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View Full Version : 3 Reasons that Black Flag's story is underrated



luckyto
02-03-2014, 09:22 PM
I feel like Black Flag's story didn't really get the credit it deserved. Personally, I felt it was a great story and I have three reasons why I feel it's better than what most critics gave it credit for:
- Writing for an open-world game is more challenging than writing for a linear game - because pacing is so hard to control.
- Black Flag's story was unpredictable.
- Edward had an excellent and sublime character arc.


SPOILER WARNING:
I posted a video on my channel with Legendary Ship gameplay discussing the details about each of the reasons. Thought some of you might like it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrnUluABMZA

MasterAssasin84
02-03-2014, 09:29 PM
I am not saying Black Flag is a bad game but i just do not think it warranted the title the 4th instalment as i though the developers went way to heavy on the Pirate theme rather and merely forgot that its an Assassins Creed game ! they could have easily classified the game as a spinoff for Assassins Creed the Chronicals of Edward Edward Kenway .

luckyto
02-03-2014, 09:32 PM
I am not saying Black Flag is a bad game but i just do not think it warranted the title the 4th instalment as i though the developers went way to heavy on the Pirate theme rather and merely forgot that its an Assassins Creed game ! they could have easily classified the game as a spinoff for Assassins Creed the Chronicals of Edward Edward Kenway .

You don't feel they focused on the Assassin's. That's weird. Because I was thinking yesterday after watching Black Sails that I would have liked more Pirate story.

Wolfmeister1010
02-03-2014, 09:45 PM
Story was unpredictable? We knew the dates and times of half the events that occured and 3 quarters of the character cast's deaths.

Yeah it is more difficult to write for open world..but that doesnt mean it should be bad. Look at..well, all the other AC games lol. GTA, ..I am sure Witcher 3 will be a milestone in non linear open world story telling.

And Edward's story arc was anything but well executed, considering that his character development began just in time for the credits to start rolling.

Shahkulu101
02-03-2014, 09:49 PM
Story was unpredictable? We knew the dates and times of half the events that occured and 3 quarters of the character cast's deaths.

Yeah it is more difficult to write for open world..but that doesnt mean it should be bad. Look at..well, all the other AC games lol. GTA, ..I am sure Witcher 3 will be a milestone in non linear open world story telling.

And Edward's story arc was anything but well executed, considering that his character development began just in time for the credits to start rolling.

Wrong wrong wrong. You're a smart cookie too, never thought you'd be so silly.

Wolfmeister1010
02-03-2014, 09:52 PM
Wrong wrong wrong. You're a smart cookie too, never thought you'd be so silly.

Care to expand on that idea?

luckyto
02-03-2014, 09:52 PM
o' rlly?

SPOILERS
you knew the identity of John the IT guy? Or he would be standing over you with a syringe? Or that Kidd was Mary Read? Or Adewale would mutinee on you? Or Vane would go crazy over clams?

Wolfmeister1010
02-03-2014, 09:56 PM
o' rlly?

SPOILERS
you knew the identity of John the IT guy? Or he would be standing over you with a syringe? Or that Kidd was Mary Read? Or Adewale would mutinee on you? Or Vane would go crazy over clams?

Uh..yeah that thing about William Kidd being Mary Read was kinda a historical thing.

And even if it wasnt..come on..that voice acting! AC always used top notch voice acting, so for them to use THAT voice for a male character..you had to know that something was up.

And yes Vane was historically an insane bastard lol

And does anyone actually give a crap about the modern day story anymore? Lol


Edit- i just read that "William Kidd" was never documented, so I apologize for that, but the other reason still stands

Shahkulu101
02-03-2014, 09:56 PM
Care to expand on that idea?

What luckyto said above and clearly you didn't pay enough attention to Edward's character. The entire game is dedicated almost solely to his characterisation, his transition to Assassin is the major point sure but to say that's the only character development is absolutely ludicrous.

Wolfmeister1010
02-03-2014, 10:02 PM
What luckyto said above and clearly you didn't pay enough attention to Edward's character. The entire game is dedicated almost solely to his characterisation, his transition to Assassin is the major point sure but to say that's the only character development is absolutely ludicrous.

Read my counter post.

But yes Edward's characterization did expand more than that, you are right. But i thought it was not well executed, and then there is the issue of all the other characters in the game having poor character development. Like Anne Bonny, Jack Rackham, Vane, Ade, Hornigold, ect. Even Darby Himself acknowledged this issue, saying that they were not developed enough because there were sinmply too many characters with too little game
This is a valid excuse, but still doesnt change the facts.


But..well..what other character development points for Edward otherwise?

frodrigues55
02-03-2014, 10:09 PM
It's very well rounded and has some funny and cute bits amongst it. It certainly is a good story, I just didn't connect with any part of it. There's nothing that left me impressed.

Same thing happened with Revelations, it tells a beautiful story and it has some emotional parts, but as soon as it ended, I was done with it. It didn't leave me any impression or feeling afterwards.

I don't know why or how, I just don't get anything from Darby's stories, even though I feel they are the most well written ones.

Wolfmeister1010
02-03-2014, 10:10 PM
It's very well rounded and has some funny and cute bits amongst it. It certainly is a good story, I just didn't connect with any part of it. There's nothing that left me impressed.

Same thing happened with Revelations, it tells a beautiful story and it has some emotional parts, but as soon as it ended, I was done with it. It didn't leave me any impression or feeling afterwards.

I don't know why or how, I just don't get anything from Darby's stories, even though I feel they are the most well written ones.

That is exactly what I feel.

Darby has the best writing style by far. By FAR. But the story itself..

Hans684
02-03-2014, 10:10 PM
Read my counter post.

But yes Edward's characterization did expand more than that, you are right. But i thought it was not well executed, and then there is the issue of all the other characters in the game having poor character development. Like Anne Bonny, Jack Rackham, Vane, Ade, Hornigold, ect. Even Darby Himself acknowledged this issue, saying that they were not developed enough because there were sinmply too many characters with too little game
This is a valid excuse, but still doesnt change the facts.


But..well..what other character development points for Edward otherwise?

The same facts can be said about AC3, every other AC game and other game franchises.

Wolfmeister1010
02-03-2014, 10:12 PM
The same facts can be said about AC3, every other AC game and other game franchises.

Oh yeah I remember hoe Charles Vane was in all the other ACs as well lol.

please do not attempt to compare AC4's story to the masterpiece story that was AC2. Or even AC1.

I HATED Ezio as a character in AC 2 and still recognized the wonderful structure of the story and its characters.

Or maybe you are refering to my other post, in which I will say that even though his character might not be LIKED as much, he certainly was developed more than Edward.

Wolfmeister1010
02-03-2014, 10:20 PM
Perhaps I am getting a bit ahead of myself. I do not want to cause any issues between us. It would be wrong of me to try to force my opinion on anyone else.

I suppose it was all more a matter of taste

luckyto
02-03-2014, 10:22 PM
Opinions welcome. I wouldn't have posted it in the forums if I didn't want to hear you guys' viewpoints.


Read my counter post.

But yes Edward's characterization did expand more than that, you are right. But i thought it was not well executed, and then there is the issue of all the other characters in the game having poor character development. Like Anne Bonny, Jack Rackham, Vane, Ade, Hornigold, ect. Even Darby Himself acknowledged this issue, saying that they were not developed enough because there were sinmply too many characters with too little game
This is a valid excuse, but still doesnt change the facts.


But..well..what other character development points for Edward otherwise?

That is the last thing I mentioned as a negative in my video: secondary character development. Rackham, Bonny, Vane.. I'm actually OK with their character development. But Adewale and Blackbeard were two characters that were sorely neglected for the worse of the story.

Either way, I still feel the story was unpredictable. It's the only game I played all year - The Last of Us included - where I was genuinely surprised by some of the plot events.

Shahkulu101
02-03-2014, 10:23 PM
Read my counter post.

But yes Edward's characterization did expand more than that, you are right. But i thought it was not well executed, and then there is the issue of all the other characters in the game having poor character development. Like Anne Bonny, Jack Rackham, Vane, Ade, Hornigold, ect. Even Darby Himself acknowledged this issue, saying that they were not developed enough because there were sinmply too many characters with too little game
This is a valid excuse, but still doesnt change the facts.


But..well..what other character development points for Edward otherwise?

Notably, Mary Read's death. Edward falls into a deep depression, in stark contrast to the happy-going Eddie we see prior to that moment - then we get a drunken sequence devoted to, shock horror, his character development. When Adewale abandons him he realizes the true extent of his destructive greed and carelessness.

More minor things: the fall of Nassau - more than anything this highlights his naive optimism as he doesn't give up all hope, but still we see Edward doubt for a second. Catching a glimpse of reality, particularly after Blackbeard's death.

Death speeches: Gradually, he begins to determine who and what the Templar's are - think Du Casse's death speech. Fierce loyalty towards his pirate brethren and sheer passion are displayed in Hornigold's death speech. El Tiburon's felt out of place but that and Torres' speeches show how far he's come. In his own words 'A scoundrel to a soldier' - Torres' admits even, that Edward is a perfect advocate for the freedom and liberty he so fiercely adheres too: " You were your convictions well, they suit you."

Relationship with the Creed;

Takes it completely literally at first - why not live as you please? The creed permits him to do so, it appeals to him. Naive, ignorance and his misinformed ways are shown. Through his experiences he realizes what carelessness and, ironic to the assassins, a lack of order and purpose can result in: the destruction of everything he holds dear. Later he tells the mentor that the Creed is relative not to society as a whole, but to each individual - and that the interpretation of these words make a world of difference.

I could go on all day Wolf, but I hope you see my points as valid.

Wolfmeister1010
02-03-2014, 10:27 PM
Notably, Mary Read's death. Edward falls into a deep depression, in stark contrast to the happy-going Eddie we see prior to that moment - then we get a drunken sequence devoted to, shock horror, his character development. When Adewale abandons him he realizes the true extent of his destructive greed and carelessness.

More minor things: the fall of Nassau - more than anything this highlights his naive optimism as he doesn't give up all hope, but still we see Edward doubt for a second. Catching a glimpse of reality, particularly after Blackbeard's death.

Death speeches: Gradually, he begins to determine who and what the Templar's are - think Du Casse's death speech. Fierce loyalty towards his pirate brethren and sheer passion are displayed in Hornigold's death speech. El Tiburon's felt out of place but that and Torres' speeches show how far he's come. In his own words 'A scoundrel to a soldier' - Torres' admits even, that Edward is a perfect advocate for the freedom and liberty he so fiercely adheres too: " You were your convictions well, they suit you."

Relationship with the Creed;

Takes it completely literally at first - why not live as you please? The creed permits him to do so, it appeals to him. Naive, ignorance and his misinformed ways are shown. Through his experiences he realizes what carelessness and, ironic to the assassins, a lack of order and purpose can result in: the destruction of everything he holds dear. Later he tells the mentor that the Creed is relative not to society as a whole, but to each individual - and that the interpretation of these words make a world of difference.

I could go on all day Wolf, but I hope you see my points as valid.

Of course I see your points.

But notice how most of these things occurred REALLY late in the story. The story rushed some parts, like the beginning and ending, and dragged through others, like the 6 sequence gap in the middle with no assassins at all.

frodrigues55
02-03-2014, 10:31 PM
That is exactly what I feel.

Darby has the best writing style by far. By FAR. But the story itself..

Yes! Don't you feel this is a bit odd?

His writting is almost flawless. There's the humour, the beauty, the sadness, all written in such small, clever, touching ways. It's all in the details - but as soon as Black Flag ended, as beautiful as that scene was, I caught myself thinking, "oh ok. what now?".

On the other hand, when the oh-so-dissed AC3 ended, I kept thinking about Connor's miserable life for days. I couldn't stop thinking about the moment he realized he was fighting an endless fight. That his whole life was devoted to something he could never achieve and that was out of his control. Darby didn't reach to me like that yet.

(And he probably would've if the game ended with a playable epilogue at Edward's home, closed by the scene of his death)

Wolfmeister1010
02-03-2014, 10:32 PM
Yes! Don't you feel this is a bit odd?

His writting is almost flawless. There's the humour, the beauty, the sadness, all written in such small, clever, touching ways. All in the details.

But as soon as Black Flag ended, as beautiful that scene was, I caught myself thinking, "oh ok. what now?".

On the other hand, when the oh-so-dissed AC3 ended, I kept thinking about Connor's miserable life for days. I couldn't stop thinking about the moment he realized he was fighting an endless fight. That his whole life was devoted to something he could never achieve and that was out of his control. Darby didn't reach to me like that yet.

(And he probably would've if the game ended with a playable epilogue at Edward's home, closed by the scene of his death)

Indeed. Agree with everything

luckyto
02-03-2014, 10:37 PM
I felt great happiness. And melancholy. I'm the father of two girls. One is not much older than Edward's girl. And the whole ship ride back, listening to Edward and his daughter's banter, watching the whale, it was so amazingly beautiful - and I think it rang so deeply because I can emotionally relate to that feeling, the feeling of being a parent and simply watching them grow and ask questions. It's amazing. It's the most incredibly powerful experience of my life.. and prior to that, I had no boring life.

I realized that Edward's quest for treasure ended with him having the greatest prize of all: family. For me, it was deeply emotional - perhaps - the most emotional ending of the entire series. It's cheezy, yeah, but real.

Shahkulu101
02-03-2014, 10:40 PM
Of course I see your points.

But notice how most of these things occurred REALLY late in the story. The story rushed some parts, like the beginning and ending, and dragged through others, like the 6 sequence gap in the middle with no assassins at all.

The beginning was fine I think, being thrown into the action was pretty thrilling - and the sequence with Duncan told us all we needed to know about Edward. The ending? How so? I thought it was perfect. The assassinations leading up to it weren't rushed at all.

The presence of the Assassin's wasn't a problem for me - the game took a risk when deciding to make it so focused on Edward and the ideas his character conveys, naturally the pirate part, since he was a pirate, took up a pretty big chunk - a chunk which displayed the benefits and drawbacks of complete freedom. All of this you see, is relative to Assassin's Creed's core themes. I'd rather that than having the Assassin's shoved in for superficial reasons. AC4 took a unique approach in it's story, it payed off for some but not for others.

Wolfmeister1010
02-03-2014, 10:40 PM
I felt great happiness. And melancholy. I'm the father of two girls. One is not much older than Edward's girl. And the whole ship ride back, listening to Edward and his daughter's banter, watching the whale, it was so amazingly beautiful - and I think it rang so deeply because I can emotionally relate to that feeling, the feeling of being a parent and simply watching them grow and ask questions. It's amazing. It's the most incredibly powerful experience of my life.. and prior to that, I had no boring life.

I realized that Edward's quest for treasure ended with him having the greatest prize of all: family. For me, it was deeply emotional - perhaps - the most emotional ending of the entire series. It's cheezy, yeah, but real.

Wow. I see your point very much. You have a personal attachment to the story. I do not, of course you see it as more emotional and overall better.

I understand your point. I simply...

I suppose I simply did not feel that magic

SixKeys
02-03-2014, 10:41 PM
AC4's problem may have been that it was too ambitious. We know they had to cut out a LOT of stuff that was important for character development, like the whole section with Anne, Mary and Rackham and basically everything with El Tiburon. Now that I'm playing the game for the second time with subtitles on I am enjoying some of the subtleties I missed the first time (because the audio in this game is just awful), but I still think there are too many characters and only one or two of them are developed at all, apart from Edward. Blackbeard was a huge waste, Calico Jack was pointless (due the cuts, probably), Anne had no personality and Stede Bonnet just kinda vanished and we never found out what happened to him. Too many Templars too - who the hell were Burgess and Cockram? Where did they suddenly come from and what part did they have to play in the grand scheme of things? I also know that Woodes Rogers didn't die at the time the game takes place, so killing him wasn't an option, but from a narrative perspective it was kind of weird that we seemed to be chasing him throughout the game and then he just disappears. If they couldn't use him as a target, why dedicate so much time to him as if he was just as important as Torres?

I don't mind the story, it has some good moments and Edward's development is pretty well handled (maybe a little rushed towards the end, but okay), but it's not very memorable as a whole. Darby's strength is writing small scenes, like when Blackbeard is talking to Edward at his retirement party, or Mary's death, "The Parting Glass", or funny little touches like Edward pickpocketing all the Templars at their meeting. Sustaining a huge cast of characters and an epic story with lots of twists and drama is not his forté. This is evidenced by the ridiculous amount of tailing missions. Darby obviously likes to focus on dialogue and building characters through their conversations, but having almost every single plot-related mission be about tailing and listening to people talking, it's just not very fun for gameplay.

Wolfmeister1010
02-03-2014, 10:41 PM
The beginning was fine I think, being thrown into the action was pretty thrilling - and the sequence with Duncan told us all we needed to know about Edward. The ending? How so? I thought it was perfect. The assassinations leading up to it weren't rushed at all.

The presence of the Assassin's wasn't a problem for me - the game took a risk when deciding to make it so focused on Edward and the ideas his character conveys, naturally the pirate part, since he was a pirate, took up a pretty big chunk - a chunk which displayed the benefits and drawbacks of complete freedom. All of this you see, is relative to Assassin's Creed's core themes. I'd rather that than having the Assassin's shoved in for superficial reasons. AC4 took a unique approach in it's story, it payed off for some but not for others.

Well when I say rushed at the end, i meant they crammed most if not all of Edward's development into the final few sequences. Yes I see your point as well.

Wolfmeister1010
02-03-2014, 10:44 PM
AC4's problem may have been that it was too ambitious. We know they had to cut out a LOT of stuff that was important for character development, like the whole section with Anne, Mary and Rackham and basically everything with El Tiburon. Now that I'm playing the game for the second time with subtitles on I am enjoying some of the subtleties I missed the first time (because the audio in this game is just awful), but I still think there are too many characters and only one or two of them are developed at all, apart from Edward. Blackbeard was a huge waste, Calico Jack was pointless (due the cuts, probably), Anne had no personality and Stede Bonnet just kinda vanished and we never found out what happened to him. Too many Templars too - who the hell were Burgess and Cockram? Where did they suddenly come from and what part did they have to play in the grand scheme of things? I also know that Woodes Rogers didn't die at the time the game takes place, so killing him wasn't an option, but from a narrative perspective it was kind of weird that we seemed to be chasing him throughout the game and then he just disappears. If they couldn't use him as a target, why dedicate so much time to him as if he was just as important as Torres?

I don't mind the story, it has some good moments and Edward's development is pretty well handled (maybe a little rushed towards the end, but okay), but it's not very memorable as a whole. Darby's strength is writing small scenes, like when Blackbeard is talking to Edward at his retirement party, or Mary's death, "The Parting Glass", or funny little touches like Edward pickpocketing all the Templars at their meeting. Sustaining a huge cast of characters and an epic story with lots of twists and drama is not his forté. This is evidenced by the ridiculous amount of tailing missions. Darby obviously likes to focus on dialogue and building characters through their conversations, but having almost every single plot-related mission be about tailing and listening to people talking, it's just not very fun for gameplay.

Agreed about the tailing stuff. Agreed about bonnet Burgess and **** guy.

But I thought Bonny had a great personality. Like when she was talking to Ed about how she just felt so empty inside after she realized that all her friends were gone, after her child did't make it.

SixKeys
02-03-2014, 10:48 PM
Agreed about the tailing stuff. Agreed about bonnet Burgess and **** guy.

But I thought Bonny had a great personality. Like when she was talking to Ed about how she just felt so empty inside after she realized that all her friends were gone, after her child did't make it.

Bonny's speech in that scene was one of the things I missed the first time because of the damn audio and I was really pissed about it. I'm not at that scene in my second playthrough yet, so I can't comment on it. She probably would have been more interesting if we had seen her transformation from a bar wench into a fearless pirate (her database entry makes it sound like the change was huge), but alas, they cut it out.

Wolfmeister1010
02-03-2014, 10:48 PM
Bonny's speech in that scene was one of the things I missed the first time because of the damn audio and I was really pissed about it. I'm not at that scene in my second playthrough yet, so I can't comment on it. She probably would have been more interesting if we had seen her transformation from a bar wench into a fearless pirate (her database entry makes it sound like the change was huge), but alas, they cut it out.

What do you mean the audio is bad? What?

luckyto
02-03-2014, 10:52 PM
Wolf, yes, it's interesting everybody's take on a story. There was a good article recently (gamespot, i think) on the dual personalities of Tomb Raider. And he talked about how his impression of the character changed when he played it again.

I think so much of it comes down to pacing. And, in my case, personal experience. Reactions are very different from other points of view. When I played Black Flag, I must have hit that magic pace where everything flowed really well. My second time through, it hasn't been the case. But I do feel that an open world has a much tougher time.


EDIT: Tailing missions is a whole different beast. That's more gameplay, and the game is seriously suffering.

Shahkulu101
02-03-2014, 10:52 PM
AC4's problem may have been that it was too ambitious. We know they had to cut out a LOT of stuff that was important for character development, like the whole section with Anne, Mary and Rackham and basically everything with El Tiburon. Now that I'm playing the game for the second time with subtitles on I am enjoying some of the subtleties I missed the first time (because the audio in this game is just awful), but I still think there are too many characters and only one or two of them are developed at all, apart from Edward. Blackbeard was a huge waste, Calico Jack was pointless (due the cuts, probably), Anne had no personality and Stede Bonnet just kinda vanished and we never found out what happened to him. Too many Templars too - who the hell were Burgess and Cockram? Where did they suddenly come from and what part did they have to play in the grand scheme of things? I also know that Woodes Rogers didn't die at the time the game takes place, so killing him wasn't an option, but from a narrative perspective it was kind of weird that we seemed to be chasing him throughout the game and then he just disappears. If they couldn't use him as a target, why dedicate so much time to him as if he was just as important as Torres?

I don't mind the story, it has some good moments and Edward's development is pretty well handled (maybe a little rushed towards the end, but okay), but it's not very memorable as a whole. Darby's strength is writing small scenes, like when Blackbeard is talking to Edward at his retirement party, or Mary's death, "The Parting Glass", or funny little touches like Edward pickpocketing all the Templars at their meeting. Sustaining a huge cast of characters and an epic story with lots of twists and drama is not his forté. This is evidenced by the ridiculous amount of tailing missions. Darby obviously likes to focus on dialogue and building characters through their conversations, but having almost every single plot-related mission be about tailing and listening to people talking, it's just not very fun for gameplay.

I can agree - I really do love the subtleties in Darby's writing and the general personalities of AC4's cast were quite entertaining but not enough development was given to each. Blackbeard for instance, was awesome. His dialogue, the little we heard, was expertly written and delivered exqusitely but his character like so many others had less of an impact than I had hoped on the overall plot.

I think it was perhaps too ambitious. Think AC2, it's relatively simple yes but overall it comes together almost perfectly. Some side characters are perhaps underutilized but all of them give something purposeful to either the plot or Ezio, and we aren't left wanting more. Unlike AC4, where the cast of characters don't deliver on their promising personalities. Blackbeard, Vane, Anne, Ade etc. were all pretty awesome, but they served pretty hollow purposes all in all.

SixKeys
02-03-2014, 10:53 PM
What do you mean the audio is bad? What?

The audio levels keep changing. When I'm on my ship, in the middle of a battle, the noise of cannons and crashing ships is blowing out my speakers. If a cut scene happens immedfiately afterwards, the sound effects are loud as hell but the dialogue is muffled. When I'm tailing people, the loudness of the audio changes depending on which way I turn my camera. In the scene with Anne she was speaking very quietly and it was hard to follow the conversation. It was the same with ACR and AC3 and it seems to be getting worse with each game. Extremely annoying.

Wolfmeister1010
02-03-2014, 10:54 PM
The audio levels keep changing. When I'm on my ship, in the middle of a battle, the noise of cannons and crashing ships is blowing out my speakers. If a cut scene happens immedfiately afterwards, the sound effects are loud as hell but the dialogue is muffled. When I'm tailing people, the loudness of the audio changes depending on which way I turn my camera. In the scene with Anne she was speaking very quietly and it was hard to follow the conversation. It was the same with ACR and AC3 and it seems to be getting worse with each game. Extremely annoying.
I have never encountered these issues.maybe I just dont notice them. You should try putting on subtitles

SixKeys
02-03-2014, 11:03 PM
I think it was perhaps too ambitious. Think AC2, it's relatively simple yes but overall it comes together almost perfectly. Some side characters are perhaps underutilized but all of them give something purposeful to either the plot or Ezio, and we aren't left wanting more because unlike AC4 the cast of characters don't deliver on their promosing personalities. Blackbeard, Vane, Anne, Ade etc. were all pretty awesome, but they served pretty hollow purposes all in all.

Exactly. People often get on AC2's case for being a cliché revenge story, but guess what? Simple stories survive the test of time the best. You can have a predictable plot, but a good writer can still make it memorable by focusing on the characters and their interactions. AC2 worked so well because while the overall plot was predictable (Ezio's family dies, go avenge them - got it), we got a bunch of memorable characters like Leonardo, La Volpe, Uncle Mario etc. AC4 also had a classically simple story at its base - greedy man learns humility and changes his ways - and it could have been just as great had they only not tried to stuff too much in there. Having Blackbeard and Adewale as Edward's two best friends would have been a good enough focus; one starts off with the same anarchistic passion as Edward and inspires him to be reckless. Then their mutual dream is shattered by reality and Edward is left fumbling in the dark. Adewale could have been more strongly depicted as starting out as a fun-loving pirate like Edward, but as time goes on, his moral compass grows stronger and he can no longer watch his friend waste his life on foolish greed. It would have been enough to have those two plus Mary as the focus, but they insisted on writing every single famous pirate from the era into a story that only spans a few years.

Hans684
02-03-2014, 11:04 PM
Please do not attempt to compare AC4's story to the masterpiece story that was AC2. Or even AC1.

Opinion, opinion, opinion...

AC2 is a typical, predicteble revange story that is black and white, with cartoon villains. And a batman-like protagonist that is a stereo type Italian. But it has the best story performance, not the best story.

AC1 is a worse underdeveloped version of a Hitman game with simular plot but in a historical setting.

And I'm not attempting, I am doing it.


I HATED Ezio as a character in AC 2 and still recognized the wonderful structure of the story and its characters.

I loved AC2 and Ezio, when i joined the franchise... Now I only like ACR & AC Embers Ezio and AC2 is almost on the bottom of my list with ACB under it. Their structure is good, their story is bad. The character is dumbed down(example: Bartalameao or Cesare) to make Godzio(batman-like stereo type Italian) the good at everything person.


Or maybe you are refering to my other post, in which I will say that even though his character might not be LIKED as much, he certainly was developed more than Edward.

Altaïr, Ezio(Godzio), Connor & Edward change at the end(more or less).

SixKeys
02-03-2014, 11:07 PM
I have never encountered these issues.maybe I just dont notice them. You should try putting on subtitles

Which is what I'm doing right now, as I've already said twice. :p I just don't think I should be forced to, because I prefer my games without subtitles. I have zero problems with the audio in AC1 through ACB, but starting with ACR they did something, and ever since then these problems persist. It's most notable in walk-and-talk missions. Like in ACR if Ezio was walking with one of his students, I would keep having to turn the camera or else only Ezio's sound would be fine and the student would sound like they were miles away, or vice versa.

Fatal-Feit
02-03-2014, 11:09 PM
AC:IV shouldn't have been AC:IV. It should have been simply called AC:Black Flag.

Shahkulu101
02-03-2014, 11:17 PM
Opinion, opinion, opinion...

AC2 is a typical, predicteble revange story that is black and white, with cartoon villains. And a batman-like protagonist that is a stereo type Italian. But it has the best story performance, not the best story.

AC1 is a worse underdeveloped version of a Hitman game with simular plot but in a historical setting.

And I'm not attempting, I am doing it.



I loved AC2 and Ezio, when i joined the franchise... Now I only like ACR & AC Embers Ezio and AC2 is almost on the bottom of my list with ACB under it. Their structure is good, their story is bad. The character is dumbed down(example: Bartalameao or Cesare) to make Godzio(batman-like stereo type Italian) the good at everything person.



Altaïr, Ezio(Godzio), Connor & Edward change at the end(more or less).

I loved Godzio, but I gotta agree with Hans here. Had myself a laugh at a few of these points. :p

I just finished Brotherhood the other night, and it's most definitely a power fantasy but hey, it's perhaps the most entertaining game in the series. Games are games bruh

luckyto
02-03-2014, 11:27 PM
See, I find Brotherhood's story to be the worst of the bunch. Between Lucy's still-unexplained demise, the Ezio who mistreats his sister and mom, and the poor poor villain development --- I just found didn't care for it ACIII and Revelations are far superior ... in my opinion. It just didn't sit well with me.

dbzk1999
02-03-2014, 11:29 PM
See, I find Brotherhood's story to be the worst of the bunch. Between Lucy's still-unexplained demise, the Ezio who mistreats his sister and mom, and the poor poor villain development --- I just found didn't care for it ACIII and Revelations are far superior ... in my opinion. It just didn't sit well with me.

He didn't really mistreat his mother now his sister on the other hand

Shahkulu101
02-03-2014, 11:42 PM
See, I find Brotherhood's story to be the worst of the bunch. Between Lucy's still-unexplained demise, the Ezio who mistreats his sister and mom, and the poor poor villain development --- I just found didn't care for it ACIII and Revelations are far superior ... in my opinion. It just didn't sit well with me.

The story was poor, but playing as a seriously OP Ezio taking over Rome and eliminating the Borgia influence makes you feel badass. The combat feels great and there are plenty of well-designed and fun main missions - i.e infiltrating the Castello, Siege of Viana, Saving-fakeJesus-in-the-colosseum...

EDIT: oh and ALL the side missions are fantastic barring the courtesans and thieves missions but no one can deny the awesomeness of Leo's War Machines, Lairs of Romulus, Borgia towers etc...

luckyto
02-03-2014, 11:48 PM
The Side Missions remain among the best, until Black Flag came along. And yes, he was OP --- too OP. I think the easy combat irks me more than the story. Brotherhood was and is the biggest let-down for me in the series. For all the things that people railed on ACIII for, I really felt like it had more heart and ambition and was a better game than Brotherhood.

SixKeys
02-03-2014, 11:48 PM
The story was poor, but playing as a seriously OP Ezio taking over Rome and eliminating the Borgia influence makes you feel badass. The combat feels great and there are plenty of well-designed and fun main missions - i.e infiltrating the Castello, Siege of Viana, Saving-fakeJesus-in-the-colosseum...

EDIT: oh and ALL the side missions are fantastic barring the courtesans and thieves missions but no one can deny the awesomeness of Leo's War Machines, Lairs of Romulus, Borgia towers etc...

Couldn't agree more. ACB is my favorite game despite the story because it's just so entertaining.

Shahkulu101
02-03-2014, 11:51 PM
The Side Missions remain among the best, until Black Flag came along. And yes, he was OP --- too OP. I think the easy combat irks me more than the story. Brotherhood was and is the biggest let-down for me in the series. For all the things that people railed on ACIII for, I really felt like it had more heart and ambition and was a better game than Brotherhood.

Probably just me but I find Connor to be the most OP as I find AC3's combat the easiest, yet the most entertaining. I don't know if it's just me?...

STDlyMcStudpants
02-04-2014, 12:02 AM
No game will ever get the credit it deserves....
Some people see mediocrity in games while others see a fun time...
It depends what youre used to...
A child loves mac and cheese but by time youre an adult its just mehh
If you're going to compare games you will never appreciate what you have infront of you.
As a game Assassins Creed 4 is brilliant and fun. As an assassins creed game its repetitive...
I like to not compare games though because its like talking myself into not liking it...

STDlyMcStudpants
02-04-2014, 12:03 AM
Probably just me but I find Connor to be the most OP as I find AC3's combat the easiest, yet the most entertaining. I don't know if it's just me?...

I believe Connor was made OP on purpose much like Old Ezio...both are brutes.
I would hate if ever assassin handled the same.

luckyto
02-04-2014, 12:09 AM
Oh no, Connor is not OP. You can actually die in that game if you pick a big enough fight. I don't think you can pick a big enough fight in Brotherhood to ever die. Ever.

STD, don't hate on the mac n cheese. :P

Fatal-Feit
02-04-2014, 12:11 AM
Probably just me but I find Connor to be the most OP as I find AC3's combat the easiest, yet the most entertaining. I don't know if it's just me?...

Connor was handled much,much better despite his brutality in gameplay. AC:B didn't hold back. If Rocket Launchers were available at that time period, you would damn well expect Ezio to own one.

Shahkulu101
02-04-2014, 12:24 AM
Oh no, Connor is not OP. You can actually die in that game if you pick a big enough fight. I don't think you can pick a big enough fight in Brotherhood to ever die. Ever.

STD, don't hate on the mac n cheese. :P

It's almost impossible to die in 3, you can take an entire fort head on. In fact, you're encouraged to do so. I guess I find 3 easier because of increased fluidity and the fact that the combat controls were slightly clunky up until 3.

LoyalACFan
02-04-2014, 12:38 AM
It's almost impossible to die in 3, you can take an entire fort head on. In fact, you're encouraged to do so. I guess I find 3 easier because of increased fluidity and the fact that the combat controls were slightly clunky up until 3.

I think Connor and Ezio are both equally OP, but Connor might feel especially OP just because 3's gameplay was smoother. Plus, he had a bunch of pointless crap in his inventory, arguably more than Ezio. We had way too much stuff in Revelations, but at least most of it was useful (albeit useful for the same reason, just killing dudes). Whereas in III, half the tools were utterly worthless (looking at you, bait/snares/horse whistle/smoke bombs)

poptartz20
02-04-2014, 02:08 AM
I think Connor and Ezio are both equally OP, but Connor might feel especially OP just because 3's gameplay was smoother. Plus, he had a bunch of pointless crap in his inventory, arguably more than Ezio. We had way too much stuff in Revelations, but at least most of it was useful (albeit useful for the same reason, just killing dudes). Whereas in III, half the tools were utterly worthless (looking at you, bait/snares/horse whistle/smoke bombs)

Whoa, you've got to be kidding me... Connor having useless things over Ezio!? haha. He had a gun, crossbow, throwing knives, smoke bombs, regular darts, poison darts, sword, a fighting knife, does this list need to go on!?


No game will ever get the credit it deserves....
Some people see mediocrity in games while others see a fun time...
It depends what youre used to...
A child loves mac and cheese but by time youre an adult its just mehh
If you're going to compare games you will never appreciate what you have infront of you.
As a game Assassins Creed 4 is brilliant and fun. As an assassins creed game its repetitive...
I like to not compare games though because its like talking myself into not liking it...

*slow clap* Thank you studpants! :) I agree!

Fatal-Feit
02-04-2014, 02:49 AM
I think Connor and Ezio are both equally OP, but Connor might feel especially OP just because 3's gameplay was smoother. Plus, he had a bunch of pointless crap in his inventory, arguably more than Ezio. We had way too much stuff in Revelations, but at least most of it was useful (albeit useful for the same reason, just killing dudes). Whereas in III, half the tools were utterly worthless (looking at you, bait/snares/horse whistle/smoke bombs)

What's wrong with smoke bombs in AC:3? Horse Whistle is really useful in the Frontiers and so are the hunting props. If you ask me, the weapon wheel is the main issue with AC:3's tools.

LoyalACFan
02-04-2014, 06:57 AM
What's wrong with smoke bombs in AC:3? Horse Whistle is really useful in the Frontiers and so are the hunting props. If you ask me, the weapon wheel is the main issue with AC:3's tools.

Smoke bombs are useless, period. In all the games. You can just run directly out of a combat situation and climb to safety, no need to drop a smoke cloud. Horses in general SUCK in AC3 (they're completely useless on everything but major trails) so I never used the whistle either. Snares and bait were all right, but the animals were so common and easy to hit that you really didn't need to lay traps. In fact it was more of a hassle to do so instead of just shooting them. Just my opinion.

But yeah, the wheel itself is objectively terrible, that's not even down to personal opinion. You shouldn't have to scroll through every single item to get what you're looking for. Plus there was that awkward pause when you pulled it up before any of the icons would load. That was annoying.

LoyalACFan
02-04-2014, 07:03 AM
Whoa, you've got to be kidding me... Connor having useless things over Ezio!? haha. He had a gun, crossbow, throwing knives, smoke bombs, regular darts, poison darts, sword, a fighting knife, does this list need to go on!?

Well like I said, Ezio had a ton of redundant gear too, but I at least used most of it. Connor had just as much stuff, but a lot of his equipment just wasn't useful at all. Particularly snares, bait, horse whistle, and smoke bombs (which I know were in Ezio's games too, but they were kinda fun to screw around with in Revelations because they were ranged).

adventurewomen
02-04-2014, 05:47 PM
AC4 was overrated, imo. I felt disappointed after completing AC4, I fell for the hype and the hype didn't live up. :(

aL_____eX
02-04-2014, 06:10 PM
I think it's neither overrated nor underrated. Ubi did a great job, they kind of revitalized the series with a fresh, new setting and a new way of dealing with the core of the franchise. I loved it like I loved every game before and it felt as good and atmospheric as every game before. I'm really looking forward to ACV now...

jayjay275
02-04-2014, 06:25 PM
I thought AC4 was the 2nd best AC game, with AC2 as the 1st....

STDlyMcStudpants
02-04-2014, 07:23 PM
AC4 was overrated, imo. I felt disappointed after completing AC4, I fell for the hype and the hype didn't live up. :(

I have to disagree with you here...
I felt like AC IV actually had no hype what so ever.
I myself had 0 expectations for this game. The Naval in AC 3 just wasnt for me, I felt like it didnt belong in the type of game AC was..AC IV quickly changed my mind on naval. It was my favorite part of the game.
I will say though, that I was disappointed with the campaign. The Templar hunt missions were my favorite side missions to date BUT the only thing that stopped AC IV from dethroning AC3 as my favorite game of all time was the constant tailing and sneaking. I was over it by sequence 4.

luckyto
02-04-2014, 08:19 PM
Thanks everyone for the feedback. Obviously, I feel like ACIV was both a good story and fun to play just roaming around. There have been few AC's which satisfied on both accounts.

Save the tailing missions.

Megas_Doux
02-05-2014, 12:46 AM
AC4 was overrated, imo. I felt disappointed after completing AC4, I fell for the hype and the hype didn't live up. :(

To me:

AC III for its story and combat.
AC IV for the uber improved mission design and stealth, overall atmosphere and BACKGROUND music. Richer and more entertaining side activities.

Fatal-Feit
02-05-2014, 03:40 AM
Smoke bombs are useless, period. In all the games. You can just run directly out of a combat situation and climb to safety, no need to drop a smoke cloud. It's subjective for sure. I personally found them useful in all the games except AC:B and AC:IV Horses in general SUCK in AC3 (they're completely useless on everything but major trails) so I never used the whistle either. They were indeed a huge mess in AC:3. Sometimes when I play AC:2, I wonder what went wrong. But I did find horses handy many times in the game, despite the flaws. It beats running back and forth during Frontier Missions. Snares and bait were all right, but the animals were so common and easy to hit that you really didn't need to lay traps. In fact it was more of a hassle to do so instead of just shooting them. Just my opinion. They've been practical enough for one AC title game. That's for sure.

But yeah, the wheel itself is objectively terrible, that's not even down to personal opinion. You shouldn't have to scroll through every single item to get what you're looking for. Plus there was that awkward pause when you pulled it up before any of the icons would load. That was annoying.

Definitely! I feel specifically bad the console players. I remember it feeling like it's loading the map or pause menu on PS3. On PC, it's seamless and quick enough to brush off, but when compared to the rest of the franchise, it's just embarrassing.

berninheck
02-05-2014, 01:48 PM
Haven't read through the entire thread, so SIAP, but my only real complaint/disconnect with the story was Edward's concern for killing folks during many cutscenes while the gameplay has him slaughtering people by the hundreds/thousands. Other than that, I quite enjoyed the whole pirate experience. The ship battles were a lot of fun.

UKassassinsfan
02-07-2014, 03:19 AM
I really don't think a company like ubisoft can use the excuse of "not enough time" for the reason to cut out loads of development and rushing. They should make the story longer, even if they made a game as long as GTA. I'd love to see how well they could develop a game if they set themselves no time limit? I know it's just business but I found the game was rushed, especially the later periods, which is always a complaint of ac games! I agree with the previous comments about Darby's writing being good for small fine details but after playing ac4 I didn't really feel satisfied, I was just like meh now what?

pirate1802
02-07-2014, 04:20 PM
For me it had the best story in the series. Yes, some characters received less screentime than they should have, but rarely any of the was boring, even in the small windows they got. Yes, it doesn't go the usual AC way, but I'm thankful it didn't. It showed us an outsider's perspective to the conflict. Every game doesn't need to be a copy of the AC2-AC3 formula. Its good to have something different from time to time. And as far as I'm concerned, its still an AC game because what defines AC for me is not whether the protag is an assassin or not, but the involvement of the Creed and its struggles. And there was definitelly more Creed involvement than the last two numbered games atleast. And it was the only AC games where I played almost all the story missions one after another. I was always eager to see what happened next, something I ca't say about other AC games or even many other games in general. It had a great intro, pacing, Edward's transformation and outro imo, although I must say I'm no connoisseur of writing quality, so its possible I have a very low standard and AC IV passed it easily.

I think both of Darby's games are underrated for their stories. Somebody mentioned that we never got to meet Bonnet after the first time and they didn't know who Burgess and Cochram were. You can hear the guards talking about Bonnet's execution, how he begged just before he was executed during the prison break And Burgess and Cochram, you see those guys hanging around with Hornigold when Rogers comes to negotiate. Horni even calls them by their names if I remember it correctly. Sure you can say that these bits of information could have presented better to the player but that is an entirely different discussion compared to saying these bits were not in the game at all!


please do not attempt to compare AC4's story to the masterpiece story that was AC2.

wat

As a game I'd agree with you, AC2 was indeed a masterpiece, but for its story? I can't.. Infact its story was the only thing I didn't like in the game. Imo, probably the weakest story after Brotherhood in the series.


AC4 was overrated, imo. I felt disappointed after completing AC4, I fell for the hype and the hype didn't live up. :(

I felt exactly the same way after finishing AC III


Haven't read through the entire thread, so SIAP, but my only real complaint/disconnect with the story was Edward's concern for killing folks during many cutscenes while the gameplay has him slaughtering people by the hundreds/thousands.

Edward never killed innocents or surrendering combatants. Even pirates had some sort of code which him, Ade and Blackbeard discussed in a scene. They never harm civilians or enemies who have surrendered. Which is the entire point of the ship-boarding mechanism. You kill people, people then surrender and you stop killing. Which is why he didn't like it when Vane sunk a civilian ship and Roberts killed that captured captain. The disconnect would be a legitimate one if the game showed Eddy killing indiscriminately at one point and then whining when someone else did it. But he never does that. If you look at it, Edward was no more bloodthirsty than the previous protagonists, and he too was governed by a sort of code not too dissimilar functionally, from the ones binding previous assassins.

SixKeys
02-07-2014, 05:52 PM
I was the one who brought up Stede Bonnet and Burgess and Cockram. I'm only on my second playthrough and subtitles are helping me get a better understanding of some stuff I missed the first time, but I do think it's a problem of presentation. Which is not to say AC2 didn't have similar problems as well (with it's sprawling cast of Templars, some of whom got more screentime than others). In Bonnet's case, it makes no sense that we find his clothes on a random island somewhere if he was executed at the same prison where Edward was taken to. In Burgess and Cockram's case it was simply a case of them not having a proper introduction. They just show up with Rogers and don't seem in any way important until you're told to go and assassinate them.

For narrative purposes, it's best to introduce all your villains in a way that gives you time to digest who they are and what their role is in the story. In AC1 we were always debriefed first by Al Mualim, then by the Bureau leaders, and then went and gathered more information on the streets. Each target had a lead-up and felt important. In AC2 we got several scenes of the Templars all gathering in one place and discussing their plans, so you could memorize their faces. AC4 had a good scene near the beginning when Edward infiltrates the Templar meeting and we are introduced to four of the main targets (Torres, Rogers, Du Casse and El Tiburon). That scene, just like AC2, allows you time to memorize them and observe their interactions. Burgess and Cockram and a couple of other targets seemed to come out of nowhere in the middle of the story.




Edward never killed innocents or surrendering combatants. Even pirates had some sort of code which him, Ade and Blackbeard discussed in a scene. They never harm civilians or enemies who have surrendered. Which is the entire point of the ship-boarding mechanism. You kill people, people then surrender and you stop killing. Which is why he didn't like it when Vane sunk a civilian ship and Roberts killed that captured captain. The disconnect would be a legitimate one if the game showed Eddy killing indiscriminately at one point and then whining when someone else did it. But he never does that. If you look at it, Edward was no more bloodthirsty than the previous protagonists, and he too was governed by a sort of code not too dissimilar functionally, from the ones binding previous assassins.

This doesn't really hold water. There is a required quota of soldiers you are forced to kill before each boarding. This includes ships that had no intention of harming you. Edward plundered a whole bunch of ships, killed a certain number of innocent soldiers who were only trying to defend themselves, and let the rest live. It's possible to go through other AC games with minimal killing of innocent bystanders (which is what non-hostile soldiers are), but it's not possible in AC4 due to the fact that there's no way to upgrade the Jackdaw without extensive plundering. At some point you are simply forced to go out and attack non-aggressive ships to loot their resources, and kill innocents in the process.

MadJC1986
02-07-2014, 07:26 PM
Edward never killed surrendering combatants.

Fort captains

SirZeel
02-07-2014, 07:29 PM
Fort captains

And all the surrended fort soldiers.
And all the surrended soldiers on the ships you destroy to repair the Jackdaw.

pirate1802
02-07-2014, 08:31 PM
This doesn't really hold water. There is a required quota of soldiers you are forced to kill before each boarding. This includes ships that had no intention of harming you. Edward plundered a whole bunch of ships, killed a certain number of innocent soldiers who were only trying to defend themselves, and let the rest live. It's possible to go through other AC games with minimal killing of innocent bystanders (which is what non-hostile soldiers are), but it's not possible in AC4 due to the fact that there's no way to upgrade the Jackdaw without extensive plundering. At some point you are simply forced to go out and attack non-aggressive ships to loot their resources, and kill innocents in the process.

Remember we're talking about AC. In here, for some reason, enemy soldiers, whether they are attacking you or just doing their jobs, are not classified as innocents and considered fair game. So the ships Edward attacks, are not innocent, by AC logic, even if they are by common sense. Its just following the kind of logic in place since the first game. And remember the fun times in AC3 when we would attack and plunder innocent redcoat convoys in AC3. But then again, game dictates they were not innocent.


Fort captains

Ermm.. yeah. I missed that one. Seems like Edward is a pretentious ****** afterall.


And all the surrended fort soldiers.

You are not required nor forced to kill the surrendered soldiers, except as pointed out, the captains.


And all the surrended soldiers on the ships you destroy to repair the Jackdaw.

I must have missed the cutscenes where Edward shoves his scimitar into the necks of each of those kneeling soldiers..

SirZeel
02-07-2014, 08:41 PM
You are not required nor forced to kill the surrendered soldiers, except as pointed out, the captains.

Also you don't get the "The Ancestor didn't kill innocent people or domestic animals" message when you kill them, so presumibly he did it.
Plus you don't get disconnected if you kill all of them, so we can guess that also if he really didn't, it wasn't against his moral and ethic view [and remember: they are all ON THEIR KNEES with hands behind their head].


I must have missed the cutscenes where Edward shoves his scimitar into the necks of each of those kneeling soldiers..

Oh no, you didn't miss anything, but let's think about it.
Edward's crew is full, there are a bunch of people on their knees waiting you for:

1) Promote them to guide your fleet.
2) Letting them go [to get lower hunters' level]
3) Sink their ship AND not taking them on yours [since, as we said, Edward's crew is full or might be].

When you choose option 3), where do they go while you are bombarding the ship? They aren't in the water or you would see them; they aren't in your crew for the reasons we just said.

ze_topazio
02-08-2014, 02:15 AM
In Bonnet's case, it makes no sense that we find his clothes on a random island somewhere if he was executed at the same prison where Edward was taken to

Bonnet was executed in Charleston, South Carolina.