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View Full Version : Assassin's Creed Mission Club #04 - Confession



BATISTABUS
08-26-2016, 05:06 AM
ACU Sequence 3 Memory 2

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/assassinscreed/images/5/5e/ACU_Confession_2.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/250?cb=20150629113525

http://assassinscreed.wikia.com/wiki/Confession

"And if all other plans fail, why not sacrifice yourself for the cause? Your life for his. Before Alta´r, that was the Levantine approach." - Pierre Bellec

So...this is awkward. It's been over two years since the last entry in the ACMC series, but we're back with an AC Unity mission! Special thanks to Ureh for prodding me into starting this up again. When we left off, my plan was to have #04 be a Connor mission, but (1) my XBOX360 doesn't work anymore, and (2) I figured it'd be interesting to try a more recent game. Before I get into the mission description, here's the new ACMC banner!

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb218/justinbatista12/smallacmc_zps343a506a.png

From now on, this will go at the top of the threads. Huge thanks to LaceWingedSaby (http://lacewingedsaby.deviantart.com/) for the commission. Anyway...

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"Confession" serves as Unity's introduction to the franchise's newly revitalized open-ended assassinations. After some tough love from Bellec, Arno is left to figure out ways to approach the seemingly impenetrable assassination in the form of optional objectives. The target: Charles Sivert; Templar and advisor to Grand Master Franšois de la Serre.

Objective: Assassinate Sivert
Challenges: Don't trigger any alarms, kill from hiding spots (2/2)

The ACMC isn't just about reviewing mission design, but it's also about reflecting on installments of the series after you may not have touched them for a while. How does your experience now compare to judgements that you had made back then? Does ACU still suffer from the lack of polish that it was universally scorned for? What impresses you about the game? What disappoints you? What do you think this game does better/worse than others? What do you think about the story aspects? Has your opinion on the accents changed?

This is a relatively quick mission with some straight options. The "correct" way to play this mission is to use the stolen keys to sneak in through the roof, and then assassinate Sivert from inside the confession booth. Try mixing it up. Are you able to find a way in without completing this optional objective? Do you have any difficulties attempting a more traditional assassination approach? Once you figure out what needs to be done, this mission is quick to complete, so try approaching it from different angles.

Here's a tldr checklist, along with a list of other things worth considering:

-How does this mission serve as an introduction to open-ended assassinations? Consider the aspect of teaching players, the way it is incorporated into the story, and the overall difficulty.
-Does this mission truly feel open-ended?
-How does the scale of Unity (1:1 scale, large crowds) factor into the mission?
-How do the stealth additions to Unity affect the experience?
-How do you feel about challenges/optional objectives?
-What gear do you feel inclined to use to complete this mission? Do you feel the need to use any at all?
-Did you run into any bugs?
-How do you feel about the game's atmosphere? How do you feel about the British accents?

Feel free to put any kind of spin on your approach you like! Consider all or none of what I've suggested. I encourage you to upload your playthrough or any relevant gameplay footage using next-gen sharing features.

How you break down and review the mission is up to you, but please include a detailed synopsis of your opinion. Please make sure to use plenty of paragraphs...walls of text are no fun to read. If you'd rather upload a vlog style video or a commentated playthrough, that's great! If you'd like to include a numerical score to rate the mission in addition to a review, that's fine too.


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Previous missions:
http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/762746-Assassin-s-Creed-Mission-Club-01-Outgunned-(AC-B)
http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/785261-Assassin-s-Creed-Mission-Club-02-Bearer-of-Mixed-Tidings-(AC-R)
http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/867647-Assassin-s-Creed-Mission-Club-03-Infiltrating-Southgate

BATISTABUS
08-26-2016, 06:12 AM
A Return to Form

Assassin's Creed Unity, better than any Assassin's Creed installment since the first, really nailed open-ended Assassinations. Rather than force you to complete repetitive tasks leading you to your target like in AC1, Unity sprinkles optional "Assassination Opportunities" throughout the map that will help you hit your target. Certain approaches are encouraged (and easier), but you always have the option to do things your way if you're persistent enough. Syndicate would build upon and improve this formula, resulting in what I see as the objectively best core gameplay engine for an AC game to date.

The conversation Arno has with Bellec is masterfully written as a subtle introduction to mechanics, an insight into their relationship, and a throwback to hardcore fans. I found myself in awe of just how amazingly it was woven together. The performances, the cinematography, the music...it all comes together as a perfect merger of storytelling and game design. While there are certainly menus and images telling you what to do, it's nothing that you haven't already learned from this short cinematic. I'll admit I wasn't a huge fan of the decision to go with English accents in ACU (I'm still not), I don't mind it here. There's something about Dan Jeannotte's performance that sounds inherently French to me (for me he IS Arno), and Mark Bonnar just nails ever note of Bellec's tone.

(Also, Bellec doesn't call Arno "Pisspot".)

Next Gen Scale

There's no better place to have the first major assassination of a game taking place in Paris than Notre-Dame. The details and crowds are quite impressive, even if the frame rate drops from time to time. Having the ability to recreate Paris at a 1:1 scale really does a lot to enhance the presentation, and along with it, the "Free-run Down" feature feels like a necessary addition. Without much practice, it just works and you find yourself doing it without thinking much about it. Due to the more sophisticated physics and traversal mechanics, I did perform some unintended movement errors (standing on things when I didn't mean to, running into walls when I wanted to run by them), and I feel like the stealth "stick" feature that lets you cling to barriers (X on PS4, A on XB1) creates issue for me more often than not. Still, I find the freerunning in this game beautiful to look at and extremely enjoyable to utilize. I dislike the continuous trend of AC games attempting to make climbing a building a faster and faster process (completely eliminating the process in Syndicate), but the improved scale of Unity makes climbing buildings feel like a feat again.

Getting In

I really love the implementation of optional objectives that can help your approach to an assassination. They are clearly visible and relatively straightforward, and accomplishing them inherently feels like a small reward. Moreover, they are optional, and you are still free to ignore them altogether.

For this mission, stealing the keys seems less optional than in other scenarios, especially at a point so early in the game.

The optional assassination in this one is fantastic. Your objective is simple; kill your target. However, if you wait around and listen long enough, you learn that Sivert will be meeting in the confession booth. If you don't wait and just run up and kill him...you don't! You don't lose any points, but you do lose valuable information.

Going in for the Kill

When I first completed this mission on my original playthrough, I took to the rafters, took out some guards, and assassinated Sivert from the ceiling. I didn't check my surroundings, I didn't look for an escape, I just ran in and did it. Based on the previous AC games, I thought I could get away with it...but I didn't. I got the kill, but was unable to escape before I was cut down. I really appreciated this. Yes, it's okay to make the assassination public like in the original games, but you better plan an escape route. On my next attempt, I took note of the lifts and utilized them to escape.

On this playthrough, I took advantage of the confession booth. I openly fought a few guards that were hanging around in front, but due to Unity's mechanics, I was unable to move their corpses. Fortunately for me, when Sivert came along he merely inspected the bodies and continued with his day. His bodyguard did not even sound the alarm. For these reasons, I would prefer AI react more realistically to finding dead comrades, and I prefer the ability to move dead bodies (as is the case in every game besides AC1 and ACU). Once I got the kill, the escape was easy enough.

Next, I tried to simply fight my way through the situation. I equipped minimal gear and a basic weapon, and despite my use of gear and medicine, I was overwhelmed and killed (I very much dislike consumable medicine in AC, but I won't go into that very much for this mission).

Finally, I attempted the Leeroy Jenkins approach. Here are my results.

https://youtu.be/iH_CgFO6qm4
So...I'll let this slide since it's an early mission, but that should not have worked out the way it did.

My typical stance on gear in AC games from AC2 onward is that there's way too much. I do not like "fat" in games, and the recent games are especially full of equipment you never need to use. In general, I feel that upgrades are an unsatisfying way to improve the strength of a player. In AC especially, I hate anything involving bombs and "berserk" weapons. Smoke bombs are a get-out-of-jail-free card, and berserk darts/bombs are a ridiculous and overpowered feature. For the sake of experimentation, I used smoke bombs while attempting a melee-only approach. Other than that, I did not feel the need to use anything other than my saber and hidden blade.

A New Coat of Paint for the White Room

Instead of having a dialogue between the assassin and their target in the White Room of the Animus, Unity has the player passively view a montage of the targets relevant memories before the pass. On one hand, I really like that they tried something new with this game. It gives the game a distinct flavor, and it's an interesting and subtle way to convey relevant information to the player. On the other hand...much of the murder plot - which is a significant part of Unity's story - was lost on me. It was too convoluted and did not interest me enough to care about understanding it. That's not to say there aren't still things to love about Unity's story, but this didn't do it for me.

In addition to no White Room conversations, the game altogether lacks a White Room loading sequence. I assume this was done for technical reasons over anything else, and I don't mind it too much, but I did miss this feature a bit. If this indeed was done to speed up loading times, it sure doesn't feel like it.

Concluding Thoughts

I did not play Unity until a year after it was released, and I think it's a real shame that all of the social and technical issues gave it such a bad reputation. The game has very solid core gameplay, an impressively beautiful world, and some great characters in Arno and Elise. From both a design, player-teaching, and storytelling perspective, I think this mission does a near perfect job in accomplishing its goals and providing an enjoyable experience. The things holding back this mission most are the games AI and technical limitations. While not a huge factor, I must also admit that hearing English accents does negatively impact the game's atmosphere.

Rugterwyper32
08-31-2016, 03:55 PM
Whoa, it lives. Will work on a proper post once I'm back home and set to replay it, but for now, I'll leave my first thoughts based on memories of it alone so I can compare it later with my thoughts on it now.
As far as I can remember, this is definitely one of the standouts in Unity. Notre-Dame has a fair amount of possible access points, your options on how to handle the target are pretty varied and the way optional objectives are included is actually pretty neat and what I'd like optional objectives in this series to be in general. As a mission, it just manages to work, and I do like that a lot. Unfortunately, the lack of some features (body moving, for one) and the AI not being an example of being particularly bright did feel like it affected it back then, but it felt relatively minor at that time. Let's see if it holds up when I replay it later.

Ureh
09-15-2016, 07:39 PM
There are two versions of this mission: Fresh start (a new save file, you haven't finished the mission yet). And Replay (you've completed some of the side missions to unlock the Allies who'll replace the Sans Culottes). The biggest difference is that the Dechesneau opportunity will play out differently (although I'm not sure if that's intentional).

On a Fresh start there are only police standing next to Dechesneau, so he's less likely to get pushed around by them. He gets to the priest without any delays.
https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8007/29076792563_d9ae5dbd29_b.jpg

But in a Replay, there are four allies who'll prompt Deschesneau to taunt them. The end result is that he'll eventually move on to meet the priest. But what happens in between is that he might get "stuck" if the police intervene and start pushing him against an obstacle/wall repeatedly (since he can't recover fast enough to create some distance from the police). Or he might just get delayed.
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8105/29075012384_841cfb62d1_b.jpg

After he meets the priest he is supposed to go on a loop around Notre Dame. He won't get delayed on a Fresh start since there are two red guys.
https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8074/29665969796_b3304ff746_b.jpg

But on a Replay, there are two allies. This is where his path will get interrupted, and potentially get killed because the police aren't close enough to stop him in time (at which point they'll fight him too). Sometimes he'll retreat and the allies/police will spare him, at which point he'll run around in circles in the cemetery. Occasionally he'll get killed - saving you the trouble - but it's unpredictable (one time the police even gunned him down when he had already surrendered).
https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8471/29590068332_970be14d07_b.jpg

If there aren't any allies to aggro him then he'll go on this loop which is reminiscent of the interrogation missions in AC1 (where we stalk some our targets into isolated areas). You can even run ahead of him, sit on a bench, then watch him walk past (although he doesn't get close enough for a bench kill).
https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8382/29620437221_dc08028b9f_b.jpg
https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8376/29075199724_c2f997fedd_b.jpg
https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8401/29076907023_698e97ed5d_b.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8418/29666034416_3891943f34_b.jpg
When you're tailing Dechesneau sometimes there'll be spontaneous npc interactions that form around Arno, providing a place to blend for 10-15 seconds before they disperse. Not very reliable but it's a nice little thing when it does happen.

https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8478/29666140206_a51c91219b_b.jpg
The supreme being door is probably the most mixed thing I thought about this mission (I think it only works during this mission?). The supreme being sigil, how it might be linked to the Baphomet, and the only quest line that is slightly related to this door is the Mlle Lenormond (the woman who claims to predict stuff). You can use it as entry and escape, but the former is kind of unsatisfying because there's no significant context to the door and there's only one way to reach it from below ground at the start of the mission. Compare this to another mission where Arno eavesdrops on the Templars: its underground route through the catacombs is longer, has guards patrolling it, and some guards will mention that pathway.

https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8488/29410865940_1b238f4860_b.jpg
Before you kill Sivert this door is closed.

But once he's dead, it opens. But as far as I can tell there's no indication that tells you when the door is opened, so you just have to go that way to find out. Maybe they could've included a message when you try to open the door from the outside: "it seems to be barred from within". Or maybe you can loot a key from Sivert or the priest npc (that glows in white).
https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8405/29076836573_68122d10c4_b.jpg

Every once in a while Sivert will stop by the altar in the back, which can be a good way to get him isolated and get a silent corner kill without alert anyone else. You can lure him to the back with firecrackers or money bomb (same goes for the brute) or you can maneuver yourself to the smaller side. If you don't unlock the unique kill, he'll come here alone but if you did unlock the opportunity then he'll usually bring at least guard with him.
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8869/29591018952_46a69e1aa7_b.jpg

We can jump through the front door without entering into conflict.

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

p.s. it's possible to drop the lift on Sivert which knocks him out.

Ureh
10-19-2016, 07:20 PM
Sorry about the double post. Had time to fire up my ps4 and decided to play a little ACU before resuming ACS. This was news to me and it put a big smile on my face: jumping past the door guards without detection/distractions. Game is fully patched, only the jump button was used. This method is a lot more reliable and efficient than the previous one. I also tried it in some other missions and it works for some of them but it just felt so right in Confession.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrDTjQD7nVE

cawatrooper9
10-19-2016, 08:56 PM
Wow, been a while since I've seen one of these!

Great mission to revamp this with, by the way, easily one of my favorite Assassinations in the series. I'll have to go through this myself when I get home.