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SixKeys
09-14-2016, 10:34 PM
You know how people often wish they could experience something they love for the first time all over again, as if it were new? That's what I feel like I've been doing this past week.

I've always played AC on PC. This year I got myself a PS3 to play some old favorites and also bought Brotherhood (mainly because I hoped the multiplayer was still a little more active than on PC). ACB is my favorite in the series, I've played it so many times before....and yet, it feels different enough that it's like I'm getting to experience it all over again for the first time.

For one, the PS3 version includes the Copernicus missions which are missing from the PC version. They're not great, by any means, but it's still ACB. It's like discovering a deleted chapter from your favorite book. Unearthing a new piece of the thing you already love. So that's literally new.

Secondly.....
The controls.


https://media.giphy.com/media/110MulZbhK86Oc/giphy.gif


My God, console peeps, I am so sorry you have to deal with these controls. I....I never realized how hard you had it. :(

I never understood why so many people complained about Ezio accidentally launching himself off from buildings. That's practically impossible, I thought. They must be new to the game, just too impatient or inexperienced to take the time to actually memorize the controls.

I now realize all those people must have been using controllers.

It's kind of amazing considering these games were developed with controllers in mind, but now, having properly sampled both.....Keyboard & mouse, my friends, let's never fight again. On a keyboard, such missteps are undeniably the player's fault, because it's simply impossible to press D and have the game treat it like you actually pressed A. With the controller, whenever I struggle with a side jump or wall eject prompt, I deliberately take my eyes off the TV and focus only on the L stick, just to make absolutely certain my finger is pressing to the side, not up or down. And sure enough, the game still acts like I'm pressing it wrong. When it does work, I have no idea what I did differently, so it's not simply a case of memorizing what you have to do. It's a brand new controller too, just got it last week, so no fault there.

In a way I'm happy to have tried both now, because every time I've dared to complain about how anything controls in AC, I get people telling me "it's much easier on a controller, trust me! Just get a controller! Your life will be rainbows and unicorns!". I've had nagging doubts occasionally if switching to a controller would be better. After all, these games were designed for them. "Everyone says KB+M control terribly. Maybe they're right. Maybe I have been making things harder for myself than they need to be."

But nope. These games control like a dream on PC. (The early ones, anyway.) Stuff that I never struggle with on a keyboard is proving cumbersome on a controller. Stuff that is really straightforward and easy, like chain kills, or shoving people while sprinting, or leaps of faith, or camera control. Stuff that I never understood how some people could have such trouble with, suddenly I understand.


Now, having said all that...

Being forced to adapt to a whole different control scheme in a game you can normally breeze through is a fascinating experience. That's what's making me feel like I'm discovering the game for the first time again. Especially when it comes to multiplayer. It's bringing back memories of when I played the game for the first time six years ago and everything felt alien and new. I consider myself pretty good, at least above average, at AC multiplayer. I've played it so much I could do it in my sleep.....provided I can do it with keyboard & mouse.
Suddenly, I'm a n00b again, on unfamiliar ground. My heart starts to race again - just like all those years ago - when I start to hear whispers because I'm not certain I'll be able to react in time. All the top players are names I don't recognize, who I've never played with before. I'm having to earn my way back to unlocking basic abilities like smoke bombs or the hidden gun. Meanwhile, I have to make do with the most basic of survival skills.

I'm a prestige 20-something in AC4 multiplayer on PC. On PS3, I'm a nobody. I'm not saying this to brag, I'm saying it's exhilarating because it means I have a whole new journey ahead of me to prove myself capable. Just like I once had to get used to the game using a keyboard, I'm now having to re-learn the game with entirely different controls. Like trying to mold clay while wearing oven mittens. You know how it's supposed to work, you're just having to do it in a non-optimal way. You also know you can learn it, given enough time, because you've done it before. The challenge is exciting.

That's what the whole game feels like. Seeing something very familiar through a different lens, like a half-remembered dream. You know where the story is going, but there are elements out of your control so you don't know how the journey will ultimately pan out. Even getting to do the achievements all over again is fun, with the game acting like I'm doing all this for the first time and rewarding me for it. "OMG congrats, you recruited one assassin! Don't you feel proud? Here, have a trophy!" Thanks...? :D

Aside from all that, it's just great being able to revisit the game again. No matter how many times I've played it, it still stirs the same feelings every time. The music, the combat, the voice-acting, Rome, modern day.....And when I'm done, I can't wait till I can replay it on the keyboard again, the way it should be. ;)

ze_topazio
09-14-2016, 10:41 PM
I have massive respect for anyone who can play action games with a keyboard and mouse, you people must be gifted, the next stage of human evolution.

Me, on the other hand, I can barely make the character move, much less doing complex stuff.

Controllers for life.

Yeah, I wish I could experience some games for the first time again.

Namikaze_17
09-15-2016, 12:50 AM
I recently went through a similar experience myself, only it was with AC1 on PC.

A friend of mine had gave it to me because they didn't know what it was. I was reluctant at first, having not played AC or anything on PC for that matter, but gave it a shot anyway because I was curious about "the grass on the other side", and the fact that I sometimes have nothing better to do with my time.
The controls were completely foreign to me, though, but I "somewhat" got the hang of it (all bend fingers aside) but I had it!

But all that changed when I had to assassinate Tamir, a time which I've never cringed so hardly at AC because trying to actively escape and maneuvering the controls at the same time became too much of a hassle for both my fingers & patience. Eventually I just quitted, hooked up my controller and called it a day. :p
So yeah, I don't know how PC people do it, but I commend you. Fortune favors your fingers.

Fatal-Feit
09-15-2016, 06:30 AM
Heh, being an all platform gamer, I often get that feeling a lot because I constantly shift between a console and PC copy with my games. It's even more exhilarating when you make the change from a console game to PC because of the enhanced graphics and controls, and sometimes mods that offers a completely new experience.

Your post especially reminded me of when I replayed DMC3, one of my favorite game of all time, on PC a while ago (about half to a whole year ago). I played the game on PS2 way back, then I played it on PS3 after they ported it, and then I replayed on PC after fans released a mod that allows you to change your style on the fly a la DMC4. The game has one of, if not the, most complex and rewarding combat system of all time, and the mod literally eliminated its only limitation, offering a completely new level of depth and mastery to it; more than quadrupling the sheer level of variety and combos you can pull off at any moment. Coupled with being able to use my Steam controller, which offers an infinite variety of custom button layouts and other binds that the standard DS2/DS3 and Scuf controllers didn't provide, this made me experience the heart and soul of the game through a completely fresh and innovative way. Every enemy and boss that I've beaten at least 100-1,000,000+ times each in the past felt like a completely new experience again.

Also, any oldie remembers Resident Evil 4 on GameCube? My first time playing the game was on PS2, so when I made the shift to GameCube, my head exploded. :p


You know how people often wish they could experience something they love for the first time all over again, as if it were new? That's what I feel like I've been doing this past week.

I've always played AC on PC. This year I got myself a PS3 to play some old favorites and also bought Brotherhood (mainly because I hoped the multiplayer was still a little more active than on PC). ACB is my favorite in the series, I've played it so many times before....and yet, it feels different enough that it's like I'm getting to experience it all over again for the first time.

For one, the PS3 version includes the Copernicus missions which are missing from the PC version. They're not great, by any means, but it's still ACB. It's like discovering a deleted chapter from your favorite book. Unearthing a new piece of the thing you already love. So that's literally new.

Secondly.....
The controls.


https://media.giphy.com/media/110MulZbhK86Oc/giphy.gif


My God, console peeps, I am so sorry you have to deal with these controls. I....I never realized how hard you had it. :(

I never understood why so many people complained about Ezio accidentally launching himself off from buildings. That's practically impossible, I thought. They must be new to the game, just too impatient or inexperienced to take the time to actually memorize the controls.

I now realize all those people must have been using controllers.

It's kind of amazing considering these games were developed with controllers in mind, but now, having properly sampled both.....Keyboard & mouse, my friends, let's never fight again. On a keyboard, such missteps are undeniably the player's fault, because it's simply impossible to press D and have the game treat it like you actually pressed A. With the controller, whenever I struggle with a side jump or wall eject prompt, I deliberately take my eyes off the TV and focus only on the L stick, just to make absolutely certain my finger is pressing to the side, not up or down. And sure enough, the game still acts like I'm pressing it wrong. When it does work, I have no idea what I did differently, so it's not simply a case of memorizing what you have to do. It's a brand new controller too, just got it last week, so no fault there.

In a way I'm happy to have tried both now, because every time I've dared to complain about how anything controls in AC, I get people telling me "it's much easier on a controller, trust me! Just get a controller! Your life will be rainbows and unicorns!". I've had nagging doubts occasionally if switching to a controller would be better. After all, these games were designed for them. "Everyone says KB+M control terribly. Maybe they're right. Maybe I have been making things harder for myself than they need to be."

But nope. These games control like a dream on PC. (The early ones, anyway.) Stuff that I never struggle with on a keyboard is proving cumbersome on a controller. Stuff that is really straightforward and easy, like chain kills, or shoving people while sprinting, or leaps of faith, or camera control. Stuff that I never understood how some people could have such trouble with, suddenly I understand.

You know, I used to be that person, that thought the controllers were the only way to play AC, but now I think that mouse and keyboard is the most optimal way of playing these games. You just don't get the same level of accuracy with a controller. Having spent countless of hours on these games with both, I can tell you the exact pros and cons of each choice, and when I think about it, the mouse and keyboard edges ahead these days mostly because the latest AC games focuses quite a bit on aiming now. I can't even play ACU with a controller anymore because nailing those tags on an analog is like trying to play darts with a moving board.

The only real benefit to a controller (excluding portability) is the full range of motion with movement. You're able to control the speed of your pacing better (such as jogging in AC3-RO, which M&K doesn't have) and it offers a bit more range with parkouring in the latest games, such as nailing certain diagonal jumps in ACU. It also makes movement with sailing and vehicles much more precise. However, it's not a game changer by any stretch, and in actuality, navigating with mouse and keyboard is better because you never sacrifice your camera movement to jump or anything, and that's especially important in MP and ACU/ACS' parkour. Also, for some strange reason, the Rope Launcher is incredibly more precise with mouse and keyboard; it gives you like a 3rd of the available options when you use a controller and the only way to bypass that is by aiming with your tool.

Anyway, the other benefits for mouse and keyboard, on the other hand, does offer a remarkable enhancement. Just to name a few: 1. Instantly select a weapon/tool without a weapon wheel or the sort. This is by far my favorite upgrade since you can change to a specific weapon/tool in an instant in ACIV and beyond and not have to deal with any delays. Super important in stealth and super handy for combos and executions in combat. 2. Instant access to menus via a press of a key in ACS. Very convenient and saves so much time when you're constantly progressing and upgrading.

Helforsite
09-15-2016, 12:31 PM
http://www.terminalinteractive.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/pcmr-1024x575.png

'Nuff said!

Sorrosyss
09-15-2016, 01:05 PM
ACB lovers unite. *high five* Still the best game.

It's a funny thing control schemes. I mean I've played a lot of MMORPG's with keyboard and mouse, but I just can't see myself being able to play AC on anything other than a controller. It's funny how you get used to things. Personally i'm leaning more towards consoles these days as most of my friends have switched to them too, but more power to everyone I guess.

I do miss the multiplayer though. I've mothballed my PS3 awhile back. Shame the remaster doesn't have it either. Oh well.

cawatrooper9
09-15-2016, 02:20 PM
To be honest, I've never really understood the arguments against AC's control schemes. Sure, Arno could be a little unwieldly sometimes, but Ezio? Parkour is an essential feature of the game- it's important to be able to pick up and figure out pretty quickly (which it is) but you needn't be able to master it right away. It might take some skill to do, but you know, it is a game.

And props to you, man. When I play games with WASD and mouse (which admittedly isn't all that frequently) I feel like I'm pretty much relegated to four vectors of mocement- forward, backward, right, left. I guess we just speak two different controller languages, so to say.

MikeFNY
09-15-2016, 02:46 PM
Of course the discussion would make sense if you couldn't use a keyboard and mouse combination with the PS3.

But I have just completed 76 hours of Far Cry 4 with a keyboard and mouse to achieve 100% :)

Having said that, it takes a while to get used to a controller, not days, but weeks, that was the reason why the only game I played on my PS3 for the first two years(using a keyboard and mouse) was a sports simulation game.

Ureh
09-15-2016, 07:54 PM
I recently went through a similar experience myself, only it was with AC1 on PC.

A friend of mine had gave it to me because they didn't know what it was. I was reluctant at first, having not played AC or anything on PC for that matter, but gave it a shot anyway because I was curious about "the grass on the other side", and the fact that I sometimes have nothing better to do with my time.
The controls were completely foreign to me, though, but I "somewhat" got the hang of it (all bend fingers aside) but I had it!

But all that changed when I had to assassinate Tamir, a time which I've never cringed so hardly at AC because trying to actively escape and maneuvering the controls at the same time became too much of a hassle for both my fingers & patience. Eventually I just quitted, hooked up my controller and called it a day. :p
So yeah, I don't know how PC people do it, but I commend you. Fortune favors your fingers.

Same here. AC1 is the only AC game I've played on the pc. Except the pc controls felt more accurate and responsive to me, especially when countering a flanker.

Namikaze_17
09-16-2016, 12:36 AM
Same here. AC1 is the only AC game I've played on the pc. Except the pc controls felt more accurate and responsive to me, especially when countering a flanker.

Yeah, the controls did feel a bit smoother in my time experimenting. I hardly experienced much trouble with the parkour or navigating around when trying to get away from guards or free-roaming in general.

Alta´r hardly flipped out or did some other unnecessary stuff that happens in the console version.

pacmanate
09-16-2016, 12:54 AM
Never had a problem on console.

You should learn how to not randomly leap off stuff, learn the controls, basically. The only mistakes made in free running are your own.

SixKeys
09-16-2016, 01:11 AM
I hope I didn't give anyone the impression that I was looking down on anyone who chooses (or has no option besides) the controller over KB&M. Whatever works best for you. :) It was just a moment of personal vindication for me, having spent years listening to the "get a controller and stop whining" people acted like complaints about controls are automatically invalid if you're using WASD. With games like AC Chronicles I'm almost inclined to agree. Chronicles China (haven't played the others but have heard the control scheme is still the same) was so clearly designed only with controllers in mind that getting through it with a keyboard was nearly impossible. To me it's a matter of principle, though. If your game has a PC version, it should be optimized for PC controls. Controller support is a nice extra, but it shouldn't be a requirement.

The biggest advantage the controller seems to have in AC is when the devs decide to put "cinematic" camera angles in tomb levels and such. Those were always a pain in the @ss on PC and I wish they didn't have them because it's so obviously a controller-oriented decision. Thankfully I don't think we've seen many of those since AC4.

One thing I found interesting is how intuitive the old puppeteer system was. The decision to map buttons to parts of the human body makes it so much easier to adapt when switching from keyboard to controller (and vice versa, probably). E used to be Eagle Vision, it's high up on the keyboard and high on the controller. It stands for the head, logical. Left Shift is the empty hand button, square on the controller. Both stand for the left hand, logical. Space bar is feet, or X on the controller. It's the lowest button on both keyboard and the controller. Again, logical. When trying to familiarize myself with all the new buttons, all I had to do was think "What's the button for feet? Oh yeah, lowest one, just like on PC".

Haven't played any other AC games on the console (yet), but I imagine that ever sine they got rid of the logical concept of the puppeteering system, it'll be less intuitive to remember what all the different buttons do. Even on PC the latest games can't seem to settle on a consistent control scheme. Ever since the beginning the default button for high profile has been right mouse button, but in Syndicate they changed it to Shift for god knows why.

But yeah. The precision you get with a mouse is by far the biggest advantage with the PC controls. I normally don't have much trouble with the machine gun mission in ACB, but it was so awkward trying to precision-aim with a controller. I can only imagine the same frustration with the rope launcher in Syndicate.


Never had a problem on console.

You should learn how to not randomly leap off stuff, learn the controls, basically. The only mistakes made in free running are your own.

Nope, trust me. I had my eyes fixated on the direction stick just to make absolutely sure I was pressing in the right direction. I was pressing right with 100% certainty, yet the game consistently acted like I was pressing down. When it did decide to work, it did so on a whim. I did nothing differently. The inconsistency is infuriating. In normal gameplay it's still tolerable, but trying to get gold medals in the VR Room challenges? Now I understand the concept of wanting to toss your controller across the room.

Namikaze_17
09-16-2016, 01:28 AM
I can only imagine the same frustration with the rope launcher in Syndicate.

The aiming is actually more precise if you use one of your tools instead of the camera itself. A bit slower, but precise nonetheless.

Just a tip. :)

SixKeys
09-16-2016, 01:30 AM
The aiming is actually more precise if you use one of your tools instead of the camera itself. A bit slower, but precise nonetheless.

Just a tip. :)

Well, the only other AC I own on console is AC4 (also because of multiplayer). I don't have a current-gen console, so I couldn't try Syndicate even if I wanted to. I suppose I could always hook up a controller to the PC just to test things, but KB+M is already good enough for me, so why bother?

Namikaze_17
09-16-2016, 01:36 AM
Well, the only other AC I own on console is AC4 (also because of multiplayer). I don't have a current-gen console, so I couldn't try Syndicate even if I wanted to. I suppose I could always hook up a controller to the PC just to test things, but KB+M is already good enough for me, so why bother?

(Roth Voice) "Why not? Why... not?"

Fatal-Feit
09-16-2016, 02:29 AM
I'm kind of indifferent to the problems (or accuracy to be more specific) the controllers have compared to mouse and keyboard with navigation. It's about as reliable, if not more, with a controller. I don't want to just blame your controller, but maybe really it's the DS3 fault. It's one of the worst and least reliable controller I've ever use in my life; I've broken more of those than I can count playing DMC. The analog stick is the worse part, too.

D.I.D.
09-21-2016, 02:34 PM
:D I think I was Chief Marketing Officer of Rainbows and Unicorns, and I still I am!

AC was the series that helped to wean me off kb/m. It always annoyed me that even though consoles gave you ridiculous aim assistance, I just couldn't easily pick up a controller and join my console friends in a Halo session. It took a lot of work to become average. AC allowed me to play a game that I found very easy, where the consequences of mistakes or slow reactions were minimal, to become competent with twin-stick gamepads.

While you might never find the controller to be better than kb/m for you, you might yet discover that the controller is simply more enjoyable. It's easier to forget the controller is there than for you to forget you're typing WASD and moving a mouse. I find FPS games are different, since you are effectively a camera and you're moving that camera around in a tank-like way, but 3rd-person action adventures give me a better translation between my hand movements and their body movements. Plus, the kb/m still has no answer to the full range of angles in movement (rather than 8) or the gradual shift from a standing start through a walk into a jog into a sprint that the stick can provide (although sadly recent ACs have trimmed that away somewhat).

I'm hoping they'll make me Director of Marketing for this, or at least give me an office with a nicer view.

SixKeys
09-21-2016, 02:53 PM
While you might never find the controller to be better than kb/m for you, you might yet discover that the controller is simply more enjoyable. It's easier to forget the controller is there than for you to forget you're typing WASD and moving a mouse. I find FPS games are different, since you are effectively a camera and you're moving that camera around in a tank-like way, but 3rd-person action adventures give me a better translation between my hand movements and their body movements. Plus, the kb/m still has no answer to the full range of angles in movement (rather than 8) or the gradual shift from a standing start through a walk into a jog into a sprint that the stick can provide (although sadly recent ACs have trimmed that away somewhat).

I'm hoping they'll make me Director of Marketing for this, or at least give me an office with a nicer view.

I feel the opposite: KB+M feels much more natural to the point where I don't have to think about it. Whereas a controller will constantly remind you of its existence by rumbling during dramatic moments, or in AC, when you just fall off a tall building. I can only imagine how much it pulls you out of the experience in games that force you to use the touchpad to solve puzzles etc.

It's really about what you're used to, in the end. AC was among the first games that got me into modern gaming, I had no choice then but to learn the WASD system. It has its perks which I find are missing from the controller version, like being able to freely move the camera at all times. There are other games that I think would feel weird without a controller, like Journey. It's such a "soft" game in the way your character moves, the controller is really ideal for it. I also played ABZU with a controller, a game with very unique controls (kinda like AC). Haven't tried how it feels with a keyboard yet, but I think it'd be interesting to try out. I suspect in that game the controller feels better for the same reasons as Journey, but I can't say for sure.

D.I.D.
09-21-2016, 03:00 PM
I also played ABZU with a controller, a game with very unique controls (kinda like AC).

Nothing to add except I LOVED ABZU. If you haven't played Grow Up yet, that's excellent as well!

SixKeys
09-21-2016, 03:08 PM
Nothing to add except I LOVED ABZU. If you haven't played Grow Up yet, that's excellent as well!

Thanks for the rec. Is it on PC?

D.I.D.
09-21-2016, 03:23 PM
Thanks for the rec. Is it on PC?

It is. It's the sequel to Grow Home, but you don't need to play Grow Home first. The only piece of knowledge that's really important, which they don't tutorial-ise again in this game all that well, is a mechanic from the first game about feeding the star plants. These are massive, Jack In The Beanstalk-style vines. You can sit on the buds and activate them, and then guide the growing head through the air, which is Freudian fun in itself, but you're really meant to guide the new offshoots to connect with brightly coloured lumps of crystal suspended as floating islands. Connect all the islands to complete each star plant.

Some of the flying challenges can be frustrating, but there's something oddly addictive about beating them even when they're being grossly unfair. If you just play it for story, which is a very minimal one, you'd miss out on the real fun. The game's really about hunting crystals in hard to find places, the weirdness of feeding the star plants, winning new costumes for your robot via the challenges. I'm not a rabid Platinum person, but I couldn't walk away from Grow Up until I'd done everything there was to be done.

If you like this, Grow Home is certainly worth playing too. Awesome sheep.

If you play any game this year where you land your spaceship on a colourful alien world, mine the landscape for crystals and trade them up to make better equipment, make it this one.

[edit] Oh. and - for games in the mid-budget, artsy area - if you haven't played Inside yet, you might want to do that before everyone thinks it's okay to spoil the ending. Because... by God...

SixKeys
09-21-2016, 03:30 PM
Awesome, will keep those in mind. :) (As if my pile of unplayed games isn't big enough already...)