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View Full Version : Assassin's Creed Syndicate - London Horizon Trailer



Locopells
09-01-2015, 12:27 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=cKCZHS07kGs

VestigialLlama4
09-01-2015, 06:20 PM
At 0:53, the shot of the train station has Evie Frye walking in the crowd. I find it interesting that there's more Evie than Jacob in this trailer. Probably the first one so far.

This is the Paris Horizon trailer from last year:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOJ1fG7gc2U

I have to say graphically Syndicate looks less impressive but it also has a greater sense of a vibrant open world. Unity's Paris was focused more on architecture than people (a good prophecy for the game except Unity was incompetent enough to even fail there) whereas this one is a good mix of the two, there are famous places (Trafalgar Square) but you have a lot of social detail, the park where people are playing cricket, the couple on the garden, children playing, night life.

I am actually feeling cautiously optimistic about this game.

Xstantin
09-01-2015, 06:23 PM
Looks nice imo

RVSage
09-01-2015, 06:25 PM
To me it looks graphically the same. Perhaps people will realize when the PC version is out. Good amount of NPCs. This game grows in promise every day

Shahkulu101
09-01-2015, 06:32 PM
At 0:53, the shot of the train station has Evie Frye walking in the crowd. I find it interesting that there's more Evie than Jacob in this trailer. Probably the first one so far.

This is the Paris Horizon trailer from last year:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOJ1fG7gc2U

I have to say graphically Syndicate looks less impressive but it also has a greater sense of a vibrant open world. Unity's Paris was focused more on architecture than people (a good prophecy for the game except Unity was incompetent enough to even fail there) whereas this one is a good mix of the two, there are famous places (Trafalgar Square) but you have a lot of social detail, the park where people are playing cricket, the couple on the garden, children playing, night life.

I am actually feeling cautiously optimistic about this game.

I probably shouldn't but... How did Unity fail with regards to architecture?

AnExplodingDodo
09-01-2015, 06:33 PM
Nice to see they've improved the pollution graphics dramatically! It is also great to see that they've added such a mix of people and the class divide is quite prominent. The railway system is becoming more and more intriguing to me I have to say.

Also, the closing shot pretty much confirms we're gonna run loose in the Houses of Parliament (it's Westminster Hall)! Political assassinations from the viewing gallery above the commons me thinks!

EmptyCrustacean
09-01-2015, 07:07 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=cKCZHS07kGs

Pretty.

It's funny because as a Londoner who has never been to Paris I would imagine that Paris would be more colourfully lit whereas London has always seemed dull and grey to me (the crap weather doesn't help)

VestigialLlama4
09-01-2015, 07:20 PM
I probably shouldn't but... How did Unity fail with regards to architecture?

Well for one thing it barely uses it. Its just backdrop most of the time with the exception of the one Notre Dame mission. Its essentially a kind of dry rendering in HD, the kind of thing that is impressive for an architectural presentation or a 3D tour guide in a museum but worthless in a video game. Like The French Pantheon is there for one wretched co-op and passable side mission and that's it. Champs des Mars and Place de la Revolution, scenes of great revolutionary agitation, is something we just walk through. And likewise Paris in the game is just very wrong. It should be like AC-1's Damascus Middle District (the one with Jubair I think) which is cramped, dense in crowd and claustrophobic, with very little space for movement, there should also be insane amounts of carriage traffic (the fact that they are introducing it in Syndicate because it seems "Victorian" to them shows how limited their imagination has become).

Secondly, there's the issue of fidelity. There's no sense of how these buildings changed during the Revolution. This isn't a problem if you are not in a time period of time drastic changes but it definitely is in the case of UNITY. Like the Tuileries became an open-air bazaar in 1793, the Notre Dame had all the statues of Kings and Saints at the lower level destroyed and the altar smashed, the Louvre Museum opened to the public in 1793 as was the Jardin des Plantes. For Notre Dame they based the rendering of the mid 1800s restoration (and even there altered one a few details because of copyright). This might seem a quibble but this is Assassin's Creed, in AC-2, they showed the Rialto Bridge made of wood, they showed the Sistine Chapel without the ceiling, in UNITY, likewise we see Lady Liberty in her bronze coating, the Eiffel Tower with the Vichy Plate. Of course they did fudge architectural details in later games an added the minarets to Haghia Sophia and the Steps in Nassau, I am aware of that, but that wasn't exactly set in a time where the architecture had a dramatic purpose. In the AC2 games, the Architecture has a dramatic purpose like the Borgia are associated with decadence and decay where Ezio represents the Renaissance.

VestigialLlama4
09-01-2015, 07:24 PM
Nice to see they've improved the pollution graphics dramatically! It is also great to see that they've added such a mix of people and the class divide is quite prominent. The railway system is becoming more and more intriguing to me I have to say.

Also, the closing shot pretty much confirms we're gonna run loose in the Houses of Parliament (it's Westminster Hall)! Political assassinations from the viewing gallery above the commons me thinks!

Well the games don't violate history too much, there was only one political assassination in Parliament historically, (it happened during the Napoleonic Wars, where the British PM got whacked by a disgruntled veteran, much earlier than the game's timeline). After that, the next unrest was the 70s with the IRA killing 11 people with a bomb in Westminster Hall.

Farlander1991
09-01-2015, 07:53 PM
(the fact that they are introducing it in Syndicate because it seems "Victorian" to them shows how limited their imagination has become).

8:10 of this video. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OjVQBpQSEU)

They were planning and working on carriages in Unity but had to cut them, this kind of thing happens.

VestigialLlama4
09-01-2015, 08:10 PM
8:10 of this video. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OjVQBpQSEU)

They were planning and working on carriages in Unity but had to cut them, this kind of thing happens.

That's not quite what I am talking about. In Syndicate, they clearly made carriages a central part of the gameplay and traversal. Whereas in UNITY, based on what we see, it was merely one aspect of crowd behavior and activity that they removed. Revolutionary Paris was known for its crazy traffic with taxis racing carriages through the crowded streets. This was so well known that Charles D-ckens makes one of his key scenes in A Tale of Two Cities revolve around a traffic accident. The fact is they saw UNITY's Paris as a kind of facile historical backdrop without any stakes and import and this shallow view led to a terrible product and the game suffers from it.

If they have to cut out so many good ideas (Red Violin, Multiple Eras, Carriages) in some cases the ideas that made them excited to start with, they should not have made the game to begin with.

SixKeys
09-01-2015, 08:46 PM
I really want to be wowed by these trailers, but I'm still not feeling it. :( Unity's Horizon trailer was much better, it still makes me go "damn, this game was beautiful". With the Syndicate trailer my first thought was "wow, the streets look dead. Where are all the people?". The NPC animations are nice like children playing, but Unity had tons and tons of those as well.

Farlander1991
09-01-2015, 08:50 PM
That's not quite what I am talking about. In Syndicate, they clearly made carriages a central part of the gameplay and traversal. Whereas in UNITY, based on what we see, it was merely one aspect of crowd behavior and activity that they removed.

Well, yeah. Victorian London had wide roads and enough space to accommodate for vehicle gameplay. Paris had traffic jams, congestations, crowds that don't let the traffic go by normally, colliding traffic, why would they consider making carriages something more than aspect of crowd behavior when it'd be incredibly frustrating to actually use it as a gameplay element most of the time?

EmptyCrustacean
09-01-2015, 09:04 PM
Well for one thing it barely uses it. Its just backdrop most of the time with the exception of the one Notre Dame mission.

As a side note: I felt like we were allowed into the Notre Dame too early, like the devs gave away the big awe inspiring landmarks too soon.
In Brotherhood you didn't do the the Colleseum stealth mission until late.

GunnerGalactico
09-01-2015, 09:33 PM
It's not the most breath-taking looking trailer, but it still looks good.

VestigialLlama4
09-01-2015, 09:45 PM
Well, yeah. Victorian London had wide roads and enough space to accommodate for vehicle gameplay. Paris had traffic jams, congestations, crowds that don't let the traffic go by normally, colliding traffic, why would they consider making carriages something more than aspect of crowd behavior when it'd be incredibly frustrating to actually use it as a gameplay element most of the time?

For one thing it justifies why the Assassin should Parkour on the rooftop and stay off street-level. Like in Syndicate, they have essentially destroyed the aesthetic with the Grappling Hook on Wrist and carriages, the earlier games were all about grappling buildings and ledges by hand and having control over the whole topography of the city. Now its just Period-GTA. It also justifies stuff like carriage chasing and fights on roof. In a crowded bustling street, that kind of stuff could pass off as normal whereas in Syndicate, its hard to have a guy yank a dude off a carriage and then ride off with people taking it calmly and still justify that as "social stealth" especially in Victorian London which boasted the world's best police force at the time and a time of peace too boot. Stuff like fights on carriage rooftops in broad daylight on crowded streets...well that kind of joyriding is purely arcade and its the game not really trying anymore.


As a side note: I felt like we were allowed into the Notre Dame too early, like the devs gave away the big awe inspiring landmarks too soon.
In Brotherhood you didn't do the the Colleseum stealth mission until late.

Well we come to the Colosseum fairly early in the game. Where we track one of Machiavelli's informants by the gate. Its just before the first Wolf Lair. Brotherhood does introduce all its landmarks early, the game starts in the Sistine Chapel, we exit through the Vatican district, past Peter's Basilica, then we come to Rome, its Capitoline Hill, the Senator's Palace, Colosseum and of course Castel Sant'Angelo (the first mission and location in the entire series with seamless interiors-exteriors...so Unity can't claim tor originate that either). Its not about using monuments too early, its about using them in different ways.

That's what the early games did well because they understood that in cities teeming with public activities, certain places and locations will repeat itself, especially in these older cities where a Bell-Tower and Town Crier was the way to spread information. Like in AC2, the prologue with Ezio's families allows you access to the Dome, Palazzo della Signoria and that huge public square where your family gets executed (and later Savonarola). You don't really come across "new monuments" because the Auditore live in the posh and plush city square where all the good stuff is. So its connected to story and character as well. BROTHERHOOD likewise has the Colosseum used several times (main and side missions) but each time is different. Initially its a location to viewpoint, then its a Tomb (with interiors), then its part of a main mission, then there's a side mission that has you speed run to the top (my all time favorite racing mission by the way), and of course its where the MD finale takes place. Castel Sant'Angelo likewise had two main story missions (and one DLC mission) take place there but in each case it was different in how it felt. My favorite use of monuments though is the Banker, where you can air assassinate the guard through the cupola of the Roman Pantheon (also interior-and-exterior seamlessly integrated I might add).

The thing you got in the game was the character and relationship to the city. So in Florence, Ezio's home, everything is centrally connected because the nature of the city is like that, all the buildings, administration and organization is intended to bring and keep people towards ther centre and that's where Ezio's house is located, so there is this identification with character and topography. Rome isn't Ezio's home but its essentially a city he wants to take over from the government, so his interest is the centers of power, activity and influence. Whereas in Venice and Istanbul, Ezio is an outsider and tourist. Venice for instance hardly has that focus on architecture and monuments in the story, like we come to San Marco's Square for one key mission but then we're off to the Carnival district (apparently it takes place exclusively in one part of Venice rather than across the city...), then L'Arsenale, one mission and sequence and that's it.

With UNITY, Arno isn't a Parisian. He's from Versailles, he isn't connected to the Revolution, he isn't living there among the people and he has no interest in overthrowing the government, so as such you don't feel a connection to the city in the story and gameplay. Its telling that we first come to Paris in Bastille (which by the way makes zero sense from a story perspective but whatever), so there's a sense that Arno feels imprisoned there.

SixKeys
09-01-2015, 09:49 PM
As a side note: I felt like we were allowed into the Notre Dame too early, like the devs gave away the big awe inspiring landmarks too soon.
In Brotherhood you didn't do the the Colleseum stealth mission until late.

In AC2, the game starts on the Ponte Vecchio bridge and one of the earliest story missions has you climbing Palazzo Vecchio to save your father. Just sayin'.

EmptyCrustacean
09-01-2015, 09:58 PM
In AC2, the game starts on the Ponte Vecchio bridge and one of the earliest story missions has you climbing Palazzo Vecchio to save your father. Just sayin'.

Um, what part of BROTHERHOOD did you not understand?

Farlander1991
09-01-2015, 10:00 PM
For one thing it justifies why the Assassin should Parkour on the rooftop and stay off street-level.

I'll agree with that in terms of having carriages as a whole in the game, but it still doesn't justify to have carriages as a gameplay element, because...


It also justifies stuff like carriage chasing and fights on roof.

...this part would be extremely unfun and unplayable, due to the lack of range of movement on most of the streets.


(the first mission and location in the entire series with seamless interiors-exteriors...so Unity can't claim tor originate that either)

Well, we've had seamless interiors ever since AC1: Masyaf castle and bureaus there, AC2 Auditore villa and some of the buildings we renovate in Monteriggioni (like the church and smth else what was there), some monuments in ACB as you've mentioned, and we can go on with the AC3 homestead, AC4 Great Inagua base and Laurens Prins' mansion, I'm probably missing a bunch of examples from every game. No game has it to the extent like Unity does, though. And possibly no game will, cause maybe it had a bit too much interiors - most of them were mundane and not that interesting.

VestigialLlama4
09-01-2015, 10:17 PM
I'll agree with that in terms of having carriages as a whole in the game, but it still doesn't justify to have carriages as a gameplay element, because...



...this part would be extremely unfun and unplayable, due to the lack of range of movement on most of the streets.

Well it would make it intense because if you are racing a carriage you have to be careful and not hit people and move really fast at the same time, dodge jaywalkers and the like. I suppose it would be like the Thomas Hickey footchase in AC-3 where you had to dodge all those people for full-synch. It would certainly be different than most carriage chases we see in games which is essentially the chariot race from Charlton Heston's Ben-Hur, except to a greater absurdity. The carriage sequences so far (AC2, Revelations and now Syndicate) has you use the carriage's cab as a wrecking ball to smash your opponent (as opposed to whipping them!?) whereas in Ben-Hur, they attached special spokes to the chariot wheels to cause accidents and its part of a show.


Well, we've had seamless interiors ever since AC1: Masyaf castle and bureaus there, AC2 Auditore villa and some of the buildings we renovate in Monteriggioni (like the church and smth else what was there), some monuments in ACB as you've mentioned, and we can go on with the AC3 homestead, AC4 Great Inagua base and Laurens Prins' mansion, I'm probably missing a bunch of examples from every game. No game has it to the extent like Unity does, though. And possibly no game will, cause maybe it had a bit too much interiors - most of them were mundane and not that interesting.

Achilles' mansion is not a good example because the movement is slower, the minute you enter and the basement is not seamless because it openly opens after a small cutscene each time you go down there and enter the house. So its not fully seamless unlike Masyaf. You have the same issue with the mansion in Great Inagua, the interiors are ridiculously slow to move around in, so its obviously a curtailed area.

I think interiors are a good thing in general and it can be done in an interesting way, even if it is mundane in content. Its more about creating the right narrative and character relationships to an area. Most places in real life and fiction are actually mundane. But its the connection we have to people, neighbourhood or events that give it meaning. Like the White House is not especially impressive architecturally (your basic Neo-classical building), most of the activity there is people in suits on desks and computers but what happens in that place in incredibly important and of great interest. In BROTHERHOOD, we have this great connection to the Assassin base in story and character. Now imagine you had a similar area like that in Unity, as opposed to a basement. In Brotherhood, you recruited Assassins from different parts of Rome and arterially connected to the base, so there's this reinforced connection there.

SixKeys
09-01-2015, 10:56 PM
Um, what part of BROTHERHOOD did you not understand?

AC2 is usually the one held in the highest esteem here. Just saying if you criticize Unity for that reason, you should criticize other games for doing the same, like AC2 and ACR. In fact, as VestigialLlama pointed out, ACB starts off the same way too, by giving you a tour of the Vatican right off the bat.

EmptyCrustacean
09-01-2015, 11:04 PM
AC2 is usually the one held in the highest esteem here.

Oh, here we go lol. :D People who are insecure about AC2's popularity projecting once again. I'm talking about Brotherhood and Brotherhood only. Bringing AC2 into this is completely unnecessary when it was not AC2 that I held as the shining example. Brotherhood. Brother. Hood.


Just saying if you criticize Unity for that reason, you should criticize other games for doing the same, like AC2 and ACR.

1)I hate Revelations. I'm probably the only one on these boards that does so don't make assumptions. In fact, I once did an entire thread asking why this piece of trash gets a pass.
2) Why do I have to criticise AC2 any time I criticise another game just to appease Ezio haters?


In fact, as VestigialLlama pointed out, ACB starts off the same way too, by giving you a tour of the Vatican right off the bat.

I'm about to address that.

EmptyCrustacean
09-01-2015, 11:12 PM
. Well we come to the Colosseum fairly early in the game. Where we track one of Machiavelli's informants by the gate. Its just before the first Wolf Lair. Brotherhood does introduce all its landmarks early, the game starts in the Sistine Chapel, we exit through the Vatican district, past Peter's Basilica, then we come to Rome, its Capitoline Hill, the Senator's Palace, Colosseum and of course Castel Sant'Angelo (the first mission and location in the entire series with seamless interiors-exteriors...so Unity can't claim tor originate that either). Its not about using monuments too early, its about using them in different ways.

But hold on, though we tour and are introduced to certain landmarks initially just to get us used to the city, the actual main, big missions where we use those landmarks as part of our actual strategy would not take place until later on in the main story and then the side missions would pertain to them thereafter. The game eases us into them gradually. Wheras the epic Notre Dame showdown in Unity happens way too early.

Shahkulu101
09-02-2015, 12:00 AM
Sixkeys an Ezio hater, haha... :rolleyes:

SixKeys
09-02-2015, 12:23 AM
But hold on, though we tour and are introduced to certain landmarks initially just to get us used to the city, the actual main, big missions where we use those landmarks as part of our actual strategy would not take place until later on in the main story and then the side missions would pertain to them thereafter. The game eases us into them gradually. Wheras the epic Notre Dame showdown in Unity happens way too early.

Oh, you mean like how the game starts by leading us through the Sistine Chapel and having a big fight with the guards at its doors?

SofaJockey
09-02-2015, 01:38 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0NJ305f3h4

I think it's lovely, if the game has some of the poetry teased here, I'll be very happy.

CrossedEagle
09-02-2015, 02:46 AM
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CN1MXLOXAAAwg7m.png

This is the money shot right here. London is no Paris, but it's still beautiful.

VestigialLlama4
09-02-2015, 04:36 AM
But hold on, though we tour and are introduced to certain landmarks initially just to get us used to the city, the actual main, big missions where we use those landmarks as part of our actual strategy would not take place until later on in the main story and then the side missions would pertain to them thereafter. The game eases us into them gradually. Wheras the epic Notre Dame showdown in Unity happens way too early.

That's again not true in Brotherhood. The Colosseum is available early and often. The Romulus Tomb/Side Mission is available much before the Passion Play Mission (which I have to say is one of the best scripted missions in the series).

To me its not about happening too early or too late, but its about how the locations are used whether developers can use the same location and setting in multiple ways.


But hold on, though we tour and are introduced to certain landmarks initially just to get us used to the city, the actual main, big missions where we use those landmarks as part of our actual strategy would not take place until later on in the main story and then the side missions would pertain to them thereafter. The game eases us into them gradually. Wheras the epic Notre Dame showdown in Unity happens way too early.

That's again not true in Brotherhood. The Colosseum is available early and often. The Romulus Tomb/Side Mission is available much before the Passion Play Mission (which I have to say is one of the best scripted missions in the series).

To me its not about happening too early or too late, but its about how the locations are used whether developers can use the same location and setting in multiple ways.

kosmoscreed
09-02-2015, 09:44 AM
Fantastic trailer but is not like they can't do one of those with every game, they always nail the world, the gameplay and mission design is where they should focus their trailers

Jessigirl2013
09-02-2015, 12:05 PM
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CN1MXLOXAAAwg7m.png

This is the money shot right here. London is no Paris, but it's still beautiful.

It Is gorgeous ;)I think this trailer focused on how pretty London looks.;)


But ..... Those streets are sooo bare ......:eek:

UBI give the PC more NPCs if the consoles can handle it. :mad:
The bare streets is my only gripe with Syndicate IMO.

Fatal-Feit
09-02-2015, 04:40 PM
Not to sound like a downer, and a PC elitist, but did they, like, make this trailer using a console build of the game? Because I downloaded it in its uncompressed version from a website, and it looks very dated. The AA is terrible, the resolution must be 900p or something, because it was not crisp and was ridiculously blurry, and overall, it looked like what we'd expect to see on the consoles.

This really isn't a complaint, because I think the game still looked very beautiful --assuming this was from a console build, but wow, they really took the whole 'let's not show any downgrade' to a entire new level with this one.

[EDIT] Yeah, I just compared Unity's Horizon trailer to this one, and there's a day/night difference in regards to the quality.

Sorrosyss
09-02-2015, 07:12 PM
Well, that was nice. Pretty cool to see actual places I have been to, or go past daily. It's a little surreal. :)

EmptyCrustacean
09-03-2015, 12:12 PM
That's again not true in Brotherhood. The Colosseum is available early and often. The Romulus Tomb/Side Mission is available much before the Passion Play Mission (which I have to say is one of the best scripted missions in the series).

To me its not about happening too early or too late, but its about how the locations are used whether developers can use the same location and setting in multiple ways.

What are you talking about? I'm talking about actually using the landmarks themselves, not the tombs they may or may not lead to. The fact of the matter is we did not exploit all the big landmarks for major missions until later on in the game.



Oh, you mean like how the game starts by leading us through the Sistine Chapel and having a big fight with the guards at its doors?

You lack reading comprehension so I'm not even going to address this. If you can't understand the difference with that epic mission at the Colleseum then I can't help you, sorry.

VestigialLlama4
09-03-2015, 04:02 PM
What are you talking about? I'm talking about actually using the landmarks themselves, not the tombs they may or may not lead to. The fact of the matter is we did not exploit all the big landmarks for major missions until later on in the game.

If we are talking about Rome and Big Landmarks, then we need to be specific. Rome has Castel Sant Angelo, Capitoline Hill, Saint Peter's Basilica, The Pantheon and Colosseum.

Restricting ourselves to the story alone,

1) We start the game in the Vatican right where AC-2 ends. This is important because in the rest of the game Vatican is a restricted area. But we march through Vatican and Saint Peter's Basilica at the start and then move through streets until we make our first leap of faith.

2) We meet Machiavelli at Capitoline Hill and he takes us a tour through Centro district. Later we have to meet him outside the Colosseum in the Antico district.

3) Castel Sant'Angelo/Hadrian's Tomb is the longest story mission in the early section and its available at Sequence 3, this is before the game properly introduces us to its central new mechanic of recruiting and building the brotherhood and Ezio launches Operation Crush Borgia with his crew.

So if you say that the game doesn't introduce monuments until late in the game then that is not true of Brotherhood. Unless of course you think Colosseum is Rome's only major movement.

Likewise, I don't know why you say that the Tombs and other stuff doesn't matter. This is an open world game, most open world games restrict areas and settings until late in the game. AC1 is traditional, you don't go to any new area until you absolutely have to. Logically that makes sense because Altair is a Professional Assassin in a time when the Asasiyun are a real organization so its fitting there. Like in AC1, you didn't get to the Ummayad Mosque in Damascus (the most important architectural work in the game) until the middle part of the game where you unlock Abul Nuqood's Assassination (which you can do in any order).

But from AC2 onwards they generally avoided that, except for Venice where you don't get to San Marco's Square and the Campanile until you have to. But you can climb up Palazzo della Signoria, Il Duomo and Giotto's Campanile right at the start. In Rome, you have the Centro and Antico district open from the onset. The Colosseum has a Viewpoint, a Rift Puzzle, a Feather, some Borgia Flags, a Thief Mission, an AC Tomb, two Story Missions and the finale of the MD...it is the most heavily and repeatedly used monument in the game...main story and side missions combined. You have access to it from the very beginning of the game.

I agree with you that UNITY didn't use its monuments well and generally didn't work architecture into the story the way earlier games did. The point is not to put it off to the end, or use it for one mission, its to use the same location in a variety of different ways. Life/history is generally not a typical video game where you have the classic bad guy dungeon and boss level, it usually takes place in a mundane area that becomes significant because of its actions.

SixKeys
09-03-2015, 04:44 PM
There's no point in arguing. EmptyCrustacean clearly has a very narrow definition of "using landmarks in a mission" that even he seems unable to define. Several people have pointed out that we do, in fact, explore major landmarks very early on in ACB, but for some reason he's refusing to acknowledge those. Instead of actually explaining what he means he resorts to ad hominems.

Farlander1991
09-03-2015, 05:34 PM
But from AC2 onwards they generally avoided that, except for Venice where you don't get to San Marco's Square and the Campanile until you have to.

Actually, AC2 is very structured in this regard, which I find very fitting for an open-world game as it unveils the world step by step, allowing for a more structured exploration of it, and also the knowledge that every district has a certain purpose or things to do in it.

Florence opens up 1 district per sequence, Seq1 - San Giovanni, Seq2 - San Marco (IIRC), Seq4 (we're not in Florence in Seq3) - Santa Maria Novella. Plus our comeback in Seq13 unlocks the southern Oltarno district.

Likewise, all Venice districts open up one per Sequence, in Sequence 7 only San Polo district is available, Sequence 8 unlocks San Marco, Sequence 9 unlocks Dorsoduro, Sequence 10 unlocks Castello and Sequence 11 - Cannaregio.

The small towns of San Gimignano and Forli are considered like 1 district and open up in Seq3 and Seq6 respectively. Incidentally, those small towns also don't play a big role or have a sequence of their own until later - Seq5 for San Gimignano (the true San Gimignano sequence, Sequence 3 was more of a Monteriggioni one and San Gimignano was more of a tease there) and Seq12 for Forli (likewise, Seq6 was more of a tease for the location, the setpiece and main and most memorable location of the Sequence was the Appenine Mountains)

So with the exception of aforementioned Seq5 and Seq12 related to small towns unlocked earlier, every sequence in AC2 unlocks a new district/location in the open world, with a target or important event in each one (and most of the main story missions happening in the new district).

I think this is a great structure. With two big cities, two small cities, one homebase, and one setpiece location (which is still part of the open world) there's a danger of the world feeling overwhelming, or the world having too much space with nothing to do in it - AC2's structure averts this, the world is huge but it opens up gradually, and the fact that each district has a set of main missions focused on it means that no part of the world goes really unnoticed.

VestigialLlama4
09-03-2015, 06:03 PM
Actually, AC2 is very structured in this regard, which I find very fitting for an open-world game as it unveils the world step by step, allowing for a more structured exploration of it, and also the knowledge that every district has a certain purpose or things to do in it.

Florence opens up 1 district per sequence, Seq1 - San Giovanni, Seq2 - San Marco (IIRC), Seq4 (we're not in Florence in Seq3) - Santa Maria Novella. Plus our comeback in Seq13 unlocks the southern Oltarno district.

Likewise, all Venice districts open up one per Sequence, in Sequence 7 only San Polo district is available, Sequence 8 unlocks San Marco, Sequence 9 unlocks Dorsoduro, Sequence 10 unlocks Castello and Sequence 11 - Cannaregio.

The small towns of San Gimignano and Forli are considered like 1 district and open up in Seq3 and Seq6 respectively. Incidentally, those small towns also don't play a big role or have a sequence of their own until later - Seq5 for San Gimignano (the true San Gimignano sequence, Sequence 3 was more of a Monteriggioni one and San Gimignano was more of a tease there) and Seq12 for Forli (likewise, Seq6 was more of a tease for the location, the setpiece and main and most memorable location of the Sequence was the Appenine Mountains)

So with the exception of aforementioned Seq5 and Seq12 related to small towns unlocked earlier, every sequence in AC2 unlocks a new district/location in the open world, with a target or important event in each one (and most of the main story missions happening in the new district).

You are right. I should have been more clear. What I meant was that in AC2 you had access to major buildings and landmarks right at the start, in the opening Florence section, where you can climb and Parkour to the top of Il Duomo and Giotto's Campanile before donning the Assassin outfit. Access to prominent public spaces and key architectural landmarks are provided at the beginning of AC2. In Brotherhood, you have access to Centro and Campagna (is the Colosseum in Campagna or Antico, I forget) and all the prominent buildings and works in that area, including The Pantheon and Colosseum with lesser known monuments appearing later on.

I like the way the cities open up in the Ezio games where every time the sequence changes you had this surreal montage of a new area rendering itself (you didn't have that in AC1 and its not there in the Kenway games) and that to me was one of my favorite touches in those games.

Farlander1991
09-03-2015, 06:25 PM
You are right. I should have been more clear. What I meant was that in AC2 you had access to major buildings and landmarks right at the start, in the opening Florence section, where you can climb and Parkour to the top of Il Duomo and Giotto's Campanile before donning the Assassin outfit.

Ah, gotcha. When you said in previous paragraph how in AC1 you can't go to a location until you have to, and then expanded on it, I thought this was a continuation of that thought. I believe AC2 utilizes its open-world space the most efficiently. Like, if we're to make a heat map of all the missions (not collectibles, as in all games they're spread all over the locations for the exact purpose of filling up the open world), then I think (though without making a heat map itself can't prove it, but it just feels that way) the main missions of AC2 will cover the most important chunks of their respective districts, while the side quests will fill the place inbetween nicely, and the way the game opens up the world helps with that structure. I don't think any other AC game would have such efficient spread of missions over the open-world space, even games with lots of side-quests like ACB and AC4.

EmptyCrustacean
09-03-2015, 06:51 PM
If we are talking about Rome and Big Landmarks, then we need to be specific. Rome has Castel Sant Angelo, Capitoline Hill, Saint Peter's Basilica, The Pantheon and Colosseum.

Restricting ourselves to the story alone,

1) We start the game in the Vatican right where AC-2 ends. This is important because in the rest of the game Vatican is a restricted area. But we march through Vatican and Saint Peter's Basilica at the start and then move through streets until we make our first leap of faith.

2) We meet Machiavelli at Capitoline Hill and he takes us a tour through Centro district. Later we have to meet him outside the Colosseum in the Antico district.

3) Castel Sant'Angelo/Hadrian's Tomb is the longest story mission in the early section and its available at Sequence 3, this is before the game properly introduces us to its central new mechanic of recruiting and building the brotherhood and Ezio launches Operation Crush Borgia with his crew.

So if you say that the game doesn't introduce monuments until late in the game then that is not true of Brotherhood. Unless of course you think Colosseum is Rome's only major movement.

I didn't say the games didn't introduce the monuments until later in the game, I said it didn't exploit it to its fullest potential until later in the game. I'm not talking about merely introducing or roaming because obviously landmarks are there the moment the ancestor discovers the area. I'm talking about game changing, major missions and major target assassinations. Some examples:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZU-_QtCF-o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3fmYd78GdY

This is what I mean. Simply being introduced or touring is not what I was referring to. One of the first things we did in AC2 once we arrived in Venice (the stand out city of AC2 let's be real) was take a tour of it! That is where the score "A Tour of Venice" comes from. But we didn't actually EXPLOIT those buildings for major missions until much later.


Likewise, I don't know why you say that the Tombs and other stuff doesn't matter. This is an open world game, most open world games restrict areas and settings until late in the game.

Is this a wind up? I didn't say the Tombs don't matter. I said when I talk about doing big missions in major landmarks I'm not referring to hidden tombs in those landmarks because they're HIDDEN.

My point is the games used to build a sense of wonder around its cities; it saved the best for last. I loved passing through famous buildings that I couldn't get into just yet but knowing later on in the game there was going to be a showdown there.

EmptyCrustacean
09-03-2015, 07:08 PM
There's no point in arguing. EmptyCrustacean clearly has a very narrow definition of "using landmarks in a mission" that even he seems unable to define. Several people have pointed out that we do, in fact, explore major landmarks very early on in ACB, but for some reason he's refusing to acknowledge those. Instead of actually explaining what he means he resorts to ad hominems.

re BIB that is why I question whether you're reading this properly - especially when at one point you started talking about AC2 when it was completely irrelevant to the conversation at the time lol. See my answers to Vestigial from now on.

Oh, and I'm female, darling. ;)

BananaBlighter
09-03-2015, 07:42 PM
I think I sort get what EmptyCrustacean means, if we had had the Notre Dame assassination towards the end of the game it would seem more of an epic showdown. Having a main assassination mission like that in a landmark would feel different to just exploring it in the open world or passing it by in a minor mission. You feel like your doing something important in a place that's important. Of course with Unity's story I never would have felt I was doing something important. Having a final assassination somewhere random just feels too normal (or maybe having it in a major landmark could feel too forced?), and while that isn't the case in Unity, Notre Dame is the biggest landmark and could have suited a finale better. Of course for Unity's plot, they kind of had to have it in Temple. It's weird to explain, but it just makes everything seem epic, though that's not necessarily a good thing if the story becomes too dramatic.

VestigialLlama4
09-03-2015, 08:57 PM
Ah, gotcha. When you said in previous paragraph how in AC1 you can't go to a location until you have to, and then expanded on it, I thought this was a continuation of that thought. I believe AC2 utilizes its open-world space the most efficiently. Like, if we're to make a heat map of all the missions (not collectibles, as in all games they're spread all over the locations for the exact purpose of filling up the open world), then I think (though without making a heat map itself can't prove it, but it just feels that way) the main missions of AC2 will cover the most important chunks of their respective districts, while the side quests will fill the place inbetween nicely, and the way the game opens up the world helps with that structure. I don't think any other AC game would have such efficient spread of missions over the open-world space, even games with lots of side-quests like ACB and AC4.

That's true and the reason for that is that AC2 is very similar in structure to AC1. AC1 had nine targets, equally apportioned in three districts of three cities so in terms of plot/story/setting you had a grid like allotment.

AC2 had the similar element of one district for one new target but it varied the formula to space out the civilian perspective. So Florence for instance has two Assassinations set there (not counting the Savonarola chapter of couise) - Uberto Alberti and Francesco de'Pazzi. Uberto gets killed at Basilica di Santa Croce which is in the San Marco district and Francesco de'Pazzi gets killed at Palazzo della Signoria in San Giovanni. All the other Pazzi get killed at San Gimignano. Vieri gets killed at the top of the gates, Salviati, Jacopo and that atheist monk get killed in the countryside, Baronceli gets killed in the market and that crazy monk gets whacked at the top of the tower. AC2 is very touristy in that the plot keeps moving and going to newer areas. Venice has the traditional AC1 structure in that each district has one target and Venice has four targets for each district plus an early confrontration with Rodrigo Borgia. If not for the DLC Florence and Forli would have been almost entirely superfluous. Gameplay wise Monteriggioni, San Gimignano and Venice are the heart and soul of the game. But you know, this way you have the sense of Ezio chasing the Templars and driving them out of Florence and then going all the way to Rome.

The later games don't really have the same number of key Assassination targets as AC1 and AC2 do. You went from 9 (+Al Mualim=10) in AC1, then in AC2 its 12 key targets not counting DLC which would increase it to 24(Savonarola, his 9 Lieutenants and the two Orsi Brothers). In Brotherhood you have Four Targets and that includes Micheletto who you spare. In Revelations, that's down to four targets again (including Tarik Berleti who is innocent). AC3, you have Haytham (Edward Braddock) and then Connor has 6 targets, which goes up to 8 if you include Kanieh;tio which is an accident and Nicholas Biddle who is a side mission and it goes up to 11 if you add the really long Tyranny DLC. Black Flag's key Assassination targets amount to 8 (including Woodes Rogers who survives and Charles Vane who you beat up). Unity has 9 (which includes Bellec).

So the fact is in terms of the core missions of Assassinations, you have fewer targets but the area in which to hunt them has increased and grown immeasurably. So that might be why the efficiency in spreading out missions has decreased.

VestigialLlama4
09-03-2015, 09:18 PM
I didn't say the games didn't introduce the monuments until later in the game, I said it didn't exploit it to its fullest potential until later in the game. I'm not talking about merely introducing or roaming because obviously landmarks are there the moment the ancestor discovers the area. I'm talking about game changing, major missions and major target assassinations.

This is what I mean. Simply being introduced or touring is not what I was referring to.

Okay, I see what you are getting at. But I can't see how the scripted mission of the passion play is really "exploiting the Colosseum to its fullest potential". The mission that really does exploit the Colosseum to the fullest potential is the side mission "For the Fans", the final Thief challenge where you literally have to go from one end to the Colosseum to the other than reach the top and leap of faith over it. Likewise, the Castel Sant Angelo was much better explored in the Caterina Sforza mission rather than the chase after Cesare Borgia. Actually I liked the Da Vinci Disappearance mission even more. The DLC really explored the Vatican more than the main game did, especially when you chase after the Hermeticist through all those alleys.


One of the first things we did in AC2 once we arrived in Venice (the stand out city of AC2 let's be real) was take a tour of it! That is where the score "A Tour of Venice" comes from. But we didn't actually EXPLOIT those buildings for major missions until much later.

Well you don't really exploit those buildings until you get the Climb Leap which you won't get until...wait just complete the introduction and then do the Rosa mission at the thief's guild and presto Venice is your oyster. That's the only remaining traversal skill to be learnt and its provided to you in the same venice introductory sequence.


My point is the games used to build a sense of wonder around its cities; it saved the best for last. I loved passing through famous buildings that I couldn't get into just yet but knowing later on in the game there was going to be a showdown there.

I agree with you that the earlier games had the sense of wonder but for me that comes more from using the same locations in multiple creative ways in main and side missions rather than use it for a single final setpiece. My feeling is that in UNITY, they didn't have the imagination to really tap into the architecture and use it in different ways.

The Assassination missions generally happen in fairly mundane areas. There are only two major assassinations in Florence, it was the Bonfire DLC that really used the famous architectural locations for assassinations. The other Pazzi conspirators got killed in San Gimignano. That doesn't actually happen a great deal. Its true that in Venice, they made a big deal about certain Assassination targets being hard to reach, like you have to plan and infiltrate the Merchant house to kill Emilio Barbarigo, the Arsenal to kill his brother and then you fly into the Palazzo Ducale and kill Grimaldi in a really elaborate manner that...ultimately fails big time, you don't save the Doge and you get framed instead. In Brotherhood, the only two times you have an Assassination in a major location is The Pantheon (which is not a major assassination, just a minor guard whose outfit you have to steal) and Micheletto (who you don't kill at all finally). In Revelations, likewise, the locations and architecture are generally used in side missions and traversal. The only major locations featured in the story is Galata Tower (and not an Assassination), Grand Bazaar (and not an Assassination) and Topkapi Palace (and not an Assassination).

With UNITY you have the Notre Dame assassination, then after that you have another in Palais Royal (Le Peletier...an actual real-life assassination which happened at the same location, commited by a right wing royalist).

Farlander1991
09-03-2015, 09:25 PM
Gameplay wise Monteriggioni, San Gimignano and Venice are the heart and soul of the game.

I disagree with San Gimignano, to me Monteriggioni, Florence and Venice are the meat (although I wouldn't mind Venice to be shorter, as the later sequences break the pacing and are stretched-out narratively-wise - the Carnevale sequence doesn't make sense, and Arsenale sequence has quite frankly horrible missions), even if you don't count the DLC. You spend a whole full-fledged sequence in Florence learning about your family and legacy. Then a whole sequence where you train to blend in, get vengeance, and escape. And then a sequence where you learn of the Pazzis' plans and don't let them overthrow the Medicis. We have only one full sequence in Sam Gimignano that is essentially clean-up from what we did in Florence (that sequence consists of five assassination missions in a row, so while you do kill more people there, you don't spend more time there than in Florence).


In Brotherhood you have Four Targets and that includes Micheletto who you spare.

Brotherhood though has the same structure with districts in terms of assassinations. The Banker is the Centro district, the French Soldier guy is Campagna district, and Micheletto is Antico district. However, from my feelings of playing the game, the side missions tend to be closer to the main Rome landmarks so as a result the mission space isn't distributed efficiently overall. Revelations though, is even more problematic from that perspective I think.

VestigialLlama4
09-03-2015, 09:53 PM
And then a sequence where you learn of the Pazzis' plans and don't let them overthrow the Medicis. We have only one full sequence in Sam Gimignano that is essentially clean-up from what we did in Florence (that sequence consists of five assassination missions in a row, so while you do kill more people there, you don't spend more time there than in Florence).

True. It also shows that actions have this bigger effect, its not just the city, its the region of Tuscany, and then you have to go to Venice which is on the Adriatic coast of Italy. It also fits with Lorenzo Medici's reign of peace..."I will not have bloodshed in my city and my streets. I will chase my enemies and then have them whacked in the countryside", so it fits with the hypocrisy of that Florentine society as well. And it provides this contrast when Savonarola takes over in the DLC and makes your childhood home into a theocratic police state. I wish they added the DLC to the main game because the whole point of that section is that Ezio is a changed guy, he returns home but Florence isn't his home anymore and that Bonfire speech is essentially a goodbye to the world he grew up in.

I actually think AC2 would have been a better game if Savonarola was the main bad guy of the story with the Borgia saved for part 2, because he always felt shoehorned as this Dark Lord of Italy and the proper climax of the game should be in Florence aesthetically speaking.


Brotherhood though has the same structure with districts in terms of assassinations. The Banker is the Centro district, the French Soldier guy is Campagna district, and Micheletto is Antico district. However, from my feelings of playing the game, the side missions tend to be closer to the main Rome landmarks so as a result the mission space isn't distributed efficiently overall. Revelations though, is even more problematic from that perspective I think.

It does. The games after that are weirder. Like AC3 has two cities and one large frontier, and the Homestead. Number of Assassinations in Boston is Zero, unless you count the Charles Lee chase but he finally gets stabbed in the Conestoga Inn at the Frontier near Monmouth (fitting since it was the scene of his final disgrace during his retreat at the battle there). The frontier has William Johnson and also Edward Braddock, New York has two (Hickey and Haytham), Benjamin Church and Nicholas Biddle get killed at sea and Jonathan Pitcairn gets his own dedicated battle level (much like Robert de Sable and Arsuf). Black Flag also has that uneven distribution.

Farlander1991
09-03-2015, 10:24 PM
I wish they added the DLC to the main game because the whole point of that section is that Ezio is a changed guy, he returns home but Florence isn't his home anymore and that Bonfire speech is essentially a goodbye to the world he grew up in.

It is added in the PC version, - they're integrated into the main story and you can't skip the DLC sequences there (when I first played the game, and I did on PC, I actually didn't know they were separate DLCs on consoles), so they're like normal sequences.


I actually think AC2 would have been a better game if Savonarola was the main bad guy of the story with the Borgia saved for part 2, because he always felt shoehorned as this Dark Lord of Italy and the proper climax of the game should be in Florence aesthetically speaking.

While I don't have anything against Borgia, I do find Savonarola and his lieutenants more interesting than pretty much most of the Templars of AC2. For what the Bonfire sequence is - 9 nameless characters with one mission each and a couple of lines, it manages to explore different aspects of willpower, control, freedom, freedom to choose to be controlled, and stuff like that quite well. It would be neat to see that expanded. The Templars we have in AC2 are just power hungry, and while Uberto and the main members of Pazzi family (Vieri, Francesco, Jacopo) are memorable due to the personal connection we have with them, the Pazzi's posse (maybe except Maffei?) and all Venice Templars with the exception of Dante Moro are kinda forgettable and just non-descript 'we want power' people.


Number of Assassinations in Boston is Zero, unless you count the Charles Lee chase

You can kinda count Silas I guess. We're not the ones to kill him and there's no white corridor, but the structure of the mission is similar to an Assassination.


Black Flag also has that uneven distribution.

Yeah, Black Flag is a bit strange, though not as strange as AC3. There's an assassination in every main city: Nassau (Commodore), Havana (fake Torres/El Tiburon), Kingston (Prins and Rogers), then there's a couple in Caribbean separate locations (Torres in Observatory, du Casse in Great Inagua), and some in the Carribean world proper (Hornigold and Vane). And it's curious that there's 2 assassination missions in Africa, but there's also something a bit symbolic (though not sure how planned that was) both narrative wise and how they play - one time we're there to save Roberts by killing Cockram and Burgess (and the structure of the mission is sea -> land), the other time we're there to kill Roberts himself, starting from the opposite end (where we ended the first assassination there) with the structure being land -> sea. Kinda works well with the change of Edward's heart and motivations.

But anyway, considering how huge the Carribean area is, I think Black Flag did alright in terms of main target distribution, although Havana as a location feels a bit neglected in the main storyline.

SixKeys
09-04-2015, 05:33 AM
My point is the games used to build a sense of wonder around its cities; it saved the best for last. I loved passing through famous buildings that I couldn't get into just yet but knowing later on in the game there was going to be a showdown there.

But that's simply not true.

AC2's best/most memorable landmarks, arguably, were Giotto's Campanile in Florence which didn't even have an assassination mission but DID have a tomb, the tower we climb to save our dad and where we kill Vieri's father (both early memories), Monteriggioni which was heavily modified from its real life counterpart and didn't have any assassinations, the Doge's palace in Venice about midway in the game and the palace that Rosa helped us infiltrate which happens even earlier than the flying machine.

The best landmarks in ACB are Castel St Angelo which we infiltrate two or three times throughout the game, the first one being one of the earliest memories, the basilica that we infiltrate via the domed roof in the Banker mission (sequence 5) and the Colosseum. Only the last one is a late-game mission. Other notable ones we only explore in tomb missions yet you seem to dismiss those for some reason, even though they are some of the most epic missions in the game, like when we chase the priest in the Vatican during a rainstorm or when we explore the Pope's derelict old palace, where we have to crash through a wall with a giant bell. Worth mentioning is also Lucrezia's mansion in the Da Vinci DLC which is unlocked around sequence 3, I think. I don't know where you're getting this "saved the best for last" when in fact the best landmarks tend to happen early or midway through the game.

VestigialLlama4
09-04-2015, 09:01 AM
Yeah, Black Flag is a bit strange, though not as strange as AC3. There's an assassination in every main city: Nassau (Commodore), Havana (fake Torres/El Tiburon), Kingston (Prins and Rogers), then there's a couple in Caribbean separate locations (Torres in Observatory, du Casse in Great Inagua), and some in the Carribean world proper (Hornigold and Vane). And it's curious that there's 2 assassination missions in Africa, but there's also something a bit symbolic (though not sure how planned that was) both narrative wise and how they play - one time we're there to save Roberts by killing Cockram and Burgess (and the structure of the mission is sea -> land), the other time we're there to kill Roberts himself, starting from the opposite end (where we ended the first assassination there) with the structure being land -> sea. Kinda works well with the change of Edward's heart and motivations.

But anyway, considering how huge the Carribean area is, I think Black Flag did alright in terms of main target distribution, although Havana as a location feels a bit neglected in the main storyline.

There's definitely a strong symbolic structure in Black Flag and it was quite deliberate on the part of Darby McDevitt. Like the key thing is we have two missions at Tulum, the first time you come to Tulum, you sneak in and knock out all Assassins before helping them defend their HQ and then Edward is told that he's not ready yet. The second time Edward arrives at Tulum, he again defends the HQ but this time he's welcomed to the fold. Likewise, Edward arrives at the Observatory and knocks out all the Guardians, then he returns to the Observatory and saves the Guardians from Torres' soldiers. There's a contrast I guess between Edward's two identities, the first time as Pirate, the second time as Assassin.

And as I said before, it derives strength from using locations to dramatic effect. Each time you come there, its different, not that the gameplay or landscape has changed but the player has changed and the goals are different. Like when you come with Black Bart, the Observatory is a jungle stealth mission, very slow and cautious, when you enter the Observatory you are walking slowly with Black Bart in a tour level as he gives exposition. Its this subtle dread. The second time you come there its an aggressive fast paced mission, lots of fire, dead bodies and executions happening and then the Observatory becomes this platform nightmare with disintegrator beams.

The symbolism in Black Flag is tied to a lot of things. There's this idea of disguise. First Edward disguises himself as Walpole, putting on an Assassin outfit, then he poses as an Assassin being a Templar, then later on when he becomes an Assassin, he poses as this Italian diplomat to meet Woodes Rogers. Its not just Edward, you have Mary Read as James Kidd, then Black Bart dresses up as his dead captain, Governor Torres uses a body double and false blood sample to hide from the Assassins. It suggests the theme of change, of shifting identities and murky loyalties. And of course you have the fable by Aesop which is essentially the theme of the game, "This is a jackdaw...but if you ask him, he'd claim to be an eagle."

The other symbolism is that all of the pirates are a foil for Edward. Like Hornigold and Edward were once privateers serving the Crown, Blackbeard and Edward want to retire, Rackham and Edward are alcoholics, Vane and Edward are greedy and self-destructive, James Kidd is an Assassin like Edward, Black Bart like Edward puts on a dead guy's outfit and becomes a legend. Anne Bonny is not an exact fit, but she does greatly resemble Caroline, Edward's wife (and probably why he tries to ask her to come to England with him). It's a game with a very sound structure.

SixKeys
09-04-2015, 02:19 PM
Dang, good analysis. Makes me look at the game in a whole new light.

You make a good point about the locations not changing but rather the character or context. There's some of this in the other games as well, especially AC1. Our first time in Jerusalem is literally rushing in blindly, we don't get to explore the city because we're in too much of a hurry. We're only treated to a tantalizing skyline as we exit Solomon's Temple. The next time we go there it's in a new context, as it's Malik's city. Every time we go there we're reminded of the past and his treatment of Altair reflects the character's progression. It's the last city we visit before taking on our biggest challenges, bringing Altair's transformation full circle.

Similarly, Masyaf starts as a safe haven, almost boring in its simplicity. Nobody wants to hurt you, it feels like home. By the end of the game it's a creepy ghost town where the entire city has been turned into zombies, your brothers are trying to kill you and your mentor/father figure turns out to be the biggest traitor. The cities themselves don't change but they reflect the changes in the protagonist's life.

Farlander1991
09-04-2015, 04:57 PM
Yeah, broadly speaking it's the last steps of the Hero's Journey where the main character, now changed and transformed, returns to his Ordinary World with new context.

For Ezio it's his return as a changed man to Florence in turmoil, for Connor it's his return to the village and nobody being there.

I really like in AC4, btw, how the Jackdaw is tied to the gameplay and narrative, first being a symbol of freedom - the open world opens to us only after we steal the ship from the clutches of a hurricane in an epic setpiece (and then both the ship, and consequently freedom, are literally taken away from us for some time), secondly the game loop itself being a representation of Aesop's fable - we try to make our ship become the Eagle by upgrading it to face tougher and tougher challenges in different parts of the world.

SixKeys
09-05-2015, 04:30 AM
Yeah, broadly speaking it's the last steps of the Hero's Journey where the main character, now changed and transformed, returns to his Ordinary World with new context.

For Ezio it's his return as a changed man to Florence in turmoil, for Connor it's his return to the village and nobody being there.

All the more reason to rage at the fact that Bonfire of Vanities was originally sold as DLC (on consoles) instead of being included in the main campaign. It's pretty much a culmination of Ezio becoming a master assassin and growing up as a character. The speech he gives is one of the most important scenes in the story and they cut it out of the main game.



I really like in AC4, btw, how the Jackdaw is tied to the gameplay and narrative, first being a symbol of freedom - the open world opens to us only after we steal the ship from the clutches of a hurricane in an epic setpiece (and then both the ship, and consequently freedom, are literally taken away from us for some time), secondly the game loop itself being a representation of Aesop's fable - we try to make our ship become the Eagle by upgrading it to face tougher and tougher challenges in different parts of the world.

I'm really digging these analyses. I've never thought about the different layers of AC4's narrative so in-depth. It's also interesting that in the scenes where the Jackdaw/our freedom is taken away, they're all pivotal scenes where Edward has to undergo a dramatic change or realization. Like when he's stranded with Vane, at first Edward tries to reason with him and do everything in his power not to have to kill him because they're supposed to be friends. Vane has always been a bit of a loose cannon, but I think Edward looked up to him in a way for his devil-may-care attitude. But in order for Edward to move on in his life and separate himself from the crazed man Vane has become, he has no other choice. After Vane is killed, we immediately get our ship back (convenient).

VestigialLlama4
09-05-2015, 06:29 AM
I'm really digging these analyses. I've never thought about the different layers of AC4's narrative so in-depth. It's also interesting that in the scenes where the Jackdaw/our freedom is taken away, they're all pivotal scenes where Edward has to undergo a dramatic change or realization. Like when he's stranded with Vane, at first Edward tries to reason with him and do everything in his power not to have to kill him because they're supposed to be friends. Vane has always been a bit of a loose cannon, but I think Edward looked up to him in a way for his devil-may-care attitude. But in order for Edward to move on in his life and separate himself from the crazed man Vane has become, he has no other choice. After Vane is killed, we immediately get our ship back (convenient).

Yeah. The thing about Vane is that all the pirates say he's extreme but from his perspective, he is following the pirate life to the logical conclusion. Being a total jerk to his crew and getting mutinied and abandoned (which also happens to Edward when Black Bart and his crew betray him, Adewale and the Jackdaw fled for their lives), being a greedy alcoholic who doesn't share will make you a lunatic who would eventually alienate his friends (also happens to Edward). The funny thing is that despite hanging out with Vane, Edward doesn't learn his lesson, he still obsesses over the Observatory. So its also a subversion of the hero's journey in that Edward doesn't learn his lesson right away, but only after two or three knocks to the head. Its why he's compelling and believably flawed.

BLACK FLAG is possibly the best structured of all the games. AC-1 has the whole structure of a man acquiring wisdom, so it has the plot of a detective story, in that a simple assignment for a simple motivation (kill Templars to regain your honor) slowly gets really complicated. The theme of the game is the creed, "Nothing is True Everything is Permitted" which in the game means that people are not absolute or they're not what they seem. Altair is arrogant at the start but he slowly becomes more humble. Al Mualim offers genuine wisdom even if he's just another Templar fanatic. Altair sees that the Templars aren't really dudes in a White surcoat with a Red Cross but an ideology that works in multiple factions. Richard the Lionheart is a religious fanatic but he'll take the word of "a heathen" over a fellow Crusader. Al Mualim says at one point that he must "pierce the illusion" and that's what happens at the finale. AC-2's structure is the hero's journey and the sequels are about the hero at later stages.

AC3 is essentially an oedipal story, Connor is torn between three father figures (Achilles, Washington and Haytham...who represent the Assassin, Historical and Templar side of the story/gameplay equation) and never really works out his issues but ultimately he chooses his Assassin Dad (Achilles) and in Tyranny of King Washington, he achieves some catharsis with Washington but his relationship with his real dad is the tragedy. In the MD you have Desmond and William Miles. There's also that double reflection in that in the historical story, the father dies so that the son could live but in the Modern Day, Desmond dies and the father lives. Metaphorically it works because Desmond is essentially the puppet of all his ancestors (also in the meta-context where he IS the puppet of all his ancestors) and he never really had freedom, so he gets killed by all his ancestors and indirectly his father, he fails to really break away from his past and be his own man, whereas Connor is forced to break from his past, since his childhood was taken from him, and his home and all his people are gone.

Farlander1991
09-05-2015, 09:14 AM
After Vane is killed, we immediately get our ship back (convenient).

A little correction here, we don't kill Vane on the island (he even makes fun of it), we leave him alive stranded. Later we can see him in the game in the Port Royal prison, being bat**** crazy and awaiting execution.


The funny thing is that despite hanging out with Vane, Edward doesn't learn his lesson, he still obsesses over the Observatory.

To be fair, the situation with Vane isn't really a big catalyst for the 'main lesson' (as it's not something that happens TO Edward directly, i.e. his crew doesn't mutiny against him, it was taken away from him), and Edward does learn something in his mind - that men of vision (i.e. him, heh) are required to make it all see through


So its also a subversion of the hero's journey in that Edward doesn't learn his lesson right away, but only after two or three knocks to the head. Its why he's compelling and believably flawed.

I wouldn't call Edward's Hero's Journey a subversion, it's fairly traditional. Yeah, the fact that Edward doesn't actually seize the sword is a subversion, but not all stories are the same and it's just one element that's different. AC really likes Hero's Journeys and pretty much every new protagonist game follows it (each in its own modified way, of course, like stories would), and Connor's one is really subversive, with the whole last third of it going wrong in all the possible ways. It's ironic and sad (but also understandable), given that Connor is the only true archetypal Hero in the series, all our other protagonists are anti-heroes.

VestigialLlama4
09-05-2015, 09:30 AM
A little correction here, we don't kill Vane on the island (he even makes fun of it), we leave him alive stranded. Later we can see him in the game in the Port Royal prison, being bat**** crazy and awaiting execution.

I like the fact that when Edward approaches him he just says that he's sorry to see him like this, even after Vane tried to kill him he's upset to see that. Then that final pirate vision even has Hornigold despite the fact that Edward was furious with him. That element of forgiveness is part of why Edward turns out to be endearing, even admitting that Adewale and the crew were right to abandon him to Black Bart, which is a good correction of most stories where mutiny is always shown as being "evil".

EmptyCrustacean
09-05-2015, 08:37 PM
Okay, I see what you are getting at. But I can't see how the scripted mission of the passion play is really "exploiting the Colosseum to its fullest potential". The mission that really does exploit the Colosseum to the fullest potential is the side mission "For the Fans", the final Thief challenge where you literally have to go from one end to the Colosseum to the other than reach the top and leap of faith over it. Likewise, the Castel Sant Angelo was much better explored in the Caterina Sforza mission rather than the chase after Cesare Borgia. Actually I liked the Da Vinci Disappearance mission even more. The DLC really explored the Vatican more than the main game did, especially when you chase after the Hermeticist through all those alleys.

That's your opinion/personal taste. My original point is that these landmarks were saved for the big take downs until later in the game whereas Unity blew it's load far too quickly. In fact the entire game suffers from running out of steam to quickly due to rushed pacing overall.


Well you don't really exploit those buildings until you get the Climb Leap which you won't get until...wait just complete the introduction and then do the Rosa mission at the thief's guild and presto Venice is your oyster. That's the only remaining traversal skill to be learnt and its provided to you in the same venice introductory sequence.

You said you understood my point but this comment proves that you don't. We've established what I mean about exploiting a landmark to its fullest in major take downs and generally all the Venice missions are well paced. I won't go over this/elaborate again.


The Assassination missions generally happen in fairly mundane areas. There are only two major assassinations in Florence, it was the Bonfire DLC that really used the famous architectural locations for assassinations. The other Pazzi conspirators got killed in San Gimignano. That doesn't actually happen a great deal. Its true that in Venice, they made a big deal about certain Assassination targets being hard to reach, like you have to plan and infiltrate the Merchant house to kill Emilio Barbarigo, the Arsenal to kill his brother and then you fly into the Palazzo Ducale and kill Grimaldi in a really elaborate manner that...ultimately fails big time, you don't save the Doge and you get framed instead. In Brotherhood, the only two times you have an Assassination in a major location is The Pantheon (which is not a major assassination, just a minor guard whose outfit you have to steal) and Micheletto (who you don't kill at all finally).

Again, this is all your opinion/personal taste.


In Revelations, likewise, the locations and architecture are generally used in side missions and traversal. The only major locations featured in the story is Galata Tower (and not an Assassination), Grand Bazaar (and not an Assassination) and Topkapi Palace (and not an Assassination).

Don't even mention Revelations in my presence. That game is horrible and worthless so saying the side missions and travel is well used means nothing to me. I can barely remember the "landmarks" the city was that dull. The only missions I liked were the ones in Cappadocia. But generally when a mission is so poorly constructed that its fail state is more fun (captain takedown > den defense) that's when you know your game has problems.

VestigialLlama4
09-05-2015, 10:14 PM
Again, this is all your opinion/personal taste.

How can accurate description of the game's events be "opinion/personal taste". Its like saying "Ezio is Italian" is subjective.

SixKeys
09-05-2015, 10:40 PM
A little correction here, we don't kill Vane on the island (he even makes fun of it), we leave him alive stranded. Later we can see him in the game in the Port Royal prison, being bat**** crazy and awaiting execution.

My bad. Although in fairness, the mission ends with you air-"assassinating" Vane. So even if the cut scene makes it clear he's still alive, we still feel like we killed him.

Farlander1991
09-05-2015, 10:51 PM
My bad. Although in fairness, the mission ends with you air-"assassinating" Vane. So even if the cut scene makes it clear he's still alive, we still feel like we killed him.

Yeah. I think the mistake was to leave the hidden blade, it should've been taken away as well for the marooning part, as regardless of how you dispatch Vane, 90% chance that you're going to use the hidden blade and there's going to be a narrative/gameplay dissonance. With fists, that are represented as non-lethal weapons (enemies always wither in pain after dispatching, so they're alive), it would be less confusing.

EmptyCrustacean
09-05-2015, 11:32 PM
But that's simply not true.

AC2's best/most memorable landmarks, arguably, were Giotto's Campanile in Florence which didn't even have an assassination mission but DID have a tomb, the tower we climb to save our dad and where we kill Vieri's father (both early memories), Monteriggioni which was heavily modified from its real life counterpart and didn't have any assassinations, the Doge's palace in Venice about midway in the game and the palace that Rosa helped us infiltrate which happens even earlier than the flying machine.

The best landmarks in ACB are Castel St Angelo which we infiltrate two or three times throughout the game, the first one being one of the earliest memories, the basilica that we infiltrate via the domed roof in the Banker mission (sequence 5) and the Colosseum. Only the last one is a late-game mission. Other notable ones we only explore in tomb missions yet you seem to dismiss those for some reason, even though they are some of the most epic missions in the game, like when we chase the priest in the Vatican during a rainstorm or when we explore the Pope's derelict old palace, where we have to crash through a wall with a giant bell. Worth mentioning is also Lucrezia's mansion in the Da Vinci DLC which is unlocked around sequence 3, I think. I don't know where you're getting this "saved the best for last" when in fact the best landmarks tend to happen early or midway through the game.

The nerve of you to say "that's not true". Do you know the difference between opinion and fact? I don't think you do. Just because you think one mission is the best/most memorable doesn't mean it's true neither does it mean anybody who opposes how you feel about it have the wrong opinion. And again I'm not talking about the tombs so once again you're failing to stay on point.

EmptyCrustacean
09-05-2015, 11:40 PM
How can accurate description of the game's events be "opinion/personal taste". Its like saying "Ezio is Italian" is subjective.

What an arrogant post. You're another one that needs to learn the difference between opinion and fact. Saying Ezio is Italian is a fact, saying:


But I can't see how the scripted mission of the passion play is really "exploiting the Colosseum to its fullest potential". The mission that really does exploit the Colosseum to the fullest potential is the side mission "For the Fans", the final Thief challenge where you literally have to go from one end to the Colosseum to the other than reach the top and leap of faith over it.

Is your opinion and ultimately comes down to personal preference. You have described something that has happened which is a fact but you also compared and contrast it with something else and said it was better - that's an OPINION.

You initially wanted to know what I consider to be 'saving the best landmarks for last'. I explained it and now that I have you're trying to force me out of liking it. I'm not going to argue my preference with you. I have my own connection with Brotherhood, you have yours. Leave it at that.

VestigialLlama4
09-06-2015, 07:07 AM
What an arrogant post. You're another one that needs to learn the difference between opinion and fact. Saying Ezio is Italian is a fact, saying:



Is your opinion and ultimately comes down to personal preference. You have described something that has happened which is a fact but you also compared and contrast it with something else and said it was better - that's an OPINION.

You initially wanted to know what I consider to be 'saving the best landmarks for last'. I explained it and now that I have you're trying to force me out of liking it. I'm not going to argue my preference with you. I have my own connection with Brotherhood, you have yours. Leave it at that.

Look I don't want to get into an argument because I kind of do agree with some of your points, at least about how poorly landmarks are used in UNITY. All I am saying is that you need to consider if your memories of the game are in fact correct. If you bolster your argument with proper good examples in the game, your points will only benefit from it.

http://assassinscreed.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Memories_by_ancestor

Consult this link, it has transcripts of all story and side missions in all the games, just click on ancestor memory tag and go to AC2, Brotherhood and Revelations and find out what mission took place where, when and how.

EmptyCrustacean
09-06-2015, 08:47 AM
Look I don't want to get into an argument because I kind of do agree with some of your points, at least about how poorly landmarks are used in UNITY. All I am saying is that you need to consider if your memories of the game are in fact correct. If you bolster your argument with proper good examples in the game, your points will only benefit from it.

http://assassinscreed.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Memories_by_ancestor

Consult this link, it has transcripts of all story and side missions in all the games, just click on ancestor memory tag and go to AC2, Brotherhood and Revelations and find out what mission took place where, when and how.

No, you're being very argumentative. "Consider whether my memories of the game are correct"? Another arrogant statement and then providing link is even more arrogant and delusional. So because I don't agree with your personal selection that means the memory of my experience with the game is inaccurate lol Yeah, 'cause you were there playing the game with me and saw my reaction to each mission. :rolleyes:

I have posted examples of the missions I'm referring to in VIDEO format. Actual clips from the game. And you have posted your description that you think are better. I disagree. Your examples don't hold a candle to mine in my opinion. It's not necessarily because your examples are bad it's just because I prefer me own. I don't have to justify my personal taste.

Like I said, now that you know what MY definition of exploiting a landmark to the fullest is you're now trying to FORCE me out of thinking it is. If I say that my favourite colour is blue I shouldn't have to justify it, it just is. Likewise if I say that Passion Play is my favourite example of using the Colosseum and saving a good landmark mission to last I shouldn't have to justify that either.

SixKeys
09-06-2015, 05:17 PM
If I say that my favourite colour is blue I shouldn't have to justify it, it just is.

But of course, if anyone says that in their opinion Connor is boring, they have to justify it to you. :rolleyes: Irony.

EmptyCrustacean
09-06-2015, 11:04 PM
But of course, if anyone says that in their opinion Connor is boring, they have to justify it to you. :rolleyes: Irony.

Off-topic. :rolleyes:

HDinHB
09-07-2015, 12:19 AM
https://mywriteofpassageblog.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/dddadf4265cf7d724af31b9d41382720.jpg

EmptyCrustacean
09-10-2015, 06:34 PM
https://mywriteofpassageblog.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/dddadf4265cf7d724af31b9d41382720.jpg

I think you need to a purchase a dictionary.

Alphacos007
09-10-2015, 08:05 PM
http://i.imgur.com/DKJhx9l.gif

HDinHB
09-11-2015, 01:16 AM
That's Old Skool Colbert....I hear he's got a new show :p


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2krXq8fw90

;)

Ureh
09-11-2015, 08:29 PM
I can't get rid of the images of smoke and steam, they instill this sense of awe and morose. The city is living and growing but at the same time it's choking itself with industry. On the other hand the atmosphere is so refreshing, almost like two cities in one, the past and the future vying for control.