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View Full Version : A look at the franchise: The Best and Worst of Assassinís Creed



luckyto
06-28-2011, 03:02 PM
This is partially a review, and partially a wishlist, and partially a critique. Please post your own. For me, Iíll try to keep mine simple and within the realm of what can be realistically developed; rather than elaborate wishlists of game systems far too complex for todayís consoles or a feasible budget.

First, I say I love the Assassinís Creedís games, or I would not be here. In all of them, the sandbox that is created is large, inviting and simply fun just to explore. The attention to historical detail adds a level of polish and realism so desperately needed in interactive media and gaming, and with each new game, I find myself desperate to just get in this new environment and play. Further, the Ubisoft AC team has crafted a story with the right mix of history, conspiracy theory and possibilities that the franchise should well equipped to tell many more Assassin Tales for years to come. And last, the gameplay and combat has been enjoyable to me, or else, I wouldnít even bother. Same with the parkour-free running mechanic, it is fun and does still require some skill and finesse to get to a hiding spot without being seen. So that covers what I like about them all (and I hope, never changes) Ö. Now to the individuals.

AC1 Bests:
- Assassination felt right.
- Altairís character design and animation was top-notch.
- I liked the combat, though it improved in later games, I think the timing system for getting execution animations worked (minus the blue/red streak and with a loud clang.)
- The Kingdom map joined the other three cities and the world felt much larger as a result than both of its successors.
- Pickpocketing. I really enjoyed gathering information about my targets (like guard postings) and the art of pickpocketing was much more fun Ö the hand reaching out slowly, the camera zoomingÖ it felt great.
- Random Templar encounters
- Interrogations and Eavesdropping. Again, gathering info about my primary targets truly gave the game that Assassin feel.

AC1 Worsts:
- The begging woman. In very small doses, it would have worked.
- Voice acting. Altairís character sunk on this.
- The lecture from Al Mualim after EVERY assassination. Give me my three contracts and donít make me return to Masyaf every time I finish one.
- The too frequent Desmond sessions.
- The Assassin challenges (get the flags or Templars in a timed manner). Felt more like a video game and took me out of the experience.
- Not enough assassinations.

AC2 Bests
- Much improved mission variety. The best of the three.
- BLENDING!
- Multiple weapons and no-hand combat. This was a huge improvement on combat. Plus the weapon wheel, yes!
- Air assassinations.
- Assassination contract Side Missions. This really solved the AC1ís assassination shortage problem. These were great fun and a nice distraction.
- The three guilds (Courtesans, Thieves and Mercenaries) for hire. Added a lot of options for approach.
- Assassin Tombs
- An economy, though needs work. But building up the villa was a fantastic bonus.
- Codexes, Glyphs, the Truth and more relevant goodies to find than simply flags.
- Best story and voice-acting

AC2 Worsts:
- The SSI system is overcooked.
- Made too much money too fast. Make me work harder for it, so that Iím just getting everything purchased in the last few sequences. If Iím not well equipped, I would pickpocket more citizens, hire more guild help and use stealth more frequently.
- Beat Up, Race and Courier side missions. They just didnít fit.
- Lack of reconnaissance required.
- Notoriety system. Others have said this, but if Iím wanted, a few conscientious citizens should notice and guards should see me farther out than three feet away. I rarely felt the need to hide like I did after a big kill in AC1.
- Soundtrack was often dull, uninspired and repetitive

ACB Bests:
- The chain-kill system. Combat went from fun to downright awesome.
- Guards attack more than one at a time and are more aggressive.
- Tying the economy to the environment in terms of Blacksmiths, travel stations, landmarks, etc. Nice to see Rome bloom the way the Villa did.

ACB Worsts: (felt like most everything stepped backwards in Brotherhood)
- The short production run showed. Go to at least 18 months for a bigger game, please. You could easily ruin this series the way COD is destroying itself.
- The buying of faction houses versus sporadic placement.
- Recruiting assassins. It was fun for one game but I donít want a repeat. It was way too easy with them. Their foreign contract assignments went by too fast to be real.
- Sub-weapons. I like having ďsubweaponsĒ on my weapon wheel, but I donít like holding the Attack button for them. Move that to the Assassin call button. I much prefer having my heavy attack like in AC1 or AC2. If you must have Assassin call, at least make them part of the weapon wheel that is selectable.
- Too many pigeon coops. Make me travel a little at least.
- Too many weapons and too big a pouch. We are starting to border on absurd.

Iím hoping Revelations fine-tunes all the experimentation that happened in Brotherhood in the same way that AC2 refined and improved over AC1. On the whole, I really have no desire to see drastic changes Ė if I did, Iíd play another game. But I think a future Assassinís Creed game needs to go back to a cross blend between AC1 and AC2 and really capture the great stuff that each of them did --- in a brand new environment. Thatís all I need in an AC game, and I think most gamers would be happy too.

cless711
06-28-2011, 03:37 PM
One of the worst things for AC2 was that if you threw a knife at a unsuspecting guard, most of the time he would turn around and spot you right before he died. That was a bit annoying in AC2 xD

FatRascal
06-28-2011, 04:17 PM
I agree with most of what the original poster said, especially about the Kingdom map in AC1 and the random Templar encounters, although I'd like to see these replaced with "enemy" assassins hunting your character across the map, so you'd have to spot them and either evade them or kill them before they kill you.

Sep.

twenty_glyphs
06-28-2011, 04:33 PM
You make a lot of good points, though some of them are obviously personal preferences that would be hard to argue. It's been said that the sub-weapon system of Brotherhood is going to be changed in Revelations so that "projectile" weapons have their own separate attack button (Y on Xbox). I do have to disagree on the AC2 soundtrack, which I found to be so beautiful that it was the first video game soundtrack I ever even thought about wanting to buy, let alone actually bought.

I would like to see something like the Templars return from the first game. They were a "collectible" that made sense and just fit into the world. Plus, when you found them there was more to do after that. That's also what made the glyphs and rifts so fun for me to find, knowing that you got to play some puzzles and see bits of story revealed once you found them.

Jon253
06-28-2011, 04:41 PM
A good list, here are a few things I would add:

AC1:
Good: Look and feel of the cities, the soundtrack was great, pickpocketing actually required stealth, rather than just run up and hit A/X
Bad: Repetitive, the crazy guys that keep running over often avoiding lots of other people, to punch me and ruin my stealth missions.

AC2: I can't really think of anything, it was a really good game.

ACB:
Good: Combat, maps for flags and feathers. Building the guild.
Bad: It often seemed like I was spending more time on doing subquest/guild challenges than actual missions.
Ending (Ezio's) seemed a bit anticlimactic
I really didn't like the Full Sync feature

BK-110
06-28-2011, 05:04 PM
I'll comment on the parts of your list that I disagree with. I pretty much agree with the rest.

- Cannot see why the AC1 voice acting was bad. I found it to be great.
- I liked Al Mualim's lectures.
- I loved the Desmond sections. Even though there wasn't much action, the story got developed very well.
- The number of assassinations was at least a lot better than in ACB and each assassination felt a lot more profound and impacting than those in AC2.
- I agree that the chain-kill system is pretty fun, but it feels useless, seeing as you rarely fight more than four guards at once. If guards weren't instantly killed by chain-attacks, like Cesare, and would attack more often, requiring you to use counters to keep the chain going, that would make the system far better.
- I didn't mind the recruiting of assassins. It was a fun little addition is you ask me. The contracts were a pretty good way to earn money and train the assassins.
- The number of pidgeon coops was fine with me...
- It's a game, it would be boring if it were all that realistic. Let Ezio have his hammerspace.

Conniving_Eagle
06-28-2011, 05:36 PM
I have to disagree with you about Kill-chains read my thread about combat.
Be sure to comment/rate/subscribe(jk)

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/foru...1069024/m/2451059829 (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/5251069024/m/2451059829)

Personally, my beef with the assassin recruits besides the fact that they didn't have a personality and you could care less when they died is that they made the other factions(courtesans, mercenaries, theives) useless. There was no point to using them unless you just called in all 3 sets of your recruits. I think that atleast if you're seen signaling them the guards will engage you once the assassins appear. I also think they were kind of OP, maybe the higher the level they are, the less often you can use them. It would make more sense too, because if they are assassins and not apprentices they will be more busy and have less time to help you.

iN3krO
06-28-2011, 05:50 PM
TWEEKS

Ac1 Best:
- No suspicious level indicator above guards (i would prefer the yellow/red eye without the sound that the red eye used to do).
- Diffrence between Templars and Normal Guards suspicion (templars patroling would detect you as they see you in the street like in the last sequences unlike normal guards that would be just "ok" with you).
- Good system with short blade + throwing knife.

Ac2 Best:
- Introdution of Notoriety System
- Longer Story
- Addition of Half-Squares
- Archtype guards.

Ac2 Worst:
- Notoriety System bad executed. Instead of Notorious or Not-Notorious it should have more levels of notoriety which each lvl would change the behavior of both citzens, normal guards and templar guards.
- Replaced Auto-Regeneration with Medcine and that medicine was instant heal instead of timed heal.
- Armor gives you health and resitance instead of only resistance (only % of syncronization should give us more health, i mean, if i do more side-missions i should be awared with more health).
- Ezio trusted everyone even after being betrayed by Uberto.
- Hidden Blade as Meele Weapon.

AcB Best:
- Ezio felt more like a person.

AcB Worst:
- Killstreaks took no skill (in Ac1 we had a thing similar to killstreaks only that you would only be able to do it after executing a guard with sword/short blade and while that execution u needed to spot a guard that wasn't paying attention and change to hidden blade to kill him right after the first execution, thought killstreaks felt better they should be only able to be continued with your sword/short blade if the guard isn't paying attention, this should be applied even in or not an execution or killsteak fixing one of the biggest issues with the meele hidden blade).
- Throwing Knife for? When i saw short blade + throwing knife again i thought i would have my combat style back but than i've seen it was nerfed -.-''
- Poison Darts? You shot a crossbow and guards spot you, you shot a dart from your arm and guards don't stop you? **** yeah stupid guards.
- AI is not AI anymore, now guards got standart moves/values for each archtype instead of the vivid AI like the guards from Ac1.

SixKeys
06-28-2011, 05:51 PM
I agree with most of the OP's points, although like someone said, a lot of it also comes down to personal preference. A few points of disagreements, and some of my own thoughts:

AC1:

-Best atmosphere, hands down.
-I liked Al Mualim's lectures after each assassination, it brought meaning to why you had to kill that particular person and I liked the philosophical ponderings of both the Master and AltaÔr regarding the templars.
-I like the Desmond segments and I don't think there are too many of them. They were a counterweight to the action-filled sequences and felt more like detective work. I was disappointed with the lack of Desmond in AC2.
-Voice acting was fine.

AC2:

-Not being able to replay missions was a big minus.
-While the guilds were a nice addition, their placement was sometimes erratic and annoying. I could find dozens of thieves, but would have to search half the city for a group of courtesans, for example.
-Combat was the easiest in the franchise so far, Ezio acquires too many weapons and skills too fast.
-The graphics were oddly shiny and luminous compared to AC1 and ACB. Made the characters look somewhat plastic.

ACB:

-Improved blending, a good mix of the simple auto-blend in AC1 and the crowd mechanic in AC2.
-Improved mission variety. Encountering thieves didn't automatically mean races like in AC2, assassination contracts were more varied and Leonardo's war machines made for a great change of pace.
-I don't care for the chain-kills, it makes combat even easier except for PC players where targeting is a pain in the neck.
-Unlike the marketing seemed to advertise, renovating Rome didn't have nearly as much impact on the environment as renovating your villa in AC2 did. There was little point to it and the amount of money flowing in just became annoying.
-I don't think the short production time showed in the quality of the game. Gameplay-wise, I think it's the best one in the series so far.
-Not enough variety in environments. When you're restricted to one particular city, the color scheme and repetitive architecture becomes evident really fast.
-Some of the guild challenges were annoying and didn't really fit Ezio's character. Pickpocket so-and-so many citizens? When you're a millionaire, why would you even do that?

In all the games (especially AC2 and ACB), it's a little absurd how this heavily armored, armed-to-the-teeth assassin can supposedly blend in with regular citizens no problem. I like that in ACB it's possible to purchase the Florence noble outfit as a Uplay skin and would love it if they introduced "casual wear" as an option to the tailor shops.

iN3krO
06-28-2011, 06:00 PM
@SixKeys What are you saying about killstreaks dude? I'm pc gamer and i never had problem targeting with my keyboard...

Diffrence between skilled pc player vs casual pc player?...

Take the most skilled player of ps3/xbox of any multiplataform game and the best player of such game of PC and make them battle crossing the plataform... the PC gamer wasted more money but got better resources http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Keyboard is not as accuarate as a analogic stick but i never like the stick at all, only game where i used it was on god of war cuz it doesn't allow arrows to move arround).

SixKeys
06-28-2011, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by daniel_gervide:
@SixKeys What are you saying about killstreaks dude? I'm pc gamer and i never had problem targeting with my keyboard...

Diffrence between skilled pc player vs casual pc player?...

Take the most skilled player of ps3/xbox of any multiplataform game and the best player of such game of PC and make them battle crossing the plataform... the PC gamer wasted more money but got better resources http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Keyboard is not as accuarate as a analogic stick but i never like the stick at all, only game where i used it was on god of war cuz it doesn't allow arrows to move arround).

Could be just a lag issue on my part then, or a problem with that targeting system in general. All I know is that whenever I'm in the process of killing a guard and trying to lock on to my next target, the game decides to switch my target for me. Sometimes you can tell by the guards' body language which one is thinking of attacking you next, for example I see that the guy behind me is getting restless. So I decide "okay, I'm going to kill him next" and target him, only for the game to switch to the guy on my right instead. I might still get a kill, but because the game switched my targets for me, the restless guard behind me gets a chance to move in for the attack and starts hacking at me, interrupting my kill streak. No matter how much I pound on the movement keys to switch back to my original target, it almost never happens in time. I have this problem sometimes even when I'm not trying to perform kill streaks. If there are two guards walking past me, one behind the other, and I decide I want to poison the last one so the person in front won't notice, I try to target the last guard but the game switches my target to the first one. Before it's too late, I'll have accidentally shot the guard in front, making his companion suspicious. I hate that the game decides for me who I'm really trying to target.

Conniving_Eagle
06-28-2011, 09:24 PM
Originally posted by daniel_gervide:
TWEEKS

Ac1 Best:
- No suspicious level indicator above guards (i would prefer the yellow/red eye without the sound that the red eye used to do).
- Diffrence between Templars and Normal Guards suspicion (templars patroling would detect you as they see you in the street like in the last sequences unlike normal guards that would be just "ok" with you).
- Good system with short blade + throwing knife.

Ac2 Best:
- Introdution of Notoriety System
- Longer Story
- Addition of Half-Squares
- Archtype guards.

Ac2 Worst:
- Notoriety System bad executed. Instead of Notorious or Not-Notorious it should have more levels of notoriety which each lvl would change the behavior of both citzens, normal guards and templar guards.
- Replaced Auto-Regeneration with Medcine and that medicine was instant heal instead of timed heal.
- Armor gives you health and resitance instead of only resistance (only % of syncronization should give us more health, i mean, if i do more side-missions i should be awared with more health).
- Ezio trusted everyone even after being betrayed by Uberto.
- Hidden Blade as Meele Weapon.

AcB Best:
- Ezio felt more like a person.

AcB Worst:
- Killstreaks took no skill (in Ac1 we had a thing similar to killstreaks only that you would only be able to do it after executing a guard with sword/short blade and while that execution u needed to spot a guard that wasn't paying attention and change to hidden blade to kill him right after the first execution, thought killstreaks felt better they should be only able to be continued with your sword/short blade if the guard isn't paying attention, this should be applied even in or not an execution or killsteak fixing one of the biggest issues with the meele hidden blade).
- Throwing Knife for? When i saw short blade + throwing knife again i thought i would have my combat style back but than i've seen it was nerfed -.-''
- Poison Darts? You shot a crossbow and guards spot you, you shot a dart from your arm and guards don't stop you? **** yeah stupid guards.
- AI is not AI anymore, now guards got standart moves/values for each archtype instead of the vivid AI like the guards from Ac1.

I hope you're not saying that AC1 was flawless.

Chamboozer
06-29-2011, 12:46 AM
Guards should have to actually alert each other to your presence before you fail a mission, having him see you moments before he dies and being forced to restart the mission for that reason is absurd.

Inorganic9_2
06-29-2011, 03:49 AM
^ this. Entirely.


Like in AC1 when the guard would shout "Assassin! There's an Assassin here!" before the went into open conflict.

iN3krO
06-29-2011, 04:20 AM
Originally posted by ConnivingEagle:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by daniel_gervide:
TWEEKS


I hope you're not saying that AC1 was flawless. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think that the Ac1 Worst of the topic creator are enough...
Also he missed saying it was very repetitive.

luckyto
06-29-2011, 08:24 AM
It is all very much personal opinion. I tend to be very critical of my own "wish list", as I'm not really for change when you have a recipe that works. Many good game franchises have been ruined in such a way. But there have been some good ideas put forward on boards.

Yes, AC1 did get repetitive.


-I liked Al Mualim's lectures after each assassination, it brought meaning to why you had to kill that particular person and I liked the philosophical ponderings of both the Master and AltaÔr regarding the templars.

I did like his lectures, but I would have preferred only four to five of them rather than eight. He repeated himself often. At least three of them were just a rehash of the previous exposition. It would have helped the pacing if in the sequences where you are given multiple contracts, you don't return to Masyaf until you have finished - moving directly from city to city. Just my thoughts.

@twenty_glyphs ---- to be honest, my soundtrack beef may be overexposure on my part. I may have simply replayed AC2 way too many times. I felt right my first time through, but I think I've heard it for days on end by now.

On chain-kills:

Seems this is a subject that has been beaten to death on these boards. A lot of different opinions about it and a lot of them are very valid.

In my mind, I like the chain kills, AND I do agree that it should be a little more difficult. I think if the guards were a little more aggressive, forcing you to counter their attacks in the middle of a series of chain attacks more often - would suffice. Guards with spears should sweep you, etc. Force you to move your feet with dodges and position yourself well.

To be fair, if you didn't have 15 bottles of medicine and be able to take ridiculous levels of damage, it would make combat more challenging as well.

And some fans have said that only a few guards join in during a fight. I agree. That is more true in Brotherhood than AC1. Once a brawl breaks out, more guards should gradually come - just as in a real "police" situation. You either win quickly or are forced to run away.

To me, these are minor tweaks to an existing system.

ace3001
06-29-2011, 08:57 AM
I agree to most of things, but NOT the soundtrack of AC2. The AC2 soundtrack is so amazing, at least in my opinion. How you feel it's "dull, uninspired and repetitive" is beyond me... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif
Oh, and the Desmond sequences are good as well. Don't forget that this game is firstly about Desmond. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

luckyto
06-29-2011, 09:15 AM
yes, I should probably retract that about the AC2 soundtrack. I've been overexposed from overplaying that game - so I hear that soundtrack in my sleep now.

SixKeys
06-29-2011, 09:57 AM
I gotta say, while I love all the AC soundtracks, I also thought AC2's music got somewhat repetitive. There were a few tracks that I really liked on the soundtrack but which only played once or not at all in the actual game ("Florence Tarantella", "Earth", "Ezio in Florence"). In contrast, I got to hear the Venice theme even when I was in Florence sometimes and other such mix-ups. By the end of the game you spend so much time in Venice that you expect a refreshing change of music once you return to another city, but you're stuck listening to the same tune no matter where you are. In that sense, I also grew somewhat tired of the AC2 music.

Conniving_Eagle
06-29-2011, 10:03 AM
Originally posted by SixKeys:
I gotta say, while I love all the AC soundtracks, I also thought AC2's music got somewhat repetitive. There were a few tracks that I really liked on the soundtrack but which only played once or not at all in the actual game ("Florence Tarantella", "Earth", "Ezio in Florence"). In contrast, I got to hear the Venice theme even when I was in Florence sometimes and other such mix-ups. By the end of the game you spend so much time in Venice that you expect a refreshing change of music once you return to another city, but you're stuck listening to the same tune no matter where you are. In that sense, I also grew somewhat tired of the AC2 music.

Well, the Notorious soundtrack is the same no matter where you go.

SixKeys
06-29-2011, 10:18 AM
Yeah, but I'm almost never Notorious unless it's part of the script, so....

Conniving_Eagle
06-29-2011, 10:22 AM
Do you know which tracks, then?

Dieinthedark
06-29-2011, 01:20 PM
AC1
Pros
-I liked the texture work better than the other games. Though the colors were bland I feel the texture work was better.
-Death speeches- seeing what your targets thought before death was a good thing
-Al Mualim- I liked his speeches but on replay I would like to skip them. I felt they really added to the story and most importantly made you feel like you were a part of something larger and more important.
-Pickpocketing
-The lack of icons to indicate oncoming attacks, you actually have to watch your enemies

Cons
-repetitive but the story was good so I didn't / don't mind
-bland colors

AC2
Pros
-brighter colors
-inclusion of history through animus I like to learn about the buildings and people etc...
-economy system but to easy
-Assassin tombs !!!!! They were just AWESOME!!

Cons
-too much money
-combat didn't make the progression I wanted til Brotherhood (still mostly defensive fighting)

ACB
Pros
-good story
-LONG 25+ hrs, VERY IMPORTANT
-fast combat

Cons
-I missed not being able to explore new cities, going through city gates and trying to find your 1st viewpoint w/o map was fun. I just liked different cities, it was more interesting...
-Recruits were underplayed
-Not enough Desmond parts