PDA

View Full Version : Unnecessary Baggage and Narrative Structure (spoilers)



Lord_Roose
04-11-2012, 05:32 PM
I know that this thread (if anyone bothers to respond) will generate a lot of disagreement. Possibly some fanboys will pop up and rave about how I'm not a true fan (I've seen this happen to people who don't like the meta-story). Nevertheless, I feel like going on about why I think TWCB and the End of the World storyline detract from an otherwise good story. This isn't about why Desmond sucks (he does, but whatever), this is just about TWCB and the End of the World.

As you play through AC1, you begin to get a grip on what the series is about. Two shadow organizations, battling throughout the millenia, domination vs. free will, with well-known historical events as proxy conflicts. It's an interesting idea that naturally lends itself to a series, Desmond or no Desmond. Throw into the mix some mysterious MacGuffins with powers of indoctrination and destruction. There's a fairly elegant, if not original, premise here. Plot twists and interesting characters can be built within this framework to provide a unique story each time. IMO, this is all that AC ever needed to be about.

The end of AC1 first hints that something more is going on when Desmond discovers 16s maniac drawings. 'All right,' I think to myself, 'A new angle. Let's see where this goes.'

Then AC2 comes along, with better gameplay, better characters, and a better story, but only as far as Ezio is concerned. This is the game where they botch the meta-story by diluting what should be the main conflict, Assassin's vs. Templars, with the most derivative, nonsensical sci-fi drivel I've seen in a while. First of all, apocalyptic scenarios are preposterously overdone and often outright boring. Some games, like Mass Effect, can work in spite of their cliche incoming apocalypse by building up a memorable universe populated by memorable characters. But AC doesn't do this, it's just 'Oh ya you thought the game was about Assassin's fighting Templars throughout the ages? HAHA NO the world's ending.' And it's not just that the world's ending. That would be bad enough. Instead, there are two apocalyptic scenarios. There's the Templar satellite (which while ridiculous, actually does make sense within the plot framework mentioned earlier) and the solar flare (which is just random). Jesus, Ubisoft, you're stripping away any elegance the narrative ever had. It feels complicated for the sake of being complicated. It ruins the structure of the games, in large part because all this stuff is handled in small segments, sometimes infodumps, at the end of games primarily weighted around the ancestor's historical shenanigans.

Then there's TWCB. Now, their awfulness is a little more subjective I suppose. IMO, the POEs are much more interesting when they're mysterious and unexplained, as opposed to being the lost artifacts of an annoyingly cryptically-speaking elder civilization. A big part of it is just that the TWCB appearances are so dumb. They lecture you while speaking like some bad amateur poets I knew in High School. Also, they distract from Assassins vs. Templars.

There's my rant. I still love the games because the vast bulk of playing time has nothing to do with all this nonsense. I like playing as an Assassin, I like chasing after POEs, I like trolling around in Renaissance Italy, I like punching the Pope, I like being in the middle of historical events, and I like stabbing Templars. That's a winning formula, too bad Ubisoft didn't think that it was enough.

ZombieAttkPlan
04-11-2012, 06:21 PM
Stopped reading after "Desmond sucks." How many creative writing classes have you taken? I've taken about eight.

Not enough Desmond =/= Desmond sucks.

eagleforlife1
04-11-2012, 06:37 PM
Stopped reading after "Desmond sucks." How many creative writing classes have you taken? I've taken about eight.

Not enough Desmond =/= Desmond sucks.


He's entitled to an opinion and he makes some good points after the statement that Desmond sucks.

shobhit7777777
04-11-2012, 06:40 PM
I know that this thread (if anyone bothers to respond) will generate a lot of disagreement. Possibly some fanboys will pop up and rave about how I'm not a true fan (I've seen this happen to people who don't like the meta-story). Nevertheless, I feel like going on about why I think TWCB and the End of the World storyline detract from an otherwise good story. This isn't about why Desmond sucks (he does, but whatever), this is just about TWCB and the End of the World.

As you play through AC1, you begin to get a grip on what the series is about. Two shadow organizations, battling throughout the millenia, domination vs. free will, with well-known historical events as proxy conflicts. It's an interesting idea that naturally lends itself to a series, Desmond or no Desmond. Throw into the mix some mysterious MacGuffins with powers of indoctrination and destruction. There's a fairly elegant, if not original, premise here. Plot twists and interesting characters can be built within this framework to provide a unique story each time. IMO, this is all that AC ever needed to be about.

The end of AC1 first hints that something more is going on when Desmond discovers 16s maniac drawings. 'All right,' I think to myself, 'A new angle. Let's see where this goes.'

Then AC2 comes along, with better gameplay, better characters, and a better story, but only as far as Ezio is concerned. This is the game where they botch the meta-story by diluting what should be the main conflict, Assassin's vs. Templars, with the most derivative, nonsensical sci-fi drivel I've seen in a while. First of all, apocalyptic scenarios are preposterously overdone and often outright boring. Some games, like Mass Effect, can work in spite of their cliche incoming apocalypse by building up a memorable universe populated by memorable characters. But AC doesn't do this, it's just 'Oh ya you thought the game was about Assassin's fighting Templars throughout the ages? HAHA NO the world's ending.' And it's not just that the world's ending. That would be bad enough. Instead, there are two apocalyptic scenarios. There's the Templar satellite (which while ridiculous, actually does make sense within the plot framework mentioned earlier) and the solar flare (which is just random). Jesus, Ubisoft, you're stripping away any elegance the narrative ever had. It feels complicated for the sake of being complicated. It ruins the structure of the games, in large part because all this stuff is handled in small segments, sometimes infodumps, at the end of games primarily weighted around the ancestor's historical shenanigans.

Then there's TWCB. Now, their awfulness is a little more subjective I suppose. IMO, the POEs are much more interesting when they're mysterious and unexplained, as opposed to being the lost artifacts of an annoyingly cryptically-speaking elder civilization. A big part of it is just that the TWCB appearances are so dumb. They lecture you while speaking like some bad amateur poets I knew in High School. Also, they distract from Assassins vs. Templars.

There's my rant. I still love the games because the vast bulk of playing time has nothing to do with all this nonsense. I like playing as an Assassin, I like chasing after POEs, I like trolling around in Renaissance Italy, I like punching the Pope, I like being in the middle of historical events, and I like stabbing Templars. That's a winning formula, too bad Ubisoft didn't think that it was enough.


Couldn't agree more. The Narrative was pretty serious in the beginning..subdued. Now it is bat-sh1t crazy.

JCearlyyears
04-11-2012, 06:58 PM
Without the sci-fi part of the story, many things in the game would not be possible.(They already aren't possible, hence sci-fi, but you wouldn't be able to do many things without the sci-fi part.)

POP1Fan
04-11-2012, 07:11 PM
The Sci-Fi was there from the beginning.Vidic tells Desmond in AC1 that the POEs are TWCB artifacts...they were there from the start.
The games are still about the Assassins vs Templars.Have you payed attention to the games/plot? The Templars are training people to eradicate the Assassins. Also the Templars are looking for POEs and know about TWCB.
The story is not about trying to prevent the stalite launch, and the satelite launch is not an "end of the world".The Solar Flare that is coming is one. The Templars have knowledge of an event that happend in the past, but they don't know that another one is on the way. They don't want to destroy the world, they are trying to control it.
The Templar-Assassin war is still alive behind the scenes of a greater threat. Abstergo managed to kill the Mentor, terminated most of the other Assassins with little factions still out there. They also have a map of all the POEs.
I get where you are coming from and I am not trying to change your position on the subject as it is a legit opinion and i have to respect it, but the reasoning has some flaws that I try to point out. :D

SixKeys
04-11-2012, 07:23 PM
The whole Assassins vs. Templars war is based around the Pieces of Eden. If those didn't exist, there would be no war on a grand scale, no conspiracies, no mysteries. The assassins are fighting for people's rights to retain their free will. This wouldn't be necessary if the Templars weren't constantly using powerful, ancient technology to force people into submission. The whole war is about keeping the artifacts safe from those who would abuse them. At the same time the artifacts are so powerful even the assassins (like Altaïr) have a hard time resisting their allure. That's why they stick around for hundreds of years and haven't all yet been destroyed. If there were no PoE, in other words if there was no sci-fi part to the story, the Assassins and Templars probably would have destroyed each other years ago or been content to live and let live. After all, without the powerful mind-control devices, the whole freedom vs. control would boil down to little more than a difference of opinion. But the Templars are hell-bent on abusing this dangerous technology, forcing the assassins to intervene.

Lord_Roose
04-11-2012, 07:35 PM
Stopped reading after "Desmond sucks." How many creative writing classes have you taken? I've taken about eight.

Not enough Desmond =/= Desmond sucks.I expressed my opinion on Desmond with such crude brevity because that's not what the post is about. If I wanted to elaborate on why Desmond is a boring, passive, oh-so-cliche 'chosen one,' I could.


Without the sci-fi part of the story, many things in the game would not be possible.(They already aren't possible, hence sci-fi, but you wouldn't be able to do many things without the sci-fi part.)I'm not against the sci-fi outright, it's just certain aspects of it. Specifically, TWCB and the End of the World. Yes, POEs currently rely on TWCB, but they didn't have too. They could have been mysteriously awesome without explanation.


The whole Assassins vs. Templars war is based around the Pieces of Eden. If those didn't exist, there would be no war on a grand scale, no conspiracies, no mysteries. The assassins are fighting for people's rights to retain their free will. This wouldn't be necessary if the Templars weren't constantly using powerful, ancient technology to force people into submission. The whole war is about keeping the artifacts safe from those who would abuse them. At the same time the artifacts are so powerful even the assassins (like Altaïr) have a hard time resisting their allure. That's why they stick around for hundreds of years and haven't all yet been destroyed. If there were no PoE, in other words if there was no sci-fi part to the story, the Assassins and Templars probably would have destroyed each other years ago or been content to live and let live. After all, without the powerful mind-control devices, the whole freedom vs. control would boil down to little more than a difference of opinion. But the Templars are hell-bent on abusing this dangerous technology, forcing the assassins to intervene.Yeah, I have no problem with POEs. In my first post I say that I like that aspect of it. They make for good plot-instigators.



The Sci-Fi was there from the beginning.Vidic tells Desmond in AC1 that the POEs are TWCB artifacts...they were there from the start.
The games are still about the Assassins vs Templars.Have you payed attention to the games/plot? The Templars are training people to eradicate the Assassins. Also the Templars are looking for POEs and know about TWCB.
The story is not about trying to prevent the stalite launch, and the satelite launch is not an "end of the world".The Solar Flare that is coming is one. The Templars have knowledge of an event that happend in the past, but they don't know that another one is on the way. They don't want to destroy the world, they are trying to control it.
The Templar-Assassin war is still alive behind the scenes of a greater threat. Abstergo managed to kill the Mentor, terminated most of the other Assassins with little factions still out there. They also have a map of all the POEs.
I get where you are coming from and I am not trying to change your position on the subject as it is a legit opinion and i have to respect it, but the reasoning has some flaws that I try to point out. :DOkay, so TWCB were mentioned in AC1. That doesn't make them any more excusable. Also, even if they did receive a nod, they hadn't appeared yet, and their importance to the story didn't extend beyond creating the POEs. When they start lecturing you in unnecessarily cryptic speak about the End of the World, it goes downhill.

So the Satellite Launch isn't a typical 'end of the world.' Sure. Nevertheless, it's 'the end of the world as we know it.' My point still stands. If they wanted some kind of hyberbolic crisis to prevent, the Satellite Launch would have been sufficient. Why throw in the solar flare as well?

she-assassin
04-11-2012, 07:38 PM
The TWCB subplot, as crazy as it might be, is the main thing which keeps the whole story from falling apart. With so many subplots, you need something that keeps the storyline consistent. Also, yes, "the end of the world" thing is overdone, but not in this case. You have a game that takes place in the near future and that also happens to feature the end of the world. Yeah, nothing special, really...But! It somehow also merges with the reality outside the game universe and that is something original.

Steww-
04-11-2012, 07:40 PM
So the Satellite Launch isn't a typical 'end of the world.' Sure. Nevertheless, it's 'the end of the world as we know it.' My point still stands. If they wanted some kind of hyberbolic crisis to prevent, the Satellite Launch would have been sufficient. Why throw in the solar flare as well?

Sorry for not addressing the rest of your posts, when I have some more time I'll read them through properly. Just wanna say quickly here, you're touching on an area that still has a lot of mystery surrounding it, so I don't think you can draw conclusions about the overall series from it.

Lord_Roose
04-11-2012, 08:05 PM
The TWCB subplot, as crazy as it might be, is the main thing which keeps the whole story from falling apart. With so many subplots, you need something that keeps the storyline consistent. Also, yes, "the end of the world" thing is overdone, but not in this case. You have a game that takes place in the near future and that also happens to feature the end of the world. Yeah, nothing special, really...But! It somehow also merges with the reality outside the game universe and that is something original.But they don't need so many subplots. Basically that's the thesis of my post. Assassins and Templars duking it out throughout the ages, fighting over POEs = all the games ever needed to be great.

POP1Fan
04-11-2012, 08:29 PM
Okay, so TWCB were mentioned in AC1. That doesn't make them any more excusable. Also, even if they did receive a nod, they hadn't appeared yet, and their importance to the story didn't extend beyond creating the POEs. When they start lecturing you in unnecessarily cryptic speak about the End of the World, it goes downhill.

So the Satellite Launch isn't a typical 'end of the world.' Sure. Nevertheless, it's 'the end of the world as we know it.' My point still stands. If they wanted some kind of hyberbolic crisis to prevent, the Satellite Launch would have been sufficient. Why throw in the solar flare as well?

"Higher stakes" it's the first thing that comes to mind.
Making the protagonist, Desmond, more important.
The whole thing of preventing the end of the world it gives a reason to explore more historical places to find out what to do. A satelite launch doesn't need a whole "relive the memories of your ancestors" thing. This brings me back to the "high stakes" statement.

BBALive
04-11-2012, 08:37 PM
You're right OP. Either Hutchinson or the lead writer did say that they're trying to return to focusing the narrative on the whole concept of Assassins vs. Templars in AC3.

smengler
04-11-2012, 08:59 PM
I agree with some of what you said. I think that AC1 had set up a great plot, one that hinted at different conspiracies (especially at the end) and had a lot of mysteries. After AC1, I saw the future of the AC games to be one that involved different secret organizations and maybe corruption in something like the US government, etc while the assassins were fighting the templars. Kind of like a Dan Brown book maybe.

The end of the world is a good idea, as it increases the importance of the fight and adds, as someone already said, "higher stakes". I think it would be best if the two main plots would converge in a dramatic scene at the end (hopefully). I don't like the idea of the end of the world being caused by a natural disaster. I think that the end of the world should be caused by the templars (accidentally since they're not trying to destroy the world). As for TWCB, I think that it would have been better if they were hinted at, but not fully introduced.

Lord_Roose
04-11-2012, 09:07 PM
"Higher stakes" it's the first thing that comes to mind.
Making the protagonist, Desmond, more important.
The whole thing of preventing the end of the world it gives a reason to explore more historical places to find out what to do. A satellite launch doesn't need a whole "relive the memories of your ancestors" thing. This brings me back to the "high stakes" statement.The satellite launch raises the stakes enough. Throwing in another cataclysmic event is just a lazy way of overdoing it.

If you want an excuse for Desmond to pop into the Animus, all you need is something like: 'We need to find a POE, an ancestor probably knows where it is, so let's use this thing.' That's pretty much what they're doing anyway.

The solar flare and TWCB just feel so 'tacked on.'

rileypoole1234
04-11-2012, 09:13 PM
The satellite launch raises the stakes enough. Throwing in another cataclysmic event is just a lazy way of overdoing it.

If you want an excuse for Desmond to pop into the Animus, all you need is something like: 'We need to find a POE, an ancestor probably knows where it is, so let's use this thing.' That's pretty much what they're doing anyway.

The solar flare and TWCB just feel so 'tacked on.'



What? I don't think it seems tacked on at all.

JCearlyyears
04-11-2012, 09:14 PM
I felt like AC has always been about killing templars, but there is more to it than just killing templars.
AC1-10 templars who were trying to do the right thing, but went about it wrong
AC2-You avenge the death of your brothers and father and uncover a templar conspiracy, and end it.
AC2:B You travel to Rome after the templars siege your home and you attempt, and succeed with your attempts to kill the templar Borgia family.
AC2:R You travel to Masyaf looking for answers and find it occupied by templars. You find the location of Altair's library and discover the need for the keys to open the door. You travel to Istanbul and Cappadocia to kill the templars and acquire the keys to open the door. Even more basically, you are killing templars to get the keys to a door to get the stuff behind the door.

So, the game has always been about killing templars, but the reasons change as the games do. I didn't think you could re focus something already focused
Of course the game has sci-fi elements, but it isn't focused on that and never has been. There hasn't been a single AC game that focused more on the sci fi than the templar killing.

POP1Fan
04-11-2012, 09:36 PM
The satellite launch raises the stakes enough. Throwing in another cataclysmic event is just a lazy way of overdoing it.

If you want an excuse for Desmond to pop into the Animus, all you need is something like: 'We need to find a POE, an ancestor probably knows where it is, so let's use this thing.' That's pretty much what they're doing anyway.

The solar flare and TWCB just feel so 'tacked on.'

The satellite launch is not a strong enough reason to look for the POEs. They can't just say:"The satellite is rising...let's relive the memories of Altair who fought in a time where electricity didin't exist to prevent it"
The thing is that if they "need to find a POE" they also need a reason. The Assassins aren't searching for them anyway, they just try to stop the Templars from getting them.
Of course the satellite is a high stake, but it's no reason to search for a POE or even a reason to relive a memory altogheter.

Lord_Roose
04-11-2012, 09:36 PM
So, the game has always been about killing templars, but the reasons change as the games do. I didn't think you could re focus something already focused
Of course the game has sci-fi elements, but it isn't focused on that and never has been. There hasn't been a single AC game that focused more on the sci fi than the templar killing.Thankfully it's still about Assassins vs. Templars, or else I wouldn't be playing it. I just think that TWCB and 'The End' don't really work within this framework, and only serve to distract. Yes, they occupy a small amount of play-time, but the games' climaxes often rely on them. When I played AC2, I expected an epic conclusion that was about Ezio and his struggle. We kind of got that, but it was quickly derailed by a lecturing hologram. Same goes for ACB. The Borgia story wraps up, then the end of the game is all about this TWCB nonsense. Juno assumes control of Desmond and kills Lucy. The reason for this is unexplained unless you buy a DLC with awful gameplay (but that's fodder for a completely different rant). So while the games are thankfully still centered on Assassins and Templars, the writers are over-reliant on my two big grievances when it comes to wrapping up each game.


The satellite launch is not a strong enough reason to look for the POEs. They can't just say:"The satellite is rising...let's relive the memories of Altair who fought in a time where electricity didin't exist to prevent it"
The thing is that if they "need to find a POE" they also need a reason. The Assassins aren't searching for them anyway, they just try to stop the Templars from getting them.
Of course the satellite is a high stake, but it's no reason to search for a POE or even a reason to relive a memory altogheter.Then they can manufacture some other reason for using the Animus. Or ditch Desmond altogether. TWCB and the Solar Flare aren't the only possible ways to get Desmond into the Animus.

POP1Fan
04-11-2012, 09:42 PM
Thankfully it's still about Assassins vs. Templars, or else I wouldn't be playing it. I just think that TWCB and 'The End' don't really work within this framework, and only serve to distract. Yes, they occupy a small amount of play-time, but the games' climaxes often rely on them. When I played AC2, I expected an epic conclusion that was about Ezio and his struggle. We kind of got that, but it was quickly derailed by a lecturing hologram. Same goes for ACB. The Borgia story wraps up, then the end of the game is all about this TWCB nonsense. Juno assumes control of Desmond and kills Lucy. The reason for this is unexplained unless you buy a DLC with awful gameplay (but that's fodder for a completely different rant). So while the games are thankfully still centered on Assassins and Templars, the writers are over-reliant on my two big grievances when it comes to wrapping up each game.

Then they can manufacture some other reason for using the Animus. Or ditch Desmond altogether. TWCB and the Solar Flare aren't the only possible ways to get Desmond into the Animus.
Opinion.

Lord_Roose
04-11-2012, 10:00 PM
Opinion.Sure. Some people like that gameplay. But what's objectively true is that it's a bizarre departure from anything remotely resembling Assassin's Creed gameplay. It feels like it should be in a different game. If they're going to release DLC with it, w/e, but if the DLC includes plot essential detail, then that's another thing entirely.

Steww-
04-11-2012, 10:04 PM
Not the kind of plot essential detail that can be represented in the usual Assassin's creed format.

JCearlyyears
04-11-2012, 10:04 PM
I liked the lost archive, but felt that it should have been a third person thing with clay instead of a first person 100% in animus thing. I thought it was pretty fun though.

D.I.D.
04-11-2012, 10:05 PM
I agree completely. The sci-fi bit is where a smart game becomes stupid.

The complete destruction of the entire world within our lifetime flies in the face of evolution, geology, palaeontology and all kinds of science which would reveal something about this. I look forward to the "Templars keep it quiet" handwave.

I am sick of North America's terrible lack of imagination these days when it comes to imagining these kinds of ultra-high tech societies, too. There have been so many brilliant writers who were bang on the money when they imagined the future: Philip K ****'s correct prediction that in 1992 we would still drive petrol cars, and the culture of young people would be focused around a street drug called D (one letter out from E!); Arthur C Clarke's internet and tablet computers; Ray Bradbury's "parlour walls" and switched-off, media saturated society in Fahrenheit 451. But what do we get now? People in shiny skyscraper cities, wearing their Under Armour as outerwear, like Star Trek. Absurd neon costumes for the overlords. Of course.

And then there's the script, as you say. I can live with the mystery talk, but I can't take some of it. There are things that stick out, such as when we're told by our designers that we have five senses, and they have six by default. We have at least 20 senses (you can argue over the exact number). I half-expect them to tell us we "only use 10% of our brains" soon.

[edit] One truly interesting avenue to come out of all this was in the PL files for William Robert Woodman, where it's revealed ritual achieved the same things the Animus tech does in today's story. I'd like to see more about that.

Captain Tomatoz
04-11-2012, 10:37 PM
The satellite launch is not a strong enough reason to look for the POEs. They can't just say:"The satellite is rising...let's relive the memories of Altair who fought in a time where electricity didin't exist to prevent it"
The thing is that if they "need to find a POE" they also need a reason. The Assassins aren't searching for them anyway, they just try to stop the Templars from getting them.
Of course the satellite is a high stake, but it's no reason to search for a POE or even a reason to relive a memory altogheter.

The reason the templars need a POE is because the satellite needs one to work. Also I believe the assassin's need one so they can get a greater understanding about how to stop the end of the world solar flare.

Lord_Roose
04-11-2012, 11:36 PM
I agree completely. The sci-fi bit is where a smart game becomes stupid.

The complete destruction of the entire world within our lifetime flies in the face of evolution, geology, palaeontology and all kinds of science which would reveal something about this. I look forward to the "Templars keep it quiet" handwave.

I am sick of North America's terrible lack of imagination these days when it comes to imagining these kinds of ultra-high tech societies, too. There have been so many brilliant writers who were bang on the money when they imagined the future: Philip K ****'s correct prediction that in 1992 we would still drive petrol cars, and the culture of young people would be focused around a street drug called D (one letter out from E!); Arthur C Clarke's internet and tablet computers; Ray Bradbury's "parlour walls" and switched-off, media saturated society in Fahrenheit 451. But what do we get now? People in shiny skyscraper cities, wearing their Under Armour as outerwear, like Star Trek. Absurd neon costumes for the overlords. Of course.
I couldn't agree more. I love sci-fi and read a fair amount of it, but AC's handling of the genre is mind-numbing. Your DNA is complete with intricate play by plays of millions of lives. Wait. WTF? Vidic's opening speech, about how that's how we instinctively avoid making the rudimentary mistakes of our ancestors, is just idiotic. Scientists already have an evolutionary explanation for instinct. Perhaps we'd be better off referring to AC as fantasy, not sci-fi. The Animus, TWCB, the Solar Flare, all make more sense within a 'it's maaagicaaallll' framework than with the insultingly bad technobabble the series currently tries to get away with.

There are so many possible sci-fi stories to tell, yet so many writers just go back to 'It's the apocalypse! And you, the Chosen One, must save us all!'

Calvarok
04-12-2012, 07:11 AM
Stopped reading at sci-fi drivel. If you go into anything with the wrong mentality it's impossible to enjoy it. This is what AC is. Appreciate it for what it is, or don't. If they made changes to suit your every whim, they would alienate the people who appreciate what they've been doing. And people who appreciate what they've been doing make up a much larger percentage of the fan base than you would guess, even from reading forums. Rule number 1 of videogames: don't piss off your biggest fanbase.

EDIT: I agree that the storytelling hasn't always been perfect, but that just comes with the limitations of a video game. They've done a great job, and have gotten better with each game, IMO. AC3 brings with it new leaps in technology, which will allow them to tell the story in a more cohesive manner. Maybe that will be enough for you, OP. Maybe not.

POP1Fan
04-12-2012, 10:14 AM
The reason the templars need a POE is because the satellite needs one to work. Also I believe the assassin's need one so they can get a greater understanding about how to stop the end of the world solar flare.

I know the Templars need a POE, but we are playing as the ASSASSINS. And if there was NO solar flare, why would the Assassins look for it? The OP says that the solar flare is unnecessary, I tried to give a reason why it is.
The point is the Assassins don't need to relive the memories of an ancestor to stop the satelite launch.

SaintPerkele
04-12-2012, 01:40 PM
I get what you're saying and I feel the same way about the mysteriousness of TWCB and the PoEs we had in AC1.
Considering that point however, we're probably the minority of the fanbase. As a matter off act, an audience always wants to solve mysteries (everyone who watched LOST will know what I'm talking about), but as soon as the mysteries are solved and explained, they are not as interesting anymore. Now Ubisoft could have left everything the way it was in AC1: A mysterious artifact which was created by some people we don't really know about and there are these two old organizations who're fighting for them - that would've made a good plot, sure. But just remember how the fanbase complained, when Revelations did not really include any revelations (at least for the audience in terms of new information) - now if Ubisoft would not have explained all these things (call it a weak sci-fi plot, I call it a nicely realized mix of all conspiracy theories, especially if you take the glyphs and rifts in consideration), the outcry would have been immense.
Mysteries are a great plot devise - but they tend not to be mysterious anymore once they're explained. Personally, I find that somewhat sad, but I still enjoy the AC plotline for what it is. And if you don't enjoy the whole modern day story - it's still only a minor part of the game. The main focus is still on the historical settings and the struggle between the Assassins and Templars.

infamous_ezio
04-12-2012, 02:15 PM
I know that this thread (if anyone bothers to respond) will generate a lot of disagreement. Possibly some fanboys will pop up and rave about how I'm not a true fan (I've seen this happen to people who don't like the meta-story). Nevertheless, I feel like going on about why I think TWCB and the End of the World storyline detract from an otherwise good story. This isn't about why Desmond sucks (he does, but whatever), this is just about TWCB and the End of the World.

As you play through AC1, you begin to get a grip on what the series is about. Two shadow organizations, battling throughout the millenia, domination vs. free will, with well-known historical events as proxy conflicts. It's an interesting idea that naturally lends itself to a series, Desmond or no Desmond. Throw into the mix some mysterious MacGuffins with powers of indoctrination and destruction. There's a fairly elegant, if not original, premise here. Plot twists and interesting characters can be built within this framework to provide a unique story each time. IMO, this is all that AC ever needed to be about.

The end of AC1 first hints that something more is going on when Desmond discovers 16s maniac drawings. 'All right,' I think to myself, 'A new angle. Let's see where this goes.'

Then AC2 comes along, with better gameplay, better characters, and a better story, but only as far as Ezio is concerned. This is the game where they botch the meta-story by diluting what should be the main conflict, Assassin's vs. Templars, with the most derivative, nonsensical sci-fi drivel I've seen in a while. First of all, apocalyptic scenarios are preposterously overdone and often outright boring. Some games, like Mass Effect, can work in spite of their cliche incoming apocalypse by building up a memorable universe populated by memorable characters. But AC doesn't do this, it's just 'Oh ya you thought the game was about Assassin's fighting Templars throughout the ages? HAHA NO the world's ending.' And it's not just that the world's ending. That would be bad enough. Instead, there are two apocalyptic scenarios. There's the Templar satellite (which while ridiculous, actually does make sense within the plot framework mentioned earlier) and the solar flare (which is just random). Jesus, Ubisoft, you're stripping away any elegance the narrative ever had. It feels complicated for the sake of being complicated. It ruins the structure of the games, in large part because all this stuff is handled in small segments, sometimes infodumps, at the end of games primarily weighted around the ancestor's historical shenanigans.

Then there's TWCB. Now, their awfulness is a little more subjective I suppose. IMO, the POEs are much more interesting when they're mysterious and unexplained, as opposed to being the lost artifacts of an annoyingly cryptically-speaking elder civilization. A big part of it is just that the TWCB appearances are so dumb. They lecture you while speaking like some bad amateur poets I knew in High School. Also, they distract from Assassins vs. Templars.

There's my rant. I still love the games because the vast bulk of playing time has nothing to do with all this nonsense. I like playing as an Assassin, I like chasing after POEs, I like trolling around in Renaissance Italy, I like punching the Pope, I like being in the middle of historical events, and I like stabbing Templars. That's a winning formula, too bad Ubisoft didn't think that it was enough.

Hey dude, people will badger you because well, their noobs but your entitled to your own opinion so good on you.

On topic now, i agree with you in some points, from AC1 when it was just assassin's vs Templars the game was cool, but when you seen that the apple had 'magical' powers, it should question the player, "why is this happening, where did it come from" such and such... The origins of the POE had to be explained, now as far as TWCB and all that go, i love it, i think the story would be horrible without it, why? because it explains the origins of the POE and also gives a background for the assassin's vs templars. They have continously been fighting ever since TWCB were alive, first adam and eve rebelled, then all the stuff in altair's time, then ezios, soon to be connors and so on. IMO i think all that stuff was necessary for developing the plot and character e.g it justifies why desmond is so special. Now with regards to the solar flare.. i think it's a bit cliche, at first i didn't really like the idea of them having the world come to an end by a solar flare, but i grew on that idea and if it wasn't for the awesome story + gameplay.. i wouldn't be so keen for ac3, but i am!

EDIT: forgot to add this, but the problem is that ubisoft are trying to converge 2 very complex story lines, now this could be a problem depending which story they decide to focus on which could lead to another being bad...

Captain Tomatoz
04-12-2012, 02:39 PM
I know the Templars need a POE, but we are playing as the ASSASSINS. And if there was NO solar flare, why would the Assassins look for it? The OP says that the solar flare is unnecessary, I tried to give a reason why it is.
The point is the Assassins don't need to relive the memories of an ancestor to stop the satelite launch.

The reason Desmond went into the animus in AC2 was so he could learn to be an assassin (and so lucy could find out what was going to happen with the solar flare), so he could stop the satellite launch with the skills in hand to hand combat and stealth that he learnt from Ezio. In brotherhood Lucy convinced the assassin's that Ezio's POE would help them stop the flare (really it was that POE that abstergo wanted for the satellite launch). We don't know why the assassin's are using Connor's memories in AC3 yet but I'm sure there will be a reason.

This is my take on the reasons that Desmond went in the animus. I could be completely wrong so feel free to correct me if you want :D

Lord_Roose
04-12-2012, 03:22 PM
I know the Templars need a POE, but we are playing as the ASSASSINS. And if there was NO solar flare, why would the Assassins look for it? The OP says that the solar flare is unnecessary, I tried to give a reason why it is.
The point is the Assassins don't need to relive the memories of an ancestor to stop the satelite launch.They can look for the POEs for the same reason that Indiana Jones looked for the Ark. So that the baddies don't get it first. Also, someone else mentioned the training aspect of it.


it justifies why desmond is so specialGah! The Chosen One! I wonder what the odds are that Ubisoft will take this cliche even further and have Desmond die to save the world.

Captain Tomatoz
04-12-2012, 03:25 PM
I kind of like clichés, obviously they sometimes get old but there is a reason that became clichés in the first place. Because they are good. :D

infamous_ezio
04-12-2012, 03:49 PM
They can look for the POEs for the same reason that Indiana Jones looked for the Ark. So that the baddies don't get it first. Also, someone else mentioned the training aspect of it.

Gah! The Chosen One! I wonder what the odds are that Ubisoft will take this cliche even further and have Desmond die to save the world.

ahaha, man no matter what they did, it would have some how been the slightest bit cliche, i think the story is cool, majority of the fan base is happy with it, so they must be doing something right.

POP1Fan
04-12-2012, 05:08 PM
The reason Desmond went into the animus in AC2 was so he could learn to be an assassin (and so lucy could find out what was going to happen with the solar flare), so he could stop the satellite launch with the skills in hand to hand combat and stealth that he learnt from Ezio. In brotherhood Lucy convinced the assassin's that Ezio's POE would help them stop the flare (really it was that POE that abstergo wanted for the satellite launch). We don't know why the assassin's are using Connor's memories in AC3 yet but I'm sure there will be a reason.

This is my take on the reasons that Desmond went in the animus. I could be completely wrong so feel free to correct me if you want :D
As i said, i agree with what you said, but I mentioned if there was NO solar flare, what would be a bigger threat that also needs some ancestors involved? The satellite launch?


They can look for the POEs for the same reason that Indiana Jones looked for the Ark. So that the baddies don't get it first. Also, someone else mentioned the training aspect of it.

Gah! The Chosen One! I wonder what the odds are that Ubisoft will take this cliche even further and have Desmond die to save the world.

Well, from my point of view, to look for the POEs just so the baddies won't get to them is kinda boring, and would get repetitive after one game like that.
Well the story is kinda cliche, i will give you that, but at least they kinda explain why Desomnd is a chosen one, unlike let's say Matrix, where Neo is the One just for the sake of it. :D

infamous_ezio
04-12-2012, 05:30 PM
As i said, i agree with what you said, but I mentioned if there was NO solar flare, what would be a bigger threat that also needs some ancestors involved? The satellite launch?



Well, from my point of view, to look for the POEs just so the baddies won't get to them is kinda boring, and would get repetitive after one game like that.
Well the story is kinda cliche, i will give you that, but at least they kinda explain why Desomnd is a chosen one, unlike let's say Matrix, where Neo is the One just for the sake of it. :D

see that's why i like it, in matrix neo is this chosen one for no reason, in AC desmond is the special one because of his DNA, it happened purely by chance, the right ancestors knocked up the right woman and eventually the right concentration of TWCB-human DNA was made...

Lord_Roose
04-12-2012, 05:38 PM
As i said, i agree with what you said, but I mentioned if there was NO solar flare, what would be a bigger threat that also needs some ancestors involved? The satellite launch?



Well, from my point of view, to look for the POEs just so the baddies won't get to them is kinda boring, and would get repetitive after one game like that.
Well the story is kinda cliche, i will give you that, but at least they kinda explain why Desomnd is a chosen one, unlike let's say Matrix, where Neo is the One just for the sake of it. :DThis is where I have to say: why not just ditch the Animus entirely then? If it's use requires contrived and cliched doomsday scenarios, then the narrative would be better served without it.

You can still do Assassin's vs. Templars, you can still do POEs. 95% of the game basically remains intact, but the fat has been cut loose. The writers can spend more time developing epic finales for the ancestors, instead of concluding each game by forcing you to listen to the insipid ramblings of TWCB.

The series would be more episodic and less unified, but you could still tie the threads together. In each game, the conflict could be more and more dire, to the point where in the last game, the war finally concludes.

Animuses
04-12-2012, 05:48 PM
I think TWCB became too central in the modern story. They should've toned it down a notch after Brotherhood.

Jexx21
04-12-2012, 05:58 PM
Assassin's Creed without the sci-fi modern elements is like jelly on toast without ****er.

POP1Fan
04-12-2012, 08:29 PM
This is where I have to say: why not just ditch the Animus entirely then? If it's use requires contrived and cliched doomsday scenarios, then the narrative would be better served without it.

You can still do Assassin's vs. Templars, you can still do POEs. 95% of the game basically remains intact, but the fat has been cut loose. The writers can spend more time developing epic finales for the ancestors, instead of concluding each game by forcing you to listen to the insipid ramblings of TWCB.

The series would be more episodic and less unified, but you could still tie the threads together. In each game, the conflict could be more and more dire, to the point where in the last game, the war finally concludes.

Well, this is a whole other disscusion. It should stay beacause it has become a trademark of the series. Without the modern setting the Templar vs Assassin has no real stake. The whole ideea is that this war has been fought since humanity begun and the modern part gives the feeling of a "never-ending battle" and shows that the past events like Ezio rebuilding the Brotherhood and Altair inovating it actually have an impact.
To sum it up, the modern part makes the historical events have more meaning, a meaning that spans a huge period of time, not just the Crusades, or the Rennaisance or the American Revolution, or the Tsarist Russia or any other place it will go next.

Lord_Roose
04-12-2012, 08:55 PM
Well, this is a whole other disscusion. It should stay beacause it has become a trademark of the series. Without the modern setting the Templar vs Assassin has no real stake. The whole ideea is that this war has been fought since humanity begun and the modern part gives the feeling of a "never-ending battle" and shows that the past events like Ezio rebuilding the Brotherhood and Altair inovating it actually have an impact.
To sum it up, the modern part makes the historical events have more meaning, a meaning that spans a huge period of time, not just the Crusades, or the Rennaisance or the American Revolution, or the Tsarist Russia or any other place it will go next.You could just as easily argue that the drama of the historical segments is diminished because we know that no side will truly win, and that any victory by Altair and Ezio will only be temporary. If they had gone with what I (and others before me) have proposed, than the stakes would be specific to the self-contained story of each game.

Take AC2 as an example. The meat of the game lies in Ezio's struggle for revenge, which he slowly learns has far deeper implications as he cuts his way through the Templar hierarchy. He matures, and his motivations shift from vengeance to ideology. Borgia is the villain, and it's his power that Ezio needs to stop from spreading.

Those stakes are high enough. I don't have a short attention span, so I don't need 'OMFG WORLDZ ENDING' to keep me engaged. This is actually a pretty persistent problem in many books and movies. Writers too often think that unless the plot escalates way out of proportion, then the Lowest Common Denominator (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LowestCommonDenominator) won't care.

POP1Fan
04-12-2012, 09:43 PM
You could just as easily argue that the drama of the historical segments is diminished because we know that no side will truly win, and that any victory by Altair and Ezio will only be temporary. If they had gone with what I (and others before me) have proposed, than the stakes would be specific to the self-contained story of each game.

Take AC2 as an example. The meat of the game lies in Ezio's struggle for revenge, which he slowly learns has far deeper implications as he cuts his way through the Templar hierarchy. He matures, and his motivations shift from vengeance to ideology. Borgia is the villain, and it's his power that Ezio needs to stop from spreading.

Those stakes are high enough. I don't have a short attention span, so I don't need 'OMFG WORLDZ ENDING' to keep me engaged. This is actually a pretty persistent problem in many books and movies. Writers too often think that unless the plot escalates way out of proportion, then the Lowest Common Denominator (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LowestCommonDenominator) won't care.

As long as it doesn't "steal" from the historical's part story I don't really see the problem here.By going from your example AC2 told a very great story of vengence, conspiracy, love and established a new, great character in the persona of Ezio.All that while also delivering a modern story of it's own.This is proof that the two can and imo should co-exist.
And about the drama of the historical part being diminished.Of course the victories of Altair and Ezio are temporary, but they show that both the Tempars and the Assassins have their own moments of glory, and by every victory of Altari or Ezio or Connor or Nikolai can give hope to the present-day members of the Order and are victories or loses that are important for the big picture.
Of course the whole "the world is ending" is an over-used plot device, but as I see it, it is done good and as long as it's done good I will enjoy it.I might change my opinion after I see the ending of this story but untill then it is handled very good.

Off topic: I like disscusing whit you, your posts actually make sense and raise good points and arguments. ;)

Lord_Roose
04-12-2012, 10:16 PM
As long as it doesn't "steal" from the historical's part story I don't really see the problem here.By going from your example AC2 told a very great story of vengence, conspiracy, love and established a new, great character in the persona of Ezio.All that while also delivering a modern story of it's own.This is proof that the two can and imo should co-exist.
And about the drama of the historical part being diminished.Of course the victories of Altair and Ezio are temporary, but they show that both the Tempars and the Assassins have their own moments of glory, and by every victory of Altari or Ezio or Connor or Nikolai can give hope to the present-day members of the Order and are victories or loses that are important for the big picture.
Of course the whole "the world is ending" is an over-used plot device, but as I see it, it is done good and as long as it's done good I will enjoy it.I might change my opinion after I see the ending of this story but untill then it is handled very good.

Off topic: I like disscusing whit you, your posts actually make sense and raise good points and arguments. ;)The stories can co-exist - but not effectively. The ancestors (thankfully) take up the vast bulk of the narrative, so the sci-fi material, which is filled to the brim with lore and mystery, has to be dealt with in small segments, many of which rely on infodumps. I know it sounds weird that I rejoice over Desmond's marginalization, then criticize his storyline for trying to do too much in too little time. Thus, from my perspective the solution is to axe him entirely. From what I've read, Desmond's biggest fans acknowledge that there's a structural issue with the way that they're trying to tell such an epic, high-stakes story in so little time. For them, the solution is to expand Desmond's role in the game. For me and others who cringe at TWCB and the End of the World, chucking Desmond seems like the best way to clear up the plot.

I enjoy debating with you too. As I acknowledged in my original post, I had seen some people on this forum, sharing my mindset, get attacked as not being 'true fans,' so it's good to see that that hasn't really happened in this thread. A couple people have done the 'I stopped reading after _____' posts, but that's funnier than it is frustrating. It just makes them look rather silly.

Obviously the changes I propose are impossible at this point, but I like to argue them anyway. I'm trilled for AC3, in spite of the increased Desmond gameplay. The game sounds like it'll be fantastic.

Potato54321
04-12-2012, 10:21 PM
I actually bothered making an account to reply to this thread, simply because I feel the OP is very, very, very right.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Assassin's Creed fan. I built a gaming PC based on looking at games like Brotherhood (and wanting to play Skyrim, which hadn't even released yet). I love all of the games, and have played each of them at least twice (even AC1...that was painful), but I feel that the story is bat**** crazy. First off, I'm a firm believer in that the franchise doesn't actually need the future storyline. There are many, many, many, many games that take place now. When I first got hooked on the franchise, it had absolutely nothing to do with some crappily written future conspiracy story, it was because there are no other games, at all, that let you free run around Rome in the 1500s. I am a history buff, and knowing that there is a game that lets me walk and almost breath history made me a very happy person.

When I was reading about Assassin's Creed before I got it, I pretty much just glossed over the modern stuff. It sounded awkward and forced in. Much to my surprise (NOT), it was. AC's premise is unique enough that it doesn't NEED the modern story line. A story of two opposite factions in Italy or the Crusades would be compelling enough. Indeed, when I talk to my friends about it, they all talk about how much they enjoy smashing Cesare's face, or free-running around Constantinople, or any of the other unique things that Assassin's Creed offers, not the modern story. I feel that the modern day part is shoved in, and takes away from the overall experience.

Honestly, they are enough games in modern day. Why the need to stick it into Assassin's Creed?

Now, in regards to TWOCB, I feel that they could have been left out entirely as well. Why not just have two shadowy organizations who fight, one who wants to safeguard humanities free will, and one who wants to control it? As (real life) history tells us, there is no need for a magic glowy mind controlling ball to be oppressive. Just look at Joseph Stalin - he perfectly idealizes the Templars, trying to control everyone for the good of all, and he didn't need any help from some futuristic mind controlling ball.

Anyways, that's just my two cents. I love this game, and can tolerate the modern sequences, but feel that the game would be better without them. I understand that many of you don't agree with me.

SolidSage
04-12-2012, 10:35 PM
Yeah, I somewhat agree with the OP here. It's not that the story deviations are bad so much as unecessary. Too much wandering around and we'll have a case of Lost on our hands, where nothing is explained or makes much sense. A lot of written works these days are transparent excuses to just continue something.
I think a lot of fans might agree that AC could just be about a historical Assassin, bypassing Desmond and all the sci fi and still be fantastic. I agree. But I do enjoy the Animus concept, and Desmond's part in it now he seems more...'involved' rather than being led around by his nose. The POE's make for interesting motivation but like Lost, the story is becoming less about the original concepts (Animius, Assassins vs Templars) and more about the other periphial components.
I fear that the end of the world deal is tieing the franchise into a finite story loop that will degrade the plausibility of future installments, painting itself into a corner almost. And the TWCB are becoming more center stage players than I would like, can't they just say their piece already and bog off? But instead they too are now another emerging arc that will probably assume the role of the apocalypse as the major Villain in future titles. Which just gets further away from the Templars as primary antagonists.

I was happy with the OG Templars in AC1, they were a great adversary, fear inspiring and worthy of the role. But with each new installment that plausible entity gets more diluted and replaced with cataclysmic events or evil kryptonians. It's not bad, but it's kind of a shame in some ways. I don't really feel like fighting aliens at some point, or getting more super powered, I instead appreciate AC for the awesome history and geography lessons coupled with a fantastic traversal combat engine.

Lord_Roose
04-13-2012, 12:51 AM
When I first got hooked on the franchise, it had absolutely nothing to do with some crappily written future conspiracy story, it was because there are no other games, at all, that let you free run around Rome in the 1500s. I am a history buff, and knowing that there is a game that lets me walk and almost breath history made me a very happy person.Fantastic post overall, but I'm quoting this bit because I got into the series for the same reason. I haven't even been into video games for very long, but AC was one of the first games I played. Amidst all the shoot-em-up war games (not that there's anything wrong with that, but they're overdone), I saw a beautiful depiction of the Renaissance which has so fascinated me in various history courses. I tried to approach the sci-fi angle with an open mind, as generally I'm a fan of the genre, but it just didn't work. Every time those animus symbols briefly flash across Florence or Rome, the historical immersion is killed.

thekarlone
04-13-2012, 01:13 AM
I completely disagree. The TWCB storyline is what what definitely hooked me to this saga - despite how much I liked the story of the Assassins' ancestors.