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View Full Version : [SPOILERS] Finally, I played, enjoyed and loved AC3: Here's my opinion on the game



MikeFNY
08-25-2016, 10:53 AM
Two years ago, had someone told me I would have loved Assassin's Creed III, I would not have taken that person seriously.

Back then, forgetting Ezio was not easy, I struggled with the controls, I had no idea what the Homestead was about and what was its ultimate objective, naval controls were a disaster(I could hardly manouver the ship) and I achieved the first set of optional objectives by pure luck.

In poor words, I hated it.

But as I had no other new Assassin's Creed to play, I gave it a second chance, then a third, then a fourth but after Sequence 6, I completely gave up.

Now I don't know if the version available in the Assassin's Creed: Anthology is any different from the version I first owned but having completed the game and achieved 100% sync (well almost, I still have some feathers to collect), I can say that the experience this time around was not even close to that of two years ago.

To start with, I love Connor, I love his no nonsense attitude and the fact that he's on a mission and that's all he cares about. Yes, maybe sometimes he should have used his brain more, but considering what he went through as a child I can understand why sometimes he's driven by anger and hate.

It comes natural to ask what happened in these last few years to go from such a strong character who doesn't give a damn about the bells and whistles to a 20-year old writing a diary about her first love.

And it makes me smile to read comments such as "he's not human" - these comments clearly come from those who didn't complete the Homestead missions where we can clearly see that Connor can be very human.

I also liked the design of certain side missions such as the liberation missions which open very interesting conversations with the district contacts. One of them turns out to be the child who saw the assassination of a member of the Assassin Order by Haytham Kenway at the Theatre Royal. In another one of these conversations we understand why Connor is never seen with a woman. I was thinking that it would have been cool had we played one of them in one of the future games. I found the Deborah Carter character pretty interesting for example.

On a similar note, recruits make sense. In one liberation mission where I had to prevent an execution, I called my recruit, I started running towards the guards, the recruit used a smoke bomb and I killed four-five guards in a blink of an eye, thanks to the solution adopted by my recruit.

This game also confirmed that sometimes I find more interesting the smaller missions. I was very much intrigued and connected to Warren and Prudence and the story of their baby.

And the homestead, it does feel like a family, the conversations(like the one between Ellen and Prudence), the connection between the members, the last goodbye to Achilles, it was all brilliantly made. This is a community that starts growing from the early stages of the game, until it's one big family giving their last farewall to the man who made it possible. I didn't feel this human aspect in games like Unity or Syndicate, not on this scale, at least.

And then there's the modern day. In a way AC3 shows why a playable modern-day character with his very own missions would be extremely difficult to pull off. And that's because of guns. When after Sequence 10 Desmond goes for Vidic he is blocked by four guards who, guess what, carry no guns. And the guards with guns you get to meet later on, strangely enough, inflict no damage. Having said that, I miss the modern day, I miss the link between whatever the assassin is after and how this is being sought after also by the modern characters.

Some other considerations:

1. The Fort Walcott mission, AC at its best. Do not get detected, great parkour and plenty of fun. It reminded me of the good old days of the Ezio tomb missions and also the epic Lisbon mission in Rogue. Actually, the whole Captain Kidd treasure missions were awesome.

2. The Naval missions. Amazing. Yes, I admit it, I raise my hand and apologise, I was one of the many who criticised Black Flag for "not being a true Assassin's Creed" game and I remember struggling with the ship controls the first time I played AC3. But this time, maybe remembering the good old days of Rogue, I had little or no issues at all to control the ship and I loved the naval battles. At this stage I can't wait to replay BF!

3. Only a few times I became frustrated with the parkour, maybe a record for an AC game and when I was completing tasks to achieve the 100% sync I was still enjoying the game.

4. An eye for detail. I followed a man who was going in the Homestead's church, he opened the door and kept it open for me, politely gesturing with his hand to make me go in first.

5. Optional objectives - Not as shocking as in other games, I only struggled with one where you have to air assassinate a grenadier, I had to attempt it 20 times.

Two funny moments in the game:

1. I was doing one of the hunting missions when I spot two guards and run towards them to double assassinate them. As I was about to struck, a bobcat jumped and kill the one on the left as I was killing the one on the right. Talk about team work :)

2. Exactly after completing the Pig Herder mission, a wolf was approaching the area and when the cinematic began, the wolf attacked. I could do nothing, Connor had a very funny expression on his face and I was disynchronised. Luckily the mission was still a success.

To conclude, I loved AC3, the game is epic, I lost count of all the things one can do in the game and they are all different. Hunting, naval battles, homestead missions, collectibles, treasure hunting, forts, assassination contracts, courier missions, etc. etc. etc.

The best way to describe what I feel about the game is that had they decided not to take a break and released this one in 2016, I would have been delighted and satisfied with the product. Is it because I'm easily pleased? Maybe. It could be that having played it after Syndicate which felt more like a Marvel comic product rather than an AC game made me appreciate this one more.

Or most likely it's because I'm a fan of the motto "never change a winning team" and this game ticked many of the boxes I expect from an AC3 product.

PS: Yesterday I started the Tyranny DLC, I'm not taking it "that" seriously considering I can become invisible and pull wolves out of thin air. But I'm enjoying the fun factor, I can't wait to put on wings and fly :D

cawatrooper9
08-25-2016, 02:06 PM
Glad you liked it. ACIII quickly won me over when it came out, and it wasn't until over a year later that I started discovering how much interesting "side content" was in the game (The Peg Leg missions, the district contacts, etc.)

I used to be a very storyline-and-done type of gamer, so it's a wonder that I ever liked ACIII at all.

SixKeys
08-25-2016, 02:11 PM
I sometimes have to wonder if I play games differently than most people. So many people apparently missed the Homestead missions and their opinion about the game changed after playing those at a much later date. Do other people just rush through the main plot and ignore side missions? I always feel compelled to see and do absolutely everything before finishing the main story. So I played the Homestead missions (and liberation missions and whatever else) before completing the story and they did nothing but strengthen my negative opinion of the game. The naval missions and some of the Peg Leg missions were probably the best side quests in the game, but even there the quality fluctuated wildly.

Basically I'm wondering if it's the age difference or different playstyles that cause so many people to revise their initial opinion of AC3 whereas I only seem to hate it more and more as time goes on.

MikeFNY
08-25-2016, 02:49 PM
Glad you liked it. ACIII quickly won me over when it came out, and it wasn't until over a year later that I started discovering how much interesting "side content" was in the game (The Peg Leg missions, the district contacts, etc.)

I used to be a very storyline-and-done type of gamer, so it's a wonder that I ever liked ACIII at all.

Yes, you were spot on in the other thread about the general opinion on this game and I agree, the side missions were not boring or repetitive, they were fun.


I only seem to hate it more and more as time goes on.

But why? :)

I mean you probably explained it in an old thread but if you could summarise it a little ...

BananaBlighter
08-25-2016, 04:24 PM
I don't know how I feel about AC3. I think the main positive for me is that I really liked Connor and his story in general, and I would never say he doesn't feel human. I also don't understand why the parkour gets so much hate. It was significantly more fluid than the previous games, with far superior animations to any other. And in terms of control, I don't really find any problem. Of course there's no denying the previous games required more precision, but due to the more complex building structure and layout, the old system in AC3's world would have worked horrendously. More than any game after it I feel as if the game knows where I'm trying to go.

On the other hand, the homestead missions you praise just didn't really move me. Like, some of the stories were interesting as you put it (Warren and Prudence and their baby), but I had to force myself to have any real connection with the characters. It's not like The Last of Us which I played recently, where every character, minor on not, felt totally human. And you talk about how there was so much to do, but most of the activities felt so random. Like hunting was almost that thing I would default to when I was bored of everything else. And the thing is, it wasn't fun, but almost like a drug I just stayed in the frontier for ages killing random deer because I felt I had to. Running around cities wasn't fun either because you were constantly worrying about guards on rooftops. And if they did detect me, I would end up with half the city chasing before I knew it thanks to the broken notoriety system.

I think the main problem I had though was that I felt the stealth was broken and restricting. It seemed as if most of the forts had only one path you could take if you wanted to remain undetected. My memories of stealth gameplay were running around in bushes shooting people with the bow. I never felt that there was a clever solution to certain problems, and the detection sometimes felt unfair. People complained about Unity's stealth, but I absolutely loved it, it's in this game where I'm feeling let down, as stealth is really what entertains me during missions.

To be fair though, things I've criticised here like the stealth and the notoriety system, I have to give credit to for being realistic, something I value in games a lot. But sometimes by being realistic you take away that fun of freedom, a feeling which is barely existent in today's society and hence a reason I am so attached to these games. I'm not saying I want easy games, that doesn't necessarily give a sense of freedom either. I like to be challenged, it's why I appreciated Unity so much and was disappointed with Syndicate. But you only get a sense of reward after a challenge when you feel that you found your own solution. If the game only presents one path I feel like I'm in a GCSE maths test, giving answers to questions using formulae we'd been forced to memorise, unlike in the Maths Olympiad where I feel like I'm solving new problems where the way to do the question isn't apparently obvious.

MikeFNY
08-25-2016, 04:40 PM
Some very valid points there, Banana.

I totally agree with your analysis of the stealth in the game, I also felt restricted, especially in the Forts, I ended up attacking them by making use of the recruits and also through combat, despite adopting a stealth approach the very first time I encountered one.

On a personal level, I always go stealth so it was refreshing after so much stealth to opt for combat but I do agree with you about rooftops, this will go down as the AC game in which I spent less time on rooftops, and it's not nice, absolutely.

Hunting, well, I thought it was going to be frustrating but in all fairness I have no complaints on that one, I was just patient and spent only a few minutes a day on those side missions where I had to kill and skin animals.

cawatrooper9
08-25-2016, 04:56 PM
Yeah, rooftops were an interesting issue. In the past games, rooftops were usually flat, but had plenty of places to hide. You'd think the angular structure of these roofs would offer even more hiding places, but it was extremely easy to get detected.

In Unity, the only problem I had with stealth were the snipers on rooftops, too. So, honestly, I think they're pretty similar issues. They were far less common in ACU, though. I like the approach that Amancio had to rooftops, that they should be "the domain of the Assassins", or something along those lines.

Sickboy7979
08-25-2016, 05:18 PM
I loved ACIII as well. It's definitely towards the top of my list of all the AC games. I liked everything about it. Characters, story, setting, etc.

BananaBlighter
08-25-2016, 05:33 PM
I think it depends how you play the game. Like if you balance the content and slowly play through it you won't feel so worn out as I did.

When I came to AC3 I had only just finished BF, so I was really confused by the naval controls and just left it (it took me forever to figure out how to switch weapons, maybe if I had more common sense I would've realised it was just as on land) until I had done nothing else. The standout side content for me was the missions you unlock with the trinkets, but I never clicked on those missions either until right at the end because the icon made it look like another naval mission.

I spent a lot of time running around cities and the frontier, looking for stuff to do, but I would keep getting detected by guards or distracting myself with them as I ran around, resulting in too many long fights that just left me burned out and wanting to switch game.

The homestead missions were ok, but playing too many in one go just got boring because the gameplay in them wasn't very fun, and the stories alone weren't engaging enough for me. However in this case, even playing them with too many breaks left me forgetting what happened last time as I just never was that interested in the majority of the stories.

I wouldn't say I hate AC3, I certainly appreciate a lot of things it did, but just the overall experience wasn't very engaging for me. It wasn't like with other games in the franchise where 'I couldn't put the book down'.



I have to say that the opinions I have on the games are largely affected by the order I played them in.

I played ACB and ACR before AC1 or 2, so I was very confused especially with the Altair segments. Just like you said with AC3, I had many difficulties adjusting to the controls, especially the combat (I completed all of ACR without realising you can enter and escape combat by pressing the left trigger), though it was only made worse by the fact that you were expected to have played previous games and hence not all the mechanics were explained (not that I always pay attention to tutorials though). It's only when I came back to ACB that I really enjoyed it properly.

With AC1, I was very intrigued by the combat system as it so different to the others I had played, and that alone meant I didn't get bored the way I did with AC3 if I kept getting into fights on the streets. Those fights created space between missions so that I didn't feel like I was burnt out by their repetitive nature, but when I did come back, unlike with the homestead missions, the story was interesting enough for me to feel like I knew what was going on.

AC4 is my favourite game, but sometimes I wonder if that's because back then I was new to AC, and the nostalgia is clouding my judgement.

For this reason I don't like putting the games into rankings because compared to eachother, my views on them are very much affected by the order they were played in. I also think that when I try to evaluate them more objectively, based on individual elements, rather than how much fun I remember having at the time, I end up regurgitating a lot of the stuff that I read on these forums (for example) and which have influenced me to think a certain way.

Sigma 1313
08-25-2016, 06:02 PM
I've been playing through the series and am currently on Rogue. I have to say, AC3 was just as bad as I remember. I still dislike Connor, I hate how linear the first 6 sequences are, and how it very quickly just takes control back. I never feel like I'm playing an open world game when I play AC3. It is still my least favorite game in the series. That said, The game is still pretty solid, and I love playing through the series, especially AC3's Modern Day.

MikeFNY
08-25-2016, 06:31 PM
I have to say that the opinions I have on the games are largely affected by the order I played them in..
Absolutely, 100% agreed.

Actually, for me it's all about "when" you play it rather than the order.

I played ACIII immediately after the first and the Ezio trilogy so it had to be something special to make me forget AC2 and Brotherhood.

Now I played when the series is taking a year off so I knew I could be patient as there is "new" game waiting around the corner.

But in a way, not enjoying ACIII straight away was a blessing in disguise. I went back to Revelations to complete optional objectives and realised how amazing it was, reason why, still today, I consider Revelations my 2nd favourite ever in the series.

The only game which keeps going down the list is Syndicate. Never liked them but I always thought Evie's invisibility and the rope launcher where two 100% new features of the series. Now I just found out that both are in the Tyranny of King Washington DLC, albeit slightly different, but the mechanics are identical.

See, this is another reason why I enjoyed ACIII - it included some features like the Homestead which I would like to see in future games and it also has some features like corner assassination, hide in tall grass and whistling which in all honesty I thought were introduced in later games.

ze_topazio
08-25-2016, 07:16 PM
While my opinion of Revelations improved a bit after replaying it, the same didn't happen for AC3, I played the game three times and my opinion of it didn't improve at all, it didn't got worse, but it didn't got any better either.

shamano79
08-25-2016, 08:32 PM
AC3 was a beautiful experiment :)

SixKeys
08-25-2016, 09:35 PM
But why? :)

I mean you probably explained it in an old thread but if you could summarise it a little ...

To start with, modern day:

-They messed up the end of the Desmond saga. I know that it was ACB and ACR that unnecessarily stretched the story and set up expectations which would be impossible to meet, but AC3 settled arguably the biggest mystery (Lucy's death) with a handwave after fans had been waiting for a proper explanation for over two years. They gave us Daniel Cross who was a badass in the comics but a massive letdown in the game. Vidic's death was robbed from us by having it happen in a cut scene, by a random security guard shooting him instead of Desmond having a proper white room moment with him. Minerva's plan made no sense the way AC3 presented it: we're to believe she saw a possible future that would happen in 2012 (out of hundreds of timelines), went to the trouble of sending messages to Desmond hundreds of years in advance (through Ezio) so he could change that future, but she didn't know about Juno or intervene with her plan until the very last moment when she suddenly shows up before Desmond, without having prepared an argument she knew would convince him (which she would, because she can see the future), and flails around a bit uselessly before going "poof" forever? We're to believe someone so powerful and wise would not prepare for the possibility that Desmond might refuse her plan in the end? Desmond's death was anticlimactic and didn't feel like there was proper build-up towards it. This is a character many of us had been following since 2007, who we had been led to believe was destined to become an assassin even more badass than Altaïr and Ezio combined, and in the end he simply places his hand on a ball, sizzles for a bit and drops dead.

As for the historical parts:

-The game ****ed up things that I didn't know would be possible to **** up. Things the series had done fine in all the entries that came before. Basic things. The first time I walked up to a quest giver standing in the middle of a street and he simply said "thank you" and walked away, I thought my game was glitched. No cut scene, no explanation of what I had to do. It wasn't until later that I realized a note had been added to the database, a note with nothing more than a list of things I was to craft for this man. Wait, what? Who is this guy? Why does he want me to do this? Why should I? We were like two drug dealers in a movie: random strangers who meet in the middle of the street, nod at each other meaningfully and pass notes. All the previous games knew how to handle side missions. How do you mess up something you've always known how to do before?
While we're at it, for someone who is supposedly torn by his mixed heritage, Connor sure does run into an awful lot of people who have no problem dealing with a native. These random note-passing strangers sure are generous to just assume that the big Indian warrior they just handed their shopping list to is dedicated enough to actually do these things for them. How about giving us some believable interactions where a stranger at first appears reluctant to trust Connor because of his race, but in the end has to admit he was wrong?

-The linearity is unbelievable in some places. Farlander wrote about sequence 8 in his blog that sums it up rather nicely. We're whisked away to New York - finally, a new city after being stuck in Boston and the Frontier all this time! - and we're literally prevented from exploring it until Connor's imprisonment is all over. After his imprisonment IS over - at last, NOW I can start exploring New York - the game automatically whisks us away from the city and back to Boston. Sure, you can fast-travel to NY again in your own time, but when you're first introduced to it, you don't get to explore it for an entire sequence. Not even a little bit.
Then there's stuff like entire missions being comprised of "walk from cut scene A to cut scene B". The most ridiculous example I remember is when Connor and Haytham are trying to break into a warehouse and they get into a discussion about Ziio. Entering the warehouse is a cut scene. Then you literally walk 10 steps to Haytham opening a door and another cut scene plays. Why? Just why? Why even give the player control for those ten steps? Either make it all one long cut scene or give the player some agency during the discussion. They were so focused on making AC3 like a movie they forgot it was a game.

-The Homestead missions had some of the most awkward voice-acting in the entire series and cut scenes that use stock NPC animations. So you end up with unintentional hilarity like Warren getting emotional over his newborn baby whilst the character scratches his *** or examines the bottom of his shoe.
You have missions like Norris' wedding, where you have to chase down Myriam while she talks about how she doesn't want to feel trapped in a marriage. You chase her down and the scene just.....ends. One minute you're in the trees, the next you're walking her down the isle. What happened in between? How did Connor manage to talk her into it? What did he say that changed her mind? We don't know. All we know is we chased a poor, frightened woman across the forest, and suddenly we're back in the church and she's completely fine. Add to this that it's possible to catch up to her before the conversation they have is even over (like what happened to me the first time), so you end up with Myriam going "I just don't want to---", the chase ends, and now she's a happy bride.

-The Frontiersmen missions had a cool concept, but again, only one of them (the "Bigfoot") ended up with any sort of resolution. Most of them had you walking around looking for clues, and you had to go into the database to find out what Connor's conclusion was. You simply find the final piece of the puzzle and get "mission completed". Wait, I did? What did I find out? What exactly am I looking at here? I found the Headless Horseman who simply runs away and that's the end of the mission. No reaction from Connor. I guess he sees Headless Horsemen every day. He sees a guy without a head, just stands there without comment, then goes on with his life like nothing happened. Mission completed.


Past games hadn't been perfect by any means, but most of them avoided such glaring design mistakes. The Ezio games always gave you some context for a mission, and missions were actually resolved instead of just....ended. You never ended up confused whether your game was glitched out or if the devs really, actually made the mission this awkward on purpose.

The best side missions were ones that DID manage to get the "self-contained story" aspect right. "The Mad Doctor's Castle" is a wonderfully atmospheric tomb level. When Connor searches for clues, they actually tell us, the audience, something. They show in a cut scene how Connor deduces the angle from which a bullet was fired, for example. We get the sense that this place has a real history and Connor is doing some actual detective work. In the end the story is resolved when we have found all the clues and the picture is complete. We know what happened at the castle. We have resolution.
The mission on the arctic ship is another decent one. It's much more simplistic, but at least Connor has some inner monologue at the end that tells us he found what he came for, and how he feels about the situation. We get resolution when he recaps what he believes happened on the ship, and hear sympathy in his voice when he says he hopes the captain didn't suffer too much.

I've already "summarized" ( :p ) long enough, so I won't even get started on the parkour, which I still think is the worst in the entire series, enemy AI, the inconsistency of Connor's characterization, the persistent, gamebreaking glitches, the godd@mn underground, the pointless and underutilized mechanics (like assassin recruits or starting riots) and the long list of instances of disconnect between story and gameplay. Again, the thing that frustrates me the most is how basic some of the design mistakes are, and how it baffles me that the game could fail at things that the series had always done fine before. It's like watching a grown person forget how to ride a bike.

Sigma 1313
08-26-2016, 03:44 AM
To start with, modern day:

-They messed up the end of the Desmond saga. I know that it was ACB and ACR that unnecessarily stretched the story and set up expectations which would be impossible to meet, but AC3 settled arguably the biggest mystery (Lucy's death) with a handwave after fans had been waiting for a proper explanation for over two years. They gave us Daniel Cross who was a badass in the comics but a massive letdown in the game. Vidic's death was robbed from us by having it happen in a cut scene, by a random security guard shooting him instead of Desmond having a proper white room moment with him. Minerva's plan made no sense the way AC3 presented it: we're to believe she saw a possible future that would happen in 2012 (out of hundreds of timelines), went to the trouble of sending messages to Desmond hundreds of years in advance (through Ezio) so he could change that future, but she didn't know about Juno or intervene with her plan until the very last moment when she suddenly shows up before Desmond, without having prepared an argument she knew would convince him (which she would, because she can see the future), and flails around a bit uselessly before going "poof" forever? We're to believe someone so powerful and wise would not prepare for the possibility that Desmond might refuse her plan in the end? Desmond's death was anticlimactic and didn't feel like there was proper build-up towards it. This is a character many of us had been following since 2007, who we had been led to believe was destined to become an assassin even more badass than Altaïr and Ezio combined, and in the end he simply places his hand on a ball, sizzles for a bit and drops dead.

As for the historical parts:

-The game ****ed up things that I didn't know would be possible to **** up. Things the series had done fine in all the entries that came before. Basic things. The first time I walked up to a quest giver standing in the middle of a street and he simply said "thank you" and walked away, I thought my game was glitched. No cut scene, no explanation of what I had to do. It wasn't until later that I realized a note had been added to the database, a note with nothing more than a list of things I was to craft for this man. Wait, what? Who is this guy? Why does he want me to do this? Why should I? We were like two drug dealers in a movie: random strangers who meet in the middle of the street, nod at each other meaningfully and pass notes. All the previous games knew how to handle side missions. How do you mess up something you've always known how to do before?
While we're at it, for someone who is supposedly torn by his mixed heritage, Connor sure does run into an awful lot of people who have no problem dealing with a native. These random note-passing strangers sure are generous to just assume that the big Indian warrior they just handed their shopping list to is dedicated enough to actually do these things for them. How about giving us some believable interactions where a stranger at first appears reluctant to trust Connor because of his race, but in the end has to admit he was wrong?

-The linearity is unbelievable in some places. Farlander wrote about sequence 8 in his blog that sums it up rather nicely. We're whisked away to New York - finally, a new city after being stuck in Boston and the Frontier all this time! - and we're literally prevented from exploring it until Connor's imprisonment is all over. After his imprisonment IS over - at last, NOW I can start exploring New York - the game automatically whisks us away from the city and back to Boston. Sure, you can fast-travel to NY again in your own time, but when you're first introduced to it, you don't get to explore it for an entire sequence. Not even a little bit.
Then there's stuff like entire missions being comprised of "walk from cut scene A to cut scene B". The most ridiculous example I remember is when Connor and Haytham are trying to break into a warehouse and they get into a discussion about Ziio. Entering the warehouse is a cut scene. Then you literally walk 10 steps to Haytham opening a door and another cut scene plays. Why? Just why? Why even give the player control for those ten steps? Either make it all one long cut scene or give the player some agency during the discussion. They were so focused on making AC3 like a movie they forgot it was a game.

-The Homestead missions had some of the most awkward voice-acting in the entire series and cut scenes that use stock NPC animations. So you end up with unintentional hilarity like Warren getting emotional over his newborn baby whilst the character scratches his *** or examines the bottom of his shoe.
You have missions like Norris' wedding, where you have to chase down Myriam while she talks about how she doesn't want to feel trapped in a marriage. You chase her down and the scene just.....ends. One minute you're in the trees, the next you're walking her down the isle. What happened in between? How did Connor manage to talk her into it? What did he say that changed her mind? We don't know. All we know is we chased a poor, frightened woman across the forest, and suddenly we're back in the church and she's completely fine. Add to this that it's possible to catch up to her before the conversation they have is even over (like what happened to me the first time), so you end up with Myriam going "I just don't want to---", the chase ends, and now she's a happy bride.

-The Frontiersmen missions had a cool concept, but again, only one of them (the "Bigfoot") ended up with any sort of resolution. Most of them had you walking around looking for clues, and you had to go into the database to find out what Connor's conclusion was. You simply find the final piece of the puzzle and get "mission completed". Wait, I did? What did I find out? What exactly am I looking at here? I found the Headless Horseman who simply runs away and that's the end of the mission. No reaction from Connor. I guess he sees Headless Horsemen every day. He sees a guy without a head, just stands there without comment, then goes on with his life like nothing happened. Mission completed.


Past games hadn't been perfect by any means, but most of them avoided such glaring design mistakes. The Ezio games always gave you some context for a mission, and missions were actually resolved instead of just....ended. You never ended up confused whether your game was glitched out or if the devs really, actually made the mission this awkward on purpose.

The best side missions were ones that DID manage to get the "self-contained story" aspect right. "The Mad Doctor's Castle" is a wonderfully atmospheric tomb level. When Connor searches for clues, they actually tell us, the audience, something. They show in a cut scene how Connor deduces the angle from which a bullet was fired, for example. We get the sense that this place has a real history and Connor is doing some actual detective work. In the end the story is resolved when we have found all the clues and the picture is complete. We know what happened at the castle. We have resolution.
The mission on the arctic ship is another decent one. It's much more simplistic, but at least Connor has some inner monologue at the end that tells us he found what he came for, and how he feels about the situation. We get resolution when he recaps what he believes happened on the ship, and hear sympathy in his voice when he says he hopes the captain didn't suffer too much.

I've already "summarized" ( :p ) long enough, so I won't even get started on the parkour, which I still think is the worst in the entire series, enemy AI, the inconsistency of Connor's characterization, the persistent, gamebreaking glitches, the godd@mn underground, the pointless and underutilized mechanics (like assassin recruits or starting riots) and the long list of instances of disconnect between story and gameplay. Again, the thing that frustrates me the most is how basic some of the design mistakes are, and how it baffles me that the game could fail at things that the series had always done fine before. It's like watching a grown person forget how to ride a bike.

100% agree.

MikeFNY
08-26-2016, 08:32 AM
...
It seems that most of the points you raised are the result of asking questions such: "Why is this happening?", "How on earth is this possible?" and "What? But this doesn't make any sense!".

Fair enough.

I'm actually one who asks these questions on a regular basis.

Gang Upgrades in Syndicate for example, like the "Templar guns occasionally misfire" upgrade. I remember asking, "Who did it?" "Was it at night?" "Are the templars so stupid not to check their guns?" "Are the templars so stupid not to check all their guns when one of them misfires?"

Or, "Why is Henry Green, the leader of the Assassins in London and mentor to the twins suddenly relegated as a nobody after the arrival of the twins in the city? Shouldn't he know more about the city? Shouldn't HE be the one to lead?"

I'm using Syndicate as an example because my memory on that one is still fresh, I asked similar questions on other games as well, such as, "How on earth can Ezio, at his age, in Revelations, swim with all that armour and weaponary attached to him?"

And also the point you raised in another thread about chests, asking how on earth you're the only one who finds and opens these chests which are publicly available on balconies?

Ultimately I believe it's down to the individual's suspension of disbelief.

Yes, I did notice the missions where the civilian says "Thank you" and then nothing happens and by nothing happens, I mean it. One of the NY missions showed absolutely nothing in the map, I then read that I had to do something to have the game saved in order to have the assassination contract icons appear.

And I agree with you that there should be more depth and explanation with the people we meet but believe me, even if this particular side mission you mentioned took place as you expected, we would still end up asking questions such as, "Why would Connor, so full of hate and rage to get revenge for the death of his mother stop to collect wood?"

Same with the Myriam wedding side missions of course.

Which is ultimately why I always say that side missions should be 100% linked to the main story. If you want me to pick wood, ask me to do it to craft a weapon that I will need and that I cannot buy in a shop.

As for the modern day, I'm afraid it has been a mess for a long time and if I find it "cute" how you guys keep talking about it as if one day something special will happen.

I always looked at the modern day as the good guys fighting the bad guys for a cause, reliving memories in order to find artifacts needed for the cause. When "The Truth" was shown in AC2, I loved it, it added something extra to what was going on, but at one stage the plot was lost, with all the transmedia available at one stage.

I do agree with you and Sigma when you say the game didn't feel like an open world game but in all fairness it didn't bother me that much, probably because it was "different" from the other AC games in this department.

On your last points, as I said, I had little or no issues at all with parkour, but then again, maybe it's because I spent very little time on rooftops. The underground was nice, especially the parts where you had to solve a "puzzle" to get to the other side. I mean come on, we complain because some things are unexplained but here we get an explanation of how Connor managed to find that particular underground exit, we should be happy :)

I never started riots, maybe once. As for assassin recruits, I did use them, I actually explained the smoke bomb episode which was brilliant team work but I do admit that I only used their assassination attribute, the rest was just eye-candy.

Sorrosyss
08-26-2016, 07:52 PM
Eh, I've covered this before. But I was exactly the same. Hated AC3 first time through. I don't know whether I rushed through it or something, but I really didn't appreciate the game at launch. I suppose part of me was bitter at Desmond's end, despite how well it was produced. On reflection though in my second play through (years later) I enjoyed it so much more. I must have missed or bugged out some of the side content at launch as I found so much more to do the second time round. Arguably it has the most content of any of the franchise releases in my view. It's now my second favourite title. *nod* I even learned to like Connor! ;)

SixKeys
08-27-2016, 02:02 AM
It seems that most of the points you raised are the result of asking questions such: "Why is this happening?", "How on earth is this possible?" and "What? But this doesn't make any sense!".

Fair enough.

I'm actually one who asks these questions on a regular basis.

Gang Upgrades in Syndicate for example, like the "Templar guns occasionally misfire" upgrade. I remember asking, "Who did it?" "Was it at night?" "Are the templars so stupid not to check their guns?" "Are the templars so stupid not to check all their guns when one of them misfires?

Agreed. Most of the gang upgrades in Syndicate were not only unnecessary - they simply made an already easy game even easier - but nonsensical as well. It might have helped if instead of simply buying the upgrades, you would have had special missions that unlocked those, like a mission where Jacob/Evie sabotages a shipment of Templar weapons.



Yes, I did notice the missions where the civilian says "Thank you" and then nothing happens and by nothing happens, I mean it. One of the NY missions showed absolutely nothing in the map, I then read that I had to do something to have the game saved in order to have the assassination contract icons appear.

Oh God, don't remind me of the assassination contracts. Those were another element that had me sitting there slackjawed. In previous games we always had a little story to explain why we had to kill a certain target, and they had actual dialogue and different scenarios. AC3 had the same guy in every contract just walking in circles around a given location and we were given no explanation why he had to die. Was he a Templar? A corrupt businessman? Nothing. Given that Connor was supposed to be the most pacifist assassin yet, a person who only killed out of necessity, it seemed even weirder that he would just attack this random guy without any explanation to the player.



And I agree with you that there should be more depth and explanation with the people we meet but believe me, even if this particular side mission you mentioned took place as you expected, we would still end up asking questions such as, "Why would Connor, so full of hate and rage to get revenge for the death of his mother stop to collect wood?"

I know what you're getting at, but I don't have much of a problem with that. It really depends on the assassin how much sense side missions make. in Connor's case, it's not actually so strange that he would help out his fellow man simply out of kindness. He may have his anger issues, but he's also eager to make friends. For someone like Altaïr who lived only for the Order it would have made less sense, although even he would occasionally step in when he saw civilians harassed on the street. I can't see him chasing pigs or picking flowers, though. :p So there is a certain level of suspension of disbelief that can be expected, as long as you can justify it. It annoys me much more when there's no effort in the side missions, like in the ones I mentioned. Just walk up to a civilian, press a button, he walks away and that's supposed to be all you need. No, that's not enough. To use an old theater cliché, "what's my motivation here?".



Same with the Myriam wedding side missions of course.

Which is ultimately why I always say that side missions should be 100% linked to the main story. If you want me to pick wood, ask me to do it to craft a weapon that I will need and that I cannot buy in a shop.

I actually disagree with that. I agree that most side missions should be linked to the main story, but emotional satisfaction is more important to me than the reward. If the mission was well-crafted, made logical sense for the character and had a good payoff, I would still do it, even if it didn't give me any special reward. I brought up the Mad Doctor's Castle earlier. I think the reward you get at the end is a piece of the map leading to Captain Kidd's treasure. Not much of a reward in and of itself, and has nothing to do with the main story, but I love the mission regardless because it has such great atmosphere. It simply gives me enjoyment to go through such a nicely crafted mini-story. If all of AC3's side missions had that level of detail to them, I would be much less critical of the game.



As for the modern day, I'm afraid it has been a mess for a long time and if I find it "cute" how you guys keep talking about it as if one day something special will happen.

When it comes to the current state of MD, I agree, but in AC3's case it's worth keeping in mind that MD was still a big part of the series, not a mere afterthought. AC3 had an enormous task on its shoulders in that it was supposed to deliver satisfactory answers to all our questions since 2007. It could never have lived up to it completely, and I won't deny it made a good effort. The MD was still more engaging then than it has been ever since. It's just that the devs had been adding more and more plot threads and cliffhangers and AC3 was supposed to wrap up all of them. They overcomplicated the MD by throwing in Daniel Cross who was completely superfluous and deflated the rivalry between Desmond and Vidic, his real archnemesis. When Minerva showed up and they got into a deep discussion about the Eye and alternate realities and the unabridged history of the First Civilization, they just opened up a new can of worms when they hadn't even sealed the old one. They focused on the wrong things and overcomplicated what could have been a fairly straightforward conclusion to Desmond's story.



On your last points, as I said, I had little or no issues at all with parkour, but then again, maybe it's because I spent very little time on rooftops. The underground was nice, especially the parts where you had to solve a "puzzle" to get to the other side. I mean come on, we complain because some things are unexplained but here we get an explanation of how Connor managed to find that particular underground exit, we should be happy :)

The underground was such a boring, drab experience. The idea wasn't terrible, but just like with so many other aspects, the execution sucked. In some places it was possible to get stuck without your lantern if you entered through the "wrong" door, because some of the puzzles required you to place your lamp on the ground until you had lowered a bridge or operated an elevator. If you entered the tunnels from a direction the devs hadn't counted on, you had to lay down your lamp, cross a chasm, and be unable to retrieve it from the other side. Have fun trying to navigate in pitch blackness. Also, without your lantern you couldn't light the arrows on the ground. Eagle Vision was so dark in this game it didn't really help much, just gave you a headache.

Even excluding such instances (I hesitate to call it a "bug" because it's not a problem in the game's code, just poor planning), actual navigation puzzles were few and far in between. Most of the time you were simply walking around lighting up arrows on the ground, walking into a dead end, backtracking, rinse and repeat. An underground mission I actually enjoyed was in ACB where Ezio has to explore the catacombs. Creepy music, skulls everywhere, the occasional scripted event where a shadow runs past you to keep you on your toes. The tunnels in AC3 had no ambient music and there was no sense of buildup or mystery. Every tunnel looked the same and you had to slowly walk through them in utter silence. Just dreadful. I much prefer AC4's method of unlocking fast travel stations via viewpoints.

MikeFNY
08-27-2016, 09:10 AM
Agreed. Most of the gang upgrades in Syndicate were not only unnecessary - they simply made an already easy game even easier - but nonsensical as well. It might have helped if instead of simply buying the upgrades, you would have had special missions that unlocked those, like a mission where Jacob/Evie sabotages a shipment of Templar weapons.


We were given no explanation why he had to die. Was he a Templar? A corrupt businessman? Nothing. Given that Connor was supposed to be the most pacifist assassin yet, a person who only killed out of necessity, it seemed even weirder that he would just attack this random guy without any explanation to the player.


It annoys me much more when there's no effort in the side missions, like in the ones I mentioned. Just walk up to a civilian, press a button, he walks away and that's supposed to be all you need.

Exactly, I agree, ultimately it's all about providing some background on why we are supposed to do something and why something actually happened. AC has been lacking in this department.


I actually disagree with that. I agree that most side missions should be linked to the main story, but emotional satisfaction is more important to me than the reward. If the mission was well-crafted, made logical sense for the character and had a good payoff, I would still do it, even if it didn't give me any special reward. I brought up the Mad Doctor's Castle earlier. I think the reward you get at the end is a piece of the map leading to Captain Kidd's treasure. Not much of a reward in and of itself, and has nothing to do with the main story, but I love the mission regardless because it has such great atmosphere. It simply gives me enjoyment to go through such a nicely crafted mini-story. If all of AC3's side missions had that level of detail to them, I would be much less critical of the game.
Yes, some very valid points there.

My problem - on a personal level - is that when I see the words "side mission" or "side quest", at the same time I see a very big question mark because I struggle to understand how to tackle them.

I mean, do I just race through the main story, leaving them for last? But if I do, I may find the main story boring and not be so keen to move on to the side quests.

Or maybe(and this is what I actually do) do part of the main story, then some side quests and then back to the main story? But the risk is to forget what happened last in the main story since days might pass before I actually return to it.

Not to mention cases in the main story where for example you steal a horse carriage, the mission ends, maybe you do some side quests and when you get back to the main story two days later, the story resumes with someone urging you to get on the horse carriage to escape a group of guards. It comes natural to say, "Don't panic friend, they waited two days, they will surely wait two minutes more!" :)

See that's why I said have them linked to the main story but I see your point and incidentally that's what happened with me in AC3 where I ended up being more attached and interesed in the Homestead thing, a lonely place that suddenly started to fill up with people, working, chatting, going to church, playing games, drinking in a tavern ...

It's the Fallout 3 approach if you like, you're out of the vault and you have a main mission but at the same time 20-30 side quests that have very little or nothing to do with the main mission. The game ends and you may end up thinking more about that big talking tree in the forest rather than your father.

The only game where I felt satisfied in the end in respect to side missions was Red Dead Redemption. I had these pick flowers and kill animals side quests left and I did them with Jack and it made sense, especially since his father thought him how to hunt.

Maybe part of the problem is how I approach them and part, as you correctly say, is how they are designed.


When it comes to the current state of MD, I agree, but in AC3's case it's worth keeping in mind that MD was still a big part of the series, not a mere afterthought. AC3 had an enormous task on its shoulders in that it was supposed to deliver satisfactory answers to all our questions since 2007. It could never have lived up to it completely, and I won't deny it made a good effort. The MD was still more engaging then than it has been ever since. It's just that the devs had been adding more and more plot threads and cliffhangers and AC3 was supposed to wrap up all of them. They overcomplicated the MD by throwing in Daniel Cross who was completely superfluous and deflated the rivalry between Desmond and Vidic, his real archnemesis. When Minerva showed up and they got into a deep discussion about the Eye and alternate realities and the unabridged history of the First Civilization, they just opened up a new can of worms when they hadn't even sealed the old one. They focused on the wrong things and overcomplicated what could have been a fairly straightforward conclusion to Desmond's story.

True, which is ultimately why I say there is no way back unless they rewrite it completely.



The underground was such a boring, drab experience. The idea wasn't terrible, but just like with so many other aspects, the execution sucked. In some places it was possible to get stuck without your lantern if you entered through the "wrong" door, because some of the puzzles required you to place your lamp on the ground until you had lowered a bridge or operated an elevator. If you entered the tunnels from a direction the devs hadn't counted on, you had to lay down your lamp, cross a chasm, and be unable to retrieve it from the other side. Have fun trying to navigate in pitch blackness. Also, without your lantern you couldn't light the arrows on the ground. Eagle Vision was so dark in this game it didn't really help much, just gave you a headache.

That was fun actually, the laying down the lamp in order to retrieve back after you open the door. Incidentally I never used the arrows on the ground, I just kept popping up the map to understand where I could possibly go and in case of a dead end I just went back and tried another path. I do admit that I used maps found online though :)

LoyalACFan
08-27-2016, 05:10 PM
Ah, how I've missed these AC3 threads :cool:

I keep meaning to go back and play through it again, I mean REALLY play through it, testing everything I can think of to come up with a really solid, objective analysis, totally divorced from my hype and expectations from four years ago. And maybe one of these days, when I actually have 40 hours of free time I can drop on it, I will (so, never :p) But I've tried a couple of times to go back to it for a bit on a weekend or something, and I've lost interest every time. Because there's so much I like about it, but also a growing list of things that frustrate me.

I want to love Connor. His selfless and inherently pacifistic nature make him immediately endearing to me as proof that violent video game heroes don't have to be cliche macho-men dripping with charisma. But his inconsistently-written motives have him fluctuating between ruthless determination to kill Lee and a frustratingly naive loyalty to Washington, making for a player avatar whose impending downfall is apparent long before the ultimate betrayal is revealed.

I want to love Haytham. He exemplifies that manly-man stereotype I mentioned before, but as a guy out of his element in the new world, his suaveness was nicely counterbalanced by his frequent befuddlement with the unfamiliar customs and peoples of the new world. But the story cuts away from him just as it seems to pick up steam, and when he returns, he has inexplicably become a murderous tyrant in the interim with no justification whatsoever for the change.

I want to love the frontier. That opening scene of Sequence 5 where the vast, unspoiled wilderness of Diamond Basin appears before a young and orphaned Connor as he sets out on his own... it's one of my favorite scenes in the entire series. But a critical lack of engaging content and a fundamentally broken hunting loop leave it with very little appeal after the initial few hours of exploring.

I want to love naval. You've got to respect them for launching full-bore into a completely new style of gameplay that's actually incredible fun. But in a game that's already bloated with unnecessary features and plagued by unfinished or unpolished core mechanics, it's hard for me to get enthusiastic over something that robbed thousands of man-hours that could have been directed elsewhere to greater effect.

I want to love the homestead. I do love that they showed the Assassin at home, making friends, helping his neighbors, doing things that normal people do instead of just roaming around in an endless cycle of murder and mayhem. But the missions themselves were just so bland, so dull, and so lacking in detail and polish that the homestead loop felt more like a chore than a reprieve.

Everything I like about AC3 is marred by at least one major caveat. And beyond that, there's a heap of stuff I don't like. Assassination contracts, delivery/courier missions, all the collectibles, clubs, the enemy AI, linear mission design, shoehorned historical events, crafting and the bajillion pointless recipes that come with it, bugs, glitches, etc and more. Every time I try and talk about it, it feels like I'm being too harsh- I really don't hate the game, I do still like it- but at the same time all of the criticism feels fair to me. I feel like I could compile all of my thoughts about AC3 into a pretty bulky and definitive review if I replayed it and analyzed it on a mission-by-mission basis, but I just don't wanna.

Megas_Doux
08-27-2016, 05:49 PM
Oh AC III! Where do I begin here????

First and foremost with the fact that AC III had a big burden carry. You know, the largest one so far for any AC game to date and that it suffered for it. Expectations were HUGE and the feeling of epicness surrounded AC III was unheard of for every other title in the franchise before and after it.

But in the end, AC III was no different that the rest of AC games to date: a 7.5/10 game with the exception that the hype put it 10/10 expectations about it. Even then, with all its AC'ish , the core was weaker in some aspects in the likes of mission design and the structure of the cities.

About its positives, I did enjoy Connor and Haytham interactions, its combat and naval.





PD The whole AC'ish thing..I might write a thread about it.

MikeFNY
08-29-2016, 07:17 AM
I have just completed the Tyranny of King Washington DLC and it's amazing how much ACIII included stuff which I would love to see in future games.

The latest is the "Previously on ...". Earlier I complained how sometimes I completely forget what happened in the main story after completing side quests for a couple of days.

See, this would be great to have in the main game, where whenever you resume the main story you get a "Previously on" cinematic explaining what happened so far in the game :)

cawatrooper9
08-29-2016, 03:37 PM
I want to love Haytham. He exemplifies that manly-man stereotype I mentioned before, but as a guy out of his element in the new world, his suaveness was nicely counterbalanced by his frequent befuddlement with the unfamiliar customs and peoples of the new world. But the story cuts away from him just as it seems to pick up steam, and when he returns, he has inexplicably become a murderous tyrant in the interim with no justification whatsoever for the change.


I think this is yet another reason you should play the game again.

Haytham does becoming endearing during his gameplay, and you're right that the first time you see him he's basically ordering the Boston Massacre. But, remember, he was always a Templar- we just happened to see him at his more altruistic, while at Boston we see him through Connor's eyes- who, by the way, has been taught that Haytham is the Grandmaster of an evil order.

Later, when Connor gets to know Haytham, they don't always see eye to eye, but I think there is a bit of disillusionment on the extent of Haytham's "evil". Rather than being this all powerful villain, they begin to at least come to understand each other, and the fact that their goals do not necessarily align.




PD The whole AC'ish thing..I might write a thread about it.

Could be interesting. I think I know what you're talking about, that almost intangible quality that marks an Assassins Creed game, but it would be very interesting to see someone else try to put it into words.

Razrback16
08-31-2016, 04:00 PM
I've come around on AC3, but there are still a few things that are terrible with it.

I loved the combat system in the game, the graphics were fantastic, attention to detail of the world, and Desmond's missions were fun.
The bad side for me was the stealth system is just broken in that game. The way they did the 100% sync stuff was bad. They fixed a lot of that in Syndicate by just making them "challenges". Killing Desmond was pretty awful as they doomed the present day story through present (sounds like they're trying to fix that screwup in the next game). Connor just didn't have a personality. I didn't hate him, but there was just nothing to him - he was like a robot.

Overall after having played it probably 5 or 6 times, I Iike it overall. The combat system was the best out of all of the games, IMO and I love the world itself. Some stealth and present day story shortcomings hurt it for me. Also felt Connor's story itself was very very sad and depressing which also took away from my final outlook on it.

LoyalACFan
09-04-2016, 04:48 PM
I think this is yet another reason you should play the game again.

Haytham does becoming endearing during his gameplay, and you're right that the first time you see him he's basically ordering the Boston Massacre. But, remember, he was always a Templar- we just happened to see him at his more altruistic, while at Boston we see him through Connor's eyes- who, by the way, has been taught that Haytham is the Grandmaster of an evil order.

Later, when Connor gets to know Haytham, they don't always see eye to eye, but I think there is a bit of disillusionment on the extent of Haytham's "evil". Rather than being this all powerful villain, they begin to at least come to understand each other, and the fact that their goals do not necessarily align.

But it doesn't really matter what Connor has been taught, the facts are still the facts. Haytham DID order the Boston Massacre. It isn't really that he was unspeakably evil (the Boston Massacre wasn't really any more depraved than Ezio's manipulation of the crowds at the Arsenal gates or Derinkuyu) it's that he was so damn glib about it all. Torturing Church, executing informants with a smile on his face, using Ziio's death as a smug "I-told-you-so" to manipulate Connor against Washington, trying to kill his own son twice... What happened to the guy who was emotionally distraught after killing Miko? The guy who parted ways with Edward Braddock because he killed innocents at Bergen op Zoom? He turned into a sociopath all of a sudden, a completely different personality, and we saw nothing of that transition. Ziio just says "oh he kept doing Templar stuff so we broke up" and that's the last we hear of him for almost twenty years. If you jump into the transmedia, you could justify it by saying he was disillusioned by the betrayal of Reginald Birch, which makes sense, but it doesn't help the poor characterization in the game.

Edit- it just feels manipulative to me. Like they tried very hard in the script to keep him from doing anything off-putting when we thought he was an Assassin, but as soon as the curtain was pulled back he began behaving differently. There's no in-universe reason for Haytham's behavior to change at that point (he's just initiating some random scrub into the Order) but WE as the audience think differently of Templars, so all of a sudden he starts acting like a Templar.

Namikaze_17
09-06-2016, 03:55 AM
Great topic OP!

ACIII...now where to begin. Well, I'll start out by saying that I like the game, at least more than most anyway. The story itself was great, but some of the pacing in Haytham & Connor's introductions are just a chore. Like, what is the point of Haytham's voyage to America? It's honestly just filler and adds nothing to the overall plot. Mills? The coup? All that was handled in like what, a day? Two at the most? Pointless. ( the introduction scene is the best tho!) With Connor, there was just the gazillion tutorials just could've easily been set AFTER he got the Assassin gear. They're side missions anyway, so why not. Another jarring piece for me in the story is the lack of native input/interaction in the game. We're told a bunch about Connor's people- how much he cares about them and stopping their incoming doom- but where are they? Surely not that involved in the story hence why their sudden distrust towards Connor is a bit underdeveloped. Like instead of meeting every founding father and being in essentially "every" major event, why couldn't there have been some missions of Connor helping his tribe fend off invaders or something? With that said, we do get the OPTIONAL talks with Kanen'tó:kon during the course of the game or the William Johnston mission, but it all feels so bare bones in my opinion.

The frontier itself is pretty cool in concept (one of my favorite locations in AC) but it is utterly wasted potential with the lack of content, 'too peaceful' atmosphere, and the lack of life for most of it. I like the cities, but they also suffer from many of the same issues like the frontier, and that they like sorta same-y after awhile ( though I can kinda understand it since they're practically "siblings" compared to Forli & Venice, for example).

Let's see what else... Ah. The side missions. Well they're okay, but some are lacking in any form of context. What is Connor getting from mailing people, participating in fight challenges, or the frontiersmen stuff? At least with Captain Kidd it's for pirate booty or helping the Homestead folk to make the place grow or going on voyages to stop any Templar plots. It's hit-or-miss to put it bluntly.

That's all I can think of for now. I'll post more if I can think of anything else. Once again, nice thread! :)

EDIT: Oh, right. The positives.
• Naval
• The Combat
• Connor
• Colonial Setting
• Templars that make you question them
• Brilliant supporting characters ( Haytham, Achilles, Ziio, etc.)
• Soundtrack ( At least, not the overly bombastic ones)

Ureh
09-06-2016, 06:45 AM
Then there's stuff like entire missions being comprised of "walk from cut scene A to cut scene B". The most ridiculous example I remember is when Connor and Haytham are trying to break into a warehouse and they get into a discussion about Ziio. Entering the warehouse is a cut scene. Then you literally walk 10 steps to Haytham opening a door and another cut scene plays. Why? Just why? Why even give the player control for those ten steps? Either make it all one long cut scene or give the player some agency during the discussion. They were so focused on making AC3 like a movie they forgot it was a game.

I think there was a similar moment in the Ezio games. One that comes to mind is Ezio telling Rosa that they've made it to the thieves guild hideout, however she loses consciousness. That's the cutscene right? Then we pick her up, walk a few steps, and another cutscene plays out where we need to treat her wound. The weird thing about AC2's cutscene is that you can interact with it and produce two completely different dialogue and actions: Antonio will either compliment or criticize Ezio's ability to follow instructions, and if my memory serves Antonio will either let Ezio apply pressure to the wound or he'll grab the cloth and do it himself. In ACB, a cutscene shows Rodrigo being murdered by Cesare, then they give us control to climb to the other side which probably takes ~10 seconds, then another cutscene plays - after that it's a pretty linear chase to St. Pietro's. Probably not the best examples, I have a feeling there are more in the other games but memory is foggy.

About the cutscene-10-steps-cutscene, I'm guessing that was their attempt at trying to make gameplay and cutscenes more "seamless". I think it was Corey or Darby who said in an interview, their ultimate goal is to erase the lines between those things. So maybe they had to choose: either allow the player to control Connor and walk alongside Haytham for ~30 seconds while listening to the conversation or 10 steps then a cutscene (the latter means not worrying about the player suddenly stopping or falling behind Haytham, potentially missing or interrupting the dialogue or watching it happen in-game as both character models just stand still in the warehouse with their mouths opening and closing very artificially). It is quite jarring, but those 10 steps kinda sorta remind players that they are still in the game.



Gang Upgrades in Syndicate for example, like the "Templar guns occasionally misfire" upgrade. I remember asking, "Who did it?" "Was it at night?" "Are the templars so stupid not to check their guns?" "Are the templars so stupid not to check all their guns when one of them misfires?"

I'm just going to start off by saying I don't know a thing about 19th century firearms, not sure how reliable they were, how easy was it to sabotage them on a large scale. But for now let's use ACR's rifles as an example: they were able to sabotage hundreds, perhaps thousands of rifles without drawing any suspicion. The only thing that worked was the powder. Surely someone would've fired one of those things to make sure but nope. Same thing in ACS: the guns are malfunctioning but the powder still works. Something's wrong with the cylinder, bullets, poor maintenance or whatever, so *kaboom* the revolver misfires. Not sure if ACS confirms how many Blighters are in London, but considering that Henry said they eradicated/absorbed every single gang except for the Clinkers, and it's also said that the Blighters have a hold on nearly every person and every facet of London, we could assume that they number in the thousands - enough that the Police who probably also numbered in the thousands couldn't really do anything about it (and that's assuming they weren't dirty cops, some of them probably were). Now imagine trying to inspect and recall thousands of revolvers and hundreds of thousands of ammunition... is it even possible? At the end of the day, it's just a gameplay thing. Players that press Countershot/Dodge button before the enemies can (mis)fire means that they'll never see the explosion animation.

SixKeys
09-06-2016, 10:56 PM
I think there was a similar moment in the Ezio games. One that comes to mind is Ezio telling Rosa that they've made it to the thieves guild hideout, however she loses consciousness. That's the cutscene right? Then we pick her up, walk a few steps, and another cutscene plays out where we need to treat her wound. The weird thing about AC2's cutscene is that you can interact with it and produce two completely different dialogue and actions: Antonio will either compliment or criticize Ezio's ability to follow instructions, and if my memory serves Antonio will either let Ezio apply pressure to the wound or he'll grab the cloth and do it himself. In ACB, a cutscene shows Rodrigo being murdered by Cesare, then they give us control to climb to the other side which probably takes ~10 seconds, then another cutscene plays - after that it's a pretty linear chase to St. Pietro's. Probably not the best examples, I have a feeling there are more in the other games but memory is foggy.

I don't think I ever saw the version where Antonio criticizes Ezio, guess I always managed to press the button in time. I'm sure there are similar moments in all the games, but AC3 just went overboard with them. Almost the entire intro with Haytham on the ship is basically "walk to doctor, cut scene, walk onto deck, cut scene, talk to sailor, cut scene, walk to captain's quarters, cut scene, exit captain's quarters, cut scene, write in your diary, cut scene" etc.

In the ACB scene, it's still possible for the player to get killed in that short moment and you have some control which path to take to get to the window. I can't remember if there's forced detection at that part, but I remember at least trying to still sneak past the two rooftop guards at that point while the game probably expects you to just make a mad dash for it (got to hear Cesare scream about "Give me the Apple! It's mine, not yours!" for about 5 minutes :p ). So at least the player has some agency there.



About the cutscene-10-steps-cutscene, I'm guessing that was their attempt at trying to make gameplay and cutscenes more "seamless". I think it was Corey or Darby who said in an interview, their ultimate goal is to erase the lines between those things. So maybe they had to choose: either allow the player to control Connor and walk alongside Haytham for ~30 seconds while listening to the conversation or 10 steps then a cutscene (the latter means not worrying about the player suddenly stopping or falling behind Haytham, potentially missing or interrupting the dialogue or watching it happen in-game as both character models just stand still in the warehouse with their mouths opening and closing very artificially). It is quite jarring, but those 10 steps kinda sorta remind players that they are still in the game.

That may have been the intent, but it doesn't explain why other parts of the game DO make you follow a character closely while listening to a long conversation or risk desynchronization. When Haytham and Lee ride their horses through the Frontier on their way to the Bulldog, while Haytham and Ziio sit on a slow-moving cart as the AI does all the work, Connor riding through New York for the first time etc.

Ureh
09-07-2016, 03:40 AM
That may have been the intent, but it doesn't explain why other parts of the game DO make you follow a character closely while listening to a long conversation or risk desynchronization. When Haytham and Lee ride their horses through the Frontier on their way to the Bulldog, while Haytham and Ziio sit on a slow-moving cart as the AI does all the work, Connor riding through New York for the first time etc.

Glad you asked, I wish I knew. If I were to go on the snippets that I can remember and then take a guess:

1. I don't remember Haytham and Lee on horseback in the Frontier to meet Braddock. I remember them riding in the Frontier to find Ziio for the first time (winter) and believe Haytham and also rode with the other Templars in the summer before attacking the Braddock expedition (but Lee was already with Braddock). If you're referring to the first one I mentioned, I don't really remember Lee/Haytham speaking. If they did speak, they had the luxury of riding through a fair distance in the Frontier, so it'd make sense to give the players a little bit of control from point a to b. It's the Winterized Frontier - they'd be crazy to make that horseback moment solely into a cutscene. If you're talking about the summer scene just before they attack the Braddock expedition then that also has the leeway of the Frontier. However if my memory serves the horses will go on auto-pilot, so we're basically watching an in-game scene unfold for the next few seconds. Sure, we can adjust the horses during that time but what would be the point? As for the conversation that takes place between Haytham and the gang, I seem to remember it being about how Lee - who was not among them at the time - was going to rejoin Braddock's team. It just bridges the gap between cutscenes, once we dismount we only need to walk a few steps to trigger the next cutscene.

2. Haytham and Ziio cart sequence. Wasn't that almost a one-sided conversation? I think Ziio only said... maybe 3-5 words from start to finish. I don't think they had dedicated carriage/cart driving mechanics in AC3 so it makes sense that the cart would go on auto-pilot. While we're in the process of infiltrating the southgate fort, they game does let you press the "Call Recruit" button to assassinate the guards. If I remember correctly, we have to press the button otherwise it'll desync. So the conversation is one-sided and brief, the cart can't be controlled. Pretty much the only thing we can do is move the camera and press one button - the entire cart sequence lasted a 2-3 minutes - so they had to include some gameplay.

3. Connor riding through NY for the first time. This is kinda like the Tour of Venice or the Tour of Istanbul, they game should give you control for the first time you visit a city. When you got the intro sequence to a city there has to be some gameplay. I can't remember what happens if we were to stop the horse... do we desync? does Tallmadge wait for Connor? does the convo get interrupted or does it continue? When we enter a city for the first time and meet the "tour guide", how many of us are going to run off even if the game does let us right?

Here's what I think are the main differences between those moments and the one in the warehouse:
1. The warehouse is a single building, tight spaces. It's a closed off set-piece so it's not as open as the Frontier or NY. So there's not much they can fit in a hallway. Same could be said for the sequence on the Providence, I thought the "boredom" of the mission was pretty appropriate since voyages across the Atlantic were pretty unexciting back then.
2. That dialogue is between two of the playable characters, one of them explains why they left their village and so on. I think it's a pretty important moment, worthy of a cutscene. Out of all the conversations we mentioned, this is the one I can remember clearly.

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Every now and then I hear people complaining about cutscenes being too long so maybe they put those 10-steps in the warehouse served as a way to add "space" in between cutscenes. Kind of as a breather. It's not perfect, but I just think there are actual shortcomings that are worth pointing out rather than that part. Hopefully I understood your posts correctly, if I got anything wrong I will try to rectify it.

p.s. Sorry for the late reply.