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View Full Version : An idea: a war game and an assassin game, using the same setting



Swailing
06-12-2018, 05:41 PM
It seems as though a lot of series fans have had misgivings about Syndicate, Origins and now Odyssey. It's common to hear people say, whether they like the games or not, that "they're just not Assassin's Creed games; why not create a new brand for these?"

And I have conversations with friends who are wary of the franchise, and have tried the recent games but get turned off by them after a few hours. I was talking to a friend yesterday about this. We're both fans of The Witcher 3, but we weren't converted until a long way into the game. In my case, I pretty much hated it until the 15h mark, and only continued to that point because of the overwhelming force of public opinion. And there I am, advocating for Origins, and I think: "I shouldn't have to put in this kind of work! The game ought to communicate what's good about it."

There is the problem of physical scale and the accompanying time scale. People like me begged for cities to be 1:1 scale and as accurate as possible to the reality of the time. And a world that big needs an enormous game to go with it. So here we are, with 100h games that my friends are abandoning before they get good, while other friends are absolutely loving them precisely because they're not typical Assassin's Creed fans and are glad to be given a great ARPG.

Here's a possible solution, then: a "Warriors" series and an "Assassins" series, both using the same world. For example, Syndicate would have been the massive ARPG about gangs, the police, the grand scale issues with royalty (the "Warrior" game). Then Syndicate B, the "Assassin" game, would be a 12-20 hour game using the same world for a different story: more use of interiors, a tighter tale of political machinations, characters flipping allegiance. Origins could have been a national-scale game for Bayek taking on forts and whole regiments, while Origins B would be Aya's darker, stranger story about the clash of Roman and Egyptian politics.

AC1, AC2 and Brotherhood had a pretty strong sense of story, with each assassination target's story being like a chapter in a book (AC1 most of all). As time has gone on, and the games have got every longer, it gets harder to feel where I am in my progression. I can't tell by the tension of the story if things are coming to a head, because that tension isn't really there. Indeed, although I loved the final DLC of Origins, I honestly didn't know that it was over. After something as good as that, it sours it a little for me to reach the end and not know, and then think, "Was that... was that it?" That's the wrong note on which to end, and it's entirely a problem of the open-ended format.

AnimusLover
06-12-2018, 06:40 PM
The problem with this suggestion is that the moment we get into the mind set of "OK, our main 100 hr epic game will be the historical and we can relegate the actual assassin stuff to a smaller game" he latter is already doomed to failure simply because you're automatically determining that it's not as important and therefore effort, resources and time will be put into it.

The Assassin/Templar saga used to be the draw alongside the historical setting. It was the "100 hr game".
I don't know when Ubisoft started to become embarrassed by its own premise and lore. I would say the cracks were forming, story wise, round about ACIII where it became clear that the writers were more interested in telling an American Revolution game.

Also, I would say Syndicate is the most Assassin's Creed game in a long time - yes, the gang element is out of place, the character development for Jacob and Evie is lacking and the two dont talk enough about their principles (you get glimpses of it when Evie tells Queen Victoria that their ideals are incompatible) but at least Jacob and Evie are Assassins from the start disobeying their Master's orders, one trying to take down Templars for the sake of it and the other trying to make sure the POE doesn't fall into their hands. That's as Assassin's Creed as it gets. The only games where you don't play as an Assassin is Black Flag, Unity and Origins.

Swailing
06-12-2018, 07:09 PM
The problem with this suggestion is that the moment we get into the mind set of "OK, our main 100 hr epic game will be the historical and we can relegate the actual assassin stuff to a smaller game" he latter is already doomed to failure simply because you're automatically determining that it's not as important and therefore effort, resources and time will be put into it.



I wouldn't say it has to be that way, or to feel that way. The Assassin game would be standing on the shoulders of the giant, so the time saved on city-building would be devoted to creating new parts of that city that you hadn't seen before.

I'm also not suggesting that the big game is the historical one and the assassin one is a fabricated thriller. I'm advocating for two historical stories that use a different but complimentary angle.

Something that's bugged me for a long time is that AC keeps leaving fertile historical stories on the table. When I heard Syndicate was going to be set in 1868, I was thrilled at the things I expected to happen. That was exactly the time that the East India Company was collapsing under the weight of its own hubris: the first corporation to be bigger and more politically powerful than its home government. Its directors were provoking politicians, daring them to even try and rein in their power. They were returning from India and fashioning themselves as Raj, building palatial mansions (hello, assassination venues!). And many of them were dying: in reality, of disease, of over-indulgence, of age. But for AC, these should have been the assassinations. The EIC would obviously be the Templars.

Not only did they not do that, they set a game in a city which was the Templars' original home, which has still standing the original Templar buildings from the 1100s, and the story didn't touch on a single one of them. I thought for sure that these churches and offices would, in the AC lore, contain secret underground areas, or perhaps even be built on top of old Isu sites.

They didn't do any of this in Syndicate, but they could have done had Syndicate been two games.