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View Full Version : Hard to understand what the developers were thinking.... (spoilers)



Lord_Roose
12-11-2012, 07:54 PM
You kill Haytham in a QTE.

You kill Charles Lee in a cutscene, after a chase sequence.

Ubisoft seems to think that their weak story should trump gameplay, but all I could do was cringe as AC3 rolled to an end. Very little about the story actually worked. Connor's cliche first interaction with Achilles is symbolic of the game's writing in general. 'Train me!' 'No, I'm old and cynical now.' 'Train me!' 'STFU.' 'Look at my fiting skillzz!' 'Aight I'll train you.' The characters all left little impact. Sam Adams, a fascinating historical presence, was wasted. Charles Lee was a mustache twirling villain, and it made almost no sense that Haytham, with his no nonsense no sadism attitude, would not see him as a liability. But the plot required Haytham to stick by Lee, so he did. Meh. Speaking of Haytham, the story picked up when he made a re-emergence in sequence 9. But his appearance and death later on were anti-climactic. A stupid boss-fight and a QTE kill. Weak.

The American revolution was a time of fascinating cultural fervor and philosophy, but AC3 fails to capture this. The game tells you that the founding fathers operated in shades of grey, without really showing you why through a deep examination of the era.

As for Connor, he could've been good, but the cringe-worthy voice acting ruined him for me.

The combat system, which marketing had led me to believe had been revamped, felt no different. The dominant strategy is still waiting to counter. Just hanging out in downtown Boston, I provoked a fight and killed at least 150 guys...barely losing any health. Then later on, a mission tells you that it would be unwise to do something alone because there are 200 enemies there. Lol.... The mission design in general is sloppy. Eavesdropping? Run between cutscenes? That Lexington mission where you order firing lines could've been good, but its stupidity was revealed as soon as I realized that the best strategy is just to run between the lines hitting the fire button. They really didn't need someone to give orders...just the general command "If redcoats, fire."

I loved AC2 and saw ACB and ACR as decent sequels, though inferior because they downplayed the whole assassination thing. AC3 downplays assassination to a maximum. Pretty much all of the assassination missions, and there are few, are linear and/or resolved by a cutscene or QTE. Instead of feeling a sense of accomplishment at having completed the mission and stabbed someone, I felt disgust at Ubisoft's writing and game design.

AC3 may have been ruined for me having recently played Dishonored, a game which went to great lengths to provide a fun gameplay experience which players can tailor to their preference. AC3's assortment of chasing, walking, sneaking while standing, and superman swordfights were bound to disappoint.

Free_Hidings
12-11-2012, 08:45 PM
Sooo... you enjoyed it?

Lord_Roose
12-11-2012, 10:07 PM
Kind of. The world was great. Beautiful. Stunning. But the gameplay was often unforgivably bad.

twenty_glyphs
12-12-2012, 01:37 AM
I completely agree. I still don't get why anyone would think it was a good idea to kill the two main antagonists of a game in a quick-time event fight and in a cutscene after a chase sequence. It's not like those were such amazing story moments that they had to happen in cutscenes. The notion that this story has great villains is also lost on me. Haytham has no understandable end goal to stop; he's helping the revolution as much as Connor for unknown reasons. Haytham's undying support of Charles Lee makes no sense. And Charles Lee's motivations are incredibly lacking. I really don't even know what his whole motivation was, other than to mess with Connor at every opportunity he got.

Torvaldesq
12-12-2012, 01:44 AM
Careful with the story criticism. This forum is a bit of a cocoon for people who love the game and think that Connor was a deep and complex character because the graphics engine was capable of giving him slightly more impressive facial expressions than past games. I agree entirely that the story in the Revolution was disappointingly wasted. Sam Adams is a fascinating person in history. Washington had so much more potential. Franklin did too (though they'd have had to give him more time during Haytham's time period, since he's across the ocean during most of the revolution). Achilles always felt like someone who they were about to make interesting, then he died without it happening. Connor felt like a piece of cardboard that historical figures were giving orders to. I remember after Connor killed his best friend after Washington ordered an attack on the Iroquois tribes, getting to Monmouth and seeing Lafayette there. "What's that Lafayette? The British are coming and you need me to take command of a cannon? I don't know, what I just went through ought to make me question fighting for the Colonials, but I have zero personality and guess you're a recognizable figure from history so I guess I'll do this, even though it's also a job that ANYONE ELSE standing right here could do." Haytham is about the only saving grace for the story in the game. Right until his very end. If you haven't done so, I'd recommend playing the mission where you kill Haytham again. Most people kill him before his speech runs out, but it's really worth keeping him alive (just counter him in an area devoid of objects to hurt him with) so that you can hear his speech until he has nothing left to say. Haytham has some very cool dialogue (Connor, of course, doesn't - because Connor is a one-dimensional simplistic character, but he's at least able to keep the conversation going).

And I have no idea what they were thinking with those missions where you just took command of things. It always felt completely out of place. Telling men to fire or aiming a cannon despite tons of regular army men being there who should be doing that exact job just made things feel more tacked on, like the game wanted to break immersion.

I will say this though: Multiplayer really gives a lot of the gameplay that I think they wish they could do with single player. They just don't have the AI for it, so you only get it with human vs. human gameplay. But the whole sense of trying to be stealthy, watching the crowd around you carefully, pulling off kills and trying to escape before someone who is after you can kill you after you've just done something as conspicuous as killing someone - all that stuff comes together beautifully in the multiplayer. Multiplayer redeems a LOT of the failure in single player (even for people like me, who aren't that good at multiplayer).

zMrFahrenheit
12-12-2012, 01:58 AM
I liked it...

SixKeys
12-12-2012, 02:48 AM
I will say this though: Multiplayer really gives a lot of the gameplay that I think they wish they could do with single player. They just don't have the AI for it, so you only get it with human vs. human gameplay. But the whole sense of trying to be stealthy, watching the crowd around you carefully, pulling off kills and trying to escape before someone who is after you can kill you after you've just done something as conspicuous as killing someone - all that stuff comes together beautifully in the multiplayer. Multiplayer redeems a LOT of the failure in single player (even for people like me, who aren't that good at multiplayer).

I gotta agree with this. The multiplayer is pretty much the most fun thing about AC3. While I liked the MP in previous games, I never thought they could compete with the SP side of things. But in AC3 MP you're at least actually assassinating people, getting to act stealthily and use your various skills to adapt to different situations. In SP the main assassinations are very scripted, stealth is discouraged and every situation can be solved by running in and slaughtering everybody. Even the story behind the multiplayer has more of the mystery and intrigue that I love about the series than the SP.

Torvaldesq
12-12-2012, 07:10 PM
I gotta agree with this. The multiplayer is pretty much the most fun thing about AC3. While I liked the MP in previous games, I never thought they could compete with the SP side of things. But in AC3 MP you're at least actually assassinating people, getting to act stealthily and use your various skills to adapt to different situations. In SP the main assassinations are very scripted, stealth is discouraged and every situation can be solved by running in and slaughtering everybody. Even the story behind the multiplayer has more of the mystery and intrigue that I love about the series than the SP.

Though I know you agreed with me, I have to ask what about AC 3's multiplayer do you like more than previous game's multiplayer? I mean, like I said, I enjoy the multiplayer quite a bit, but it's kind of felt the same to me since Brotherhood. Not that that's a bad thing (I feel like they nailed it the first time, so no need to reinvent that wheel), just that the changes they've made have always felt very much at the margin of things, like tinkering with how easy it is to apply poison to someone (I remember it being easier in Brotherhood, harder in Revelations, and haven't unlocked it yet for AC 3). I do like the new Wolfpack mode a lot. Having fun with Domination too. Or did you just mean that previous multiplayer's didn't compete well with the SP because previous SP's were just much better than AC 3's single player? (Not something I'd disagree with).

And I definitely agree that it's fun to see them include story unlockables with Erudito. Revelations also had a story to the multiplayer which was fun to unlock. You got movies as you leveled up, and the last movie you got had Vidic giving you an assignment to get William Miles. Personally, I'd kind of like to think that whatever agent captured William Miles in Egypt was the same guy that you were playing as in the Revelations Multiplayer.

BATISTABUS
12-12-2012, 08:42 PM
their weak story

As for Connor, he could've been good, but the cringe-worthy voice acting ruined him for me.

The American revolution was a time of fascinating cultural fervor and philosophy, but AC3 fails to capture this. The game tells you that the founding fathers operated in shades of grey, without really showing you why through a deep examination of the era.
The story was one of the best things about the game. The conflict was very interesting from a Native American perspective, particularly since he was removed from the whole Colonists vs British situation. Some parts were weaker than others, but this is certainly the best story-telling we've had since AC1.

Noah Watts is a fantastic voice actor. Remember, Connor is a non-native English speaker; anything that sounds awkward is a result of that. I agree that the voice-directing could've been tighter, but that's not his fault. Noah Watts' deliveries are very subtle at times...don't mistake this for bad voice acting. I know we're all used to the animated deliveries of Roger Craig Smith as Ezio, but it's not fair to hold Connor/Watts to the same standard.

The founding fathers manipulated Connor constantly, but I agree there could've been more.

TrueAssassin77
12-12-2012, 09:04 PM
MP is a waste of space. AC needs to go back to its roots and do away with the concept. This isn't CoD.

SixKeys
12-13-2012, 01:52 AM
Though I know you agreed with me, I have to ask what about AC 3's multiplayer do you like more than previous game's multiplayer? I mean, like I said, I enjoy the multiplayer quite a bit, but it's kind of felt the same to me since Brotherhood. Not that that's a bad thing (I feel like they nailed it the first time, so no need to reinvent that wheel), just that the changes they've made have always felt very much at the margin of things, like tinkering with how easy it is to apply poison to someone (I remember it being easier in Brotherhood, harder in Revelations, and haven't unlocked it yet for AC 3). I do like the new Wolfpack mode a lot. Having fun with Domination too. Or did you just mean that previous multiplayer's didn't compete well with the SP because previous SP's were just much better than AC 3's single player? (Not something I'd disagree with).

ACR's multiplayer was broken, the less said about it the better. (Unbearable lag, overpowered smoke bomb and roofer-friendly maps, to name just a few things.) ACB was fantastic and I still miss many things about it that have since been removed or tinkered with. ACB's characters were unique and memorable, something the later games have never quite been able to replicate; there were no contested kills so stealth and hiding was encouraged more and all the personas had unique weapons and kill animations.

With that said, AC3's multiplayer basically took the features that were broken in ACR and either fixed them or at least improved them. The new modes are enjoyable, the customization is pretty good, certain abilities have been tweaked to be much more balanced and the story is engaging. You're right that if something ain't broken, it shouldn't be fixed, but the MP is popular so we know it won't be going away any time soon. With that in mind it makes sense for them to stick to the same basic formula and just keep tweaking the game mechanics. Unlike single-player, multiplayer campaigns don't and shouldn't reinvent themselves every year. It's good enough if you have a working concept that is fun to play, then it's just about striving towards perfecting the experience.

Torvaldesq
12-13-2012, 09:32 PM
ACR's multiplayer was broken, the less said about it the better. (Unbearable lag, overpowered smoke bomb and roofer-friendly maps, to name just a few things.) ACB was fantastic and I still miss many things about it that have since been removed or tinkered with. ACB's characters were unique and memorable, something the later games have never quite been able to replicate; there were no contested kills so stealth and hiding was encouraged more and all the personas had unique weapons and kill animations.

With that said, AC3's multiplayer basically took the features that were broken in ACR and either fixed them or at least improved them. The new modes are enjoyable, the customization is pretty good, certain abilities have been tweaked to be much more balanced and the story is engaging. You're right that if something ain't broken, it shouldn't be fixed, but the MP is popular so we know it won't be going away any time soon. With that in mind it makes sense for them to stick to the same basic formula and just keep tweaking the game mechanics. Unlike single-player, multiplayer campaigns don't and shouldn't reinvent themselves every year. It's good enough if you have a working concept that is fun to play, then it's just about striving towards perfecting the experience.

Yeah, I'm generally pretty happy with how multiplayer is set up. I wasn't advanced enough to have very strong opinions on the balance of abilities in ACR, though I agree that AC: Brotherhood somehow felt better. I really can't pinpoint exactly what it is, but the pace just felt slower in that game. I remember in Brotherhood feeling like the game was really pushing me to take my time as much as possible and get as high a score as I could with kills, while in Revelations and a bit in AC 3 it feels like the game is rewarding me less for that. Maybe I just want to see Incognito and Silent kills get much higher scoring bonuses. I did like the characters more in Brotherhood. That might partially be because the characters found their way into other things. Some of them were targets for Ezio to kill in missions. Some of them appeared in the Facebook tie-in game with their own plot. They definitely felt more memorable, and something about the Italian architecture just felt more fun too.

Honestly, I don't know why they don't just bring that stuff back. I mean, there's a reason for us to be doing things in the Revolution era in the single player. In multiplayer, the story there is just Abstergo using us all for some grand experiment. I'm sure they'll add that stuff in over time as bonus maps or something. Or just wait for whatever the next game is. I do have to say, one thing I would suggest they do for multiplayer is give people more carry-over from game to game. Like keeping characters and all the customization you unlocked for them, letting people start with abilities they unlocked previously. Make new games feel like upgrades for multiplayer rather than re-starts. It's going to be annoying for those guys who level up prestige levels only to see that just disappear when a new game comes out and everyone leaves the old one.