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View Full Version : Concerned about the lack of mystery in latest installments [Minor spoilers]



ElDoucherino
11-21-2012, 12:37 PM
So this might be me just overthinkin' it but I am afraid that some of the key elements, that made me fall in love with the franchise, is being progressively cut from the universe. Don't get me wrong, still loving the gameplay and even though the overall story was lacking in some regards I love that too so this is not a hater going to bash for non existing reason. This is just a fan concerned that Desilett departure from the franchise was a result of the higher ups wanting to attract a broader audience and by that scrapping some of the elements that us hardcore fans loved.

Like for example the glyphs and the rifts from AC2 and Brotherhood.

These were probably the most intriguing and best part of said games. And while they were in some regards impossible to crack or solve they added so much to the universe that strenghtened the overall immersion of the game. Quite franklt there was times when I started to question if it really was merely fiction or if they had stumble upon something beyond that. This is where Desilettes departure comes into that. Ever since Brotherhood i've notice a drop in the mystery aspect of the games while action and general badasery have gotten an upswing, which i don't mind not at all. I'm just feeling that this might be something we have to accept from now on, that mystery won't play as big part as it used to. This might be the reason why Desilett left. He wanted to strengthened that aspect of the game while the managment cleary wanted to attract a broader audience by a) eliminating mystery and focusing on the ancestry part and action and b) placing the games in settings which attracts more consumers (like USA).

Again, this is not be trashing the game as I enjoyed most of the parts of it. No this is just me realizing that everything changes, for better or worse. But I hope I am wrong. I hope that AC4 will be packed with mystery while enhancing and polishing the gameplay that is becoming more elaborate. I simply want a hybrid of all the numbered games: the freedom of AC1, the mystery of AC2 and the overall gameplay of AC3.

Ariego1990
11-21-2012, 03:16 PM
I noticed that since ACII, there are very few assasination targets. And the ones you do have are no longer where it's just "walk into area, kill and go away" The last one of those was juan borgia in ACB i think. Instead of those, most of the assassinations are large battles/dress-up missions.

I did enjoy all games, but overall, ACII is my favorite because of the number of assassinations.

twenty_glyphs
11-21-2012, 04:17 PM
We'll probably only ever be able to speculate, but that's a good point. The quality and direction of the series has definitely taken a turn since Patrice left. He had a story credit on AC2 and Brotherhood at least (don't know about AC1), so he must have been a driving force in the story of each game in some way. You can see there's been a real obvious push for more action set-pieces and a general more cinematic approach to everything starting with Revelations. Even the move away from Jesper Kyd towards Lorne Balfe feels like part of this. Frankly, I hate the more cinematic approach because I feel like it takes away from a lot of the subtlety the series was good at. I also just hate video games trying to be movies, because they never will be as good at being movies as movies. I don't care what kind of fancy motion capture tech you have, your cutscenes will always look goofy compared to video of real actors. I also hate that most big action set-pieces usually lack any sort of gameplay freedom and make you feel like you're just pushing a button or two while watching a movie. I thought the first 3 AC games did a good job of being games and having nice character scenes within the medium of a game without trying to be movies like Revelations and AC3.

The thing I find really curious is that Alex Hutchinson was hired to work on AC3 in January/February of 2010 while Patrice was working on Brotherhood and didn't leave Ubisoft until June of 2010. It's odd that he was only working on the expansion to AC2 instead of moving on to work on the next big sequel even after AC2 had just been a huge success. I really wonder if that was his choice or if Ubisoft intentionally picked someone else to work on AC3. Maybe they wanted him on Brotherhood since it needed to get pulled together in a year and was such an offshoot of AC2, but wanted to get started on AC3 in the meantime with another creative director. If that happened, I would resent that and want to leave as well. There's very little info on why Patrice left, but I think creative differences with management were cited a few times. If management did want to dumb down the series and make it more mainstream, it strikes me as a really weird decision. The games were already selling in huge numbers and had devoted fans. I think it's stupid to mess with a successful formula in search of a bigger audience, because you often end up alienating your core audience, as has happened to me with AC. There are other ways to make Assassin's Creed appeal to the mainstream audience while still keeping the cool mystery elements that the core fanbase loved so much.

Of course, another explanation for the lack of glyphs and rift puzzles could be that writer Jeffrey Yohalem wrote and designed those for AC2 and Brotherhood, but has only worked on The Lost Archive and some of the multiplayer since then on the series while he moved on to be the lead writer on Far Cry 3. I thought The Lost Archive and some of the multiplayer Abstergo documents in Revelations had a lot of the same feel as the glyphs and rifts. I haven't tried AC3's multiplayer yet to know what that story is like. I really hope Yohalem comes back to be the lead writer on future AC games. If we can't get Patrice back, at least he might bring some of that cool mystery back.

LightRey
11-21-2012, 05:01 PM
I don't think there has been a lack of mystery, just a lack of sense of mystery. There are numerous things to speculate on, many of which have only become objects of discussion in the latest games, but in ACR and especially in ACIII, they have come to us in an underwhelming manner. The nature of the ACIII ending for example is very interesting, especially if you take some time to analyze what happened, what it implies, what it might mean, etc., but at the same time it did not urge you to do such things at all. When I finished the game my mind was not at all filled with questions like it was after AC1, ACII, ACB or even ACR.

It's not the story itself I'm disappointed with, but how it was told.

twenty_glyphs
11-21-2012, 05:41 PM
I don't think there has been a lack of mystery, just a lack of sense of mystery. There are numerous things to speculate on, many of which have only become objects of discussion in the latest games, but in ACR and especially in ACIII, they have come to us in an underwhelming manner. The nature of the ACIII ending for example is very interesting, especially if you take some time to analyze what happened, what it implies, what it might mean, etc., but at the same time it did not urge you to do such things at all. When I finished the game my mind was not at all filled with questions like it was after AC1, ACII, ACB or even ACR.

It's not the story itself I'm disappointed with, but how it was told.

Agreed. That sense of mystery and atmosphere may or may not have come from Patrice, but it's definitely been lacking. I agree that AC3's ending isn't necessarily that bad and has some interesting implications for the future of the series, but it was presented in a very underwhelming manner. There are lots of new things to speculate on, but I feel like they're just our own unanswered questions due to the story being presented in an underwhelming manner.

In the past, a lot of those speculations came from clues laid in the games. We saw Subject 16's messages on the walls at Abstergo and read the emails, and all of that gave us material to speculate on after AC1. It also helped us digest the ending. AC2 and Brotherhood showed us all the historical conspiracies and mythology and hinted or told us about Abstergo or TWCB's involvement. AC2 also had Alta´r's Codex pages, which did an excellent job of fleshing out Alta´r's character and making me like him while also providing all sorts of speculation points about the Apple and TWCB. Brotherhood had Brutus' scrolls showing a connection between TWCB and the assassination of Julius Caesar. Brotherhood also had Desmond's meeting with Subject 16 that laid down some more clues that seemed to elaborate on mysteries from the previous game.

All of this stuff is missing from Assassin's Creed now. AC3 really needed some sort of content like the Truth or the Codex. Something to give us new clues to analyze, that closed off a few doors and opened up some new ones. It needed to use symbols or encrypted messages in a tantalizing way, or to use historical documents or paintings to tease us. There are tons of drawings and paintings of the American Revolution that they could have used to reveal hidden elements and show us hidden mysteries.

I'm trying to picture AC2's story without the Codex or the Truth, and wondering if it would have been nearly as interesting leading up to the end. All of those mysterious elements really laid the groundwork for appreciating Minerva's message more in AC2. Without them, it probably would have fallen a little flat for me. But with them, I was putting the puzzle together for myself. It became obvious for me early in the Truth that the video segments were showing Adam and Eve, and the Truth and the Codex prepare you for meeting a "god" when you meet Minerva, and also for some sort of historical catastrophe. I think if AC3 had some puzzles or documents that showed myths about Juno not getting along with the other gods and not being friendly to humanity the ending would have worked better, in a "I should have seen that coming!" way. Instead, they gave us heavy-handed emails from Juno that sounded really childish at times and completely telegraphed the ending in a boring way. In addition, those puzzles and clues could have shown us more tidbits of Juno's past and hints towards what her plans and ultimate goals might be. We could be speculating based on that now, and using that to better understand the ending. That wouldn't change the fact that the emotional payoff of the ending is terrible, but at least it would have given us some mystery leading up to it and some content to chew on after seeing it.

Em-Man
11-21-2012, 06:38 PM
AC3 did have mystery stuff connected to Erudito in the multiplayer part of the game. They are pretty much the equivalent of glyphs in AC2... Well, not as awesome, but still something.
You can find two compilation videos of them if you're interested here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mt0TgHwzJEQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wohEGGOTXX8

And as far as I know, this isn't EVERYTHING you can unlock in the multiplayer. Apparently there is some kind of "achieve files" with more mystery. It's too bad that they fill the multiplayer with these type of stuff instead of putting them in the campaign.

pirate1802
11-21-2012, 06:53 PM
AC3 did have mystery stuff connected to Erudito in the multiplayer part of the game. They are pretty much the equivalent of glyphs in AC2... Well, not as awesome, but still something.
You can find two compilation videos of them if you're interested here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mt0TgHwzJEQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wohEGGOTXX8

And as far as I know, this isn't EVERYTHING you can unlock in the multiplayer. Apparently there is some kind of "achieve files" with more mystery. It's too bad that they fill the multiplayer with these type of stuff instead of putting them in the campaign.

One of my driving motives to play ACR MP was the stuff that got unlocked. Looks like the same case here. Awesome.

twenty_glyphs
11-21-2012, 07:02 PM
AC3 did have mystery stuff connected to Erudito in the multiplayer part of the game. They are pretty much the equivalent of glyphs in AC2... Well, not as awesome, but still something.
You can find two compilation videos of them if you're interested here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mt0TgHwzJEQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wohEGGOTXX8

And as far as I know, this isn't EVERYTHING you can unlock in the multiplayer. Apparently there is some kind of "achieve files" with more mystery. It's too bad that they fill the multiplayer with these type of stuff instead of putting them in the campaign.

Thanks for the heads-up, I'll definitely be checking out the multiplayer soon. The story elements in multiplayer were the main reason I played that mode in Revelations. The lamest thing about these files being in multiplayer is that I don't keep Xbox Live Gold all year, as AC is the only multiplayer I have ever played. So once my subscription ends, I can no longer access story files in my own copy of the game because the multiplayer locks me out of the entire program without Gold membership. Absolutely ridiculous design, but that's what happens when that part of the game is completely separate and done on another continent with a fast yearly turnaround.

I loved going back and digging through the Truth files again in AC2 and ACB, and I couldn't even do that with my own copy of the game in ACR once my Gold subscription was up. It's also just lame that those story developments are stripped out of singleplayer and placed into multiplayer, which for me is a completely secondary mode that I will only touch for about a month after I finish the singleplayer. So any cool story developments in them are watered down and feel disconnected from my main game experience.

Em-Man
11-21-2012, 07:08 PM
One of my driving motives to play ACR MP was the stuff that got unlocked. Looks like the same case here. Awesome.

Yeah, the ACR MP unlocks were great. Especially the mail/text driven stuff about the origins of the Templars. They were almost AC2 glyph level in terms of awesomeness.
It seems like the AC2-glyph-like-mystery elements is a multiplayer exclusivity ever since Revelations came out.


The lamest thing about these files being in multiplayer is that I don't keep Xbox Live Gold all year, as AC is the only multiplayer I have ever played. So once my subscription ends, I can no longer access story files in my own copy of the game because the multiplayer locks me out of the entire program without Gold membership.
You should consider buying yourself a PS3 now with the price-drops and solid game library. I can't even begin to imagine the frustration in not being able to access parts of the games you payed for, due to not having Live Gold subscriptions.

ElDoucherino
11-21-2012, 10:27 PM
@Em-man: I've already checked those videos altered by Erudito and while providing us with some mystery, like who the heck is this Erudito and will we ever see them face to face, it's not as fullfilling as the glyphs, rifts and truths given to us in previous games. These messages doesn't show us the way, its merely a man, or woman or group, holding a grudge against this evil corporation.

@twenty_glyphs. I am actually one of those that liked the ending. To be honest, the first time I saw it I was like "Was this it?". But the more a started to think about it, about Junos monologues and the overlaying arc through all five games, it made sense. But as you put it, the execution was bad. Instead of having Desmond reenter the Animus to find yet another key they should've come up with a more elaborate solution, like hiding clues in Connors memories like some code or whatever that unlocked TWCB technology that Desmond could use to open the vault inwhich Juno was held prison. And simultaneously exploring or findning out more about TWCB or more specific secrets about Juno. Her monologues was good, but it wasn't enough.

MCRMJ
11-22-2012, 02:29 AM
I know there has always been a lot of people working on AC games, but do you think it's got to the point where too many cooks are spoiling the broth? Having so many Ubi teams worldwide, growing in number is contributing to the disjointed feeling in the last two games?

Shoehorning X amount of new gameplay mechanics in each game, I feel it's become slightly bloated and the experience as a whole is suffering. ACB seemed to have the best balance and tied them into the story in a meaningful way. Which kept the mystery and intrigue running through.

They could have kept things that worked, done away with meaningless collectibles and fine tuned the naval and hunting and the game would have felt more cohesive. Example, the Assassin Navy is mentioned in the DB, yet the missions are mainly just to reduce risk to sell items.

Corey May seems to have a grasp on the universe, but I would love for him to take a back seat and become more of an over arching creative director for AC and to bring in Jeff Yohalem to write things. Strip things back, bring back some of the ambience of the earlier games as others have said. I do fear that AC will suffer the same fate that befell PoP if it continues down the same path as ACR and AC3.