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LoyalACFan
11-04-2015, 08:25 AM
OK, so MGS5 just launched amid no shortage of controversies about its story, troubled development cycle, sexism, etc. but essentially everyone agrees that its stealth gameplay is freaking fantastic. Obviously it's a much different take on stealth, and it has the luxury of modern (and sci-fi) technology to diversify Snake's bag of tricks, but it gets a lot of things so very right in the stealth field that it's hard not to take some inspiration. Here's a couple of ways in which I think AC could benefit from filching from MGS.

-Interrogations. Syndicate bugged the piss out of me with its ridiculous amount of HUD/UI elements (i.e. the Entry Point markers, the obviously marked Distraction, Stealth, and Unique Assassination opportunities) whereas MGS offers basically no HUD whatsoever in the beginning of a mission. You can grab guards in a chokehold and interrogate them for information, which yields very helpful results as guards will tell you of potential infiltration routes, prisoner locations, and stashed materials ripe for the taking, plus it adds an extra layer of challenge by forcing you to actually work for hints instead of having them thrown in your face. Afterward, you can either choke them out (non-lethal) or cut their throat. Syndicate even introduces the Kidnap feature which could actually be a perfect foundation for this; we just need another button press in there and a few extra lines of dialogue to flesh it out into an interrogation mechanic.

-Investigation mode for enemies.There needs to be some sort of distinct intermediary phase between "everybody kill the Assassin!" and "welp I guess we lost 'em." Especially if a guard finds a dead body or something.

-Prone movement. This one hinges heavily on enemy AI being heavily improved and detection actually being a fail state, but it makes for a much more dynamic sneaking experience than just toggling Stealth Mode.


Thoughts?

VestigialLlama4
11-04-2015, 08:38 AM
OK, so MGS5 just launched amid no shortage of controversies about its story, troubled development cycle, sexism, etc. but essentially everyone agrees that its stealth gameplay is freaking fantastic.

A huge inverse from how it used to be. The games were formerly praised for being heavy on story and thin on gameplay. Especially MGS2 which is borderline unplayable today.

Snake Eater was the only game that both were decently good.


-Interrogations. Syndicate bugged the piss out of me with its ridiculous amount of HUD/UI elements (i.e. the Entry Point markers, the obviously marked Distraction, Stealth, and Unique Assassination opportunities) whereas MGS offers basically no HUD whatsoever in the beginning of a mission. You can grab guards in a chokehold and interrogate them for information, which yields very helpful results as guards will tell you of potential infiltration routes, prisoner locations, and stashed materials ripe for the taking, plus it adds an extra layer of challenge by forcing you to actually work for hints instead of having them thrown in your face. Afterward, you can either choke them out (non-lethal) or cut their throat. Syndicate even introduces the Kidnap feature which could actually be a perfect foundation for this; we just need another button press in there and a few extra lines of dialogue to flesh it out into an interrogation mechanic.

This I agree with. I mean kidnapping them and gaining a network of informants would fit the gang gameplay, as well as say neutral guards who want go into alert when you come close to them.


-Investigation mode for enemies.There needs to be some sort of distinct intermediary phase between "everybody kill the Assassin!" and "welp I guess we lost 'em." Especially if a guard finds a dead body or something.

This is there in AC.

But generally I feel that AC should follow and create unique stealth gameplay based on its strengths rather than take ideas from other games. The thing about MGS Phantom Pain is that it's set in an Afghanistan and Central Africa without civilians. It's just soldiers, hostages and animals. So it's a very simplisitc, highly unreal and gamey version of stealth that is satisfying but not especially unique. AC games always did have people and civilians.

LoyalACFan
11-04-2015, 08:55 AM
This is there in AC.

But it's barely there. Guards poke around for a few seconds, then immediately carry on with their business if they see one of their own stabbed dead in the street. That's lame.


But generally I feel that AC should follow and create unique stealth gameplay based on its strengths rather than take ideas from other games. The thing about MGS Phantom Pain is that it's set in an Afghanistan and Central Africa without civilians. It's just soldiers, hostages and animals. So it's a very simplisitc, highly unreal and gamey version of stealth that is satisfying but not especially unique. AC games always did have people and civilians.

I agree that they should be pushing social stealth... but they aren't. Social stealth was a complete wash in Syndicate. There are no tools for manipulating the crowds, no real consequences for disturbing them, or any major way in which they influence your play since they're rarely, if ever, located in places that allow you to usefully blend with them (that one highly linear "tour guide" sequence in the Bank of London mission is the only time I can think of). They're just kinda "there." So if they're going with more traditional line-of-sight stealth, IMO they should really consider MGS5 for inspiration.

VestigialLlama4
11-04-2015, 09:10 AM
I agree that they should be pushing social stealth... but they aren't. Social stealth was a complete wash in Syndicate. There are no tools for manipulating the crowds, no real consequences for disturbing them, or any major way in which they influence your play since they're rarely, if ever, located in places that allow you to usefully blend with them (that one highly linear "tour guide" sequence in the Bank of London mission is the only time I can think of). They're just kinda "there." So if they're going with more traditional line-of-sight stealth, IMO they should really consider MGS5 for inspiration.

I don't know that's just too extreme, which means Ubisoft might do it eventually, after all their true creed is "We're too lazy so we'll say it's too hard."

In any case Assassin's Creed is not a pure stealth game anyway. It's always been this mixture of stealth with platforming and action adventure.

Consus_E
11-04-2015, 10:29 AM
Ideally the series should be expanding upon it's own ideas rather than borrowing from whatever is popular at the time...

Social stealth is what the devs should be focusing on expanding. The AI should be improved upon to react appropriately to the player's actions, and acknowledge the massive crowds, which at the moment are a mostly an aesthetic feature. Assassin's Creed is supposed to be the stealth game that differentiates between being seen and being detected. This is the system the original game was built around, the idea of moving between what was considered socially acceptable, and breaking laws in pursuit of a larger goal. The difference between Altair and Big Boss is that Altair isn't a trespasser just a stranger, he has as much right to be where he is as the other civilians.

As for the mechanics you mentioned from Metal Gear:

Interrogations
Something like this could be good, what if you could also talk to random NPC's to gain information? Sort of a non confrontational interrogation.

Investigation for Enemies
The guards already pretty much do this, they just need more dialogues and better AI

Prone Movement
Seems a bit odd for urban stealth, I feel like the Assassin would just look ridiculous

To be honest I'm just not that interested in AC if it becomes just another stealth game, with time travel.

ze_topazio
11-04-2015, 01:08 PM
A huge inverse from how it used to be. The games were formerly praised for being heavy on story and thin on gameplay.

That ain't exactly true.

MGS1
Total play time = 11h 32m (692 minutes)
Gameplay = 8h 17 m (497 minutes)
Cutscenes = 3h 15m (195 minutes)

Gameplay/Cutscene = 2.5487
Cutscene Proportion = 28%

MGS2
Total play time = 13h 08m (788 minutes)
Gameplay = 7h 44m (464 minutes)
Cutscenes = 5h 24m, (324 minutes)

Gameplay/Cutscene = 1.4321
Cutscene Proportion = 41%

MGS3
Total play time = 16h 11m (971 minutes)
Gameplay = 11h 13m (673 minutes)
Cutscenes = 4h 58m (298 minutes)

Gameplay/Cutscene = 2.2584
Cutscene Proportion = 31%

MGS: PO
Total play time = 12h 36m (756 minutes)
Gameplay = 10h 39m (639 minutes)
Cutscenes = 1h 42m (102 minutes)

Gameplay/Cutscene = 6.2647
Cutscene Proportion = 13%

MGS4
Total play time = 19h 27m (1,167 minutes)
Gameplay = 10h 59m (659 minutes)
Cutscenes = 8h 26m (508 minutes)

Gameplay/Cutscene = 1.2972
Cutscene Proportion = 44%

MGS: PW
Total play time = 34h 08m (2,048 minutes)
Gameplay = 31h 11m (1,871 minutes)
Cutscenes = 2h 57m (177 minutes)

Gameplay/Cutscene = 10.5706
Cutscene Proportion = 9%

MGR: Revengeance
Total play time = 7h 47m (467 minutes)
Gameplay = 5h 28m (328 minutes)
Cutscenes = 2h 19m (139 minutes)

Gameplay/Cutscene = 2.3597
Cutscene Proportion = 30%

http://mgsforums.com/topic/7644188/1/

Not to mention the two original Metal Gear games who hardly had any cutscenes.

LoyalACFan
11-04-2015, 05:01 PM
That ain't exactly true.
*snip*.

I think MGS got its reputation for extensive cutscenes mostly because it was one of the first series to really use cutscenes to tell a cinematic story. But MGS4 certainly didn't help to dispel that notion, seeing as it was literally almost half cutscenes, as you pointed out yourself.

cawatrooper9
11-04-2015, 05:21 PM
Wow, I've never played an MGS game, but those cutscene proportions seem insane! I wonder how AC compares. Anybody have data on that?

VestigialLlama4
11-04-2015, 06:20 PM
Wow, I've never played an MGS game, but those cutscene proportions seem insane! I wonder how AC compares. Anybody have data on that?

Well AC is an open world game while the MGS games until Phantom Pain were not, so it's not a fair comparison.


That ain't exactly true.

Well I was saying generally, I didn't mean necessarily that MGS was mostly cutscenes and not gameplay...although it certainly did feel that way sometimes. The fact is that for all that people complain about AC not changing core mechanics or lacking a crouch button...well the first two MGS games didn't have that either. You couldn't crouch and move once, it was either stand and move, or lie prone on the ground. There was a crouch stance but you couldn't move in crouching position.

The stealth was also quite clunky, especially the camera angle of MGS2 and original MGS (which came out at the same time as Thief did). It was never quite clear how close you had to get to make someone drop their weapon, knock them out and the like. You also had this tranquilizer gun that was easily refillable (okay it might be different on hard mode but I never checked). Likewise you had this endless range of assault weapons which you can use and blast away but which the games say you shouldn't use. In other words the games were guilty of all the stuff that people accuse AC of. Okay AI was better and more responsive but then a military situation is not a very complex pattern to code unlike a social stealth situation. In terms of stealth, MGS was behind THIEF or Deus Ex.

It's only with Snake Eater with that amazing camo meter, the third person camera that the stealth became genuinely fun. Even then you still had the plethora of weapons, the tranq gun and these complex range of moves to knock out, interrogate and take out people that you never quite figure out how to use (especially annoying since one of them is necessary for a late game boss-fight). Snake Eater also had a story and style that suited the part serious generally goofy tone, the spoof of James Bond spy stories and the like.


Wow, I've never played an MGS game,

If you have to play one game, play Snake Eater and maybe Phantom Pain. But skip the rest. The other games have dated poorly and are of interest to no one but MGS fans, completionists and nostalgics.

crusader_prophet
11-04-2015, 07:09 PM
This is what AC needs to take tips for and from whom -

1. Bungie - Mechanics and AI engineering
2. Arkane Studios/IO Interactive/Kojima - Mission Design
3. Bioware - Storytelling, narrative design and main/side mission designs
4. CDPR - Side missions, storytelling, business practices and ethics
5. Naughty Dog - Non-disruptive transitions between cinematic and game world, dynamic gameplay

VestigialLlama4
11-04-2015, 07:13 PM
This is what AC needs to take tips for and from whom -

1. Bungie - Mechanics and AI engineering
2. Arkane Studios/IO Interactive/Kojima - Mission Design
3. Bioware - Storytelling, narrative design and main/side mission designs
4. CDPR - Side missions, storytelling, business practices and ethics
5. Naughty Dog - Non-disruptive transitions between cinematic and game world, dynamic gameplay

And here's what they can take from Ubisoft.

1) Open world design that is distinctive, detailed and non-GTA.

2) New ideas for storytelling.

3) Dynamic parkour.

crusader_prophet
11-04-2015, 07:19 PM
And here's what they can take from Ubisoft.

1) Open world design that is distinctive, detailed and non-GTA.

2) New ideas for storytelling.

3) Dynamic parkour.

Agreed. That is why I did not mention them. They can keep the ideas but the way of telling them can be learned from Bioware or CDPR. Mordin's death made me cry in ME3. And everytime I am in Witcher 3, I just want to stand with Roach under a tree and listen to the music.

cawatrooper9
11-04-2015, 08:46 PM
This is what AC needs to take tips for and from whom -

1. Bungie - Mechanics and AI engineering

Bungie is like Wolverine. They're "the best at what they do". Well, maybe, I don't really have strong opinions on shooters anymore, but there has to be some reason for their success.

Whatever, my point is that I'm not necessarily sure Bungie's methods would really carry over well to a more open world/historical sandbox genre.


Arkane Studios/IO Interactive/Kojima - Mission Design
Heck yeah Dishonored! (haven't played any MGS...)
There might be potential here for Ubi and Arkane to learn a little from each other- but honestly, I'm not sure that hasn't actually happened already. Compare AC2 era Assassination missions to the options in Dishonored. Not very similar, right? Now, compare ACu/ACS blackbox Assassinations to Dishonored- maybe not an exact match, but much closer! So, you might've hit the nail on the head with this one, albeit a few years late. :D


Bioware - Storytelling, narrative design and main/side mission designs
I absolutely love Bioware... well, I love Mass Effect and KOTOR... Dragon Age has lost my affection lately.
That being said, I think Assassins Creed is capable of telling great stories- they don't need Bioware for that, they just need to stop trying to talk down to us.


CDPR - Side missions, storytelling, business practices and ethics
Had to look this one up. Yeah, I've never played any "Witcher" games- but, if they're an ethical business, then I can assure you that Ubisoft can learn something from them. I personally enjoy the AC series, but I'm tired of making excuses for the lies that the business tells.


Naughty Dog - Non-disruptive transitions between cinematic and game world, dynamic gameplay

Dang, haven't plated The Last of Us or any Uncharted games, either. :p

GunnarGunderson
11-04-2015, 09:08 PM
This is what AC needs to take tips for and from whom -

1. Bungie - Mechanics and AI engineering
2. Arkane Studios/IO Interactive/Kojima - Mission Design
3. Bioware - Storytelling, narrative design and main/side mission designs
4. CDPR - Side missions, storytelling, business practices and ethics
5. Naughty Dog - Non-disruptive transitions between cinematic and game world, dynamic gameplay

6. Rocksteady - Animation (specifically combat)

cawatrooper9
11-04-2015, 09:14 PM
6. Rocksteady - Animation (specifically combat)

You know, I actually really respect and appreciate that Ubisoft isn't a Rocksteady clone yet. I like Rocksteady's combat, and it works well for Batman.
Then it worked really well for Shadow of Mordor.
Then it worked really well for Mad Max.

So it's not like their formula is bad, it's that it's just becoming that: a formula, and a cross-universe on at this point.

GunnarGunderson
11-04-2015, 09:24 PM
You know, I actually really respect and appreciate that Ubisoft isn't a Rocksteady clone yet. I like Rocksteady's combat, and it works well for Batman.
Then it worked really well for Shadow of Mordor.
Then it worked really well for Mad Max.

So it's not like their formula is bad, it's that it's just becoming that: a formula, and a cross-universe on at this point. What do you mean? AC combat completely rips off Batman except it's not nearly as good or well animated. You've got a basic attack that you chain to other enemies, you press a button when enemies attack to parry, and you've got several items and tools to integrate into your combo. Syndicate's even added a combo counter and special moves to use once it gets high enough

cawatrooper9
11-04-2015, 09:48 PM
What do you mean? AC combat completely rips off Batman except it's not nearly as good or well animated. You've got a basic attack that you chain to other enemies, you press a button when enemies attack to parry, and you've got several items and tools to integrate into your combo. Syndicate's even added a combo counter and special moves to use once it gets high enough

Melee combat can only get so varied, but have you played the games I've listed? Their combat is. exactly. the. same. Literally. Down to the very buttons that you press.

The fact that AC has a counter move and special moves isn't a very compelling argument. If they didn't have things (particularly a counter button) it would be an almost unusuable system.

GunnarGunderson
11-04-2015, 09:53 PM
Melee combat can only get so varied, but have you played the games I've listed? Their combat is. exactly. the. same. Literally. Down to the very buttons that you press.

The fact that AC has a counter move and special moves isn't a very compelling argument. If they didn't have things (particularly a counter button) it would be an almost unusuable system.

Just because those other games copy Batman much better doesn't mean AC doesn't do it either.

SixKeys
11-04-2015, 09:55 PM
The animation in all AC games has been the best in the gaming business IMO, until Syndicate. I don't know what happened there but the animations in this game look awful (the ones that aren't recycled).

cawatrooper9
11-04-2015, 09:56 PM
Just because those other games copy Batman much better doesn't mean AC doesn't do it either.

Have you played them? Look, this is the last time I reiterate this: my point is regardless of who does it better, but that AC combat isn't identical to the Batman games. The other two are. Hopefully that clears this up. :rolleyes:

GunnarGunderson
11-04-2015, 10:02 PM
Have you played them? Look, this is the last time I reiterate this: my point is regardless of who does it better, but that AC combat isn't identical to the Batman games. The other two are. Hopefully that clears this up. :rolleyes:
I never said they were identical


The animation in all AC games has been the best in the gaming business IMO, until Syndicate. I don't know what happened there but the animations in this game look awful (the ones that aren't recycled).
You didn't think it was a bit odd how Connor/Edward/Shay would awkwardly scuttled across the ground if you chain killed someone who wasn't standing right next to them?

cawatrooper9
11-04-2015, 10:10 PM
I never said they were identical


You said:

What do you mean? AC combat completely rips off Batman except it's not nearly as good or well animated.

I've pointed out how silly it is to say that, as other games do it much more so, to the point that those games' combat almost is identical to Arkham.
Yet, you claim that the mere existence of a counter button and upgradable skills means that it "completely rips off Batman", apparently.

LoyalACFan
11-04-2015, 10:13 PM
You didn't think it was a bit odd how Connor/Edward/Shay would awkwardly scuttled across the ground if you chain killed someone who wasn't standing right next to them?

You know, I can forgive one weird transition animation when the rest of the animations are ****ing unbelievable. That's one thing that AC3 really did blow me away with; just how freaking well-done the animations were. Look past the flashy kill animations (which almost every combat game does TBH, flashy kills are run of the mill) and pay attention to how Connor shifts his weight when he changes direction when running, how he heaves himself into upward leaps, how he reacts to a hard landing, how his arms flail in long jumps, how his body contorts when climbing up a rock face, etc. AC3 had the best character animations I've ever seen in a video game, bar none. They got slightly worse in AC4 and worse still in Rogue, but they were still top-of-the-line. I agree totally with 6Keys.

Addendum; I think Rocksteady's combat system would be a catastrophe in an AC game, and that's part of why I hate Rogue's combat. Batman's fighting is about being a superhero and kicking all kinds of ***, but AC's combat should be about survival. AC is a stealth game at heart (and yes I know it's not a PURE stealth game, whatever that means, so don't hit me with that again) and having a combat system as simplistic and power-fantasy-oriented as Batman's renders stealth null and void since the enemies are all easy as piss to fight off.

Addendum 2- Revelations actually had some really horrid sword animations that remind me a lot of Syndicate's animations, now that I think about it. Just really cheesy, choppy, and over-the-top.

m4r-k7
11-04-2015, 10:18 PM
The animation in all AC games has been the best in the gaming business IMO, until Syndicate. I don't know what happened there but the animations in this game look awful (the ones that aren't recycled).

Really?! I would say the animations in AC 1 - AC R were great but after that, some animations just became glitchy or just weird looking. Some animations are done really well, but others just have that rushed look to them. For instance, in Syndicate the fist combat isn't exactly smooth looking. In AC 3 the tree running animations were perfectly smooth etc but some of Connors moves were way too over the top. They need to get rid of over the top killing animations and just give us finishes that look realistic (Unitys sword fighting actually had a lot of realistic finishers - others not so much) In terms of Unity and Syndicate also, the cover kill animations have become horrible. In AC 3 and AC 4 they were perfect, with the player really feeling the impact of the hidden blade and then placing the body against the cover they were standing against.

cawatrooper9
11-04-2015, 10:19 PM
You know, I can forgive one weird transition animation when the rest of the animations are ****ing unbelievable. That's one thing that AC3 really did blow me away with; just how freaking well-done the animations were. Look past the flashy kill animations (which almost every combat game does TBH, flashy kills are run of the mill) and pay attention to how Connor shifts his weight when he changes direction when running, how he heaves himself into upward leaps, how he reacts to a hard landing, how his arms flail in long jumps, how his body contorts when climbing up a rock face, etc. AC3 had the best character animations I've ever seen in a video game, bar none. They got slightly worse in AC4 and worse still in Rogue, but they were still top-of-the-line. I agree totally with 6Keys.

Also, I'd like to point out how Batman awkwardly flies across the room at a targeted enemy in the Arkham games. I know I've been giving them a lot of flak in this thread (and I do like them a lot!) but I don't think they're anywhere near what we need for the standard for character animations.

GunnarGunderson
11-04-2015, 10:21 PM
You said:


I've pointed out how silly it is to say that, as other games do it much more so, to the point that those games' combat almost is identical to Arkham.
Yet, you claim that the mere existence of a counter button and upgradable skills means that it "completely rips off Batman", apparently.

Are you saying it's a coincidence that the first AC game to begin development after Arkham Asylum came out introduced chain killing and projectile combos to the series?

SixKeys
11-04-2015, 10:21 PM
You didn't think it was a bit odd how Connor/Edward/Shay would awkwardly scuttled across the ground if you chain killed someone who wasn't standing right next to them?

Not sure what you mean. Are you talking about sliding several feet to the next enemy? If so, that's a technical issue, not an animation issue. Like LoyalACFan said, a few awkward animations are acceptable in a game where 99% of them are top-notch. Syndicate is the first AC where the new animations look legit ugly.

LoyalACFan
11-04-2015, 10:25 PM
Also, I'd like to point out how Batman awkwardly flies across the room at a targeted enemy in the Arkham games. I know I've been giving them a lot of flak in this thread (and I do like them a lot!) but I don't think they're anywhere near what we need for the standard for character animations.

I mean, I'm kind of OK with that since Batman is a superhero and he's allowed to be kind of floaty and exaggerated in his movements, but yeah, I generally agree.

I miss Jonathan Cooper :(

cawatrooper9
11-04-2015, 10:28 PM
Are you saying it's a coincidence that the first AC game to begin development after Arkham Asylum came out introduced chain killing and projectile combos to the series?

le sigh.
:rolleyes:
Look, I've acknowledge time and time again that these games can draw inspiration from each other. You're arguing with no one on this point.


I mean, I'm kind of OK with that since Batman is a superhero and he's allowed to be kind of floaty and exaggerated in his movements, but yeah, I generally agree.

He's a hero, but he doesn't have superpowers- but I get what you mean, he's from a comic book. Still, it's still very goofy looking and far more far-fetched than the "scuttling" that LukeWarm is talking about.

BananaBlighter
11-04-2015, 10:35 PM
The animation in all AC games has been the best in the gaming business IMO, until Syndicate. I don't know what happened there but the animations in this game look awful (the ones that aren't recycled).

Yeah, all the new combat animations aren't nearly as good as they used to be. Multi-finishers have returned but they're no way near a smooth and epic as AC3, especially since you can often see stunned enemies floating about in the background. In AC3 you used the other enemies and their weapons against them, though multi finishers feel so detached now, despite the occasional connection between attacks. Even the multi counters, which really don't have the excuse of not using the enemies and their weapons themselves, are quick and clumsy. Smooth and creative animations were why I found the combat more entertaining than other games like SoM, now that's nearly all disappeared.

Animations in other areas are great, and while the parkour introduced in Unity feels floaty and appears unrealistic, it is still fluid and satisfying.

Oh yeah and breaking bones in the most awkward manners is in no way satisfying, for me at least. I guess they wanted it to feel brutal and accurate to the period, but honestly some of the brawling finishers are more than ugly.

GunnarGunderson
11-04-2015, 10:55 PM
Not sure what you mean. Are you talking about sliding several feet to the next enemy? If so, that's a technical issue, not an animation issue. Like LoyalACFan said, a few awkward animations are acceptable in a game where 99% of them are top-notch. Syndicate is the first AC where the new animations look legit ugly.
It's 100% an animation issue. Someone else mentioned Batman and how he'll jump across a room, but that's the solution. The Arkham games have specific attack animations for attacking thugs at varying distances (like a jumping punch or a rolling kick) whereas in AC the assassin will just scurry up to his opponent and perform the same killing move that he would perform on a guy that was standing right next to him.

LoyalACFan
11-05-2015, 01:15 AM
Oh yeah and breaking bones in the most awkward manners is in no way satisfying, for me at least. I guess they wanted it to feel brutal and accurate to the period, but honestly some of the brawling finishers are more than ugly.

I'm glad you mentioned this, because the bone-breaking animations really bugged me too. Like there's this particular one that Evie does where she bends this dude's arm and spins it 90 degrees backward at the elbow like it's nothing, lol what? Plus yeah, like you or someone else mentioned earlier, the finishers feel awkward since they basically just stand there and wait for you to kill them, especially in x4 takedowns.

Consus_E
11-05-2015, 04:10 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emyh94Zw5Z8
Just a reference for those who haven't played MGS 5 yet

LoyalACFan
11-05-2015, 04:20 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emyh94Zw5Z8
Just a reference for those who haven't played MGS 5 yet

Well... not exactly what I had in mind :p MGS's tone affords a lot of goofy, comical approaches that I'm not advocating for AC, but its traditional stealth mechanics would be a fine fit.

Consus_E
11-05-2015, 04:26 AM
Well... not exactly what I had in mind :p MGS's tone affords a lot of goofy, comical approaches that I'm not advocating for AC, but its traditional stealth mechanics would be a fine fit.

Mostly just posted due to shear wow... And again posted for those who want a basic understanding of MGS in a short video. I think what the video highlights is a sense of freedom, the player could have killed all the targets with basic kills and still enjoyed it, but the option to go more over the top is there. AC currently is mostly limited to stabbing people, stabbing people, stabbing people and then throwing them off a ledge, throwing things at people, and stabbing people.

VestigialLlama4
11-05-2015, 04:45 AM
Mostly just posted due to shear wow... And again posted for those who want a basic understanding of MGS in a short video. I think what the video highlights is a sense of freedom, the player could have killed all the targets with basic kills and still enjoyed it, but the option to go more over the top is there. AC currently is mostly limited to stabbing people, stabbing people, stabbing people and then throwing them off a ledge, throwing things at people, and stabbing people.

I don't know to me the freedom of killing people in multiple different creative ways gets in the way of MGS' story which is about war being bad and psychologically damaging. One of the few games that escapes this is Dishonored where you have multiple different ways to kill but you also have multiple different ways to stealth your way across the game as well and your actions have these consequences and you have control over the outcome and nature of the game's story. So there you don't feel either is more privileged than the other.

The historical aspect of AC likewise means that you will basically get fewer tools to kill people than you will in modern times. While having only a few weapons and means to kill or take out targets might be limiting to some, in AC you have the option of choosing how to do it. Like you can play the missions without killing a single guard or as few guards. In AC, you have the actor's freedom, the actor can play Hamlet any way he likes (brooding, angsty, swashbuckling) but at the end of day he's still playing Hamlet and nothing else. You are still hitting your marks but the order is up to you, and I always find that to be the case in AC. Like Black Flag which I replayed a while back, when I take the Forts I just take out the commanders with the fists. I never knew you could do that because the objective said kill the commander so I took that as license to kll the commander. But you can knock them out.

You can also play the game in such a way that you don't knock out or otherwise interact with any of the guards aside from your target. I.E. semi-Ghost. Like that's how I whacked Laurens Prins. I moved through the fields, shut down the bells and then stealthed my way into Prins' garden and whacked him.

Consus_E
11-05-2015, 05:02 AM
I don't know to me the freedom of killing people in multiple different creative ways gets in the way of MGS' story which is about war being bad and psychologically damaging. One of the few games that escapes this is Dishonored where you have multiple different ways to kill but you also have multiple different ways to stealth your way across the game as well and your actions have these consequences and you have control over the outcome and nature of the game's story. So there you don't feel either is more privileged than the other.

The historical aspect of AC likewise means that you will basically get fewer tools to kill people than you will in modern times. While having only a few weapons and means to kill or take out targets might be limiting to some, in AC you have the option of choosing how to do it. Like you can play the missions without killing a single guard or as few guards. In AC, you have the actor's freedom, the actor can play Hamlet any way he likes (brooding, angsty, swashbuckling) but at the end of day he's still playing Hamlet and nothing else. You are still hitting your marks but the order is up to you, and I always find that to be the case in AC. Like Black Flag which I replayed a while back, when I take the Forts I just take out the commanders with the fists. I never knew you could do that because the objective said kill the commander so I took that as license to kll the commander. But you can knock them out.

You can also play the game in such a way that you don't knock out or otherwise interact with any of the guards aside from your target. I.E. semi-Ghost. Like that's how I whacked Laurens Prins. I moved through the fields, shut down the bells and then stealthed my way into Prins' garden and whacked him.

Fair enough we can agree to disagree, I just don't mind sacrificing realism and tone for increased freedom and creativity.

VestigialLlama4
11-05-2015, 05:08 AM
Fair enough we can agree to disagree, I just don't mind sacrificing realism and tone for increased freedom and creativity.

The trick is to do both or find a way to achieve both. That can be done and it's a much more interesting thing for AC to find a way to develop stealth that has that sense of freedom and movement while fitting with the general tone. The easiest thing is for them to go all MGS.

strigoi1958
11-05-2015, 10:35 AM
I just don't mind sacrificing realism and tone for increased freedom and creativity. I wish that were true of most AC fans... as far as I'm concerned ALL video games require some suspension of belief ... from MGSV (worst game in the history of gaming to me ;) ) and its magic balloons that know where to take people.... to Zombie/ alien games, but for some reason (maybe because they hold AC in such high regard) people who can believe anything in other games and overlook something refuse to accept similar things in AC. :confused:

SixKeys
11-05-2015, 12:05 PM
I wish that were true of most AC fans... as far as I'm concerned ALL video games require some suspension of belief ... from MGSV (worst game in the history of gaming to me ;) ) and its magic balloons that know where to take people.... to Zombie/ alien games, but for some reason (maybe because they hold AC in such high regard) people who can believe anything in other games and overlook something refuse to accept similar things in AC. :confused:

It depends on what the established norm for the franchise is. AC has always been mostly grounded in realism. It's known for historical accuracy and lifelike parkour movements. Some stuff requires suspension of disbelief, like leaps of faith (even in this aspect AC1 was more realistic than its sequels as it showed one assassin breaking his leg), but most of the stuff is true to real-life physics. Around the time when the hookblade was introduced, Ubi started to forego realism in favor of the Rule of Cool. By now we have Victorians using a physics-defying batclaw that hasn't even been invented in today's modern world. It would have been different had AC been a fantasy-based game like Prince of Persia from the start - a game of which it was supposed to be a spinoff originally. With the spinoff context in mind, we could have expected an AC with zombie skeletons and physics-defying wall-running, but the AC devs deliberately wanted to create a more realistic world, hence why AC became its own thing. It's completely fair and justified to expect the series to stay true to its roots and not start introducing all these crazy fantasy aspects.

VestigialLlama4
11-05-2015, 05:22 PM
It depends on what the established norm for the franchise is. AC has always been mostly grounded in realism. It's known for historical accuracy and lifelike parkour movements. Some stuff requires suspension of disbelief, like leaps of faith (even in this aspect AC1 was more realistic than its sequels as it showed one assassin breaking his leg), but most of the stuff is true to real-life physics. Around the time when the hookblade was introduced, Ubi started to forego realism in favor of the Rule of Cool. By now we have Victorians using a physics-defying batclaw that hasn't even been invented in today's modern world. It would have been different had AC been a fantasy-based game like Prince of Persia from the start - a game of which it was supposed to be a spinoff originally. With the spinoff context in mind, we could have expected an AC with zombie skeletons and physics-defying wall-running, but the AC devs deliberately wanted to create a more realistic world, hence why AC became its own thing. It's completely fair and justified to expect the series to stay true to its roots and not start introducing all these crazy fantasy aspects.

I am okay for some amount of wackiness...the hookblade and parachuting across Constantinople, I kinda thought well if Leonardo existed in a world of First Civ Tech, then he ''could'' have concievable made working tech. The hookblade likewise still depended on human skill, you still had to climb and parkour across the city rather than using a grappling hook and not do anything. The Tyranny King Washington DLC, Pieces of Eden show Alternate Universe visions...okay sign me up, there's a context for that kind of wackiness, and since it's a dream sequence, superpowers are fair game.

Pieces of Eden which influence minds via visions and quantum power, okay I can buy that as a metaphor, and yeah it's a kind of video game McGuffin that provides a nice handy way to work the context around. The Observatory and Memory Seals, again, localized, limited use and more about invisible control and responsibility. Earthquake Machines on the other hand...well that's pure comic-book territory with none of the poetry, suggestion and ambiguity. Like with the Apples of Eden you weren't sure if it was the Apples or the Person's own failings, it was never made clear how it really worked and that allowed writers to play with it. The Apple was as dangerour to the user as it is to victims, very few can wield it and its dangerous. Earthquake Machines is this blunt plot device that doesn't really fit in the themes about human responsibility and control because humans don't actually cause earthquakes whereas human beings do become susceptible to control, order and their worst impulses.

But generally the games are about social stealth, its about people, its about society and history. In these games the settings and cities are as much stars as anyone else.

Sushiglutton
11-05-2015, 05:32 PM
Yeah, I think that after eight games it could be worth it to experiment with actually good stealth mechanics. I dunno, perhaps I'm being unreasonable here :confused:

SixKeys
11-05-2015, 06:11 PM
I am okay for some amount of wackiness...the hookblade and parachuting across Constantinople, I kinda thought well if Leonardo existed in a world of First Civ Tech, then he ''could'' have concievable made working tech. The hookblade likewise still depended on human skill, you still had to climb and parkour across the city rather than using a grappling hook and not do anything. The Tyranny King Washington DLC, Pieces of Eden show Alternate Universe visions...okay sign me up, there's a context for that kind of wackiness, and since it's a dream sequence, superpowers are fair game.

The hookblade was the first gadget in the series that felt really out of place to me. Even the parachutes, silly as they were, are things that could conceivably work IRL. But the hookblade was a slim, thin piece of metal built from (I assume) normal, man-made metals, that was not only capable of supporting the weight of a strongly built man like Ezio, but actually extending to lift him up several feet without barely moving his arm and using it to carry him on ziplines across the city. I always liked the fact that AC gadgets could at least theoretically be built, and not always just in theory. Fans were able to build their own, working hidden blades, after all. But nobody can build a working hookblade the same size and material as it was in ACR. After that it was only a matter of time until they started introducing even more unrealistic contraptions.

VestigialLlama4
11-05-2015, 06:29 PM
The hookblade was the first gadget in the series that felt really out of place to me. Even the parachutes, silly as they were, are things that could conceivably work IRL. But the hookblade was a slim, thin piece of metal built from (I assume) normal, man-made metals, that was not only capable of supporting the weight of a strongly built man like Ezio, but actually extending to lift him up several feet without barely moving his arm and using it to carry him on ziplines across the city. I always liked the fact that AC gadgets could at least theoretically be built, and not always just in theory. Fans were able to build their own, working hidden blades, after all. But nobody can build a working hookblade the same size and material as it was in ACR. After that it was only a matter of time until they started introducing even more unrealistic contraptions.

The hookblade strikes me more as a kind of makeshift climbing spike but I see your point. You are right. In retrospect, the hookblade paved the way for the Ropelauncher. I still think you can defend the former more than the latter because it doesn't make Parkour functionally pointless, and it adapts perfectly to the city with its multi-layered topography.

I saw the working Grappling Hook that guy tried to build and it's not a grappling hook, its basic mountain climbing cable that can barely suspend a guy hanging below. A real grappling hook like Batman's or in Syndicate won't work because the laws of gravity are a real thing as are Newton's laws of object in motion staying in motion and having an equal and opposite reaction. So if you grapple on top of a building and launch up full to the top you should logically launch yourself over the other side and below the ground. To say nothing of the impact on the body. The most unrealistic and abnormal thing in AC is those huge jumps and last minute climbs. In real life a sudden climb of that force could create a force that would tear your hands off your body.

I mean in comics, Batman is more unconvincing than Spiderman and Superman who have superpowers.

cawatrooper9
11-05-2015, 08:08 PM
Also, I'd note that the hookblade manages to make Ezio's parkour skills a little more convincing at his age, though.

Though Vestigial's right, the force of catching yourself with it after a long jump would at the very least dislocate Ezio's shoulder.

LoyalACFan
11-05-2015, 11:09 PM
The only thing that bothered me about the hookblade was the double climb-leap. Like, okay, I can buy that the hook gives Ezio a little more reach and takes some of the stress off of his fingers (which would have been arthritic as all hell at that point in his life given his penchant for brawling and climbing lol) and, silly as they are, the counter-steal and hook-and-run moves are functionally possible I guess. But the chained climb leaps... I mean it's not like the blade is really propelling him or anything, so he's basically just flinging himself upward an entire body length in some cases with the strength of one arm. It just looks super weird.

cawatrooper9
11-05-2015, 11:12 PM
The only thing that bothered me about the hookblade was the double climb-leap. Like, okay, I can buy that the hook gives Ezio a little more reach and takes some of the stress off of his fingers (which would have been arthritic as all hell at that point in his life given his penchant for brawling and climbing lol) and, silly as they are, the counter-steal and hook-and-run moves are functionally possible I guess. But the chained climb leaps... I mean it's not like the blade is really propelling him or anything, so he's basically just flinging himself upward an entire body length in some cases with the strength of one arm. It just looks super weird.

After using the climb leap for the past few games, I actually found this more believable.

Functionally, it's still probably impossible- but at least, in my mind, I rationalize that the maneuver is aided by a tool, and that makes it a little easier to accept.

VestigialLlama4
11-06-2015, 03:13 AM
After using the climb leap for the past few games, I actually found this more believable.

Functionally, it's still probably impossible- but at least, in my mind, I rationalize that the maneuver is aided by a tool, and that makes it a little easier to accept.

I think AC1 was the most realistic in that you had Parkour and you could climb but the pace of the climb wasn't super-fast and the Leap of Faith was the only real improbability. AC2 started stretching things. AC3 introduced tree-running which is more out of a Kung-Fu movie than anything.

UNITY pretended that they would be going realistic and changing some of the things associated with the games. So no whiteroom conversations (instead we see the dead man's memories...and conveniently only their plot related memories and not say memories of their sex lives or other dreams), no default white hoods and you had Controlled Descent in Parkour but it was still super-unrealistic in many respects, the leaps of faith were even more improbable thanks to 1:1. But it introduce interiors. I wish that we get a Grip Meter in the future, or have a certain gravity control because as the games get to modern times you need a corresponding level of realism. Doing a Leap of Faith of the Acre-Chartres Cathedral's Spire in AC1 is somehow a lot more acceptable than doing a Leap of Faith of say, the Empire State Building.

Like I said there's room for exaggeration but there has to be limits and it's hard to define that limit. It's one of those things where you have to go, "I can tell you that the Rope Launcher is wrong and ill-fitting but I can't tell you why it's more unrealistic than <INSERT X> from earlier AC games". It's more about aesthetics really.

Assassin_M
11-06-2015, 08:02 AM
AC should realize its own unique identity. AC is not Splinter Cell nor Metal Gear. AC is also not Hitman. AC is a social and regular stealth simulator. Due to that blend, AC carved a unique identity that has been lost since AC I.

EmbodyingSeven5
11-06-2015, 11:13 AM
AC should realize its own unique identity. AC is not Splinter Cell nor Metal Gear. AC is also not Hitman. AC is a social and regular stealth simulator. Due to that blend, AC carved a unique identity that has been lost since AC I.
Hes not saying AC should become Metal Gear, Splinter Cell or Hitman, but AC can definitely take inspiration from these games. I mean they are all Stealth games. Its the same as horror films using similar elements to make a scary experience. Theirs no crime in that. Plus I don't see AC going down the right path on its own.

Also has the "social stealth" in AC ever been that good. How could they improve it? I wish AC would learn from Dishonored. On a level they have very similar elements. Both focus on traversal and assassination missions. I thought AC Us blackbox missions were an idea that fell on its face because it was done so poorly. The thing is........black box missions already existed in Dishonored and they were done way better too. Each mission was a semi-open world with open structures and buildings to explore. There was a multitude of ways to find and eliminate your target. The A.I was intelligent and the targets had tons of dialogue and performed a variety of actions as you went through the level. They didn't stand in one place with a red dot over their head until you found them.

cawatrooper9
11-06-2015, 03:36 PM
I think AC1 was the most realistic in that you had Parkour and you could climb but the pace of the climb wasn't super-fast and the Leap of Faith was the only real improbability.


I'd absolutely agree. However, having played it recently, I can personally say that realism doesn't necessarily equal fun in this case. Climbing is a chore in AC1. It takes so long, there are tons of enemies on the roofs, and most of the architecture is really boring.

Last year, Amancio said of parkour (and I'm paraphrasing) "We focused on making parkour smooth, because smoothness is fun." At the time, I thought that was kind of a silly statement, but I kind of see where he's coming from. Altair's realistic but choppy climbing skills really detract from my enjoyment of the game.

Not to say that I'd prefer the floaty parkour of Syndicate/Unity (though I don't necessarily mind it). In my opinion, each generation's parkour had some unique things that made it great, but Ezio's parkour seemed most solid to me.

VestigialLlama4
11-06-2015, 03:49 PM
I'd absolutely agree. However, having played it recently, I can personally say that realism doesn't necessarily equal fun in this case. Climbing is a chore in AC1. It takes so long, there are tons of enemies on the roofs, and most of the architecture is really boring.

I think the climbing because it takes time is more satisfying and you actually feel you are up in the air rather than climbing some ladder sculpted into buildings. As for the architecture being boring, well that's kind of the point, this is the era of the Crusades, the period of the decline of the Arabian Golden Age. So the buildings because it doesn't look pretty kind of looks harsh. And within this context the few big buildings, like the Ummayad Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, the Citadel, Abul Nuqood's house stand out particularly. Acre fakes things by bringing the Chartres Cathedral over the sea but climbing up those spires was a lot of fun.

The main thing though are the fort areas and the Souks. The top of those Souks, underneath them, and how different and layered it is, is amazing. Architecturally it shows you that it's legitimately one whole space but if you walk inside you feel that it's bigger on the inside. This is the real feel of these bazaars in Middle Eastern merchant cities. You had that in the Grand Bazaar in Revelations as well. The fort in Acre is also impressive for the height and dimensions and how complex it is. Compare that to L'arsenale which is also a similar space and the much smaller forts in AC3's frontiers, you get a sense of medieval siege architecture well.


Last year, Amancio said of parkour (and I'm paraphrasing) "We focused on making parkour smooth, because smoothness is fun." At the time, I thought that was kind of a silly statement, but I kind of see where he's coming from. Altair's realistic but choppy climbing skills really detract from my enjoyment of the game.

If you've played Shadow of the Colossus you will know that game features climbing and movement and it's not smooth at all. It's jerky, it's intense and you feel the whole body is each grapple and that to me is far more satisfying than smoothness. In later games, I actually try and slow down the Parkour because I like hanging on buildings and to me that is an essential part of the AC fantasy and achievement. We've had open world games before AC but none of them introduced an open world where every building, ever nook and cranny can be climbed, grappled and interacted with.

Smoothness can be fun. Even Revelations, also made by Amancio, which had the Hookblade and it still felt very tactile, even if the hookblade was meant to increase the pace of the traversal. The thing it increases the pace by giving you more options and things to bounce and combine with. I overall you feel like a pinball that hits and bounces off objects, you feel each bounce and pivot and each flick up of the flippers and I think that tactile sensation is crucial.

RA503
11-06-2015, 04:43 PM
But in video games sometimes reallism need to be sacrificed for fun,just imagine in AC 1 if we have a stamina metter that we need to hunt animals to replenish it like in MGS 3...

Assassin_M
11-06-2015, 05:20 PM
Hes not saying AC should become Metal Gear, Splinter Cell or Hitman, but AC can definitely take inspiration from these games. I mean they are all Stealth games. Its the same as horror films using similar elements to make a scary experience. Theirs no crime in that. Plus I don't see AC going down the right path on its own.

Also has the "social stealth" in AC ever been that good. How could they improve it? I wish AC would learn from Dishonored. On a level they have very similar elements. Both focus on traversal and assassination missions. I thought AC Us blackbox missions were an idea that fell on its face because it was done so poorly. The thing is........black box missions already existed in Dishonored and they were done way better too. Each mission was a semi-open world with open structures and buildings to explore. There was a multitude of ways to find and eliminate your target. The A.I was intelligent and the targets had tons of dialogue and performed a variety of actions as you went through the level. They didn't stand in one place with a red dot over their head until you found them.
And that's what I'm saying. People are talking about taking inspiration from stealth games here and there, but this is precisely why AC is in the sorry state it's in. It's captured between its false identity as a stealth game and its original concept of social stealth. Why do you think the AI seldom improved over the years? The AI was built for social stealth but it's being applied to a fake stealth game. (Note: Syndicate actually introduces a couple of improvements, but no one really noticed.)

What I'm saying is that AC has taken enough inspiration from regular stealth games. It already has a crouch button, a hiding mechanic...etc. It should now work on its social stealth. Social stealth has been stagnant since 2009. Six years ago and with as many games, yet the social stealth saw 0 innovation.

SixKeys
11-06-2015, 05:23 PM
I'd absolutely agree. However, having played it recently, I can personally say that realism doesn't necessarily equal fun in this case. Climbing is a chore in AC1. It takes so long, there are tons of enemies on the roofs, and most of the architecture is really boring.

Last year, Amancio said of parkour (and I'm paraphrasing) "We focused on making parkour smooth, because smoothness is fun." At the time, I thought that was kind of a silly statement, but I kind of see where he's coming from. Altair's realistic but choppy climbing skills really detract from my enjoyment of the game.

Not to say that I'd prefer the floaty parkour of Syndicate/Unity (though I don't necessarily mind it). In my opinion, each generation's parkour had some unique things that made it great, but Ezio's parkour seemed most solid to me.

I still love AC1's parkour for being the most realistic. I haven't played Syndicate yet, but I recently watched a clip of someone climbing the Big Ben and almost got that giddy feeling in the pit of my stomach when the camera panned to the side to show how high Evie was - until she floated up the clock like it was nothing and thev immersion was shattered. In AC1 I still get sweaty palms when climbing the Acre cathedral. Alta´r's climbing is so weighty, so meticulous that you really feel his concentration. You feel like it's you doing the climbing. Post-ACR that feeling is gone.