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View Full Version : Does Assassin's Creed Need New Systems to Feel Fresh?



STDlyMcStudpants
02-17-2014, 08:40 PM
Let's just for a second scrap the story
Do we need a new mechanic every time to make each Assassin's Creed feel fresh?
Let's talk game play....
I loved the jump AC made to AC2 .
I loved the jump AC2 made to AC3.
But because AC3 was such a massive relaunch of the series AC4 kind of fell on it's face..it didn't feel like progress at all..Because AC3 was in the middle of ACR and AC4 it actually felt like a step back in terms of gameplay (in my opinion), had AC3 not existed or even came after..AC4 would have felt like progression.
But because it didn't. It felt like a completely different ip..A stand alone/series spin off.
Do you personally believe developers should focus on bringing us new instead of refining the old?
You could of course look at this as AC3 not fitting into the series.....
It's no secret that Assassin's Creed 3 is my favorite game, BUT it of course isn't PERFECT.
But as the relaunch of the series, it frustrates me a bit to see that developers aren't building on the AC3 formula to make IT better, but rather with AC4 they seemed to pluck bits and pieces from all 5 games making it seem stuck in the past instead of moving the series forward like AC2 and AC3 did.
Do you believe that instead of naval and hunting they should focus on the AI and breathing life into the now dead cities making the experience feel more 'real' ?
To start focusing on better instead of new...

Dome500
02-18-2014, 12:17 AM
I think it's important to have both. Fresh ideas, mechanics and concepts AS WELL AS the things there were good in the past.

I agree that a more vibrant city and an improved social stealth aspect would be cool. But I also think Stealth (Line of Sight Stealth) should be improved further (it was already better in AC4 which was amazing, but it needs to evolve even more IMO)

What I think would be good for the series is to make the missions a little bit more open.
Less about do this and do that if not desyncronization, but rather leave it to the player.
AC4 already pulled that a lot back in comparison with the older games, but I want it to go a little further, embrace an altnerate path concept. Leave it to the player in 90% of the missions how to approach. "Do I stealth the letter with the information I need, eavesdrop a conversation to find it out or do I interrogate that guy who has the information (killing his fellow soldiers and then interrogating him)." (Just and example).

We don't need a new engine every time.
Important is that the gameplay evolves and does not stagnate or become worse, that the side missions are getting more diverse and different, while still keeping 2 or 3 favorites of the last games, etc.


Black Flag gave us a refreshingly disconnected story from AC - ACIII and provided us with ~ 75% naval gameplay which was also something unusual for an AC game.We need such games once every 2 - 3 years to change the pace, give us breathing room, and give the devs time to develop the formula further. But also to give them time to think of NEW stuff. Otherwise the series gets to repetitive.

Don't get me wrong.
Assassin Contracts, Templar Hunts, Secret Artifacts (that might or might not unlock a special armor), the Assassion/Templar plot and y'know, assassinations and stuff like that should always be in an Assassin Creed. It is part of it's DNA.

I think the challenge here is to add new additions to the franchise and make them interesting enough for 1 - 2 games, maybe keeping 1 or 2 favorites. Adding new stuff every year/game. That is important. While keeping the old favorites and the basic construct of the game.

Fatal-Feit
02-18-2014, 12:29 AM
@Dome500 - Paragraphs, man. :nonchalance:

@Thread - Yes, by all means, give us a new engine. But only if they're placing the series in an entirely different era with a new saga. If there's the new game's taking place in the 1800s France, keep the AnvilNext. If we're heading towards a new saga someplace in China during the Midieval Era, well Jesus Christ, I heavily implore them to upgrade the damn engine. No argument.

I don't mind AC:IV being a step back from AC:3. My only complain was it had ''IV'' in the title. It was not a big jump AC:2.0 or AC:3.0 have made. It was an AC 2.8. If Ubs is going the route of naming sequels with numbers without anymore giant leaps, then they should have a title like ''Black Flag'' from now on.

LoyalACFan
02-18-2014, 01:03 AM
Not necessarily. There should always be new stuff (i.e. weapons, modes of traversal, side mission strands, etc.) that enhances the feel of playing in a particular era/setting, but they should also be relevant to the core of Assassin's Creed. We don't need brand new mechanics just for the sake of being new. Look at Den Defense. It was a desperate attempt to keep the Ezio formula "fresh," but TBH Revelations would have been better without it. Same with bombcrafting, trading convoys, social events, and others.

Basically, the AC formula should be tweaked, improved upon, and tailored to the specific setting for every game, but that shouldn't necessarily include entirely new mechanics if the game already feels new and original without them.

AC2_alex
02-18-2014, 01:12 AM
I would love to see them do what they did in AC1 and AC2. That is, don't give us all our items at once.The hunting system was great in AC4, but I'd wish they gave us less at the beginning so we had more to work towards in the future. What I loved about AC2 so much is how they introduced a new weapon or technique every sequence or so. As my arsenal grew, I felt more and more like an assassin.

This is kind of an unrelated suggestion, but I think Ubi should seriously consider making a more linear AC. People don't seem to like linear game design, but for a game like AC, I feel like it could really work. I feel the game would overall be more focused and streamlined, from story to gameplay.

LoyalACFan
02-18-2014, 01:26 AM
This is kind of an unrelated suggestion, but I think Ubi should seriously consider making a more linear AC. People don't seem to like linear game design, but for a game like AC, I feel like it could really work. I feel the game would overall be more focused and streamlined, from story to gameplay.

They already did this, and it failed miserably. AC3 had the worst mission design of any AC game by FAR.

AC2_alex
02-18-2014, 01:32 AM
They already did this, and it failed miserably. AC3 had the worst mission design of any AC game by FAR.

That's not what I mean. Obviously, AC3 was a failure in many ways.

What I mean is, I want to have a world that's condensed yet filled with secrets and branching paths and discovery. I'd be curious to see how AC would play out if it had a Last of Us type world design. It's kind of a hybrid open world, where you steel feel transported to another place and you're fully immersed, but square-footage wise, not as large.

AdamPearce
02-18-2014, 02:45 AM
That's not what I mean. Obviously, AC3 was a failure in many ways.

What I mean is, I want to have a world that's condensed yet filled with secrets and branching paths and discovery. I'd be curious to see how AC would play out if it had a Last of Us type world design. It's kind of a hybrid open world, where you steel feel transported to another place and you're fully immersed, but square-footage wise, not as large.

http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_makekrXt011qhax3so1_500.gif

omg, ahahah, sorry, just, waow, you're amazing.

Back on topic

Yes, I really think AC needs to change it's core, because the present one are miserable. And it would be necessary to constantly improve those cores within each game, no copy/ paste (hello Black Flag :rolleyes:).

LoyalACFan
02-18-2014, 03:34 AM
That's not what I mean. Obviously, AC3 was a failure in many ways.

What I mean is, I want to have a world that's condensed yet filled with secrets and branching paths and discovery. I'd be curious to see how AC would play out if it had a Last of Us type world design. It's kind of a hybrid open world, where you steel feel transported to another place and you're fully immersed, but square-footage wise, not as large.

Nah. There was a thread recently advocating a linear AC (think it was Sushiglutton who started it) and I voiced my opposition there in greater detail, but the open world is one of AC's greatest assets. I definitely don't want to lose it. However, I would be cool with having multiple smaller locales instead of a few (or one) really big ones. Kind of like Black Flag, but instead of being all within one large map, have them spread across a larger area to represent a wider variety of environments.

STDlyMcStudpants
02-18-2014, 07:54 AM
That's not what I mean. Obviously, AC3 was a failure in many ways.

What I mean is, I want to have a world that's condensed yet filled with secrets and branching paths and discovery. I'd be curious to see how AC would play out if it had a Last of Us type world design. It's kind of a hybrid open world, where you steel feel transported to another place and you're fully immersed, but square-footage wise, not as large.

I think people would agree that the story is what brings us back every year, but the open world is what makes this series so addicting...so hard to step away from.
Unlike most gamers, I can't sit down at noon and play a game until midnight..
I can only take playing a game in short bursts (about 2 to 4 hours at a time) It takes a really special game for me to not want to put my controller down and it's never been a linear game to do that...there are 2 series in particular that i can play from waking up until bed, those series are Elder Scrolls and Assassins Creed...
An open world game allows down time and it prevents burnout.
I actually believe more games should adopt that sort of at your own pace style

C_G_01
02-18-2014, 10:08 AM
I voted no, but I don't really mean "NO", more like "not yet".

They actually need to get back to the essence of Assassin's Creed. Assassinations, social stealth(well, stealth in general too), free roam, parkour, historical eras, etc. And then improve on that formula. I feel Assassin's Creed 2, as great as it was, ventured too far from that, it already felt like a completely different game. Instead of focusing on redundant weapons, and outfits, and that g****** multiplayer, they should focus on improving enemy A.I., combat, stealth, missions, characters, story, etc. Especially, enemy A.I. and stealth.

Oh for the love of... the stealth. I don't remember doing anything stealthily in these games, unless it caused a game over. I only recently found out that Black Flag had that feature, where you go through a building to evade your pursuers, a la Assassin's Creed 3. Who evades, when you can just kill everyone and then walk away. Why scout an alternate route when approaching your target, when you can just walk in the front door, and just counter one-shot everyone. I don't free run on rooftops unless there's a collectible there, there's no point.

A TRUE Assassin's Creed game. I don't care if they release it every year, or every 10 years. As long as it's a true and epic Assassin's Creed game. Quality, ubisoft, not quantity.

SixKeys
02-18-2014, 12:43 PM
I agree with many points in the OP. AC4 definitely felt like a step backwards in some respects whereas AC3 was more daring in some ways. However, I don't agree that it was the massive relaunch it was advertised as. They said they wanted it to feel like a new IP, but it felt more like a different vision of the same old AC we know. They could have, and should have, pushed it further.

Weather was a great introduction, but the only one that had any effect on gameplay was snow, which we only had in two sequences. They could have done so much more, like fog affecting visibility (something that was promised originally IIRC), snowstorms, rain making branches and roof tiles slippery (though I realize this could have been a controversial decision) and so on.

They had animals but didn't do as much with them as they could have. Guard dogs were a great idea, but I only ever ran into them three times in the whole game. Hunting was too simplistic to feel rewarding in any way. We could even have had horse-taming á la RDR. Dangerous animals like wolves and pumas didn't actually feel dangerous, just another quick-time event, when they should have been basically the guards of the Frontier. A way to change up the gameplay and encourage the player to find alternate routes: "Oh crap, there's a whole pack of wolves down this way. If I go through their territory, I'll be killed for sure. Should I go around or lay down traps?"

Speaking of traps, there's another wasted opportunity. Imagine if the animal AI had been much more realistic, so baiting and trapping really would have required some patience and skill. None of this "wait in a bush, throw down some bait and watch the whole forest flock to you like you're Snow White". I mean having to actually track animals using Eagle Vision (not just walking over to a magnifying glass). We could have had small traps for raccoons and such, and bigger traps for dangerous animals, like covering up a ravine with some leaves and throwing bait on it, and then wait for a bear to fall into it. Being able to lay down traps for humans would have been hilarious too.

Then there were a bunch of smaller, half-assed systems like the clubs, fetch quests and assassin recruits. Where the other things felt like good, fresh ideas just not worked to their full potential, these things were leftovers from previous ACs, put in the game "just because". That's what really dragged down the experience. It could have been as big of a change as AC1-AC2 if they hadn't insisted on half-heartedly putting in some stuff that's become a staple of the series but feels old at this point, and instead focused on pushing the fresh ideas to their full potential.

Farlander1991
02-18-2014, 01:49 PM
For all the talks about how big jump AC2 was from AC1 or AC3 from AC2 or AC4 from AC2 or whatever from whatever, the fact that these questions come up, the fact that people say how they're tired from certain mechanics or how they want some change really shows one thing: the inherent flaws in the core that were present in AC1 were not fixed or fleshed out to this day.

What we received, for the most parts, were a bunch of facades that made the flaws less visible, but as facades change and the flaws stay (even if they change, because devs do try to fix up things), it becomes more apparent how little things have progressed. I think AC4 is truly a gathering of the best of AC (though one can debate a little bit when it comes to combat), but it also shows all the flaws that AC has and for the most part always had.

So, to answer the question, unless AC truly fixes up the core gameplay, then yes, it will always need new systems to stay fresh.

RinoTheBouncer
02-18-2014, 01:56 PM
I believe we do need a new system, new animations like breathing, getting tired, cold, make it feel realistic. Let’s give purpose to outfits, let’s them not only be a style nor disguises but also with a real affect on the character’s efficiency in combat in certain circumstances. Make some outfits more protective than others, or more suitable for certain environments than others.

Let us also have new style of missions. The idea of find the “!” > Tail > Eavesdrop > Kill is becoming such a boring routine. Lets do it a different way. Lets ditch all the fancy weapons and go back to a primitive time period where we progress with our stealth and fighting skills rather than big weapons for us or our enemies. ACIII did a great job introducing animal hunting so lets introduce something new and lets make it pivotal to the game story and gameplay as well. ACIV presented underwater missions to main AC entries but the problem was that only one mission had to do with the story and for what? to find medicine. I had hoped we’d dive underwater and retrieve a piece of eden or something of such importance rather than just tackling sharks to earn a 100% completion.

It would be such a great idea that each assassination is made to be a unique mission with it’s unique skills and ways to reach the target. Eavesdropping can be replaced with being able to walk around among people and listen to what they say or ask around to be informed about the target instead of just following them from rooftops and balconies. If we get to have a present day portion (which I wish it happens), we can for example place a tracker on a car and on the assassin’s iPhone, you get to track where your target is going. We can assassinate someone by poising their food or water or maybe by burning the house they’re in to lure him out.

There are countless possibilities for learning about your targets, finding them, luring them out of a place or into another and assassinating them. I guess the developers just need to give it time to be more innovative and original and less limited, repetitive and glitchy.

Sushiglutton
02-18-2014, 03:11 PM
I don't think AC needs a constant stream of new systems to feel fresh. There are games in which the only thing you do is combat pretty much and they are still loads of fun. I also don't think AC needs to redesign all its system every year. I thought the approach in AC4 had of focusing on brushing up naval and stealth made a lot of sense. Parkour is functional as it is, even though it's not particulary fun.

For AC5 I really hope they put a lot of effort into the combat system. It's a shame that Ubi Montreal with its POP roots have made six games with such dull combat. I also hope they do something about city gameplay in general as it's starting to feel real stale at this point. Then we have AI and basic things like HUD options, map, inventory, weapon selection and so on that would be great if they could figure out.

An unususal setting with renovated classic AC gameplay could feel fresh without any big new systems.

Dome500
02-18-2014, 05:17 PM
I agree on some people saying here that certain types of missions are overused and are always the same instead of being different every time, or that taking over certain systems to the next game (like the Assassin Recruits for AC3, or the Assassination Missions in AC3 (mainly because the latter ones were poorly executed)) can harm the game, but also benefit it (Assassination Missions in AC4 felts like the ones in AC2 and were real fun IMO, although the AC2 ones had more variability in design and story).

And I also agree that certain major flaws of the main systems have either been taken over without knowing or have been ignored. They should really start addressing those.

Furthermore, I think that a more open approach on missions, meaning we have always at least 2 ways to do something, would also reduce the monotony and repetitiveness of some missions.

Add new side missions and activities (like you did in AC4 with for example the Templar Hunts (which I found a pretty cool addition) or the plantations) every game, that is also important, while keeping a fair share of the favorites from previous games (of course only if it actually FITS in that historical era ans location).

We do not need a whole new system, but what we need are huge improvements in all gameplay areas for sure. And an increased amount of freedom in how to approach and fulfill missions.

GunnerGalactico
02-18-2014, 07:19 PM
I agree with a lot people here, so I'm not going to repeat what everybody else is saying. But I don't necessarily think that the gameplay system should be drastically changed in every game, just merely making improvements or adding more elements to it is sufficient enough. For example, AC3 was the first game to introduce mobile eavesdropping, stalking bushes, cover system etc , as an addition to all the existing elements such as pickpocketing, interrogation, blending in with any group of people etc.

It would be cool if they added more new things like deciphering secret Templar messages, more covert missions, planting false evidence to frame people.. that's all I could come up with :p

STDlyMcStudpants
02-18-2014, 07:56 PM
It would be cool if they added more new things like deciphering secret Templar messages, more covert missions, planting false evidence to frame people.. that's all I could come up with :p

Those are actually some of the best ideas I've ever heard of..
A lot of people may just play the story so they don't get 'why' we are into AC so much..instead of a deciphering and (sometimes) challenging puzzles being 100% optional as a trophy or a bonus video (still have these), but actually put some of them into the story itself!
Imagine Ezio without leo ..what if we had to do a puzzle to figure out the machines and weapons...i wouldve liked ac 2 that much better

Synchrossassin
03-15-2014, 08:35 AM
Yes, I agree with most of what ppl are saying here, and i like your ideas GunnerGalatico!! someone said that instead of just tailing somebody without being seen, you could be walking amongst a crowd and listen to their chatter, and they would give little hints of where to go next, or rumors of where a certain item was said to have been..like instead of always having an objective dot/arrow pointing us Directly to out target/objective area, we are given an assassin contract telling us a few bits of info, then we're off to find the damn target ourselves lol like imagine, so im going to stop correct punctuation for now to get this out quickly-so imagine ur opening the assassin contract bird cage, and this one says something like: 'Adam mcadams has been secretly funding a group of local Templars, he was last seen near the Northside of Havana. either get ahold of the source of his funding or take him out'' and the Only guidance you get after that is on the map, like in Black Flag there is a red/yellow circle showing general location of target..but there's no objective marker or anything, the guy could be anywhere; so you're walkin on the streets and you hear ppl say "this and this person heard McAdams just opened a blacksmith & weapon shop in town, I believe they're having a little get-together right about now in fact. " so that was 2 ladies chattin while walkin, so you head on over to what appears to be a small crowd of ppl having drinks and talkin in small groups, obviously this is it; so you turn on Eagle Vision, and find him havin dinner with some guests..you walk over to a table nearby with an empty seat & sit down, then mcadams gets up to take a brake and he walks around a house, so you follow him then catch him wothout anyone around and intimidate him, telling him to stop his special funding or you'll be back..you get more rewards if he doesnt keep to his word then you take him out later on in the game or something... just some thoughts..

oliacr
03-15-2014, 11:53 AM
I believe we do need a new system, new animations like breathing, getting tired, cold, make it feel realistic. Let’s give purpose to outfits, let’s them not only be a style nor disguises but also with a real affect on the character’s efficiency in combat in certain circumstances. Make some outfits more protective than others, or more suitable for certain environments than others.

Let us also have new style of missions. The idea of find the “!” > Tail > Eavesdrop > Kill is becoming such a boring routine. Lets do it a different way. Lets ditch all the fancy weapons and go back to a primitive time period where we progress with our stealth and fighting skills rather than big weapons for us or our enemies. ACIII did a great job introducing animal hunting so lets introduce something new and lets make it pivotal to the game story and gameplay as well. ACIV presented underwater missions to main AC entries but the problem was that only one mission had to do with the story and for what? to find medicine. I had hoped we’d dive underwater and retrieve a piece of eden or something of such importance rather than just tackling sharks to earn a 100% completion.

It would be such a great idea that each assassination is made to be a unique mission with it’s unique skills and ways to reach the target. Eavesdropping can be replaced with being able to walk around among people and listen to what they say or ask around to be informed about the target instead of just following them from rooftops and balconies. If we get to have a present day portion (which I wish it happens), we can for example place a tracker on a car and on the assassin’s iPhone, you get to track where your target is going. We can assassinate someone by poising their food or water or maybe by burning the house they’re in to lure him out.

There are countless possibilities for learning about your targets, finding them, luring them out of a place or into another and assassinating them. I guess the developers just need to give it time to be more innovative and original and less limited, repetitive and glitchy.

Indeed, great thoughts.