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View Full Version : Should our modern protagonist be Shepard?



LoyalACFan
04-09-2014, 09:29 PM
OK, snarky title, but the point stands. If we're going to stick with the concept of playing as "us" for the next few games at least, should we be able to make a third-person character that reflects our own gender/race/ethnicity/hairstyle instead of playing as a floating iPad for the next three games? Though I think they totally squandered the potential of the Desmond stuff, gameplay-wise it was vastly superior to AC4's "float and hack" crap. If we had a kind of RPG-ish character, we could still be "us" and hell, we could still be silent if they didn't want to record the dialogue with several different VA's (which they could still do anyway if they wanted, since the modern protagonist doesn't have that many lines). It's just that I want the modern content to either be completely reinvigorated with good AC-style gameplay, or be dropped completely. I don't want another string of lame boring fetch missions that are just there because the game needs a 2014 portion.

Slightly off-topic, but do you guys think they're eventually going to skip ahead a few years in the modern story so there won't be a year-long canon gap between one game and the next, or will Initiates fill that void?

Sushiglutton
04-09-2014, 09:56 PM
Having a character creation system for a character you'll play for a couple of sequences seems a bit overkill.

The modern day in AC4 tried to appeal both to those who don't like it and those who do. But I don't think anyone was really that excited about it. If you don't like modern day it was still a bit annoying to get pulled out of the animus to do a couple of mini-games. The fans of modern day seem unsatisfied as well. So I think you make a good point that the modern day should: "either be completely reinvigorated with good AC-style gameplay, or be dropped completely".

It's kind of a dilemma. I think the devs should think about what they really want to do and then run with it (which is easy to say when you don't have a financial stake in it :) ).

LoyalACFan
04-09-2014, 10:20 PM
Having a character creation system for a character you'll play for a couple of sequences seems a bit overkill.

I should have specified this, but I was thinking the character would carry over into the next several games. Unity is next-gen only and its sequels likely will be as well, so they shouldn't run into many issues of importing the character cross-gen or cross-platform. But even if they did it wouldn't be a huge issue, since the character wouldn't be upgradeable like Shepard was; it would all be aesthetic stuff, so even if you didn't import your character you could just create him/her again from scratch in the character creator of the sequel if you really wanted to.

Plus I feel like modern day needs to be more than just a few short sequences if it's going to stay relevant, so ideally your character would get at least like 3-5 hours of gameplay per title. So 3-5 hours each in (let's say) 4 games leaves us with 12-20 hours of content for the created character.

SixKeys
04-09-2014, 10:45 PM
I actually quite enjoyed modern day in AC4, for what it was. I liked the return of puzzles and hacking, simple as they were. We haven't had that since ACB. I really don't mind if they keep going with this style. I think the devs found a good balance between what is tolerable for those who don't care about modern day (and that section of the fanbase is too large to ignore) and the most fun parts about modern day for those who like it, i.e. the mysteries, hacking and slow unraveling of conspiracies.

As for character creation, it'd definitely be overkill. First off, they would need to do motion capture for both male and female avatars. Then they'd have to account for every possible ethnicity and body shape. (I hate how in every RPG the default female is almost aways the same tall, large-breasted high elf type.) Even with a wealth of options, you could never get close enough to the real you, defeating the entire purpose behind the scenario. Everyone would just make joke characters or impossibly good-looking ones.

I-Like-Pie45
04-09-2014, 10:47 PM
do you have something against tall women, SK

I dont

Wolfmeister1010
04-09-2014, 11:02 PM
Does anyone actually look forward to the modern day stuff at all anymore? For me, it has gotten to the point where I care so little about it anymore that my experience is neither hindered nor enhanced based on the quality of the modern day portion.

Wheras I am obsessed on every level with the historical lore.

SixKeys
04-09-2014, 11:16 PM
Does anyone actually look forward to the modern day stuff at all anymore? For me, it has gotten to the point where I care so little about it anymore that my experience is neither hindered nor enhanced based on the quality of the modern day portion.


I feel pretty much the same way. Honestly, if the devs suddenly announced they were bringing back the third-person modern day with a new epic journey and protagonist (like Galina or Otso Berg), I wouldn't care because no matter if it's third-person or first person, it's been proven they don't actually have a grand plan in mind. They're just making stuff up as they go along, opening up all these seemingly intriguing questions and then just tossing them into the trash bin. It's infuriating to invest years thinking up all these wild theories about "what does it all mean??" only to realize the devs don't know nor care. Anyone still remember the mentions of Yona Guni and Quetzlcoatl from AC1's Eagle Vision at the end? How people started speculating that they were clues to the next game's location to be in Japan or South America? Yeah, those never happened. What about Lucy's exchange with Vidic about the mysterious death of her co-worker Leila Marino? Whatever happened to her? Eh, who cares. Oh, and that disease that supposedly wiped out almost all of Africa's population? We get a handwavey "eh, it was all faked by Erudito" mention about it on an external website 6 years after the game's release.

There is absolutely zero point investing interest in the modern day "plot" anymore. It's just not worth it.

SpiritOfNevaeh
04-09-2014, 11:43 PM
Does anyone actually look forward to the modern day stuff at all anymore? For me, it has gotten to the point where I care so little about it anymore that my experience is neither hindered nor enhanced based on the quality of the modern day portion.

Wheras I am obsessed on every level with the historical lore.

It doesnt matter to me what they do with the modern day story as long as it's good, first or third person. But I will admit that the first person perspective like they did in AC4 was pretty interesting.

dxsxhxcx
04-10-2014, 12:10 AM
Does anyone actually look forward to the modern day stuff at all anymore? For me, it has gotten to the point where I care so little about it anymore that my experience is neither hindered nor enhanced based on the quality of the modern day portion.


as a person who used to enjoy the modern day story (but that also acknowledge its flaws), at this point I feel the same way, as it is now (and if this trend will continue) it can be removed that I won't miss it BUT if they decide to introduce another modern day protagonist (preferably in 3rd person) they better care about it and try to improve the experience, otherwise they should just remove the modern day sequences...

LoyalACFan
04-10-2014, 12:45 AM
It's infuriating to invest years thinking up all these wild theories about "what does it all mean??" only to realize the devs don't know nor care.

Well, I don't really think that's fair. There WAS a plan in mind, but the AC franchise has changed hands so many times and so many things have been shuffled around by upper management it's hard to pinpoint where everything started to go wrong. In any case, I think it's wrong to point fingers at the devs for not caring, because everything they've given us says otherwise. Missteps aside, these are still very high-quality games especially when you consider the relatively short development cycles they're given. So obviously the devs are extremely passionate about their creations, even if they aren't always given the time and resources to deliver the full extent of their ambition. Honestly, I think the modern day lore is just suffering from a case of too many cooks in the kitchen.

LoyalACFan
04-10-2014, 12:50 AM
Does anyone actually look forward to the modern day stuff at all anymore?

I sure don't. Which is a pity, because I used to be pretty heavily invested in the 2012 stuff. But that's kind of my point; its current state is ruinous, which is why I want to either totally revamp it and give it meaningful gameplay, or toss it altogether. AC4's had some nice fan service (i.e. market research videos), but I couldn't have cared less about the actual story with Olivier/Melanie and all that, and the gameplay sucked. I can't believe anyone enjoyed those "puzzles."

SixKeys
04-10-2014, 01:23 AM
Well, I don't really think that's fair. There WAS a plan in mind, but the AC franchise has changed hands so many times and so many things have been shuffled around by upper management it's hard to pinpoint where everything started to go wrong. In any case, I think it's wrong to point fingers at the devs for not caring, because everything they've given us says otherwise. Missteps aside, these are still very high-quality games especially when you consider the relatively short development cycles they're given. So obviously the devs are extremely passionate about their creations, even if they aren't always given the time and resources to deliver the full extent of their ambition. Honestly, I think the modern day lore is just suffering from a case of too many cooks in the kitchen.

You're right, I retract my statement. It's easy to blame the devs, especially after off-hand remarks such as "16 said a lot of crazy stuff" when asked about the 'Sun, your son' thing. But I know the yearly releases are truly to blame. There's just no way to develop a meaningful and coherent modern day story when there are three AC games simultaneously in development. That's why I thought AC4 was a pretty good compromise. It had enough well-written side content for those who cared about AC lore, but the modern day story itself wasn't a jumbled mess of unanswered questions. It had a clear beginning, middle and end. I'm glad they didn't go for another "WTF?" cliffhanger moment as has become the norm. After Desmond's arc closed, I don't think you can get enough people to care about cliffhanger endings and the Olivier thing is open-ended enough that whether or not they follow up on it, nobody's going to be enraged.


AC4's had some nice fan service (i.e. market research videos), but I couldn't have cared less about the actual story with Olivier/Melanie and all that, and the gameplay sucked. I can't believe anyone enjoyed those "puzzles."

The puzzles were crap, but the rewards were always worth it.

Consus_E
04-10-2014, 05:13 AM
When you say Shepard do you mean like dialog choices :confused:
Anyway I don't see any problem with a simple face editor (don't see any need for different body types), however I feel as though they should have a canon version of the main character...

LoyalACFan
04-10-2014, 05:55 AM
When you say Shepard do you mean like dialog choices :confused:

Nah, just appearances. As you say, I would prefer a canon protagonist, but they've already said that isn't happening for at least the next couple of games. Going the "Shepard" route would be the best way to preserve the concept of playing as "you" while still delivering quality AC-style gameplay IMO, but as SixKeys pointed out there are issues. Still, even if I couldn't get my avatar to look exactly like a skinny long-haired 5'11" Jew (me) I'd still feel more like I was playing as myself than I did in AC4, what with its flying iPad and all.

pirate1802
04-10-2014, 06:25 AM
I once made a Saints Row III character looking 100% exactly like me. I'm really proud of that achievement to this day. But in AC modern day.. Let's put it this way, if they want me to really look like me, then they must give us a damn good character creator. So that I don't end up with a me that looks like a hobo monkey (looking at you, Skyrim.) Even then, I'd probably be spending 90% of the time looking at the historical protagonist rather than me. So I agree it definitely seems like an overkill for something like 5-10% of the gametime.

Consus_E
04-10-2014, 06:57 AM
I've never understood why people pretend to be themselves in AC4, it seems pointless.

If they integrate the Modern Day into the game correctly then I don't think it would be "overkill" just an extra option to personalize the experience.
Still sounds more interesting than Desmond and Flying Tablet...

LoyalACFan
04-10-2014, 07:00 AM
I've never understood why people pretend to be themselves in AC4, it seems pointless.

Because that's the way it was presented to us. We ARE playing as "us." But it IS pointless.

Farlander1991
04-10-2014, 07:24 AM
As long as they're planning to have games developed in parallel (doesn't even mean yearly releases, means just that - major titles being developed at the same time)... no. I think AC4 first person way is perfect. Given the resources.

In vague first-person we don't need a character arc for ourselves, so we can focus solely on the modern plot and other people. Not to mention, the modern day can show and tell us so much more via e-mails and puzzles and everything, rather than with the more traditional storytelling way (btw, Desmond got the most character development in the first person segments of ACR and audio tapes of AC4). And leave the more traditional storytelling way for the most important points (well, like AC4 basically does).

doogsy91
04-10-2014, 09:55 AM
I think they should scrap the modern day element altogether and have it so that your xbox or PS or PC or whatever is your animus. When you load up the game, you see the abstergo entertainment symbol and then you're sent straight to the animus dashboard where you access your ancestor's memories. Of course, everyone's ancestor is the same but it's treated as though it's yours and specific to you and your relatives. Then from here you're able to essentially hack into your animus and unlock memories that abstergo have censored with help from erudito or whoever. All this extra stuff would be completely optional and the only time you're pulled out of your animus is when you leave the game.

TheArcaneEagle
04-10-2014, 10:07 AM
If it is all in First-Person then why does character customization matter? Choosing a voice for the employee is understandable, but physical appearance will have no effect whatsoever on other AI or the player if you can't see what they look like. I think its better not knowing what the employee looks like for imagination's sake.

Locopells
04-10-2014, 02:35 PM
Slightly off-topic, but do you guys think they're eventually going to skip ahead a few years in the modern story so there won't be a year-long canon gap between one game and the next, or will Initiates fill that void?

I kinda like that idea actually - for all those talking about the ACI vibes they're getting, this would also bring it back in line with that atmosphere. The could even start doing the apoplectic stuff that they abandoned, like Africa being 96% dead, again.


do you have something against tall women, SK

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/4d/Angel-A_Poster.jpg

You lookin' at me?!

king-hailz
04-10-2014, 05:40 PM
I love et he modern day sections... but it wasn't very good in AC4... I didn't really like it in AC3 either... It was great in 1-brotherhood but I really want a modern day character like galena who actually has a personality and relates to the characters.... but they need to make her right they should learn from their mistakes with Desmond and fix them I mean in ac2 I lived talking to Rebecca and Shaun and Lucy... They were awesome... They should really do something like that but in the right way... I want a new character!! You lot should check out ACConspiracies video about galena! !

Jexx21
04-10-2014, 06:46 PM
I loved the modern-day sections in AC4, but I would love the return of a modern-day protagonist that actually does stuff. AC3 still had the best modern-day segments in the entire series.

I also still think that S16's prophecy could still apply in some fashion, since it clearly matched up with AC3. Maybe the whole thing having to do with Desmond's son wasn't fulfilled, but the rest pretty much matched up with AC3. And I still think the whole thing with Desmond's son could be possible, what if he knocked up some random chick while he was working as a bartender?

I'm interested in where this whole Juno arc goes.

TheArcaneEagle
04-10-2014, 07:21 PM
I loved the modern-day sections in AC4, but I would love the return of a modern-day protagonist that actually does stuff. AC3 still had the best modern-day segments in the entire series.

I also still think that S16's prophecy could still apply in some fashion, since it clearly matched up with AC3. Maybe the whole thing having to do with Desmond's son wasn't fulfilled, but the rest pretty much matched up with AC3. And I still think the whole thing with Desmond's son could be possible, what if he knocked up some random chick while he was working as a bartender?

I'm interested in where this whole Juno arc goes.

Indeed, there were a lot of loose ends that weren't tied off at the end of AC3, which was disappointing, but it does leave possibilities open for future titles.

RinoTheBouncer
04-11-2014, 09:59 AM
I like the idea, a lot. If this is “us” then let “us” have a face.
Let us have a personalized experience. It will still remain cannon. It’s just the face and gender that will change.


I loved the modern-day sections in AC4, but I would love the return of a modern-day protagonist that actually does stuff. AC3 still had the best modern-day segments in the entire series.

I also still think that S16's prophecy could still apply in some fashion, since it clearly matched up with AC3. Maybe the whole thing having to do with Desmond's son wasn't fulfilled, but the rest pretty much matched up with AC3. And I still think the whole thing with Desmond's son could be possible, what if he knocked up some random chick while he was working as a bartender?

I'm interested in where this whole Juno arc goes.

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