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shadester9
01-22-2015, 03:34 AM
I believe that, given how long Unity was under development, the French Revolution must have been considered for the setting of AC3 but, at some point, the American Revolution won out. My theory is that Patrice Desilets wanted that but could not get it. In my opinion, if AC3 was the French Revolution game and Unity the American Rev one, we would have gotten better games for both settings.

Coming from the Ezio series of games, it would have been less jarring to have a game set in a large dense city with lots to do similar to Brotherhood and Revelations. Even though in 2012, the graphics would not have been as good as Unity's, AC3's depiction of New York was not lacking in the graphics and realism department. Paris would not have been as big or detailed as in Unity but Constantinople proves it could still have been quite striking. Rogue's cities were still quite good. Fans would have welcomed it, given how widely requested the location was, and it would chime well with the sense of historical, primarily European tourism fans liked the series for.

The Anvil next engine, used from AC3 to Unity, could still have been used for the French Rev game, bringing the same improvements in Parkour and Combat AC3 did, though obviously not as drastic as Unity's. From what I can recall, these changes were welcomed by fans and critics, even though they made combat much too easy. That may have just been tied to Connor's beastly nature though. Obviously, if the game were from the out-set built for a big dense city, the raw brutality of Connor would be replaced with stealth and better parkour, the same way Unity is. The setting being inseparable from the gameplay mechanics, I feel a French Revolution game, releasing even in 2012, would have resembled Unity in gameplay quite a lot. Sure, we would not have gotten the huge crowds or 1:1 scale of the city, but I feel it would be a close enough approximation.

Assassin's Creed 3 as we got it was initially disharmonious because of its tonal shift from the Ezio games, which provided a sense of historical tourism, fantastical escapism, conspiratorial mystery and adventure. In contrast, the the plot and setting of AC3 felt grave and serious throughout and it didn't help that gameplay was also very different per the wide roads in cities, the tree-running in the Frontier, hunting, boats, etc. Instead, if we got a game set in the French Revolution, we would still have the well-known qualities and strengths of the AC franchise, just with more polish. If they kept Alex Hutchinson as the creative lead, he would have properly featured the the French Revolution, one of the most thrilling and interesting historical events, whereas Unity didn't really do much with it. AC3 was criticized for shoehorning Connor into every major event in the American Revolution, but the problem was that the consoles couldn't handle really any of the big battles so we mostly just got to have very important conversations with very important people just for the sake of it. In the French Revolution though, there were few big battles in the early years and it really was a whole lot of talking behind closed doors, yelling and subsequent cutting of heads. Having our protagonist engage with more people of power the way he did Napoleon would make history come alive. Have us participate in the night of terror, the storming of the Bastille, marching on Versailles (okay, that one happened). I assume Hutchinson in creative lead would still make the choice of having the protagonist play a vital role in the playing out of the Revolution and would steer the game to be quite cinematic. Having Corey May would also mean we get a more interesting protagonist than another Ezio clone. Give us a rogueish protagonist if you must but one who is driven not by revenge or 'redemption' but rather the tenets of the Creed itself.

Even if Unity's story was mostly kept, the inclusion of the modern day and Arno being linked to Desmond would improve it greatly. Arno would definitely be more palatable to audiences than Connor was, as you'll find outside of the AC fanbase that he is still quite despised. In any case, the historical part of the game would still be infinitely more interesting if it were linked to Desmond and the team chasing the key to the Precursor Vault. If I had my say though, I would keep most of Haytham's story but we would follow another of his sons who is half-English half-French (mockup (http://i.imgur.com/mo4jpwi.png)) , an ancestor of Desmond's. My idea is that the new protagonist could be the half-brother of Connor. The game could be set after Haytham has already been killed by Connor in the colonies, with his brother now learning about his father and grandfather's work and the Brotherhood, meeting up with Connor and establishing Assassin control in Europe. This would make for an interesting multi-game storyline in which we would first learn about this Assassin, and then his grandfather in AC4, and then about Haytham and Connor's story in AC5 (with the idea of Connor having killed him kept secret until then). Perhaps you could just write a new ancestor altogether.

Would a game that feels essentially like a better version of AC2 still be disappointing, the way AC3 was to a lot of people? I doubt it. Sure, Unity was basically trying that same approach, but I feel that because it came much further along, without the link to the original modern day storyline and after the expansion of the series beyond cities, it had very different expectations from the fanbase and general public than AC3 did. Rather than getting a lot of people to swear off the franchise, a well done French Rev AC3 would have revitalized the franchise. After AC4 changed what people expected from the series by being a fantastic game unlike any other AC game, going back to just one large city feels a little bit like going backwards, like we are being constrained. On the other hand, imagine now if the American Revolution game was the next-gen 2014 game. I know that AC4 is only as good as it is because it built upon 3's features and mistakes but imagine for a second if AC3 had AC4's crafting and ship mechanics, with the River Valley from Rogue being sailable and the parkour and stealth of Unity, all rendered in 2014 graphics on next-gen consoles. Tree-running and the Frontier would look incredible and even the cities in game would feel more maneuverable due to the parkour enhancements. It would be a much more fleshed out game. After a game like AC4 would open up the world of AC to sailing and islands, AC3's shift in setting and themes would not feel as jarring.

I'm sure I'll hear the opinion that AC3's distinctness was a good thing because each numbered entry should have its own flavour and voice, the way AC1 and AC2 were wildly different. While I see the point, I do not agree with that because that was not really the popular sentiment among Assassin's Creed fans or what the brand represented by 2012. AC1 was a very hyped but disappointing game for most people, whereas many current AC fans really started with 2 and onwards, without ever even going back to 1. The popularity of the series was built entirely on the Ezio games and what they represented. Releasing a very different type of game in the form of AC3 subverted everything people loved about the Assassin's Creed games and that's why a lot of people were let down. Releasing the games in this order would have shown a mastery of the big city model and then an expansion into different types of gameplay.

tl;dr crazy unrealistic pipe dream about how much better it would be if Ubi had switched AC3 and ACU

Cactiii
01-22-2015, 03:42 AM
While I would've liked Arno's story having some tie with Desmond in modern times, I think that this order worked best. Without the surprise hit of naval combat in AC3, we wouldn't have had AC4 and then Rogue. I'm part of the apparent minority that actually adored Unity as a fundamental reboot, streamlining everything with the power of the PS4. I understand the 'AC3 was jarring compared to the previous games' argument, but that wasn't the problem in that game. The problem was a story that started out strong but became increasingly incoherent (as soon as we find out Lee and company are templars, they shift from sympathetic to villainous when we first see them as Connor, or the Forrest Gump effect) and a dull protagonist with a depressing amount of potential. I appreciate AC3 as a very important test that laid a lot of groundwork for later games, like guns, trees and naval combat, and I think it made Unity into (what I felt) was a phenomenal entry.

brotersinarms
01-22-2015, 04:01 AM
Well i never played Unity so i can't really comment on that (i play Rogue), but just to say i think AC 3 was waaaaaay underrated. I just think it's a great game. There were definitely issues i had in regards to the shooting mechanism (since fixed with Black Flag and beyond), and the lack of Outfits current with those times. Other than that, i thought the story, from Haytham and beyond was fantastic. I wish we could have had these current Outfits from Rogue and gun mechanisms to bring back to AC3 knowing that could never happen. Miss the horses too lol. Sucks having to huff it through NY with no horse like AC 3.

VestigialLlama4
01-22-2015, 06:10 AM
I believe that, given how long Unity was under development, the French Revolution must have been considered for the setting of AC3 but, at some point, the American Revolution won out. My theory is that Patrice Desilets wanted that but could not get it. In my opinion, if AC3 was the French Revolution game and Unity the American Rev one, we would have gotten better games for both settings.

That's a nice theory, problem is, it is not true. AC3 went into development right after AC2 finished. It has Corey May, the same writer as AC1 and AC2. I don't think the French Revolution was considered then, since at the time, they wanted to do unusual settings and the American Revolution is more obscure than the French one in artistic depictions. As for why Desilets left the Franchise, no one knows, the general consensus is that he didn't like the annualization and milking Ezio into a Franchise since he wanted as he said in interviews to do different settings and characters in each new game. His planned new game is set to be an entirely new kind of historical period game.


I feel a French Revolution game, releasing even in 2012, would have resembled Unity in gameplay quite a lot. Sure, we would not have gotten the huge crowds or 1:1 scale of the city, but I feel it would be a close enough approximation.

Your backtracking refuses to consider the fact that UNITY is a "Reaction" to AC3's mixed release. When AC3 was made, they actually made a game with a story and unique characters and a fully realized historical setting. When they made UNITY, they basically namechecked all the complaints(Supposedly "Dull" protagonist/No Architecture/Too Much History) of AC3 like a Pavlovian dog. If a French Revolution game came back then, it would have been more like the Ezio games, who knows maybe they'd make Napoleon one of Ezio's distant descendants and the like.


Assassin's Creed 3 as we got it was initially disharmonious because of its tonal shift from the Ezio games

One thing you need to understand in your nice fancy little analysis is the inescapable fact that ASSASSIN'S CREED III IS THE BEST SELLING GAME OF THE ENTIRE AC FRANCHISE. The reaction was only ever confined to a tiny minority of mostly white gamers on the internet. How much has UNITY sold? It probably did make a loss considering that it's fancy subsidies went free.


AC3 was criticized for shoehorning Connor into every major event in the American Revolution, but the problem was that the consoles couldn't handle really any of the big battles so we mostly just got to have very important conversations with very important people just for the sake of it.

Huh...did you miss the BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL level, an actual battlefield with 1000s of NPCs. Nothing in UNITY has anything like that. The game has nothing but Battles - Lexington-Concord, Bunker Hill, Mormont, Chesapeake Bay.


Arno would definitely be more palatable to audiences than Connor was, as you'll find outside of the AC fanbase that he is still quite despised.

That is again faulty logic. Connor is liked by people who are outside the new fanbase. The ones who liked AC3 are the "new fans" for whom the first games were AC3 and Black Flag(and later they go back to the earlier games), he's also prominent among casuals and others. It's only the typical gaming crowd who go nuts anytime they have a non-white characters as the headlining protagonist since the gaming crowd by and large is so racist on the whole. Using words like "beastly" to describe Connor's fighting style and are upset that he's a lot more complex than the "blood-thirsty savage" they fantasized about playing. If Connor dressed in buckskins throughout the game and scalped Templars then he'd be a lot more popular. God forbid developers who (however imperfectly) tried to correct the largely pasty white pallette of the video game market by trying to imagine a different experience.


Releasing a very different type of game in the form of AC3 subverted everything people loved about the Assassin's Creed games and that's why a lot of people were let down.

And yet AC3 was a complete commercial success and is still talked about today. Connor is still popular and controversial while Arno is Frenchzio.


tl;dr crazy unrealistic pipe dream about how much better it would be if Ubi had switched AC3 and ACU

I think the crazy unrealistic pipe dream is if Ubisoft had never made UNITY. They should not make a game in a setting they don't care about, they should follow their own instincts about what makes a good game and not listen to marketing analysts and least of all, fans.

shadester9
01-22-2015, 06:48 AM
That's a nice theory, problem is, it is not true. AC3 went into development right after AC2 finished. It has Corey May, the same writer as AC1 and AC2. I don't think the French Revolution was considered then, since at the time, they wanted to do unusual settings and the American Revolution is more obscure than the French one in artistic depictions. As for why Desilets left the Franchise, no one knows, the general consensus is that he didn't like the annualization and milking Ezio into a Franchise since he wanted as he said in interviews to do different settings and characters in each new game. His planned new game is set to be an entirely new kind of historical period game.

Yes, it's a completely baseless theory. Still, it's a shame he left.


If a French Revolution game came back then, it would have been more like the Ezio games, who knows maybe they'd make Napoleon one of Ezio's distant descendants and the like.

That's exactly my point. It would have been less polarizing for the fanbase if it was like the Ezio games and a French Revolution would help.



One thing you need to understand in your nice fancy little analysis is the inescapable fact that ASSASSIN'S CREED III IS THE BEST SELLING GAME OF THE ENTIRE AC FRANCHISE. The reaction was only ever confined to a tiny minority of mostly white gamers on the internet. How much has UNITY sold? It probably did make a loss considering that it's fancy subsidies went free.

I'm not talking about sales or popularity, I'm talking about general opinion and sentiment. I don't think the negative reaction was a minority. It is still consistently one of the lowest ranking games on any AC ranking polls you can find online. Even if you can somehow claim most people liked it, it was a letdown in the sense that people didn't think it was better than or as good as 2.



Huh...did you miss the BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL level, an actual battlefield with 1000s of NPCs. Nothing in UNITY has anything like that. The game has nothing but Battles - Lexington-Concord, Bunker Hill, Mormont, Chesapeake Bay.

The battle in AC3 never had the sense of scale that the trailer for example portrayed, or the amount of NPCs on the screen at the same time as Unity. Anyway, that wasn't the point. The fact that Unity doesn't need big battles why I said the Anvil Next engine AC3 would be just fine for a French Rev game.


That is again faulty logic. Connor is liked by people who are outside the new fanbase. The ones who liked AC3 are the "new fans" for whom the first games were AC3 and Black Flag(and later they go back to the earlier games), he's also prominent among casuals and others. It's only the typical gaming crowd who go nuts anytime they have a non-white characters as the headlining protagonist since the gaming crowd by and large is so racist on the whole. Using words like "beastly" to describe Connor's fighting style and are upset that he's a lot more complex than the "blood-thirsty savage" they fantasized about playing. If Connor dressed in buckskins throughout the game and scalped Templars then he'd be a lot more popular. God forbid developers who (however imperfectly) tried to correct the largely pasty white pallette of the video game market by trying to imagine a different experience.
Gamers, who admittedly can be racist, do make up the largest part of the players of these games. The vocal AC fanbase, either here or on Tumblr or on Reddit, comprise a small part of the millions of sales each game gets. Go into a reddit comment section about AC3 and youll see that people still dislike this game and character. Ubisoft cares about the fanbase but most of their sales come from outside that so that's why they actually listened to all the criticisms of AC3 and fixed them in 4 and Unity. They would not have had the negative reaction and bad press if we got a more adventurous story and likeable protagonist.



And yet AC3 was a complete commercial success and is still talked about today. Connor is still popular and controversial while Arno is Frenchzio.

Again, not talking about sales. Consider any discussion of AC3 outside of an AC forum. I never said, by the way, that I wanted an Ezio-like protagonist instead. There are lots of ways to write an interesting character that will appeal to players without using the same Ezio mold. Shay is an example. It's just what would have been less jarring for most of the players.




I think the crazy unrealistic pipe dream is if Ubisoft had never made UNITY. They should not make a game in a setting they don't care about, they should follow their own instincts about what makes a good game and not listen to marketing analysts and least of all, fans.
It is highly unrealistic to think they don't consider player feedback, marketing analysis and the fans in their consideration of settings.

VestigialLlama4
01-22-2015, 07:23 AM
I'm not talking about sales or popularity, I'm talking about general opinion and sentiment. I don't think the negative reaction was a minority.

If it wasn't a minority it would not have sold as well as it did. Simple as that. That was a reaction largely made on the internet and once it caught traction, other websites like Pavlovian Dogs adopted it uncritically and let it pass. It's a common internet astro-turfed meme. I actually saw it happen on many onlines posts and it made me disgusted at how pathetic most gaming websites, polls and all are. What disgusted me even more was Ubisoft actually taking it seriously, well now they have only themselves to blame. They made UNITY to cater to that crowd and it has come very close to sinking the entire Franchise for good.


The battle in AC3 never had the sense of scale that the trailer for example portrayed, or the amount of NPCs on the screen at the same time as Unity.

You must have a small TV or monitor, the Bunker Hill Battles were the most jawdropping battle scene recreation at the time. Even Unity has nothing like seeing that hill of Redcoats in endless rows of formations hailing musket fire at you.


Gamers, who admittedly can be racist, do make up the largest part of the players of these games.

So what you are saying is that developers should cater to the racist, sexist tastes of the vast majority of players. God, that is an impressive admission. Look, there are endless number of games with white protagonists for the gaming community to feel that they are still the Master Race. One AAA game with a minority character should ideally not be offensive. But I guess perhaps it is, and I don't think Ubisoft will make that mistake again especially since whiteboy fantasies like ROGUE are so popular among the same crowds.


The vocal AC fanbase, either here or on Tumblr or on Reddit, comprise a small part of the millions of sales each game gets. Go into a reddit comment section about AC3 and youll see that people still dislike this game and character.

I don't get it, on one hand the Reddit fanbase is a small vocal minority and on another hand you use the same minority as a point in favor of your argument?


It is highly unrealistic to think they don't consider player feedback, marketing analysis and the fans in their consideration of settings.

Considering it is one thing, totally obeying it is another. If they did that, Assassin's Creed would never get made to start with. They would never do something as radical(as it was at that time) of visiting different historical periods, they would never have made a Native American the star of is own game, and they wouldn't have put a full Pirate game out. All of that came from their own instincts and not player feedback. I remember how surprised everyone was when they announced an AC game set in the American Revolution or a full Pirate game after AC3.

For Unity, they built an entire game out of fan demands and fan complaints and it is a total failure for that reason. Never listen to self-calling, self-deluding fans.

RuNfAtBoYrUn740
01-22-2015, 01:11 PM
So what you are saying is that developers should cater to the racist, sexist tastes of the vast majority of players.

I feel like the implication here is that people only dislike Connor because of his skin colour, and not to do with his personality and interactions with others?
I just feel like you're making that argument.

SixKeys
01-22-2015, 01:31 PM
If it wasn't a minority it would not have sold as well as it did. Simple as that.

This is a silly argument and you know it. Aliens: Colonial Marines sold well (1.31 million copies) and it was universally hated.

VestigialLlama4
01-22-2015, 01:35 PM
I feel like the implication here is that people only dislike Connor because of his skin colour, and not to do with his personality and interactions with others?
I just feel like you're making that argument.

I am making that argument because nobody else calls people out on it. I mean the arguments are couched in euphemisms and other get-out-of-jail free cards because nobody likes being called a racist even if they are one (and you know, even if you are a racist, you can get past that if you accept it and learn from your mistakes, it's not the end of the world). Fact is every time a game company casts a non-white Player Character as the hero of a main game, there's always this nasty fan reaction which makes inane arguments. When San Andreas came out, people complained about how CJ is not as cool as Tommy Vercetti, how he's this whining guy, and so on and so forth, that he's too nice to be a GTA protagonist and the like. All weird complaints that imply, "I can't feel like a badass until my avatar is white as pearl". And tell me, aside from CJ and now Connor, which other AAA franchises have a non-white hero headlining a major game? 99% of the gaming landscape is a white picket fence.

There are criticisms to be made about Connor, legitimate ones but it's not been made by the gaming community.

SixKeys
01-22-2015, 01:37 PM
I agree that there is a lot of racism in the gaming community.

With that said, Connor is a legit badly written character.

VestigialLlama4
01-22-2015, 01:42 PM
With that said, Connor is a legit badly written character.

Okay then tell me how is he badly written. If you can avoid using words like "He's dull", "His dialogues are flat" and can avoid making a "Where is Charles Lee?" comment, it might be worth reading.

ze_topazio
01-22-2015, 01:47 PM
Come one, everybody knows that AC3 sold at it did thanks to massive hype (the true sequel to AC2) and a rather patriotic marketing campaign in the USA.

VestigialLlama4
01-22-2015, 01:50 PM
Come one, everybody knows that AC3 sold at it did thanks to massive hype (the true sequel to AC2) and a rather patriotic marketing campaign in the USA.

So how did it sell well in other countries and how did it continue to sell well righ into 2013 First Quarter? The DLC did well too. UNITY and Black Flag also had sizable marketing as well.

If they wanted to target the patriotic American crowd, they ideally shouldn't have put a Mohawk as a hero.

SixKeys
01-22-2015, 01:57 PM
Okay then tell me how is he badly written. If you can avoid using words like "He's dull", "His dialogues are flat" and can avoid making a "Where is Charles Lee?" comment, it might be worth reading.

He's inconsistent and his choices make no sense.

SixKeys
01-22-2015, 02:12 PM
AC3 sold well due to a lot of factors.

1. People were tired of Ezio and hungry for a change.
2. AC3 was the end of the Desmond saga. People wanted to find out how it was going to end.
3. It had the biggest marketing campaign in the history of AC at the time.
4. The devs bragged about a lot of features that ended up being cut from the final product. Things like random events, frozen lakes, canoes, the Great Fire of New York, naval freeroam (confirmed by devs at E3 2012) etc.
5. Many people found it a genuinely good game.

Things are never as simple as "this thing was obviously much-loved because it sold well". I could name tons of movies and games that were wildly successful if you're simply looking at sales figures but are loathed by the general public. Especially in the games industry you have to consider that pre-orders make up a huge bulk of sales - people purchasing a game before they have any idea how it's going to turn out. I'm not saying everyone hated AC3, or even the majority - we don't have hard numbers to make claims either way. I'm saying that reducing the reasons to simplistic, single-reason answers like "everyone who dislikes Connor is a racist" or "it sold well, therefore it's good" are Bad Argumentation 101.

D.I.D.
01-22-2015, 02:23 PM
AC3 sold well due to a lot of factors.

1. People were tired of Ezio and hungry for a change.
2. AC3 was the end of the Desmond saga. People wanted to find out how it was going to end.
3. It had the biggest marketing campaign in the history of AC at the time.
4. The devs bragged about a lot of features that ended up being cut from the final product. Things like random events, frozen lakes, canoes, the Great Fire of New York, naval freeroam (confirmed by devs at E3 2012) etc.
5. Many people found it a genuinely good game.

Things are never as simple as "this thing was obviously much-loved because it sold well". I could name tons of movies and games that were wildly successful if you're simply looking at sales figures but are loathed by the general public. Especially in the games industry you have to consider that pre-orders make up a huge bulk of sales - people purchasing a game before they have any idea how it's going to turn out. I'm not saying everyone hated AC3, or even the majority - we don't have hard numbers to make claims either way. I'm saying that reducing the reasons to simplistic, single-reason answers like "everyone who dislikes Connor is a racist" or "it sold well, therefore it's good" are Bad Argumentation 101.

Another factor people quickly forget - the idea that it was "next gen on [then] current gen".

Any game that's at the top of its tree quickly loses its cachet, so we look back and think, "Those graphics were nothing special," but in its moment ACIII was a serious step forward. It lost that position within months, due to both the competition and the first look at Black Flag, but by then it had secured the vast majority of its sales.

VestigialLlama4
01-22-2015, 02:32 PM
AC3 sold well due to a lot of factors.

1. People were tired of Ezio and hungry for a change.
2. AC3 was the end of the Desmond saga. People wanted to find out how it was going to end.
3. It had the biggest marketing campaign in the history of AC at the time.
4. The devs bragged about a lot of features that ended up being cut from the final product. Things like random events, frozen lakes, canoes, the Great Fire of New York, naval freeroam (confirmed by devs at E3 2012) etc.
5. Many people found it a genuinely good game.


Now that's a considered response, that doesn't devolve into a silly "Connor vs. Ezio" argument or ignore the tiny bubbles of the chatroom. The cut features bothered me too, (especially the Great Fire). I think they cut naval freeroam when they realized they were going into Black Flag and rather than a small body of water it would have been confined too, they decided to develop that specially for its own game, which was the right call.


I'm saying that reducing the reasons to simplistic, single-reason answers like "everyone who dislikes Connor is a racist" or "it sold well, therefore it's good" are Bad Argumentation 101.

That is fair, but its also bad argumentation that AC3 failed because it didn't gel with fans of AC2 or that apparently it was a shock to regular gamers. The vast majority of critics of Connor are nonetheless racist however and I stand by that.


He's inconsistent and his choices make no sense.


That's a fair point, although that's more of a general problem with the latter part of the game as a whole. The storytelling faces problems because of its own ambitions really.

RuNfAtBoYrUn740
01-22-2015, 02:32 PM
I am making that argument because nobody else calls people out on it. I mean the arguments are couched in euphemisms and other get-out-of-jail free cards because nobody likes being called a racist even if they are one (and you know, even if you are a racist, you can get past that if you accept it and learn from your mistakes, it's not the end of the world). Fact is every time a game company casts a non-white Player Character as the hero of a main game, there's always this nasty fan reaction which makes inane arguments. When San Andreas came out, people complained about how CJ is not as cool as Tommy Vercetti, how he's this whining guy, and so on and so forth, that he's too nice to be a GTA protagonist and the like. All weird complaints that imply, "I can't feel like a badass until my avatar is white as pearl". And tell me, aside from CJ and now Connor, which other AAA franchises have a non-white hero headlining a major game? 99% of the gaming landscape is a white picket fence.


There are criticisms to be made about Connor, legitimate ones but it's not been made by the gaming community.

I didn't like how Connor would just yell and moan at those around him. I understand where he is coming from, but that doesn't change the fact that he was just annoying to watch at times.

There are definitely racist gamers. I've seen them all. Racists, homophobes and just general morons, but it's unfair to say that most/all people that disliked Connor was because of his skin colour.

As for other white protagonists, I'm guessing it's because the biggest gaming demographic is the white male. I'm sure if it was the black woman most protagonists would be black women. It is a shame we don't get more diverse characters though. I don't care what we get, as long as it makes sense with the period and doesn't feel forced.

VestigialLlama4
01-22-2015, 02:45 PM
There are definitely racist gamers. I've seen them all. Racists, homophobes and just general morons, but it's unfair to say that most/all people that disliked Connor was because of his skin colour.

Why is it unfair? Tell me that.


As for other white protagonists, I'm guessing it's because the biggest gaming demographic is the white male. I'm sure if it was the black woman most protagonists would be black women

http://kotaku.com/5788268/nielsen-survey-finds-black-gamers-spend-the-most-time-playing-consoles
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/shortcuts/2013/mar/22/is-racism-online-gaming-fault-industry-players
http://newamericamedia.org/2011/09/gamer-to-game-makers-wheres-the-diversity.php

SixKeys
01-22-2015, 02:46 PM
Another factor people quickly forget - the idea that it was "next gen on [then] current gen".

Any game that's at the top of its tree quickly loses its cachet, so we look back and think, "Those graphics were nothing special," but in its moment ACIII was a serious step forward. It lost that position within months, due to both the competition and the first look at Black Flag, but by then it had secured the vast majority of its sales.

From what I understand, AC3 devs started development with the understanding that the game WAS going to be next-gen, but then the launch of XBone and PS4 got pushed back and they had to continue development for the (then)current-gen consoles. That would explain the highly ambitious nature of the game, the amount of cut features and the marketing emphasis on next-gen features. Connor's animations were easily next-gen quality. It also doesn't make sense why they made such a big deal out of the AnvilNext engine if the game was always designed for old-gen. I think AnvilNext, like the name implies, was meant to be a next-gen engine, but then circumstances forced them to use it for two more games, which probably limited what they were able to do with it.

D.I.D.
01-22-2015, 02:52 PM
I am making that argument because nobody else calls people out on it. I mean the arguments are couched in euphemisms and other get-out-of-jail free cards because nobody likes being called a racist even if they are one (and you know, even if you are a racist, you can get past that if you accept it and learn from your mistakes, it's not the end of the world). Fact is every time a game company casts a non-white Player Character as the hero of a main game, there's always this nasty fan reaction which makes inane arguments. When San Andreas came out, people complained about how CJ is not as cool as Tommy Vercetti, how he's this whining guy, and so on and so forth, that he's too nice to be a GTA protagonist and the like. All weird complaints that imply, "I can't feel like a badass until my avatar is white as pearl". And tell me, aside from CJ and now Connor, which other AAA franchises have a non-white hero headlining a major game? 99% of the gaming landscape is a white picket fence.

There are criticisms to be made about Connor, legitimate ones but it's not been made by the gaming community.

This is absolutely absurd. As if not one of the millions of people who play games and comment about them online has made a valid objection to Connor! Your comments imply that a lack of interest in a non-white character -- any non-white character -- is a tacit display of racism on the part of the commenter.

What I felt about Connor was that Ubisoft's staff were really struggling to understand their own character. Let's not forget the CD's admission that they had to remove a scalping mechanic after the Native American advisor informed them that the idea was grossly inaccurate and offensive to people of Connor's tribe! This felt glaringly obvious to me; the writers had no idea how to place themselves mentally in Connor's shoes, and they weren't about to go looking for a writer who could do that.

As a result, Connor was a crude patchwork of bad kung-fu clichés, such as David Carradine's "Kung Fu", the Ralph Macchio era "The Karate Kid", and any number of other poor quality shows and films that followed the same pattern: foot-in-mouth 'respect' for unfamiliar cultures which end up doing little more than exoticising and "other-ing" the people concerned, combined with a tired "crochety master rejects young padawan repeatedly until he proves his tenacity" schtick. They tried to create a purity in the adult Connor and came out with an insultingly infantilised fool instead. For all Connor's supposed unspoiled humanity, we were in fact presented with a sulky teenager no different from the worst stereotype of today's US children.

Leaving aside all of this, Connor was simply poorly written. Cultural difference can never explain the bizarre mood swings, both positive and negative. He'd flip into a rage at the tiniest things, and then be unmoved by the revelations of really serious things, such as learning that Washington ordered the destruction of his village -- twice! The script and direction of cutscenes was shockingly bad; not just for Connor, but for the majority of characters in the game. The Homestead stuff was unbelievably awful.

I don't know how you and I played the same game, saw all the same wooden dialogue, and yet you came out of it apparently believing the writing was fine and the only conceivable reason for failing to love Connor is racism. Corey May is not a great writer. He got into his position via enthusiasm for gaming, and from there gravitated towards writing. The co-writer, Matt Turner, is another person who went straight from education into the games industry and whose professional writing experience has been entirely in games, and he had even less experience than May.

RuNfAtBoYrUn740
01-22-2015, 03:06 PM
Why is it unfair? Tell me that.
Well do you have any evidence? Just sounds like a baseless assumption to me.

As for those articles you posted:
- The first article addresses play time, not number of gamers.
- The second article addresses racism in the online community (which I agree is disgusting), but it still doesn't really address my point.
- The third article is similar to the above two.

I accept that black gamers have longer play times on average, but by sheer numbers of players it would be the white male.

I find it hard to accept that if 90% of the gaming community was black women we'd see the same amount of white protagonists. They use white males because it allows more gamers than otherwise possible to connect to the protagonist. I don't think that's really racism per se, but more of just how relations works. That's not to say you can't connect with other races, because you can, it's just to a lesser extent. This isn't a white specific thing either, it applies to everyone.

VestigialLlama4
01-22-2015, 03:21 PM
As if not one of the millions of people who play games and comment about them online has made a valid objection to Connor! Your comments imply that a lack of interest in a non-white character -- any non-white character -- is a tacit display of racism on the part of the commenter.

Where did I say "lack of interest", Connor was immensely popular and remains highly popular. I am specifically addressing the lazy comments people have made. I saw the astro-turfed smear campaign that came up after AC3's release, Kotaku were specially bad offenders (except for Stephen Totilo). The initialy critical response was great and it was widely covered as a success in IGN and Time and other sites. Then the fanboys started their nasty projections of the game, exaggerating a few bugs for no reason(I mean compared to UNITY, it's harmless). And it struck me then and it strikes me now as being very racially motivated. And then I keep reading in other sites, and then when Black Flag comes out, I keep reading on other sites about AC3 being a failure when it was obviously a wide commercial success and a great deal of people liked it. And you know they kept repeating the same three cliches over and over again - Connor's Dull, he's rude to Achilles and he has no personality - repeated ad nauseam without actual examples from the game or specific issues of the story.


What I felt about Connor was that Ubisoft's staff were really struggling to understand their own character. Let's not forget the CD's admission that they had to remove a scalping mechanic after the Native American advisor informed them that the idea was grossly inaccurate and offensive to people of Connor's tribe! This felt glaringly obvious to me; the writers had no idea how to place themselves mentally in Connor's shoes, and they weren't about to go looking for a writer who could do that.

Well I can tell you that if they put a scalping mechanic, the fanboys would have loved it since it fulfilled their stereotypes of the "savage Indian" well. The idea of a Native American Assassin who is genuinely multi-cultural doesn't enter their minds at all. It is definitely true that Ubisoft(since they admitted that they didn't have a Native American among the development team) really did struggle with the character and setting, and there are the expected flaws that come in, but compared to the piteously low standards of storytelling in the gaming industry, AC3 and Connor is some kind of achievement.


Cultural difference can never explain the bizarre mood swings, both positive and negative. He'd flip into a rage at the tiniest things,

Cite an example. Which tiny things made Connor flip into a rage. Yeah, he hates being touched which is a running gag with him(and incredibly hilarious) but you make it sound like he's some borderline sociopath, so which was the tiny incident that made him flip into rage?


I don't know how you and I played the same game, saw all the same wooden dialogue, and yet you came out of it apparently believing the writing was fine

By absolute aesthetic standards, it's a fairly mediocre historical fiction. But we are talking about a medium that is 97% s--t. Within this quagmire, AC3 is near the gold standard, and any future Historical Games or representing a minority hero can at least see it as standard to beat. The writing and animation in AC3 was actually an improvement from the earlier games (AC1 and the Ezio Games) and the characterization was more subtle and visual than before, especially with Connor.


Corey May is not a great writer. He got into his position via enthusiasm for gaming, and from there gravitated towards writing.

He wrote AC1 and AC2, didn't he? Did you have problems with the writing of those games?

RuNfAtBoYrUn740
01-22-2015, 03:27 PM
Connor was immensely popular and remains highly popular.

Gotta disagree with you here. A lot of people I know just found it hard to like the guy because of all the random mood swings. We all agreed he was a unique, realistic and interesting character, but it just wasn't fun to watch him on screen.

Almost every review of the game mentioned that Connor was a bit of a weak point.

The community, both here and on Reddit weren't particularly fond of Connor either. It's only really after AC4 that some have really started appreciating him for some reason.

VestigialLlama4
01-22-2015, 03:28 PM
I find it hard to accept that if 90% of the gaming community was black women we'd see the same amount of white protagonists.

Look I have news for you, in real-life, the vast majority of America's population and that of other developed nations is women. That is the reality, but why is it that there are so few women Heads-Of-States, so few women CEOs, so few women producers and so on and so forth? Why is that everytime it's a big deal when a leading actress gets a salary on par with the male actors? That's because the media is biased and owned by a small minority. This is known as hegemony.


They use white males because it allows more gamers than otherwise possible to connect to the protagonist. I don't think that's really racism per se, but more of just how relations works

Okay then humanity as a whole sucks, because we are biologically incapable of relating to people outside our peer group. Thankfully this is just not true. Rock music was made possible because white kids in England and America liked blues and jazz music, likewise rap music and hip-hop is universally popular despite coming from black artists. Culture is enriched by people being aware or and respecting each other. Oh and of course video games were largely developed and reinvented by the Japanese.

That's not how human relations works, and gamers can connect to all sorts of protagonists, otherwise San Andreas and AC3 wouldn't sell as well as it does. And stating that it isn't racially problematic or denying that racism is a factor in all of this is bad faith.

RuNfAtBoYrUn740
01-22-2015, 03:48 PM
Look I have news for you, in real-life, the vast majority of America's population and that of other developed nations is women. That is the reality, but why is it that there are so few women Heads-Of-States, so few women CEOs, so few women producers and so on and so forth? Why is that everytime it's a big deal when a leading actress gets a salary on par with the male actors? That's because the media is biased and owned by a small minority. This is known as hegemony.



Okay then humanity as a whole sucks, because we are biologically incapable of relating to people outside our peer group. Thankfully this is just not true. Rock music was made possible because white kids in England and America liked blues and jazz music, likewise rap music and hip-hop is universally popular despite coming from black artists. Culture is enriched by people being aware or and respecting each other. Oh and of course video games were largely developed and reinvented by the Japanese.

That's not how human relations works, and gamers can connect to all sorts of protagonists, otherwise San Andreas and AC3 wouldn't sell as well as it does. And stating that it isn't racially problematic or denying that racism is a factor in all of this is bad faith.

Your first paragraph was going a bit off-topic. We're discussing the gaming community, not whole country's populations.

You distorted my words with the second paragraph. You've implied twice in your answer that I said people are incapable of relating outside their peer group. In fact I actually said "That's not to say you can't connect with other races, because you can". It's just easier for a white person to relate to a white protagonist, and a black person to relate to a white protagonist, just like it's easier for a male to relate to a male protagonist and a female to relate to a female protagonist.

There are other reasons that games like San Andreas and AC3 sell as well as they do. People don't just buy these games for the protagonists.

I never denied racism as a factor. Indeed there are racist gamers and morons out there, but not all of it comes down to pure racism.

dargor5
01-22-2015, 03:57 PM
I am making that argument because nobody else calls people out on it. I mean the arguments are couched in euphemisms and other get-out-of-jail free cards because nobody likes being called a racist even if they are one (and you know, even if you are a racist, you can get past that if you accept it and learn from your mistakes, it's not the end of the world). Fact is every time a game company casts a non-white Player Character as the hero of a main game, there's always this nasty fan reaction which makes inane arguments. When San Andreas came out, people complained about how CJ is not as cool as Tommy Vercetti, how he's this whining guy, and so on and so forth, that he's too nice to be a GTA protagonist and the like. All weird complaints that imply, "I can't feel like a badass until my avatar is white as pearl". And tell me, aside from CJ and now Connor, which other AAA franchises have a non-white hero headlining a major game? 99% of the gaming landscape is a white picket fence.

There are criticisms to be made about Connor, legitimate ones but it's not been made by the gaming community.

I am (according to you) of the minority who liked Connor because they made him on the view we had of natives in that age. I thing the mayority of people disliking it was not due to race. Mostly because he was a quiet character and no lady's man, in a game most people want to be this thing they cant be a reality, a ladys man who is a badass and Connor can be seen as a Geek, one who is good at what he does but lacks the social aspect.

I still don't know why racism was brought to this subject.

To stay on topic Im glad the way things turned out, AC3 is one of the ACs that Ive replay the most cause of graphics, action and story. To me AC3 is one of the best looking AC, and really immersive and hard if you play with no HUD :p

VestigialLlama4
01-22-2015, 03:59 PM
It's just easier for a white person to relate to a white protagonist, and a black person to relate to a white protagonist, just like it's easier for a male to relate to a male protagonist and a female to relate to a female protagonist.

And to me that's part of the same BS logic which I destroyed. People can relate to anyone, but as is the case with any good party, its the bad apples and losers who mess stuff up for anyone. in this case its the gaming community


There are other reasons that games like San Andreas and AC3 sell as well as they do. People don't just buy these games for the protagonists.

Okay so people buy the Ezio games not because of the setting and gameplay but simply Ezio is Awesome, but if AC3 sells better than the Ezio games its because of "marketing" or other reasons and "People don't buy San Andreas and AC3 for the protagonists".


I never denied racism as a factor. Indeed there are racist gamers and morons out there, but not all of it comes down to pure racism.

There's no "pure racism". Racism includes many factors, chiefly being a wide set of cultural assumptions that people don't question too deeply. These cultural assumptions should always be regarded and questioned by society since they have actually produced real harm across history.

RuNfAtBoYrUn740
01-22-2015, 04:23 PM
Okay so people buy the Ezio games not because of the setting and gameplay but simply Ezio is Awesome, but if AC3 sells better than the Ezio games its because of "marketing" or other reasons and "People don't buy San Andreas and AC3 for the protagonists"..

Hold up. Another bold assumption. There are plenty of people that bought the Ezio games for the setting + gameplay. The only reason my friend bought AC2 was because it took place in his home country, same with Brotherhood.

Also you distorted my quote again. It was "People don't just buy San Andreas and AC3 for the protagonists". I didn't buy AC3 because of Connor. I bought it because I wanted to see the conclusion of Desmond's story, the new gameplay and new setting. A new protagonist was a welcome change but it's not the reason I bought the game.

shadester9
01-22-2015, 06:51 PM
If it wasn't a minority it would not have sold as well as it did. Simple as that. That was a reaction largely made on the internet and once it caught traction, other websites like Pavlovian Dogs adopted it uncritically and let it pass. It's a common internet astro-turfed meme. I actually saw it happen on many onlines posts and it made me disgusted at how pathetic most gaming websites, polls and all are. What disgusted me even more was Ubisoft actually taking it seriously, well now they have only themselves to blame. They made UNITY to cater to that crowd and it has come very close to sinking the entire Franchise for good.

Sales != general opinion and sentiment. As others mentioned, countless games, including Unity, have sold a lot and been universally hated. I don't understand why you think it was a meme people caught onto for no reason. People shared the opinion, agreed with it and that's why they perpetuated it.




You must have a small TV or monitor, the Bunker Hill Battles were the most jawdropping battle scene recreation at the time. Even Unity has nothing like seeing that hill of Redcoats in endless rows of formations hailing musket fire at you.
It was nice, but nothing compared to what we were told to expect from the marketing. Like many features of AC3 that were promised and then either cut or rushed, it was disappointing.




So what you are saying is that developers should cater to the racist, sexist tastes of the vast majority of players. God, that is an impressive admission. Look, there are endless number of games with white protagonists for the gaming community to feel that they are still the Master Race. One AAA game with a minority character should ideally not be offensive. But I guess perhaps it is, and I don't think Ubisoft will make that mistake again especially since whiteboy fantasies like ROGUE are so popular among the same crowds.

Straw man. Also, I would like to see some evidence of why you think people who dislike Connor are racists. I have a lot of legitimate reasons to dislike the character that have nothing to do with race. What could you possible mean by Rogue being a white boy fantasy?



I don't get it, on one hand the Reddit fanbase is a small vocal minority and on another hand you use the same minority as a point in favor of your argument?

Reading comprehension. I was referring earlier to the fanbase on Reddit and in the part you quoted to the millions of gamers on reddit as a whole i.e. on r/gaming. It is still quite hated in the latter.




Considering it is one thing, totally obeying it is another. If they did that, Assassin's Creed would never get made to start with. They would never do something as radical(as it was at that time) of visiting different historical periods, they would never have made a Native American the star of is own game, and they wouldn't have put a full Pirate game out. All of that came from their own instincts and not player feedback. I remember how surprised everyone was when they announced an AC game set in the American Revolution or a full Pirate game after AC3.

For Unity, they built an entire game out of fan demands and fan complaints and it is a total failure for that reason. Never listen to self-calling, self-deluding fans.

I would like to see some evidence behind the claim Unity came from fan demand. Sure, the setting was in demand but I can link you to examples of how many people also wanted an American Revolution game after AC2. Fans loved the boat mechanics in AC3 and AC4 as a whole, and they decided to scrap all that and go with a back to basics single city AC game. That does not sound like pandering to fan demand to me.

wildp1tch
01-22-2015, 09:35 PM
They should not make a game in a setting they don't care about, they should follow their own instincts about what makes a good game and not listen to marketing analysts and least of all, fans.
hear, hear!

Namikaze_17
01-22-2015, 10:43 PM
To SixKeys:

http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2014/077/5/c/i_love_you__gif__by_lorsean-d7ao05f.gif