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View Full Version : Syndicate doesn't solve anything



LieutenantRex
05-17-2015, 04:54 PM
Let's avoid the usual verbosity that often plagues threads such as this:

1) The game resembles the atrocity that was Unity far too much (gameplay, graphics, voice acting, which I will delve into below), for me to purchase it and play it without associating the two, and hence the negative connotations that one carried, with each other.

2) I am not awed by British accents as I received a wearisome earful in Unity.

3) I refuse to buy into the white, patriarchial system of power by supporting this game. Ubisoft only added a playable female character to counter the controversy of last year (started by the Prophet himself, Alex Amancio), and even now she is cast in the shadow of her brother, who speaks for her, comes to conclusions for the pair without much consultation for his other half, and subjects her to the clichéd position of 'peeved female companion who still follows her arbitrary male dominator because she needs him as much as he needs her --only she needs him more." She isn't shown on any promotional poster or given extensive screentime whenever she is displayed. I am sure there will be a scene in the game over-sexualizing her or another female, probably a working girl, justified by high prostitution rates in Victorian London.

All in all, Syndicate, from what I've deduced thus far, is naught but Ubisoft pandering to the demands of a market they believe exists... but doesn't. Half of the gaming population is female. Give us a full game with a female protagonist, and don't subject her to having half of her game being told through the eyes of her 'superior white male counterpart' like Connor was forced to. Also don't limit her promotion and audience by releasing her game on a handheld platform that only a few thousand will play, coupled with the world class graphics that such an avenue would imply. That is all.

Altair1789
05-17-2015, 04:59 PM
3) I refuse to buy into the white, patriarchial system of power by supporting this game. Ubisoft only added a playable female character to counter the controversy of last year (started by the Prophet himself, Alex Amancio), and even now she is cast in the shadow of her brother, who speaks for her, comes to conclusions for the pair without much consultation for his other half, and subjects her to the clichéd position of 'peeved female companion who still follows her arbitrary male dominator because she needs him as much as he needs her --only she needs him more." She isn't shown on any promotional poster or given extensive screentime whenever she is displayed. I am sure there will be a scene in the game over-sexualizing her or another female, probably a working girl, justified by high prostitution rates in Victorian London.

We've only seen one cutscene, I doubt Jacob will be the decision maker in every mission. They even said that she's the more calm and calculated among the two. The creative director said they put in Evie far before the Unity sexism stuff. Also, it would make sense that they put in female fighting animations since there were many female gangs in Victorian London


2) I am not awed by British accents as I received a wearisome earful in Unity.

Well, the game takes place in London. It feels like we haven't seen a game without British accents everywhere, but we did have AC1 (sorta) -ACR. You'll have your non- British accents soon, don't worry

VestigialLlama4
05-17-2015, 05:06 PM
2) I am not awed by British accents as I received a wearisome earful in Unity.

You know funnily enough that's true. That's a problem with using accents in UNITY. There's also three New World game with Irish, Welsh and British immigrants means we're pretty much accented out. All of a sudden you get the sense that there are too many Anglophiles working at Ubisoft Montreal (well Canada is Anglophile generally speaking).


I refuse to buy into the white, patriarchial system of power by supporting this game. Ubisoft only added a playable female character to counter the controversy of last year (started by the Prophet himself, Alex Amancio), and even now she is cast in the shadow of her brother, who speaks for her, comes to conclusions for the pair without much consultation for his other half, and subjects her to the clichéd position of 'peeved female companion who still follows her arbitrary male dominator because she needs him as much as he needs her --only she needs him more." She isn't shown on any promotional poster or given extensive screentime whenever she is displayed. I am sure there will be a scene in the game over-sexualizing her or another female, probably a working girl, justified by high prostitution rates in Victorian London.

Hey, let's not be so hasty...let the game come out. Ubisoft are in cover-their-a-- mode after all. This might turn out to be AC FURY ROAD for all we know.


All in all, Syndicate, from what I've deduced thus far, is naught but Ubisoft pandering to the demands of a market they believe exists... but doesn't. Half of the gaming population is female. Give us a full game with a female protagonist, and don't subject her to having half of her game being told through the eyes of her 'superior white male counterpart' like Connor was forced to. Also don't limit her promotion and audience by releasing her game on a handheld platform that only a few thousand will play, coupled with the world class graphics that such an avenue would imply. That is all.

This I can get behind.

Farlander1991
05-17-2015, 05:27 PM
I'm not going to argue your opinion, cause, well, I don't have any opinion of my own (prefer not to build it until I see the actual final thing). However, I have something to say about this:


Ubisoft only added a playable female character to counter the controversy of last year (started by the Prophet himself, Alex Amancio),

This is not how game development works. I mean, yes, a lot is based on reaction, but this statement would've had merit only if Syndicate was released in 2016, as even if Evie is playable only for 25% of the game, a game like AC wouldn't be able to have her in the amount of time between the controversy and now.

We know that female avatars were planned for Unity, but were cut out of there since the time to make them properly didn't justify the results (as players would only ever see them from afar). I've actually made a long post here somewhere about why this is, but the short gist of it, it's the production realities, and if the main character of Unity would've been female, we wouldn't have male avatars because they too would have to be done from scratch and there wouldn't have been proper time and reason for that. Why the main character of Unity wasn't female is another matter entirely, not related to the situation (even though THAT is a decision that can be justifiably criticized).

Syndicate, however, started development in the middle of Unity's, so a female avatar was (a) less risky since they would have a base of animations already ready for the male character so they'd have to work only on female (not on both), and (b) made more sense in terms of budget, time and production as you'd actually play as one by their plan so it was higher priority than in Unity.

And, this is my presumption only, but the reason behind 25% for Evie is for there to be a fallback plan. If there would be problems and Evie's animations wouldn't be fully ready or really-really unpolished (or a bunch of other potentially possible problems), turning her into an NPC wouldn't do much damage to the product and storyline (note, this is NOT the same as cramming her in at the last second).

Basically, what this all means is, after Syndicate there won't be any production/budget problems for a full-fledged female-led next-gen AC game, as all the production-related hurdles would be dealt with.

RA503
05-17-2015, 09:02 PM
''having half of her game being told through the eyes of her 'superior white male counterpart' like Connor was forced to.''

What ? Connor part in AC 3 are far superior to Haytham.

Haytham is only a Prologue that introduce us to the villain,if in syndicate we have 25 % of Evie(Remember,second early rumours),in AC 3 Haytham parts is far less tham that,how this is half of a game ?

Now imagine the reaction if we have only three sequences with Connors ?

Charles_Phipps
05-17-2015, 10:24 PM
Ubisoft gets a lot of crap but they actually DO have female protagonists, which is more than most single-player games.

Helforsite
05-17-2015, 10:45 PM
1) The game resembles the atrocity that was Unity far too much (gameplay, graphics, voice acting, which I will delve into below), for me to purchase it and play it without associating the two, and hence the negative connotations that one carried, with each other.
The only bad things in Unity were the bugs and the story.

3) I refuse to buy into the white, patriarchial system of power by supporting this game. Racist&sexist idea that white males are to blame.

Ubisoft only added a playable female character to counter the controversy of last year (started by the Prophet himself, Alex Amancio), and even now she is cast in the shadow of her brother, who speaks for her, comes to conclusions for the pair without much consultation for his other half, and subjects her to the clichéd position of 'peeved female companion who still follows her arbitrary male dominator because she needs him as much as he needs her --only she needs him more." Would like to get my hands on the internal communication and hours of footage you are referencing here!

She isn't shown on any promotional poster or given extensive screentime whenever she is displayed. Again, would love to see the dozens of promotional posters and hours of footage you seem to base your statement on.

I am sure there will be a scene in the game over-sexualizing her or another female, probably a working girl, justified by high prostitution rates in Victorian London. And I am sure you will be equally enraged if a male is over-sexualized.

Half of the gaming population is female. Give us a full game with a female protagonist, and don't subject her to having half of her game being told through the eyes of her 'superior white male counterpart' like Connor was forced to. Also don't limit her promotion and audience by releasing her game on a handheld platform that only a few thousand will play, coupled with the world class graphics that such an avenue would imply. That is all. Reality is, probably not even 33% of all the people that buy AAA games are female and Ubisoft recognizes that, which means that they would probably loose a big part of their customers if they had a female protagonist.

Charles_Phipps
05-17-2015, 10:56 PM
But seriously, you're NOT buying the game with a female protagonist and thus giving Ubisoft no reason to continue?

Shahkulu101
05-17-2015, 11:27 PM
Relax guys, he's playing the Devil's advocate.

D.I.D.
05-17-2015, 11:31 PM
Reality is, probably not even 33% of all the people that buy AAA games are female and Ubisoft recognizes that, which means that they would probably loose a big part of their customers if they had a female protagonist.

Really? If you're not Middle-Eastern, why did you buy AC1? If you're not black, why did you buy Freedom Cry? Why did Tomb Raider 2013 sell 8.3m copies? Surely it should have flopped?

I think you're being extremely pessimistic about the willingness of all genders to play female-led games. Whatever the figures of women and girls owning/playing consoles, that's exactly the reason to introduce a greater range of customers. If you've got the maximum number of male customers already, then it's obvious where you should be looking next (and it's not right back at the boys).

SixKeys
05-17-2015, 11:47 PM
Tumblr should be proof enough that AC is a series particularly popular among female gamers.

rprkjj
05-17-2015, 11:56 PM
Tumblr should be proof enough that AC is a series particularly popular among female gamers.

Tbh you see tumblr fans obsessing more about dreamy male leads than anything.

SixKeys
05-18-2015, 12:01 AM
Tbh you see tumblr fans obsessing more about dreamy male leads than anything.

It still means they played the games.

rprkjj
05-18-2015, 12:06 AM
It still means they played the games.

I was referring to the assumption that their presence as a fanbase means you need a female protag to appeal to them. Most of their energy as fans being spent on obsessing about the exact opposite of a female protagonist says otherwise.

SixKeys
05-18-2015, 12:11 AM
I was referring to the assumption that their presence as a fanbase means you need a female protag to appeal to them. Most of their energy as fans being spent on obsessing about the exact opposite of a female protagonist says otherwise.

That wasn't what I was addressing, but okay. I was replying to the person who said women don't play triple A titles.

As an aside, lots of straight men spend a remarkable amount of time fantasizing about lesbians. Doesn't mean they don't still want to play as straight men in video games.

(Edited for clarity.)

rprkjj
05-18-2015, 12:17 AM
That wasn't what I was addressing, but okay. I was replying to the person who said women don't play triple A titles.

As an aside, lots of straight men spend a remarkable amount of time fantasizing about lesbians. Doesn't mean they don't still want to play as straight men in video games.

(Edited for clarity.)

Oh, my bad. I couldn't tell. Also, that's not what he saId. Anyways, your analogy would make sense if those straight men were obsessing about the lesbian lead in a videogame. The tumblr fans are obsessing about a male lead in a videogame specificially, meaning they appreciate the maleness of the lead as opposed to if it were a female lead.

SixKeys
05-18-2015, 06:06 AM
Oh, my bad. I couldn't tell. Also, that's not what he saId. Anyways, your analogy would make sense if those straight men were obsessing about the lesbian lead in a videogame. The tumblr fans are obsessing about a male lead in a videogame specificially, meaning they appreciate the maleness of the lead as opposed to if it were a female lead.

They appreciate the sexiness and potential slash fodder of the male leads. It doesn't mean they wouldn't like to play as a female. Lots of people like Tomb Raider, after all.

VestigialLlama4
05-18-2015, 06:17 AM
They appreciate the sexiness and potential slash fodder of the male leads. It doesn't mean they wouldn't like to play as a female. Lots of people like Tomb Raider, after all.

And Beyond Good and Evil, and Portal (though as a First Person game, you can kind of not have the gender be a part of your immersion).

Helforsite
05-18-2015, 06:34 AM
Tomb Raider, which I played and loved, had the advantage of already having a very big fanbase, a big part of which played the previous games because of the sex appeal of Lara Croft. Assassin's Creed sadly has not proven itself to have a fanbase that appreciate a female protagonist, so making a game with a female protagonist as lead protagonist is very risky.
Personally I would love to see a female protagonist, but change has to come overtime, because sadly the majority of Assassins Creed fans are not as enlightened and open as the fine people on this forum.

Also, I still think it holds true that a big majority of the people that play Assassin's Creed games are male.

rprkjj
05-18-2015, 07:02 AM
They appreciate the sexiness and potential slash fodder of the male leads. It doesn't mean they wouldn't like to play as a female. Lots of people like Tomb Raider, after all.

I never said they wouldn't. But based on where their interests in a lead are made visible, one can infer they're perfectly content without one. I also think people like Tomb Raider because they thought it was a good game as opposed to playing as a female, which is a given as its Tomb Raider.

Charles_Phipps
05-18-2015, 07:10 AM
I would have been fine if Elise was my protagonist during Unity.

I also really liked Hope.

I wasn't a fan of Aveline and I struggled with that until I realized it was because she had the personality of wet cardboard.

SixKeys
05-18-2015, 06:22 PM
I never said they wouldn't. But based on where their interests in a lead are made visible, one can infer they're perfectly content without one. I also think people like Tomb Raider because they thought it was a good game as opposed to playing as a female, which is a given as its Tomb Raider.

It was a good game BECAUSE it had a good female protagonist. I was never interested in TR before because the focus was on her attractiveness and how big her boobs were. I bought TR 2012 because the trailer made her look like a promising character.

I play AC not because I am "perfectly content" without female leads, I play them because they're the only open world games that combine history, parkour and stealth. In fact I am anything but content with the fact that we already have 7 or 8 male leads and only two females (including one from a 2D sidescroller DLC). Last year's Unity controversy is proof I'm not the only one who feels that way.

rprkjj
05-18-2015, 11:18 PM
It was a good game BECAUSE it had a good female protagonist. I was never interested in TR before because the focus was on her attractiveness and how big her boobs were. I bought TR 2012 because the trailer made her look like a promising character.

I play AC not because I am "perfectly content" without female leads, I play them because they're the only open world games that combine history, parkour and stealth. In fact I am anything but content with the fact that we already have 7 or 8 male leads and only two females (including one from a 2D sidescroller DLC). Last year's Unity controversy is proof I'm not the only one who feels that way.

Tomb Raider has never been good because of Laras tits. The original games were critically lauded, big tits or not. Sorry that was a barrier of entry for you. While these things are subjective, no review for the new game was simply "Lara is a realistic female 10/10." That's a plus for a lot of people as opposed to the old games, but the story and characters in general were kind've din-ky, definitely not the notable strong point for that game or any TR really.

It was praised for being a competent Uncharted clone while still doing its own thing, regardless of why you liked it or what you thought made it good.

I never made assumptions of what you want from the series, we're talking about the Tumblr fans here. And I'm well aware of the widespread discontent with male protagonists; but again, nobody was talking about you or anyone besides the Tumblr crowd for that matter.

Also LOL at the forums censoring d-i-n-k.

DumbGamerTag94
05-19-2015, 12:34 AM
I am not convinced female protagonists are that big of an issue and their demand has been grossly exaggerated. Simply putting a strong female lead in a game does not automatically make it move product off the shelves.

Tomb raider for example(since it's already topic of discussion). Was a game that turned away many people thanks to having an over sexualized female protagonist that made males feel either awkward or like perverts playing it. Thus why though it was a very popular game the series was never as successful as an Assassins Creed or COD for example.

Then in 2012 they rebooted the game with a reimagined Lara croft that was more realistic less sexualized and more appealing for male and female gamers to play. Thus there was a large spike in that series not because of a female protagonist(there already was one), but because they made the existing protagonist more appealing to the general public(not just males. Females also).

Even with the spike in popularity. Which I argue had nothing to do with the sex of the protagonist at all and more to do with it being presented as a more serious game than it previously had. The sales reached only 8.5 mil. Copies.

Compare that to ACU(which is considered by a great many people and critics to be the worst of the series) which sold 10mil copies with a cloud of bad press. And if you prefer to use a contemporary game to Tomb raider. We can use AC3 which also had some of the worst complaints of any game and still sold better than any AC game has.

So the evidence stands as such:
TR2012: considered the best or at least one of the best of the entire series in the most recognized/best selling series for a female protagonist with good reviews sells: 8.5mil

AC3 and ACU: male protagonists in games competing for the title of worst of the series sell: 12 and 10mil respectively.

I conclude from this that female protagonists are not as high of a demand as many think.

Charles_Phipps
05-19-2015, 01:15 AM
My take on the subject is there's a demand for strong female protagonist characters but that doesn't compensate for gameplay. Even so, Tombraider was a massively successful multi-media franchise.

Assassin's Creed has nowhere near the mainstream penetration of Tombraider.

A better example might be "Remember Me" which gained a lot of mainstream attention for being a woman of color protagonist. It's just the game played like ***.

ze_topazio
05-19-2015, 01:17 AM
The first TR sold 7.5 million copies, TR2 sold 8 million copies, TR3 sold 6.5 million copies, do you have any idea how hard was for a game to sell those numbers back in the 90's when videogames was still fairly niche? Tomb Raider was always super popular, a few bad games made the series lose its popularity and importance but at its peak Tomb Raider was a phenomenon, Lara's big knockers were certainly impossible to ignore but they were far from being a turn-off for anyone, their size was considered funny in fact, lots of female gamers were fans too, Lara's boobs were not a problem to anyone back then, things like sexualization weren't really discussed by anyone in those days, Lara was an iconic character and Tomb Raider was a highly respected series synonymous with quality, then some poor and average sequels happened and the series nearly died, finally the reboot successfully resurrected the series from the dead, but the reboot didn't gave the series any respect, Tomb Raider was always respected and the reboot ain't really much more serious than the first few were.

Charles_Phipps
05-19-2015, 01:20 AM
The first TR sold 7.5 million copies, TR2 sold 8 million copies, TR3 sold 6.5 million copies, do you have any idea how hard was for a game to sell those numbers back in the 90's when videogames was still fairly niche? Tomb Raider was always super popular, a few bad games made the series lose its popularity and importance but at its peak Tomb Raider was a phenomenon, Lara's big knockers were certainly impossible to ignore but they were far from being a turn-off for anyone, their size was considered funny in fact, lots of female gamers were fans too, Lara's boobs were not a problem to anyone back then, things like sexualization weren't really discussed by anyone in those days, Lara was an iconic character and Tomb Raider was a highly respected series synonymous with quality, then some poor and average sequels happened and the series nearly died, finally the reboot successfully resurrected the series from the dead, but the reboot didn't gave the series any respect, Tomb Raider was always respected and the reboot ain't really much more serious than the first few were.

Pretty much the idea that video games can and are played by women came about because of:

* Final Fantasy
* Tombraider
* Customizable hero games

avk111
05-19-2015, 07:44 AM
Well as long as its not just another Filler Ill give it a go , because till now we dont know what is happening with Minerva , which sucks.

Charles_Phipps
05-19-2015, 07:49 AM
One thing I'd like to bring up but does anyone feel like they're just bringing stuff from the last generation of games into the next generation? I can't help but get the feeling that "taking over London via street gangs" is going to suspiciously resemble what Ezio was doing in London against the Borgias.

The only difference is, instead of "nameless Borgia Captain" it'll be a Templar agent.

Likewise, carriage riding is something we've done before and it was my least favorite part of Revelations.

D.I.D.
05-19-2015, 08:22 AM
I am not convinced female protagonists are that big of an issue and their demand has been grossly exaggerated. Simply putting a strong female lead in a game does not automatically make it move product off the shelves.

Tomb raider for example(since it's already topic of discussion). Was a game that turned away many people thanks to having an over sexualized female protagonist that made males feel either awkward or like perverts playing it. Thus why though it was a very popular game the series was never as successful as an Assassins Creed or COD for example.

Then in 2012 they rebooted the game with a reimagined Lara croft that was more realistic less sexualized and more appealing for male and female gamers to play. Thus there was a large spike in that series not because of a female protagonist(there already was one), but because they made the existing protagonist more appealing to the general public(not just males. Females also).

Even with the spike in popularity. Which I argue had nothing to do with the sex of the protagonist at all and more to do with it being presented as a more serious game than it previously had. The sales reached only 8.5 mil. Copies.

Compare that to ACU(which is considered by a great many people and critics to be the worst of the series) which sold 10mil copies with a cloud of bad press. And if you prefer to use a contemporary game to Tomb raider. We can use AC3 which also had some of the worst complaints of any game and still sold better than any AC game has.

So the evidence stands as such:
TR2012: considered the best or at least one of the best of the entire series in the most recognized/best selling series for a female protagonist with good reviews sells: 8.5mil

AC3 and ACU: male protagonists in games competing for the title of worst of the series sell: 12 and 10mil respectively.

I conclude from this that female protagonists are not as high of a demand as many think.


Firstly, where's the evidence that Tomb Raider used to turn away a lot of people? Sure, there was controversy and some people didn't like the marketing (me included). But you say it wasn't the AC or CoD of its day but in fact it was, in a time where it was much harder to achieve mass market success (fewer consoles sold, fewer players, gaming less mainstream that it is today). Tomb Raider was actually one of the breakthrough games, one you might talk about as a crossover given that it transcended its market, to people who weren't even interested in games. The original was a unit-shifter in the way that Halo is for XBox - the game was credited for selling the Playstation itself. In that sense, it was bigger than AC or CoD. Stand-up comedians could safely reference TR and Croft in their sets and know the audience would recognise who they were talking about, in a time when games were relatively niche - try that now for AC and any of its characters, or CoD for... Soap McTavish? Lara has the kind of cultural recognition that PacMan did.

TR2013 sold well because it was good, and that's the point here. A female protagonist is not a barrier to a game's success, which is what people have been trying to argue. It's not even really about sexualisation. A more realistic Lara was by necessity toned down in glamour, but she was toned down in all kinds of other ways as well: voice less confident, no wse-crack one-liners, less of a superhero. Bayonetta is eye-poppingly sexualised, and she has fans and critics on all sides of the debate over depictions of female characters in games. It's great that "sexy" isn't the go-to attribute for female characters all the time

Then you say TR2013 sold "only 8.5m copies". Do you not realise how ridiculous this sounds? Only 8.5m, as if this was low or an embarrassment of some kind? I think you need to pay more attention to the amount of copies games actually sell. As for Unity's sales, they dropped dramatically after the first week. It sold phenomenally well in the circumstances, especially for being on new gen/PC only. If those reviews had been allowed out even a day or two before release day, rather than 12 hours after release, the effects would have been catastrophic. If that sounds like wild conjecture then Ubisoft must have thought it was a genuine danger, or why else make this unusual stipulation? This comment shows that you're setting the bar ridiculously high for a female-led game. Does TR have to be the biggest-selling game of all time to make the point here, or is it enough that it's one of the biggest-selling AAA action-adventures?

The idea that a better range of protagonists will draw more customers into gaming is a very different statement from the notion that having a female protagonist in one game will make it sell like gangbusters. The former requires a change in the culture to make it feel more welcoming and inclusive, requiring an industry-wide effort, while the latter is a reductive litmus test in which single games must shoulder responsibility beyond their limits. That is unfair, and nobody was arguing that second case.

Charles_Phipps
05-19-2015, 08:33 AM
Hell, I think Remember Me sold a lot more copies because of its female protagonist than if it hadn't.

It just wasn't very good.

D.I.D.
05-19-2015, 08:49 AM
Hell, I think Remember Me sold a lot more copies because of its female protagonist than if it hadn't.

It just wasn't very good.

And also not very well promoted, as has generally been the case with the scant number of female-led games until recently.

Charles_Phipps
05-19-2015, 08:55 AM
And also not very well promoted, as has generally been the case with the scant number of female-led games until recently.

Well, it didn't have the budget for as much promotion as it did.

:-)

D.I.D.
05-19-2015, 09:12 AM
Same thing, at least in this arena :)

Companies spend a fraction of what they put behind male-led games, and then some people throw their hands up and declare "QED".

RedTegareg
05-25-2015, 08:42 PM
1) The game resembles the atrocity that was Unity far too much (gameplay, graphics.
Lost all credibility at this point.

Unity looks amazing.

Altair1789
05-27-2015, 02:42 AM
Lost all credibility at this point.

Unity looks amazing.

Whether you like Unity or not, you still should agree that if the game looks so similar at launch that's a really bad thing. I guess if you loved Unity that much it might not matter as much, and I enjoyed Unity's gameplay, but I won't even bother buying it if it resembles Unity so closely

pirate1802
05-27-2015, 10:39 AM
Troll thread is a troll thread.

-6.9/10