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View Full Version : Tons of Side Content. Zero Story. (ACR) (Spoilers)



Perk89
11-16-2014, 06:01 PM
Again, some spoilers.

So I just finished Rogue. So, additionally, I'm also still stunned by the fact that I just finished Rogue. In what had to be the shortest main plot in an open world game I've never seen, I've yet to explore virtually the entire world.

Rogue is fundamentally flawed. It ported over all the great aspects of Black Flag, but is too short to enjoy any of them. I've barely changed an outfit but a handful of times. Virtually every weapon and outfit in the game remains unpurchased. I have found a grand total of one Templar armor keys. One totem. Things like cave paintings stand at about two or three discovered. A large swath of my world remains concealed under question marks, and don't even get me started on NY, whose appearance in this game amounts to no more than a glorified cameo in spite of the fact that it is fully crafted and well realized.

Now I am in a position where I have to convince myself to go round up every collectible with no ongoing plot driving my exploration. When I finally locate every Templar or Viking piece, I will have literally nothing to do but equip it and shut my game off, with no opportunity to use it in game. There will be no remaining reason to use it other than perhaps some generic "interceptions" or such, which fit best within the context of grand overarching story anyways.

I can't begin to explain how little side content I had time to dig into. No items were crafted, other than an arctic explorer outfit whose pelts I purchased from a general goods store (as rounding up the 8 or so items it takes to craft such things is absurd, a poor attempt to get "bigger" from the game's predecessor which only required 3 or 4) New York has been almost completely unseen with the exception of my mansion by the bay, and only a fort or two have been destroyed in spite of the fact that the 7 Years War is long over.

Almost nothing has been accomplished after blazing through the short campaign, the first half of which was a linear path through Shay's Assassin years of which exploring wasn't available or encouraged. Linearity in itself isn't always bad, it can really drive a plot, and would have been a great narrative device in this case if didn't help contribute to all the above issues.

The worst part is, Shay's story felt very unfinished, and could have used the extra length to establish him as a character. As it stands, we have a short game with an unlikeable, tired, cliche embodiment of the "moral ambiguity" drum Ubi has beaten to death in this series for 6 games now (seriously... Would it kill us to get a true blue Assassins beat Templar conflict? No unity, no moral greyness, just give us an old school AC tale for once) somehow disappearing from the AC historical record in spite of the fact that it makes no sense from a narrative standpoint for AC3 or Unity. (I'm saying he really just should've died rather than preserving him in case you need him down the line, how do you justify him not being mentioned in AC3 if he's running around doing his thing throughout the events of that game? Falling at Connor's hand at the games end would've been a nice little love letter to the fans and would've tied up all loose ends.)

Charles_Phipps
11-16-2014, 06:07 PM
I don't think it was moral ambiguity.

Shay chose what he thought was good, knowing it was against people he knew to be Good.

Good vs. Good is pretty rare in gaming for obvious reasons.

I agree the game needs some DLC like Bonfire of the Vanities and the Siege of Sforza Castle to be "complete" though. Maybe a couple of extra hours content or more.

Perk89
11-16-2014, 06:14 PM
I don't think it was moral ambiguity.

Shay chose what he thought was good, knowing it was against people he knew to be Good.

Good vs. Good is pretty rare in gaming for obvious reasons.

I agree the game needs some DLC like Bonfire of the Vanities and the Siege of Sforza Castle to be "complete" though. Maybe a couple of extra hours content or more.


I'm not speaking specifically of Shay, but Ubisoft. All the antagonists of the series have been so samey going as far back as Revelations. All rendered attempts to portray the Assassins and Templars as gray rather than white and black.

I'm not saying it's wrong, but Im saying Ubisoft has absolutely driven that plot thread into the ground and I feel like a more conventional antagonist would be a nice change of pace. We haven't had one since Brotherhood.

Shay is like Ubisoft's prized cow of moral "ambiguity" and I feel like that's probably why they made him untouchable storywise when it would've made more sense for him to kick the metaphorical bucket.

ModernWaffle
11-16-2014, 06:21 PM
Yeah, I completely agree, it's a really fun game, but the side content completely outweighs the story missions. Ubi should of added like a 2-3 more sequences at least, even if it meant the removal of some of the side activites. It's a real shame since Rogue has an interesting narrative and some really neat extras such as costumes, so making the game shorter doesn't help either the story or gameplay.

Charles_Phipps
11-16-2014, 06:28 PM
I'm not speaking specifically of Shay, but Ubisoft. All the antagonists of the series have been so samey going as far back as Revelations. All rendered attempts to portray the Assassins and Templars as gray rather than white and black.

I'm not saying it's wrong, but Im saying Ubisoft has absolutely driven that plot thread into the ground and I feel like a more conventional antagonist would be a nice change of pace. We haven't had one since Brotherhood.

Shay is like Ubisoft's prized cow of moral "ambiguity" and I feel like that's probably why they made him untouchable storywise when it would've made more sense for him to kick the metaphorical bucket.

I disagree. The Templars are hard enough to take seriously when they lose every game.

Having Shay curbstomp the Assassins gives them back some bite.

Perk89
11-16-2014, 06:32 PM
I disagree. The Templars are hard enough to take seriously when they lose every game.

Having Shay curbstomp the Assassins gives them back some bite.


And the premise itself would have had more bite if it wasn't something we have seen a number of times now.

JustPlainQuirky
11-16-2014, 06:39 PM
Shay's story was amazing, brah. I don't know what you're talking about.

Charles_Phipps
11-16-2014, 06:40 PM
And the premise itself would have had more bite if it wasn't something we have seen a number of times now.

We get the whole "Templars EVIL, GWAAR" thing in Unity and well....it sucks.

The Templars not being evil should be canon now. Period.

They're just guys doing what they think is right, just like the Assassins.

Perk89
11-16-2014, 06:53 PM
We get the whole "Templars EVIL, GWAAR" thing in Unity and well....it sucks.

The Templars not being evil should be canon now. Period.

They're just guys doing what they think is right, just like the Assassins.

i havent played Unity yet so don't spoil anything. That said, from the story solicits I'll have to wait and see for myself because I'm not totally sure I believe you. Additionally, I'm not asking for the Templars to be portrayed as eeeeevil. I'm asking for them to be portrayed as ardent supporters of what they do believe, rather than downplaying it so as to not paint them in a negative light.

Charles_Phipps
11-16-2014, 06:56 PM
i havent played Unity yet so don't spoil anything. That said, from the story solicits I'll have to wait and see for myself because I'm not totally sure I believe you. Additionally, I'm not asking for the Templars to be portrayed as eeeeevil. I'm asking for them to be portrayed as ardent supporters of what they do believe, rather than downplaying it so as to not paint them in a negative light.

Well I won't spoil it but one of the big complaints about Unity is the game really hits a lot of the same beats of AC2/Brotherhood. Dashing romantic European swashbuckler fights conspirators who are almost cartoonishly evil and psychotic in pursuit of a personal motivation.

Hood2theBurbs
11-16-2014, 07:30 PM
While I agree that the game would benefit from another sequence or two, I disagree with the rest, the Templars from AC2 and Brotherhood are a bunch of Saturday morning cartoon villains they were jokes and ruined the games for me. Just because the Assassin's fight for freedom does not make them the "good guys" same is true for the Templars just because they want to control humanity does not make the the "bad guys." That's what we got in AC2 and Brotherhood. And what does the story's length have to do with side content? If you didn't access it during the story that's on you no?

Charles_Phipps
11-16-2014, 08:14 PM
While I agree that the game would benefit from another sequence or two, I disagree with the rest, the Templars from AC2 and Brotherhood are a bunch of Saturday morning cartoon villains they were jokes and ruined the games for me. Just because the Assassin's fight for freedom does not make them the "good guys" same is true for the Templars just because they want to control humanity does not make the the "bad guys." That's what we got in AC2 and Brotherhood. And what does the story's length have to do with side content? If you didn't access it during the story that's on you no?

Part of what I like about Rogue is if you take a step back BOTH sides in this game are good. With a couple of exceptions, the Assassins and Templars this round are all seemingly nice people with the best interests of humanity at heart.

There's no reason for ANY of them to be fighting.

Steelray25
11-16-2014, 08:32 PM
Well I won't spoil it but one of the big complaints about Unity is the game really hits a lot of the same beats of AC2/Brotherhood. Dashing romantic European swashbuckler fights conspirators who are almost cartoonishly evil and psychotic in pursuit of a personal motivation.

I haven't finished Unity yet. Talk about side content. IDK how many grinding hours I've put in and I'm not even halfway through Sequence 6. But that's how I tend to play first time through. Do mostly side stuff with just enough story to unlock things until the side stuff gets boring. Then finish the story.

That said, isn't this (albeit with my limited knowledge of the story thus far) a bit of an oversimplification? Clearly not ALL of the Templars are mustache twirling villains. Just a certain faction. Or at least that how it seems so far.

And yeah, personal biases notwithstanding, the Templars are arguably on the wrong side of the argument. Ultimately, they want to subjugate humanity. They may want that for good reasons, but the end doesn't justify the means. We can also easily argue Assassins aren't "good guys." Yes, they want freedom and all that, but at the cost of murder? As we've seen, despite their best intentions, they're not very good at sparing innocents.

And that's where the complexity (I prefer that term to ambiguity) makes the story interesting. I loved Haytham. If he had had his own game, I probably would have wanted him to win. But the means is not something I agree with... even if I'm very Tempted at times to seeing it their way.

And that's how life is. No choice is so clear cut. And both sides are not without their honor.

I think that as these stories wear on, we'll see that through various periods, they switched "hero vs. villain" roles back and forth. (Although Abstergo is clearly in full on villain mode) It's a struggle with no true right or wrong. Then again, nothing is true...

Charles_Phipps
11-16-2014, 08:39 PM
And yeah, personal biases notwithstanding, the Templars are arguably on the wrong side of the argument. Ultimately, they want to subjugate humanity. They may want that for good reasons, but the end doesn't justify the means. We can also easily argue Assassins aren't "good guys." Yes, they want freedom and all that, but at the cost of murder? As we've seen, despite their best intentions, they're not very good at sparing innocents.

The most damning thing Shay brings up isn't the whole Pieces of Eden thing but the stuff he talks about prior to Sequence 1 ending.

1. Why do the Assassins hunt the Templars over everything else? Surely, slavery and Empire building by non-Templars are just as important.

2. They've been at war since, literally, the Dawn of TimeTM. SOME sort of truce should be possible if they sat down and talked like rational men.

3. Why are the Assassins giving themselves high-fives over killing a couple of helpless old men just because they're Templars? That's kind of disgusting, especially since neither were especially evil.

4. Innocent is kind of a nebulous term if they're allowed to kill any guards who get in their way or fight the British on behalf of the French who are slavers they're fighting on behalf of the Haitians.

It allowed the Assassins to be portrayed as the awesome lovable rogues we know them to be and Loyal Resistance while also showing them to be kind of twisted. As the Templars mentioned in Rogue, "Yea, we try and take over the world. We actually CARE about the people underneath us, though, which is more than everyone else in charge can say."

Black_Widow9
11-16-2014, 09:48 PM
Please use the Spoiler tags in your post everyone!

Nihilog
11-16-2014, 10:43 PM
Yeah, I completely agree, it's a really fun game, but the side content completely outweighs the story missions. Ubi should of added like a 2-3 more sequences at least, even if it meant the removal of some of the side activites. It's a real shame since Rogue has an interesting narrative and some really neat extras such as costumes, so making the game shorter doesn't help either the story or gameplay.

Indeed !
In fact, I have found more bugs in Rogue than Unity. The sound effects is the worst thing in this game.

Hood2theBurbs
11-16-2014, 10:48 PM
Indeed !
In fact, I have found more bugs in Rogue than Unity. The sound effects is the worst thing in this game.

Really? Other than the game crashing one time Rogue has performed rather well. Same can't be said of Unity where something gets bugged each time I play.