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View Full Version : Something that REALLY bothers me about AC...



LoyalACFan
02-26-2014, 04:28 PM
Is the way the story is divided up and strewn piecemeal across all sorts of media.

I was OK with the novelizations having a few more creative embellishments. After all, literature is better-equipped to illustrate certain things than games. But then came the Lost Archive, containing the only real revelation of Revelations. Then it was Forsaken, which was the only thing that explained why Haytham inexplicably turned into a heartless bastard between 1756 and 1778. Then it was the Encyclopedia, which apparently is the only thing that explains why Connor and Achilles are at the signing of the Declaration. Now it's Initiates, which is an extremely boring way of gleaning information about forgotten characters and plot threads.

I know Assassin's Creed is a multimedia franchise, but each medium should tell stories that are independent from one another. The Walking Dead is multimedia as well, but you don't have to read the comic to get missing info from the show, or play the game to get missing info from the comic, or whatever. Having your franchise spread across all media is actually a good thing as it increases revenue and popular recognition, but it isn't OK to have plot holes in one medium that are only explained by information from another.

lothario-da-be
02-26-2014, 04:31 PM
I agree, as a very big fan it doesn't bother me that much. But I am sure that other people might get lost in this (poorly created) universe.

adventurewomen
02-26-2014, 04:31 PM
These other forms of ways in which fans can interact and learn more about the AC universe just makes the games and story that much more interesting. Background information in AC games are always welcome, I honestly don't mind Initiates or any AC novelizations, if anything these forms of contextual information keeps me interested..

DumbGamerTag94
02-26-2014, 04:39 PM
Is the way the story is divided up and strewn piecemeal across all sorts of media.

I was OK with the novelizations having a few more creative embellishments. After all, literature is better-equipped to illustrate certain things than games. But then came the Lost Archive, containing the only real revelation of Revelations. Then it was Forsaken, which was the only thing that explained why Haytham inexplicably turned into a heartless bastard between 1756 and 1778. Then it was the Encyclopedia, which apparently is the only thing that explains why Connor and Achilles are at the signing of the Declaration. Now it's Initiates, which is an extremely boring way of gleaning information about forgotten characters and plot threads.

I know Assassin's Creed is a multimedia franchise, but each medium should tell stories that are independent from one another. The Walking Dead is multimedia as well, but you don't have to read the comic to get missing info from the show, or play the game to get missing info from the comic, or whatever. Having your franchise spread across all media is actually a good thing as it increases revenue and popular recognition, but it isn't OK to have plot holes in one medium that are only explained by information from another.

I feel exactly the same way I get lost with the story and have to hunt down a bunch of BS unrelated media to answer my questions and fill plot holes it drives me insane

adventurewomen
02-26-2014, 04:41 PM
I feel exactly the same way I get lost with the story and have to hunt down a bunch of BS unrelated media to answer my questions and fill plot holes it drives me insane
Not all of the story can be explained in games, it's the same thing for films as well. In cinematography the story is also told within what is seen or an underlying story.

Farlander1991
02-26-2014, 04:41 PM
Then it was Forsaken, which was the only thing that explained why Haytham inexplicably turned into a heartless bastard between 1756 and 1778.

I guess this is a matter of personal perception, but in this particular case, I never considered an explanation to be necessary. We knew from Ziio's narration that Haytham was adamant about completing his Templar dreams. And (from personal experience) when you have a dreamer like that, who doesn't achieve the goal as time passes (and who has to deal with people like Church who make that goal even harder to accomplish), it's only natural that they change and become a lot colder. And it's understandable that some **** happened. Maybe it's because I could identify with it more, I don't know. (I never read Forsaken, btw)

But overall, I agree. I feel that narrative as a whole is very disjointed in AC (and personally feel that AC1 and AC4 are the most lesser offenders in this regard).

The signs of it appeared in the very first game with one-off appearances of Abbas and Rauf (although at least that helped to paint Altair, but it still felt very odd to not see them at all for the rest of the game). Then came the second game with suddenly disappearing Rosa, suddenly disappearing Ugo, suddenly appearing Niccolo Machiavelli (I still don't understand how a person who was only 7 years old when Mario took Ezio under his Assassin wing was inducted and became a leader of said Order before Ezio), and some other things. And then when parallel development started occurring, things kinda went out of control, and in AC3 it manifested the most.

The experience of the games should be full on its own. Transmedia should make it deeper, but it's goal shouldn't be to explain plot holes and ommisions.

LoyalACFan
02-26-2014, 04:43 PM
These other forms of ways in which fans can interact and learn more about the AC universe just makes the games and story that much more interesting. Background information in AC games are always welcome, I honestly don't mind Initiates or any AC novelizations, if anything these forms of contextual information keeps me interested..

Background information is one thing, but when there are gaping, obvious questions left unresolved by the main product that are only answered in supplementary media, then there's a problem. The Declaration thing is kind of a facetious example but I absolutely stand by my statements about Lucy and Haytham. That material NEEDED to be in the core game.

adventurewomen
02-26-2014, 04:49 PM
Background information is one thing, but when there are gaping, obvious questions left unresolved by the main product that are only answered in supplementary media, then there's a problem. The Declaration thing is kind of a facetious example but I absolutely stand by my statements about Lucy and Haytham. That material NEEDED to be in the core game.
In general there are so many games out there that don't explain everything or we see things happen on screen. Main reasons is to keep the mystery, if everything was explained in games, it wouldn't leave any interpretation for the gamer to fill in the the gaps or go and research information, which is why Ubisoft has AC: Initiates and Novelizations.

Farlander1991
02-26-2014, 04:53 PM
In general there are so many games out there that don't explain everything or we see things happen on screen. Main reasons is to keep the mystery, if everything was explained in games, it wouldn't leave any interpretation for the gamer to create the gaps or go and research information, which is why Ubisoft has AC: Initiates and Novelizations.

By that logic I can write up an AC story where the main character is a woodcutter from Canada who in the next sequence is an assassin killing his enemies in America who in the next sequence are his best friends as they go around Mexico. Why? Interpretation and mystery, of course! Of course I'm greatly exaggerating in the example, but the point is there's a difference between mystery and ambiguity and bad storytelling with blank spots.

LoyalACFan
02-26-2014, 04:55 PM
In general there are so many games out there that don't explain everything or we see things happen on screen. Main reasons is to keep the mystery, if everything was explained in games, it wouldn't leave any interpretation for the gamer to create the gaps or go and research information, which is why Ubisoft has AC: Initiates and Novelizations.

I'm not talking about leaving things up for interpretation, I'm talking about leaving obvious questions unanswered in the game and explaining them fully in other media. Having to go "research information" is a very, very bad thing IMO, it's the absolute laziest and greediest way they can write the story.

Basically, I'm saying a game's story should be largely self-contained and display a full narrative arc, perhaps leaving the player to draw their own conclusions about it and interpret it in different ways, but NOT leaving threads hanging and unable to be explained without buying another AC product that explains it.

LoyalACFan
02-26-2014, 04:56 PM
By that logic I can write up an AC story where the main character is a woodcutter from Canada who in the next sequence is an assassin killing his enemies in America who in the next sequence are his best friends as they go around Mexico. Why? Interpretation and mystery, of course! Of course I'm greatly exaggerating in the example, but the point is there's a difference between mystery and ambiguity and bad storytelling with blank spots.

This. Aveline's transformation into an Assassin is a good example too.

frodrigues55
02-26-2014, 04:59 PM
Seriously agree.

I was talking about this the other day - I have played all games but it stills feels like I don't have a clue of things that are going on. I wouldn't mind if all media shared an unniverse but had its own characters and histories. They could be self-contained while still avoiding conflicts amongst them.

It's annoying when I played 3 games to learn about Ezio's journey, but had to watch two short films to see where he comes from and how he died. When Daniel Cross appeared as a character on AC3, I had no ideia who the hell was that person.

And just the other day, I found out Adewale was murdered on Initiates and his grandson is an Assassin right now. I didn't even know he had kids. And now everyone is talking that the present day has a ship called Altair 2 that is currently in Russia - where did that even come from?

I was in shock when I saw how much information AC Wikia has regarding people, assassins and events which are not covered in the game at all, but adds to the story. I had to stop reading because it was getting too confusing.

And it's not like it's only a bit of backstory, because they tend to tie this into the games. I'm only interested in the games, which is the reason why AC exists. Apart from Forseken, all the books were hella boring, I have absolute no patience for Initiates and I don't read comic books. It's not what I wanted to do but I'm having to always look for explanation.

adventurewomen
02-26-2014, 05:00 PM
By that logic I can write up an AC story where the main character is a woodcutter from Canada who in the next sequence is an assassin killing his enemies in America who in the next sequence are his best friends as they go around Mexico. Why? Interpretation and mystery, of course! Of course I'm greatly exaggerating in the example, but the point is there's a difference between mystery and ambiguity and bad storytelling with blank spots.
I corrected my post I didn't mean "create the gaps" I meant "fill in the gaps" - I have Dyslexia and it affects how I type, sometimes things get misinterpreted why I construct my sentences. Good that I have spell check on but I'd be lost without it. :(

There's no denying there is ambiguity, if the writes told us everything there would be no reason for anyone to question the story.

Sushiglutton
02-26-2014, 06:24 PM
Yeah it's why I stopped caring about modern day, now I just want it out of my face. As for the historical part I think that as long as the games work as standalone experiences it doens't really matter if the in between story is covered somewhere else, I'll just ignore it. You may be right though that the story in AC3 missed some pieces to make sense, don't really remember anymore. Nothing I think I felt when I played it. Anyway AC4:BF has a nice selfcontained characterdriven story.

Farlander1991
02-26-2014, 07:10 PM
There's no denying there is ambiguity, if the writes told us everything there would be no reason for anyone to question the story.

You're missing the point of what I said. Blanks/untold parts do not equal ambiguity and mystery.

As an example, if a person is all goody two-shoes in one scene, but in the next scene he just murders everybody, that's NOT ambiguity. The only question that leads to is 'what in the name of the actual ****?!?!?!' without any hint of an answer to it, and if you get to the end of the story and what happened is just left like that... that's bad storytelling and does not equal ambiguity. It just means that there's no sense to it. For there to be ambiguity there must be hints left, something to base off interpretations and thoughts and questions.

Taking AC3 into example, there are two important characters who radically change in different parts of the game: Charles and Haytham. Haytham is a character with, if not good, then at the least plausible ambiguity. You can see that he's different, but when he beats up Church and yells 'WE HAD A DREAM, AND YOU MUCKED IT UP!!!' (or something along those lines, the quote is not exact) you get the idea of why he's different and then thoughts of how some **** must've happened and wonder what could happen and etc, and it's all good. Charles, on the other hand, is just entirely different. Why? Who the hell knows. One scene he's respectfully working with Haytham and Native Americans, in another scene he suddenly chokes and berates a Native American child. You certainly question 'WTF?!', but that's just bad storytelling because there's absolutely no hints as to why he is like that.

--------------------------------

Speaking of Haytham, I think there's a missed opportunity there to mention Birch when he's with Connor. In the game, Birch is another one of those characters who appears just once (well, if we count technically scenes, then twice) never to be seen or mentioned again. And there's a very good parallel between Birch using Haytham's trust but in the end betraying it, and Washington having Connor's trust but in the end betraying it. And it would make sense for Haytham to try and prepare Connor for that instead of just bringing him down upon him out of the blue. And it shouldn't be even a long conversation, just a small exchange, something like (and I'm not a writer so forgive for the crappy use of language):
"Careful who you put your trust into, Connor. There was a man by the name of Reginald Birch, my mentor who initiated me into the Order. I did not have a single doubt about him. And then it turned out he was responsible for my father's death."
"What did you do to him?"
"I killed him."
There, something like that. Instantly we know that between the segments Haytham had broken trust issues (though we don't exactly know how he learnt and a lot of other details, which is not that important for the story itself), and that shows that he does care about his son (even if he's not being entirely honest/open with him), and there's a nice opposition to Connor that shows the difference between him and his father, because Connor doesn't instantly execute his vengeance when he learns of what Washington has done.

Plus, a closure to the character so there's at least some point in introducing him.

Mr_Shade
02-26-2014, 07:14 PM
Well, it gives you something to do, I suppose :)

lothario-da-be
02-26-2014, 07:35 PM
Well, it gives you something to do, I suppose :)
Dark souls too, and thats exactly the reason i don't buy it :p

Dome500
02-26-2014, 09:05 PM
You're missing the point of what I said. Blanks/untold parts do not equal ambiguity and mystery.

As an example, if a person is all goody two-shoes in one scene, but in the next scene he just murders everybody, that's NOT ambiguity. The only question that leads to is 'what in the name of the actual ****?!?!?!' without any hint of an answer to it, and if you get to the end of the story and what happened is just left like that... that's bad storytelling and does not equal ambiguity. It just means that there's no sense to it. For there to be ambiguity there must be hints left, something to base off interpretations and thoughts and questions.

Taking AC3 into example, there are two important characters who radically change in different parts of the game: Charles and Haytham. Haytham is a character with, if not good, then at the least plausible ambiguity. You can see that he's different, but when he beats up Church and yells 'WE HAD A DREAM, AND YOU MUCKED IT UP!!!' (or something along those lines, the quote is not exact) you get the idea of why he's different and then thoughts of how some **** must've happened and wonder what could happen and etc, and it's all good. Charles, on the other hand, is just entirely different. Why? Who the hell knows. One scene he's respectfully working with Haytham and Native Americans, in another scene he suddenly chokes and berates a Native American child. You certainly question 'WTF?!', but that's just bad storytelling because there's absolutely no hints as to why he is like that.

--------------------------------

Speaking of Haytham, I think there's a missed opportunity there to mention Birch when he's with Connor. In the game, Birch is another one of those characters who appears just once (well, if we count technically scenes, then twice) never to be seen or mentioned again. And there's a very good parallel between Birch using Haytham's trust but in the end betraying it, and Washington having Connor's trust but in the end betraying it. And it would make sense for Haytham to try and prepare Connor for that instead of just bringing him down upon him out of the blue. And it shouldn't be even a long conversation, just a small exchange, something like (and I'm not a writer so forgive for the crappy use of language):
"Careful who you put your trust into, Connor. There was a man by the name of Reginald Birch, my mentor who initiated me into the Order. I did not have a single doubt about him. And then it turned out he was responsible for my father's death."
"What did you do to him?"
"I killed him."
There, something like that. Instantly we know that between the segments Haytham had broken trust issues (though we don't exactly know how he learnt and a lot of other details, which is not that important for the story itself), and that shows that he does care about his son (even if he's not being entirely honest/open with him), and there's a nice opposition to Connor that shows the difference between him and his father, because Connor doesn't instantly execute his vengeance when he learns of what Washington has done.

Plus, a closure to the character so there's at least some point in introducing him.


I agree.

The character of Lee especially is just too different to explain the whole thing by saying "Well, some time passed and remember that the later Charles Lee is from Connors perspective, not Haythams". But that's just not enough to justify it.

Things like that create a disconnect between the game and the player and confuse him, sometimes even throw him out of the immersion.

dxsxhxcx
02-26-2014, 09:38 PM
I agree...

TheHumanTowel
02-26-2014, 09:41 PM
YES

The Lost Archive is the biggest and most disgraceful example of this. That was a crucial piece of information relegated to a tiny dlc.

lothario-da-be
02-26-2014, 09:49 PM
YES

The Lost Archive is the biggest and most disgraceful example of this. That was a crucial piece of information relegated to a tiny dlc.
There have been rumors Alex Amonacio is working for ubi again, he better doesn't do something like that again. :mad:

Hans684
02-26-2014, 09:59 PM
There have been rumors Alex Hutchinson is working for ubi again, he better doesn't do something like that again. :mad:

Fixed.

lothario-da-be
02-26-2014, 10:03 PM
Fixed.
He has a lot of things that make the failieure of ac3 less his fault. The lost archive was just plain evil, ac3 was ineficient work.
ALL HAIL THE GREAT ASHRAF

Hans684
02-26-2014, 10:41 PM
He has a lot of things that make the failieure of ac3 less his fault. The lost archive was just plain evil, ac3 was ineficient work.
ALL HAIL THE GREAT ASHRAF

Some but not all. I personly think The Lost Archive should have been a part of the game and not a DLC, I hate DLC's. ALL HAIL THE GREAT ASHRAF, AMEN.

LoyalACFan
02-27-2014, 01:30 AM
Fixed.

I don't have a problem with Hutchinson, I think he had a great vision for AC3 that just wasn't allowed to come true.

Amancio, on the other hand...

Farlander1991
02-27-2014, 01:44 AM
I don't have a problem with Hutchinson, I think he had a great vision for AC3 that just wasn't allowed to come true.

This. Hutchinson is a pretty awesome and friendly guy who knows what he's doing. I really don't think there's any reason to go into personal insults there.

A lot of people cite that he worked on Spore and that didn't turn out so well too, but Spore development was such a jumbled cluster**** of a mess that AC3 (at least to our knowledge) was far from ever reaching its level.

Ureh
02-27-2014, 02:59 AM
I would bet that there were quite a few people who played AC3 and were probably confused who Daniel Cross was and why they should care about him at all. :P:eek:

SpiritOfNevaeh
02-27-2014, 03:45 AM
I would bet that there were quite a few people who played AC3 and were probably confused who Daniel Cross was and why they should care about him at all. :P:eek:

*shyly raises hand* … Guilty… but I eventually did my research :)

Will_Lucky
02-27-2014, 05:52 AM
There have been rumors Alex Amonacio is working for ubi again, he better doesn't do something like that again. :mad:

According to his Linkedin profile (If it is even his), Alex Amancio left Ubisoft as a Creative Director in January 2012, but rejoined the company in June 2012 and took up the position of Creative Director once again on an unannounced AAA title.

In other words, if thats accurate and we take the length of time an ordinary AC game takes to develop his game should be next if he is working on the AC franchise again.

LoyalACFan
02-27-2014, 06:12 AM
According to his Linkedin profile (If it is even his), Alex Amancio left Ubisoft as a Creative Director in January 2012, but rejoined the company in June 2012 and took up the position of Creative Director once again on an unannounced AAA title.

In other words, if thats accurate and we take the length of time an ordinary AC game takes to develop his game should be next if he is working on the AC franchise again.

I thought Jade Raymond said she was the creative director of this year's game? Or is she the producer or something?

Will_Lucky
02-27-2014, 06:35 AM
I thought Jade Raymond said she was the creative director of this year's game? Or is she the producer or something?

Jade Raymond has never worked as a Creative Director I believe, she might have done on the ladder that was the Sims Online, but never on an Assassins Creed Game. She Produced both AC1 and AC2 and Patrice was the Creative Lead on both of those titles.

If the Linkedin profile is accurate, it seems like Amancio is the Creative Director, and Raymond is producing based on the timescale. However if the rumors of two games is accurate and they are both considered AAA titles that throws a wrench in the works. Its especially odd that they would have a Creative Director from Ubisoft Montreal and a Producer from Ubisoft Toronto but then again they've thrown five studios at these games since Brotherhood and for all I know its not a problem in the modern era.

Dome500
02-27-2014, 02:42 PM
I thought Jade Raymond said she was the creative director of this year's game? Or is she the producer or something?

She is now head of the Toronto studio and therefore overseeing about 5 (mostly unannounced) projects which are in the works there according to various interviews. According to her own words they are also "involved" into the production of the AC franchise. To which extend however I don't know.

Fatal-Feit
02-27-2014, 04:16 PM
Back on topic~

I'm hoping with the whole exploring and hacking concept for modern day, we can start filling in more of the gaps. We've got some modern day questions answered with AC:IV so it's not a lost cause. With Desmond, we were restricted to a few emails, conversations, and cutscenes. If the future games deliver on what Darby promises, I don't believe we'll be missing out on much.

I like to think of AC as another MGS or Souls. It's an expanded universe with lots of interesting things going on. If all the major events or characters appear chronologically within the games, we'll have another bad mash-up like with AC:3 or worse. --Multiple sequels like the Ezio Trilogy. It's wrong for the writers to be making characters like Charles appear bipolar or forcing appearances like Danial Cross and I believe they should be learning from those mistakes. But I don't want these multi-media additions to cease. They offer a lot of enjoyment and plentiful hours of entertainment when I'm not at my desktop or consoles.

I actually want to see fans make lore videos for this franchise. Haha