PDA

View Full Version : Would ACS be a contender for best AC ever if it had a darker, more mature story?



dimbismp
05-03-2016, 07:42 PM
Hey guys,long time no see.I hope that the community is still going strong.So, let's get on-topic:

I think most of us,including myself,weren't that hyped for ACS.However,the game ended up being decent.Some people rank it pretty high on their rankings,but ultimately it never came close to fan favourites,like AC2 or AC4,and in the meanwhile some people think it's one of the worst ACs.

ACS had some problems for sure,but i think the biggest one was its story.It was maybe the most light-hearted story in the series,and i honestly believe that if the game had a darker plot,then it would solidify itself on the top 3 greatest ACs ever made,maybe even challenge AC2/AC4 for the first place(although i think that would be really hard,due to franchise fatigue).

The reasons why the story was too lighthearted have been written many times by myself and other forum members,so i won't bother with this.All i will say is,that the particular time period and even the specific characters etc had great potential,which we only got glimpses of.

So,what's your opinion on the matter?

RVSage
05-03-2016, 09:50 PM
To me, Be it Funny, light, dark or balance of all these tones. It is the way the story is told that matters the most. AC could have been better if the characters were given more depth, while still maintaining the light tone

For instance, I loved sequence 8. It had it's share of being light-hearted , but still the very character of Maxwell Roth was unpredictable, which generated a lot of interest in the sequence, and the assassination mission of Roth was really well done. That particular sequence was so well told, it was possible to place it out of order

Thus the narration matters more than the tone, It can be Dark, Light or neither. But it has to engaging, in the way it fleshes out characters, make the interactions more easy to relate to for those who play it.

SixKeys
05-03-2016, 10:43 PM
I wouldn't say the story was one of the best things in the game (I'm more of a gameplay person, anyway) but I think the lighter tone was the right choice after Unity's self-seriousness. ACS had some good villains like Maxwell Roth who was Joker-like in that while he had a silly, exaggerated side, he was more twisted and macabre the more you got to know him. The games you mention as being the biggest fan favorites - AC2 and AC4 - are some of the most light-hearted in the series and if anything, that seemed to have elevated their popularity. The darkest, most mature stories are arguably AC1 and AC3 and possibly Rogue (though I'm loathe to call it "mature", at least it was about killing your former brothers which is kinda dark), and those seem to be among the least popular games in fan polls. The general public opinion seems to be that AC is at its best when not taking itself too seriously, though of course that's down to personal tastes.

In my view "darker and grittier" doesn't always translate to better game, in fact it's often the opposite. ACS made the series fun again at a time when it was desperately in need of an energy boost, so the lighter tone was the right choice for ACS. Going forward, I would like to see light and dark entries always following one another, so that after one light game we get a dark game and vice versa.

Assassin_M
05-03-2016, 10:50 PM
No. It wouldn't matter because ultimately, AC:S had other problems.

dimbismp
05-03-2016, 10:51 PM
I wouldn't say the story was one of the best things in the game (I'm more of a gameplay person, anyway) but I think the lighter tone was the right choice after Unity's self-seriousness. ACS had some good villains like Maxwell Roth who was Joker-like in that while he had a silly, exaggerated side, he was more twisted and macabre the more you got to know him. The games you mention as being the biggest fan favorites - AC2 and AC4 - are some of the most light-hearted in the series and if anything, that seemed to have elevated their popularity. The darkest, most mature stories are arguably AC1 and AC3 and possibly Rogue (though I'm loathe to call it "mature", at least it was about killing your former brothers which is kinda dark), and those seem to be among the least popular games in fan polls. The general public opinion seems to be that AC is at its best when not taking itself too seriously, though of course that's down to personal tastes.

In my view "darker and grittier" doesn't always translate to better game, in fact it's often the opposite. ACS made the series fun again at a time when it was desperately in need of an energy boost, so the lighter tone was the right choice for ACS. Going forward, I would like to see light and dark entries always following one another, so that after one light game we get a dark game and vice versa.
I wouldn't call AC4 light hearted

ze_topazio
05-03-2016, 11:31 PM
Dark doesn't equate maturity though, a light story can be way more mature than some super edgy dark story and vice versa, it all depends of how is written.

Assassin_M
05-03-2016, 11:49 PM
Dark doesn't equate maturity though, a light story can be way more mature than some super edgy dark story and vice versa, it all depends of how is written.
Lighthearted is synonymous with immaturity, though. Yeah, lighthearted can be well written but it can't ever be more mature than a darker story because by default, a darker story tackles dark issues and they're called precisely that because they're antonyms of light.

LoyalACFan
05-04-2016, 12:09 AM
I wouldn't call AC4 light hearted

Nor would I. Sure, it had funny moments, but ultimately it was a story about greed and guilt.

As for the OP... nah. While I do dislike Syndicate's light, jokey story (I'm honestly not on board whatsoever with this new trend of games getting praise for "not taking themselves too seriously..." To me that's just a cop-out to deliver subpar material under the guise of subversiveness) it had other problems that held it back, most notably the combat and gadget gimmicks. That, and the implementation of the Rooks, which were a completely pointless addition to the game IMO. Never used them once. Hell, I forgot I had a gang at all a few times, but that's more of a story gripe; why didn't the gang show up in the main missions??? That's like writing a story about a Mafia boss and never having him interact with his capos. I know Jeffrey is capable of much better storytelling, but as SixKeys mentioned, the desire to put some distance between Syndicate and Unity's flubbed melodrama surely had some bearing on the tone of Syndicate.

ze_topazio
05-04-2016, 12:13 AM
Lighthearted is synonymous with immaturity, though. Yeah, lighthearted can be well written but it can't ever be more mature than a darker story because by default, a darker story tackles dark issues and they're called precisely that because they're antonyms of light.

Not necessarily, mature can mean both gory stuff, alcohol, drugs, child prostitution, etc..., but also mundane adult stuff like love stories, financial problems, taking care of you children, etc..., and more than often the hardcore stuff is aimed at teens and young adults who just enjoy all the, sometimes quite childish, random violence and shocking stuff that is shocking just for the sake of being edgy, and I certainly wouldn't call the mundane life themes, dark, so a story can be lighthearted and still mature.

And philosophical themes can be both dark or light, it all depends of what the author is writing about.

Assassin_M
05-04-2016, 01:25 AM
Not necessarily, mature can mean both gory stuff, alcohol, drugs, child prostitution, etc..., but also mundane adult stuff like love stories, financial problems, taking care of you children, etc..., and more than often the hardcore stuff is aimed at teens and young adults who just enjoy all the, sometimes quite childish, random violence and shocking stuff that is shocking just for the sake of being edgy, and I certainly wouldn't call the mundane life themes, dark, so a story can be lighthearted and still mature.

And philosophical themes can be both dark or light, it all depends of what the author is writing about.
But this is going backwards. I'm not saying what is mature, I'm saying that dark is mature and lighthearted, by it's very nature, is thus immature. I also conceded that lighthearted can be well written. Dark is exclusive to maturity. Violence is not mature by its essence (Unfortunate as that is), but how the subject is tackled is what makes it mature. Syndicate is about violence. It's not dark, though. Witcher is about violence. It's very dark. Which is more mature, though? Yeah.

SixKeys
05-04-2016, 02:51 AM
Lighthearted is synonymous with immaturity, though. Yeah, lighthearted can be well written but it can't ever be more mature than a darker story because by default, a darker story tackles dark issues and they're called precisely that because they're antonyms of light.

I disagree. A well-written light-hearted story can definitely be more mature than a badly written dark one. You may disagree since you dislike AC2, but I would argue AC2 is a better story than Twilight, for example. Twilight is supposed to be "dark" since it's meant to be a tragic love story between a human and a monster. There are very few jokes in any of the books/movies. There is violence and death. Yet AC2 is by far the more intelligent and entertaining story.

If AC2 isn't a convincing enough example, many classic novels that are light-hearted in tone are mature in their execution. Oscar Wilde. Charles D!ckens. William Shakespeare. Mark Twain. All wrote comedies or at least stories with a light-hearted slant that still managed to pull off their message with deftness and intelligence, without descending into absurdity. "A Modest Proposal" is light-hearted in its excessiveness, but it's also witty and designed to make one think. I daresay it's more mature than a hundred Twilight novels.

As for AC4 being light-hearted, I think one has to look at the whole when judging a video game's story, since gameplay and narrative are supposed to be inextricably linked. The plot of AC4 may be heavy on death and moral decay vs. soul-searching, but 90% of the game is spent riding the waves on the open sea, searching for treasure, hunting whales and plundering ships while your crew belts out Now That's What I Call Music: 1715 Edition. Strip all the fun elements out of Pirates of the Caribbean and you're left with a "dark" story about a cursed ship full of lost souls, but what everyone actually remembers is Jack Sparrow getting into shenanigans. AC4 is about the closest we have to PotC: The Video Game, so tonally they have a lot in common.

Assassin_M
05-04-2016, 03:04 AM
I disagree. A well-written light-hearted story can definitely be more mature than a badly written dark one. You may disagree since you dislike AC2, but I would argue AC2 is a better story than Twilight, for example. Twilight is supposed to be "dark" since it's meant to be a tragic love story between a human and a monster. There are very few jokes in any of the books/movies. There is violence and death. Yet AC2 is by far the more intelligent and entertaining story.

If AC2 isn't a convincing enough example, many classic novels that are light-hearted in tone are mature in their execution. Oscar Wilde. Charles D!ckens. William Shakespeare. Mark Twain. All wrote comedies or at least stories with a light-hearted slant that still managed to pull off their message with deftness and intelligence, without descending into absurdity. "A Modest Proposal" is light-hearted in its excessiveness, but it's also witty and designed to make one think. I daresay it's more mature than a hundred Twilight novels.
Maturity =/= intelligence. That was my point. Dark stories are more mature than lighthearted ones by their very nature. Intelligence and wit notwithstanding, dark stories can never be immature because they're mature by default. That's what I'm saying. Of course many lighthearted stories can be more intelligent and better written than a dark one, doesn't mean it's more mature, though.

SixKeys
05-04-2016, 03:15 AM
Maturity =/= intelligence. That was my point. Dark stories are more mature than lighthearted ones by their very nature. Intelligence and wit notwithstanding, dark stories can never be immature because they're mature by default. That's what I'm saying. Of course many lighthearted stories can be more intelligent and better written than a dark one, doesn't mean it's more mature, though.

Again, I disagree. Maturity and intelligence go hand in hand. I know a lot of grown-ups whose manners mark them as never having matured past the age of 12 and some teenagers who are surprisingly mature for their age. Experience and wisdom = maturity. There's no reason why those qualities couldn't show up in light-hearted stories or be absent from serious ones.

Assassin_M
05-04-2016, 03:21 AM
Again, I disagree. Maturity and intelligence go hand in hand.
But this is the opposite...

I know a lot of grown-ups whose manners mark them as never having matured past the age of 12 and some teenagers who are surprisingly mature for their age.
...of this?


There's no reason why those qualities couldn't show up in light-hearted stories or be absent from serious ones.
Yes, wisdom, intelligence can obviously show up in lighthearted tones and stories but think about it. AC II is lighthearted. It's a game about murder and politics and yet it's making light of all of that. Syndicate is the same way. Jacob killing the Earl was treated as a punk shutting up an annoying old man. It's treated as a joke. That's why Syndicate is lighthearted, it's the very definition of lighthearted. It's not mature.

Farlander1991
05-04-2016, 07:22 AM
Speaking of darkness and maturity and Witcher, the Witcher series is actually a very interesting example. Because it's an example of how a series becomes more evolved and mature as it goes.

If you go back to Witcher 1, you'll notice while the game is dark, it's very, VERY immature. Admittedly, the game has a lot of interesting elements and overall plot (once it starts kicking after the boring as *** prologue and Chapter 1), but still Witcher 1 is of the 'omargerd luk at how mature we are!'. It's a 'teenage' sense of what mature is. Whereas when you look at the Witcher 2 and then 3 you notice how those creations ACTUALLY become mature.

I think the 'dark = mature' is a false correlation. Dark can be mature. Dark can be immature. Lighthearted can be mature. Lighthearted can be immature.

VestigialLlama4
05-04-2016, 11:59 AM
I just played Spec Ops the Line. That is a dark and mature game about violence and what it does to people. So far we have superhuman Assassin murder machines who don't really deal with or get affected seriously by the violence they inflict barring the odd cutscene with crocodile tears. Altair in AC1 is as close as you get to that kind of story, and Altair himself carries this sense of futility that kind of mirrors what the Crusades are about. The other games in AC that are truly dark is Freedom Cry, and some moments in AC3 where you are dealing with actual historical oppression. I would argue that very little of Assassin's Creed is mature. In all the games, the schema is Assassins=Good, Templars=Bad. The minute you have that schema, you cannot be mature because maturity is thinking beyond that duality. The most mature games in the series are the ones that complicated that...Assassin's Creed I and Assassin's Creed III. I'd say Black Flag is a light-hearted game with a mature story about failure and betrayal, not only getting betrayed yourself but betraying other people (your family, your friends and yourself) and it's character-driven.

Syndicate's main flaws are its gameplay is by-the-numbers, it's open-world recreation of London is a little tame and lacking in innovation, the Brotherhood gang gameplay is introduced and not dealt with too much. The mature parts is the idea that modern society is changing and advancing that assassinating and killing doesn't work, a message that breaks down when considered next to everything else. Story-wise you don't have a great amount of historical immersion. Some sequences and characters are nice, especially the Templars but others are less so.

But the main reason AC would not be the "Best AC game" if it had a "darker and mature story" is the characters. A mature story needs to have characters, story and situations that we can relate to on some level. Evie and Jacob Frye are more caricatures than actual characters, they are not really believable because their problems (Being a Good Assassin and honoring Daddy and guilt over training a serial killer) are not something you can relate to. The other characters have some aspects of them that are relatable, like in the case of Altair sure none of us are Asasiyun in the Third Crusades, but we can relate to being arrogant, high-and-mighty and then being humbled. With Connor, his sense of incredible powerlessness and lack of place is incredibly relatable, as is Edward who is a bad husband, worse friend and does stupid things and pays for those mistakes and tries to make up for them.

In any case, fundamentally Assassin's Creed should be dark and mature as opposed to lighthearted. The idea of Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted is inherently a dark and mature concept, and you are playing as a murderer for a higher political cause.

VernalBreak
05-04-2016, 06:31 PM
None of the options express my opinion. I think it would maybe improve syndicates okay story but it had so many other issues that it would definitely not be the best AC ever.

Option 1: It would matter but would not make it one of the best

option 2: the story was not one of the best things.

option 3: it would not fix any actual issues with the game.

This poll would be better if it was phrased as "would syndicate be a better game if it had a darker story"

MikeFNY
05-05-2016, 07:51 AM
As others correctly pinpointed the story was not the only problem with Syndicate, they played it safe with the last game before the break: a simple story with predictable characters inside a very easy game.

I remember reading this article before playing Unity and getting all excited about being faced with a challenge:
http://kotaku.com/i-spent-100-in-assassins-creed-unity-so-you-wouldnt-ha-1661411003

"Ten hours into Assassin's Creed: Unity, I'm having difficulty finishing up memory sequence 6. That's just about the middle chapter of the game. I think my character is too weak. His armor isn't strong enough. Neither are his weapons."

Now fair enough, I don't remember struggling so much to complete the game but I'm not surprised many did which is ultimately, in my opinion, the reason why Syndicate was turned into what I call "AC for babies", to remove the frustration element brought in my Unity's gameplay.

Dieinthedark
05-05-2016, 08:45 PM
I just played Spec Ops the Line. That is a dark and mature game about violence and what it does to people. So far we have superhuman Assassin murder machines who don't really deal with or get affected seriously by the violence they inflict barring the odd cutscene with crocodile tears. Altair in AC1 is as close as you get to that kind of story, and Altair himself carries this sense of futility that kind of mirrors what the Crusades are about. The other games in AC that are truly dark is Freedom Cry, and some moments in AC3 where you are dealing with actual historical oppression. I would argue that very little of Assassin's Creed is mature. In all the games, the schema is Assassins=Good, Templars=Bad. The minute you have that schema, you cannot be mature because maturity is thinking beyond that duality. The most mature games in the series are the ones that complicated that...Assassin's Creed I and Assassin's Creed III. I'd say Black Flag is a light-hearted game with a mature story about failure and betrayal, not only getting betrayed yourself but betraying other people (your family, your friends and yourself) and it's character-driven.

In any case, fundamentally Assassin's Creed should be dark and mature as opposed to lighthearted. The idea of Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted is inherently a dark and mature concept, and you are playing as a murderer for a higher political cause.

You bring up a very good point. I feel like our protagonists aren't dynamic enough. Playing Spec Ops The Line you see how at the beginning of the game, the enemy call outs are very quick, very formal, strict in the sense of what we would think of as being military quips. The story progresses and darkens, you see more of the violence and darker side of the war, your character and team changes. They feel like they are going through this, their call outs become a bit more edgy and lack the professionalism they start with. You feel like the gameplay and the story is actually playing a role on your characters development, and this is merely by voice. The game plays the same throughout.

Assassin's Creed 1 I think was the single best game for having a dynamic character. We all know the story, Altair thinks he's better than the creed, "my way is better". And we build him back up from the beginning, we learn the Creed, we feel the futility and strike on both sides of the conflict. And by the end of the story, Altair is no longer the hotheaded badass he started as. He's a mature, professional Assassin. Additionally, the entire atmosphere of the game lends itself to feeling heavier in content matter, at least in my opinion. Fan favorite AC2 and onwards certainly have a nice graphical flair, and the vibrant colors of Venice and Florence work well to convey the atmosphere of the Renaissance; it would have been an exciting and vibrant time. But the atmosphere of AC1, think Acre especially, very dark, moody, ominous. Having that as a backdrop for an already mature story only adds to the experience.

Assassin_M
05-05-2016, 09:40 PM
If you go back to Witcher 1, you'll notice while the game is dark, it's very, VERY immature.
But the latter cancels the prior by default. Violence and murder are dark themes but when portrayed as they are in Uncharted or Family Guy or Looney Tunes, they become immature by default. you say it yourself, it's a childish sense of what mature is.

Farlander1991
05-10-2016, 09:21 PM
But the latter cancels the prior by default. Violence and murder are dark themes but when portrayed as they are in Uncharted or Family Guy or Looney Tunes, they become immature by default. you say it yourself, it's a childish sense of what mature is.

I'm not sure if I entirely understand your argument, because to me first you say that dark stories can't be immature because the topics are inherently mature.... except when they're done immaturely in which case it cancels out the darkness? But that's not the case. Immaturity of Witcher 1 doesn't cancel out its darkness. It's a bleak world with rampant racism, civil war, monsters that represent humanity's worst and come out actually because of it. You can't say that it's not dark. But it also revels in pointless violence amongst the population, sexism, very childish approach to sex as collectibles (and the very first card that you get, man, the context of it all makes you go wtf, 'oh I've been unconscious for a long time and a person has died and we have to bury him and you don't remember anything, but let's have sex for old time's sake').

And, you know, it's interesting that you brought up Uncharted, because I would argue that Uncharted is actually a mature game. Well, 2 and 4 at the very least. Yes, they're not dark, they're lighthearted pulpy adventures, and violence is made 'cool' there and its action setpiece galore. That said, the games are aware of that, and I'm not just talking about lampshading the fact that we kill lots of people, I'm talking about Nate being a jerkish and kinda cowardly *******, but at the same time trying to become a better person.

Uncharted 2 explores questions of trust and honor and loyalty, of becoming brave for the sake of something bigger than yourself, while Uncharted 4 deals with questions of obsession and destructive nature of what we're doing in those games. And those are not dark topics, and they may not be insanely deep, nor philosophical, but the Uncharted games know what they are, and explore the questions posed in the context of what they are, providing satisfying answers, and something you can take away with you from it, not to mention the fact that you empathize with the characters as you go through their journey. They're mature because of that. It's not the toned-down cartoony non-impactful violence that defines if a game is dark or not, mature or not, it's what the game chooses and then does with that.

Assassin_M
05-11-2016, 04:06 PM
I'm not sure if I entirely understand your argument, because to me first you say that dark stories can't be immature because the topics are inherently mature
Yes, I also said that HOW you tackle said topics decides whether or not they're dark. Not just the presence of the topics decides whether or not it's dark.


.... except when they're done immaturely in which case it cancels out the darkness?
Yes.


But that's not the case. Immaturity of Witcher 1 doesn't cancel out its darkness. It's a bleak world with rampant racism, civil war, monsters that represent humanity's worst and come out actually because of it. You can't say that it's not dark.
Your examples of Witcher's immaturity are not examples I'd say are immature. The reason I think this is because they don't define the tone of the rest of the game. Yeah, sex is immaturely handled as childish fan service but it doesn't really impact the rest of the game.



Uncharted 2 explores questions of trust and honor and loyalty, of becoming brave for the sake of something bigger than yourself, while Uncharted 4 deals with questions of obsession and destructive nature of what we're doing in those games. And those are not dark topics, and they may not be insanely deep, nor philosophical, but the Uncharted games know what they are, and explore the questions posed in the context of what they are, providing satisfying answers, and something you can take away with you from it, not to mention the fact that you empathize with the characters as you go through their journey. They're mature because of that. It's not the toned-down cartoony non-impactful violence that defines if a game is dark or not, mature or not, it's what the game chooses and then does with that.
I wouldn't say those themes are mature. They're very very basic themes. They're intelligent themes. which I conceded lighthearted games can be, but I wouldn't say trust, honor, bravery and loyalty are mature themes at all.

SixKeys
05-11-2016, 04:43 PM
I honestly have no idea what you're saying anymore, M. :p I'm so confused.

Assassin_M
05-11-2016, 05:34 PM
I honestly have no idea what you're saying anymore, M. :p I'm so confused.
Yes, I know, I'm arguing semantics at best and being overly argumentative at worst.

What I'm saying is, the way I see it:
Dark theme handled without satire (Witcher III, AC I, AC III) = inherently mature.
Dark theme handled with satire, i.e makes light of said themes (AC II, Uncharted) = inherently immature.
Lighthearted themed games can be intelligent.
Lighthearted themes are inherently not mature, they're very basic (I.e loyalty, bravery, honor)

SixKeys
05-11-2016, 07:51 PM
Yes, I know, I'm arguing semantics at best and being overly argumentative at worst.

What I'm saying is, the way I see it:
Dark theme handled without satire (Witcher III, AC I, AC III) = inherently mature.
Dark theme handled with satire, i.e makes light of said themes (AC II, Uncharted) = inherently immature.
Lighthearted themed games can be intelligent.
Lighthearted themes are inherently not mature, they're very basic (I.e loyalty, bravery, honor)

I wouldn't call AC2 satire. The tone is mostly lighthearted, but it doesn't make fun of the topics of death and revenge. If that were the case, Ezio would be making Schwarzenegger-worthy puns after every assassination and turning the player's expectations of its head by not giving a toss about avenging his family. The light-heartedness in the game comes from whart happens in between the serious moments. For every scene where Ezio flirts with women or makes a quip, there's a speech about following your own convictions and showing mercy for your enemies.

In video game terms, Far Cry 3 and even Specs Ops: The Line are closer to satire, as the purpose of those games is to point out how desensitised to violence gamers are and how we often don't even try anything but the most obvious solution or interpretation. I don't think anyone would really describe Spec Ops as a light-hearted game, though. It approaches serious topics from the perspective of irony, and it does this by disguising itself as a conventional FPS. Same goes for Far Cry 3, albeit to a lesser extent.

VestigialLlama4
05-11-2016, 08:39 PM
In video game terms, Far Cry 3 and even Specs Ops: The Line are closer to satire, as the purpose of those games is to point out how desensitised to violence gamers are and how we often don't even try anything but the most obvious solution or interpretation. I don't think anyone would really describe Spec Ops as a light-hearted game, though. It approaches serious topics from the perspective of irony, and it does this by disguising itself as a conventional FPS. Same goes for Far Cry 3, albeit to a lesser extent.

Well I would say that Far Cry 3 is very much a standard FPS murder-sim with ironic self-awareness. It's like Quentin Tarantino movies, in that it's violent and parodic of genre but at the same time it's very much a genre movie, albeit a cynical and self-parodic one. Spec Ops:The Line is serious satire. Serious satire exists, Nineteen Eighty Four for instance. That game takes a standard FPS scenario and puts in the kind of intense, constant violence and psychological devastation. It's really quite something.

The thing is that the Ezio games, like the Uncharted games, are your classic adventure stories. Ezio is Count of Monte Cristo or that archetype. There are dark elements in that kind of books, and moments of characterization and interest but the tone is about this sense of adventure and high spirits. You forget that Ezio lost his parents, when the narrative tells you what cool new pal he'll be meeting next, or the next city. The change of scenery kind of takes you away from the character's inner state too much. So you approach serious topics and emotions from a place of safety. Whereas AC1 and AC3 are not really the same thing. In AC1, you don't have this sense of discovery with each new land, since you visit each city three times in different areas, and Altair has obviously been there before. There you are much more connected to the character than the scenery. The tone is much more focused on the character.

Anyway, maturity in games in my view comes in all shapes and sizes. Is Portal 1 and Portal 2 a mature game? I would argue they are, but I couldn't exactly tell you how it is mature. The Uncharted games has a character who is very immature in general and a man-child. His friendships and relationship with his wife make him relatable and empathetic and the dialogue is good but fundamentally it's an adventure game, and those emotions are not dealt with seriously. Compare that to Black Flag where Edward behaves in a way like Nathan Drake and faces actual consequences: his wife leaves him, his friends bail on him, his crew mutiny him and he has to win it all back and even then he can't change his past. So fundamentally I don't think Uncharted really deals with its ideas maturely outside of a few moments. Like Nathan Drake's adventuring feels unreal since for him he wants to find treasure because it's about history and knowledge and not really money or the like. The bad archeologists in those games are those who care about money. Whereas in Black Flag, money drives Edward and others for very believable and understandable reasons.

RVSage
05-11-2016, 08:51 PM
Yes, I know, I'm arguing semantics at best and being overly argumentative at worst.

What I'm saying is, the way I see it:
Dark theme handled without satire (Witcher III, AC I, AC III) = inherently mature.
Dark theme handled with satire, i.e makes light of said themes (AC II, Uncharted) = inherently immature.
Lighthearted themed games can be intelligent.
Lighthearted themes are inherently not mature, they're very basic (I.e loyalty, bravery, honor)

Wondering where you classify AC IV, And I would classify ACII and AC IV under category 3

Farlander1991
05-11-2016, 10:52 PM
Yes, I know, I'm arguing semantics at best and being overly argumentative at worst.

What I'm saying is, the way I see it:
Dark theme handled without satire (Witcher III, AC I, AC III) = inherently mature.
Dark theme handled with satire, i.e makes light of said themes (AC II, Uncharted) = inherently immature.
Lighthearted themed games can be intelligent.
Lighthearted themes are inherently not mature, they're very basic (I.e loyalty, bravery, honor)

For you, where does a game like Hatred fall? Because it's got a very dark theme handled without satire (unlike, let's say, Postal), but I'll be damned if I'd call it mature.

To be honest, I find your grouping to be very strange. Don't take it the wrong way, but to me personally it looks like you're taking three parameters: complexity, darkness and maturity, and then arbitrarily group them together with different variables to create that categorization.

I mean, for example, you say that loyalty is a basic theme and therefore it's lighthearted which is inherently immature. But to me, there's just a theme: loyalty, which depending on how you handle it can have different complexity, lightheartedness, and maturity.

Let's continue with loyalty as an example. Complexity. If it's about loyalty between two characters, like let's say Jack Sparrow and Will Turner in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, then yeah, then it's pretty basic. But the theme of loyalty can also be about, let's say, a conflict between loyalty to the cause or loyalty to people close to you. That's inherently a more complex theme, especially when staying loyal to each requires actions that hurt the other side. And this is an example in a vacuum of course, so it can go even deeper and more complex than that.

And there doesn't have to be a direct correlation between complexity and how lighthearted something is. Case in point, Pirates of the Caribbean again, since I've already mentioned it. In the third movie, the theme of loyalty is much more complex than in the first one, as each of the three main characters has conflicting loyalties between different goals, which they somehow have to try to figure out by the end, they backstab each other quite a bit, but it's still whimsical and fun. But then there can be things like Game of Thrones, where it's oh **** dark. And same goes the other way around, something can be dark but very basic.

And same goes with maturity. Regardless of complexity or how light or dark it is, the topic can be handled in a mature way or an immature way. Of course, all these three parameters do influence one another, but they're still quite separate in a sense that they all can have different variables depending on how you handle theme(s) in question, and I think it's kinda dismissive to say that 'this particular thing is inherently this and can mean only this'.

pacmanate
05-11-2016, 11:38 PM
I don't have anything to pitch in on this because I am literally so confused reading this post for post...

But keep going, one day I will make sense of it and tell my mum.

SixKeys
05-12-2016, 12:48 AM
To bring this back round to Syndicate, I think the relationship between Jacob and Roth is a great example of what Farlander mentioned. The underlying themes between these two characters are trust, loyalty and friendship. It starts off in a light-hearted way, with car chases and Jacob pulling off shenaningans with the clownish Roth. You get the sense that Jacob is genuinely being tempted by this guy's devil-may-care lifestyle, their penchant for fun and action creates a bond between them, even though they're supposed to be on opposite sides. Until we get to a point where it's no longer about fun and games but about burning down orphanages and theaters full of innocent bystanders. The bond that's been established becomes strained and gets more and more twisted as Roth's mania escalates. In a sense it's comparable to how Farlander describes the handling of loyalty in the PotC movies, going from a clearly immature view on what friendship is to a mature understanding that a true friend would never force you to go against your own moral code.

And at the end, we're not left with a gleeful feeling of having vanquished a villain - we feel Jacob's sadness, anger and confusion at the death of someone he once trusted. A sense that things could have gone differently. An immature handling of death would have Jacob making a sarcastic quip at Roth before he draws his final breath. But the death scene is handled with the proper gravitas and emotion you would expect from these two characters.

LieutenantRex
05-12-2016, 01:10 AM
To bring this back round to Syndicate, I think the relationship between Jacob and Roth is a great example of what Farlander mentioned. The underlying themes between these two characters are trust, loyalty and friendship. It starts off in a light-hearted way, with car chases and Jacob pulling off shenaningans with the clownish Roth. You get the sense that Jacob is genuinely being tempted by this guy's devil-may-care lifestyle, their penchant for fun and action creates a bond between them, even though they're supposed to be on opposite sides. Until we get to a point where it's no longer about fun and games but about burning down orphanages and theaters full of innocent bystanders. The bond that's been established becomes strained and gets more and more twisted as Roth's mania escalates. In a sense it's comparable to how Farlander describes the handling of loyalty in the PotC movies, going from a clearly immature view on what friendship is to a mature understanding that a true friend would never force you to go against your own moral code.

And at the end, we're not left with a gleeful feeling of having vanquished a villain - we feel Jacob's sadness, anger and confusion at the death of someone he once trusted. A sense that things could have gone differently. An immature handling of death would have Jacob making a sarcastic quip at Roth before he draws his final breath. But the death scene is handled with the proper gravitas and emotion you would expect from these two characters.

Once again, you've slain them in the duel of words, love. Good work.

dimbismp
09-29-2016, 01:08 PM
I mean,the twins were knighted by the queen herself...There are many other examples like this one,that make Syndicate feel like a parody.Sure,there are also a few interesting and well-written moments in between,but for every Roth there are ten D'Israelis.

Where did the "We work in the dark to serve the light" or "Nothing is true,everything is permitted" go?

This is a huge departure from what AC should really be about,meaning the moral dilemmas,the ambiguity of the characters and the philosophical battle between the Assassins and the Templars.And while only a few games managed to successfully portray these(AC1,AC4 and to a lesser extent ACR and AC3), Syndicate completely dropped them.

We are not playing as an Assassin any more.We are playing as a mass-murderer who kills people "just because".At least the movie is trying to get the AC1 feeling back from what i'm hearing

ModernWaffle
09-29-2016, 03:11 PM
I mean,the twins were knighted by the queen herself...There are many other examples like this one,that make Syndicate feel like a parody.Sure,there are also a few interesting and well-written moments in between,but for every Roth there are ten D'Israelis.

Where did the "We work in the dark to serve the light" or "Nothing is true,everything is permitted" go?

This is a huge departure from what AC should really be about,meaning the moral dilemmas,the ambiguity of the characters and the philosophical battle between the Assassins and the Templars.And while only a few games managed to successfully portray these(AC1,AC4 and to a lesser extent ACR and AC3), Syndicate completely dropped them.

We are not playing as an Assassin any more.We are playing as a mass-murderer who kills people "just because".At least the movie is trying to get the AC1 feeling back from what i'm hearing

100% agree with this post - hoping they'll go back to this way in the next game otherwise won't expect the story to be interesting.

Namikaze_17
09-29-2016, 05:58 PM
I haven't really read the thread, but after playing the game twice now I can say that it being lighthearted is really the least of its problems. Even then, it being lighthearted sort of feels like an excuse to cover up the other issues that consist of:

•No underlying theme ( or lack thereof)
• Lack of context for hardly anything ( EX: why is Jacob's gang call the Rooks)
•Main characters that are undeveloped/inconsistent
•Pointless side/supporting cast
• Villains with hardly any screentime or development ( Except for Roth, Attaway & Starrick)
• Poor build-up for the "break-up"
• Evie's lack of "presence"

Besides Syndicate is already "dark & mature" in Jack The Ripper; something else that had problems too.


for every Roth there are ten D'Israelis.

I liked Mrs. Disraeli's quirkiness actually.

Her husband was a bore, though.


Where did the "We work in the dark to serve the light" or "Nothing is true,everything is permitted" go?

I agree with the first statement; it was not only cringe-worthy to say the least to have the Queen knight us for "saving the city", but it also went against the Assassins code to suddenly get the keys to the city essentially. The problem is that the Assassins are not heroes; they do heroic things, but it was never as corny as Syndicate did it.

As for the second, not everything has to be so spelled out such as holding your hand to your heart and uttering the phase, my friend. Jacob himself was the personification of the quote with how he initially believed it allowed him to do as he as pleased ( as per his destruction), but upon his meeting & falling out with Roth, he understood the dark depths of going too far in one's right to do as they pleased.



We are not playing as an Assassin any more.We are playing as a mass-murderer who kills people "just because".

I wouldn't completely say "just because". Jacob may not have been interested in keeping up "old traditions", but he did have a heart of gold to do what he thought was right for the people, and genuinely fought for what he believed in. He's like Connor in the sense that he represents the spirit of the Creed itself, except in a more reckless sort of way.

Then there's Evie who's well... Evie.

dimbismp
09-29-2016, 08:03 PM
I haven't really read the thread, but after playing the game twice now I can say that it being lighthearted is really the least of its problems. Even then, it being lighthearted sort of feels like an excuse to cover up the other issues that consist of:

•No underlying theme ( or lack thereof)
• Lack of context for hardly anything ( EX: why is Jacob's gang call the Rooks)
•Main characters that are undeveloped/inconsistent
•Pointless side/supporting cast
• Villains with hardly any screentime or development ( Except for Roth, Attaway & Starrick)
• Poor build-up for the "break-up"
• Evie's lack of "presence"

Besides Syndicate is already "dark & mature" in Jack The Ripper; something else that had problems too.
Well all these problems,or at least some of them,you mentioned are tied with the light-hearted tone.In other words,they tried to hide many problems by using "Yay!We are the good guys!Let's save London!"tone.For example:


•No underlying theme ( or lack thereof)

This is a huge missed opportunity. Victorian London is on paper one of the most interesting AC settings.It was in fact one of the most requested by fans.There were many themes they could explore:

Rich vs Poor
Man vs Machine
The Assassins' and Templars' philosophy in the 19th century. Does the new world need a guiding hand or not?
"Jacob" assassin-philosophy vs "Evie" assassin-philosophy

But,as you said, the game lacks an underlying theme. Instead,we got a lame and childish "Let's liberate London!".Well, i see that mostly everyone is happy, do they need to be liberated? They tried showing that killing Templars not only solves problems,but also creates more. But they barely scratched the surface.

Also, the light-heartedness can be found in how the story is interconnected with the gameplay: How on Earth did Evie and mainly Jacob "liberate" London so easily? This was supposed to be THE Templar stronghold. Why didn't the Templars take any measures against this catastrophe?


• Lack of context for hardly anything ( EX: why is Jacob's gang call the Rooks)

A game that took itself seriously would use a reasonable amount of time/missions to build a relationship between the twins,and especially Jacob, and a few high-ranking members of the gang.For example, you get to know their leader through a mutual acquaintance.You have common interests,so you take part in a few of the operations.This is where you get to know 2-3 of his lieutenants. Sadly,the leader dies in a gang war against the Blighters.After that,the whole Rooks organisation is falling to pieces,with Rooks members joining the Blighters and/or forming other gangs.This is when Jacob stands up and takes the leadership. The remaining Rooks,including the lieutenants, follow him,because they know him and they trust him.

Instead, the faceless,nameless and emotionless Rooks ,which is supposed to be a huge gang that spans all around the biggest city in the world.just decide to follow a stranger.This is just not mature.Not by tone or showing mature themes,but it cannot be explained by real-life standards.You know "History is our playground"...


•Main characters that are undeveloped/inconsistent

Again,they could have gone with a serious rift in their relationship. The game expects us to believe that these so different characters got along so well with each other.


•Pointless side/supporting cast

Yeah,the caricatures that we got.



I liked Mrs. Disraeli's quirkiness actually.

Her husband was a bore, though.

Both were caricatures. Mrs Disraeli went through a ghetto and ended up helping a goon sort out his childhood problems. Plus, they both openly chat and have fun with two mass murderers. Surely they might have heard that a big amount of high profile citizens have been assassinated,plus dozens of guards etc. Let's even assume that they cannot make the obvious "1+1=2" assumption. They just conspire with them to get them tickets for the Queen's ball! THE QUEEN'S BALL! They are willing to get some strangers into the palaces. And in the meanwhile,they are happy that their rival couple won't get to the ball. It's not like they had anything important to gain from it. They just want to have fun. I'm sorry, but that's just a parody.




I agree with the first statement; it was not only cringe-worthy to say the least to have the Queen knight us for "saving the city", but it also went against the Assassins code to suddenly get the keys to the city essentially. The problem is that the Assassins are not heroes; they do heroic things, but it was never as corny as Syndicate did it.

The more i think about it,the more convinced i am that this has to be the worst moment in the series' history. All games use ForrestGump-y moments to an extent,but this....This just blows everything away.IMO it's a disgrace.


As for the second, not everything has to be so spelled out such as holding your hand to your heart and uttering the phase, my friend. Jacob himself was the personification of the quote with how he initially believed it allowed him to do as he as pleased ( as per his destruction), but upon his meeting & falling out with Roth, he understood the dark depths of going too far in one's right to do as they pleased.

Well,i agree that it doesn't need to be spelled all the time. And it's true that this was one of the few meaningful mini arcs in the game. What i'm saying is that the game almost never took itself seriously or tried to delve into the philosophy of it all.


I wouldn't completely say "just because". Jacob may not have been interested in keeping up "old traditions", but he did have a heart of gold to do what he thought was right for the people, and genuinely fought for what he believed in. He's like Connor in the sense that he represents the spirit of the Creed itself, except in a more reckless sort of way.

Then there's Evie who's well... Evie.

It didn't seem to me that his motive was that strong;he didn't seem to care about the people that much.And even if he did: what gives him the permission to go and murder people left and right? Is he turning the world in a better place in the process? Is violence really the way to solve our problems?

Jacob never thinks about such matters. He just...does things. He assassinates people because they are Templars. This is his reasoning.

cawatrooper9
09-29-2016, 08:25 PM
I don't really see what the issue with being knighted by the Queen is...

AC has always been about historical tourism. Even in the first game, Altair had a conversation with King Richard that was straight out of an R rated Magic Treehouse book. Ezio interacted with the Medicis, Sulamein, and the Borgia. Connor rubbed elbows with a good deal of the founding fathers, and Edward was best buds with many of the most infamous pirates of the 1700s. The only Assassin who kinda sorta almost managed to stay under the radar was Arno, but that's probably because his personality was too abrasive to make friends anyway (sorry Arno fans). :p

The Queen stuff is nothing new at all. The Assassins have always been contradictory in their pledge to work from the shadows, but that's kind of the point- most of them do stay under wraps pretty well. We just happen to be playing as some of the most legendary examples, who have shaken the pillars of the earth. A game where you basically played as one of Ezio's Rome based recruits would probably results in far less historical tourism, and while that perspective would certainly be interesting, it wouldn't be able to allow some major features that the series is famous for.

Ureh
09-29-2016, 09:22 PM
Yea I heard that James Bond 007 was knighted by the Queen a few years ago. Jacob shares a lot of similarities with Bond right? Both of them try to go into stealth but wind up blowing everything up in the end. They're both pretty blunt and defiant. Among other things. When I saw that scene I imagined the Fryes as the original double-o agents before it became a thing.

ze_topazio
09-29-2016, 09:34 PM
Despite working in the shadows, in all the games there have always been historical and fictional characters, important or not, aware of both Templars and Assassins, despite belonging to neither group.

The Queen thing was more a "thanks for saving my life and this country, here's some reward, keep up the good work", I think people overreacted a lot.

SixKeys
09-29-2016, 09:35 PM
Just curious: how exactly is Jacob and Evie getting knighted different from Ezio being given special privileges by Lorenzo de Medici? Lorenzo even gave him an official cape bearing his seal so that guards would be more lenient towards Ezio's actions.

Namikaze_17
09-29-2016, 10:12 PM
Well I don't know about everyone else, but the whole thing just felt more comic book-y than anything else in the previous games. I mean Altaïr wasn't knighted by King Richard, Ezio was relatively mutual with the Medici, and Connor was less than friends with the founding fathers and practically got screwed over in the end.

Maybe I took it more seriously than I should've, but the ending itself really lended to them looking like superheroes or something.


Just curious: how exactly is Jacob and Evie getting knighted different from Ezio being given special privileges by Lorenzo de Medici? Lorenzo even gave him an official cape bearing his seal so that guards would be more lenient towards Ezio's actions.

Syndicate did get its inspiration from somewhere. :rolleyes:

D.I.D.
09-29-2016, 10:49 PM
Lighter, darker: I'm not sure that matters, but the stories recently have suffered from a lack of solidity. We know why this happens; as the games have become so big, the stories must be modular, and the team must be prepared to jettison whole characters and storylines if a mission branch is found to have problems.

This was a solution to the problem of the annual release schedule, but the games have suffered for it. They really require a vision to encompass them, and a solid roadmap of the experience as it will present itself to the player. If the ambition is for these games to be excellent again, this vision needs to rule everything, including the release date.

Brotherhood is the last game with a truly solid-feeling story. Revelations is pretty coherent too, although I think it lacks the enchantment of ACB. Beyond that, we're looking at games which sometimes hang together and sometimes don't, and the odd thing out it is that these weakly linked story chains end up feeling very linear compared to the fully rounded feeling of Brotherhood. Also, because there's no coherent plan and very little is written in stone, there's a danger of the creators flinching from making any one thing matter too much in case it gets cut. The company is also implicitly restricting who it can hire. Shell out for an eminent composer for the soundtrack? No problem. But to spend top money to hire an incredible writing talent? Why do that, if you're going to leave chunks of their work on the cutting room floor?

I'm not saying nothing's been good since Brotherhood, by any means. These games have been mostly great even with the creative compromises. But the series seems to be settling for reviews in the 6-8/10 area, when we know it can go to the "all-time classic" level again with just a bit more breathing space.


To bring this back round to Syndicate, I think the relationship between Jacob and Roth is a great example of what Farlander mentioned. The underlying themes between these two characters are trust, loyalty and friendship. It starts off in a light-hearted way, with car chases and Jacob pulling off shenaningans with the clownish Roth. You get the sense that Jacob is genuinely being tempted by this guy's devil-may-care lifestyle, their penchant for fun and action creates a bond between them, even though they're supposed to be on opposite sides. Until we get to a point where it's no longer about fun and games but about burning down orphanages and theaters full of innocent bystanders. The bond that's been established becomes strained and gets more and more twisted as Roth's mania escalates. In a sense it's comparable to how Farlander describes the handling of loyalty in the PotC movies, going from a clearly immature view on what friendship is to a mature understanding that a true friend would never force you to go against your own moral code.

And at the end, we're not left with a gleeful feeling of having vanquished a villain - we feel Jacob's sadness, anger and confusion at the death of someone he once trusted. A sense that things could have gone differently. An immature handling of death would have Jacob making a sarcastic quip at Roth before he draws his final breath. But the death scene is handled with the proper gravitas and emotion you would expect from these two characters.

Great post, and a great example of the recent games doing story variety well.

However, I think it still had a problem, that our time with Roth had to be packaged, and packaged so tightly, because of the issue I was talking about: modular story. You're absolutely on the money about the Jacob/Roth storyline, but there's just barely enough there in the game to make this point, and I don't think it's enough for that story thread to have real weight.

I think that line should have gone on much longer and been developed, but it wasn't because "what if we have to cut it?". So we get it quick, we get it light, and we have to fill in a few gaps ourselves to see what the writer was going for there. We don't get to really feel something in the moment. We reflect, we appreciate, we give a little praise. Things like this could be so much more enthralling. You wouldn't write a novel where the Roth thing played out in twenty pages.

Pandassin
09-29-2016, 11:35 PM
Honestly I really like the light heartedness of Syndicate, it's a nice change and if anything, it makes the more serious moments have a stronger effect (at least I think so).

However whenever I look at the old leak screenshots for AC 'Victory' it reminds me of what I first thought the game was gonna be like before any announcements were made. The leak screenshots looked more grim and dark (probably because they're all at night but still), and they just looked really cool. This made me picture the game as a serious one with serious characters and a dark story, which also would have worked out pretty well. When I look at those screenshots I feel like I'm looking at an entirely different game, and it makes me wish that game existed.

Either way I'm still happy with how Syndicate turned out, plus I suppose Jack the Ripper makes up for the lack of dark content.

dimbismp
09-29-2016, 11:38 PM
I don't really see what the issue with being knighted by the Queen is...

AC has always been about historical tourism. Even in the first game, Altair had a conversation with King Richard that was straight out of an R rated Magic Treehouse book. Ezio interacted with the Medicis, Sulamein, and the Borgia. Connor rubbed elbows with a good deal of the founding fathers, and Edward was best buds with many of the most infamous pirates of the 1700s. The only Assassin who kinda sorta almost managed to stay under the radar was Arno, but that's probably because his personality was too abrasive to make friends anyway (sorry Arno fans). :p

The Queen stuff is nothing new at all. The Assassins have always been contradictory in their pledge to work from the shadows, but that's kind of the point- most of them do stay under wraps pretty well. We just happen to be playing as some of the most legendary examples, who have shaken the pillars of the earth. A game where you basically played as one of Ezio's Rome based recruits would probably results in far less historical tourism, and while that perspective would certainly be interesting, it wouldn't be able to allow some major features that the series is famous for.


Despite working in the shadows, in all the games there have always been historical and fictional characters, important or not, aware of both Templars and Assassins, despite belonging to neither group.

The Queen thing was more a "thanks for saving my life and this country, here's some reward, keep up the good work", I think people overreacted a lot.


Just curious: how exactly is Jacob and Evie getting knighted different from Ezio being given special privileges by Lorenzo de Medici? Lorenzo even gave him an official cape bearing his seal so that guards would be more lenient towards Ezio's actions.
While i agree this wasn't exactly new, it is by no means the same as previous games.

Connor did work together with many of the founding fathers,but he did with great doubt or suspicion if you will,mostly because he was an outsider.And as Namizake pointed out,he got screwed over in the end.partly because he trusted them.

Edward being pals with the pirates has nothing to do with this.Even before eventually becoming an an assassin,he was close to some of their ideals,as the Pirates were fighting for liberty and free will.He was fighting against the monarchy for the whole game.

Altair did get to speak with King Robert,but again,it was not near as cringeworthy as ACS. Firstly,Altair respected the man,but looked him straight to the eye,as an equal.They even debated about control vs freedom,destiny etc.Sure irl the king would just kill an assassin who came at his door,but at least what we got was both well-written and didn't make Altair look like a fool.Secondly, the whole meeting happened only because Altair wanted to kill de Sable.

The only comparable situations were the Ezio's ones.However,he only cooperated with Suleyman because they had a common goal(albeit it turned out that Ezio wasn't after the Byzntines).Again, Ezio respected the prince,but always looked at him in the eye,as an equal. Then,we have the Borgias. Sure, the Borgias were portrayed even more evil than they probably were. Fighting against the Pope with magical artifacts inside the Vatican isn't exactly realistic and maybe is the only situation comparable to Syndicate. Finally, we have the Medici. Sure they were too close for my liking,but again it was a "business" relationship. Ezio saved his life and Lorenzo helped him get the Templars, whom he also despised. Plus, the Auditores were a respected family,so Lorenzo had another reason to help Ezio.

Let's now analyze the Syndicate scene:

-Evie addressed the Queen as "Your Majesty".This is ok. However,she does so with a huge smile,as if she saw Altair himself.
-The gang leader,brawler and man of the streets Jacob is pleasantly surprised that his sister has met the Queen. It seems that he doesn't care about the Order he is sworn to, but he really looks up to his Queen. His huge smile cannot go unnoticed.
- They then kneel before the Queen. Note that kneeling used to have a bigger meaning than today. Whoever knelt, proved his loyalty to the one above.
- Small gripe, but it seems that Victoria decided to knight the assassins right after she heard the news.
- "Thank you your Majesty". It seems that Evie just had the best moment of her life.
-"[...]i saved you some cake".Yeah this seems like something a queen would say to a nobody.
-Finally the twins are so delighted that they were knighted,that they start racing.

Someone may say, "what's so wrong in liking and respecting your Queen,or even kneeling before her?". Well,maybe we have been playing a different series.

First of all, by default the assassins should stand against monarchy. This of course shouldn't be the case for every single ruler,as some may be compassionate and sympathetic towards the people's liberties. But the basis of monarchy, at least up to the modern era, was ruling over the people . Basically the people have to do what their lord asks them .They have to live in poverty so that the royalty can eat with golden spoons. They have to fight in petty wars that the kings wage over one another so that they can gain more control over the globe. Was that a familiar word? Well it should be,as control is the favorite word of the Templars.

Secondly, there has been so much bad blood between the assassins and the royalty. In AC1 King Robert is aware of the assassins' actions. Let's not forget that Masyaf was regularly sieged by the kingdoms of the Holy Land. In ACB, the Borgias were basically the royalty. In ACR , Yusuf mentions that the Assassins have to face both the Ottomans and the Byzantines. Well,i guess that the orders came from high above. Even in the final conversation, it is clear that Selim doesn't exactly like the asssassins. In AC4 the Assassins' HQ is attacked multiple times by the royal forces of Brittain and Spain. I'm sure there are many other examples in the lore. All this bad blood isn't erased so easily. I guess that Evie didn't study the Assassins' history so well after all.

Finally, i am not aware of the specifics(but neither were Jacob and Evie),but Queen Victoria wasn't a saint either. In fact she was the head of the biggest empire in the world. Yes the empire that forcefully conquered countless nations. The empire in which the poor and the children worked under terrible conditions in factories, so that the elite,which Victoria is supposedly leading, could gain more and more control.

If you don't see that this ending crossed the line, then i really want you to explain to me why.

Namikaze_17
09-30-2016, 01:52 AM
This is a huge missed opportunity. Victorian London is on paper one of the most interesting AC settings.It was in fact one of the most requested by fans.There were many themes they could explore:

Rich vs Poor
Man vs Machine
The Assassins' and Templars' philosophy in the 19th century. Does the new world need a guiding hand or not?
"Jacob" assassin-philosophy vs "Evie" assassin-philosophy

I felt like the third one was explored a little with Starrick's speech of the city's people being indebted to him. It was interesting because it actually showed how the Templar philosophy had essentially held London together in a time of utmost progression and change.

Then it's quickly scrapped altogether because the protagonists really offer no alternative other than causing destruction and saying they're right just because.


They tried showing that killing Templars not only solves problems,but also creates more. But they barely scratched the surface.

I think Yohalem addressed in one of Loomer's podcasts that they tried or were going to ( I forgot which one) make Jacob's actions be more apparent with chaos happening all around.

It's a shame because the whole "beef" Evie had with Jacob just seemed really baseless since:

A) London in general seemed fine
B) It was the death of Jacob's targets that caused those "mistakes" (this being more towards them ruling for 100 years rather than Jacob killing them)
C) It would have happened regardless of who killed them ( including Evie)

I mean what would she expect him to do? Not kill them? Evie just reacts immediately on impulse and instantly blames Jacob for everything. She puts no real logic and reason for her "claims" other than other people's say-so which is a sign of immaturity.


Also, the light-heartedness can be found in how the story is interconnected with the gameplay: How on Earth did Evie and mainly Jacob "liberate" London so easily? This was supposed to be THE Templar stronghold. Why didn't the Templars take any measures against this catastrophe?

Nine sequences, man. There's only so much that can be done.


Again,they could have gone with a serious rift in their relationship. The game expects us to believe that these so different characters got along sowell with each other.

Same as above.


It didn't seem to me that his motive was that strong;he didn't seem to care about the people that much.And even if he did: what gives him the permission to go and murder people left and right? Is he turning the world in a better place in the process? Is violence really the way to solve our problems?

Jacob never thinks about such matters. He just...does things. He assassinates people because they are Templars. This is his reasoning.

Well he does care at some moral level since he deemed it fitting to form a street gang to liberate London, and be heavily against Roth's extremist actions towards the child orphanage. The problem is that the narrative delves less into these endearing qualities, but more into his bad ones to make him antagonistic for a subplot to exist and give Evie something else to do along with seeming like "the good one".

Ironically, the trailers show Jacob more in my description than the game does sadly.

As for permission, murder and all that jazz: Nothing is true, Everything is Permitted :p

Fatal-Feit
09-30-2016, 03:29 AM
It wouldn't matter because it's already the best AC in my book. AC2 is great, but dated, and while Black Flag delivers an awesome open-world adventure game, it fails to deliver good core gameplay (combat is basically QTE, stealth is underwhelming, and navigation is clunky).

Syndicate's story isn't very strong, and while it didn't exactly innovate all that much in the gameplay department, it did fix the unwieldiness of Unity's gameplay, which puts it at the best in everything else, imo.

Righteous Angel
10-01-2016, 02:58 PM
Its biggest problem was the complete lack of any challenge. Apart from the launch and initial performance issues Unity was a far more impressive game overall, syndicate felt like a step back.

dimbismp
10-01-2016, 03:29 PM
Its biggest problem was the complete lack of any challenge. Apart from the launch and initial performance issues Unity was a far more impressive game overall, syndicate felt like a step back.

I agree.At launch,i thought Syndicate was better,but not by a big margin. But in retrospect. ACU was just a better assassin's creed game.

Both had disappointing stories,but for different reasons.Syndicate's story was well-written,but it was by far the least ambitious of the series. No twists, almost no impressive dialog or lines and ,as i said, it was even cartoonish at times. On the other hand, Unity's main story had many,many flaws , but at least they tried to offer a grounded and different AC story.

I may be in the minority,but i also liked Paris more than London.Maybe because i was expecting a darker,dirtier and grittier Victorian London.

ACS's combat was a cheap copy of the Arkham formula. It was super easy,and it looked akward. It featured too few animations and the "opponent is stunned until you finish him off" thing wasn't particularly cool. Also, the different enemy types were almost identical. On the other hand, ACU offered a flawed,but difficult combat ,that pushed player to the direction of stealth.

Stealth was basically the same between the two games. That said, i think Unity's main assassinations have a slight edge over Syndicate's.

Parkour was also the same,but Paris was a better place to parkour than London.

Finally, i have to admit that Syndicate had better and more varied side missions..

joshoolhorst
10-01-2016, 04:46 PM
I may be in the minority,but i also liked Paris more than London.Maybe because i was expecting a darker,dirtier and grittier Victorian London.

No you are not I thought Paris more a Assassin's Creed location than 19th century London which seemed to me like a horrible AC setting

Righteous Angel
10-01-2016, 07:02 PM
Both had disappointing stories,but for different reasons.Syndicate's story was well-written,but it was by far the least ambitious of the series. No twists, almost no impressive dialog or lines and ,as i said, it was even cartoonish at times. On the other hand, Unity's main story had many,many flaws , but at least they tried to offer a grounded and different AC story..

Sadly Ubisoft shot themselves in the foot with Unity's launch mess and issues. Unfortunately that's all most people remember. However Unity was a good AC game with a huge amount of content and sadly the best of the content was hidden amongst the Paris stories and Co-Op missions that a lot of gamers probably didn't bother with.

It is a shame because Unity will be remembered for all the wrong reasons but for me it was one of the best. The city was fantastic and the gameplay challenging and there are some great hidden missions. Arno deserved another gamehe really grew on me as an interesting character by the end of the game.


No you are not I thought Paris more a Assassin's Creed location than 19th century London which seemed to me like a horrible AC setting

I also feel the same however, It could have been great, the Jack the Ripper DLC echoed everything that was wrong with the game though so much potential wasted.

ModernWaffle
10-02-2016, 03:45 PM
Sadly Ubisoft shot themselves in the foot with Unity's launch mess and issues. Unfortunately that's all most people remember. However Unity was a good AC game with a huge amount of content and sadly the best of the content was hidden amongst the Paris stories and Co-Op missions that a lot of gamers probably didn't bother with.

It is a shame because Unity will be remembered for all the wrong reasons but for me it was one of the best. The city was fantastic and the gameplay challenging and there are some great hidden missions. Arno deserved another game he really grew on me as an interesting character by the end of the game.

Remember the reactions when Unity and Syndicate were revealed as well. Personally for me, I was blown away by Unity - the sheer size of the crowds and vertical scale of the buildings, 4 player co-op, in-depth customisation, parkour down and crouch feature which were a long time coming - the list goes on... Syndicate looked good no doubt but felt so cautious in terms of experimentation and hence was much less exciting for me and I was definitely underwhelmed despite London looking amazing.

But to go back on topic, I would say it didn't necessarily need a darker, more mature story but rather just more grounded and consistent writing. Syndicate's story wasn't bad IMO since it was less serious in tone but because it was unrealistic, disjointed and hardly portrayed the world of the AC world we knew. Even if they did a more serious story if the same faults applied, it would be just as bad.

Though to directly answer the question, good or bad execution of a dark and mature story, it would not be a contender for the top places because the story shouldn't have greater priority than the game itself. With video games, I expect a good game rather than a good story, so I can ignore the latter if it's bad but not the former. Not saying Syndicate was bad by any means, but probably my least enjoyed experience with AC in gameplay if I'm honest which is what matters the most to me when ranking the games.

Calvarok
10-02-2016, 05:26 PM
darkness and maturity ineptly deployed add nothing of value to a narrative. So, no. If it were an extremely enthralling story in the first place you wouldn't even be inclined to ask this question, would you?

m4r-k7
10-02-2016, 11:50 PM
Would ACS be a contender for best AC ever if it had a darker, more mature story?

¯\_(シ)_/¯