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obligatory_user
11-12-2015, 11:18 PM
I may be completely off-base here, but from the very first game (which I played in 2008) it always seemed to me that the story was building to something. The reason why we were in the animus as Desmond in the first place was to learn things about the past that would impact the present. Finding artifacts, learning about the power struggles, mastering the abilities of being an AssassinÖ wasnít there supposed to be a point to it all?

Starting with AC2 and Brotherhood, where you spent more time outside of the Animus, taking part in missions and exploring the world, it always felt to me like the endgame was to make Desmond a proper Assassin and the story would shift a part of its focus to the modern day. The main conflict would now be in the present (after all, whatís the point of ďdefeatingĒ the Templars in the past when they are now more powerful than ever with Abstergo), with about half of the game taking place in Animus, learning things that would aid in the MD struggle.

What happened to all of that? The apocalypse angle came out of nowhere to me and wasnít handled very well. After they killed off Desmond (for no apparent reason, story-wise), the game lost focus. The reason why we had Desmond in the first place was because of his special ancestry. I understand we would need to play as someone else eventually (I mean, how many famous Assassins can be in one manís family tree?), but playing as a faceless Initiate does not fill Desmondís shoes. What significance do ancestral memories have anymore, anyways? Edward, Shay & Arnoís memories came from Abstergo, right? So where did the Fryeís come from? Why are the animus story missions mostly filled with meaningly busywork?

I used to be a big fan of the Assassinís Creed mythology. Like LOST, it felt like it was building to something meaningful. But like that infamous show, it appears that the creators have absolutely no plan and are simply throwing things out there and seeing what works. I donít even think they much care about any kind of story anymore, and instead are more interested in dull game mechanics (gang warfare, carriages, large-but-empty open world) than creating a worthwhile gaming experience.

Hopefully all of this changes with the next game. A playable MD character is preferable, but only if actual time and effort is put behind it. The IDEA of Desmond was good, but the execution was lacking. Cutscenes would be perfectly fine if they actually accomplished something instead of treading water (and please please PLEASE get rid of Shaun & Rebecca). There needs to be a purpose to these games, as the gameplay alone is simply not inventive or fun enough to make the dozens of hours spent with them rewarding. More diverse missions, better AI, challenging combat, stealth that actually works, an interactive open-world (with more than just an urban area) & better graphics are needed to bring this franchise up to its competitors standards.

I havenít purchase anything AC-related since Black Flag (which was fun but ultimately forgettable). I rented both Unity and Syndicate, and Iím honestly not excited about the possibility of future games. The movie is the only thing Iím looking forward to.

There was a time when I used to love this franchise, but that hasnít been for many years now. I want to continue getting Assassinís Creed, I want to enjoy it again. But unless some major work is put into overhauling almost everything, and a reason is found (besides monetary gain) for putting out a new installment in the first place, I donít see myself buying or recommending this series again. Iíll probably still rent it, just to see what itís like, but I doubt Ubisoft is happy with $2-6 from me a year.

phoenix-force411
11-13-2015, 12:02 AM
It doesn't need to be playable to be interesting. I have always found the playable segments to be boring even if fun at times, but overall, they were things that could have been done with cutscenes. I mean, having Desmond and Abstergo Guards fight like the ancestor and the enemies of the ancestor's time has always felt stupid, in my opinion. Also, not every thing happens in the games. You have to look outside of it also to learn more about Modern Day. I tell you, I bet people who only played the games know nothing about some of the modern day things in Syndicate. Syndicate introduces MD plots and stuff that were introduced outside of the games which is why Syndicate probably has made more advancement in MD game-wise since ACIII.

phoenix-force411
11-13-2015, 12:08 AM
What happened to all of that? The apocalypse angle came out of nowhere to me and wasn’t handled very well. After they killed off Desmond (for no apparent reason, story-wise), the game lost focus. The reason why we had Desmond in the first place was because of his special ancestry.
I

I'm not sure if you have realised this or not, but ACII was the reason why the MD started deteriorating in appeal. "End of the World" plot shortened the overall plot of the AC universe, and now, at times, it just feels like it's dragging to the majority.

Assassin_M
11-13-2015, 12:51 AM
wasn’t there supposed to be a point to it all?
Yes, to stop the Solar Flare and save the world, which happened.


Starting with AC2 and Brotherhood, where you spent more time outside of the Animus
Oooooh which version of AC II is that? I would love to play it.


What happened to all of that? The apocalypse angle came out of nowhere to me and wasn’t handled very well. After they killed off Desmond (for no apparent reason, story-wise), the game lost focus. The reason why we had Desmond in the first place was because of his special ancestry. I understand we would need to play as someone else eventually (I mean, how many famous Assassins can be in one man’s family tree?), but playing as a faceless Initiate does not fill Desmond’s shoes. What significance do ancestral memories have anymore, anyways? Edward, Shay & Arno’s memories came from Abstergo, right? So where did the Frye’s come from? Why are the animus story missions mostly filled with meaningly busywork?

I used to be a big fan of the Assassin’s Creed mythology. Like LOST, it felt like it was building to something meaningful. But like that infamous show, it appears that the creators have absolutely no plan and are simply throwing things out there and seeing what works. I don’t even think they much care about any kind of story anymore, and instead are more interested in dull game mechanics (gang warfare, carriages, large-but-empty open world) than creating a worthwhile gaming experience.

Hopefully all of this changes with the next game. A playable MD character is preferable, but only if actual time and effort is put behind it. The IDEA of Desmond was good, but the execution was lacking. Cutscenes would be perfectly fine if they actually accomplished something instead of treading water (and please please PLEASE get rid of Shaun & Rebecca). There needs to be a purpose to these games, as the gameplay alone is simply not inventive or fun enough to make the dozens of hours spent with them rewarding. More diverse missions, better AI, challenging combat, stealth that actually works, an interactive open-world (with more than just an urban area) & better graphics are needed to bring this franchise up to its competitors standards.

I haven’t purchase anything AC-related since Black Flag (which was fun but ultimately forgettable). I rented both Unity and Syndicate, and I’m honestly not excited about the possibility of future games. The movie is the only thing I’m looking forward to.

There was a time when I used to love this franchise, but that hasn’t been for many years now. I want to continue getting Assassin’s Creed, I want to enjoy it again. But unless some major work is put into overhauling almost everything, and a reason is found (besides monetary gain) for putting out a new installment in the first place, I don’t see myself buying or recommending this series again. I’ll probably still rent it, just to see what it’s like, but I doubt Ubisoft is happy with $2-6 from me a year.

Okay, I'm gonna go on this rant again. I use to LOVE modern day. I spent so much time with the other old members there since 2009 debating and speculating about modern day. We made up so many theories and thought about so many mysteries, it was great. I'm all for a return to form for the modern day with quality storytelling and compelling twists, I would totally love that. Unfortunately, though, i'm a realist and here's reality.Modern day pretty much flopped after the ending of AC II for three reasons:

1) They completely ignored the already introduced overarching conflict of the satellite launch because for some reason, they changed their minds and didn't like it and thought "bleeehhhh, it's just not.....as destructive, bleeeehhhh", so they introduced the solar flare plot. That's terrible writing, there's no two ways about it. It was the start of the mess.

2) They didn't salvage that mess by tying the two conflicts together. They COMPLETELY threw the launch to the side and it suddenly had NO consequence whatsoever. So that's a WHOLE game of build up to a grand revelation thrown to waste.

3) AC II only had 10-15 minutes of modern day. Literally, that's ALL there was. That's less than AC I. And you could only walk and read emails in AC I. What can a story tell in 15 minutes? How many characters can it develop? How many loose ends can it tie? How many plot points can it introduce promptly and tie it all up in the end? Did you honestly feel anything for Desmond, Rebecca, Shaun and Lucy compared to Ezio and his story? Were there any strong, memorable moments that you can recall from AC II's modern day comparable to say....Ezio's speech at the end of the bonfire of the vanities? I bet you can't. Because you can't do much in 15 minutes. You can't advance the romance between Desmond and Lucy convincingly, you can't explore these new characters, Shaun and Rebecca, you literally can't do anything meaningful to justify pulling you out of the animus, pulling you away from Renaissance Italy and the parkour and the combat and the compelling story.

AC II restarted EVERYTHING that was established in AC I for absolutely no reason, throwing it all to waste. AC I had everything set up that AC II RE-set up, instead of advancing and developing.

Here's where AC I stood:
Overarching conflict? Satellite Launch.
Mysterious, knowledgeable figure? Subject 16
Looming, impeding threat? Bleeding effect

Here's where we stood after AC II:
Overarching satellite plot? Uhhh...What's that?
Mysterious and knowledgeable subject 16? Story wrapped up.
Looming, impeding threat of the bleeding effect? Uhhh....cutscene....and a dialogue about it.

Then, where ACB stood:
Overarching Satellite plot? SOLAR FLARE!!
Mysterious and knowledgeable subject 16? Restart...for some reason.
Impeding and looming bleeding effect? Uhhh....a cutscene....and a few dialogues.

Brotherhood is where things became extremely convoluted. Why reintroduce subject 16 with more glyphs and a characterization that he knows all this cryptic ****? WE ALREADY DID THAT IN THE FIRST AC!!! He was introduced as a mysterious character who would guide Desmond and warn him of the impeding satellite launch. WHY redo that again? Because they made a NEW overarching conflict, the solar flare.

Subject 16's arc was COMPLETE by the end of AC II's glyphs. We pretty much knew everything about him at that point and there was NO need to continue his story. It ended up only making matters more complex. We knew that 16 was an Assassin agent, sent inside to gather intel about the animus. Great. He explored so many memories, ended up knowing soooo much stuff about the historical battle between Assassins and Templars, then he went bat**** crazy because of the bleeding effect but before he completely lost it, he decides to do one more act: Warn his successor about the Templars' plans. He was also a prelude to Desmond's inevitable bleeding effect kicking in. An example of what Desmond COULD become.

That was perfect. We have the overarching conflict, we have the mysterious figure who warned us about it, he should have just remained this mysterious figure. He already served the role he was meant to, but AGAIN, the writers decided to REDO 16 because obviously the satellite conflict was thrown to the side now, so they have to REMAKE 16 as a plot device. He now met Juno and she told him to do the things he did, and now he knows some weird **** about the sun, Eve and Desmond's son, but then that allllll gets thrown to the side....AGAIN. We already knew about the sun, Desmond's son was revealed in an optional recording to be just 16 being crazy and talking about other timelines, and Eve....well...that was nothing too. Happy days!

People can talk all they want about the twists, and the mind-blows but from the start of AC II, it was destined to flop because the writers did not have a focused vision and they did not stick to what they introduced. They instead trudged along and made it up as they went, losing confidence in their original vision and this resulted in what we have now. The unfortunate state of what could have been an amazing narrative.
Whenever I watch a complicated series or play games with overarching plots, I become so sad about the state of AC because some other games handled their plots EXTREMELY well. From the start of said series or games, everything was concise and focused, with pay offs given for the amazing set ups at the end. I could speculate, debate hints left by writers pointing to a certain thing happening or a revelation and it was all logical.

Regarding playing as a full modern day Assassin, that was just never going to happen.
AC I has 4 mandatory cutscenes and then 10 or some optional conversations and a few emails to read. That entirely adds up to about 40 minutes of screen time out of a roughly 20 hour game.
AC II had about 20 minutes of modern day out of a roughly 20 hour game.
ACB had 3 mandatory cutscenes and missions and about 5 optional conversations, a few emails and collectibles and this adds up to about 2-3 hours of playtime out of a roughly 15 hour game.
ACR had 4 mandatory cutscenes with 5 first person puzzle missions, which all adds up to about 2-3 hours of playtime out of another 15 hour game. You get my point.

Modern Day has never taken center stage and there's a reason for that. AC has always been about the past, about history. The overarching plot was indeed the modern day, but it was never the star of the game. The true star was always the story going on inside the Animus/Helix/Whatever.

All the fun stuff was done inside the animus, Desmond was just never ever going to be able to hold up. Both narrative wise AND gameplay wise, the story told inside the animus was superior. AC I had more of Desmond, but AC II is the real culprit, showing only 20 minutes of him. I think about Patrice's original plan (Or at least what people think his original was, because I don't think Patrice was going to relegate the historical portion to such a small scale. It's the soul of AC), and I just don't know how it could have worked. A trilogy where the last game has full modern day gameplay with master assassin Desmond. I have NO idea how that would have worked with the little time we had with the guy in AC II. He had less screen time than AC I, and all we did in AC I was walk around and read emails.

The gameplay in MD was just more of the same too. The parkour was the same, the combat was the same. Might as well just extend the historical portion. This is why I'm okay with Syndicate's modern day. You can do a lot with cutscenes. You can tell stories in cutscenes, have great characters and mysteries and twists. I don't see why people are asking for reskinned historical gameplay in modern day. it just feels fake, I mean....guards with sticks?? really? Modern Day gameplay was very very very silly.

obligatory_user
11-13-2015, 04:43 AM
I suppose what Iím wanting from the games now is impossible, maybe it was always impossible. Focusing on the past so much like the games have done doesnít do much for me because the settings are never explored in any meaningful way. Thereís lip service to some of the issues of the day, but ultimately itís window dressing and only amounts to platitudes and generalities. The developers seem to be more interested in making the player feel ďcoolĒ and ďpowerfulĒ than telling a meaningful story or coming up with inventive gameplay. The franchise now feels like the game equivalent of a Wachowskis film (which is not a complement). Thereís some interesting world building, but the plots are a disaster and the character development is either nonexistent or nonsensical. Itís clear that the franchise just doesnít have writers that are talented enough (or unhindered by the boundaries the developers have given them) to craft anything of substance. But then thatís not just a problem with Assassinís Creed but almost every single video game out there (The Last of Us and The Witcher being some of the only recent notable exceptions).

Like I mentioned in my earlier post, what I want is an overhaul of the series from the ground up. There are many aspects of the franchise that are either broken or havenít been improved on in years, and I think the developers need to take a step back and ask themselves what they want these games to accomplish, what the point putting them out there is in the first place.

Maybe Iím misremembering what exactly the earlier games were like. I havenít played AC2 since 2010, and recently Iíve been asking myself whether I would even enjoy the game if I were to play it for the first time today. My tastes have changed a lot in the last five years, and games have taken huge strides in advancement in that time. Maybe Iím looking at it through rose-colored glasses, something I myself despise.

Iím not saying previous games were perfect, or even done well. The Lucy reveal (and her subsequent murder) came out of nowhere and made absolutely zero sense (Iíve only recently learned it may have been due Kristin Bellís asking price), and some of the conspiracy theorist ďsecret historyĒ was just nonsense. But the quality in lore-building and writing has taken a sharp downward curve since the early games.

If they were to make MD playable again I wouldnít want to go back to the way it was done before. Iíd want full-blown full-blown missions with combat, but not simply a reskin of the historical gameplay. Maybe the developers donít have the assets, time or budget, but if theyíre going to give the MD its due, it needs to be its own thing. Obviously a huge span of time would have passed between what happens in the animus and today, so the combat and gameplay should definitely be different. I did think it was somewhat ridiculous in Syndicateís cutscenes that the Assassins & their hand-to-hand weapons were trying to take on enemies with guns. If it was stupid in Indiana Jonesí day, itís even more foolish with modern weapons.

The potential of these games may always be just that, potential. Perhaps a fully fledged modern day that is nearly equal to the historical gameplay is untenable, either due to budget or time constraints. Maybe Ubisoft simply isnít interested in making that kind of game (which judging from what the series has been up to this point, is likely the case). If the MD segment can or will never be what I (and clearly many others) want it to be, I think thatís mostly a conceptual error on the developers part. Introducing these games from the viewpoint of the present was a mistake. Why even introduce the animus or Abstergo if youíre never going to do anything with it? These shouldíve just been historical games without any sci-fi elements in the first place.

As for what phoenix-force said about the Assassinís Creed stories in other media (comics, novels, etc.), to me theyíre not of high enough quality to interest me. Iím also not fond of one type of entertainment branching out into other mediums. Iíve never had any interest in comic or book versions of movies or tv shows, and the same holds true for games. I want the original, pure version of the story. Assassinís Creed is a game series first. Not having the actors playing their parts, the lack of music or gameplayÖ reading a comic version would just feel lacking & incomplete to me. Creating new characters and stories is one thing, but again, I donít think the writers are talented enough for me to waste my time on the comics or books.

cawatrooper9
11-13-2015, 03:18 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't they reveal that the satellite launch was supposed to contain an Apple, in the hopes that they could use it to influence the world to "will" away the solar flare- a last ditch effort, much like the First Civ's attempt?

dxsxhxcx
11-13-2015, 04:38 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't they reveal that the satellite launch was supposed to contain an Apple, in the hopes that they could use it to influence the world to "will" away the solar flare- a last ditch effort, much like the First Civ's attempt?

they wanted to attach an Apple to the satellite to control everybody's minds, their plans for it had nothing to do with the Solar Flare, as far as I remember , the Templars weren't even aware of this event...

cawatrooper9
11-13-2015, 04:42 PM
they wanted to attach an Apple to the satellite to control everybody's minds, their plans for it had nothing to do with the Solar Flare, as far as I remember , the Templars weren't even aware of this event...

Hmm, for whatever reason I guess I just associated this with the First Civ's failed attempt to save themselves.

Dang, and all this time I'd been subconsciously correcting this continuity error in my head. Now you guys have ruined it for me. I'm leaving Assassins Creed forever now, bye. :p

dxsxhxcx
11-13-2015, 04:54 PM
Hmm, for whatever reason I guess I just associated this with the First Civ's failed attempt to save themselves.

Dang, and all this time I'd been subconsciously correcting this continuity error in my head. Now you guys have ruined it for me. I'm leaving Assassins Creed forever now, bye. :p

Maybe because their methods were similar in execution but had different goals:



The third solution was discovered by using the Apple of Eden on humans. If enough humans were told to believe in one idea, it would take form in reality. As such, the third solution was to launch an Apple of Eden into orbit, aim it towards the planet, and command all humans to one thought, "Make us safe." This thought alone would theoretically take form and protect the Earth – the issue, however, was trying to aim the Apple in the right direction and convey the message that the First Civilization wanted. After sending a dozen Apples into orbit, the result was still the same and the solution was abandoned.

Thirsty_panda
11-13-2015, 06:19 PM
they wanted to attach an Apple to the satellite to control everybody's minds, their plans for it had nothing to do with the Solar Flare, as far as I remember , the Templars weren't even aware of this event...


No, Abstergo was aware of it. The solar flare was supposed to supercharge the apple or something, which is why the launch date was the same as the date of the flare, and also why the plot line ended. And by the way, even outside of this fact you knew Abstergo had to know about it because Lucy knew about it.

Farlander1991
11-13-2015, 07:06 PM
The two biggest problems with modern day were:
1) overcomplication of events (caused by wanting to get twists, mostly)
2) lack of thematic connection between the past and present character arcs and what's happening there

A lot has been said about the first part by M I suppose, so I won't touch upon that. The second one is very important, as the modern day is only a small portion of the game, it can be very jarring as it gets out people of the experience if they're not connected thematically. We're playing as Altair in AC1, learning the meaning of the Creed, realizing what responsibility is, accepting the consequences of your actions... and as Desmond we.... wait to be rescued. A lot of people didn't like

And I've used ACR a lot as an example, but it's a very good example IMO, that the game for all its flaws has this thematic connection between the past and the present, heck between two layers of the past even - the whole game is about 3 assassins examining their past and the course their life has took them in, deciding what to do with their heritage and what to do. And they all influence each other, and each take a different road in their decision. That last scene in the game,, where we see Altair's final decision, with Ezio telling Altair to rest in peace and then talking to Desmond who receives a message, is a culmination of that theme and the arcs the characters had in the game (now, Desmond has his arc mostly in optional first person puzzle levels which kinda sucks from a structural stand-point, but that's more of a details). It's beautiful, would've been even more so if the game had more than 11 months of development, IMO.

And in AC1/AC2 we... just, do something. Ezio's tale in AC2 is about revenge, and yet in the Modern Day it's not tackled at all in any way despite having a perfect extension for that theme for Desmond - Vidic.

That's why modern day didn't resonate to many people, because AC1 modern day was very interesting from the point of view of the lore and background and concepts, but in terms of characters? Not really, and that's what many really care about. And AC2 instead of trying to fix it decided to shove the modern day as far away as possible, focusing mostly on the lore part in terms of glyphs for those who were interested in it from AC1. And at the same time, despite spending almost any time in Modern Day at all, they gave this huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge twist which absolutely changes the course of events, and that's really not that good from structural point of view.

VestigialLlama4
11-13-2015, 08:30 PM
The two biggest problems with modern day were:
1) overcomplication of events (caused by wanting to get twists, mostly)
2) lack of thematic connection between the past and present character arcs and what's happening there

A lot has been said about the first part by M I suppose, so I won't touch upon that. The second one is very important, as the modern day is only a small portion of the game, it can be very jarring as it gets out people of the experience if they're not connected thematically. We're playing as Altair in AC1, learning the meaning of the Creed, realizing what responsibility is, accepting the consequences of your actions... and as Desmond we.... wait to be rescued. A lot of people didn't like

And I've used ACR a lot as an example, but it's a very good example IMO, that the game for all its flaws has this thematic connection between the past and the present, heck between two layers of the past even - the whole game is about 3 assassins examining their past and the course their life has took them in, deciding what to do with their heritage and what to do. And they all influence each other, and each take a different road in their decision. That last scene in the game,, where we see Altair's final decision, with Ezio telling Altair to rest in peace and then talking to Desmond who receives a message, is a culmination of that theme and the arcs the characters had in the game (now, Desmond has his arc mostly in optional first person puzzle levels which kinda sucks from a structural stand-point, but that's more of a details). It's beautiful, would've been even more so if the game had more than 11 months of development, IMO.

And in AC1/AC2 we... just, do something. Ezio's tale in AC2 is about revenge, and yet in the Modern Day it's not tackled at all in any way despite having a perfect extension for that theme for Desmond - Vidic.

That's why modern day didn't resonate to many people, because AC1 modern day was very interesting from the point of view of the lore and background and concepts, but in terms of characters? Not really, and that's what many really care about. And AC2 instead of trying to fix it decided to shove the modern day as far away as possible, focusing mostly on the lore part in terms of glyphs for those who were interested in it from AC1. And at the same time, despite spending almost any time in Modern Day at all, they gave this huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge twist which absolutely changes the course of events, and that's really not that good from structural point of view.

Exactly. I came into the games later so for me the whole progressive involvement and disappointment and dashed expecations with the game's MD was lost to me. For me, the MD was a distraction occassionally nice and fun but always secondary.

I actually think the Juno arc is more interesting because it is really anchored to the past in a big way. Juno is obviously Old and has been dormant and influencing people via the Apple and these Sages. So the past threat is the present threat, whereas in the Desmond games, the climax is meant to take place in the present and future with the solar flare/satellite. Here it's basically about a being from the past returning and everyone trying to learn as much as they can and rebuild. So structurally the MD in Black Flag and afterwards is actually more sensible.

I mean it's clear that Juno isn't really out to destroy humanity as Syndicate makes clear, so her plan is different than the destructive and urgent threat of the solar flare. She basically wants to bring the First Civilization technology back in the present day.

dxsxhxcx
11-13-2015, 08:44 PM
The two biggest problems with modern day were:
1) overcomplication of events (caused by wanting to get twists, mostly)
2) lack of thematic connection between the past and present character arcs and what's happening there


I disagree about the latter because IMO the lack of a thematic connection between the two periods didn't affect my enjoyment of the modern days (in fact it made the MD more interesting because if both periods explored the same thematic, we could expect similar outcomes in both of them, this way we didn't know what to expect of it), I was given a good reason to why I had to relive Altair's memories and why I couldn't skip directly to the place and time I would find the information I needed, this alone IMO (at least in this case) defeated the necessity of a thematic connection between the two time periods..

Farlander1991
11-13-2015, 09:41 PM
I disagree about the latter because IMO the lack of a thematic connection between the two periods didn't affect my enjoyment of the modern days (in fact it made the MD more interesting because if both periods explored the same thematic, we could expect similar outcomes in both of them, this way we didn't know what to expect of it), I was given a good reason to why I had to relive Altair's memories and why I couldn't skip directly to the place and time I would find the information I needed, this alone IMO (at least in this case) defeated the necessity of a thematic connection between the two time periods..

Well, as I said in my post, this just means you're the lore kind of guy :p Besides, the example I used as ACR has three different outcomes for the three assassins, and their arcs are all connected thematically, so outcome is not similar ;) And nothing prevents the two different time periods giving different answers for the same question.

The other thing is, MD plots (well, in Desmond's saga at least) for the most part are fairly static and/or slow moving because any real progression is blocked by the Macguffin - the Macguffin is needed for the MD team to continue so that's why they watch memories in the first place, and they can't continue until they find what they need, which in terms of historical plotline means telling the whole historical plot arc and character arc (otherwise it just abrupts interruptly). Which leaves two things to pick up the slack: lore and characters, and AC has never had consistent quality with the latter ones, especially in AC1/AC2 (it's ACB where MD characters, including Desmond, start to shine, but by that point it was too late for many players).

That said, thematic connection of course is not the only way to go, but in terms of AC I think it would really help. But it has to be a good thematic connection. Like, AC3 tries to do this with the father/son relationship, but it's kidna, eeeh.