View Full Version : How should single player combat be improved? Look to multiplayer.

05-25-2011, 05:02 PM
First, I just want to say that I am a big fan of the Assassin's Creed games. The first game did some really impressive things, and the following two games built on what worked and removed a lot of what did not. One thing that I think ought to receive consideration for future games (probably not for Revelations, which is far along in development I'm sure, but maybe for later games) is transferring over much of the atmosphere and tension which can be experienced in multiplayer.

I only recently played multiplayer, and found it to be a really different experience, but one that really built upon the best aspects of Assassin's Creed (stealth and assassination) while avoiding the aspect that, while deserving to be part of the series, always felt like they should heavily de-emphasized (open combat). I can't say that I'm very good at multiplayer, but it is a very enjoyable and different experience than anything else out there. Trying to blend in with the surroundings so your target does not see you coming and your pursuer does not identify you too easily feels like what the single player is shooting for with its use of all these stealth and blend mechanics, but never quite manages to hit.

My suggestion for later games of Assassin's Creed is to try to transfer some of this over to single player. Work on developing some crafty Templar agent AI that works to close in on players in critical areas of the game depending on how suspicious the player is acting, and give them the ability to assassinate the player instantly the same way the player is able to assassinate guards instantly when not in open combat. Make them hard but possible to identify and kill, indistinguishable from civilians in appearance. It could even be something of a sub-mission, where the player is given information that will lead to easier identification of who is hunting them. Story-wise, they could explain eagle vision not identifying them based on the templars having come into contact with certain items that caused interference with the eagle vision.

As for the guards, I think that they should be largely absent from areas where the templar agents are operating (which will be more civilian type areas - think about the real world, do you see patrols of four police officers on every other street? Plus, the templars don't want a big public spectacle with lots of guards either when they kill someone, even if they happen to control the officials giving the guards their orders). There will still be plenty of fighting with guards in non-civilian areas, though honestly I think they ought to harshly discourage fighting guards openly until you've picked off enough so that the ones that attack won't number more than three. (A single man fighting off three armed opponents simultaneously is pretty crazy when you think about it, a single man fighting off a horde successfully just seems absurd and devalues the sense of danger of getting into open combat).

So, there's my suggestion. It may not be a good one, but in any case, I only make it because I was really impressed with how different and fun the multiplayer is, it feels like some core gameplay ideas from AC really come into fruition there, and I think that should be utilized in single player to the extent it can be.

05-26-2011, 12:55 PM
I agree completely that the game has been as of late,focusing too much on its weaknesses, when it could be focusing on its strengths.

I dont agree with your ideas though. Personally I lean towards a more traditional way of getting people to use stealth. Fear. Gaurd AI need to be drastically overhauled in order to provide a more compelling and frightening experience. The lowliest of guards need to put up a fight. and the archetypes need to be fearsome in their own regards. If guards are too easy to fight, as they have been, then why should we use stealth when getting in a fight is so much easier and quicker.

Allow me to give a few examples of games that do this tremendously well.

- Batman: Arkham Asylum -
Batman is batman, and as such he can handle himself in a fight. But if someone has a gun, there isn't much batman can do without the use of stealth, because no matter how tough batman is, a gun will still make quick work of him.

- Monday Night Combat -
The Assassin position is the strongest of all the classes, because she is only a viable threat at close range. But she has the least amount of defense making here really easy to kill. So how does she get kills without getting herself killed? Her entire character is built around sneaking into enemy territory, picking out the people who don't have back or are tagging behind a group, and getting the hell out ASAP before someone sees her. She simply isn't built for massive combat situations, despite being the most efficient killing class. If she ever does get caught in a big fight she has a few "get out quick options". Another point to add, an Assassin going after a Tank is SUICIDE. its almost impossible to do on your own. A Gunner is very hard but it can be done if your smart about it. A Support is easy to take out, but he poses one of the biggest threats. his Heal/Hurt gun can pick you out when you should be invisible, and his turrets make short work of you if you try to pull off an assassination near one.

- Uncharted 2 -
I found out halfway though the game that the stealth route is more often the more rewarding one. By taking out a room full of enemies stealthily, I don't have to deal with the hoards of soldiers that get called in if I take a more "loud" approach. and the best part? Just like in AC1 if I mess up on the stealth way Im not punished. I just have to change tactics to a much more aggressive one.