PDA

View Full Version : My Biggest Fear for AC Victory #1 - A Linear and Boring Storyline



Dead1y-Derri
04-21-2015, 03:07 AM
Hello,

Today I'm wanting to discuss an issue I'm worried about when it comes to AC Victory.

Assassins Creed Unity suffered from one major issue that if did not exist, the game would have been considered good despite the games flaws and this was the fact that it suffered from a boring, linear storyline that didn't engage the player. I believe the fault in this lies with the Black Box Assassination Missions that you were faced with.

Now before some rips my head and off and tells me that was one of the redeeming factors in Unity, the fact that you controlled how you personally will assassinate an individual. I'll tell you I agree, it was fun to a great extent but it was also lacking as well.

Essentially I have the belief that they tried to cater to these Black Box, open ended assassination missions so much that the developers were presented with an issue of how set these missions up e.g. In previous creed games, you were often confronted with an assassination opportunity, without knowing you would be. One good example was in Black Flag where you were stranded on a Desert Island with Charles Vane and you assassinated him, you didn't quite know you were being lead up to that through previous missions and even once on the island you weren't sure that was going to happen.

Anyway in order for the developers to cater to these open ended assassination missions they had to basically make it so that the target was always in a location such as a building, field, courtyard etc. Then the player would spawn in on that location. It had to be this way.

Therefore they developed the story similar to AC One where you were faced with doing a couple of activities followed by your assassination. They changed it slightly so you'd do one or two missions that would lead up to the open sandbox assassination mission.

The problem with doing this is that it meant narrative had to be kept short, there could not be any twists or surprises like we saw in previous games and that the story had be kept very straight forward in order to arrive at the conclusion which was a sandbox assassination missions like we saw towards the end of almost every sequence.

Now its true that in previous games you always followed a direct path, you couldn't really deviate from that path in terms of story and that usually you didn't have a ton of options on how to assassinate your target. I mean you had a few methods of approach but sometimes it was heavily influenced by narrative and story whereas the open ended black box assassination missions COULD NOT be like that and therefore it impacted the entire game overall.

Anyway I don't know if anyone will agree with me on this but I thought I'd bring it up.

VestigialLlama4
04-21-2015, 04:36 AM
Therefore they developed the story similar to AC One where you were faced with doing a couple of activities followed by your assassination. They changed it slightly so you'd do one or two missions that would lead up to the open sandbox assassination mission.

The problem with doing this is that it meant narrative had to be kept short, there could not be any twists or surprises like we saw in previous games and that the story had be kept very straight forward in order to arrive at the conclusion which was a sandbox assassination missions like we saw towards the end of almost every sequence.

I disagree with this only because it rests on a false assumption that AC1's story was "linear" as in "straightforward with no twists and surprises". AC1 had a simple basic plot (hunt the nine, redeem your honor), UNITY in comparison had a complicated plot ("Your father died, your adopted father is killed and you are framed, your GF is Templar and you are joining the Assassins and you are finding the bad guy").

The thing is that simple plot of AC1 allowed it to have multiple twists along the way, that complicated and challenged Altair's story right through. Altair finds out that his targets are bad, learns about them sees them doing bad but finds out that they had reasons for it. That Tamir (the slaver) and Garnier sub-missions are impressive in that as a direct result of Altair's actions, you have that lunatic archetype wandering around. Then all the mini-targets had multiple stories and dramas of their own, "Abul Nuqood is a bad guy but isn't he right about killing those war profitteers". The fact is every target was its own mini-story and drama and that was how it should have been. This was indeed the approach taken by other games, where each sequence and target was a kind of mini-story that fitted into a larger whole and each target was either a reflection or a challenge to the hero's beliefs.

UNITY by contrast is absurdly simplified. The lack of deathbed conversations means that the Templar Grandmaster ends up being the only Templar that counts. The individual Templars aside from brief cutscenes in shimmer flashback black-and-white are nonentities with very simple motivations (except for LaTouche and LePeletier to some extent). None of them challenge Arno who as such never doubs that he is right in stopping or hunting down the Extremist Templars (who unlike the one he sleeps with are pure evil). There isn't even that drama of Ezio who wonders if being an Assassin is what he wants, if its something he can do forever or if there's ever going to be a life of peace for him.

UNITY is a mindless game, guilt-free, consequence-free and thought-free killing of targets. Its Hitman-in-Period. The black-box missions are also "open" and nonlinear in fairly superficial ways, what I like to call "five different ways to break down a door" (and that is how Hitman's open-ness is as well). I have no problem with them trying to explore stealth and allow for more room for players to have their say, but intentions don't count for results all by itself. Poor storytelling almost always leads to unsatisfying gameplay.

Dead1y-Derri
04-21-2015, 07:06 AM
I disagree with this only because it rests on a false assumption that AC1's story was "linear" as in "straightforward with no twists and surprises". AC1 had a simple basic plot (hunt the nine, redeem your honor), UNITY in comparison had a complicated plot ("Your father died, your adopted father is killed and you are framed, your GF is Templar and you are joining the Assassins and you are finding the bad guy").


I'm not saying AC One didn't have a storyline, plot or anything of the sort. I'm arguing that AC One didn't have a variety of gameplay compared later AC titles and that in that sense, it was often a linear storyline. Yes there was a story in AC One but compared to later AC games it was very linear in its approach similar to how Unity was presented. Is it the same as Unity? No, but in terms of the way both games presented their story e.g. Side Activities, followed by a main assassination Missions meant that the game was very linear and that compared to other AC titles later on, it was quite a linear approach.

If you do ask many people who have played AC One they will argue the gameplay and story was very linear.

And I believe the blame for AC Unity resets on the Black Box Missions, they had to produce a story which was linear and straight forward in order for these missions to be successful in approach.

Again if you see my examples with AC Black Flag. You couldn't have that, which a fantastic piece of story, in a Black Box mission. It just couldn't happen.

VestigialLlama4
04-21-2015, 07:22 AM
I'm not saying AC One didn't have a storyline, plot or anything of the sort. I'm arguing that AC One didn't have a variety of gameplay compared later AC titles and that in that sense, it was often a linear storyline.

AC1 had Liberation Missions, Horse Riding sequences (between Masyaf and cities), Interrogation, Beat-Up, Races, Mini-Assassinations, Kill Templar Knights and Viewpoints. It is internally consistent with Altair as an Assassin and is much better paced as a result, whereas UNITY is Assassination Mission after another without any time to breathe, develop characters and understand the surroundings. And all the side activities is b--tch work with no rhyme or reason.


Yes there was a story in AC One but compared to later AC games it was very linear in its approach similar to how Unity was presented. Is it the same as Unity? No, but in terms of the way both games presented their story e.g. Side Activities, followed by a main assassination Missions meant that the game was very linear and that compared to other AC titles later on, it was quite a linear approach.

When people say "linear" in context of gaming they mean missions with no pathway or exploration or alternate approaches. What you are talking about is more about focus. In AC1, there aren't many side activities because Altair is an Assassin, a member of an actual secret society at the time. He has no need for an economy, he gets all his weapons and ammo from AC bureaus or he can pickpocket it off thieves.


If you do ask many people who have played AC One they will argue the gameplay and story was very linear.

In terms of side-activites and the like, yes. But in gameplay, all assassination missions have a range of freedom and alternate approaches that other games in the series rarely have. It's still the most open and as Patrice Desilets said, "the purest" of the games. Far more than UNITY even.


And I believe the blame for AC Unity resets on the Black Box Missions, they had to produce a story which was linear and straight forward in order for these missions to be successful in approach.

The blame for UNITY rests entirely on its lack of guts and creativity. Their ideas for a modest game with modest ambitions and focusing on Black Box missions and other systemic missions are good ideas in theory. How they execute that is entirely down to their vision and abilities, which are clearly lacking.


Again if you see my examples with AC Black Flag. You couldn't have that, which a fantastic piece of story, in a Black Box mission. It just couldn't happen.

Actually Black Flag has a number of missions which are kind of like Black Boxes, the Laurens Prins assassination for instance, all the Plantation Missions likewise can be done stealthily as well. The Stealth in UNITY is heavily inspired by Black Flag, the Eagle Vision comes from there, the Sniper archetype comes from there, the alarms come from there.

D.I.D.
04-21-2015, 02:00 PM
No, I don't think that's it (and not only because you'll remove my beloved black-box missions from my cold, dead hands).

The narrative is short because of the development costs of every graphical factor of the new version of the engine. It's harder to commit to scenes that might or might not end up in the end game, and it's impossible to predict how much wastage there might be from the project even by comparison with earlier ACs because there was no precedent. Black-box doesn't prevent twists. Think of that major twist in Unity, and the way it begins - it's not a black-box, but it's still a pretty intensive mission, and there's no particular reason why the sort of event that was slotted in there could not be fitted into a black-box too (although as you say, there would have to be some kind of environmental funnel to bring you through a guaranteed event, which is only the same as the linear paths of the outdated design model).

Unity's story is bad because its writers failed to give it a soul. They shunned and misreported the existing historical set-up in favour of a love story which contained no convincing romance. It falls between every stool.

Defalt221
04-22-2015, 12:47 PM
Hello,

Today I'm wanting to discuss an issue I'm worried about when it comes to AC Victory.

Assassins Creed Unity suffered from one major issue that if did not exist, the game would have been considered good despite the games flaws and this was the fact that it suffered from a boring, linear storyline that didn't engage the player. I believe the fault in this lies with the Black Box Assassination Missions that you were faced with.

Now before some rips my head and off and tells me that was one of the redeeming factors in Unity, the fact that you controlled how you personally will assassinate an individual. I'll tell you I agree, it was fun to a great extent but it was also lacking as well.

Essentially I have the belief that they tried to cater to these Black Box, open ended assassination missions so much that the developers were presented with an issue of how set these missions up e.g. In previous creed games, you were often confronted with an assassination opportunity, without knowing you would be. One good example was in Black Flag where you were stranded on a Desert Island with Charles Vane and you assassinated him, you didn't quite know you were being lead up to that through previous missions and even once on the island you weren't sure that was going to happen.

Anyway in order for the developers to cater to these open ended assassination missions they had to basically make it so that the target was always in a location such as a building, field, courtyard etc. Then the player would spawn in on that location. It had to be this way.

Therefore they developed the story similar to AC One where you were faced with doing a couple of activities followed by your assassination. They changed it slightly so you'd do one or two missions that would lead up to the open sandbox assassination mission.

The problem with doing this is that it meant narrative had to be kept short, there could not be any twists or surprises like we saw in previous games and that the story had be kept very straight forward in order to arrive at the conclusion which was a sandbox assassination missions like we saw towards the end of almost every sequence.

Now its true that in previous games you always followed a direct path, you couldn't really deviate from that path in terms of story and that usually you didn't have a ton of options on how to assassinate your target. I mean you had a few methods of approach but sometimes it was heavily influenced by narrative and story whereas the open ended black box assassination missions COULD NOT be like that and therefore it impacted the entire game overall.

Anyway I don't know if anyone will agree with me on this but I thought I'd bring it up.

Nope. AC Victory will have asynchronous gameplay (non synchronous=no more your ancestors DID NOT DO THIS nonsense). More news came out. read this:http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1076528-More-news-!!-Victory-will-have-asynchronous-gameplay-amp-innovative-Player-Space