is designed to be bigger and badder, it can actually make them worse.
  • Dave2123 - July 25, 2013 4:35 p.m.

    You do realise that you have described every sequel ever created. So, you obviously hate Fallout 3 and Skyrim and almost every game ever made. Also, 1 was terribly boring and repetitive and 2 wasn't much better. 3 was better in every aspect. It introduced loads of new gameplay and the story was fantastic. The free running, the fighting, all the game mechanics were better in3. I really don't get you narrow-minded, ignorant people who are so stuck in "the good old days" and are afraid of change and complain when something is slightly different to your favourite game in a franchise. I bet if you'd played AC3 before 2 you would think 2 is crap. There are no aspects of 2 that are better. The story maybe considered better, but that's it. I, also, assume you prefer PS4 to The One, because you're happy that $ony, just being obsessed with sales, are trying to hinder any advancements in gaming by keeping it the same as it's been for 20 years. Xbox are introducing all the technologies that have been created since this gen and $ony have some of those too, but they won't use them, because they only care about money. That's why they removed the eye because they knew MS had got the better of them so then they could say their console was cheaper. Everything the PS4 has The One also has and it's better, but it also has extras.
  • grannysmith - June 22, 2013 1:54 a.m.

    Oh I do hope this turns out well, they're working so hard. It must be so tiring to go between Canada and Singapore all the time.
  • Cooldudeachyut - June 21, 2013 9:18 p.m.

    Assassin Creed is really a game of its own kind. There is no other game like it, as far as I know.
  • talleyXIV - June 21, 2013 5:19 p.m.

    That might be true... until GTA5 comes out.
  • shawksta - June 21, 2013 10:53 a.m.

    Ah the squid in AC2. Not bad of an article, it just might be the biggest but it might not be the best if it doesn't hold up.
  • GoldenEagle1476 - June 21, 2013 10 a.m.

    I think the credits for ACIII were at least twenty-five minutes long.
  • FAT47ITY - June 21, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    "Congrats, Ubisoft collective, on making such an outstanding game. Now can we please move this along?"
  • StrayGator - June 21, 2013 9:28 a.m.

    tried to make an inb4 comment in the style of cameltoe. was marked as spam.
  • Sliet - June 22, 2013 1:57 a.m.

    --i guess it was --worth the shot
  • winner2 - June 21, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    This was an interesting read, I enjoyed it. Still really looking forward to AC4.