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View Full Version : So I was replaying ACR...



Farlander1991
09-07-2015, 07:25 PM
In continuation of my series of posts dedicated to replaying the AC games. This time it's about ACR, I'm in the middle of sequence 3 right now.

What can I say... ACR is a game of contradictions. I mean, on one hand, Constantinople is lovely and the music is awesome, but on another one, what the **** happened to Desmond's face, you know what I mean? Yeah, Desmond's used to changing faces now with the AC1-AC2 change, but by gods.

But, you know, if ACB is AC2+, then ACR feels like ACB-, i.e. does all the things ACB does, only does it worse because it didn't know what to cut (or there wasn't any time to learn as the game was made in 11 months).

Though, you know what, that's not entirely true. While I won't lie that one of my fondest memories of ACB was climbing Castel Sant'angelo while commanding my Assassins to take out the guards in the vicinity (felt bad-***, like it's a spec ops operation or smth), I can't help but think that from the first moments, ACR makes me feel like a part of a working, breathing Brotherhood more than ACB ever did. The way assassins are integrated into the main missions, how you train with them in special missions, how they assist in the attack on the Templar den in one of the missions, and how in the future (didn't get to that part yet) we will have sort of a race to our mission objective among other things. You feel like a part of big organization.

And, you know, this kinda makes sense. The Brotherhood mechanic is introduced in the middle of ACB, the game is about building it up from nothing, so even by the end when the underdogs get the upper hand, it makes sense that the operation is still quite small. The Brotherhood in Constaninople, narrative-wise and in terms of city design, are not the underdogs, Templars are. Yusuf says so himself that assassins have strong presence, they've already went through the stuff that Ezio went through in Rome, they've put zip-lines all over the city for their hook-blades.

Which is why the liberating districts mechanic from ACB doesn't make any sense at all. There's everything to show how strong Assassins are in Constaninople, and yet at the start of the game there's only one den under our control. And we have to liberate the rest. Seriously? And renovating shops doesn't really make sense in Constatinople. The tug of war thing is an interesting concept, but I'm not sure it's implemented properly. The Den Defense mechanic is... okay-ish. I don't hate it, but I certainly could do without it, especially considering how when you advance it gets really ridiculous with flame throwers and all different kinds of war machines and what not. Geez, it's like the city is literally a war zone.

But outside of this Assassin training and tug of war, there's really not that much to do in the city, which is a pity as it's beautiful.

Oh, also, the difference with the tool button addition really shows, much more comfortable. In AC2/ACB it was kinda frustrating when you wanted to quickly switch to things like smoke bombs (which I don't usually have on quick select) and you had to pause to equip them. Speaking of tools, I still think that the bomb crafting mechanic is redundant as hell, and while the idea is interesting, it could be streamlined a lot (which, now that I think about, they did in Unity, so there's that).

Also, some kill streak animations can be too brutal and ridiculous, like when you pick up a person into the air by the neck with your sword. Wha?! There are also some kill streaks that are fine overall, but are too long and should be played only on the last enemy, as when they're played in the middle of the battle it's weird (like the animation where a person slides off a sword and tries to hold on). It's interesting that the same team repeats the mistake in AC4 with some overly long animations in the middle of battle (though at least they don't have ridiculous brutality there, at least to my memory).

Anyway, this is it for now, will post more as will play more and more things will come to mind.

EDIT: Oh, almost forgot. Walk & Talk. This thing is awesome. Bring it back to AC games, people. I don't really want much walk & talk moments, but if we're going to have them, then I'd prefer this to be there to not worry about keeping the pace with the character if I don't want to do things around the route.

VestigialLlama4
09-07-2015, 08:28 PM
What can I say... ACR is a game of contradictions. I mean, on one hand, Constantinople is lovely and the music is awesome, but on another one, what the **** happened to Desmond's face, you know what I mean?

I think they were experimenting with designs, trying to see what looks like a good advanced render of Desmond's face. His face in AC3 was what struck me as most weird, depending on the angle he looked very different. Notably his cutscene face in the opening section and later looks very different.


Which is why the liberating districts mechanic from ACB doesn't make any sense at all.

Absolutely. I liked the way they deepened and built the Recruitment from the previous game and tried to make some of the recruits into actual characters, which obviously fed into AC3.


But outside of this Assassin training and tug of war, there's really not that much to do in the city, which is a pity as it's beautiful.

You know ACR (along with AC1 and AC3) are the only games that I really sandboxed. That is to say I did those things that developers (wrongly) believe all gamers do for all open world games. I would frequently move away from doing missions to just doing my own thing. One thing that I did for instance was run across Istanbul on street level. Especially on the East Side (what I think of as the Greek section). Its quite weird because the city is hilly and multi-terrain so its really quite an experience. I would frequently try and devise my own routes and create my own distractions and games. The reason is that the city was really too gorgeous for words. Istanbul is much more dense and urban than Rome in Brotherhood. In fact until Paris it was the most dense and full of the cities. In Rome aside from Vaticano and Centro, most of the map had countryside, isolated towns and pockets across a huge map. Whereas Istanbul is actually two really full sections separated only by the Halic (which I am happy to say I swam across in the game).

You are right that there's not really a great deal of activity because Ezio is a tourist, he's not really connected to the city's social life and problems. REVELATIONS does suffer from the Hollywood trope of a white tourist going on an "eastern vacation" and finding his purpose in life, and purely by virtue of being a white outsider, gets a handy photo-op with the ruling class even if he causes riots, explosions and carriage chases. A lot of people compared the game to Uncharted and that's certainly part of the appeal.

I really did like collectible hunting in the game: the Animus Fragments (which unlocks the Desmond Memories), the books (which unlocks the Armor but frankly the Hagia Sophia level is the reward all by itself). You also have the Piri Reis missions which are quite fun to complete (mostly because Piri Reis is a cool guy). One thing which made Brotherhood superior however is that all the side missions and the Tombs really immerse you into the city's history, whereas in Revelations, mostly because the Tombs are main missions (Altair's Memory Disks), it doesn't feel connected to the city. I do like Subject 16's database entries though. He's writing voice really gives this sardonic personality. Like when he talks about the history of the Byzantine (or East Roman) Empire he calls the decision to split the Western and Eastern Roman Empires "one of the top four bad ideas in the history of the world" or he talks about how hot Sofia Sartor is.

Farlander1991
09-07-2015, 10:07 PM
Its quite weird because the city is hilly and multi-terrain so its really quite an experience.

Yeah, with that terrain, Istanbul is a joy to parkour in.


You are right that there's not really a great deal of activity because Ezio is a tourist, he's not really connected to the city's social life and problems.

Well, there's that, but it's more of 'after the fact' explanation, production reasons are the more likely actual source of the problem - the fact that ACR didn't have an advantage of ACB of reusing most of the assets (though they did manage to sneak in some AC1 models in Istanbul) and being at least partially planned in advance in a form of DLC (AC2 was originally supposed to end in 1503 in Rome, with Rome being a full city, however there wasn't enough time, so Rome was relegated to an episodic post-launch DLC series which grew up into Brotherhood).

We know that the production time for ACR was 11 months, so if we take a month before release (at the least, as that's about the time when games are sent to console manufacturers for certification), and about a month or two before-hand (for pre-production) we are left with about 8 months to create a totally new city in a different region with a new storyline (in one of the interviews Darby said that only some elements of the Lost Legacy were used for ACR, not the whole 3DS game plot as it was a main console title and required something different) filled with side-content, and all that done by people most of which never actually worked on an AC game (or at least a main console AC game) and had to learn all the toolsets. And while the side-content part lacks, ACR devs did pretty well for the amount of time they had.

ze_topazio
09-07-2015, 10:23 PM
The art team that worked on both Revelations and AC4 is the best, their games are always super beautiful to look at, can't wait to see another game by them.

VestigialLlama4
09-07-2015, 10:42 PM
We know that the production time for ACR was 11 months, so if we take a month before release (at the least, as that's about the time when games are sent to console manufacturers for certification), and about a month or two before-hand (for pre-production) we are left with about 8 months to create a totally new city in a different region with a new storyline (in one of the interviews Darby said that only some elements of the Lost Legacy were used for ACR, not the whole 3DS game plot as it was a main console title and required something different) filled with side-content, and all that done by people most of which never actually worked on an AC game (or at least a main console AC game) and had to learn all the toolsets. And while the side-content part lacks, ACR devs did pretty well for the amount of time they had.

True. Brotherhood and Revelations really has a B movie spirit. Similar to old Hollywood movies where they'd release movies in theatres on a double bill, pay one for one, but sit for two. B movies were often made on assets of older films, pre-existing sets, costumes, extras and even stock footage in many cases. So writers and crew had to improvise and work like crazy to make a new story and plot that fit in. The difference is B movies were actually cheap, now they're not so you're paying A-movie money for a B-movie.

Darby McDevitt said that Lost Legacy was about Ezio coming to Istanbul and following Altair's trail but it was about Altair's failed attempt to build a Brotherhood in Constantinople. That ended when the Fourth Crusade was cut short by the Christian Crusaders (under the orders of Enrico Dandolo) sacked and plundered Constantinople in one of the most infamous and most disgusting acts of betrayal in medieval history. Apparently there was a codex with illustrated artwork of Altair in Constantinople that would be a collectible and he regretted that not being in the final game, I think that would have deepened the story. I think if the memory seals revolved around Altair in Istanbul it might have been interesting. I mean think how cool it would be if say Malik or Maria during that epic battle instead of the depressing Abbas Sofian story they put instead.

Of course Altair in Istanbul would need say the same city layout but a different set of NPCs and Guards and factions to distinguish it. You can foresee the Time Travel/Red Violin concept, two Assassins two timelines, one city. I don't know if that is simpler or more difficult than what they did.

Locopells
09-07-2015, 11:57 PM
I think they were experimenting with designs, trying to see what looks like a good advanced render of Desmond's face. His face in AC3 was what struck me as most weird, depending on the angle he looked very different. Notably his cutscene face in the opening section and later looks very different.

This would be the face being rendered by an dodgy Animus in safe mode, that's trying to hunt him down and delete him? He's lucky he looked mostly like himself...

SixKeys
09-08-2015, 12:51 AM
This would be the face being rendered by an dodgy Animus in safe mode, that's trying to hunt him down and delete him? He's lucky he looked mostly like himself...

The Animus recreated him as Adam Sandler?

ze_topazio
09-08-2015, 01:01 AM
To me Desmond in Revelations looked like the former president of Iran.

VestigialLlama4
09-08-2015, 05:03 AM
This would be the face being rendered by an dodgy Animus in safe mode, that's trying to hunt him down and delete him? He's lucky he looked mostly like himself...

But he looks the same at the end of the game when he wakes up from the Animus, as well as the start...the close-up of Coma Desmond.

EmptyCrustacean
09-08-2015, 01:41 PM
In continuation of my series of posts dedicated to replaying the AC games. This time it's about ACR, I'm in the middle of sequence 3 right now.

What can I say... ACR is a game of contradictions. I mean, on one hand, Constantinople is lovely and the music is awesome, but on another one, what the **** happened to Desmond's face, you know what I mean? Yeah, Desmond's used to changing faces now with the AC1-AC2 change, but by gods.

Looked like he'd been stung in the face by a wasp while under the animus lol

phoenix-force411
09-08-2015, 06:45 PM
Also, some kill streak animations can be too brutal and ridiculous, like when you pick up a person into the air by the neck with your sword. Wha?! There are also some kill streaks that are fine overall, but are too long and should be played only on the last enemy, as when they're played in the middle of the battle it's weird (like the animation where a person slides off a sword and tries to hold on). It's interesting that the same team repeats the mistake in AC4 with some overly long animations in the middle of battle (though at least they don't have ridiculous brutality there, at least to my memory).


Some kill animations in ACRevelations were very brutal, yes, and it was even more awesomely brutal when timing those counters well with a sticky blood bomb. :D It was enjoyable when things like that are done for the purpose of enjoyment, but in ACIV, some of Edward's animations were just way too long exceeding 5 seconds, and it would get even more ridiculous when Edward is equipped with the Pistol Swords. Pistol Swords extend some short animations making it extremely annoying and putting yourself at risk when a sniper or captain is aiming at you.



Speaking of tools, I still think that the bomb crafting mechanic is redundant as hell, and while the idea is interesting, it could be streamlined a lot (which, now that I think about, they did in Unity, so there's that).


They can be redundant, but they can also be fun if used for the purpose of experimentation and enjoyment like Blood Bombs. It's fun to play with bombs when using Animus Hacks. You can just auto-craft more bombs straight from your weapon and tool wheel without going to bomb crafting table(you'll only need to if you are crafting new bombs).

ajl992015
09-08-2015, 09:26 PM
For me ACR is a special game, Mainly because I just loved Constantinople and the cast of characters and it is my favourite story of all the games. Though its the one I'm most disappointed with too because I feel that it had the most potential. I wish that it was actually AC3 with a new character in 16th century Constantinople (maybe we play as yusuf) and what we in fact find in the vault in altair's library could have been the key to open the door in the grand temple with connor and the american revolution being the basis of the first next gen game.

Farlander1991
09-09-2015, 10:06 PM
So I've played only a little bit of Revelations recently, but some things I want to note:
- Altair uses ACB Ezio kill streak animations and they feel a lot better and smoother than ACR Ezio's.
- What I really like about the hook blade, is how it's used to add choices in the parkour. Well, it's just for the swinging lamps, either you jump far, or turn around, but I really like this concept of choice in parkour when one object can do several different things. Just this one element brings variety to both city and mission design and how you traverse it, now imagine it expanded to more objects. Representation doesn't matter, doesn't have to be hookblade or related to hookblade, just the matter of choice.
= Altair's section felt pretty nostalgic, with the music in style of AC1 (I don't think the first section uses AC1 music, though I remember later ones do), and a more high-res Masyaf. But now that I think that all other Altair's sections will be about going down and up Mastaf essentially makes me sad, as it's kinda a missed opportunity. I know making Constantinople in two different time periods would be too time consuming for a game made in 11 months, but maybe reusing parts of AC1 cities to add variety, dunno.
- I'm at the very end of Sequence 3, left the game because couldn't be arsed to do the Romani mission right now, maybe will return a bit later today or tomorrow. Like, structurally speaking it's supposed to be introduction to Romani in the open world and stuff, but as I know there will be nothing related to them in the future neither in the story nor in the open-world (except the fact that you can hire them) feels like filler. The mercenaries and thieves at least have their sole missions as side activities. The whole hiring thing feels again more like a filler due to it being in ACB - in ACR we use bombs to manipulate, mercenaries/thieves/romani aren't really needed that much.

ERICATHERINE
09-10-2015, 02:37 PM
I know I can sound stupid, right now, but can someone tell me if there is more than 5 Desmond first person missions? I see there is 4 colomn, which I think could bring me 2 other of these missions. ^-^

Farlander1991
09-10-2015, 02:48 PM
I know I can sound stupid, right now, but can someone tell me if there is more than 5 Desmond first person missions? I see there is 4 colomn, which I think could bring me 2 other of these missions. ^-^

No, there's just 5. Those columns were originally for Clay memories which then became part of The Lost Archive DLC (and there's actually 7 of them), replaced with Desmond's memories in the main game.

ERICATHERINE
09-10-2015, 03:42 PM
No, there's just 5. Those columns were originally for Clay memories which then became part of The Lost Archive DLC (and there's actually 7 of them), replaced with Desmond's memories in the main game.

Yes, I know what you are talking about, but in my mind it looks more like 7 portal and 14 colmns, so by four colomns, I was talking about the two portal that aren't there. Thanks for the quick answer. ^-^

Farlander1991
09-10-2015, 03:44 PM
Yes, I know what you are talking about, but in my mind it looks more like 7 portal and 14 colmns, so by four colomns, I was talking about the two portal that aren't there. Thanks for the quick answer. ^-^

I meant that there are 7 Clay memories in The Lost Archive, which perfectly fit the 7 portals in the Animus Island :)

D.I.D.
09-10-2015, 04:24 PM
I wish the bomb-throwing in ACR was more like it is in a first-person shooter, maybe even done via a first-person mode.

The way they did it, your aim spot was exactly where the bomb would fall. The subsequent bounce arcs were shown. Nothing was a surprise. The whole reason grenade-type weapons are so exciting in other games is that they can be the most skill-dependent weapons you can use, and there's a little heart-in-mouth moment between the beginning of the throw and the detonation of the bomb when you're not sure of the result yet. It's so much better, so much more rewarding, in other games where the player must compensate with extra height to account for greater distances. Successfully bouncing a bomb off a wall and landing it at your opponent's feet is a thrill.

ERICATHERINE
09-10-2015, 07:57 PM
I meant that there are 7 Clay memories in The Lost Archive, which perfectly fit the 7 portals in the Animus Island :)

Lol. Sorry. I just misunderstoud. My bad. XD At least, when talking about the columns I was correct. ^-^