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View Full Version : Thoughts While Playing Through the Series, AC1-ACS



cawatrooper9
11-23-2015, 11:08 PM
I've been doing an entire playthrough of the series, this time with all the major story DLC (never had the AC2 or ACB DLC before) other than Lost Archives (because I will never forgive that sloppy plot editing- and a first person puzzle game doesn't interest me that much anyway).

Anywho, I've noticed that I'm not alone in starting a series playthrough here- other forum members seem to be doing the same thing. I thought it might be nice for us to have a place to journal our thoughts- after all, Assassins Creed is... well, it's different than all its parts. Sometimes that's a good thing, sometimes that's a bad thing- regardless, I'd love to hear from my fellow marathoners.

I'm just finishing up Revelations now, so I'll go ahead and get caught up today. Everyone else doing walkthroughs, please feel free to add your thoughts to mine!

Assassins Creed
The first game in the series is always an interesting obstacle in my playthough. I love it, I truly do, and I appreciate it more and more each time I play it (more on that in a sec). But having something so relatively monotonous as AC1 at the head of such a long and intimidating gaming marathon is a little rough. I enjoy the first few memory sequences, but there is definitely a doldrums in the middle of the game where it starts to drag on- for me, this typically sets in around the 3rd assassinations in Damascus and Acre (I absolutely love all of the 2nd assassinations). Luckily, it picks up not long after that, and the game is an avalanche of crazy twists until the end.

This time, the thing that stuck out most to me (as I've already discussed in a previous thread) was how great all of the uniforms are. I still stand by that. Even though I'm almost done with the Ezio trilogy now, I have yet to see anything that even approaches how fantastic the outfits of NPCs were in AC1. The guards, the knights- even the traditional Assassin robes of Altair and his brothers- far better than I ever remembered.

Another thought- AC1 may not have the best graphics in the series, but it had a gritty thing going for it. It did a good job of hiding its faults. Unfortunately, Ezio's crusade for free thinking and speech ruined that in the sequel, because...

Assassins Creed II
... wow, these graphics suck. Looking back, I'm sure I once thought that this game was gorgeous. But my fiance and I both winced at the very first shot in the game. Props for Ubisoft for trying to make the game more accessible and not as gritty, but man, this game looks terrible now.

I do appreciate how robust the game is, though- it's an entirely different monster from AC. The first game was very immersive- or, at least it tries to be (my frustration with the overly sensitive guards breaks that immersion pretty regularly). This game is immersive as well, I'd suppose- but in a different way. It's much more "gamey", but it's easy to get lost in nonetheless.

Storyline-wise, ACII used to be one of my least favorites in the series. However, after playing the Battle of Forli (which I was slightly disappointed in, but still enjoyed) and the Bonfire of the Vanities (which I was pleasantly blown away by) for the first time, I have to say that I really appreciate Ezio's character arc a lot more now. Caterina is no longer some random woman Ezio once saw (then got really familiar with in Brotherhood) but a better flushed out character. Mac got some more screentime too, thus making his appearance in ACB all the more significant. And Bonfire... man, it gives me a very "Scouring of the Shire" feel, and really brings Ezio's journey full circle. It also makes his statement "I thought I was beyond this, but I'm not" in the Vatican make more sense.

Long story short- I've learned my lesson. I'll NEVER play ACII without the DLC again.

Assassins Creed Brotherhood
This used to be my favorite Assassins Creed game, at least until ACIII came out and I was young and dumb and thought that I liked it (and then ACIV came out, and I knew that I liked that). Replaying it now though, especially when I'm mainly just powering through the story... it just seems kind of like one giant tutorial.

Also, I just played the DaVinci Disappearance for the first time. I really am not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, there were some decent missions (I really liked the Lucretia one. On the other, I hated how the missions were individually on the main map, and how there really wasn't a good place for them to be in the story. They're after the historical sections in ACB, but finishing them also finishes the MD sections- and the MD end of ACB leads right into ACR. It doesn't make any sense, and that bothers me. Plus, ACII actually patched the game a bit to make the new sequences fit. I guess I just expected better.

I did like the Hermetics, though. Assassins vs. Templars is a pretty essential part of the series, but I'd love to see more third party organizations like them in future games. Still, I think they were criminally underused this time around.

Also, I really dislike the ending of this game. The last few missions in Sequence 8 seem ridiculously choppy and incoherent, Cesare's final words seem like yet another ditched mystery, and (speaking of ditched mysteries) the Juno Temple sequence is like a graveyard of abandoned plot threads now. Speaking of which, we never find out what happened with the whole Lucy thing, unless you buy the weird DLC for the next game...

Assassins Creed Revelations
I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but this game represents the ultimate entry in the Ezio trilogy for me.

On this playthrough, I kept thinking about how ACR was originally planned as a handheld title. Honestly, I think they did a great job making it a full console release- nothing about it feels like it would've been possible on handheld. I love the colors of the robes, the ambient music (okay, I admit, I like it in this game!), the general atmosphere of the game. People say that it was rushed, but I don't really see that reflected in the final product.

Okay, I swear I had some other observation about this game that I was going to write- and it was pretty earth shattering. (This is just a Tribute). But yeah, I'll add it if I can think of it later.

phoenix-force411
11-23-2015, 11:44 PM
Oh yeah, Revelations was pretty good for me. It was better than Brotherhood, because it was interesting to see Ezio not giving too much of a crap about other things that were not his objective. He was more ruthless, I should say. Graphically, it beats the other Ezio games. That water, though! Constantinople was much better than Rome thanks to it not being 3/4 Countyside, and the ambient tracks were very good. Sure, it bugs once you beat the game, but then there's a work around that and that work-around method allows you to choose your ambient track.

I think the only thing that made this game sloppy was the stability in parkour. Ezio stumbles a lot. It was the most stable in ACII.

HDinHB
11-24-2015, 12:07 AM
AC2 - Several people will probably point out the DLC was part of the game and should never have been DLC. I can't imagine playing it without BoV. You didn't mention the tombs.

ACR - Occasionally, I would find myself staring in wonder at the stitching in Ezio's robes. How did they get that detail?

SixKeys
11-24-2015, 03:26 AM
Also, I just played the DaVinci Disappearance for the first time. I really am not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, there were some decent missions (I really liked the Lucretia one. On the other, I hated how the missions were individually on the main map, and how there really wasn't a good place for them to be in the story. They're after the historical sections in ACB, but finishing them also finishes the MD sections- and the MD end of ACB leads right into ACR. It doesn't make any sense, and that bothers me. Plus, ACII actually patched the game a bit to make the new sequences fit. I guess I just expected better.

Actually there are two alternate ways the DLC can start. If you finished the campaign before starting the DLC, William Miles and the assassins talk in a voiceover saying something like "OMG, we found more suppressed memories even though Desmond's in a coma, we should watch them in case it helps us". If you play the DLC during the main campaign, Shaun addresses Desmond directly and tells him "hey, you should probably check this out". When Ezio arrives in Leonardo's workshop, Leo can say one of two things: either "Ezio, I thought you had left Rome" (if you already finished the campaign) or "good to see you again, my friend" or something like that if you're still in the middle of the story. So it does make sense depending on how/when you play it.


Also, I really dislike the ending of this game. The last few missions in Sequence 8 seem ridiculously choppy and incoherent, Cesare's final words seem like yet another ditched mystery, and (speaking of ditched mysteries) the Juno Temple sequence is like a graveyard of abandoned plot threads now. Speaking of which, we never find out what happened with the whole Lucy thing, unless you buy the weird DLC for the next game...

Don't blame ACB for Juno's Temple and Lucy. It was the later games that botched all that up. ACB was setting up some epic subplots - finding Subject 16, Desmond's son/the Sun, Lucy etc. - and then ACR deflated the whole mystery surrounding S16 by turning him into an ordinary, chill dude and completely ignoring Lucy in the main game. AC3 addressed the Lucy plot with only one or two lines of dialogue, and "resolved" the Abstergo satellite plot with a handwave, like "oh BTW, don't worry about that, we already took care of it while you were out cold".


On this playthrough, I kept thinking about how ACR was originally planned as a handheld title. Honestly, I think they did a great job making it a full console release- nothing about it feels like it would've been possible on handheld. I love the colors of the robes, the ambient music (okay, I admit, I like it in this game!), the general atmosphere of the game. People say that it was rushed, but I don't really see that reflected in the final product.

The rushed-ness is most obvious in the lack of side content. Most of the side content is really poor and extremely simple, like carrying boxes for money or collecting books by simply looking at a glowing spot with Eagle Vision. The AltaÔr scenes are short and linear and only take place in one location. You can buy shops but unlike in the other two games, it makes no sense whatsoever since the city is by no means in a bad shape financially. Everything except Den Defense and bomb-crafting was already introduced in one form or another in the two prior games.The campaign is even shorter than ACB. The multiplayer was, and still is, a horribly glitchy, laggy mess whereas it worked fine in ACB. This game has "rushed and recycled" written all over it.

It's a good game for what it is: a handheld title turned console game in less than 10 months of development time. It's impressive that the dev team managed to pull it off as well as they did. But it's basically the Rogue of the series before Rogue happened. At least Rogue had a lot of side content, though.

cawatrooper9
11-24-2015, 04:08 PM
AC2 - Several people will probably point out the DLC was part of the game and should never have been DLC. I can't imagine playing it without BoV. You didn't mention the tombs.

Oh, I was totally aware of that, and I'm frankly amazed that ACII is the goldenboy of the series given how the original game didn't come packaged with about 15% of the vital storyline (including some endgame stuff) and was sold later.

And I didn't do the tombs this time- I like them, but I have a lot of other games to get through! :D


Actually there are two alternate ways the DLC can start. If you finished the campaign before starting the DLC, William Miles and the assassins talk in a voiceover saying something like "OMG, we found more suppressed memories even though Desmond's in a coma, we should watch them in case it helps us". If you play the DLC during the main campaign, Shaun addresses Desmond directly and tells him "hey, you should probably check this out". When Ezio arrives in Leonardo's workshop, Leo can say one of two things: either "Ezio, I thought you had left Rome" (if you already finished the campaign) or "good to see you again, my friend" or something like that if you're still in the middle of the story. So it does make sense depending on how/when you play it.

Oh, cool! I wasn't aware of that. That's pretty cool, then, wish I'd have done it that way.


Don't blame ACB for Juno's Temple and Lucy. It was the later games that botched all that up. ACB was setting up some epic subplots - finding Subject 16, Desmond's son/the Sun, Lucy etc. - and then ACR deflated the whole mystery surrounding S16 by turning him into an ordinary, chill dude and completely ignoring Lucy in the main game. AC3 addressed the Lucy plot with only one or two lines of dialogue, and "resolved" the Abstergo satellite plot with a handwave, like "oh BTW, don't worry about that, we already took care of it while you were out cold".

I'm not blaming ACB- this is just my reaction to replaying it. Seeing all of these abandoned plots in one place is just kind of surreal now, that's all.

Farlander1991
11-24-2015, 04:46 PM
Don't blame ACB for Juno's Temple and Lucy. It was the later games that botched all that up. ACB was setting up some epic subplots - finding Subject 16, Desmond's son/the Sun, Lucy etc. - and then ACR deflated the whole mystery surrounding S16 by turning him into an ordinary, chill dude and completely ignoring Lucy in the main game. AC3 addressed the Lucy plot with only one or two lines of dialogue, and "resolved" the Abstergo satellite plot with a handwave, like "oh BTW, don't worry about that, we already took care of it while you were out cold".


I disagree with that sentiment. AC2 and ACB play as big a role in butching things up as ACR and AC3 did, even though effects are less apparent.

Because those games have set things up without properly thinking how those things will be resolved in the first place.

AC2 didn't advance advance the main satellite plot set up in AC1 at all, didn't do anything that couldn't have been done in other situation, and then only at the end introduced the main plot twist and with it the second main storyline. Two main paths are hard enough when all is devoted to them, but AC focuses on the third plot: historical one, and then 10% of the game have two plots now. That's ********.

And ACB, while I enjoyed and still do the character interactions there - it's the game that made me care about md characters and not just md ideas, makes things worse. It elevates S16 into a much more important character without knowing what to do with his importance in future, it adds a second faction to the first civ (at that point one is enough), it introduces the big plot hole with the apple, it introduces even more md characters at the end, and then they also kill Lucy, and the point is again: ACB md resolves nothing. And advances very little. Yet it sets up so many more things, more than any one or even two games could possibly resolve.

ACR and AC3 certainly didn't help, but AC2 and ACB didn't help either.

What I noticed in retrospective when replaying games, that MD train crash began with AC2, it's just with AC3 we realized we were in it.

SixKeys
11-24-2015, 06:32 PM
I disagree with that sentiment. AC2 and ACB play as big a role in butching things up as ACR and AC3 did, even though effects are less apparent.

Because those games have set things up without properly thinking how those things will be resolved in the first place.

AC2 didn't advance advance the main satellite plot set up in AC1 at all, didn't do anything that couldn't have been done in other situation, and then only at the end introduced the main plot twist and with it the second main storyline. Two main paths are hard enough when all is devoted to them, but AC focuses on the third plot: historical one, and then 10% of the game have two plots now. That's ********.

And ACB, while I enjoyed and still do the character interactions there - it's the game that made me care about md characters and not just md ideas, makes things worse. It elevates S16 into a much more important character without knowing what to do with his importance in future, it adds a second faction to the first civ (at that point one is enough), it introduces the big plot hole with the apple, it introduces even more md characters at the end, and then they also kill Lucy, and the point is again: ACB md resolves nothing. And advances very little. Yet it sets up so many more things, more than any one or even two games could possibly resolve.

ACR and AC3 certainly didn't help, but AC2 and ACB didn't help either.

What I noticed in retrospective when replaying games, that MD train crash began with AC2, it's just with AC3 we realized we were in it.

I believe they DID have a plan back when AC2 was in development (and ACB too, at least partly, considering Rome was originally meant to be part of the plot). There were initially only going to be three games, after all. I believe they set up all the MD stuff in those two games thinking they were going to resolve them in AC3, but then plans changed when Ubi told them to make ACR in between and they had to figure out stuff for Desmond to do in the coma. He needed someone to talk to because otherwise it'd be boring (see: Desmond's Journey :p ) and S16 had already been introduced to players. With more time than 10 months they might have been able to come up with a better plot, but even Alex Amancio said that with such a tight deadline, they had no time to second-guess their decisions or say "what if we did this instead...?", they had to stick to the initial plan.

ACR in turn effed up the set-up for AC3 as instead of picking up where the story left off in ACB, they had to account for Desmond being out cold for several days/weeks. They should have explained Lucy's death and 16's ramblings from ACB, but I think AC3 devs assumed those things were going to be addressed in ACR so they needn't worry about them. Problem was, Lucy's death wasn't explained in the main game at all and 16 was a completely different character with a completely different agenda, so none of his previous ramblings were explained and Desmond never even asked. So all we get about Lucy and Clay in AC3 are a few throaway lines like "oh BTW, she was totally going to betray me, I saw it in a dream, and Sixteen was just crazy and didn't know what he was talking about. So **** 'em, let's move on". AC3 also needed a new ending that would leave things open, since by now it was clear Ubi wanted to make this a yearly franchise. I believe the Juno/Minerva stuff was going to be dealt with in AC3 originally, giving closure to the First Civ plot, but they had to make up some BS about Juno wanting to be released into the Internet, so they came up with the Eye, "alternate timelines" and all that.

Farlander1991
11-24-2015, 07:24 PM
I believe they DID have a plan back when AC2 was in development

Did they, though? :p I'm sorry, but the situation like what we have in the games is not what happens when you've got a plan. First off, you're right, AC was supposed to be a trilogy, how did they plan to resolve two main big plotlines (with one introduced in AC1 and not advanced a single bit in AC2, and one introduced in AC2 at the very end thus needing more time) in one game? Well, in a pure modern-day game they might've probably done it, but a modern day AC was NEVER in the definite plans, it was just what some people thought about and some (like one of lead level designers) really wanted to happen.

And let's not forget about Nolan North's story how when he was recording for AC1 they thought there'd be about six games with him there before the conclusion. And the, 'yeah, I don't know what will happen next' after Nolan asked Corey what will happen next.

If there's a plan for three games, that's spread over five, it should result in padding, things that are less important but have to happen to justify new titles. But in our case, it didn't just result in that (there's enough what can be considered padding), it resulted in tons of new stuff, and nothing fits in properly. That's not a sign of stories with a plan.

ACB ended with Desmond in a coma, therefore AC3 should've begun with Desmond in a coma. Therefore, when ACR appeared, most likely what happened is they've put the coma part from AC3, to ACR (unless, of course, they wanted him to wake up immediately, in which case the coma point was absolutely pointless and just shows how unplanned things were :p ). If there's a plan, this shouldn't hurt much. However it did. Which, to me, means there was no plan in the first place. Like, maximum there was something like 'generally speaking something around this maybe probably perhaps?'. Ever since AC2, they were just, pretty much, rolling with it, because AC2 itself is a game with a very reactionary MD storyline - one that first, makes the MD a lot smaller (a result of criticism), and two, suddenly adds a twist to make the plot a lot bigger and seem more important (which was also part of criticism for AC1's MD that it didn't really seem important enough). If there'd be a plan, they'd know what they would do (considering all the things they've set up to make the satellite launch the subversion of the end of the world) and what things they need to have in the game for the plot to flow properly. But I doubt they did.

Just from a perspective of a person who worked on something with a plan (and of course there were lots of changes, there's ALWAYS changes even when there's a plan, but it still in the end is very structured), and on things without a plan by the seats of our pants (or whatever the idiom is), AC MD doesn't look like a thing that had a plan.


(and ACB too, at least partly, considering Rome was originally meant to be part of the plot).

Rome was supposed to be where we kill Rodrigo Borgia in 1503, so in terms of plot there was no overlap between it and AC2's arc.

HDinHB
11-24-2015, 08:29 PM
Well, there's *having* a plan (to say nothing about good plans vs. bad plans) and then there's *following* the plan. I mean they had to have a plan for MD just to get through the first game to the cliffhanger, or at least an outline, or at least a beginning with some question marks after it. I think they had a plan, but somebody spilled coffee all over it, and then, like a novice cook without a recipe, they went to the cupboard and looked at all the spice jars they'd never opened and started pouring them in.

Farlander1991
11-24-2015, 08:55 PM
Well, there's *having* a plan (to say nothing about good plans vs. bad plans) and then there's *following* the plan. I mean they had to have a plan for MD just to get through the first game to the cliffhanger, or at least an outline, or at least a beginning with some question marks after it. I think they had a plan, but somebody spilled coffee all over it, and then, like a novice cook without a recipe, they went to the cupboard and looked at all the spice jars they'd never opened and started pouring them in.

Well, there's a difference between planning something for one particular installment or something for several installments. When it comes to several installments, the plans would never be REALLY detailed. That's not needed and counter-productive (unless you make everything at the same time, like let's say LotR movies or something like that), better to focus just on one chunk. So that one chunk gets detailed over the course of development, from time to time adding a detail or two they have to note in the overall plan based on new information that they get developed. This still presumes an overall plan exists, though.

The thing is, though, to me personally, I may be wrong, but to me it doesn't feel like the devs actually knew the main story beats they wanted to hit. I mean, something like Lucy's betrayal, that's actually a big plot point, because she's our main ally, and they started thinking about it only during AC2 development.

And if there'd be a plan, it would be much easier to adapt and divide between different installments, and people wouldn't have to worry about just rolling with the first idea they have because of the time constraints because there'd be a structure that you could hold on to.

SixKeys
11-24-2015, 09:47 PM
And let's not forget about Nolan North's story how when he was recording for AC1 they thought there'd be about six games with him there before the conclusion. And the, 'yeah, I don't know what will happen next' after Nolan asked Corey what will happen next.

Darby said on Twitter that he has no idea where Nolan got the "six games" idea. It was always supposed to be three at the beginning. If Desmond had been popular enough, they might have used him for more games after the initial trilogy, but they deliberately minimized his part in the plot due to the negative feedback.

I think the first game was just winging it in many ways. They had to see whether it was successful enough before starting on the sequel, so the clues left behind by S16 in the end were completely arbitrary. Those they didn't have a solid plan for, and probably not the Abstergo stuff either beyond the satellite plot and Desmond and Lucy getting together by the end. Patrice supposedly got the idea for Lucy's betrayal and death during the development of AC2, so it's possible it was planned to be in the second game but they didn't have enough time or resources, so they put it in ACB. I believe the same thing happened with Rome. During AC2's development they realized Rome would be too big to put in the game and it might have been too late to squeeze in Lucy's betrayal , so they had to deviate from the original plan. Then the higher-ups decided to greenlight ACB and suddenly the devs had a whole new game to fill with all the stuff they couldn't fit in AC2, and then some. So in that sense I do believe ACB was partly planned because it was meant to be a part of AC2, but then some stuff probably got rewritten to stretch out the story.

I'm not saying the devs didn't make up a lot of stuff on the fly, on the contrary. Rewrites happen all the time when something turns out too difficult or time-consuming to implement. I'm sure a lot of the MD mysteries were written without a clear plan, but they must have had an outline.

AC3 makes more sense if you think about it as a patchwork of ideas that were originally meant to be in it but then shuffled around into other games, resulting in some heavy rewriting. It would have made sense for Desmond to start AC3 in a coma where he then discovers Haytham's memories. But he already woke up at the end of ACR, so what we got in AC3 is this weird, random scene where Desmond just faints out of the blue so he can view Haytham's memories, then it never happens again. There's a scene where Desmond has to mourn Lucy because we never really saw him do it, or explain to the other assassins why he killed her. If ACR's plot had already addressed these points, they wouldn't have had to do it in AC3. But it didn't, so they had to insert that scene where Desmond randomly starts explaining why he killed Lucy, since only a handful of people even found out she was a traitor via DLC.

I also feel like the parallels between Desmond and his father vs. Connor and his father were meant to be more obvious, but they had to insert all this other unnecessary crap and explain it to the players (like Daniel Cross who really came out of freaking nowhere). Without all that extra baggage that should have already been dealt with in ACR, they could have had more time for character development.

Tl;dr I believe there was a plan in so far as they quickly hashed ACB together from leftover bits of AC2, ended it on a cliffhanger so people would buy the next game, in which that cliffhanger would be resolved, leading into AC3 which people were surely going to buy anyway. But ACR chose to focus more on explaining Desmond's backstory (unnecessary, IMO) than the major cliffhanger(s), resulting in a game that really did absolutely nothing to advance the overall plot. Jumping directly from ACB to AC3, all you're missing is Lucy's unexplained absence and S16's reveal, but otherwise it's basically the It Was All A Dream of the series. Completely pointless filler that fails to deliver on its promises.

HDinHB
11-24-2015, 09:51 PM
I've read where Ubi says they have a plan for how the series ends, but I wonder what that really entails, and if they have a clue what they are doing in the meantime.

Since you mentioned LotR, which obviously had a grand plan from the books, which could be translated into a plan, I read an article about Peter Jackson not knowing what the hell he was doing with The Hobbit movies.

http://collider.com/the-hobbit-peter-jackson-winging-it/


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQkygZdZ_Vk


Youíre going on to a set and youíre winging it, youíve got these massively complicated scenes, no storyboards and youíre making it up there and then on the spot [Ö] I spent most of The Hobbit feeling like I was not on top of it ][Ö] even from a script point of view Fran [Walsh], Philippa [Boyens] and I hadnít got the entire scripts written to our satisfaction so that was a very high pressure situation.

,,,at some point when we were approaching that I went to our producers and the studio and said: ĎBecause I donít know what the hell Iím doing now, because I havenít got storyboards and prep, why donít we just finish earlier?í

--Peter Jackson

Farlander1991
11-24-2015, 11:22 PM
Tl;dr I believe there was a plan in so far as they quickly hashed ACB together from leftover bits of AC2, ended it on a cliffhanger so people would buy the next game, in which that cliffhanger would be resolved, leading into AC3 which people were surely going to buy anyway. But ACR chose to focus more on explaining Desmond's backstory (unnecessary, IMO) than the major cliffhanger(s), resulting in a game that really did absolutely nothing to advance the overall plot. Jumping directly from ACB to AC3, all you're missing is Lucy's unexplained absence and S16's reveal, but otherwise it's basically the It Was All A Dream of the series. Completely pointless filler that fails to deliver on its promises.

I don't really see your post counter-argumenting mine because they don't seem arguments that counter anything I said (except the Nolan/6 games thing), in fact I agree with it (and I remember there was a long time when I argued with somebody that it would make much more sense if Haytham sequences were originally created for coma purposes, for example). And the patchwork and everything, I agree with it. That's not the point I was really arguing against.

That said, the availability of the plan is something I disagree with. There's a difference between a plan and winging it, in how the process goes and what the final result is. Rewrites happen all the time. Changes happen all the time. Every day even. A lot of them drastic. What a plan gives, though, is a structure, a pivot point to build around of, the main core of your story which you need to have if you're planning to tell one story across multiple installments. And playing AC games now, I don't see that structure. The games wouldn't have turned out the way they were if there was one. They were just winging it all the time. I'm sure they had concepts of what would happen, and ideas, but nothing that could be used as a pivot point.

And even if ACB does have elements that they wanted to put in AC2, it's still winging it because they didn't think by that point they would be able to put it anyway. And the lack of modern day in AC2 we know as much from Darby's interview on Initiates forum when it was alive was a conscious choice what to spend resources on rather than something bigger that was forced to get smaller.

All I am saying is, I agree that ACR and AC3 make mistakes and there's a lot of patchwork there and disappointing things. But I also think that it wouldn't be correct to put blame just on them, ignoring AC2 and ACB just because they've set up some epic stuff and a lot of interesting things. It's easy to set up something (well, 'easy' is an exaggeration, but that's in relativity to creating a whole story). It's a lot harder to make something go from a set-up to a resolution in a satisfying way, and AC2/ACB, they've just set up a bunch of cool **** without thinking how to resolve any of it or what impact it would have, just because it's cool, you know.

And, if we'd have just 3 games and the first 2 would be like they are, the third one would have trouble resolving both the satellite and solar flare plot, let alone the importance of Subject 16, Lucy's betrayal, relationship with William Miles, Juno and her spite with Minerva, and all that stuff. There was no plan, and that's the problem. "Oh, we have a game let's add a bunch of cool stuff here and wash our hands, it's not our problem now how it goes from here," that's honestly how it feels like to me. Of course, again, that's an exaggeration and I'm sure they had some idea, but it wasn't anything that could adhere to a structure, just a collection. Not to mention the things like AC2 not doing almost anything with what was set up in AC1, that's...

That's just frustrating, really. AC Modern Day had so much potential and so many interesting ideas, but they didn't know how to and when implement them and in the end it's just a mess all around.

LieutenantRex
11-25-2015, 04:45 AM
I don't really see your post counter-argumenting mine because they don't seem arguments that counter anything I said (except the Nolan/6 games thing), in fact I agree with it (and I remember there was a long time when I argued with somebody that it would make much more sense if Haytham sequences were originally created for coma purposes, for example). And the patchwork and everything, I agree with it. That's not the point I was really arguing against.

That said, the availability of the plan is something I disagree with. There's a difference between a plan and winging it, in how the process goes and what the final result is. Rewrites happen all the time. Changes happen all the time. Every day even. A lot of them drastic. What a plan gives, though, is a structure, a pivot point to build around of, the main core of your story which you need to have if you're planning to tell one story across multiple installments. And playing AC games now, I don't see that structure. The games wouldn't have turned out the way they were if there was one. They were just winging it all the time. I'm sure they had concepts of what would happen, and ideas, but nothing that could be used as a pivot point.

And even if ACB does have elements that they wanted to put in AC2, it's still winging it because they didn't think by that point they would be able to put it anyway. And the lack of modern day in AC2 we know as much from Darby's interview on Initiates forum when it was alive was a conscious choice what to spend resources on rather than something bigger that was forced to get smaller.

All I am saying is, I agree that ACR and AC3 make mistakes and there's a lot of patchwork there and disappointing things. But I also think that it wouldn't be correct to put blame just on them, ignoring AC2 and ACB just because they've set up some epic stuff and a lot of interesting things. It's easy to set up something (well, 'easy' is an exaggeration, but that's in relativity to creating a whole story). It's a lot harder to make something go from a set-up to a resolution in a satisfying way, and AC2/ACB, they've just set up a bunch of cool **** without thinking how to resolve any of it or what impact it would have, just because it's cool, you know.

And, if we'd have just 3 games and the first 2 would be like they are, the third one would have trouble resolving both the satellite and solar flare plot, let alone the importance of Subject 16, Lucy's betrayal, relationship with William Miles, Juno and her spite with Minerva, and all that stuff. There was no plan, and that's the problem. "Oh, we have a game let's add a bunch of cool stuff here and wash our hands, it's not our problem now how it goes from here," that's honestly how it feels like to me. Of course, again, that's an exaggeration and I'm sure they had some idea, but it wasn't anything that could adhere to a structure, just a collection. Not to mention the things like AC2 not doing almost anything with what was set up in AC1, that's...

That's just frustrating, really. AC Modern Day had so much potential and so many interesting ideas, but they didn't know how to and when implement them and in the end it's just a mess all around.

So you hate ACB, the best game in the series, because it set up a bunch of potential plot mechanisms that the other games failed to utilize? Do you understand how irrational that is? It's like saying, "Hey, you know why the Holocaust sucked? The Jews were in Germany during WWII."

VestigialLlama4
11-25-2015, 06:16 AM
So you hate ACB, the best game in the series, because it set up a bunch of potential plot mechanisms that the other games failed to utilize? Do you understand how irrational that is? It's like saying, "Hey, you know why the Holocaust sucked? The Jews were in Germany during WWII."

Can we stop making ludicrous comparisons for the sake of catching at straws and grabbing attention, hmmm.

Farlander doesn't "hate" ACB or any game. He's merely pointing out that problems in AC's Modern Day (i.e. the 5% of the games) is actually broader and deep reaching. There is something called Franchise Original Sin (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FranchiseOriginalSin) after all.

Farlander1991
11-25-2015, 08:36 AM
So you hate ACB, the best game in the series, because it set up a bunch of potential plot mechanisms that the other games failed to utilize? Do you understand how irrational that is? It's like saying, "Hey, you know why the Holocaust sucked? The Jews were in Germany during WWII."

Woah now, let's not be antisemitic here. Just because you hate Jews doesn't mean the Holocaust was justified and Hitler was right, they're people. So please keep your Jew hatred to yourself, please.

You might think now, 'wtf, I didn't say anything about hating Jews', well neither did I say anything about hating ACB, but that didn't stop you :p

And what is it with some people getting, for the lack of better word, insecure, when their favorite of the series is concerned? I mean, what's with the specific pointing out that ACB was the best and holocaust comparisons?

While we're at it, though, ACB is among the top of my AC ranking, and the MD there is the most quality MD of Desmond's Saga in my opinion (and as I already said in thread, it's the game that made me care about md characters, not just md concepts), but like Llama pointed out, that's absolutely not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the context of the whole series, not any particular game in isolation.

It is nice though for once to be blamed an ACB hater instead of AC2 hater, though. :D

LieutenantRex
11-25-2015, 10:28 PM
Woah now, let's not be antisemitic here. Just because you hate Jews doesn't mean the Holocaust was justified and Hitler was right, they're people. So please keep your Jew hatred to yourself, please.

You might think now, 'wtf, I didn't say anything about hating Jews', well neither did I say anything about hating ACB, but that didn't stop you :p

And what is it with some people getting, for the lack of better word, insecure, when their favorite of the series is concerned? I mean, what's with the specific pointing out that ACB was the best and holocaust comparisons?

While we're at it, though, ACB is among the top of my AC ranking, and the MD there is the most quality MD of Desmond's Saga in my opinion (and as I already said in thread, it's the game that made me care about md characters, not just md concepts), but like Llama pointed out, that's absolutely not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the context of the whole series, not any particular game in isolation.

It is nice though for once to be blamed an ACB hater instead of AC2 hater, though. :D

This was a fair rebuke and you articulated your point far better than my flimsy analogy did mine. I will, however, stand by my belief that your (and Llama's as well) line of thought seems outlandish and a bit, well, whiny to me. The game jarred you in a replay because you can portend that what it constructs will never actually be finished, at least not to a satisfactory state, and thus I believe your judgment is clouded--it seems unfair to blame ACB, the best game in the series, for the fault of story execution that wasn't responsibly handled outside of its inception.

Farlander1991
11-26-2015, 12:05 AM
This was a fair rebuke and you articulated your point far better than my flimsy analogy did mine. I will, however, stand by my belief that your (and Llama's as well) line of thought seems outlandish and a bit, well, whiny to me. The game jarred you in a replay because you can portend that what it constructs will never actually be finished, at least not to a satisfactory state, and thus I believe your judgment is clouded--it seems unfair to blame ACB, the best game in the series, for the fault of story execution that wasn't responsibly handled outside of its inception.

I would say 'frustrated' more than whiny.

You know, blame is a bad word, even though I used it too, but my arguments weren't about blame, they were about responsibility, and that responsibility doesn't lie just on ACR and AC3, but on all other games as well. Here's the thing, I wouldn't call what AC2 and ACB did responsible.

Broadly speaking, AC1 has set up the Assassins, Templars, their search for PoE's and the Satellite launch. And we know our goal, we have to stop them. That's essentially the main plot.

What does AC2 do with that main plot? Really, nothing. The main plot doesn't advance. The only thing that happens is that they escape and Desmond begins his training, but that's what can happen in absolutely any situation or plot. It doesn't matter.

AC2 also introduces the real danger of the Bleeding Effect, and, most of all, at the very end the twist of a Solar Flare and an actual end of the world, and this is after at least a whole game (AC1) of setting up that the end of the world was metaphorical.

Now, we have two main plots, so what does ACB do? Does it advance the Solar Flare plot? Not really actually, in ACB (and in ACR) nothing happens that pushes the plot forward. However, they do kinda go back to the AC1 plot, searching for Ezio's Apple to prevent the Templars from finding it. And they kinda connect it to the Solar Flare a bit too hoping that it will help, the problem is they have no idea if it will (so they're going blind here in this regards). Now, this plot introduces the first big plot hole (and then retcon in ACR) of the game - Ezio's Apple is supposed to be destroyed (because it belonged to Altair and we know that Altair's apple was destroyed). It is saved only by the technicality of not stating anything directly, but heavily implying things.

Then, ACB takes the lore stuff of Subject 16, and makes him much more important, saying that he'll guide Desmond, that there's something that has to do with his son, that there's all these things happening, also foreshadowing Lucy's betrayal. And, you know, I've already wrote all this stuff already, not going to repeat myself.

But retrospective IS important. Because, while we were in the moment, we didn't see any problem with any of that, because we didn't know where it would lead. And it led to ACR and AC3, which quite frankly didn't really do anything really satisfying. So we easily say, 'oh, it's ACR and AC3's fault'. It takes responsibility off the previous games. Which means that they could've introduced 5, 10, 20 more big subplots (more than already did, that is), and would get away with it, because ACR and AC3 would be even more patchworky and would still be at fault. But that's irresponsible from a storytelling point of view.

It's like putting 5 main heroes each with their own character arc and then 5 main villains in a 2 hour movie. You can have an awesome set-up with all of them, but ultimately it will fall apart because that's an irresponsible way to tackle a story of a 2 hour movie. Or, like, if over a course of 5 magazine issues, you have 1 article in each with several pages length to tell a great story, you're not going to write War and Peace.

And this is why, despite me liking ACB's MD, I don't want to say, 'ACR and AC3 should've done it differently'. Every game should've done it differently. Every game takes responsibility for how the story turns out overall. The only exception would be if these stories would've been stand-alone sequels, but they weren't, they're all part of the same arc and the same narrative structure.

EDIT: And, you know, this is a complex topic, and it's not like there's any single way to correctly tell a story or something. And it's all well and good to think ACB's modern day was awesome, and it was. But when it comes to stuff like 'ACR/AC3 ruined everything' or something like that... when you look at the whole picture, it's not really as simple as that.

LieutenantRex
11-26-2015, 06:01 AM
I would say 'frustrated' more than whiny.

You know, blame is a bad word, even though I used it too, but my arguments weren't about blame, they were about responsibility, and that responsibility doesn't lie just on ACR and AC3, but on all other games as well. Here's the thing, I wouldn't call what AC2 and ACB did responsible.

Broadly speaking, AC1 has set up the Assassins, Templars, their search for PoE's and the Satellite launch. And we know our goal, we have to stop them. That's essentially the main plot.

What does AC2 do with that main plot? Really, nothing. The main plot doesn't advance. The only thing that happens is that they escape and Desmond begins his training, but that's what can happen in absolutely any situation or plot. It doesn't matter.

AC2 also introduces the real danger of the Bleeding Effect, and, most of all, at the very end the twist of a Solar Flare and an actual end of the world, and this is after at least a whole game (AC1) of setting up that the end of the world was metaphorical.

Now, we have two main plots, so what does ACB do? Does it advance the Solar Flare plot? Not really actually, in ACB (and in ACR) nothing happens that pushes the plot forward. However, they do kinda go back to the AC1 plot, searching for Ezio's Apple to prevent the Templars from finding it. And they kinda connect it to the Solar Flare a bit too hoping that it will help, the problem is they have no idea if it will (so they're going blind here in this regards). Now, this plot introduces the first big plot hole (and then retcon in ACR) of the game - Ezio's Apple is supposed to be destroyed (because it belonged to Altair and we know that Altair's apple was destroyed). It is saved only by the technicality of not stating anything directly, but heavily implying things.

Then, ACB takes the lore stuff of Subject 16, and makes him much more important, saying that he'll guide Desmond, that there's something that has to do with his son, that there's all these things happening, also foreshadowing Lucy's betrayal. And, you know, I've already wrote all this stuff already, not going to repeat myself.

But retrospective IS important. Because, while we were in the moment, we didn't see any problem with any of that, because we didn't know where it would lead. And it led to ACR and AC3, which quite frankly didn't really do anything really satisfying. So we easily say, 'oh, it's ACR and AC3's fault'. It takes responsibility off the previous games. Which means that they could've introduced 5, 10, 20 more big subplots (more than already did, that is), and would get away with it, because ACR and AC3 would be even more patchworky and would still be at fault. But that's irresponsible from a storytelling point of view.

It's like putting 5 main heroes each with their own character arc and then 5 main villains in a 2 hour movie. You can have an awesome set-up with all of them, but ultimately it will fall apart because that's an irresponsible way to tackle a story of a 2 hour movie. Or, like, if over a course of 5 magazine issues, you have 1 article in each with several pages length to tell a great story, you're not going to write War and Peace.

And this is why, despite me liking ACB's MD, I don't want to say, 'ACR and AC3 should've done it differently'. Every game should've done it differently. Every game takes responsibility for how the story turns out overall. The only exception would be if these stories would've been stand-alone sequels, but they weren't, they're all part of the same arc and the same narrative structure.

EDIT: And, you know, this is a complex topic, and it's not like there's any single way to correctly tell a story or something. And it's all well and good to think ACB's modern day was awesome, and it was. But when it comes to stuff like 'ACR/AC3 ruined everything' or something like that... when you look at the whole picture, it's not really as simple as that.

I see your point, and I concede. I suppose the main trouble I had with coming to terms with your argument was the apparent (and here's that magic word you mentioned), blaming of a game for the onus of its sequels, which seemed very backwards to me, as setup can only be achieved to fullest potential by efficient follow through. I understand what you mean, however; the game was perhaps too overzealous in its attempts to render a straightforward plot abstruse for the sake of expository filler games.

cawatrooper9
11-30-2015, 04:45 PM
Oh wow, this derailed a bit... :p

Anyway, finished another game last weekend, so here goes:

Assassins Creed III
I just don't get why this game gets that hate that it does. Playing it just makes me happy. The combat is a little flawed, sure, but man is it smooth. I actually had fun with the combat in this game- Connor's animations and the variety of enemy types really keeps things fresh.

The environments are also beautiful. Now, obviously the Frontier is a masterpiece, but I also enjoyed Boston and New York much more than I remembered. They're hardly as "grey" as I once thought. Perhaps it's because monochromatic environments are becoming more common in the series now (we'll see when I get to Unity), perhaps it's because I've upgraded from a ****y 32 in. TV to a 65 in. monster.

I love Connor more than I thought I did, too. Like how Whovians have their favorite Doctor from when the series meant most to them (mine's Matt Smith, btw), AC fans have their favorite Assassin, and Connor is mine. I like how, like Ezio and Altair before him, Connor feels like one of the most important Assassins of his time (though his struggle is more grounded in the affairs of men than necessarily the First Civ, even though his journey was first sparked by Juno). I just don't think we have that anymore- Arno felt kind of like a dud in the Assassins, and Jacob and Evie helped rebuild the order I guess, but I don't particularly feel like they really did much to be remembered in the annals of the Assassins. But that's just my preference, I guess.

Other than that, I have two similar criticisms of the game. The first is that guards are too sensitive- overly so, really. Especially considering my other criticism- the slanted shape of the roofs make it almost impossible to hide from enemies, even when they're on the ground. These things combined make the game a frustrating experience sometimes- good thing I enjoyed the combat so much.

ACZanius
11-30-2015, 06:49 PM
Oh wow, this derailed a bit... :p

Anyway, finished another game last weekend, so here goes:

Assassins Creed III
I just don't get why this game gets that hate that it does. Playing it just makes me happy. The combat is a little flawed, sure, but man is it smooth. I actually had fun with the combat in this game- Connor's animations and the variety of enemy types really keeps things fresh.

The environments are also beautiful. Now, obviously the Frontier is a masterpiece, but I also enjoyed Boston and New York much more than I remembered. They're hardly as "grey" as I once thought. Perhaps it's because monochromatic environments are becoming more common in the series now (we'll see when I get to Unity), perhaps it's because I've upgraded from a ****y 32 in. TV to a 65 in. monster.

I love Connor more than I thought I did, too. Like how Whovians have their favorite Doctor from when the series meant most to them (mine's Matt Smith, btw), AC fans have their favorite Assassin, and Connor is mine. I like how, like Ezio and Altair before him, Connor feels like one of the most important Assassins of his time (though his struggle is more grounded in the affairs of men than necessarily the First Civ, even though his journey was first sparked by Juno). I just don't think we have that anymore- Arno felt kind of like a dud in the Assassins, and Jacob and Evie helped rebuild the order I guess, but I don't particularly feel like they really did much to be remembered in the annals of the Assassins. But that's just my preference, I guess.

Other than that, I have two similar criticisms of the game. The first is that guards are too sensitive- overly so, really. Especially considering my other criticism- the slanted shape of the roofs make it almost impossible to hide from enemies, even when they're on the ground. These things combined make the game a frustrating experience sometimes- good thing I enjoyed the combat so much.


Yo bro, i am also doing an experiment atm lol and this thread is perfect to tell this, so i am playing AC: Rogue & AC: III in literal chronological order therefore i started with Rogue in 1752 etc then 1754 Haytham's arrival etc etc, i really mixed things exactly in order, so it was perfect, i am doing it slowly so it's immersive and i finished with Haytham Arc yesterday in AC3 which ended, 1755 now Haytham leaves for another huge story adventure between 1755 and 1758 where he looks for Jennifer and huge things happen (could make a full Haytham game but that's a side issue).

Now it's Rogue time again because Shay is now going to wake up in 1756 and start the Assassin hunt, and this year Connor will be born, in Haytham will return in 1758 and then last 2 years of Rogue happen, then finally when i get there in 1760 important stuff will happen and Rogue will end and same year Connor's story begins, excited to experience that in new way, of course i will play AC3 again now and start the whole Journey, but when 1776 roles where Connor is fully in action already i will play Epilogue for Rogue where Shay killed Charles Dorian, i could go into more detail like years, months, events etc but yeah just a view. After knowing all things about Haytham whole life story and **** ton of action that happened with him and where he was when he appears years later in AC3 makes him more awesome to me than years ago.

cawatrooper9
11-30-2015, 08:14 PM
Yo bro, i am also doing an experiment atm lol and this thread is perfect to tell this, so i am playing AC: Rogue & AC: III in literal chronological order therefore i started with Rogue in 1752 etc then 1754 Haytham's arrival etc etc, i really mixed things exactly in order, so it was perfect, i am doing it slowly so it's immersive and i finished with Haytham Arc yesterday in AC3 which ended, 1755 now Haytham leaves for another huge story adventure between 1755 and 1758 where he looks for Jennifer and huge things happen (could make a full Haytham game but that's a side issue).

Now it's Rogue time again because Shay is now going to wake up in 1756 and start the Assassin hunt, and this year Connor will be born, in Haytham will return in 1758 and then last 2 years of Rogue happen, then finally when i get there in 1760 important stuff will happen and Rogue will end and same year Connor's story begins, excited to experience that in new way, of course i will play AC3 again now and start the whole Journey, but when 1776 roles where Connor is fully in action already i will play Epilogue for Rogue where Shay killed Charles Dorian, i could go into more detail like years, months, events etc but yeah just a view. After knowing all things about Haytham whole life story and **** ton of action that happened with him and where he was when he appears years later in AC3 makes him more awesome to me than years ago.

Interesting! It might be cool to add in Liberation as well, if you have it!

ACZanius
11-30-2015, 08:29 PM
Interesting! It might be cool to add in Liberation as well, if you have it!

I have it yeah and i finished it 2 times already and could not stomach it another time lol, it just does not feel essential even tho when you enter the room in homestead manor as Shay you can see the colonies map of assassins operations and you can see ACL Templars on picture like Vasquez but yeah. Just feels so really bad with gameplay sometimes, but story is good.

Assassin_M
11-30-2015, 08:38 PM
Speaking of retrospect, did you notice how Brotherhood and II had the largest holes and convenience-induced plots and missions of any of the games? I never noticed it until I recently started re-watching the cutscenes for both.

AC II's entire final mission with Rodrigo is actually absolutely and utterly pointless. The gang deduces from the codex that you need two Pieces of Eden to unlock the Vault. Ezio and the gang have one, already. The Apple. The most logical thing to do? Go to Rome WITH THE APPLE and hand it to Rodrigo on a silver platter.
Why take the Apple? Why go to Rome? If they wanted to strike fast against Rodrigo before he attempts anything, why didn't they just go to Rome when he became Pope? By the end of AC II, he had already been pope for over 7 years.

Speaking of apples, why didn't Ezio just use the Apple to repel Cesare's troops in Brotherhood's beginning? Why leave the apple with Mario, the man leading the frontal assault? Why didn't Mario give the Apple to Ezio and tell him about the secret passageway to escape? Or why didn't the reverse happen? Mario is an old fart, so Ezio giving him the apple and telling him to escape through the secret passage way would have been most logical.

cawatrooper9
11-30-2015, 11:06 PM
Speaking of retrospect, did you notice how Brotherhood and II had the largest holes and convenience-induced plots and missions of any of the games? I never noticed it until I recently started re-watching the cutscenes for both.

AC II's entire final mission with Rodrigo is actually absolutely and utterly pointless. The gang deduces from the codex that you need two Pieces of Eden to unlock the Vault. Ezio and the gang have one, already. The Apple. The most logical thing to do? Go to Rome WITH THE APPLE and hand it to Rodrigo on a silver platter.
Why take the Apple? Why go to Rome? If they wanted to strike fast against Rodrigo before he attempts anything, why didn't they just go to Rome when he became Pope? By the end of AC II, he had already been pope for over 7 years.

Speaking of apples, why didn't Ezio just use the Apple to repel Cesare's troops in Brotherhood's beginning? Why leave the apple with Mario, the man leading the frontal assault? Why didn't Mario give the Apple to Ezio and tell him about the secret passageway to escape? Or why didn't the reverse happen? Mario is an old fart, so Ezio giving him the apple and telling him to escape through the secret passage way would have been most logical.
Yeah...
I think a lot of that simply boils down to issues in having to split up ACII and ACB into two games.


I have it yeah and i finished it 2 times already and could not stomach it another time lol, it just does not feel essential even tho when you enter the room in homestead manor as Shay you can see the colonies map of assassins operations and you can see ACL Templars on picture like Vasquez but yeah. Just feels so really bad with gameplay sometimes, but story is good.
True, I just thought it might be an interesting fit, as it would fit into the time between Connor as a child and overlap a little with the Revolution- you know, if you REALLY wanted to complicate things :rolleyes:

ACZanius
11-30-2015, 11:19 PM
True, I just thought it might be an interesting fit, as it would fit into the time between Connor as a child and overlap a little with the Revolution- you know, if you REALLY wanted to complicate things :rolleyes:

idk i don't see how it matters in whole plot lol besides that mission where Connor comes to aid Aveline in 1777 i mean yeah Aveline did achieve a lot by defeating the templar order i guess but i just couldn't haha, would have to force myself anyway off to play some AC :cool:

"leaves the thread in awesome and cool wave"

cawatrooper9
12-02-2015, 05:41 PM
Another update!
The Tyranny of King Washington
Oh man. There's a lot to be said about this little gem, actually. Whether or not Connor's portrayal is racist (it is), how it depicts Washington, etc...
But I want to focus on two things specifically: mechanics and continuity.

First, I want to talk about the game mechanics. While playing through, I couldn't help but notice how much I enjoyed using the animal powers, even though they're so silly. Eagle flight and the wolf mode are really fun to experiment with, and even the brutish bear power brings some new strategy to the game (do you dare taking a huge health hit to clear the area?). I couldn't help but wonder how these mechanics could be incorporated into a more realistic setting. Obviously, as has been pointed out before, Eagle Flight and the wolf invisibility are akin to the rope launcher and Evie's invisibility power in Syndicate (thanks to the fact that the same team worked on both games). However, I'm not sure if those have much staying power. I think the rope launcher didn't get the reception that the devs were looking for, and Evie's invisibility power doesn't really feel realistic anyway. I wonder if there would be a more satisfying way to bring "powers" like these to players?
As I thought about this, I realized that the voltaic bombs are, in a way, a continuation of the bear power- both are a big splash area attack. Of course, the voltaic bombs are only a little bit less ridiculous than a giant spirit bear.

Second, and far more interesting, I wanted to talk about continuity and the Butterfly Effect. So, TOKW is set essentially in an alternate timeline. However, it's not exactly clear how that alternate timeline began. Out of everything that's changed, though, I think one two pieces of information stand out most- Connor's mother is still alive, and Haytham is dead. Now, the fact that Connor's mother is still alive implies that whatever is different in this timeline occurred at least before her death when Connor was a child- so this is long in the making. Also, Haytham is dead, yet Connor is still alive, so he must've still had his time with Connor's mother before dying.

Now, consider this: one likely scenario for Connor's mother's survival is that the village was never attacked in the first place. That means that Washington's troops and Lee's Templars had never gone to the valley that day- or rather, they were elsewhere. If Haytham was dead already by then (perhaps while in Constantinople) he wouldn't have been around to enforce "other pursuits", allowing Lee to manipulate Washington's resources into searching for POEs- thus, finding the Apple/staff.

Just some food for thought.

AdrianJacek
12-02-2015, 06:54 PM
AC3 was very focused on First Civ, was it not? Come to think of it, EVERYTHING you did in that game was somehow linked to the Grand Temple. As Desmond, you had to restore the power and open the inner door, as Haytham you searched for it (while also making Templar and Native American allies) and as Connor you guarded it (by killing Templars). Of course Connor thought he was actually protecting his village. Sneaky, sneaky, Juno.

I also like Connor got a First Civ nickname [Guardian], like Ezio [Prophet] and Desmond [Cipher]. Kinda wish Edward got one from Aita/Roberts as well.

VestigialLlama4
12-02-2015, 07:08 PM
AC3 was very focused on First Civ, was it not? Come to think of it, EVERYTHING you did in that game was somehow linked to the Grand Temple. As Desmond, you had to restore the power and open the inner door, as Haytham you searched for it (while also making Templar and Native American allies) and as Connor you guarded it (by killing Templars). Of course Connor thought he was actually protecting his village. Sneaky, sneaky, Juno.

I also like Connor got a First Civ nickname [Guardian], like Ezio [Prophet] and Desmond [Cipher]. Kinda wish Edward got one from Aita/Roberts as well.

I totally disagree. Of all the major games, AC3 had the least to do with the First Civilization plot. I mean the Assassin Templar conflict in the historical section is not about a magic apple (like AC1-AC2-ACB) or a device like the Shroud, it's not about this fantastic place like the Observatory or Altair's library. It's plainly about the historical events of the American Revolution and how Connor and the Assassins-Templars fit in that. It's a game where the plot is entirely about the complexities of ideas and putting them into effect.

How can the Assassin and Templar ideas work, how can Connor support freedom yet support a Revolution that will not help him and the people he cares about? Likewise how is that the American Revolutionaries say all men are equal and support racism and slavery? That's what the story is about.

The finale of AC3 doesn't happen in some fancy high-tech vault or a magic battle, it's simple men against men in everyday landscapes. That makes it unique in the entire franchise.

cawatrooper9
12-02-2015, 07:55 PM
AC3 was very focused on First Civ, was it not? Come to think of it, EVERYTHING you did in that game was somehow linked to the Grand Temple. As Desmond, you had to restore the power and open the inner door, as Haytham you searched for it (while also making Templar and Native American allies) and as Connor you guarded it (by killing Templars). Of course Connor thought he was actually protecting his village. Sneaky, sneaky, Juno.

I also like Connor got a First Civ nickname [Guardian], like Ezio [Prophet] and Desmond [Cipher]. Kinda wish Edward got one from Aita/Roberts as well.


I totally disagree. Of all the major games, AC3 had the least to do with the First Civilization plot. I mean the Assassin Templar conflict in the historical section is not about a magic apple (like AC1-AC2-ACB) or a device like the Shroud, it's not about this fantastic place like the Observatory or Altair's library. It's plainly about the historical events of the American Revolution and how Connor and the Assassins-Templars fit in that. It's a game where the plot is entirely about the complexities of ideas and putting them into effect.

How can the Assassin and Templar ideas work, how can Connor support freedom yet support a Revolution that will not help him and the people he cares about? Likewise how is that the American Revolutionaries say all men are equal and support racism and slavery? That's what the story is about.

The finale of AC3 doesn't happen in some fancy high-tech vault or a magic battle, it's simple men against men in everyday landscapes. That makes it unique in the entire franchise.

Yeah, I'm going to have to go with VL4 on this one. ACIII's biggest First Civ moment (in Connor's story, at least) is Connor's trippy eagle journey. Sure, this sets the events of Connor's journey into motion, but it's not really something that even seems to have had an effect on Connor- he hardly even discusses this event afterward, save to draw the Assassin symbol that leads him to Achilles. So it's kind of topheavy, in the aspect that the First Civ stuff comes so early, and doesn't do much to resolve.

In the end, Connor does get one final message from Juno- she basically tells him to hide the key, and that the loss of his people was apparently an acceptable sacrifice (she means to protect the vault, thought Connor may interpret it as for the independence of the colonies). This is hardly a reveal, though- pretty anticlimactic by any standard of the games that came before it. Personally, I thought even Liberation's final First Civ reveal was more interesting, and that was about as bare bones as you could get (though that might just be because I liked the presentation with the fake out credits).

cawatrooper9
12-07-2015, 03:35 PM
Assassins Creed Liberation
Assassins Creed generally touts itself as a "social stealth" game, and I believe no other entry in the series shows this at such a grassroots level as Liberation. Now, dual identities have been a concept since Ezio's appearance in ACII, and gained even more prominence with Connor's conflicts between his duty as an Assassin and his duty to his people (as well as Edward's tug of war between the Assassins and a life of piracy). However, with Aveline, we see how her secret life as an Assassin affects her personal day-to-day life, as well as her familial relationships. The game establishes early on that her life as an Assassin is hidden- we first see her sneak out of her house to run across rooftops. Later, we see her use others perceptions of her- of her race and sex- to her advantage, as she plays to those stereotypes (but only when it benefits her). In fact, I'd say that it goes a long way into showing a side of comic book heroes that hasn't appeared much in video games yet-that of the competent alter ego.

When I first heard that ACL would feature three distinct outfits that would determine the roles that Aveline could accomplish, my first reaction was one of revulsion. Seemed like a pretty sexist move, and Ubisoft is certainly no stranger to sexism. However, after playing it, I have to say that it's actually kind of empowering- sure, Aveline can't run across rooftops in her dress as the Lady, but she can tear down posters and lower the notoriety of her alter ego as the Assassin without having to worry at all about being recognized- something no other Assassin in the series so far can claim. Besides that, the Lady has the ability to charm guards and use them to her advantage, she has a really cool umbrella dart shooter, and she can still hold her own in combat (nothing is more satisfying than entering combat as the Lady, disarming a soldier, and using their bayonetted rifle in combat). Basically, all of these things help the Lady stay within the expectations of high society at the time, but again- only when it is to Aveline's advantage.

The Slave may not fit into high society as well, but she is the ultimate stealthy Assassin. Playing into people's institutionalized racism at the time, guards see the Slave as nothing more than another worker, until it's too late. I might also point out that as the Slave, Aveline managed to stow away to Chichen Itza, infiltrate a Templar work colony, and construct her own makeshift hidden blade. Again, just because she dresses as a slave does not denote that she has given up her own power.

Finally, the Assassin is the most combat heavy of the group, touting an arsenal similar to Connor's. However, I'd note that she has one of the most unique and nonconforming default robes in the series so far, barring only (possibly) Jacob's from this year.

So yeah, as a straight guy I guess I cannot really say what is empowering or offensive to women with much weight behind it, so feel free to discuss these points. I was just pleasantly surprised that this game, in my eyes, ended up being rather progressive.

SixKeys
12-07-2015, 08:59 PM
Liberation is one of the few games in the series that work extremely well as social commentary IMO. It's a shame the gameplay is somewhat lacking. I absolutely love the idea of different personas. Not only because I think it's high time the series introduce a real disguise system, but because it really highlights what life is like for a woman. Not just hundreds of years ago but today. Every persona, even her assassin one which should give her ultimate freedom, has its drawbacks. We're used to being able to cause all kinds of trouble as male protags like Ezio or Edward, and while their actions are not exactly accepted by the law enforcement, they are given a certain amount of lenience when it comes to things like climbing on rooftops. "Boys will be boys."
Aveline, even in her assassin disguise, immediately attracts attention because being a woman and climbing buildings is simply Not Done. She can never have freedom on the same level as someone like Edward due to both her gender and skin color. It's really interesting as a metaphor for how women even in today's world get frowned upon for not conforming to traditional gender roles, as well as an insight into the assassin brotherhood and how, for all their progressiveness, they still cannot guarantee Aveline the same basic freedoms as her male colleagues. Female assassins are still more restricted to working in the shadows and probably get less opportunities for public appearances. Another interesting thing is that male gamers often complain about the fact that the personas are limiting, seemingly missing the irony that for female gamers, Aveline's experiences are fairly par for the course. You think it sucks playing as a female persona who's not free to do whatever she wants? Try living as one.

So yeah, that's my two cents on why I respect and appreciate Liberation, even if gameplay-wise it's not really my thing. Liberation and Freedom Cry are, along with AC1, the deepest and most layered when it comes to merging gameplay with social commentary. IIRC, both were written by the same person, Jill Murray.

Hans684
12-07-2015, 09:04 PM
So yeah, that's my two cents on why I respect and appreciate Liberation, even if gameplay-wise it's not really my thing. Liberation and Freedom Cry are, along with AC1, the deepest and most layered when it comes to merging gameplay with social commentary. IIRC, both were written by the same person, Jill Murray.

Liberation was written by Jill Murray and Richard Farrese.

cawatrooper9
12-07-2015, 11:48 PM
. Not only because I think it's high time the series introduce a real disguise system, but because it really highlights what life is like for a woman. Not just hundreds of years ago but today. Every persona, even her assassin one which should give her ultimate freedom, has its drawbacks.

Again, as a guy I can't really speak with any authority on the subject, but it's cool that you can appreciate that!

Gameplay wise, I'm frankly blown away by how much Liberation brought to the series (some of which, unfortunately, was never adopted in future releases).
For example, the obvious culprit here is the persona system. Let's say we adapt that to Syndicate- we can even simplify it a bit and only have the twins have two different personas. There could've been a gang boss persona, which grants boons to all gang members- also, since the gang boss is so revered, he or she does not need to conform to hidden weapon policies, and can carry heavier weapons. Then, there could've been the classic Assassin persona, which gives combat and stealth boosts, as well as more spaces in inventory for stealth items like smoke bombs, but restricts weapons to the three in the game.
Just an idea, but I think it shows how, with the theme of dual identities in these recent games, personas are a no-brainer. Like I said, the persona system made me feel like a superhero far more than any game (except maybe some of the Arkham games)- it would be a welcome return.


Anywho, back to ACL's innovations:
It was the first to allow shooting blow darts from hiding places.
It had canoeing! Not even AC3 had that!
It had the most globetrotting story to date.
It marked the first (and only, unless I'm mistaken) time a protagonist met a protagonist from another game, since Altair and Ezio didn't technically meet.
The rope was an interesting addition- it may not have been great for navigation, but it integrated far better into combat than the hookblade or ropelauncher.
There are probably others, but my brain hurts. It's been a long day.

SixKeys
12-09-2015, 12:08 AM
Gameplay wise, I'm frankly blown away by how much Liberation brought to the series (some of which, unfortunately, was never adopted in future releases).
For example, the obvious culprit here is the persona system. Let's say we adapt that to Syndicate- we can even simplify it a bit and only have the twins have two different personas. There could've been a gang boss persona, which grants boons to all gang members- also, since the gang boss is so revered, he or she does not need to conform to hidden weapon policies, and can carry heavier weapons. Then, there could've been the classic Assassin persona, which gives combat and stealth boosts, as well as more spaces in inventory for stealth items like smoke bombs, but restricts weapons to the three in the game.
Just an idea, but I think it shows how, with the theme of dual identities in these recent games, personas are a no-brainer. Like I said, the persona system made me feel like a superhero far more than any game (except maybe some of the Arkham games)- it would be a welcome return.

This would be awesome, I hope they do something like this someday. They already kind of toyed with a slightly similar idea in Unity, with different outfits giving you different strengths and weaknesses. Like if you wore a certain outfit, you could be stealthy but more vulnerable. I hope they will keep developing the concept further. I think the reason it wasn't popular in Liberation was because of the limitations placed on each outfit. The lady persona was really slow and didn't have a lot of useful skills. Being a slave was - ironically - the best option IMO, since it gave you less notoriety than the assassin persona, weapons to defend yourself with (unlike the lady) and better access to restricted areas. It was just annoying how often the story forced you to change personas, almost every five minutes.



It marked the first (and only, unless I'm mistaken) time a protagonist met a protagonist from another game, since Altair and Ezio didn't technically meet.

It was the first, but not the only one. There is Rogue.

cawatrooper9
12-09-2015, 03:42 PM
This would be awesome, I hope they do something like this someday. They already kind of toyed with a slightly similar idea in Unity, with different outfits giving you different strengths and weaknesses. Like if you wore a certain outfit, you could be stealthy but more vulnerable. I hope they will keep developing the concept further. I think the reason it wasn't popular in Liberation was because of the limitations placed on each outfit. The lady persona was really slow and didn't have a lot of useful skills. Being a slave was - ironically - the best option IMO, since it gave you less notoriety than the assassin persona, weapons to defend yourself with (unlike the lady) and better access to restricted areas. It was just annoying how often the story forced you to change personas, almost every five minutes.


Yeah, looking back, Unity did have some pretty swell customization options- I'm really looking forward to replaying it soon.

And I appreciate how these options granted various abilities and boosts, but the thing that was lacking from them was depth and role-playing. For instance, I could wear a Sans-Coulettes Hood, and it comes with its own boons, but it doesn't really change how various groups treat me, nor does it really do much other than change my stats. Plus, there is likely another hood with identical or near-identical stats anyway, making this a completely cosmetic choice.




It was the first, but not the only one. There is Rogue.
Ah yes, how could I forget about my bro Haytham? :p
He totally counts!