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Farlander1991
04-25-2015, 07:53 PM
...and it's funny how memory works.

Don't get me wrong, I still think AC1 is amazing, but it doesn't hold up in comparison to newer games as I thought it did. I mean, there was a time when in my mind the social crowd aspect of AC1 was top-notch, it was so immersive and believable and not even Unity could've replicated some of its behavioral aspects. As an example, one of the common criticisms against some of the newer games in terms of crowds in comparison to AC1 is, 'the crowds in AC1 would never ignore a dead body lying on the street!'. And that was my opinion as well, that, well, this wouldn't happen in AC1.

Except it does. A lot. Now, people do run away if you kill or start a fight on their eyes, but after that... if there's a body on the way of somebody who didn't see it, one or two people will stop saying 'There's a murderer out there', but most of the people? Nah, whatever. For some reason I thought that the 'scare radius' was high in AC1, that it wouldn't be just a very small group of people near an event that gets scared (like it's very frequent in some of the AC games), but it is. And, heck, people there might not even notice there's a fight going on if they stumble upon it while it's already ongoing (unless somebody from the guards dies, in which case it's 'OMFG!!!! FIGHT!!! WAAAHH!!!!!'). And so on. The sound design, though, is top notch btw, thanks to it when you go through a crowded souq, the realization that it's not actually crowded, but there's just like 10 people there, doesn't hit until much later.

But I'm thinking about my crowd interactions with Unity, and while they're far from perfect, I had far more memorable moments at least in comparison to AC1 (while replaying it). Guards would find me cause citizens revealed my location. After a side-assassination in a park that I did in the crowd from low profile, people would make a circle around the body, guards push through the crowds to see what's going on there, and I'm standing as one of the 'innocents' looking at this all from the side. After an air assassination of a target on the street, the crowd that started running actually held off for some little bits the guards that managed to be nearby (due to the number of citizens and the fact that they were running in opposite to the guards directions). And then the crowd events, while there's not that many of them in the game, really add to the experience. Seeing guards running after a thief. Revolutionaries attacking a location with extremists (thus completing one of the side missions for me by killing a target). Sure, you can't really manipulate the crowd to your advantage (with the little exception of money bombs), and there are problems like the aforementioned 'passing by people might ignore dead bodies if they weren't present there when it was discovered', but I felt like part of the crowd, of the city, a feeling that I didn't have while replaying AC1.

And parkour. I actually don't mind the parkour being slower in AC1, it gives a sense of scale that's a bit absent from other games before Unity due to it being sped up with the building scale still being pretty small (at least in comparison to Unity). But by gods can it be frustrating. Stuff happening for no reason, like Altair not wanting to grab the part of the building right infront of his face to climb upwards until he climbs a little bit to the side and down and left and up again and then oh yes, he notices it! And while yes, overall the parkour of AC1 is fine, I can't help of it but be a big improvement.

And assassinations. Haven't replayed all of them, but those that are based on environmental pathfinding to the target, like Abu'l and William, are still pretty cool, but guys like Tamir and Garnier are side-quest quality stuff in comparison to newer AC titles. I hadn't replayed everything, but decided after last playsession to YouTube the assassinations, and could add only Sibrand to that 'cool' list (and maybe Majd Addin due to the setpiece value).

Basically, overall, I realized that my memories of AC1 are really skewed. All that said...

AC1 has something special that no other game from the series has.

That HUD-less design principle, while not perfect (especially in PC version with new side-missions that don't take it into account), is still amazing, finding ways to cities through signs, quests based on what you hear or what you see, looking for the bureau based on the Assassin insignia on it (so using viewpoints and high buildings as a tool to find it).

The atmosphere, how the game envelops everything. The introductions of every city when you get there for the first time are awesome. You never actually see the city when you enter the city area, you have to move to get in revealed before you in it's glory, and even when it shows a cinematic bird view, it doesn't put too much of the city in frame giving a feeling of how big it is.

The sound design, as already mentioned in this post. It's amazing.

The intrigue and relative simplicity of the modern day narrative, IMO subsequently ruined by AC2's 'oh pretty much everything that's written in history is related to Assassins and Templars' and the twist ending that introduces the Solar Flare plot (still think the whole Satellite thing introduced in AC1 is much more interesting).

Assassin's Creed is still great (and a very, how to put it... specific, I guess, kind of game). But the pink glasses have been taken off.

Oh, btw. One interesting thing that I've noticed, is that the Templars in AC1 are guarding chests. Guess this is kind of thing that was planned for AC1 but wasn't fully implemented until AC2. Just found this curious.

m4r-k7
04-25-2015, 08:21 PM
The reason we remember it being better than it is is because AC 1 was an incredibly impressive game for the time. Unity is quite impressive in todays standards but nothing compared to what AC 1 felt like back when it released.

jdowny
04-25-2015, 08:53 PM
It's been a while since I've been on these forums - avoided them since Unity was released as I only just got the chance to play it recently.

I agree about AC1, but then every game ages badly the older you get. To me, it still looks better than AC II (and even Brotherhood and Revelations at times), and has a rawness and brutality to it that I love even now. Play any other AC game and you'd probably get the same - I replayed the beginning of AC III and was staggered by how empty it is. The marketplace in Boston, which I thought was packed when I first played it, now seemed empty.

I think this says more about Unity than any of the other AC games. Unity for me was close to perfect in everything other than story and combat for me. And about 80% of my enjoyment was derived from the city. More detail was put into Paris than any other game I've seen, and it's not just the graphics - it's the sound design, the crowds, the voices and the tiniest details. Like how sound becomes muffled when you go into a hallway, indoors or on a rooftop.

I don't think it's necessarily that AC1 has got worse in our eyes - I think it's how the overall bar's been raised because of Unity.

SixKeys
04-25-2015, 11:35 PM
Interesting post. I replayed AC1 close to Unity's release. Should replay both games close to one another at some point to really compare.

One thing I can say for certain is that I still far prefer AC1's parkour. It has its snags, Alta´r does sometimes get stuck on viewpoints as you mentioned, but that stuff still happens in later titles as I recently found out in Rogue. As you mentioned, the slower climbing really does add to the sense of scale. The buildings in AC1 aren't as big as the ones in later games, but they feel bigger because you really feel Alta´r's weight with every step and the carefulness in his climbing. It feels so much more realistic than the later games. Alta´r doesn't feel like a stuntman but a pretty regular person who just happens to be good at climbing. But because he's not a daredevil, he's not stupid enough to try all kinds of fancy twirls and double jumps like Arno. Climbing the Acre cathedral still gives me vertigo like no other game. It really makes you feel like you're up high and how dangerous it is.

Apart from the sense of scale, the precision is what I appreciate most. AC1's system isn't perfect, but It never feels like the game is playing itself and sending my character into directions I never intended. Changing directions on the fly feels wonderfully precise and exhilarating, giving a true sense of freedom of movement. Whereas the imprecision in AC3-Unity-style parkour sometimes feels limiting because I just know the character is going to end up climbing one more extra chimney even though I'm no longer touching the controls, or making a daring leap to the left when I pointed him to go straight up. In AC1 even one step downwards or upwards is crucial sometimes. Alta´r can crawl dangerously close to the enemy, but you control whether he climbs too high for his head to pop into view. In the later games, you can't do this step-by-step crawling. The assassin will jump two stories at a time at the lightest twitch of the controls, exposing himself to the rooftop guard. It's style over substance in game design - the new animations look fancy, but don't always work from a gameplay perspective. AC1's parkour was designed with the focus strictly on player-controlled movement.

VestigialLlama4
04-26-2015, 05:41 AM
It's important to note in comparing AC1's use of crowd to Unity's that the former is set in the Crusades, with a smaller population in smaller cities. So by necessity the crowd movements and interactions won't be all that complex. Though of course the crowd reacting to bodies has nothing to do with that.

In general, and this might be controversial, but I prefer the "smoke-and-mirrors" approach used in AC1, where sound design suggests larger crowds that are there in place of the approach taken by UNITY where you have large numbers of NPCs but who essentially serve the same function that the crowds in AC1 did. I don't think graphically loading polygons and AI is necessarily impressive (except from the strict technical viewpoint) if it does not have new variations in function and interaction. The crowd in UNITY is there for Arno to blend in and slip away if necessary, there are no further intricacies in blending in or interaction and detection. This was a period of revolution where the people were naturally suspicious and skeptical, so it should be a little harder for Arno to do stuff without comment.


Oh, btw. One interesting thing that I've noticed, is that the Templars in AC1 are guarding chests. Guess this is kind of thing that was planned for AC1 but wasn't fully implemented until AC2. Just found this curious.


I suppose that was a reward system for tracking down and hunting 60 Templars. There's no real reason to hunt them down otherwise, except of course for Assassinating Templars. The logical reason why they removed it is that since Altair is a full-time Assassin operating in a time they really exist (and are thriving) he doesn't really need money.

Farlander1991
04-26-2015, 10:07 AM
Apart from the sense of scale, the precision is what I appreciate most. AC1's system isn't perfect, but It never feels like the game is playing itself and sending my character into directions I never intended. Changing directions on the fly feels wonderfully precise and exhilarating, giving a true sense of freedom of movement.

Personally, I had problems with Unity's parkour only in specific cases when there's lots of little objects cobbled up together, like the Tournament parkour challenge or the burnt down roof of the church in Dead Kings (speaking of burnt down, the burnt down/destroyed areas of Acre are a mess to parkour in). For sprawling streets, buildings, roofs etc. I rarely had problems with Arno going where I need him to go.

And while AC1's parkour may be more precise than ACU's in some ways, it's very imprecise in lots of other ones too. Altair hates building corners,falling down half of the time when landing on them (and destroyed Acre buildings are essentially made of that kind of stuff, which is why it's a mess to parkour in those areas), in some cases he makes daring leaps far onto the street instead of onto the roof on the building below (if you run forward with the free-running buttons), while in others he jumps onto the roof of the building below onto the edge of it (and the height difference between the two roofs feels similar), and Altair loves to jump on small objects during free-running as much as any other Assassin does - which is especially noticeable in some areas of Acre once again, not so much in places with cleaner rooftops like Damascus. Damascus has other problem though, there are quite a lot of wooden platforms that connect the buildings, Altair loves to fall from them if close to the edge and you're not free-running (and I don't want to always be free-running, you know).

Also sometimes Altair would grab people when I wanted to push through them while running, which I guess has something to do with at what point you press the grab/push button? But it's stupid, like the latest time it happened I was running away from guards after an assassination, approached a thick crowd, while running pressed the push through button and Altair grabbed a civilian, so I was standing there with a civilian in my arms for some reason and was forced to throw him somewhere, which gives time for the guards to get closer.


but you control whether he climbs too high for his head to pop into view.

Not really. The amount of times when Altair popped his head from the wall of the building onto a roof when I did not expect him too is huge (and sometimes it's a pain in the arse to make him go down after that).

jdowny
04-26-2015, 10:20 AM
^ I've played AC1 a lot and I agree with you about some of its issues compared with Unity, but I've never had the problems you're talking about. Occasionally Altair jumps too far, but I've never had him fall off the edge of a building or wooden platform. I hardly use the shove button because it makes Altair run slower, but holding it down shoves people, tapping it grabs them.

Farlander1991
04-26-2015, 10:44 AM
^ I've played AC1 a lot and I agree with you about some of its issues compared with Unity, but I've never had the problems you're talking about. Occasionally Altair jumps too far, but I've never had him fall off the edge of a building or wooden platform. I hardly use the shove button because it makes Altair run slower, but holding it down shoves people, tapping it grabs them.

Regarding the edges, this doesn't happen if the jump is perpendicular to the edge itself, but when it's onto a corner, Altair tends to go 'nope, there's some kind of a wall here' and falls down. After unlocking the mid-jump grab (the only non-weapon ability of Altair's that makes some sense to be taken away in the beginning, btw, as it's represented by gloves - why he suddenly forgets stuff like shove for example is beyond me) it's not as annoying, but before that.... And the wooden platform stuff happens only when we're running on them but not free-running (as Altair jumps down the edges in this situation) , free-running makes him 'stick', but, as I said, I don't want to always be free-running.

The shove button shouldn't grab people at all if you're in high profile, regardless of how you press it.

SixKeys
04-26-2015, 10:45 AM
Personally, I had problems with Unity's parkour only in specific cases when there's lots of little objects cobbled up together, like the Tournament parkour challenge or the burnt down roof of the church in Dead Kings (speaking of burnt down, the burnt down/destroyed areas of Acre are a mess to parkour in). For sprawling streets, buildings, roofs etc. I rarely had problems with Arno going where I need him to go.

And while AC1's parkour may be more precise than ACU's in some ways, it's very imprecise in lots of other ones too. Altair hates building corners,falling down half of the time when landing on them (and destroyed Acre buildings are essentially made of that kind of stuff, which is why it's a mess to parkour in those areas), in some cases he makes daring leaps far onto the street instead of onto the roof on the building below (if you run forward with the free-running buttons), while in others he jumps onto the roof of the building below onto the edge of it (and the height difference between the two roofs feels similar), and Altair loves to jump on small objects during free-running as much as any other Assassin does - which is especially noticeable in some areas of Acre once again, not so much in places with cleaner rooftops like Damascus. Damascus has other problem though, there are quite a lot of wooden platforms that connect the buildings, Altair loves to fall from them if close to the edge and you're not free-running (and I don't want to always be free-running, you know).

Also sometimes Altair would grab people when I wanted to push through them while running, which I guess has something to do with at what point you press the grab/push button? But it's stupid, like the latest time it happened I was running away from guards after an assassination, approached a thick crowd, while running pressed the push through button and Altair grabbed a civilian, so I was standing there with a civilian in my arms for some reason and was forced to throw him somewhere, which gives time for the guards to get closer.

I've never experienced those problems that you mentioned. Or if I did, they must have been so rare I don't remember them happening. I don't have any more difficulties freerunning in Acre than any other city. If anything, I think I've run into more problems in Damascus, where Alta´r sometimes gets stuck on the wooden beams under houses or falls off a sloped roof.

Unity's parkour is mostly annoying with its inability to side-jump/back-eject except under very specific circumstances, the difficulty in climbing through windows (it's okay once you get the hang of it, but it does take some trial and error), the problem with balconies (it's really difficult to make Arno climb through the balcony door instead of hopping on and off the railing), Arno performing a lot of unnecessary twirls that slow you down, and the aforementioned unintentional climbing on small objects. In the early AC games accidental climbing was easier to prevent since every animation was clearly tied to a specific action. Alta´r will stop for a second or two when running into a box and place his hands on the object, sort of an "are you sure?" gesture. Then he will laboriously attempt to climb it. In Unity such stuff is almost impossible to prevent since the high-profile and parkour button are one and the same. Arno doesn't stop for a moment to hesitate, he'll already have climbed the thing before the player knows what's happening, and there are lots of animations for a single action, so you can never quite predict what the character is about to do.


Not really. The amount of times when Altair popped his head from the wall of the building onto a roof when I did not expect him too is huge (and sometimes it's a pain in the arse to make him go down after that).

I'm not saying it's perfect, but I do find it easier to test and control. Sometimes you can tell by the shape of the building how Alta´r is likely to climb it. Like if there are wooden beams going all the way up tot he very edge of the rooftop, he will likely be able to sneak very close to the edge without poking his head up. In AC3 and onwards, I found it was a lot more difficult to predict what the character was going to do. Sometimes you thought you could sneak close to the edge and ledge-assassinate a rooftop guard, but instead of climbing just a single step higher, Connor would leap two meters into the air like an idiot, in plain view of the guard. AC1 allowed you to take single steps, whereas AC3 and onwards the character sometimes keeps moving after you've let go of the controls. I think it's something that sometimes happens as a result of trying to make the animations more realistic. You end up with the character sort of "sliding" a few steps further than intended so that the animation doesn't end awkwardly. I ran into this in RDR and Uncharted. The early AC games always felt great to me because the controls were so precise. Alta´r stops walking the second you stop pressing the controls, not a second later. In the more recent games, the character sometimes does a fancy little twirl as he climbs on the rooftop (the "Kong vault") or hops over a fence. It may look cool, but it's annoying because it disrupts what I'm telling him to do. If I'm in a chase and I want the character to run as fast as he can, I don't want him to pause to show off.

Farlander1991
04-26-2015, 11:40 AM
Unity's parkour is mostly annoying with its inability to side-jump/back-eject except under very specific circumstances,

You can do that whenever you want, it's just one time press if it's a safe jump and two times if it's not. It's a matter of perspective how annoying this is, personally, it saved me from jumps I didn't want to make quite a few times.


the problem with balconies (it's really difficult to make Arno climb through the balcony door instead of hopping on and off the railing),

Oh yeah, the balconies. Those suck. Balcony doors should act like windows, but they don't.


Arno performing a lot of unnecessary twirls that slow you down, and the aforementioned unintentional climbing on small objects. In the early AC games accidental climbing was easier to prevent since every animation was clearly tied to a specific action. Alta´r will stop for a second or two when running into a box and place his hands on the object, sort of an "are you sure?" gesture.

While this is a problem in AC3/4, it's not in Unity. Just press E while running and Arno won't climb anything. The animation you speak of, btw, is present only for simple running, in free-running all bets are off - if Altair decides he wants to climb something, he will. But it's not that big of a problem on wide streets as the items are usually far enough to the side that you're not close to them, it can be a problem during rooftop chases when there's stuff like wooden barriers in the middle that you try to run to the side off, and etc. And on narrow streets, especially if you turn corners. I've got into the game to replicate some of the issues I was having. I was running on the street, turning around the corner. I had strictly forward pressed (in terms of direction, I had the free-running button pressed to of course), the turn around movement was done with the camera, so no additional movement input, yet this is the position where Altair decided I want to jump onto the thing.

http://s4.postimg.org/5x3pjoibh/problem1.jpg

He jumped downards after that, since I was still pressing forward, but that doesn't happen to me in Unity where I just keep the 'don't ****ing jump' button pressed.

Like, it can be very annoying in chases, not in a sense that it's game-breaking or anything, but in a sense that, 'ok, I guess I'm gonna run this way now!' which was me reacting to what Altair does, not the other way around.

Then there's also the matter that's not related to Altair, but to world design. Tell me, does this look like a free-running pathway that you can go through until the end? Cause to me it does. Well, maybe not now, as I know what's the issue there, but at least in movement, when there's guards running on the roofs behind you, and you don't stop to think how far away something is, you see a series of objects that are close enough, and your brain goes, 'cool, get there!'

http://s4.postimg.org/ayb3l1prx/problem2.jpg

Only the swinging pole you see doesn't get you to the plank after. It takes you to the street level (right onto the crowd of people below) cause it's actually a bit farther away, something you realize only once the jump is made (the whole pathway work perfectly fine if you run from the opposite direction, btw).

These are not things that happened once or twice either.

Some of the issues I've mentioned, btw (like the corner edge stuff, or Altair jumping to the roof slightly to the left when I wanted him to jump slightly to the right which is actually a higher roof) are not that annoying with mid-air grip option (not present on those screens btw, loaded another save) which allows you to correct Altair on the fly, but when you don't have it... >_< Though that last picture can't be corrected even with the mid-air grip, as the building that the farther plank is is deeper so there's no way to latch on to anything.


In AC3 and onwards, I found it was a lot more difficult to predict what the character was going to do. Sometimes you thought you could sneak close to the edge and ledge-assassinate a rooftop guard, but instead of climbing just a single step higher, Connor would leap two meters into the air like an idiot, in plain view of the guard. AC1 allowed you to take single steps, whereas AC3 and onwards the character sometimes keeps moving after you've let go of the controls.

The matter of single steps in AC3/AC4 is if you hold the high profile button while climbing. If you do that, the characters will try to climb the buildings as fast as possible, jumping and all that, and if you don't, they'll climb carefully. Which for me was very intuitive, to be honest. And at least in AC3/AC4 I could be sure that if I'm on the edge of the building, then the character would keep his head down, whereas in AC1 I can't. Though, to be honest, I don't really need to be on the edge in AC1 a lot, since, well, no ledge assassinations, so I've adapted to that by not trying to climb to the edge.

jdowny
04-26-2015, 02:43 PM
You're splitting hairs here. Maybe it's just me, but I've either never noticed the things you're mentioning or they've happened so rarely that I've never been bothered by them. I enjoy AC1 for different reasons than I enjoy Unity, maybe that's it, but I don't compare the two games. They're too different.

Farlander1991
04-26-2015, 03:10 PM
You're splitting hairs here. Maybe it's just me, but I've either never noticed the things you're mentioning or they've happened so rarely that I've never been bothered by them. I enjoy AC1 for different reasons than I enjoy Unity, maybe that's it, but I don't compare the two games. They're too different.

Where's the splitting of hair here exactly? :confused: I'm not saying I don't enjoy AC1 anymore. There's an argument about the precision of its parkour, I don't find it more precise than in other games, others do - and provide their points and experience with the game on the matter, and I reply with my own latest experience and some concrete examples that are used to argument said experience (examples that I wouldn't use if stuff like that would happen only once or twice, they happen systemically).

And I'm sorry, but "I've never noticed the things you're mentioning" is like telling SixKeys that you haven't experienced any bugs in AC3 :p I personally fell through the ground once and that was the extent of all the bugs I've seen in AC3, does it make it her experience with the game less valid? Does me noticing things I haven't been noticing before and getting bothered by them makes my experience less valid?

Farlander1991
04-26-2015, 08:15 PM
Two more things:
1. It's a very minor detail, but I really like that you don't have to be on a beam to synchronize a view point, you just have to be on the top plane, letting you get some very cool shots where your Assassin is standing on a slanted rooftop overwatching the city, for example. You don't have to always be squated at a spot sticking out of the building (sideways if it's a beam or upwards if it's a cross).

2. In the Kingdom, you can jump on rooftops with your horse :D I did some horse parkouring while riding to one of the cities, felt pretty fun.

VestigialLlama4
04-26-2015, 08:23 PM
Two more things:
1. It's a very minor detail, but I really like that you don't have to be on a beam to synchronize a view point, you just have to be on the top plane, letting you get some very cool shots where your Assassin is standing on a slanted rooftop overwatching the city, for example. You don't have to always be squated at a spot sticking out of the building (sideways if it's a beam or upwards if it's a cross).

THIS a thousand times. That's one of the things I keep wanting them to bring back, I never did like the crouched on boards synchronizations (the ultimate AC1 parody would have those triangular boards cracking after bearing the weight of an adult man and woman). In AC1, there are often rooftops with archers and you can stab one and synchronize at the same time and the camera moves around.

AC1 is full of stuff they never took forward, like that first-person view by pressing Y and the more limited Eagle Vision, where it doesn't play like a superpower, they kept making it more and more powerful after that. And its the only game with a real blending mechanic anywhere anytime, which they didn't revive for any of the later games.



2. In the Kingdom, you can jump on rooftops with your horse :D I did some horse parkouring while riding to one of the cities, felt pretty fun.

I have never done this, but will try and see next time.

SixKeys
04-26-2015, 08:58 PM
Two more things:
1. It's a very minor detail, but I really like that you don't have to be on a beam to synchronize a view point, you just have to be on the top plane, letting you get some very cool shots where your Assassin is standing on a slanted rooftop overwatching the city, for example. You don't have to always be squated at a spot sticking out of the building (sideways if it's a beam or upwards if it's a cross).

Agreed, I love that. It's baffling to me that they finally created new synchronization animations for Connor in AC3, yet every subsequent game has forced the assassin onto a tiny wooden plank again.



AC1 is full of stuff they never took forward, like that first-person view by pressing Y and the more limited Eagle Vision, where it doesn't play like a superpower, they kept making it more and more powerful after that. And its the only game with a real blending mechanic anywhere anytime, which they didn't revive for any of the later games.

AC1 had first-person view? I don't remember that. I know AC2 did, though. I've gotten some stunning screenshots in that game in first-person. Such a shame they removed it.

AC1's magical blending ability was stupid, let's be real. An assassin armed to the teeth could just put his hands together and nobody would suspect him. There's no real feasible way of making such a mechanic realistic.

VestigialLlama4
04-26-2015, 09:16 PM
Agreed, I love that. It's baffling to me that they finally created new synchronization animations for Connor in AC3, yet every subsequent game has forced the assassin onto a tiny wooden plank again.

Probably because, to use a quote that Abstergo Entertainment hacks like to throw around, it's "iconic", in other words its similar to all the AC cliches in Ezio so make it more like that. The basic attitude is "Be more like Ezio's games", use the same Jesper Kyd theme instead of coming up with new music, clone Ezio literally to Next Gen, send him France and move the first three letters around for French Ezio (whose first name has an unusual non-French spelling that just so happens to resemble the river in Florence-subliminal!!!!).


AC1 had first-person view? I don't remember that. I know AC2 did, though. I've gotten some stunning screenshots in that game in first-person. Such a shame they removed it.

Any time you press Y you go into First Person. Or maybe I am misremembering AC2's first person for AC1...but its there for sure.


AC1's magical blending ability was stupid, let's be real. An assassin armed to the teeth could just put his hands together and nobody would suspect him. There's no real feasible way of making such a mechanic realistic.

How is that any less unrealistic than an armed guy sitting on a bench armed to his teeth? I mean that's my favorite escape in any game because its just too awesome but its not any less realistic, be honest. Obviously the blending could be made more intricate and developed but as an idea it was implemented well. Stealth and Concealment sacrificed for speed and freedom of movement.

In AC1, the hiding spots weren't very many, you only had one battery of monks to blend in, benches are far around and if you are in High Profile they don't activate. So Blending was an option to use. Anytime get out of jail for free card provided you liked moving at a glacial pace. In later games, they simply increased the number and variety of hiding spots but you no longer had to make an effort to hide, and that's something I feel that would have made the later games more suspenseful and intense. Dial down the number of hiding areas.

Farlander1991
04-26-2015, 10:08 PM
AC1 has first person, and it's combined with Eagle Vision. You can see clearly in first person only when your synch is not full (as Eagle Vision only works with full synch).

Also, one more retrospective disappointment for me: the Acre Cathedral, finally climbed it again. Still love it, still an awesome building. Amazing view point. I remember the first time I played, how it took time to figure out how to climb it. Since then I always thought of it as this example that view points should be like navigational puzzles, that you have to think to climb them up, go different ways, etc. When I played Unity I always compared Notre Dame to it, how Notre Dame is this amazing huge building, but you don't really have to think much to climb to the viewpoint. Climb a wall, move to the rooftop a bit, climb the tower, find your way from one tower to the next and that's it. Very straightforward. Not like the Cathedral in Acre, for which you need to... climb a wall (albeit with two side jumps on the corner), and then just the tower itself without any need to move around it in any way. :(

SixKeys
04-26-2015, 11:29 PM
Also, one more retrospective disappointment for me: the Acre Cathedral, finally climbed it again. Still love it, still an awesome building. Amazing view point. I remember the first time I played, how it took time to figure out how to climb it. Since then I always thought of it as this example that view points should be like navigational puzzles, that you have to think to climb them up, go different ways, etc. When I played Unity I always compared Notre Dame to it, how Notre Dame is this amazing huge building, but you don't really have to think much to climb to the viewpoint. Climb a wall, move to the rooftop a bit, climb the tower, find your way from one tower to the next and that's it. Very straightforward. Not like the Cathedral in Acre, for which you need to... climb a wall (albeit with two side jumps on the corner), and then just the tower itself without any need to move around it in any way. :(

I have to completely disagree here, since I still adore the Acre cathedral. No matter how many times I've played the game, it still gives me a funny feeling in my stomach to climb all the way to the top. There may not be any puzzle element to it, but it just astounds me how it manages to create that illusion of height. No building in any of the sequels manages to fool me the same way into feeling like I'm really, really high up. Not even the Campanile in Florence, which is supposedly taller. AC1 just combines all these elements, like Alta´r's slow, meticulous climbing, the way city sounds are muffled the higher you get, the wind howling in your ears, and that final leap into the haybale which feels like it goes on forever.

I'm also kind of over the puzzle element by now. It was fun when they introduced it, but viewpoints in general....I just feel like they could be disposed of as a game mechanic. Obviously tall buildings should still be in the games, but we've done the "climb thing, press button to synchronize, get a cool 360 degree view" thing so many times. It used to be like a little mini-game, like collecting flags, but it's been 7 years since the first game. Such simplistic mini-games simply don't cut it anymore almost 10 years down the line. We have better content to fill the games with.

Farlander1991
04-26-2015, 11:39 PM
I have to completely disagree here, since I still adore the Acre cathedral. No matter how many times I've played the game, it still gives me a funny feeling in my stomach to climb all the way to the top. There may not be any puzzle element to it, but it just astounds me how it manages to create that illusion of height. No building in any of the sequels manages to fool me the same way into feeling like I'm really, really high up. Not even the Campanile in Florence, which is supposedly taller. AC1 just combines all these elements, like Alta´r's slow, meticulous climbing, the way city sounds are muffled the higher you get, the wind howling in your ears, and that final leap into the haybale which feels like it goes on forever.

It's curious how you say that you completely disagree yet there's nothing in your paragraph that says anything to the contrary of my post :rolleyes:


I'm also kind of over the puzzle element by now. It was fun when they introduced it, but viewpoints in general....I just feel like they could be disposed of as a game mechanic. Obviously tall buildings should still be in the games, but we've done the "climb thing, press button to synchronize, get a cool 360 degree view" thing so many times. It used to be like a little mini-game, like collecting flags, but it's been 7 years since the first game. Such simplistic mini-games simply don't cut it anymore almost 10 years down the line. We have better content to fill the games with.

Here's the thing, though, for the most part there's no actual puzzle element to be over of. The reason why viewpoints get stale in 7 years is that they're just another building to quickly climb on, while they should be, essentially, mini-levels based on parkour. Like tombs, only with not as obvious linear pathways.

This is slightly unrelated, but one thing I like in Rogue is the locations with the Native pillars. I've actually felt fun parkouring in those wild areas due to the element of figuring out where to go. And some viewpoints, and sometimes even collectibles, in some of the wild areas also had some very interesting pathways before to that were just cool to find and figure out how to get there.

The point is, with maybe a few exceptions, viewpoints in AC don't actually have that 'figuring out how to climb it' element (they're all very straightforward), and they should, and that's what would actually make them interesting. Now that we have interiors, it's as good time as any to make that pathfinding element be there, having to get inside and outside and then back inside to find a way to the top of the building. A cool mini-level in the open world.

D.I.D.
04-27-2015, 12:13 AM
Now that we have interiors, it's as good time as any to make that pathfinding element be there, having to get inside and outside and then back inside to find a way to the top of the building. A cool mini-level in the open world.

YES

this point is so good, i'll even forgive you for using rolleyes: the most punchable of emoticons, including the sunglasses one

SixKeys
04-27-2015, 12:31 AM
It's curious how you say that you completely disagree yet there's nothing in your paragraph that says anything to the contrary of my post :rolleyes:

You called the cathedral a disappointment and lamented the fact that there's no navigational puzzle to it. I disagree with those points. I don't think it needs a puzzle, I think it's amazing to climb even though it's straightforward.


Here's the thing, though, for the most part there's no actual puzzle element to be over of. The reason why viewpoints get stale in 7 years is that they're just another building to quickly climb on, while they should be, essentially, mini-levels based on parkour. Like tombs, only with not as obvious linear pathways.

I disagree that lack of puzzles is the problem. AC4's viewpoints brought back the puzzle element that was missing from 3. At first I welcomed it, but the more I play AC4 and the games that followed, the more I realize I just find the whole tower-climbing tedious at this point, puzzle or no. I don't think they could be improved by making them into parkour mini-levels as you suggest. The reason I enjoy climbing the Acre cathedral hinges on entirely different factors, namely the atmosphere, the sense of danger. I find that the only way I get close to that feeling when climbing other viewpoints is when they are guarded from different directions. I guess it's that sense of tension and danger that really appeals to me. My favorite mission in AC2 is the one in Tuscany where you have to climb multiple towers with archers in every direction. THAT is a real navigational puzzle, because it's not really the building that's the puzzle, it's the element of danger surrounding it. If you approach from the wrong direction or don't take guard paths into consideration, you risk detection and getting shot down.

D.I.D.
04-27-2015, 12:45 AM
You make good points too, SixKeys, especially about the atmospheric effects of the way the sound effects carry into the climb. There's a similar thing going on in the radio tower climb in the Tomb Raider reboot. Maybe there's some sense in have standard types of climbing for most towers, but the very tallest in any city get some extra attention and semi-scripted events, to provide that sense of individual experience and drama.

SixKeys
04-27-2015, 01:00 AM
You make good points too, SixKeys, especially about the atmospheric effects of the way the sound effects carry into the climb. There's a similar thing going on in the radio tower climb in the Tomb Raider reboot. Maybe there's some sense in have standard types of climbing for most towers, but the very tallest in any city get some extra attention and semi-scripted events, to provide that sense of individual experience and drama.

I'm usually against scripted events, but I could see it working in this aspect. Some of the most memorable landmarks in the series do seem to have something extra that makes them stand out. The Vatican in AC2 because of the long journey it takes to get to the final boss, the fortress of Masyaf, the Castel St. Angelo in ACB where we visit multiple times, racing with Federico or Yusuf to a particular tower, etc. Maybe it's time to get rid of viewpoints as a collectible of sorts and rather focusing on a few quality missions involving famous landmarks in each game.

D.I.D.
04-27-2015, 01:19 AM
I'm usually against scripted events, but I could see it working in this aspect. Some of the most memorable landmarks in the series do seem to have something extra that makes them stand out. The Vatican in AC2 because of the long journey it takes to get to the final boss, the fortress of Masyaf, the Castel St. Angelo in ACB where we visit multiple times, racing with Federico or Yusuf to a particular tower, etc. Maybe it's time to get rid of viewpoints as a collectible of sorts and rather focusing on a few quality missions involving famous landmarks in each game.

Yeah, that would work!

I was thinking of just a few unique animated moments to break up the climb - maybe the character hangs climbing for one second to lean out and take in the view, or make a comment about something he/she can see from there, or the kinds of environmental factors you were mentioning: increased gusts of occasional wind, or maybe birds flying and nesting in holes in the brickwork. There could be special animations when climbing around completely unique architectural features in these places, so that rather than seeing general climbing animations that don't 100% connect with the surface, you could have absolute connection with the character grasping particular points on the wall or the ironwork protruding from it.

VestigialLlama4
04-27-2015, 03:40 AM
Now that we have interiors, it's as good time as any to make that pathfinding element be there, having to get inside and outside and then back inside to find a way to the top of the building. A cool mini-level in the open world.

There actually is such a viewpoint in the AC games. It's not in UNITY though, its in good ol AC2. It's Giotto Campanile. That tower can't be climbed from the ground and can only be accessed by climbing the side roof of the Church and then jumping and grabbing it, and then you have to climb it and get inside at a certain height. When I first played AC2, I reflexively dropped everything I did and climbed the tower and was pleasantly surprised there was an achievement for it. I wonder if they will ever give us an AC2 reboot 1:1

In most cases viewpoints are there to open the map so its not supposed to be too complicated. There are also far too many of them, if they made it to a small count then it could work. And it can be needlessly fussy. Like in AC3, you had these giant Tree viewpoints and that was cool, but once you reached the top, you couldn't see the cover of leaves since its blocked by the detailed branches and nooks you climbed up and jumping often caused a desynch, so I tended to descend the natural way, slowly and/or suicidally (I'd drop and hope I'd grab something on the way down which is actually my favorite part in AC parkour and traversal).

VestigialLlama4
04-27-2015, 03:44 AM
I disagree that lack of puzzles is the problem. AC4's viewpoints brought back the puzzle element that was missing from 3.

What "puzzle element" is there in AC4? The game's traversal and viewpoint system is deeply simplified, understandably so, since land gameplay is not a priority there. The traversal in AC3 was far more complex and intricate...the tree-viewpoints in AC3 being a case in point as well as several other rocks and declivities you need to climb, often by carefully looking at topography and terrain. The navigation in AC3 had far less handholding than black flag.

phoenix-force411
04-27-2015, 06:59 AM
AC1 had really great atmosphere. Unity does bring back the lighting and somewhat of the atmosphere. At certain times when you fast travel or return from a mission, the sky can get really grey and the lighting can become somewhat indigo. It's really cool when it happens.

Acre is definitely my favorite environment to roam in. Damascus would be second, and Jerusalem would be third. I do sometimes hang around in the Kingdom causing random fights. Once you get the hang of the fighting, it becomes a piece of cake. Waiting around to counter has always been a stupid idea to me.

Lastly, the crowd does become an enemy when the crowd panics. Enemies can spot dead enemies hanging from a roof and will be on a lookout for you.

Farlander1991
04-27-2015, 07:29 AM
You called the cathedral a disappointment and lamented the fact that there's no navigational puzzle to it. I disagree with those points. I don't think it needs a puzzle, I think it's amazing to climb even though it's straightforward.

"Also, one more retrospective disappointment for me: the Acre Cathedral, finally climbed it again. Still love it, still an awesome building. Amazing view point."
The disappointment was related only to the puzzle aspect. And there was nothing in your post that tried to argue with that :p ("maybe there wasn't a puzzle element to it" isn't really a counter-argument)


AC4's viewpoints brought back the puzzle element that was missing from 3.

What AC4 has got are not really navigational puzzles, though, just you can't climb some of the viewpoints straight up. That's different. That's not a navigational puzzle.

roostersrule2
04-27-2015, 01:03 PM
AC1 is pretty bad.

Farlander1991
04-27-2015, 01:37 PM
AC1 is pretty bad.


Wait till I make a similar thread about AC2 :p You'll love it :p

Megas_Doux
04-27-2015, 03:27 PM
Wait till I make a similar thread about AC2 :p You'll love it :p

The nostalgia factor in AC II is strong indeed........

playlisting
04-27-2015, 03:51 PM
The nostalgia factor in AC II is strong indeed........

I wouldn't say it's that strong. 2 is just simply an amazing game. All the flaws AC 1 had were either fixed completely or dramatically improved. Repetition was more or less non existent, modern day stuff didn't get in the way as much and what there was of it was more enjoyable, no more annoying 'save the citizen' missions, climbing was much more fluid, the cities actually felt busy with the heralds calling out the news and people talking on the streets, and there's likely more but that's all I can think of for now.

When you go back and play AC 2 it lives up to the fond memories you had of it. At least it does for me.

Farlander1991
04-27-2015, 04:04 PM
The nostalgia factor in AC II is strong indeed........

That was actually a jokingly sarcastic statement, cause I criticize a lot of ACII's elements, and rooster keeps saying how I just want to discredit the game :p

VestigialLlama4
04-27-2015, 04:07 PM
I wouldn't say it's that strong. 2 is just simply an amazing game. All the flaws AC 1 had were either fixed completely or dramatically improved. Repetition was more or less non existent, modern day stuff didn't get in the way as much and what there was of it was more enjoyable, no more annoying 'save the citizen' missions, climbing was much more fluid, the cities actually felt busy with the heralds calling out the news and people talking on the streets, and there's likely more but that's all I can think of for now.

When you go back and play AC 2 it lives up to the fond memories you had of it. At least it does for me.

I like AC2 a lot as a game, but I never really considered it an "improvement" on AC1. People mention it had more side-missions and all that's true but ultimately it made no sense for AC1 to have many side missions, since Altair is an Assassin at a time when Assassins were an actual organization and didn't have responsibilities other than icing their targets. Altair wasn't in charge of the economy, the other dudes in the Masyaf Foyer and Al Mualim were handling that (as well as the local Rafiq bureau). Altair's rent was all paid, he had food on the table, a place to rest and prepare and steady supply for ammo. With Ezio, he's a banker's kid in Renaissance Italy, he has cash to burn and expensive friends to party with.

I don't think AC2 improves AC1, its just different as a game.

In any case, even in AC2, about the only original side missions are the Tombs and the Glyph Puzzles. Rest everything you can say comes from AC1 - Contracts, Races, Feathers are essentially Ac1's build-up missions and flags. Lorewise, you had the Codex pages and they were essentially collectibles with possibly greater repitition than anything in AC1. So in terms of side missions AC2 isn't this really big leap over AC1, its just designed and painted to look different that's all.

About the only things that can be considered "improvements" are the variety of Assassinations - Air Assassination, Ledge Assassination and Bench Assassinations, Haystack Assassination. But considering the whole social stealth thing, I don't know if jumping several feet from the air and assassinating someone is more or less discreet than quietly stabbing a guy in a crowded area and walking nonchalantly.

SteelCity999
04-27-2015, 05:53 PM
The buildings in AC1 aren't as big as the ones in later games, but they feel bigger because you really feel Alta´r's weight with every step and the carefulness in his climbing. It feels so much more realistic than the later games. Alta´r doesn't feel like a stuntman but a pretty regular person who just happens to be good at climbing. But because he's not a daredevil, he's not stupid enough to try all kinds of fancy twirls and double jumps like Arno. Climbing the Acre cathedral still gives me vertigo like no other game. It really makes you feel like you're up high and how dangerous it is.

I cannot agree more with this. There was always a sense of nervousness when climbing in AC1. That is one thing I would love to see come back. For such small cities to feel big, especially when Unity does not have that same feeling, is amazing. Unity's map is big but it feels big only because of the time it takes to traverse it.

Megas_Doux
04-27-2015, 10:59 PM
I wouldn't say it's that strong. 2 is just simply an amazing game. All the flaws AC 1 had were either fixed completely or dramatically improved. Repetition was more or less non existent, modern day stuff didn't get in the way as much and what there was of it was more enjoyable, no more annoying 'save the citizen' missions, climbing was much more fluid, the cities actually felt busy with the heralds calling out the news and people talking on the streets, and there's likely more but that's all I can think of for now.

When you go back and play AC 2 it lives up to the fond memories you had of it. At least it does for me.

Don┤t get me wrong, I DO like the game and have fond memories of it!!!!!

I do feel though, unlike the majority of fans and critics, that AC II is not THAT much better comparing it to the rest of the franchise.

rprkjj
04-27-2015, 11:11 PM
I like AC2 a lot as a game, but I never really considered it an "improvement" on AC1. People mention it had more side-missions and all that's true but ultimately it made no sense for AC1 to have many side missions, since Altair is an Assassin at a time when Assassins were an actual organization and didn't have responsibilities other than icing their targets. Altair wasn't in charge of the economy, the other dudes in the Masyaf Foyer and Al Mualim were handling that (as well as the local Rafiq bureau). Altair's rent was all paid, he had food on the table, a place to rest and prepare and steady supply for ammo. With Ezio, he's a banker's kid in Renaissance Italy, he has cash to burn and expensive friends to party with.

I don't think AC2 improves AC1, its just different as a game.

In any case, even in AC2, about the only original side missions are the Tombs and the Glyph Puzzles. Rest everything you can say comes from AC1 - Contracts, Races, Feathers are essentially Ac1's build-up missions and flags. Lorewise, you had the Codex pages and they were essentially collectibles with possibly greater repitition than anything in AC1. So in terms of side missions AC2 isn't this really big leap over AC1, its just designed and painted to look different that's all.

About the only things that can be considered "improvements" are the variety of Assassinations - Air Assassination, Ledge Assassination and Bench Assassinations, Haystack Assassination. But considering the whole social stealth thing, I don't know if jumping several feet from the air and assassinating someone is more or less discreet than quietly stabbing a guy in a crowded area and walking nonchalantly.

I would disagree with you considering gameplay comes first. All those excuses for AC1's lack of diverse side missions can easily be rectified by slightly rewriting the story, which doesn't have to be compromising. Make Altair pay for his rent, give him responsibilities to upgrade bureaus, and contribute to the upgrade of Masyaf or its reconstruction if it were, say, badly damaged during De Sable's initial siege. The contracts have the purpose of making money in AC2, and are much more varied and have better narrative context compared to AC1. And, unlike AC1, these are purely optional and aren't there to fill the spaces inbetween assassinations. Both feathers and codex pages completely destroy AC1's flags. Both have narrative meaning and payoff as opposed to the flags.

SixKeys
04-27-2015, 11:27 PM
What "puzzle element" is there in AC4? The game's traversal and viewpoint system is deeply simplified, understandably so, since land gameplay is not a priority there. The traversal in AC3 was far more complex and intricate...the tree-viewpoints in AC3 being a case in point as well as several other rocks and declivities you need to climb, often by carefully looking at topography and terrain. The navigation in AC3 had far less handholding than black flag.

The puzzle element in AC4 is similar to the ones in the Ezio games. Just not being able to climb directly to the top but having to find your way around the building due to missing handholds. It's not exactly complicated, but it's there. The devs specifically said people missed the puzzle element in AC3, so they brought it back. I appreciate what AC3 tried to do with the viewpoints in the Frontier, but every tree was exactly the same. They were literally carbon copies of each other. There was no puzzle to it once you figured that out.



What AC4 has got are not really navigational puzzles, though, just you can't climb some of the viewpoints straight up. That's different. That's not a navigational puzzle.


The devs call it a navigational puzzle, why shouldn't we?

BTW, VestigialLlama brought up Giotto's Campanile as a good example of a navigational puzzle. If that's a "good"example, then I certainly don't want more of them in AC. It's so tedious having to constantly climb in and out of the same building just for a damn viewpoint. Maybe if the tower was heavily guarded like some of the tomb levels, it would be more interesting. But there again, it's the element of danger that appeals to me, not the navigational puzzle itself.

SixKeys
04-27-2015, 11:29 PM
I would disagree with you considering gameplay comes first. All those excuses for AC1's lack of diverse side missions can easily be rectified by slightly rewriting the story, which doesn't have to be compromising. Make Altair pay for his rent, give him responsibilities to upgrade bureaus, and contribute to the upgrade of Masyaf or its reconstruction if it were, say, badly damaged during De Sable's initial siege. The contracts have the purpose of making money in AC2, and are much more varied and have better narrative context compared to AC1. And, unlike AC1, these are purely optional and aren't there to fill the spaces inbetween assassinations. Both feathers and codex pages completely destroy AC1's flags. Both have narrative meaning and payoff as opposed to the flags.

The game would be so much worse with all this implemented. I don't want to play as Alta´r the Landlord, I want Alta´r the Assassin.

rprkjj
04-28-2015, 12:00 AM
The game would be so much worse with all this implemented. I don't want to play as Alta´r the Landlord, I want Alta´r the Assassin.

Lol you wouldn't know that's what you wanted before the game came out. I really don't see how contributing to Fort upgrades is unassassiny, seems necessary considering the assassins have to get their money to build and equip from someplace, and even if their smiths and tailors work for free you have to pay to feed them and have a shelter for them.

Shahkulu101
04-28-2015, 12:07 AM
I agree that AC2 has it's merits; but Brotherhood did everything AC2 did but better and then AC4 blew anything the Ezio trilogy did out of the water (lol pun), IMO.

So I'm quite perplexed by the fact it's widely considered the best.

SixKeys
04-28-2015, 12:14 AM
Lol you wouldn't know that's what you wanted before the game came out. I really don't see how contributing to Fort upgrades is unassassiny, seems necessary considering the assassins have to get their money to build and equip from someplace, and even if their smiths and tailors work for free you have to pay to feed them and have a shelter for them.

AC1 was the most historically accurate entry in the entire series. The historical Asasiyun did not act as investors and general do-gooders. Alta´r was raised for a specific job, that of an assassin. The village of Masyaf had other people to do the more mundane stuff like building, buying and selling, as we see in the memory where Alta´r has to steal a letter from a basket-weaver. Whatever materials they needed, they probably stole or traded, considering they were feared as political extremists. Nobody in their right minds would have had open and honest business dealings with what was essentially a violent cult. It was the later games that introduced the idea that assassins did all kinds of busywork and worked to improve ordinary people's lives.

Fatal-Feit
04-28-2015, 12:33 AM
I agree that AC2 has it's merits; but Brotherhood did everything AC2 did but better and then AC4 blew anything the Ezio trilogy did out of the water (lol pun), IMO.

So I'm quite perplexed by the fact it's widely considered the best.

Everything except side content for you, wasn't it?

Namikaze_17
04-28-2015, 01:15 AM
Everything except side content for you, wasn't it?

I'd say that side content in ACB/AC4 was better than AC2.

AC2 had some good ones like Tombs, Templar lairs, etc.

As well as some some mundane ones like collecting feathers, beat-up events, races, etc.

Fatal-Feit
04-28-2015, 01:36 AM
I'd say that side content in ACB/AC4 was better than AC2.

AC2 had some good ones like Tombs, Templar lairs, etc.

As well as some some mundane ones like collecting feathers, beat-up events, races, etc.

I agree w/ u, but I was referring to AC4 and ACB.

Shahkulu101
04-28-2015, 01:42 AM
Everything except side content for you, wasn't it?

I think ACB has better side content than AC4, but only just. I'd say both were very good in that department, which is why they are my favourite games in the series.

Oh and while I think AC4 is a better overall game than BH, the latter has a little more sentimental value for me being my first AC game. So I don't know which one is my personal favourite to quite honest.

Namikaze_17
04-28-2015, 01:54 AM
I agree w/ u, but I was referring to AC4 and ACB.

Oh, I know.

I was just giving my thoughts since the topic of side content came up. :rolleyes:

VestigialLlama4
04-28-2015, 04:38 AM
The village of Masyaf had other people to do the more mundane stuff like building, buying and selling, as we see in the memory where Alta´r has to steal a letter from a basket-weaver. Whatever materials they needed, they probably stole or traded, considering they were feared as political extremists. Nobody in their right minds would have had open and honest business dealings with what was essentially a violent cult. It was the later games that introduced the idea that assassins did all kinds of busywork and worked to improve ordinary people's lives.

You are mostly right, but the Asasiyun didn't have any problem attracting trade and they certainly didn't steal. The library in Masyaf for instance is highly packed and it was a place of refuge for many travellers (Muslims and Christians). The real trade for the Asasiyun is the people in Masyaf, they were part of a persecuted Shi'a minority called the Ismaili (Hated by fellow Shi'a and the Sunni and it was their Islamic enemies who started the whole "smoke grass and get high to go to paradise" myth.) and the Asasiyun were basically their landlords who allowed them trade. The business model was the same as Monteriggioni and the Homestead later on. The Asasiyun were only feared by their enemies but they were liked by the common people, precisely because they attacked the powerful, never allowed any collateral damage(unlike terrorists to whom they are understandably if inaccurately compared). Their libraries also attracted scholars.


The puzzle element in AC4 is similar to the ones in the Ezio games. Just not being able to climb directly to the top but having to find your way around the building due to missing handholds. It's not exactly complicated, but it's there. The devs specifically said people missed the puzzle element in AC3, so they brought it back.

It's just that I never found Black Flag's viewpoint navigation a puzzle, it was literally bottom to the top and not at all complicated. The only exceptions was that Church in Kingston and that Windmill in the plantation that I can recall. I suppose on the simplistic level of gameplay design it connotes a puzzle i guess.


I would disagree with you considering gameplay comes first. All those excuses for AC1's lack of diverse side missions can easily be rectified by slightly rewriting the story, which doesn't have to be compromising.

Your two statements are incredibly self-contradicting.


Make Altair pay for his rent, give him responsibilities to upgrade bureaus, and contribute to the upgrade of Masyaf or its reconstruction if it were, say, badly damaged during De Sable's initial siege. The contracts have the purpose of making money in AC2, and are much more varied and have better narrative context compared to AC1. And, unlike AC1, these are purely optional and aren't there to fill the spaces inbetween assassinations. Both feathers and codex pages completely destroy AC1's flags. Both have narrative meaning and payoff as opposed to the flags.

If according to you "gameplay comes first" then shouldn't the feathers and codex collectibles have different gameplay than the flag collection. That is MY point. AC2 came after AC1. And by the way the Codex entries have you literally do the same thing over-and-over again, its always those three guards, guarding the same chest through that small door. Collecting flags in AC1 is less repititive since you kind of have to search and look around the map. Feathers have the same gameplay as flags. Adding cutscenes and a plot around it is not gameplay at all, that is story. This is what I mean by self-contradicting.

The gameplay and story are one and the same. Trying to divide it only causes problems.

D.I.D.
04-28-2015, 11:03 AM
it was their Islamic enemies who started the whole "smoke grass and get high to go to paradise" myth.)

Evidence for this being a myth, please?

I see this claim a lot, and it seems to me that it's a revisionist POV that looks through the lens of 20th- and 21st-century morality about drugs. Now, drugs are bad, drug users are shamed, and we're very clear that every single intoxicant that's illegal goes in the drug category. I don't think that's always been the case.

Obviously the description via Marco Polo of the alleged affects of cannabis on the assassins are comically far-fetched, but that doesn't mean there's no basis for them at all. It makes a lot of sense that a killer would use cannabis to neutralise their emotional responses before a kill (or after, in the killer managed to escape). Also, if you're going to allege it's a smear campaign, you ought to be able to show me that these detractors (and/or European Christians, since they're usually the ones pegged for having pushed this alleged myth) believed the use of cannabis was a shockingly terrible thing to do and I don't think they did. Muslims and Christians traded in psychoactive drugs all along the silk/spice routes. Not much made it into western Europe besides opium, but that could be a matter of market absorption as much as a refusal to buy it.

Mohammed warned against alcoholic drinks, but never mentioned herbal intoxicants (and yet wealthy people were consuming vast amounts of alcohol in Islamic society, and we know from Ibn Batutta what an entrenched problem this became among the rulers). The Qur'an doesn't mention it, even though Islam is the youngest of the Abrahamic faiths and certainly arrived in a time when cannabis use was widespread. We have the preserved advice from physicians, such as al-Rhazes in the 9th and 10th centuries, which talk about the benefits and drawbacks of extended use (including the risk of depression, loss of libido, and respiratory ailments, which is proof that they prescribed it even though they fully understood the potential health problems). Poets wrote about it positively. It gets interesting later when Islamic schools of law finally do start to crack down on recreational drug use in the 14th century, because even then you see curious details in the boundaries around the concept of acceptable use. The Hanafi jurists pointed out that wine is forbidden since it is unclean, unlike hashish which they say is okay to eat in modest amounts as long as you don't become intoxicated. Az-Zakarshi of the Shafute school said hashish was lawful as an appetite-suppressant, as medicine, and for non-medicinal purposes as long as the user was immune to the intoxicating effects. That's pretty broad, and considerably more generous than the law where I live today. A regular user could easily satisfy Az-Zarkashi's strictures with a built-up tolerance, as long as they weren't gluttonous about it. This reticence to rule out hashish completely is a symbol of how intensely bound up it was in contemporary culture - how do you ban a product outright which so many people are using?

I'm not saying there's never been any disdain for cannabis until today. There are always going to be people, especially in the ruling class and the religious orders, who will naturally gravitate towards a conclusion that a god creates a human in a perfect state: that this is purity, that abstinence which goes against a person's inclinations is a sign that the path is good, that accessorising one's life with additional holy feelings is suspicious and a potential hazard to the permanence of the religious culture. If you promote work as an ethic, then of course recreation is likely to become its evil flipside: idleness. When your society relies upon the work of the poor, the poor must be stigmatised for their diversionary habits. Nonetheless, I don't see a reason to assume the assassins eschewed cannabis or that saying they did use it would have been an act of slander.

VestigialLlama4
04-28-2015, 11:28 AM
Evidence for this being a myth, please?

First of all, I think your response is widely off-topic. I only mentioned that as an aside to what SixKeys said about Masyaf in AC1 negating Altair's need for a personal economy and the lack of need for it in AC1, since it was the historical reality of the Assassins. I am in no mood to discuss the taboo against recreational drugs. Personally, I am for legalisation, i think every drug should even the hard ones should be legalised and available in a medical stores provided you give ID proof and a manual on dosage and side-effects. But that's neither here or there.


It makes a lot of sense that a killer would use cannabis to neutralise their emotional responses before a kill (or after, in the killer managed to escape).

In wartime yes. Nazi soldiers were drugged up as all-get-out (especially the death squads) and the terrorists in the 2008 Mumbai attacks (which was a micro-invasion and civilian warzone rather than a conventional attack) definitely. But the premeditated, tactical and highly personal ways the Asasiyun used to kill their targets historically makes it impossible for them to be drugged out or on a high to do it. The original Asasiyun were a religious minority and religious order and they scared people away because they were ''that'' persistent, they didn't care if they got caught or died in the process to kill their man, no money can buy them off and no threat can work against them. That's why even Saladin was terrified of them. Their enemies couldn't fathom that persecuted minorites could be that hateful and desperate, so they came up with the whole drugged up thing as a way to write them off, similar to how people use religious fanaticism to rub away the Middle Eastern conflict saying they are opposed to Western Secular Civilization(when any time they tried to get anything close to that, America barged in and installed puppet dictators).

Patrice Desilets when he made the first AC1 used Alamut by Vladimir Bartol as his initial inspiration and if you actually read that book, it is far more conventional and features a lot of the stereotytpes of the Hashashashin, they take drugs, go to paradise meet virgins and the like. Obviously, the game didn't stick entirely to the source material (aside from that weird easter egg of the garden behind Masyaf which you visit anytime) because in the games they all call themselves by the historically correct terms Asasiyun (Hashashin is a slander term which they derived from hashish) and it corrects much of the more common stereotypes. That is really what AC's historical accuracy amounts to, correcting some stereotypes and misconceptions. The game's major departure is of course dialing down the religious element which would have made the game unsellable.

Ubisoft's approach to the Assassins is far more inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche who wrote the single most famous observation about them:


"When the Christian crusaders in the Orient came across that unconquered Order of Assassins, that free-spirited order par excellence, whose lowest ranks lived a life of obedience of the sort no order of monks attained, then they received by some means or other a hint about that symbol and motto, which only the highest ranks kept as their secret, "Nothing is true. Everything is permitted." . . . Well now, that was spiritual freedom. With that the very belief in truth was cancelled. . . Has a European, a Christian free spirit ever wandered by mistake into this proposition and its labyrinthine consequences?"
— Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals.

Farlander1991
04-28-2015, 09:40 PM
So, overall thoughts about AC1 after replaying it:
1. Great story that I thoroughly enjoy, although overabundantly long writing (I remember posting examples of how, for example, a white room speech from ACIV would look like in AC1), and I wouldn't call half of the tutorials or character abilities justification to be well-fit into the narrative (I still don't get it what is it that makes Altair forget how to tackle, for example).

2. Social stealth is 'eh'. I like the concept of socially accepted behavior, but social stealth is kinda non-existent, actually. Like, if we take the crowd on its own, excluding the hiding spots that thematically have people in them, the crowd exists purely for thematic and atmospheric purposes.Okay, sure, there's crazy people and beggars that can impede you, but, if let's say we have a target on a street, there's absolutely no difference if it's a street with crowds or an empty one. So in that regard, I agree with AC2's change of making all crowds essentially dynamic hiding spots. However, that doesn't really add to the 'social stealth' aspect, IMO.

There's no, 'guards, look over there a crazy person climbing the roof!' which would make guards go after you. There's no tapping a drunkard to say that this guy called you stupid thus creating a distraction that guards will go take care of (not the same as sending people to fight and kill the guards, mind you). I mean, yes, if you start pushing people around and behaving like an *** guards will go after you, but... there's no, you know, no real social interaction. Like, sure, Unity for example adds witnesses that point for guards at you (and Unity is the game where I've utilized the crowd for hiding/blending purposes the most out of all AC games so far), but even that's not enough, it seems. Though, I wouldn't say that it's surprising. Social stealth is a really abstract concept, which has to be transferred into concrete game mechanics, and that's not an easy task.

3. Parkour is alright. Like, I don't think it sucks (I mean, when I was criticizing it, it was just in comparison and why I think it's not the best out of all), I don't think it's great either. Like, back then it was. Now, it's alright. It's functional.

4. Main mission design is also alright, for the most part. If we don't count the elaborate story cutscenes, most of the assassinations are side-mission quality if we compare to the new games. They're still pretty engaging though, and I've already mentioned that those with more navigational related stuff are more interesting.

5. If we don't count the guards being very slow in their attack patterns, and counters being extremely overpowered, the combat is very neat. Guards can do everything that you do (and the more experienced the guard the more they can do), and that creates interesting situations. So for now still second-to-best combat in comparison to other games (the first one being Unity).

6. It's very, very, very atmospheric. And while the following little thing I'll mention is nothing new now, the way clouds block the sun still impresses me.

So while I can't hold it as high as I have in the past, it's still a pretty great game, IMO :)

SixKeys
04-29-2015, 12:34 AM
Not to get too off-topic on the drug issue, but it is at least tangentially relevant, since it was referenced in the very first scene of AC1. When Desmond unsuccessfully tries to synch with Alta´r for the first time, he has a blurry vision of Alta´r in a garden with beautiful maidens, with Al Mualim's "I applied my heart to know wisdom..." ringing in the background. This could of course be viewed as just the Animus going haywire, but could also be read as symbolic of Alta´r being recruited into the order with drugs and promises of paradise.

With regard to judging the original game by comparing it to its sequels, I don't think that's entirely fair. From a personal point of view, sure, it's good to go back and re-evaluate whether your opinion of the game still matches your nostalgia of it, but it's not really fair to say "the assassinations are more like side quest fodder if you compare it with the sequels". You have to judge the game for its time. That's like saying "the original King Kong was lame because they used stop-motion puppets". Genuine gameplay problems can and should be criticized (like bad combat or parkour problems) but keep in mind AC1 pioneered a lot of the stuff we take for granted today.

rprkjj
04-29-2015, 01:03 AM
You are mostly right, but the Asasiyun didn't have any problem attracting trade and they certainly didn't steal. The library in Masyaf for instance is highly packed and it was a place of refuge for many travellers (Muslims and Christians). The real trade for the Asasiyun is the people in Masyaf, they were part of a persecuted Shi'a minority called the Ismaili (Hated by fellow Shi'a and the Sunni and it was their Islamic enemies who started the whole "smoke grass and get high to go to paradise" myth.) and the Asasiyun were basically their landlords who allowed them trade. The business model was the same as Monteriggioni and the Homestead later on. The Asasiyun were only feared by their enemies but they were liked by the common people, precisely because they attacked the powerful, never allowed any collateral damage(unlike terrorists to whom they are understandably if inaccurately compared). Their libraries also attracted scholars.



It's just that I never found Black Flag's viewpoint navigation a puzzle, it was literally bottom to the top and not at all complicated. The only exceptions was that Church in Kingston and that Windmill in the plantation that I can recall. I suppose on the simplistic level of gameplay design it connotes a puzzle i guess.



Your two statements are incredibly self-contradicting.



If according to you "gameplay comes first" then shouldn't the feathers and codex collectibles have different gameplay than the flag collection. That is MY point. AC2 came after AC1. And by the way the Codex entries have you literally do the same thing over-and-over again, its always those three guards, guarding the same chest through that small door. Collecting flags in AC1 is less repititive since you kind of have to search and look around the map. Feathers have the same gameplay as flags. Adding cutscenes and a plot around it is not gameplay at all, that is story. This is what I mean by self-contradicting.

The gameplay and story are one and the same. Trying to divide it only causes problems.

How are they contradicting? The point is that "well see he was an assassin so he wouldn't do that" is just a plot point which can and should be easily removed when in the way of a gameplay mechanic. Nothing about this is self-contradicting. When I said "it doesn't have to be compromising" I was saying that the story doesn't have to be completely overhauled to change a gameplay mechanic or add one.. Seriously, don't know where you got self-contradicting. Also, "gameplay comes first" does not mean "narrative context is irrelevant." That adds a lot to the joy of the game, and it adds to both the codex pages and feathers as collectibles, which is enough to make them better than the flags even if technically they're still collectibles. Also, if I recall correctly there were plenty of codex pages without guards as well as ones that weren't inside a doorway. Plus, the ones that did have guards could be approached many more different ways than just walking up to it and holding x, or in the flags' case simply walking over it. Gameplay and story aren't the same, by both definition and experience.

Farlander1991
04-29-2015, 01:24 AM
With regard to judging the original game by comparing it to its sequels, I don't think that's entirely fair. From a personal point of view, sure, it's good to go back and re-evaluate whether your opinion of the game still matches your nostalgia of it, but it's not really fair to say "the assassinations are more like side quest fodder if you compare it with the sequels". You have to judge the game for its time. That's like saying "the original King Kong was lame because they used stop-motion puppets". Genuine gameplay problems can and should be criticized (like bad combat or parkour problems) but keep in mind AC1 pioneered a lot of the stuff we take for granted today.

I disagree with that. Games don't live in a vacuum. The context of the time is important, and it should be kept in mind, but it shouldn't be a leeway in evaluation of enjoyment or quality. Because we're not in the context of that time anymore.

King's Quest pioneered the adventure game genre (well, the graphic adventure to be precise, there were text ones before). It was a revolutionary game for its time, and back then it was considered great for a reason, but should we nowadays just ignore the dead ends, the non-sensical puzzles (ifnkovhgroghprm as an example), the complete lack of proper narrative, lack of everything that's present in more modern adventure games? No. If one is to play King's Quest now, he's got full right to judge it for those reasons. He doesn't have to like it, or even consider good, just because back then it was great. Back then there was nothing else. Now, mind you, if that person doesn't acknowledge the context of time at all, then he's quite an ***. But if he does acknowledge it, he still doesn't have to like it, or consider it good.

In similar vein, we even talked a bit about Grim Fandango in one of the threads, how the re-release is less well received due to the context of the time changing, and the fact that a lot of decisions made those days just don't work anymore.

If you play something like Castle Wolfenstein today, the original Castle Wolfenstein from 1981, will you find enjoyment in it? Well, maybe you will, but will you prefer it over newer stealth-based titles? With its barely existent AI (which you couldn't do better than that back then, but it's not the point). I know 1981 is a LOT farther than 2007, but it's the same principle just a different amount of passed time.

When I played Assassin's Creed for the first time, I considered the Assassination missions to be incredibly awesome. Now I consider them to be side-quest quality. That doesn't mean that they weren't great at one point, but they aren't anymore (and, mind you, I'm not saying 'omg they suck!!!!! ****ing awful missions, what they were thinking?!?!?!??!?!?!?!' I'm just saying, 'now there's better') And if anything, that's a good thing. It means that things have progressed. That the series became better.

When a person plays a game, whatever his preferences are, he should judge it in the context he lives now, not in the context that doesn't exist. The context that doesn't exist is just something for that person to keep in mind to be reasonable.

Also, what you mention about 'genuine gameplay problems', what's considered to be a 'genuine gameplay problem' is also time-dependent, in 5 years what are considered genuine gameplay problems will be different from what were the genuine gameplay problems five years ago. Dune 2 is an RTS, where you can't select more than one unit at a time, and there's no right click shortcut to move. Nowadays that would be a genuine gameplay problem in any PC RTS, any mouse-based RTS with such a lack of common interface would be criticized. But it wasn't a genuine gameplay problem back then. I still remember playing Dune II and enjoying the hell out of it. It was amazing. But if I'm going to give advice now to a game designer about how to make a PC RTS, no way in hell would I say, 'make it like Dune II", because for current time that's just bad. Should I now not criticize Dune II for genuine gameplay problems that can and should be criticized because it wasn't a genuine gameplay problem back then? It's not the way it works anymore. And that's fine.

rprkjj
04-29-2015, 01:32 AM
I disagree with that. Games don't live in a vacuum. The context of the time is important, and it should be kept in mind, but it shouldn't be a leeway in evaluation of enjoyment or quality. Because we're not in the context of that time anymore.

King's Quest pioneered the adventure game genre (well, the graphic adventure to be precise, there were text ones before). It was a revolutionary game for its time, and back then it was considered great for a reason, but should we nowadays just ignore the dead ends, the non-sensical puzzles (ifnkovhgroghprm as an example), the complete lack of proper narrative, lack of everything that's present in more modern adventure games? No. If one is to play King's Quest now, he's got full right to judge it for those reasons. He doesn't have to like it, or even consider good, just because back then it was great. Back then there was nothing else. Now, mind you, if that person doesn't acknowledge the context of time at all, then he's quite an ***. But if he does acknowledge it, he still doesn't have to like it, or consider it good.

In similar vein, we even talked a bit about Grim Fandango in one of the threads, how the re-release is less well received due to the context of the time changing, and the fact that a lot of decisions made those days just don't work anymore.

If you play something like Castle Wolfenstein today, the original Castle Wolfenstein from 1981, will you find enjoyment in it? Well, maybe you will, but will you prefer it over newer stealth-based titles? With its barely existent AI (which you couldn't do better than that back then, but it's not the point). I know 1981 is a LOT farther than 2007, but it's the same principle just a different amount of passed time.

When I played Assassin's Creed for the first time, I considered the Assassination missions to be incredibly awesome. Now I consider them to be side-quest quality. That doesn't mean that they weren't great at one point, but they aren't anymore (and, mind you, I'm not saying 'omg they suck!!!!! ****ing awful missions, what they were thinking?!?!?!??!?!?!?!' I'm just saying, 'now there's better') And if anything, that's a good thing. It means that things have progressed. That the series became better.

When a person plays a game, whatever his preferences are, he should judge it in the context he lives now, not in the context that doesn't exist. The context that doesn't exist is just something for that person to keep in mind to be reasonable.

Also, what you mention about 'genuine gameplay problems', what's considered to be a 'genuine gameplay problem' is also time-dependent, in 5 years what are considered genuine gameplay problems will be different from what were the genuine gameplay problems five years ago. Dune 2 is an RTS, where you can't select more than one unit at a time, and there's no right click shortcut to move. Nowadays that would be a genuine gameplay problem in any PC RTS, any mouse-based RTS with such a lack of common interface would be criticized. But it wasn't a genuine gameplay problem back then. I still remember playing Dune II and enjoying the hell out of it. It was amazing. But if I'm going to give advice now to a game designer about how to make a PC RTS, no way in hell would I say, 'make it like Dune II", because that's just bad. Should I now not criticize Dune II for genuine gameplay problems that can and should be criticized because it wasn't a genuine gameplay problem back then? It's not the way it works anymore. And that's fine.

Agree with you 100%.

SixKeys
04-29-2015, 03:05 AM
I disagree with that. Games don't live in a vacuum. The context of the time is important, and it should be kept in mind, but it shouldn't be a leeway in evaluation of enjoyment or quality. Because we're not in the context of that time anymore.

King's Quest pioneered the adventure game genre (well, the graphic adventure to be precise, there were text ones before). It was a revolutionary game for its time, and back then it was considered great for a reason, but should we nowadays just ignore the dead ends, the non-sensical puzzles (ifnkovhgroghprm as an example), the complete lack of proper narrative, lack of everything that's present in more modern adventure games? No. If one is to play King's Quest now, he's got full right to judge it for those reasons. He doesn't have to like it, or even consider good, just because back then it was great. Back then there was nothing else. Now, mind you, if that person doesn't acknowledge the context of time at all, then he's quite an ***. But if he does acknowledge it, he still doesn't have to like it, or consider it good.

Without having played King's Quest, those things that you mentioned I would still consider (dead ends, nonsensical puzzles) "actual gameplay problems". What I don't consider a gameplay problem is if the missions were simplistic due to hardware or budget constraints, for example. This is the case with AC1. The missions it has are simplistic by sequel standards only because the sequels were able to build upon AC1's legacy and the success of the brand.


In similar vein, we even talked a bit about Grim Fandango in one of the threads, how the re-release is less well received due to the context of the time changing, and the fact that a lot of decisions made those days just don't work anymore.

True, some things do change, but does the context of time really change the good things about the game simply because we're viewing it through a modern lens? A lot of old Hitchcock movies are badly acted and sexist by today's standards, yet people overlook those factors as products of their time and praise others, like the camerawork. The problems that still plague Grim Fandango include unpatched bugs that have never been fixed, not even for the re-release, so that's an actual gameplay problem. And even stuff like the puzzles being too obscure were being criticized already back when it was first released. People were just more willing to overlook that stuff because something else elevated the game beyond those flaws, like their enjoyment of the story. It's true that somer of those same development decisions would not work anymore, but does it truly retroactively change the fact that in the past they were acceptable? People talk a lot about handholding and modern games being so easy compared to the old "Nintendo hard" games. If you make a bunch of teens play retro Megaman, they will spend a while being confused because the game doesn't explicitly tell them where the checkpoints are and how the controls work. They have to figure it out themselves. Does that mean modern games are better for doing that? Or just different?


If you play something like Castle Wolfenstein today, the original Castle Wolfenstein from 1981, will you find enjoyment in it? Well, maybe you will, but will you prefer it over newer stealth-based titles?

That's a poor comparison, since the original Wolfenstein wasn't meant to be a stealth game. A better comparison would be some newer iterations in horror game franchises, like Resident Evil or Silent Hill, which started out as survival horror but have moved steadily towards action in recent years. If you enjoy psychological horror, you'll probably find more enjoyment in Silent Hill 1 and 2. If you enjoy mindlessly shooting things, you'll probably prefer Downpour.


With its barely existent AI (which you couldn't do better than that back then, but it's not the point).

It is the point, though. You have to take into consideration what was possible at the time, AND whether it fit the developers' vision. Would the original Wolfenstein have looked radically different if the developers had intended it to be a stealth game? Maybe. But they either couldn't (due to limitations) or chose not to. AC1's missions were all done in broad daylight because that's how the historical assassins did it, and there were a limited number of enemies and NPCs in one place due to hardware constraints. AC2 is wildly different in many ways because they consciously chose to move away from the philosophical heaviness of AC1 and put in a lot of mindless content. Could they have filled AC1 with more side missions like assassination contracts? Possibly, we don't know. To me it seemed like a conscious choice not to. They did put in such missions in the "director's cut" version on PC and those missions felt oddly out-of-place.


When I played Assassin's Creed for the first time, I considered the Assassination missions to be incredibly awesome. Now I consider them to be side-quest quality. That doesn't mean that they weren't great at one point, but they aren't anymore (and, mind you, I'm not saying 'omg they suck!!!!! ****ing awful missions, what they were thinking?!?!?!??!?!?!?!' I'm just saying, 'now there's better') And if anything, that's a good thing. It means that things have progressed. That the series became better.

I guess we'll just have to disagree on this point. I can't understand how something that used to be great suddenly isn't anymore. I don't understand how something artistic can go down in value just because we now have something more advanced. Old black-and-white photography doesn't magically become worse simply because we now have color cameras. You can consider black-and-white more limited due to the technology, but that doesn't mean old photos necessarily become less beautiful if you compare them with colored photos.

Farlander1991
04-29-2015, 08:45 AM
Without having played King's Quest, those things that you mentioned I would still consider (dead ends, nonsensical puzzles) "actual gameplay problems". What I don't consider a gameplay problem is if the missions were simplistic due to hardware or budget constraints, for example.

I'm sorry, but I consider this kind of thinking to be ripe for cherry picking. I mean, problems with King's Quest also relate to hardware and time constraints (and the fact that, well, it's a kind of game that didn't have any established design principles back then), and yet they're actual gameplay problems. And other things might not be actual gameplay problems. And then the whole issue of context of time, I think it's much fairer to judge everything on the same level. Doesn't mean you can't enjoy it regardless, or that you can't overlook flaws (acknowlidging the context of the time).


People were just more willing to overlook that stuff because something else elevated the game beyond those flaws, like their enjoyment of the story.

I've mentioned all the other merits of AC1, like its story, atmosphere, the way it feels. What I really don't get is why you're acting like I'm dissing on AC1. At least that's how it feels like to me. I'm not saying it's bad, I'm not saying that it doesn't have merits or that it didn't have merits, I'm just stating now my opinion and how much I enjoy it at this moment in time. Comparison with other titles is a part of that, because other titles influence my enjoyment.


It's true that somer of those same development decisions would not work anymore, but does it truly retroactively change the fact that in the past they were acceptable?

As I already said, it doesn't, but it also doesn't mean that you have to like it or consider it 'good' if you don't want to.
Overlooking something is fine. If I would overlook the context of AC1, I would've been much harsher about it I think. I enjoy the game, even with what I consider flaws (I know you had like an argument with M about him enjoying something he heavily criticizes, well, I'm not exactly like M, but I'm more like him in this regard :p ). Just like people can enjoy Hitchcock movies even if they're considered now sexist or badly acted, but are people now supposed not to criticize those aspects? Or prefer something else that doesn't have those aspects?


That's a poor comparison, since the original Wolfenstein wasn't meant to be a stealth game.


Would the original Wolfenstein have looked radically different if the developers had intended it to be a stealth game?

It was intended as a stealth game. I'm not talking about Wolfenstein 3d from id software, I'm talking about the original Wolfenstein.


I guess we'll just have to disagree on this point. I can't understand how something that used to be great suddenly isn't anymore.

I guess I haven't worded it properly, but can something be great for somebody if that person considers that now there's something better? I adored AC1 for the longest time (I considered it my favourite AC up to when ACIV was released), it has done a lot of things no other games have done before, but if I find more enjoyment in some aspects in newer games, like mission design that I consider to be better quality and more engaging, I should what, ignore that? How can I enjoy it on the same level if there's something I can enjoy more now?

SixKeys
04-29-2015, 09:17 AM
I've mentioned all the other merits of AC1, like its story, atmosphere, the way it feels. What I really don't get is why you're acting like I'm dissing on AC1. At least that's how it feels like to me. I'm not saying it's bad, I'm not saying that it doesn't have merits or that it didn't have merits, I'm just stating now my opinion and how much I enjoy it at this moment in time. Comparison with other titles is a part of that, because other titles influence my enjoyment.

I hope I'm not giving you the impression that I'm being aggressive or hostile. I'm not saying you're dissing AC1, I acknowledge there are many aspects you still like about it. I'm just offering a counter-point of view to your assertion that "we now have something better" in the newer games, when I don't think that's necessarily the case. Some things in the newer games might be considered an improvement, but a lot of things I consider neither better nor worse, just different. You mentioned AC1's long-winded white room speeches, for example, and compared them to Black Flag's which in your opinion were better written because they're more succinct. I disagree; I think both games do their own thing with the white room scenes, and I don't think AC4 wins out on brevity or the quality of writing. That's just personal preference.


As I already said, it doesn't, but it also doesn't mean that you have to like it or consider it 'good' if you don't want to.

True, I just wasn't sure what the original purpose of your thread was exactly. Are you simply saying that your personal preferences have changed over time and that's why you no longer enjoy AC1 as much as you used to? If so, that's perfectly reasonable. The way I initially read it was "AC1 used to be a great game, but now isn't anymore because it has been exceeded by its sequels" which to me would be nonsensical. The Godfather doesn't become a not-so-good movie just because its sequel is widely regarded as "better". One is great, and the other is excellent.


Overlooking something is fine. If I would overlook the context of AC1, I would've been much harsher about it I think. I enjoy the game, even with what I consider flaws (I know you had like an argument with M about him enjoying something he heavily criticizes, well, I'm not exactly like M, but I'm more like him in this regard :p ). Just like people can enjoy Hitchcock movies even if they're considered now sexist or badly acted, but are people now supposed not to criticize those aspects? Or prefer something else that doesn't have those aspects?

I guess for me it's that things don't really lose value over time, except maybe in cases where it's my own ignorance that used to make me like them, and growing older and (hopefully) wiser makes me spot the flaws that I just didn't see before. It doesn't mean the flaws weren't there to begin with, just that I didn't see them before. So the game doesn't exactly lose value unless I revisit it with more knowledge and spot what was always wrong with it. This is why so many movies get away with sexism. We don't necessarily recognize sexism when we see it unless we already know a lot about the subject. There are a lot of movies I used to like as a kid that I revisit years later and they just seem embarrassing - not because I'm necessarily comparing it to something better, but because I'm seeing flaws in it that were always there but I was too ignorant to recognize (like racist jokes). In such cases it's not that the movie used to be great and now is less-than-great, it's that the movie was always racist and dumb and I just didn't see it.


It was intended as a stealth game. I'm not talking about Wolfenstein 3d from id software, I'm talking about the original Wolfenstein.

My bad then. I'm only familiar with the Wolfenstein 3D.


I guess I haven't worded it properly, but can something be great for somebody if that person considers that now there's something better? I adored AC1 for the longest time (I considered it my favourite AC up to when ACIV was released), it has done a lot of things no other games have done before, but if I find more enjoyment in some aspects in newer games, like mission design that I consider to be better quality and more engaging, I should what, ignore that? How can I enjoy it on the same level if there's something I can enjoy more now?

See my thoughts on this above. :) I guess I'm just passionate about this because so many fans regularly use their experiences with the later games as justification for why AC1 needs to be remastered into a wholly different experience, because they feel it was flawed from the beginning by having a barebones approach with emphasis on atmosphere instead of time-wasting side quests. I get protective of it, because I don't think the newer games have necessarily improved the formula as much as they've changed it almost completely. Almost everything that made AC1 special to me has been slowly stripped away, and people call that improvement.

VestigialLlama4
04-29-2015, 09:19 AM
Just like people can enjoy Hitchcock movies even if they're considered now sexist or badly acted, but are people now supposed not to criticize those aspects?

This is seriously off-topic and I am kind of doing the exact thing that D. I. D. did, but Hitchcock's films aren't sexist. Hitchcock gave actresses like Ingrid Bergman, Joan Fontaine, Vera Miles, Janet Leigh, Teresa Wright, Kim Novak and Tippi Hedren some of the most complex roles any actress got in that era (or other eras for that matter). Hitchcock was far less sexist than film-makers today.

SixKeys
04-29-2015, 10:52 AM
This is seriously off-topic and I am kind of doing the exact thing that D. I. D. did, but Hitchcock's films aren't sexist. Hitchcock gave actresses like Ingrid Bergman, Joan Fontaine, Vera Miles, Janet Leigh, Teresa Wright, Kim Novak and Tippi Hedren some of the most complex roles any actress got in that era (or other eras for that matter). Hitchcock was far less sexist than film-makers today.

Hitchcock was a sexist creep and it shows in his movies. There was one movie (Marnie, I think) that had the male "hero" rape the woman. Hitchcock fired the original script writer who was uncomfortable with the scene as Hitchcock described it, and his replacement said that scene was "the reason [Hitchcock] wanted to make the movie". Hitchcock gave Tippi Hedren many roles because he was sexually obsessed with her, eventually turning into a creepy predator and when she turned him down, harassed her and attempted to ruin her career.

VestigialLlama4
04-29-2015, 11:15 AM
Hitchcock was a sexist creep and it shows in his movies. There was one movie (Marnie, I think) that had the male "hero" rape the woman. Hitchcock fired the original script writer who was uncomfortable with the scene as Hitchcock described it, and his replacement said that scene was "the reason [Hitchcock] wanted to make the movie".

The replacement, Jay Presson Allen was a woman and a novelist in her own right and she didn't see it as sexist nor did she find Hitchcock sexist. The "rape scene" is there in the novel of the book and not something that Hitchcock cooked up.


Hitchcock gave Tippi Hedren many roles because he was sexually obsessed with her, eventually turning into a creepy predator and when she turned him down, harassed her and attempted to ruin her career.

Tippi Hedren, as the movie's DVD supplementaries show, is also very proud of MARNIE and is graetful for Hitchcock giving her that complex role. She says one thing some days and other things other days.

But anyway, this is getting off topic, I apologize

Farlander1991
04-29-2015, 11:18 AM
That's just personal preference.

Yeah. And personal preference means you like something more or think something is better, doesn't it?


The way I initially read it was "AC1 used to be a great game, but now isn't anymore because it has been exceeded by its sequels" which to me would be nonsensical. The Godfather doesn't become a not-so-good movie just because its sequel is widely regarded as "better". One is great, and the other is excellent.

It's a very tricky subject. I mean, we're talking about the difference between preference and quality, but very rarely quality is something truly objective, it all comes down to preference really. Let's say I watch a movie or play a game and think 'OMFG BY ODIN'S BEARD THIS IS AWESOME!!!', and then I watch a sequel and think 'OMFG BY ODIN'S BEARD THIS IS AWESOME!!!', and rewatch the original and don't get that same kind of feeling anymore, just, 'yeah, this is pretty great', but the 'OMFG BY ODIN'S BEARD THIS IS AWESOME!!!!' is now applied to another movie. The first one movie hasn't changed, my perception of it did, though, and I clearly don't think it's as good as the second one, right? I guess you can say that the second one is just better, but maybe it's just a matter of perspective if the bar is 'pushed up' or if whatever reaches the top pushes everything down. In my arguments, I guess, the bar stayed on the same level, just whatever went up pushed other things down.


I guess I'm just passionate about this because so many fans regularly use their experiences with the later games as justification for why AC1 needs to be remastered into a wholly different experience,

I hope you realize that as a Game Designer I try to be just and reasonable, at least as much as possible (I mean, we're all prone to subjectivity and bias, but, hey, we can try our best). While I do believe that AC4 is overall the best crafted AC game to date (as an overall experience that smartly connects all the elements it has and puts it into one cohesive whole), I'm never gonna say that it's better than AC1 cause it has ships, day and night cycle, tons of chests, or stuff like that. When I'm comparing elements, I'm comparing the similar elements. I.e. assassinations with assassinations, for example. I also fully realize that stylistically AC1 and other AC games are absolutely different (and to me ACU is the first sequel to AC1 stylistically), and you might notice that I never actually compared the overall experience of AC1 to other games or called the other games 'better' (at least I don't think I did, but I did say that I didn't enjoy AC1 overall as much as I have before), just the different elements of it, because, ultimately, there's stuff in AC1 that's greater than in any other AC game.

Also, as a Game Designer, I can't really just simply enjoy games. Whenever I'm playing something I'm constantly analyzing things, keeping mental notes of what I think is good design or good principle and what is something I wouldn't want to use, or what is something I think should change, or if it creates a cohesive experience or not. Even with games like Child of Light which for me was just a magical experience that I enjoyed immensely, my mind was still taking notes of all the mechanical flaws that I saw, for example. I guess this is why my 'quality bar' is static, if I keep it dynamic my points of reference of what I think are the best uses of particular elements will get muddled. At least, from my point of view. Whatever works for each of us, right? :D Of course it's a bit more complicated than that, as there's no single 'from best to worst' list, but the point is, if I'm going to make what I think are great assassination missions, AC1 won't be used as the main point of reference to use and to try to one-up (well, maybe partially, as, you know, it's not that it sucks or bad ;) but it won't be the main reference).


This is seriously off-topic and I am kind of doing the exact thing that D. I. D. did, but Hitchcock's films aren't sexist. Hitchcock gave actresses like Ingrid Bergman, Joan Fontaine, Vera Miles, Janet Leigh, Teresa Wright, Kim Novak and Tippi Hedren some of the most complex roles any actress got in that era (or other eras for that matter). Hitchcock was far less sexist than film-makers today.

I have never seen any of the Hitchcock's films fully (just bits and pieces) so I can't comment on that.

SixKeys
04-29-2015, 11:40 AM
Yeah. And personal preference means you like something more or think something is better, doesn't it?

Those two terms aren't interchangeable. I can like something more but that doesn't necessarily mean I think it's "better" than something else. I like ACB more than AC2, but do I think it's objectively better? Not really. I recognize that ACB recycles a ton of elements from AC2, making it less original. I recognize that the story is more simplistic and the missions repetitive (they reuse Castel St. Angelo as a mission location like, three times). I recognize that AC2 did more to innovate. So I guess "objectively", I recognize that AC2 is the better game in terms of quality. But I still like ACB more because of personal reasons.


The first one movie hasn't changed, my perception of it did, though, and I clearly don't think it's as good as the second one, right? I guess you can say that the second one is just better, but maybe it's just a matter of perspective if the bar is 'pushed up' or if whatever reaches the top pushes everything down. In my arguments, I guess, the bar stayed on the same level, just whatever went up pushed other things down.

This is what I'm getting at, I think. It's not the quality itself that goes down, but our perception over time. That's what I was trying to say with my comment about ignorance and how new information changes our views over time. Did you like the first movie so much when you first watched it because it was genuinely awesome, or did the second movie give you new information that you weren't aware of which made you look at the first one from a new perspective? For example, maybe before you watched the second movie, you weren't aware camerawork during chase scenes could be so dynamic. So when you look at the first movie with that new information in mind, you realize the first movie was lacking something. It can still be a good movie, but you now have the understanding that the chase scenes could have been more engaging with more dynamic camerawork.


I hope you realize that as a Game Designer I try to be just and reasonable, at least as much as possible (I mean, we're all prone to subjectivity and bias, but, hey, we can try our best). While I do believe that AC4 is overall the best crafted AC game to date (as an overall experience that smartly connects all the elements it has and puts it into one cohesive whole), I'm never gonna say that it's better than AC1 cause it has ships, day and night cycle, tons of chests, or stuff like that. When I'm comparing elements, I'm comparing the similar elements. I.e. assassinations with assassinations, for example. I also fully realize that stylistically AC1 and other AC games are absolutely different (and to me ACU is the first sequel to AC1 stylistically), and you might notice that I never actually compared the overall experience of AC1 to other games or called the other games 'better' (at least I don't think I did, but I did say that I didn't enjoy AC1 overall as much as I have before), just the different elements of it, because, ultimately, there's stuff in AC1 that's greater than in any other AC game.

Also, as a Game Designer, I can't really just simply enjoy games. Whenever I'm playing something I'm constantly analyzing things, keeping mental notes of what I think is good design or good principle and what is something I wouldn't want to use, or what is something I think should change, or if it creates a cohesive experience or not. Even with games like Child of Light which for me was just a magical experience that I enjoyed immensely, my mind was still taking notes of all the mechanical flaws that I saw, for example. I guess this is why my 'quality bar' is static, if I keep it dynamic my points of reference of what I think are the best uses of particular elements will get muddled. At least, from my point of view. Whatever works for each of us, right? :D

I do appreciate your viewpoints as a game designer, in spite of and because they're sometimes so different from my own. I evaluate games much more based on feeling and intuition, whereas you like to make lists of things like which games had the most pure stealth missions. ;) My experiences with AC1 have not particularly changed with the newer games because I don't view it in terms of "better or worse mission design" but rather things like "has clouds of dust flying through the air, other games don't - 10/10". ;)

Farlander1991
04-29-2015, 12:01 PM
Those two terms aren't interchangeable. I can like something more but that doesn't necessarily mean I think it's "better" than something else.

Yeah, that's true. But you also CAN like something more because you think it's better :p :D


Did you like the first movie so much when you first watched it because it was genuinely awesome, or did the second movie give you new information that you weren't aware of which made you look at the first one from a new perspective?

Wouldn't it be both, really? We've already established the importance of personal preference, which pretty much defines for each person what genuinely awesome is. How do you define what's genuinely awesome? How do you know that the second film which is more genuinely awesome than the first one wouldn't get topped by a third one (by adding more perspective into things)?


My experiences with AC1 have not particularly changed with the newer games because I don't view it in terms of "better or worse mission design" but rather things like "has clouds of dust flying through the air, other games don't - 10/10"

Well, I view it with both, cause clouds of dust are just as important in terms of overall game design ;D But the 'mission design' part of the aspect does get prevalence I suppose.

Sometimes it gets weird, though. Funny story, when I played Watch_Dogs and was hacking people's conversations, my thoughts were: "OMFG! Not only they've recorded ****tons of lines so it wouldn't repeat often, they have a whole system to define the gender and race of person talking to ensure that at least one of them is applied to the person we're hacking, not only that, they also have a system that defines age, and also conversations are chosen based on their social status as well! This is amazing!" I then looked to the Internet regarding the reaction to this particular part, and overall the peoples' reaction was "meh, just hacking phone conversations, whatever". :(