Even Assassins Love Social Networks
A look at Assassins Creed IV Black Flag – The Watch
“The Watch shows a real dedication by Ubisoft to the Assassins Creed fan base.”
Ok, so it might not quite be a social network for assassins, but The Watch is the new and exclusive website dedicated to bringing together fans of the Assassins Creed franchise. The site encourages fans to share their own creations surrounding all things Assassins Creed, tests their knowledge on the games which have gone by and, most importantly for some fans, keeps them updated with news and features of the new Black Flag release as they come and before anyone else. In order to gain access to The Watch, fans must pre-order Assassins Creed IV Black Flag and enter a unique code which they will receive upon doing so. So is it worth putting you’re hard earned money down ahead of the game in order to break into this exclusive content? Well let’s have a look shall we..
You don’t have to spend long on The Watch to see how dedicated some of the fans of this franchise really are. There is a great breadth of user-posted content for you to have a peek at, including artwork, videos and even cosplay costumes that people have created. It is obvious from the outside that this franchise has a massive fan base, but when you get into The Watch you are very much hit in the face by a tsunami of dedication. If you are an Assassins Creed fan you will certainly feel at home in this environment, and any gamer who has played these titles will surely be impressed by some of the user-created content which has been uploaded. If these are the sort of things which you enjoy and you are a really big fan of the franchise, The Watch is probably very much for you.
The site does work very much like a Social Network for Assassins Creed fans, with both official news and updates being uploaded in real time alongside user creations and comments. The Watch also allows you however to share its content on other social media, so that you can share with your friends any news and content that you wish. In theory, the idea behind this is to convince more people to find their way to The Watch, although it may turn out to be a little bit counter-productive for the site if people are able to access the content from outside anyway. On the other hand, this is a very fan-friendly feature and will probably make those who are dedicated to the franchise and really do enjoy The Watch appreciate it that little bit more. The Watch also makes sense as an exclusive pre-order bonus seeing as those who will use it will be the dedicated fans who want to secure their copy of the new game sooner rather than later anyway. While its content is not necessarily “secure” so to speak, it will first reach those who use it before it escapes into the wider world through users sharing it, so it does fulfil its purpose of exclusive, first hand news and updates.
Aside from the user content and news updates, The Watch also seeks to test Assassins Creed fans and set them against each other in a battle of dedication and knowledge. The site offers “missions” to users in order to increase their rank. These range from simply viewing the on-site content, to sharing it, to watching videos and being quizzed on the franchise to see just how dedicated you are. Dedicated fans might enjoy the opportunity to prove their dominance and dedication in knowledge of the games. While this feature might not appeal to everyone, it is not forced upon the user and is more of an optional aside; no content is blocked until you reach certain ranks or anything of the sort, so there is no requirement to complete the tasks if you would prefer not to.
One final feature which might be valuable to some fans is the cross-compatibility of the website, which is designed to be accessible on mobile devices, tablets and computers alike. Indeed the site can be a little bit tricky to use on a computer and seems as though it has been designed close to tablet compatibility, with several separate scrolling features across the page. These can be a little difficult to navigate when trying to use the mouse at first, but it is by no means impossible. In some ways The Watch feels more like an app than a website in the way it works. Many fans will almost certainly be pleased by the fact they can access the site any which way they desire over. This will allow them to keep up with the latest news on the go so there is never a delay in knowing what is happening with their favourite franchise.
The Watch shows a real dedication by Ubisoft to the Assassins Creed fan base. While the new addition to the franchise, Assassins Creed IV Black Flag, needs to be purchased in order to gain access to The Watch, it is the people who already show this kind of dedication who are most likely to utilise, enjoy and appreciate it. With a design which can be used cross platform to allow users to access The Watch on the go, and a great wealth of exclusive news and content to be explored, this is a pre-order incentive that super-fans will greatly appreciate in the build up to the highly anticipated new release of Assassins Creed IV Black Flag later this year.
The Good – A great tool for fans of the Assassins Creed franchise to come together and share in a wealth of exclusive content, news and updates.
The Not So Good – Access requires users to pre-order Assassins Creed IV Black Flag, however given the target audience this is not a major issue.
Most Recommended For – True, dedicated fans of the Assassins Creed games.