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View Full Version : Things Assassin's Creed does that we take for Granted



Jexx21
10-04-2013, 12:19 AM
So, I was watching the commentated E3 demo for AC3, and while it does have a lot of things that weren't in the game, such as the dynamic quest system (which actually kind of tell us that some of the side quests were going to be shallow because Connor doesn't stop to talk to the people giving them to him), and it makes it look like the continental forces will be attacking British forts out of the story, it made me think about how some of the things that Alex Hutchinson was talking about in the demo seem to be things that we take for granted and don't even mention when talking about Assassin's Creed.

Like, for example, the fact that the mountain climbing isn't strictly grid based. In games like Tomb Raider (2013), the mountain climbing is obvious, and unnatural, as you cam only climb in these rectangular sections on the mountain, and they don't look like anything that occurs in nature. In AC3, the mountains look pretty natural, and the fact that people had to design the different mountains means that a lot of hard work was put into just that.

Hutchinson also mentioned how in AC3, combat can occur on uneven terrain, where Connor's movesets were adapted for the fact that it was on a slanted environment.

The vaulting over objects, the sliding and climbing down hills, all new and seemingly under-appreciated.

But even the crowd mechanics in the AC series in general are things not really seen in games, along with just the basic city climbing, although buildings are naturally grid-based so it's easier for that to be done than mountain climbing.

There are things that AC3 and the other AC series pioneered that we seem to take for granted now-a-days, which I feel is a shame.

SixKeys
10-04-2013, 12:30 AM
I agree about the rockface climbing, it's still one of the most impressive things about AC3 to me. I love how seamless and different Connor's animations are depending on the shape of the rock.

The free-running in general is something that I'm so used to in AC that when I play a game that doesn't have at least some variant of it, I feel alienated. "What do you mean you won't grab hold of that window sill? You should do it just because it's there!" :p AC has spoiled me with the idea that a bird's eye view is always the best way to assess the situation and I feel oddly trapped when other games won't let me climb everywhere I want.

Vaulting and sliding over objects makes no difference to me. In AC3 sliding under obstacles was actually kind of annoying because the camera would nearly always get stuck for a few seconds.

Character animations are another aspect where AC really shines IMO. Six years after AC1 came out I'm still impressed by Alta´r's animation. In other games where you can climb like Uncharted or Tomb Raider, the animations are jarringly simplistic and "snappy" by comparison.

I-Like-Pie45
10-04-2013, 12:31 AM
I feel sorry for Alex Hutchinson

had he been given more time he could've given us a truly amazing game

adventurewomen
10-04-2013, 12:37 AM
I agree about the rockface climbing, it's still one of the most impressive things about AC3 to me. I love how seamless and different Connor's animations are depending on the shape of the rock.
Agreed! :)

I also loved the free-climbing of AC3, and the different animations for climbing! I would have been annoyed with a grid based climbing system that would have been too restrictive for AC3.

ladyleonhart
10-04-2013, 12:38 AM
Great post, Jexx. :)

I agree with you. Although, I think it is human nature and most people seem to focus on the negative aspects.

I started replaying ACIII a few weeks ago and I actually notice something new all the time. For example, in New York, Connor blended with some NPCs who were sitting on the ground and I was so surprised because he sat on the ground with his legs crossed. Then, I had thought that he would just lean against the wall. So, they really do put a lot of thought and detail into everything.

As for Tomb Raider (2013) I have played it and understand completely. Then, ACIII's frontier does feel much more natural in that respect, and I really enjoy being able to free-run in the trees. :)

Jexx21
10-04-2013, 12:39 AM
I'm playing Splinter Cell: Blacklist right now, and whenever there's a part where you have to climb on mountains I find it a bit jarring because it's literally just ledges carved into the rock, not natural at all.

As far as I'm aware, AC3 is probably the first game to get rock climbing right.

adventurewomen
10-04-2013, 12:41 AM
Also to add that AC3 is more of an Organic environment, so free climbing fits with this element of organic elements.

With TR13 the point of a grid based system was only to get Lara from point A to B without the fuss of finding organic elements.

Jexx21
10-04-2013, 12:48 AM
I loved Tomb Raider, so I'm not bashing it or anything.

Another thing that Assassin's Creed pioneered in was blending in with the crowd, aka social stealth. Well, at least I think it pioneered it. It did for at least an open world setting. I know that Hitman: Absolution features crowd blending and disguises, which is social stealth, and I know that previous Hitman games have had disguises at the very least.

LoyalACFan
10-04-2013, 12:54 AM
I was always far more impressed with rock climbing than tree-running, but it never seemed to get the recognition it deserved. I honestly think tree-climbing detracted from the game somewhat; maybe it's because I live in terrain very similar to the Frontier, but having a forest of trees with perfectly horizontal branches lined up exactly at the right height for me to run on looked really bizarre and unnatural.

Like Six Keys said, I've been spoiled by the parkour. I tried to play Grand Theft Auto IV again before V came out, and my God, I was appalled by the climbing mechanics.

EchoFiveKilo
10-04-2013, 02:40 AM
AC3 does a lot of things greatly that people overlook. The animations, and especially combat animations and the great level of detail and thought they put into it. Like for example, double counters happening based on your positioning. Or the blocks and counters based on Connors stance. Also when you blend into crowds, like someone mentioned before how Connor sits down and crosses his legs, or makes the same gestures as the people hes standing next to.

The climbing in the frontier also looks good and I thought I was the only person who noticed how the rock climbing looks very natural and not square/grid based. While AC3 was still a fantastic game, I can't help but think how much more better it would have been if Alex and his team got just 1 more year to develop.

misterB2001
10-04-2013, 07:47 AM
I thought technically ac3 was outstanding. Snow deformation, the water, the animation and the weather.

I used to climb to the top of buildings during a thunder storm and just watch. I could almost smell the rain.

Unfortunately it felt like they spent so much time cramming in the technological advancements, they actually forgot to make the game play fun

roostersrule2
10-04-2013, 07:52 AM
I really liked the rock climbing, I was more excited about that then tree-running and I preferred it.

However like the above post says they spent more time on these little technological things like the foot placement when that time/money could have been used to improve the gameplay or mission design. I remember them saying that they spent heaps of time on foot placement and although it was very good, it really went unnoticed to a lot of people.

pacmanate
10-04-2013, 08:07 AM
I don't take anything AC does for granted. They always amaze me from a technical aspect.

pirate1802
10-04-2013, 08:34 AM
From a technical standpoint AC3 was indeed marvelous. You won't find anyone arguing otherwise here. :S

Just a small nitpick, Tomb Raider wasnt a open world game fully. So obviously the rock climbing would feel constricted. To compare AC3's (which was a fully open world game) rock climbing, you gotta compare it to a similar open world game which had rock climbing. Are there any? I can't seem to remember such games.I think AC3 was the first open world game to have dynamic mountain climbing :|

Jexx21
10-04-2013, 08:43 AM
I actually didn't feel like TR's rockclimbing was restrictive, just that it felt unnatural due to it pretty much being a rectangle.

kesh_362
10-04-2013, 01:15 PM
I agree about the rock climbing. Cliffs were a very annoying part of Skyrim but a good part in AC3.

roostersrule2
10-04-2013, 01:19 PM
I agree about the rock climbing. Cliffs were a very annoying part of Skyrim but a good part in AC3.Indeed, I hate cliffs in Skyrim, mountains take ages to climb because there's no climbing system other then jump.

X_xWolverinEx_X
09-26-2014, 11:28 AM
rocks are love rocks are life

GoldenBoy9999
09-26-2014, 01:59 PM
I hope rock climbing is one of the main features in one of the next games. I want a Switzerland game so that could be a good place. I think they've done rock climbing very well but not enough people noticed it. I loved the natural vibe with the trees and rocks. Maybe they can use it with that robin hood guy.

pacmanate
09-26-2014, 02:55 PM
Seeing as this has surfaced again, I am always impressed with the hand and feet placements when climbing a building. They always grip onto something, its awesome.

LieutenantRex
09-26-2014, 03:03 PM
I enjoy the fact that there are no playable female characters, as my eyes would focus on their rear as they climb, and I can't afford distractions.

Farlander1991
09-26-2014, 03:04 PM
The fact that you can climb pretty much anywhere (especially in later AC games) is really spoiling me.

I remember when I was playing Arkham Asylum, I couldn't complete a little navigational puzzle to get inside one of the buildings - you had to grapple/zipline to the vent location from a tower across the building, while I tried to get there from the building itself (because it was just a little out of reach and I was sure that there's a place where Batman could climb on to... though, the fact that parts that looked climbable actually weren't annoyed me).

Also, when I played the new Tomb Raider for the first time, it was after many hours of AC3 essentially. So I saw the place where I need to go, and I saw a bunch of trees between me and that place, so I was like, 'right, let's do this', jumped towards the trees... and towards my death respectively.

JustPlainQuirky
09-26-2014, 03:14 PM
Sexy protagonists.

SixKeys
09-26-2014, 04:22 PM
Seeing as this has surfaced again, I am always impressed with the hand and feet placements when climbing a building. They always grip onto something, its awesome.

Agreed. A small yet brilliant detail that often goes unnoticed.

I take it for granted that Right Mouse Button should be "run" in other games and get frustrated when it isn't. :p

GunnerGalactico
09-26-2014, 04:30 PM
Also, when I played the new Tomb Raider for the first time, it was after many hours of AC3 essentially. So I saw the place where I need to go, and I saw a bunch of trees between me and that place, so I was like, 'right, let's do this', jumped towards the trees... and towards my death respectively.

I also made that silly mistake once and I also blamed that on AC :p