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Wolfmeister1010
07-04-2014, 02:31 AM
So, when the first demo of AC Unity came out, I was absolutely amazed by the graphics. I still am. But then the combat happened.

Mechanics and actual gameplay aside, was anyone else expecting it to look..like more fluid animation wise? I mean, the game looks fantastic but then all that realism takes a hit when all the characters shuffle around in the traditional gamey way.

It doesn't look bad, but you know what I am talking about, the way they move around is just not like real life.

AC isn't the only game to have this issue. In Witcher 3, the graphics and environments are fantastic..but then when the combat happens, all of the sudden the enemies and Geralt are prancing about in a very gamelike fashion. I am sure the actual combat itself is great, but animation wise it doesn't look fluid. Not to single out either of those games..every single game with 3rd person or melee combat has incredibly gamey movements and animation.

IDK, in the next gen, I always just expected the combat to look more like..IDK like the target AC3 gameplay combat. You and the enemies move around slowly, the footwork is precise, it looks actually real. I don't know if it is just because having people and your character move like that would restrict gameplay..or maybe the tech just isn't there.

Should we ever expect the animations of combat ingame to ever reach a realistic fidelity? Or should I just accept that, because of gameplay, that will never be the case? Does anyone even know what I am referring to? Lol.

I-Like-Pie45
07-04-2014, 02:32 AM
Maybe at the end of the gen once devs really learn how to push hardware

JustPlainQuirky
07-04-2014, 02:38 AM
Current Gen* :p

LoyalACFan
07-04-2014, 02:52 AM
Current Gen* :p

Don't be that guy.

Anyway, I think the combat looks really good, actually. I'm not sure what you mean about shuffling around in a gamey way; look how Arno reacts to damage in the commented co-op demo. The guard kicks him in the leg and he limps and hobbles away, dragging the leg that was actually injured. There would need to be a lot more animations like this to make it look realistic (i.e. not just making "Arno gets kicked in the leg and limps off" the only default canned animation for failing a counter, like the "Connor gets headbutted" every time you try to combo-kill a Scotsman) but it certainly looks to be improved from previous games. Guards actually lean away from blows based on where they were hit too, but as is to be expected (since Arno presumably has a ton more attack animations than they do) it's not as detailed and specific as Arno's hobble.

Jexx21
07-04-2014, 02:53 AM
Batman arkham

LoyalACFan
07-04-2014, 02:57 AM
Batman arkham

Was going to say that, but Batman's moves could easily be considered gamey even though they're really smooth. It's a deliberate stylistic choice, but it's unrealistic nonetheless.

Jexx21
07-04-2014, 03:03 AM
Still, the animations are really good despite the fact that the combos can be unrealistic.

LoyalACFan
07-04-2014, 03:06 AM
Still, the animations are really good despite the fact that the combos can be unrealistic.

Yeah, agreed. But it's an extra challenge to make video game combat look realistic, considering VG combat kind of has to be a little unrealistic to be engaging and viable.

rickprog
07-04-2014, 03:09 AM
I'd rather have a bit more flashy animations than realistic but dull ones. Of course, everything should be in good measure. If that isn't what OP meant, then I'm not sure, it all looks fluid and well-directed to me. I could be missing out on something, though.

Wolfmeister1010
07-04-2014, 03:15 AM
Don't be that guy.

Anyway, I think the combat looks really good, actually. I'm not sure what you mean about shuffling around in a gamey way; look how Arno reacts to damage in the commented co-op demo. The guard kicks him in the leg and he limps and hobbles away, dragging the leg that was actually injured. There would need to be a lot more animations like this to make it look realistic (i.e. not just making "Arno gets kicked in the leg and limps off" the only default canned animation for failing a counter, like the "Connor gets headbutted" every time you try to combo-kill a Scotsman) but it certainly looks to be improved from previous games. Guards actually lean away from blows based on where they were hit too, but as is to be expected (since Arno presumably has a ton more attack animations than they do) it's not as detailed and specific as Arno's hobble.
I did notice how Arno and enemies react, nice touch. Definitely improved over last game

Calvarok
07-04-2014, 05:16 AM
Free-running uses blended animations that transition perfectly smoothly into each other. however, you'll notice that free-running animations are dictated by individual animations tailored to specific pieces of geometry. When you activate one of these animations, you have no input into what plays out. the system knows where you are, what you're jumping off of, and where you'll land. Everything is analyzed, and the perfect animation is selected. It then reads your next input and prepares to transition into whatever animation you've just dictated, all before the first animation has completed. This is fine for Assassin's Creed, where movement is not meant to be a difficult system that requires you to react mid-jump.

Combat, however, is meant to be a system where you have to pay attention, you need attacks to feel snappy, and you need to be able to react to what's happening at ALL times. If you swipe at an enemy and another one takes a swing at you, you need to be able to hit "dodge" and have it just work, and if the game is prioritizing letting your animation finish so it looks pretty, you're going to just sit there as the threat you clearly saw coming and reacted to deals damage to Arno.

Videogames are not at the point where animation systems are sophisticated enough to completely keep up with the speed at which a player or enemy might need to react, or the billions of possible configurations they could be in. It would require many more blended animations that are calculated faster than current hardware can do, if we're talking about replicating it at the same level of fidelity that the free-running in the games is at.

It's definitely gotten better over the years, and I think it's gotten a lot smoother from ACU compared to Black Flag.

TL;DR: If it looked perfect (with modern tech), it would feel horrible to play. Or just be a cutscene. Imagine if mario had to bend his knees and slow down every time he jumped, and how sluggish that would make the game feel.

Jexx21
07-04-2014, 05:19 AM
I dunno, Arkham looks pretty good and it also needs fast reaction times

AdamPearce
07-04-2014, 05:40 AM
More than just 'gamey', it feels so damn heavy, but not in the good way. Arno's attacks takes f o r e v e r to hit and guard reactivity animations aren't that great. But what bothers me the most is that, again, it takes several hits for the enemy to die. Which is total non-sense. I'm not an expert, but in one v. one sword fights, when one opponent is on the ground or falled, his dead, simple as that. Ground = Death, unless you're a pissy man who likes to talk about his murdered sister... but anyway, I don't like this. Bugs me since it was a thing in that showed up in AC3, before that, the ennemy would block/ dodge/ parry your attacks and you'd kill'em with a one shot stab, which was a much more realistic approach. And it's sad since the parkour looks extremely fluid and so does the stealth/ social blending.

But to respond, I really think it's a question of angles/ cameras. I mean, if every kill could have a dynamic camera and fluid movements with close-ups, slow-motions and all, the overall would definitly feel more dynamic and less 'gamey'. Combine it with flashy animation and you've got your AC3 target render.

Calvarok
07-04-2014, 06:16 AM
I dunno, Arkham looks pretty good and it also needs fast reaction times
arkham relies heavily on counter-hits + a chain hit system, meaning a lot of the time you're just transitioning between animations where the only input available to you to is counter. Also Batman routinely zips 5 meters across the floor to hit a bad guy, so not what I'd call "indistinguishable from cutscenes" or anything.

Calvarok
07-04-2014, 06:25 AM
OK, forget it. I'm just going to say this once, and then leave this thread alone.

You're asking for style over substance. that's all it is. At the present time, there's no way to match that pre-vis stuff without sacrificing actual player control. And too much of the past generation has been about linear games that sacrifice player control for looking pretty. I'm tired of that. if the combat is fun and challenging, that's all I care about. It looks smoother than it did previously, and the game isn't done. And I absolutely don't care at all about the game giving me visual feedback that I'm damaging an enemy without immediately killing them just because I slashed their side. the series has done that in every game to some degree. AC3 and 4 were too much, but this is IMPROVED from there.

AdamPearce
07-04-2014, 06:34 AM
@adampearce
regarding enemies taking multiple hits, in a sword fight not every hit is a direct stab. you'll notice that the only time arno actually stabs through an enemy or slashes their neck is on the final hit, other times they're fending him off with a partial block or dodge, and consequently he doesn't get a good hit in, just minor slashes across non-vital areas, which people survived all the time.

Yeah, not really.

See by yourself**>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzBJPOcmke0 (2:45)

Throat stab
+ Chest slash
+ Heavy chest slash
+ Throat stab 2.0
+ Chest Stab
+ Chest Slash 2.0
+ Final Throat Chest Final Stab...

I feel like you just have to hit the enemies with the same attacks until you get to kill them...

And seeing the Coop Fight, the AI had a golden opportunity to kill Arno, he was on the ground, turning his back to the enemy... sorry but you're dead. And again, it just feels like Arno hits him with superficial wounds until the health bar drops when he could insta-kill them at any moment. I know they want to make the combat harder, and for that they've choosed to make the enemy more resistant, but dammit, at least they should block the attacks !

itsamea-mario
07-04-2014, 07:57 AM
Well, like, real fights are hardly smooth, so, i mean..

roostersrule2
07-04-2014, 11:48 AM
I think they should add mo-cap high school brawls.

Haymakers and uppercuts 4 lyf

m4r-k7
07-04-2014, 12:00 PM
I think the combat looks incredibly smoother in AC U than it did in AC 3 and 4. However, I do eventually want sword fighting to be proper in terms of both the assassin and the enemy having a proper swordfight where their swords keep on contacting each other and each person trying to get the one or two hits / stabs that would ultimately kill someone in real life. I think that if they go back to the medieval period, I would want proper swordfighting where swords contact each other most of the time and we have to use our skill to outplay the enemy. Saying that, I am liking AC Unitys combat so far.

NondairyGold
07-04-2014, 12:02 PM
Guys you have to remember that this demo was put together for E3, it's not the finished product. For all we know, Arno might have to "learn" how to fight, each new skill in the skill tree is a different stance or style.

Mr_Shade
07-04-2014, 12:04 PM
Guys you have to remember that this demo was put together for E3, it's not the finished product. For all we know, Arno might have to "learn" how to fight, each new skill in the skill tree is a different stance or style.

Indeed.

Any skill progression - will be maxed out for demos such as this - to show the full range of moves etc..

Other wise, the demo would be pretty boring if Arno could only slap and throw dirt..

itsamea-mario
07-04-2014, 12:04 PM
I think they should add mo-cap high school brawls.

Haymakers and uppercuts 4 lyf

yeh bruv, add some sly digs n tha

m4r-k7
07-04-2014, 12:27 PM
Here is the co-op video in the actual conference. At about 3:40 combat starts and we get to see combat with different weapons as we see all 4 assassins attacking their enemies. Looks pretty fluid. For some reason the guy in green has a sword and can attack much faster than Arno. The combat looks cool in this video.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9UbtVWTr2c

roostersrule2
07-04-2014, 12:41 PM
yeh bruv, add some sly digs n thayea broo

ad sum kwolity dyerlog 2 such as

"oi m8 ill go ya aye"

and eviry1s favrite

"don mes wif me aye ill git me cuzin on ya"

srs do

ACU's combat looks smoother then the criminal you just been struck by.

itsamea-mario
07-04-2014, 12:51 PM
Combat with so much flow that it has a successful career in hip hop.

pacmanate
07-04-2014, 01:59 PM
I think it looks fine, very fencing inspired and fencing is a lot of jabby jab

GreySkellig
07-04-2014, 02:28 PM
I don't really want to get embroiled in this, so I'll be quick.

1) Calvarok is dead on about animations vs responsiveness. Hitherto, AC's style has allowed for longer, smoother animations because of the easy combat. You asked for better combat, quicker response time is the cost.

2) As someone with experience in stage combat, sport fencing, Historical European Martial Arts, 14th-19th century combat texts (fechtbuchs), military history and combat archaeology, I'd like to say two things.

a) Bladed combat seldom resembles the version we have in our heads. Lethal wounds are hard to inflict, especially with a weapon like the smallsword Arno uses in the co-op demo. You can see most of his attacks are light cuts, trying to open his opponent's guard. The green assassin uses a light sabre, as does Arno in the single player demo. This weapon would much more quickly draw heavy bleeding, and so we see it used to swipe out chunks of his opponent's health.

b) Unity's combat is by far the most realistic I've seen in a video game. Could it be more real? Maybe, but I see no point whining over such relative issues. The combat looks and hopefully feels both flexible and realistic. I'm not going to haggle over minor points (eg Arno rather over-uses the cutting tip of his smallsword).

Farlander1991
07-04-2014, 02:39 PM
b) Unity's combat is by far the most realistic I've seen in a video game. Could it be more real? Maybe

Worth noting that realism isn't always best, it's the 'authentic feel' (that might not even be close to the real thing, but still feels authentic) that's important. Absolutely realistic combat would be far less exciting. 75% of a sword fight is not even a fight per se, it's trying to get the upper hand in the guard position, and then the actual battle that ensues is over in seconds as one mistake which is oh so easy to make is all it takes to lose the fight. And the moves used are far different from a 'staged' version, and again, not as exciting visually.

GreySkellig
07-04-2014, 02:49 PM
I would certainly not argue for realism as the paramount virtue of game combat. But in a historical setting, at least a modicum of plausible action is appreciated.

The "over in seconds" conception is really only true of certain disciplines. In most cases, both the nature of hand to hand combat (you're generally more concerned about staying alive than killing the other person) and of bladed weapons (it's very hard to deliver a single, killing blow) means that actual engagements tend to be very awkward, long-running affairs. You only get such "blink and you'll miss it" results when one or both fighters are of a high caliber, experienced fighters or duellists, and armed with their particular preference of weapon--fights where the speed of engagement is much greater. Your average hand-to-hand encounter is more of a protracted probing of defenses until a decisive commitment is made.

You are right, however, that they look much less thrilling. Combat with great sword, in particular, more often resembles grappling than swordplay. (Game of Thrones, surprisingly, did a reasonably good job on this one point.)

Farlander1991
07-04-2014, 03:05 PM
In most cases, both the nature of hand to hand combat (you're generally more concerned about staying alive than killing the other person) and of bladed weapons (it's very hard to deliver a single, killing blow) means that actual engagements tend to be very awkward, long-running affairs. ... Your average hand-to-hand encounter is more of a protracted probing of defenses until a decisive commitment is made.

You misunderstood what I've meant by 'over in seconds', I should've been clearer. I didn't mean that the whole thing takes seconds, but once the 'probing' is over (which is what I said was the bigger part of the combat), then it doesn't take long. And by 'over' I've meant more of a wound type deal than a kill type deal, but a wound still tips the odds greatly (which in 1v1 is a very bad deal, but not so bad in a massive engagement).

Admittedly, I have experience only with longswords and rapiers, and despite how they both handle very differently (and in the rapier the 'finding an opening' part is much more fast-paced), I found that the principle is true to pretty much everything (even when looking at afar at long weapon training and other types).

itsamea-mario
07-04-2014, 03:10 PM
I dno, i've had some really drawn out fights with Arming swords, though that's probably because i fight quite defensively.

GreySkellig
07-04-2014, 03:24 PM
Arming swords tend to lend themselves to long engagements, often with grappling. If you're familiar with Dei Liberi, there's a great deal in there which supports the notion of protracted tussles.

GreySkellig
07-04-2014, 03:30 PM
You misunderstood what I've meant by 'over in seconds', I should've been clearer.

I believe the phrasing which led to the misapprehension was "trying to get the upper hand in the guard position", which sounded to me as though you were suggesting the majority of such clashes would be a mental game (a surprisingly common notion, propagated in large part by samurai films--but of course that is a highly specialized discipline of the fast draw). I see now what you meant.

Certainly I wouldn't argue for total realism in game combat. It would be a nightmare to play and boring to watch. By "realism" I mainly am talking about how the weapons are grasped and employed, which represents a great step up from previous AC titles, which displayed horrendous swordsmanship. (Connor in particular springs to mind as swinging rapiers and smallswords about like blunt instruments.) While the engagements themselves do not play out with perfect realism--and rightly so--Arno at least seems to display better form in smallsword and sabre.

Wolfmeister1010
07-05-2014, 04:58 AM
I don't really want to get embroiled in this, so I'll be quick.

1) Calvarok is dead on about animations vs responsiveness. Hitherto, AC's style has allowed for longer, smoother animations because of the easy combat. You asked for better combat, quicker response time is the cost.

2) As someone with experience in stage combat, sport fencing, Historical European Martial Arts, 14th-19th century combat texts (fechtbuchs), military history and combat archaeology, I'd like to say two things.

a) Bladed combat seldom resembles the version we have in our heads. Lethal wounds are hard to inflict, especially with a weapon like the smallsword Arno uses in the co-op demo. You can see most of his attacks are light cuts, trying to open his opponent's guard. The green assassin uses a light sabre, as does Arno in the single player demo. This weapon would much more quickly draw heavy bleeding, and so we see it used to swipe out chunks of his opponent's health.

b) Unity's combat is by far the most realistic I've seen in a video game. Could it be more real? Maybe, but I see no point whining over such relative issues. The combat looks and hopefully feels both flexible and realistic. I'm not going to haggle over minor points (eg Arno rather over-uses the cutting tip of his smallsword).
Your post made me feel a lot better. Thanks a bunch!

jdowny
07-05-2014, 09:49 PM
I have no experience with sword fighting, but what has particularly annoyed me in AC combat since III is this cutting/slashing as opposed to weapons actually meeting and colliding. It doesn't look right at all for two reasons. Firstly, even a small wound can be enough to create an opening to kill someone, so therefore this idea of a health bar just flies in the face of reality. It's not as though 9 slashes will do nothing to your opponent but then on the 10th they'll suddenly die. Secondly, I find it hard to believe that if both opponents have swords for instance, neither will use it to block the attack.

I can understand if they thought that players would fail to recognise if they were dealing damage to their opponent or not (since some NPCs are immune to main attacks,) but utilising slashes as an alternative just look ridiculous, and it's a shame to see it return in AC Unity. It looks particularly cringey for instance when you've disarmed a grunt in AC III and are attacking him with the hidden blades - he will take about 20 slashes before he's downed.

This is one of the reasons why AC1's combat is still my favourite. The weapons connected, they felt heavy and real. And when you hit your opponent, it wasn't always a killing blow, as in real life. You often had to whittle them down in a way that wasn't just a matter of hitting the attack button until they died (I wasn't one of these players who stood there waiting for them to attack so I could counter). Even when you'd downed your opponent they were often still alive (another nice touch that was lost in all games after this)

Other than this, I'm fully on board. It seems like Unity's combat will be the toughest one yet - getting rid of the chain and multi-kills is one of the best decisions AC has made.

Dome500
07-05-2014, 10:17 PM
I dunno, Arkham looks pretty good and it also needs fast reaction times

Arkham allows the animation of a counter to be interrupted by another counter-animation if the player counters mid-animation. Look closely and You'll see it. Sometimes Batman goes from one stance in a completely different one without transition and within a second-


I have no experience with sword fighting, but what has particularly annoyed me in AC combat since III is this cutting/slashing as opposed to weapons actually meeting and colliding. It doesn't look right at all for two reasons. Firstly, even a small wound can be enough to create an opening to kill someone, so therefore this idea of a health bar just flies in the face of reality. It's not as though 9 slashes will do nothing to your opponent but then on the 10th they'll suddenly die. Secondly, I find it hard to believe that if both opponents have swords for instance, neither will use it to block the attack.

Yeah that was mainly a huge problem of AC4.

AC3 actually had blocks with the musket sometimes and AC1 + 2 (+ B, R) all had weapon colliding and blocks.
Only in AC4 the enemies somehow had to be slashed like 4 times with moves that looked like deadly kills before they dropped dead.
I really hope that will be better in ACU. The best in this was AC1 actually IMO.


Other than this, I'm fully on board. It seems like Unity's combat will be the toughest one yet - getting rid of the chain and multi-kills is one of the best decisions AC has made.

Agree 100%