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View Full Version : Without freedom, variation is useless!



Sushiglutton
12-28-2012, 09:04 PM
When AC1 was released in 2007 it was heavily criticized for being too repetitive. Before every assassination you did the same short preperation missions over and over. The most common sidemission was to save a citizien, which meant walking up to a group of guards and kill them (there were like 50 of those missions).

Fast forward to 2012/AC3, the most varied game I have ever played. In just the campaign you will:

fix sails
get into barfights
shoot with a cannon
hunt
play hide and seek
fly as an eagle
control firing lines
chase
escape a prison
solve puzzles
throw tea
stalk
much, much more
It seems like they fixed the main issue with AC1, so why are people still complaining?

It's because the repetition was never the problem. The problem for the francihise has always been restricted missions with too much handholding, in combination with weak core mechanics. Truth is that most games have you performing the same few tasks over and over without ever feeling repetetive. For example many games have you walk into a room and kill everything in it, before you proceed to the next room and repeat. The reason AC1 felt repetetive was because all these missions were so restricted (eaves dropping, pick pocketing etc), not because they had the same objective! To prove this note that the assassination missions in AC1 never felt repetetive at all, even though all you did was to get into a guarded area and kill someone.

AC3 introduced tons of new types of objectives and minigames to achieve them. But Ubi missed the point. All these missions are still very restricted in how they can be completed. When you fix sails you walk to a spot and press 'B' to interact. When you play hide and seek you walk up to a magnifying glass and press 'B' to interact.

Without freedom, variation is useless!

F0RTY SEVIN
12-28-2012, 10:25 PM
agreed :D

Mission Constraints are also a problem. Why tell us how to complete a mission, let us figure out our own way.

UncappedWheel82
12-28-2012, 10:35 PM
Amen!

Gi1t
12-28-2012, 11:25 PM
When AC1 was released in 2007 it was heavily criticized for being too repetitive. Before every assassination you did the same short preperation missions over and over. The most common sidemission was to save a citizien, which meant walking up to a group of guards and kill them (there were like 50 of those missions).

Fast forward to 2012/AC3, the most varied game I have ever played. In just the campaign you will:

fix sails
get into barfights
shoot with a cannon
hunt
play hide and seek
fly as an eagle
control firing lines
chase
escape a prison
solve puzzles
throw tea
stalk
much, much more
It seems like they fixed the main issue with AC1, so why are people still complaining?

It's because the repetition was never the problem. The problem for the francihise has always been restricted missions with too much handholding, in combination with weak core mechanics. Truth is that most games have you performing the same few tasks over and over without ever feeling repetetive. For example many games have you walk into a room and kill everything in it, before you proceed to the next room and repeat. The reason AC1 felt repetetive was because all these missions were so restricted (eaves dropping, pick pocketing etc), not because they had the same objective! To prove this note that the assassination missions in AC1 never felt repetetive at all, even though all you did was to get into a guarded area and kill someone.

AC3 introduced tons of new types of objectives and minigames to achieve them. But Ubi missed the point. All these missions are still very restricted in how they can be completed. When you fix sails you walk to a spot and press 'B' to interact. When you play hide and seek you walk up to a magnifying glass and press 'B' to interact.

Without freedom, variation is useless!

Veyr true. :) Really, EVERY game relies on the ability of the player to exercise freedom in the way they approach it. Many of the best games out there don't have a ton of unusual objectives. All you do is talk or fight, but they have so much variety that it stays interesting. I find that games that try to come up with a million and one objectives instead of giving the player a lot of options when doing them tend to get old faster. They become too focused on content and weak at the core.

LoyalACFan
12-28-2012, 11:49 PM
Yep. AC is getting far too linear for my tastes. The linear free-running levels (i.e. tombs and Kidd letters) notwithstanding.

andreja110s
12-29-2012, 12:16 AM
play hide and seek
fly as an eagle




I loved these two! :D And of course all the others :)

burtie80
12-29-2012, 04:01 AM
Great post OP. I agree with fully and I am also finding that AC is becoming to linear. The thing I liked about AC1 was the fact you were just given a target and left to work out your own strategy, all that has gone now as all you have to do is walk up to the big shinning object/marker and press a button. Bring back the old way please.

F0RTY SEVIN
12-29-2012, 04:18 AM
To the OP and any interested, I wrote an article on my IGN blog that addresses this and many other concerns. It is a lengthy but interesting read. I also used a version of the control scheme that the OP posted in the single player feedback thread. I hope anyone who is interested enjoys the article! http://www.ign.com/blogs/madman_asunder/2012/12/28/lets-fix-assassins-creed-3/

Sushiglutton
12-29-2012, 01:04 PM
Veyr true. :) Really, EVERY game relies on the ability of the player to exercise freedom in the way they approach it. Many of the best games out there don't have a ton of unusual objectives. All you do is talk or fight, but they have so much variety that it stays interesting. I find that games that try to come up with a million and one objectives instead of giving the player a lot of options when doing them tend to get old faster. They become too focused on content and weak at the core.

I feel exactly the same way! The interactivity is key to making a īgame fun and last long. Give the player a chance to experiment, come up with new strategies etc and the game never gets old!

Sushiglutton
12-29-2012, 01:06 PM
I loved these two! :D And of course all the others :)

Tbh I have a soft spot for the hide and seek mission, which I thought was pretty cute :). I'm not saying to throw away all this stuff. But the balance in AC3 is wrong imo. There need to be a lot more sandbox type missions and less ultra restricted scripted missions.

Sushiglutton
12-29-2012, 01:10 PM
Great post OP. I agree with fully and I am also finding that AC is becoming to linear. The thing I liked about AC1 was the fact you were just given a target and left to work out your own strategy, all that has gone now as all you have to do is walk up to the big shinning object/marker and press a button. Bring back the old way please.

Thank you :)! AC1 had many weaknesses but the mission design for the main missions was better, mainly because there wasn't one! The sick thing is that all this scripting, cutscenes and handholding take a ton of effort and cost a lot of money. Just putting a target somewhere in the open world, add some guards and let the mechanics speak for themselves is dirt cheap in comparison. And way more fun :D!

catkiller97
12-29-2012, 02:20 PM
Great OP!!!!!

matheus_737
12-29-2012, 02:32 PM
Yeah!! AC should be on the style of Dishonered maybe, we have the target and I choose the way I can kill him with a poison or bring to a room and in the end someone find you or the body and persue you thats should be fun. But not make a mission to complete another one like Dishonered not quite liked.

GengisKhanIsHere
12-29-2012, 02:32 PM
I totally agree. For example, i liked the last assassination even tho it was a guided cutscene, but i feel that it was only good in that instance. Still, there are pleny more assassinations that are very similar, so linear, too linear. I miss infiltrating a huge building full of guards and making my way to the target to kill him silently, instead i get all of these "cutscene" assassinations where what i want to do and how i want to approach doesn't really matter. It also feel like you aren't earning the assassination, it's not that much of a deal anymore getting to your heavly guarded target and killing him, sometimes the target just comes to you and you press a button and it dies... it's underwhelming.

montagemik
12-29-2012, 06:06 PM
Already we have a multitude of gamers who can't manage to figure out the objective constraints on many missions , So they complain it's bugged / impossible & even campaign for objectives to be removed.
Don't see how making it open world Sandbox approach would help fix these problems .
If many still struggle with optional / linear routes - Giving them free reign for every mission would either confuse them totally or end up as OPEN CONFLICT in every mission.(very stealthy huh ?)

I say keep making what they're making ............As soon as it no longer appeals to me , i'll drop the series.
If i want total free reign in an open world game = I'll pick GTA series everytime over an AC game , free reign open world isn't something i ever expected or wanted from Assassin's Creed.
(i'm reliving an ancestors memories not fantasies...........So i expected nothing but linear/Scripted gameplay ever since AC 1)

Sushiglutton
12-29-2012, 06:32 PM
Already we have a multitude of gamers who can't manage to figure out the objective constraints on many missions , So they complain it's bugged / impossible & even campaign for objectives to be removed.
Don't see how making it open world Sandbox approach would help fix these problems .
If many still struggle with optional / linear routes - Giving them free reign for every mission would either confuse them totally or end up as OPEN CONFLICT in every mission.(very stealthy huh ?)

I say keep making what they're making ............As soon as it no longer appeals to me , i'll drop the series.
If i want total free reign in an open world game = I'll pick GTA series everytime over an AC game , free reign open world isn't something i ever expected or wanted from Assassin's Creed.
(i'm reliving an ancestors memories not fantasies...........So i expected nothing but linear/Scripted gameplay ever since AC 1)

A sandbox approach would ofc not fix those peoples problems. I think having two difficulty levels would be one way. In the easy mode there should be more visual hints were to go and what to do. You could also have something like in Super Mario Wii where if you fail a couple of times you get the option to let the computer complete a difficult part (you can resume control whenever you want). It's much better to have a more complex game at its core and then help casual gamers, than to have a dumb game and then try to challenge more advanced gamers by adding more constraints. The latter approach will never work.

AC is an open world game, it just doesn't take advantage of it in the campaign. To me that is a waste of resources.

kriegerdesgottes
12-29-2012, 06:40 PM
totally agree.

pacmanate
12-29-2012, 06:50 PM
I don't know why people think that game mechanics > Story. It DOESN'T. If the story isn't good in anything that it will always be complained out.