While they are often fun, side missions in the Assassins Creed games are extremely random and often feel out of place particularly when put in comparison with the general narrative as a whole. In the past we have tasked with solving murders in Paris, completing pointless fetch quests and even dealing with those annoying eavesdropping missions. Each year with each passing game we see more and more of these side missions that don't feel like they really tie in with the game, sure it can be argued that these were okay when the franchise begun but we are know several years into the franchise and wear is really starting to show.
However, according to creative director Marc-Alexis Côté from Ubisoft Quebec speaking with the Official Xbox Magazine the idea of side missions has seen quite a change in Assassins Creed Syndicate. according to Côté side missions have been designed to reflect the struggle for power going on in Victorian London's seven districts. This is what Côté had to say:
"In Assassin’s Creed we tend to be very generous with the activities that players can engage in, but one of the things that we need to do to modernise the experience is to make sure that those activities make sense for the players – and this is something that we are working on this year."
Côté also really thinks that creating a sense of a cohesive narrative is key to making suitable additional tasks. Côté continues:
"Every activity that the player will do will make sense in the narrative quest of the protagonist," he says. "The goal is to take back London, so all the activities that you will do in the open world will serve that as well as the main storyline.”
It is nice to hear that Assassins Creed is evolving and I look forward to seeing the side activities in action and how they tie in with the fight for power that is happening in the game.