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Jlerpy wrote:
My biggest gripe about the original AC is how much it just feels like a proof of concept more than a complete experience. It's packed full of cool ideas, but it ultimately devolves into such repetitive content that it feels flat and empty.


That's a great way to put it. Pretty much exactly how I felt, which is a shame, because that concept was so interesting at the time. Although it seems like they've failed to execute on it very well after reading a couple other posts here.
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ghostpants wrote:
Great write up!


Thanks! Was fun to go back and think about these games, made me want to replay the whole Ezio trilogy at some point.

Quote:
It seems Assassin's Creed III is pretty universally maligned here


Somewhat to my surprise, it is ranked bottom on the two major youtube videos on the subject (from the looks of it made by content creators who got their start as AC superfans).

Quote:
From the outside, it felt like these games got really over saturated being released on a yearly basis for so long.


They did, but the biggest problem is that real refinement/memory/growth is impossible on Ubisoft's production model. If you're having three studios work on these games on a rolling basis (and each game has over 500 credited staff), then by the time you get feedback for a game that's a month or two old, the next game is 70% done already.

This is also why you see very weird bits of continuity in places that otherwise make no sense. The irreverence of Black Flag first started in Revelations, though on a smaller scale.

You see minor new elements added to the mix over time - you can prowl in the bushes in Black Flag, but not in AC2, for example - but 8 of these games are made very much with the same mechanical core. It's only at a very detailed level that differences emerge in the actual play experience.
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I played AC1 and really liked it.

Picked up AC2 and finished it but overall it seemed a little tryhard and incoherent.

Picked up AC3 and played for about 90 minutes before not caring.

Briefly looked at the side-scrolling little phone one and couldn't be bothered.

I like the shanties in AC4 but don't have time for video games anymore.
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NeonElephant wrote:
Another thought I had:

JohnRayJr wrote:
But.. there's another turn of the screw. Everything Origins accomplishes is done by faithfully paying tribute to something else that does that thing even better. That makes it easy to enjoy, easy to appreciate, hard to love. After the lets-forget-it-ever happened stretch of games that copied Arkham combat, Origins cleverly copies the combat of Demons Souls / Dark Souls. I say "cleverly," because Ubisoft correctly assumes that From Software will never make a Souls games that is loose and forgiving. Playing Origins is like playing Dark Souls but with some Game Shark codes changing the underlying math so that you're engaged, but never worried and never at much risk - unless it's temporary and self-imposed.

So but now imagine this exact same argument, but applied to AC II, where the game they were cleverly copying from was the original AC. Obviously, they can be more shameless about it, because it's their IP. But everything about AC II is more loose and forgiving than the original. It does require some imagination to contemplate the "better in most every way" version of AC that they're using as their template, but it's not too much of a leap, I think, to believe that that was the game the devs were originally hoping to make.


Yeah that makes sense (minor clarification - Origins takes things from lots of different sources, the combat is from Souls but that's just the most prominent example).

There are some things in AC2 that I wonder about being semi-accidental. Like, did they program throwing knives under an assumption of stealth - that you'd use it to kill someone from a short distance without attracting attention - but not consider or realize that throwing knives are the highest DPS in the game? Not sure. I think they make the game strictly better because I don't think much of the melee combat.

Same goes for smoke bombs: did they program them with the assumption that, as a matter of role-playing and intent, you use them to escape when you're being overwhelmed by a group? They do let you flee. But more precisely, they turn you invisible to guards for several seconds, so if you just stay inside the smoke and mash "assassinate," Ezio calmly goes into an instant-kill animation over and over, easily taking out 4-5 guards of any strength before the smoke clears.

I also think the game is strictly better for having that, I'm just not sure they meant it to be used in such a way.
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JohnRayJr wrote:
NeonElephant wrote:
Another thought I had:

JohnRayJr wrote:
But.. there's another turn of the screw. Everything Origins accomplishes is done by faithfully paying tribute to something else that does that thing even better. That makes it easy to enjoy, easy to appreciate, hard to love. After the lets-forget-it-ever happened stretch of games that copied Arkham combat, Origins cleverly copies the combat of Demons Souls / Dark Souls. I say "cleverly," because Ubisoft correctly assumes that From Software will never make a Souls games that is loose and forgiving. Playing Origins is like playing Dark Souls but with some Game Shark codes changing the underlying math so that you're engaged, but never worried and never at much risk - unless it's temporary and self-imposed.

So but now imagine this exact same argument, but applied to AC II, where the game they were cleverly copying from was the original AC. Obviously, they can be more shameless about it, because it's their IP. But everything about AC II is more loose and forgiving than the original. It does require some imagination to contemplate the "better in most every way" version of AC that they're using as their template, but it's not too much of a leap, I think, to believe that that was the game the devs were originally hoping to make.


Yeah that makes sense (minor clarification - Origins takes things from lots of different sources, the combat is from Souls but that's just the most prominent example).

There are some things in AC2 that I wonder about being semi-accidental. Like, did they program throwing knives under an assumption of stealth - that you'd use it to kill someone from a short distance without attracting attention - but not consider or realize that throwing knives are the highest DPS in the game? Not sure. I think they make the game strictly better because I don't think much of the melee combat.

Same goes for smoke bombs: did they program them with the assumption that, as a matter of role-playing and intent, you use them to escape when you're being overwhelmed by a group? They do let you flee. But more precisely, they turn you invisible to guards for several seconds, so if you just stay inside the smoke and mash "assassinate," Ezio calmly goes into an instant-kill animation over and over, easily taking out 4-5 guards of any strength before the smoke clears.

I also think the game is strictly better for having that, I'm just not sure they meant it to be used in such a way.


If they weren't intended to be used that way, they sure messed up, because that's far and away the best use for them.
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