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shobhit7777777
11-11-2012, 12:49 AM
Before I go on I feel it is necessary to declare that the following is strictly my opinion. I don't expect everyone to agree with it. I also should warn you that this will be a long read, I'll try to keep things organised, cohesive and interesting to the best of my abilities to make this as readable as possible.


Assassin's Creed 3 was my most awaited game of this year. The tech trailers showcasing the freerunning and animations with the rendering power of the latest version of the engine had me really amped. I was expecting a massive improvement in both the technical systems and the gameplay. This excitement was further compounded by the fact that Connor had been granted some much needed moves like luring guards, taking cover and being an overall sneakier character.

I was let down. While the tech part of it didn't fail to impress and I think that the devs have done a fantastic job in recreating the battles, the frontier, the tree running and dynamic weather....the gameplay itself is locked in stasis by poor design decisions.

And here is why:

Poor Mission Design - Everything is true but Nothing is permitted

Assassin's Creed prides itself on the sheer amount of freedom the player has in terms of navigation and playstyle. Look back at the franchise and you'll see that the game has been designed around 3 core pillars - Freerunning, Combat and Social Stealth which were systemic to a large degree and offered the player a plethora of options in terms of gameplay oppurtunities.

This was reflected in the sandbox nature of a lot of the Assassination missions. You'd be dropped in restricted zone populated by the AI and allowed to play the way you want it. It supported more violent and direct means as well as it did the more subtle approaches.

Examples:
Freeing the Borgia towers
Assassinations in the first AC game
Infiltration missions in ACB and ACR

This was by no means perfect as the games had several inconsistencies and lacked in some basic mechanics that facilitate stealth gameplay...yet the overall feeling of a sandbox game was there. There was and is massive room for improvement

Another important thing to note is that almost all missions played to the strength of the game....meshing the narrative need to justify the player's actions within the premise AND utilise the core gameplay concepts (as mentioned above).
You followed people
You assassinated some
You infiltrated places

ALL suited the basic idea of being an Assassin - a sneaky member of a covert order. All of this rested upon mission design and was instrumental in making you feel like and Assassin and justifying the mission objectives and parameters so that you never questioned "Why is Ezio doing this?"

In AC3 this has taken a step back and actually regressed.

A good mission, in context to AC, emphasizes the core gameplay elements - making use of the major pillars of gameplay - and provides freedom of movement and playstyle.

Example: In one mission I was tasked with assassinating a certain Templar situated in a villa at the frontier by a river. Upon arrival I realized that I could actually circumvent the more troublesome area filled with guards and climb a rock formation to the north to gain easier and sneakier access....Lateral thinking was rewarded with a big "DESYNCHRONIZED!!" as the "Memory" was unavailable.

Not good

In another mission I was tasked with commanding line infantry. Yes, my sneaky Assassin was on the frontlines issuing firing orders to line infantry in a tedious and extremely uninteresting manner. Relation to assassin's creed or core gameplay? None.

Here is another gem - An important historical figure riding pillion on a horse as you "drive" and guiding you to locations that you have visit in order to complete objectives. No stealth, No major combat, No planning whatsoever, NO FREEDOM.
Do I really WANT to ride a horse and give an annoying passenger a lift in an ASSASSIN'S CREED game which is chock full of better and more interesting possibilities? No. I do not. Not in the least.


I can understand when the devs would like Connor to be an important part of US history...but not at the cost of the core gameplay.

Imagine the same missions where you have to sneak in behind the enemy lines and systematically take out the other side's commanders? (This is actually done one in the game...don't want to spoil anything but it certainly is the best mission in the game)

Imagine clearing Redcoat patrols for the historical figure to ride on and carry out his job...instead of just riding a horse?

Then comes the biggest culprit and killjoy. Scripted events.

In an extremely important sequence you are FORCED to chase your target on foot. Your actions don't matter...you WILL get detected and you WILL have to run. No other way to it. Which is extremely disappointing since not only makes every player action redundant BUT also severely breaches the AC principle of 'freedom in gameplay'. This is archaic design and also extremely unimaginative. Running away should be a consequence of our failure to remain undetected...NOT because some designer deems it cool.

In summary:


Extreme levels of rigidity in mission design and parameters kill any playstyle choice or planning
Scripted events take the joy out of planning a kill or remaining stealthy
Some missions are completely unrelated to the core gameplay pillars and the idea of being an Assassin for the sake of "variety"
My Solutions:


Future games should revolve around the core pillars albeit in interesting scenarios which may subvert the conventions from time to time.
Mission parameters should allow us FULL access to the map and the various zones in order to provide absolute freedom in terms of movement
Scripted events which blow your cover or result in combat should be part of a feedback loop and not a certainty in itself - Screw up an assassination? well deal with the target escaping
More complex target behaviours which are not so easy to read and unrealistic.


Stealth (Or lack of it) - Poor AI, Wonky detection parameters, Incomplete stealth systems and zero evolution in the "People" of the cities

Assassin's Creed is ostensibly a Stealth-Action/Adventure game...and has all the trappings of a stealth game....yet the game has seen microscopic levels of improvement in the stealth systems!

I say systems because for a stealth game to work it needs several things to function properly together. Things like AI, Character abilities and the Crowd (The basis of social stealth)

Things were added...too little too late. Whistling and corner takedowns are welcome as are the stalking zones...but the dumb AI with simplistic routines, lack of a deep notoriety and detection system and a thin crowd really make AC3 an outdated game!

Guards's eyesight is inconsistent and messed up
The crowd still remains the same as in the previous games - all changes are cosmetic
Inability to hide as YOU deem fit.....a crouch button is what I'm hinting at
AI has no memory for events going on
There needs to be a LOCALIZED alert. Too often I fend myself in a situation that snowballs from a 2 alarmed guards to an entire battallion of redcoats/ militia gunning for me. This breaks the stealth loop and I can't get back into it.

AC should take a leaf out of Splinter Cell Conviction's book and realize that stealth is fun when it is tactical and NOT a trial and error exercise in frustration. Connor should've been able to pull off quick neutralization kills which take care of the immediate trouble and allow the player to get back into sneak mode. Running a long distance and hiding in a pile of leaves becomes old real fast.

One alerted group shouldn't be able to transmit your position and status to another group miles away.

Another weak aspect is the guard's search routines and piss poor investigation routine. They never actively search for Connor. They never investigate a dead body or raise some sort of an alarm. This ties into a tiered alert system which allows the player to salvage a situation and move onto the next bit. A tiered alarm system and localized alerts would go a long way in reforming the gameplay

Social Stealth is another aspect which needs massive improvement, although Kudos to the devs for including minor improvements like Connor folding his hands when at a stall and pretending to peruse through the objects for sale or when he leans against a wall while blending in with two other NPCs. Simple things like this go a long way but the overall system has been virtually unchanged since the second game!
But
The social stealth still doesn't emphasize the actual concept of blending in. Of wearing the right colours and clothing. Of being aware of certain areas which are segregated based on class division. Of carrying weapons in public. Of actual witnesses affecting notoriety (the redcoats who run away in combat). Of the AI adapting to the player's tactics. Of the consequences of blowing a sneaky approach.

The controls don't help either. Often times it becomes nigh impossible to pick up a body....Connor simply refuses to and instead grabs the musket...or initiates a body search on corpse.

In summary:


AI either detects you well enough or simply ignores you thanks to poor visual acuteness.
No search routines or suspicious phase on detection of Connor or a body - they act extremely cavalier after finding a 5th body of one of their comrades.
No 'Salvage' option - once detected it turns into a combat scenario...everyone is alerted and it becomes a tedious affair
Social Stealth is not nuanced enough yet and still requires a major overhaul.
Connor still requires a dedicated crouch button and the ability to stick to cover - especially useful on the rooftops and in the frontier
Localized alert is absent and detracts from the missions where stealth is key
Sometimes even after I've killed the guard I'm detected by him - failing the mission

My Solutions:


Give players ability to crouch and stick to cover
Each alarmed guard doesn't attack you immediately - If the SSI meter fills up completely...the guard gives you a chance to surrender..doing nothing would make you 'Fake Surrender' and allow the nervous, alarmed guard to approach...thereby allowing you to kill him and move on.
Alarms should localized i.e. they should not affect the rest of the map and lead to a hundred angry redcoats baying for your blood from 2 moons away
Connor's appearance like armour equipped and weapons carried should affect notoriety and the guard's suspicion
More minor animations while blending to make it look like Connor is conversing.
A larger alarm stage is reached when muskets are being fired off and when you're in battle with 3 or more guys not when you just engaged 2 guys, no shots fired and you went through them like butter
Bring back ability to throw and craft bombs
Bring back Poison Hidden Blade
Allow Connor to carry a dead body immediately after killing the guard by keeping the attack button pressed - allows for quickly removing and hiding the corpses


Narrative flab and Gameplay fluff - a incohesive and disjointed connection between Gameplay and narrative

Fellow forum member AWBiggs really nailed it in his thread regarding how the gameplay is disconnected from the premise and has no real pay off. Like why instead of upgrading the Homestead Connor isn't upgrading his village?

Such questions need to be asked.

Why doesn't Connor recruit Assassin's from his village?
Why don't those Native American Assassin's become Connor's backup in the Frontier?
How is collecting almanac pages helping with Connor's struggle for justice?

The game is rife with gameplay elements which don't feed into the premise or the narrative.

In Brotherhood each mechanic was designed around the concept of:

1. Being a stealthy Assassin (Quiet brotherhood assassinations, poison darts and blade, building the brotherhood, systematically bringing the guilds together to take out the Borgia's)
2. Restoring and liberating Rome (Buying shops and banks, bringing in money to the city and taking out those towers)

In AC3 things make no sense.

You have hunting, crafting, trading etc. but none of this ties into the premise of the game...of Connor doing things to help his people...of Connor being an Assassin to preserve the balance.

It's meaningless fluff....just something to pass the time away with. And the core missions suffer (as explained above). All the time spent on fleshing out the Homestead should've been poured into smarter AI and better performance.

The Narrative isn't without its own flab. A super slow and often uninteresting first half (althought the character is extremely enjoyable) really draws the game out. Connor isn't put into character defining situations and often comes off as 1 dimensional. The themes of duality are never fully explored...and its never stressed upon the fact that Connor is fully aware of the shifting alliances and the "Grey" area.

Connor's village is hardly fleshed out and therefore meaningless. If you don't see the village much how are you supposed to connect with it and the tribe? One gameplay possibility which would've been awesome was upgrading the Village and keeping it away from the land sharks. THAT would have made sense. You have invested time and money into this village and safeguarded it.......

The narrative also didn't do much to show the constant internal moral dilemma that definitely must have been plaguing Connor. The narrative never truly touches upon the "Soul" of the game and for this really suffers IMO

In Summary:


Meaningless gameplay additions that do nothing for the game itself or the narrative
The plot has poor pacing
Connor's character is never truly explored inspite of some great character moments
The Village, although very important, takes a backseat to everything
My Solutions:


Focus on the core and avoid fluffly, side-quest BS
Improve pacing
Put Connor in situations that define his character further
Tie gameplay elements with the Narrative


Boston & New York - Sad, drab little cities

The two cities just didn't do it for me.
Not only is the architecture boring and not conducive to much rooftop freerunning the average population density is pretty low. Now this maybe for the sake of preserving the illusion of a large, living crowd...but it too has seen only minor improvements in the bigger scheme of things

Compared to Constantinople the cities feel empty and devoid of a "soul"

While I appreciate the addition of animals and children.....the sad fact is that all of this comes to naught thanks to an underpopulated city.

I know that the streets are wider hence making it look empty
I know that the population WAS low
I know that the game is striving to be historically accurate

But does it matter if the cities look dead and drab? I'm all for historical accuracy but sometimes you need to think about the GAME and the GAMEPLAY. The two cities feel like a real step down from the beautiful vistas of Istanbul in ACR.

Why is this so? I mean the engine's rendering power is very high...so why this 'zombie town' feeling?

Why aren't there more native Americans trading with the Europeans?
Why aren't there more public gathering on a huge scale? these are troubled times
Why aren't there more people moving about?
Why are there no passenger carriages
Why are there people chilling out and sitting comfortably?
Why are there no entertainers like musicians and street performers?

Sometimes historical innacuracy can be a boon

This may be in part due to the absence of music which dampens the impact of the cities.....but by and large the cities ARE empty.or at least feel so.

I understand that The Frontier is the actual 'City' in this game (like Roma in Italy and Istanbul in ACR) but that still doesn't make up for the fact that the two cities are visually uninteresting and that they severely need to be populated with smart and lifelike AI.



Overall:


The game is a disappointment for several reasons - the important ones posted above. Lots of fluff but little of value and hardly anything which has improved the core formula in a big way.

AC3 reaches for greatness but falters due to questionable design choices and some really unimaginative solutions. It stuffs in too much WITHOUT focusing on the important bits first apparently.

As a result it appears incohesive and schizophrenic,,,,,,,inside all of this is a gem of a game....but there is a LOT of rock that needs to be polished before we get to it.

I give it a 7/10

Assassin_M
11-11-2012, 12:59 AM
Excellent Review..Although there are some points that are factually wrong.

Respectfully disagree with the first 3 Blue points...and that You`re Batman :P

TheHumanTowel
11-11-2012, 01:31 AM
Now this is the kind of well thought out constructive criticism this forum needs more of. Great points well made and well argued. I agree that stealth, particularly social stealth, needs far more emphasis placed on it. Social Stealth was one of the most innovative and exciting things about AC when it was first revealed but it's been clumsily excecuted. I can see progress being made though. Overall while I agree with a lot of you points I didn't find the game to be a disappointment. I think it's a true successor to AC2. It has flaws yes but I think it does enough right to live up to my expectations.

luckyto
11-11-2012, 03:00 AM
On Monday, I'm really going to take some time with your review, which is well thought out.

I think your points about the story missions are spot on. Freedom hasn't really been present since AC1. It's got progressively worse since ACB. AC3 is, like you point out, probably the worst offender.

But your criticism about AI, in many cases, are things that the systems are not capable of ... or at least, not capable considering all the other elements which are currently running on the system in the existing games. Some of them are possible, some of them would be possible at the expense of other game mechanics. I hope to address these suggestions more later.

As for the cities, I mean, you either like the setting or not. I understand - that's personal preference. Some like them, some don't. I will say, that there are more NPCs on the street doing a greater variety of things than ANY Assassin's Creed before it. By a long shot. Not just slightly more, but I'd be willing to bet that there are 2 to 3 times as many NPCs on screen. In fact, this is actually the first game where I get to the highest sync point, and still see people moving like little ants way off in the distance (rather than right beneath me, if at all.) Their character models are better defined and they have a greater variety of "activities" than ever before as well.

The whole Native American thing being abandoned and side missions not fitting in --- I just think that's utter nonsense. I did in AW's post and I do here. I will say Brotherhood's side stuff was more closely tied to the narrative (more than any other AC game actually), but that's because the game had nothing else in it and it was a fraction of the content. It's pretty easy to make everything tied in when you cut 80% of the content, map and development work out. But AC3 was just as well done as AC2 in that respect. More later.

neverenoughtime
11-11-2012, 04:09 AM
I agree on almost all of what you have said. I actually liked the cities and the frontier. I also liked the story and loved the navel warfare. The voice acting was good except for Conner. I can even deal with the glitches (which for me were not that many.) Now what I did not like was everything they took out or changed for the worse. The more I play this game the madder I get at how sub par it is compared to the other assassins creed games. The combat mechanics are terrible compared to revelations. Its almost impossible to sneak around. Where are all of the shops, the banks? To change your outfit you have to go all the way to the general store and pick it from their. Even then you cannot see what it looks like until you get back into the game. They messed up the assassin recruits completely. The menu to even get in there is horrid. The camera angles can be terrible at times. There is hardly any stealth in this game compared to the previous ones. You spend most of the time running trying to catch and tackle people. I tried sneaking numerous times and then cue the cutscene where they see me and I am the slowest running assassin the world. They took out where when you were hidden your character and the others would turn grey. And what is with the eagle towers? They were extremely simple and almost a nuisance. After synchronizing them I missed the hay more times in this game than all 4 of the other ones combined. Conner would just jump off the ledge and die. Assassins Creed brotherhood and Assassins Creed Revelations are far better games in my opinion. (Except for the tower defense in revelations)

silverASSASSIN79
11-11-2012, 04:17 AM
now this review does give a few valid points, yes there are a few problems with gameplay problems here and there but ubisoft nevertheless has done a fantastic job to create this game with the 3 years allotted to them (since ACII) and it is overall a very good game worthy of notice to all gamers out there and fans of the franchise.

Black_Widow9
11-11-2012, 04:17 AM
Please make sure you contact Ubisoft Support and let them know of any issues you are having.
http://support.ubisoft.com/

After that please feel free to post this here-
Assassin's Creed 3 Single Player Bugs & Issues Thread *Possible Spoilers* (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/720981)

If you want to give feedback about the Single Player Gameplay, please post here-
Assassin's Creed 3 Single Player Gameplay Feedback *DO NOT POST SPOILERS (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/720979)

silverASSASSIN79
11-11-2012, 04:18 AM
soz for sentence mistake

pirate1802
11-11-2012, 05:58 AM
soz for sentence mistake

There's always the edit button :P

@Shobhit7777777: Like I said before, whether I agree or disagree, your posts are always a pleasure to read. You are one of few people who have criticized AC III properly and also gave solutions. Thank you for that. I personally disagree with some of your points, but other points are spot on. AC III would be an even greater game if what you're saying gets incorporated. Overall great review. I give you 9/10 for this review. :cool:

TrueAssassin77
11-11-2012, 06:25 AM
this the type of criticism that should be in effect...

justy so the complainers no.

please take notes

pirate1802
11-11-2012, 06:44 AM
this the type of criticism that should be in effect...

justy so the complainers no.

please take notes

*takes notes*

Unfortunately by the time my review will be out, everybody would already finished and be done with AC III :/

zhengyingli
11-11-2012, 07:42 AM
*takes notes*

Unfortunately by the time my review will be out, everybody would already finished and be done with AC III :/

Are you the one who's been waiting for the PC version? Don't fret then, as your version will probably suffer no fps dip, and also potentially less bugs. It that's the case, I'll be around to hear about it. Your review probably will convince me to get the game for my rig.

pirate1802
11-11-2012, 07:53 AM
Are you the one who's been waiting for the PC version? Don't fret then, as your version will probably suffer no fps dip, and also potentially less bugs. It that's the case, I'll be around to hear about it. Your review probably will convince me to get the game for my rig.

Yes.. I'm one of those people.. :|

Interestingly, I've heard some people say AC III is as buggy as other ACs (whether or not that's true, I can't ascertain for obvious reasons) but if it is true, then I've hardly encountered any serious bugs in previous ACs. Something hilarious here and there, but nothing serious. I've played all of 'em on my PC. So maybe good times ahead? *fingers crossed*

shobhit7777777
11-11-2012, 09:50 AM
Excellent Review..Although there are some points that are factually wrong.

Respectfully disagree with the first 3 Blue points...and that You`re Batman :P

Thank you, M. But can you elaborate on the points where I'm factually wrong? If so, I'd like to correct them immediately.



Now this is the kind of well thought out constructive criticism this forum needs more of. Great points well made and well argued. I agree that stealth, particularly social stealth, needs far more emphasis placed on it. Social Stealth was one of the most innovative and exciting things about AC when it was first revealed but it's been clumsily excecuted. I can see progress being made though. Overall while I agree with a lot of you points I didn't find the game to be a disappointment. I think it's a true successor to AC2. It has flaws yes but I think it does enough right to live up to my expectations.

Thank you for the compliments and I'm glad we see eye to eye on the 'Social Stealth' aspect. It really irks me because no other game offers it and inspite of so many releases we haven't seen any improvement that pushes the envelope in terms of the crowd, it's AI and interactivity.

It has its moments of brilliance, but this time around I just got tired of it all. 5 games really? This game is circling the drain toward mediocrity.




But your criticism about AI, in many cases, are things that the systems are not capable of ... or at least, not capable considering all the other elements which are currently running on the system in the existing games. Some of them are possible, some of them would be possible at the expense of other game mechanics. I hope to address these suggestions more later.

As for the cities, I mean, you either like the setting or not. I understand - that's personal preference. Some like them, some don't. I will say, that there are more NPCs on the street doing a greater variety of things than ANY Assassin's Creed before it. By a long shot. Not just slightly more, but I'd be willing to bet that there are 2 to 3 times as many NPCs on screen. In fact, this is actually the first game where I get to the highest sync point, and still see people moving like little ants way off in the distance (rather than right beneath me, if at all.) Their character models are better defined and they have a greater variety of "activities" than ever before as well.
.

Regarding the systems capability - EXACTLY! 5 games on, 3 years in development and a fortune spent on the engine (I'm assuming its a large amount) and you can't make basic improvements to the AI and the social stealth elements most of which can be sorted via simple design tweaks? And I'd gladly sacrifice the side quests and other fluff if it means I can finally get to play in a living breathing city with dynamic and responsive AI, manipulating the crowd and blending in like a boss.
Because that is essentially the core of an AC game and not Air assassinating a hare and trading in it's skin.

And for the cities....I can see why they did it and how...and it is completely justifiable given the time period, the setting and the locations. But this still doesn't cloud over the fact that these cities were uninteresting when compared to some breathtaking sights in ACR and ACB and even ACII when it came to the population density

I understand that the cities were historically accurate. That the streets are wider and spaces bigger hence the crowd density MAY look thin and underpopulated.....but whatever the reasons may be it feels smaller and emptier...especially when the crowd routines haven't changed much and there is not enough variety. Add to that the problem of rooftop running being problematic due to the layout and the cities become even less enjoyable

Also let it be known that I had repeatedly brought forward the point in threads regarding AC3's possible setting to take into account the architecture and the layout of the cities to keep the experience consistent..when people were going nuts about a game set in S. America during the Mayan ages and Feudal Japan....Look what happened.

Here a couple of pics I took just now to elaborate the difference. I've chosen large open areas so as to keep things balanced and tried to keep it as fair as possible to display the disparity between the crowd density between ACR and AC3. I apologise for the absolutely horrendous quality as I JUST clicked them with my phone

http://i1265.photobucket.com/albums/jj511/shobhit7777777/20121111_010021.jpg?t=1352622140



Thats ACR (Obviously) and no I didn't pre-plan this or select a particular spot...I just chose a large area to keep the comparison fair...and within seconds clicked this pic

http://i1265.photobucket.com/albums/jj511/shobhit7777777/20121111_023827.jpg?t=1352622209


And here is the AC3 shot. Not impressive is it...especially since the area is largely of the same size.

I know the reasons why this is so...but doesn't mean I like it. Another factor hugely affecting the thinned out crowd is the huge number of enemy patrols present....just look at the minimap in AC3...red dots all around. Thats some heavy calculation for the engine and possibly the reason behind a thinner crowd.

Oh and ACR even looks better! this shot was not planned...I just climbed up top to get to the zip line..saw the vista and clicked:

http://i1265.photobucket.com/albums/jj511/shobhit7777777/20121111_005601.jpg?t=1352622099





You spend most of the time running trying to catch and tackle people. I tried sneaking numerous times and then cue the cutscene where they see me and I am the slowest running assassin the world. They took out where when you were hidden your character and the others would turn grey. And what is with the eagle towers? They were extremely simple and almost a nuisance. After synchronizing them I missed the hay more times in this game than all 4 of the other ones combined. Conner would just jump off the ledge and die. Assassins Creed brotherhood and Assassins Creed Revelations are far better games in my opinion. (Except for the tower defense in revelations)


Precisely! Lots of regression in terms of mission design and basic stealth feedback.



Please make sure you contact Ubisoft Support and let them know of any issues you are having.
http://support.ubisoft.com/

After that please feel free to post this here-
Assassin's Creed 3 Single Player Bugs & Issues Thread *Possible Spoilers* (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/720981)

If you want to give feedback about the Single Player Gameplay, please post here-
Assassin's Creed 3 Single Player Gameplay Feedback *DO NOT POST SPOILERS (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/720979)

Will do. I won't post this entire thread but I will link it.
Fortunately its been a bug free game so far


There's always the edit button :P

@Shobhit7777777: Like I said before, whether I agree or disagree, your posts are always a pleasure to read. You are one of few people who have criticized AC III properly and also gave solutions. Thank you for that. I personally disagree with some of your points, but other points are spot on. AC III would be an even greater game if what you're saying gets incorporated. Overall great review. I give you 9/10 for this review. :cool:

Thanks Pirate :)

And to answer your question in another thread - No I'm not a writer but I do make it a point to be precise and articulate whenever I do bang something out. BTW this was written at 4 am in the morning and I **** you not I dozed off in the midst of sentences...any grammatical discrepancies and a lack of flow can be attributed to that.

Also I admire your ability to respectfully disagree and keep personal opinions out of it all....

Assassin_M
11-11-2012, 08:11 PM
Thank you, M. But can you elaborate on the points where I'm factually wrong? If so, I'd like to correct them immediately.
For one, the amount of NPCs on screen is by no means less than past games. I would take a picture, but I currently do not have the means. Also, the AI for the Civilians is greatly improved. I wont explain.. I`ll just show you this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlRyhhXR7dk
Notice how all wandering NPCs have a fixed path ? In AC III its not so.. You can see the many different NPCs going in different paths and not in just groups of 4 and/or 5, but in many varied numbers.

Another thing is that Wandering NPCs have many different other actions. I`v seen it more than a few times.. Where in past games, wandering Civilians did ONLY that.. Wander. but in AC III, wandering NPCs will stop in front of stalls, look for a bit and then leave. ask for directions... knock on doors.. sit down for a while..

luckyto
11-11-2012, 09:30 PM
shobbit777777, I remember being right there alongside you last year when they announced the locale for AC3. I was one of the biggest naysayers. But it's won me over. It really has. The more I stop to look around at where I'm at and what people are doing, the more impressed I become; on all four of the maps.

shobhit7777777
11-11-2012, 09:36 PM
For one, the amount of NPCs on screen is by no means less than past games. I would take a picture, but I currently do not have the means. Also, the AI for the Civilians is greatly improved. I wont explain.. I`ll just show you this.


I acknowledge that the crowd density "feels" lower and also state the reasons why. That still doesn't make the crowd or the cities that much more interesting. ACR and ACB had density going for them, a different flavour, architecture, verticality, colours, interesting characters (Courtesans, Merc, Gypsies, Guys chilling with a hookah, Merchants selling beautiful rugs etc.) ambient music....sum of a lot of parts.
Like I said...their choice and their portrayal of the cities is justified but doesn't mean I have to like it.


Notice how all wandering NPCs have a fixed path ? In AC III its not so.. You can see the many different NPCs going in different paths and not in just groups of 4 and/or 5, but in many varied numbers.

Another thing is that Wandering NPCs have many different other actions. I`v seen it more than a few times.. Where in past games, wandering Civilians did ONLY that.. Wander. but in AC III, wandering NPCs will stop in front of stalls, look for a bit and then leave. ask for directions... knock on doors.. sit down for a while..

....and people open up windows and gawk out of their homes, animals roam the cities, urchins fill the streets, couples canoodling and people have actual convos and yet it still isn't enough. Like I said a lot of it depends on an illusion of a thriving city and our perception. AC3 doesn't do it for me.

While ACR didn't have such complex behaviour it did have interesting merchants and nooks and crannies in the cities...I just wandered upon people chilling out on rugs and couples out on picnics with a gypsy band breathing fire.....that moment alone was more than enough to captivate me.

Then there is the beef with the same old crowd routine in terms of gameplay - Social Stealth and crowd awareness. Stealing, Killing, Punching etc. still leads to the same old response which was unrealistic and arcadey to begin with. The previous systems weren't perfect...far from it....and AC3 doesn't improve on it either. So they can add all the nuances but it still feels like a marginal improvement.

On a positive note - AC3 does have the best crowd dynamics in the franchise and I routinely enjoy eavesdropping on the good folks of Boston with an occasional forced entry into Mrs. O'Malley's 2nd' floor apartment. ;)

Slightly Off topic....but I've really come to appreciate ACR. It was, like AC3 a major disapointment (For much the same reasons) but going back to Constantinople has been nothing short of magical...they crafted a beautiful city.