View Full Version : Unity and Syndicate had halves of the right ideas

04-17-2019, 03:08 AM
Looking back at old demos they did for unity and Odyssey is a breath of fresh air in terms of trying to evolve the base formula of AC. Maybe nostalgia but I appreciate what they tried to do and in hindsight see where they went wrong so I guess this a discussion to the right and wrongs

Unity's first Improvement starts when game play starts to their first mission demo - traversal being revamped, allowing a more smooth ascent and descent while you parkour and as a result makes traversing the world fun. It requiring multiple presses meant being aware of it and not auto piloting your mind as it was still a platforming game.

Second was the blackbox mission structure, the opening assassination demo shows this nicely, if there isn't a route...make one, see all the opportunities and make one, not an apprentice anymore and at worse make a last stand and slaughter in the open, send a powerful message. Blackbox missions were an acceptable break in the Animus to synchronizing and opening up mission and level design in a unique way.

A bit more on blackbox missions, as the level starts it shows u the opportunities, entry points, assassination Target and Canon unique routes to those ideas. Lots of variation by city scape, building and number of targets potential but only works if their are limitations, do's and don't's, unity's weaker combat helped that restriction while not being hard locked creating a good level of freedom

Last step ways to implement missions in design, like tailing the target to get an idea on a unique opportunity, allows missions people complained on (follow/tailing) to be optional yet player choice means they won't mind it cuase their shorter and sweeter

Final step to unity comes in the crowd system. AC is always on hide in plain sight mentality to stealth, covert in the open and large crowds helped that idea of a assassin's sneaking in for the kill

The issues to unity were apparent in the first week of release...needed time to iron out the kinks. Game as a service early steps in restricting the player by chests to a browser service, lag and fps drops due to parity and poor optimization all on top of a saturation to the game world so naturally people rightfully complained and they took no lessons from it

And now Syndicate comes in to try and save it. The first issue it took was to combat. People's complaints to unity's was to being too slow pace to what people adjusted to due to brotherhood speeding it up and never slowing down so it created a combat with that in mind, requiring breaking guards to open enemies to attacks while maintaining group and chain takedowns.

The second effect was to the gang system. Modeling somewhat to the factions of old you would use to hide or distract enemies, the gangs were to a similar idea, growing in strength as u fight back to the Templars creating a nice narrative connection to gameplay.

And the third was to stealth as Unity's was a first attempt, allowing hoods off by a timing a run before standing or hood on by crouching. Second part of it was to non-lethal takedowns, an assassin chooses it's victims wisely, it was a nice addition and continued as one of the few elements into the O era.

The problem was it's parkour had a skip button because world was too large to incentives it, a still boring world in some aspects, side story missions weak due to historical characters with no need to interact with killers, a combat system now too fast, and a gang system worse than the factions system of AC 2 era

Right ideas that couldn't grow due to over amount of AC games in quick successions that were middling games as best.

But a combination of both work great

Visually done right, time in the oven to be less buggy and run well. One city scape, not too large and not too saturated by rpg elements, a fluid traversal system for a platformer which it is and ones with a good sized brotherhood.

A combat with a slower pace to it that shows combat as a last resort for an assassin but has block, parry, grabs, disarm, side step, stagger, chain and group kills on staggered enemies

A stealth system based in covert in plain sight, large crowds of a manageable size, grabbing a npc to force them to walk with you, gangs that can be used to walk around your distract enemies, and blackbox missions as the exception to restrictive mission design where u can choose a route and follow it or make your own choices

Could be a fun game with replay values to the missions with a level system that doesn't constantly ask u to upgrade stats or increase the gap, one where it's a better balance with good traversal and platforming segments that aren't over powered by poor design to combat (stagger upgrade) or traversal (grapple hook) and one where the main story move forward with a modern day mission structure thats enjoyable and has effort into it

What could be...

04-17-2019, 03:13 PM
I think you hit the nail on the head with some of the things these games did right.

I have definitely enjoyed Odyssey and Origins, but I do miss the crowded streets of London and Paris quite a bit.

04-18-2019, 04:34 PM
That's a +1. Just been back into Unity - for obvious reasons - and that was the first thing that hit me...