View Full Version : Infiltrating Southgate may be one of the worst missions in gaming history.

11-04-2012, 02:49 AM
I’m not judging the entire game since I haven’t finished it yet, but I think the travesty that is Infiltrating Southgate needs to be discussed. This mission isn’t merely bad, it’s outright horrendous and easily the worst bit of game design I’ve experienced in recent memory. I actually replayed it just to make sure that I wasn’t falling prey to a glitch (Or an elaborate practical joke) only to find out that this was truly the way the mission was meant to play out.

Let’s start at the beginning. You open the mission by “ambushing” a group of redcoats, at which point you and 5 others slaughter 13 men, probably with blades in broad daylight in front of a crowd of people (Right in front of a town crier in fact. Maybe he in sympathetic to your cause.) This is absurd, but easily forgivable in context. Even though it lasts about 10 seconds before you get another loading screen and isn’t much fun, it is meant to be exciting so I understand what they were going for here. It’s not a good segment, but its faults are reasonable.

Next we jump into the convoy for what is simply a baffling couple of minutes of gameplay. The extent of what is required of you over the next 3 minutes is simply pressing one button over the course of about 30 seconds. Were it a QTE, it would be generic gameplay design. But it’s not a QTE, this is sub-QTE. To call this “playing a game” is to call hitting a nail with a hammer playing a game. This reminds of me of the complaints levied against MGS4, except things actually happen when that game expects you to watch a good deal of content. I suppose this segment was meant to be “cinematic” to set the stage for the upcoming objectives but in truth, it is merely a timewaster that serves as padding for the game’s first meaningful assassination. This entire segment was a serious misstep. Really confusing why anyone would think it was fun.

Also of note, the horses have no reins and just seem to go in the correct direction on their own even though there are parts where the road diverts. Maybe they’ve memorized where they’re traveling to? Are horses that smart? I don’t know, I’m not a horse expert. It certainly looks odd.

Part 3 is where this train wreck really comes to a head. So I’m dressed as a redcoat, infiltrating their base. That sounds fun! So obviously I can move around and do things that a redcoat could do yeah? But obviously I can’t do things like murder guys, because even for a redcoat, that’s against the rules (even for a redcoat!) That’s how this works, in theory. That being said, one of the objectives is to free slaves, which again, is against the rules (Even for a redcoat!) Despite this, freeing them in plain view of your enemies is not an issue at all. I spent 10 minutes looking for the right moment to free them only to realize that after a quick cut scene, any enemies located near me would be magically teleported back to the beginning of their routes and any who saw my actions would immediately forget. What’s worse, is that the Native Americans who sneak off do so in plain view of the Redcoats. I actually had a redcoat clip through a Native American without thinking anything was strange. This is a stunning failure in a game that claims to have a system of consistent rules to play by.

This is also a good time to point out how absurd the “grass” stealth mechanics are. Recently, what must be one of the worst games of the year, Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise was released and it had a much mocked mechanic where, by hiding in a bush, your enemies would immediately forget about you if they were investigating The exact same mechanic shows up here and it honestly looks and feels as bad as it did in Naughty Bear. Units who use “advanced” methods of investigation completely lose interest in you the moment you touch a bush or stalk of tall grass.

After freeing the last set of slaves (Which will probably be the ones furthest away, on a boat,) you are treated to a cut scene that honestly required multiple viewings for me to comprehend what it was trying to convey (Maybe I’m just dumb, maybe the first two times the Native Americans fighting in the background didn’t show up because of the fog, I honestly don’t know,) you find yourself teleported off of said boat and in the middle of a large skirmish. Also, somehow, in the middle of a stabbing animation. Go back and watch it, really concentrate on what you’re seeing. The disconnect between what happens in the cut-scene and what is going on in the gameplay is bizarre, almost as if the two groups who created them thought they were making different games with similar plots.

The rest of the mission is merely awkward. It isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever experienced, so I’ll give it a pass, I’m not really in the mood to complain about simple mediocrity. That said, the assassination target’s spider-sense is pretty incredible and his men’s inability to not stand 2 feet in front of walls and shoot at them is kind of embarrassing.

However, there is one other issue: The optional objective of “Complete all objectives in one run-through”. I understand adding this objective from a gameplay perspective. But doesn’t the fact that most missions do not have that objective imply that, somehow, Desmond’s ancestors had access to some way to fail objectives and do them again since you can restart missions and still get 100% synch on most of them? Unless your ancestors have access to an animus of their own, that objective should either be on ALL the missions or NONE of them. Honestly, this is just more sloppy game developing that completely breaks the logic of the game, which would be less frustrating if it were in a series with much less interesting lore.