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  1. #1
    SixKeys's Avatar Senior Member
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    Mentors Guild Community Discussion - The Storytelling of Assassin's Creed

    Hi all,

    This week's community discussion thread is about the storytelling in AC.


    MAKING SURE THE FANS ARE HEARD

    As part of a set of new Community Initiatives, we'd like to give opportunities to the community to give more direct feedback, and will now host weekly discussion on specific topics that relate the Assassin's Creed Franchise. These community discussions will take place on the AC subreddit, the Official Ubisoft Forums, and on the Mentors Guild Twitter. These discussions will be open for 1 week. The threads and responses will be shared directly with the Assassin's Creed Community Development team, who will then pass that info on to concerned parties within Ubisoft itself.

    While the Mentors get opportunities to speak directly with the creators of Assassin’s Creed and frequently communicate with the Community Development Team, this is not the case for every fan. We want to change that. We want fans to have their voices heard directly, in the same ways the Mentors do. These activities are a step towards meeting this goal. If you want Ubisoft to see what you have to say, this is the place to do it.


    THIS WEEK'S TOPIC

    Topic:
    The Storytelling of Assassin's Creed


    Info: For over a decade, the Assassin's Creed franchise has told an epic tale of two warring shadow organizations fighting for the future of humanity. It has spanned generations, featured hundreds if not thousands of characters, and taken place all over the world, and across eras and societies of history. This story has been told through the lens of a quite a few protagonists, both in the past and present. Assassin's Creed's story may have began in the games, but has branched into multiple pieces of transmedia, including books, short films, comics, and feature film.


    QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

    -What are your thoughts on the overall storytelling of the Assassin's Creed Franchise?


    -What are your thoughts on the current state of storytelling in Assassin's Creed?


    -What are your thoughts on the use of transmedia to expand the Assassin's Creed universe?


    -What are your thoughts on the present-day narrative?


    -What are your thoughts on having separate protagonists for every game? What are your thoughts on using the same protagonists across multiple games?


    -Do you feel satisfied with the storytelling?


    -Are you excited for the future of the Assassin's Creed story?


    -Do you feel like the series has remained faithful to established canon/lore?



    As always, please feel free to add any thoughts you might have that are not covered by these example questions!


    REMEMBER:

    While these discussions are meant to allow for honest and raw feedback directly from the community, the best way to ensure your voice is heard is to be constructive - be critical of the process, not the people. Be specific with your criticisms and suggest tangible solutions and improvements.
    We hope to see active participation and that this will be a successful way of getting the fans' voices truly heard.
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  2. #2
    cawatrooper9's Avatar AC Forum Moderator
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    Ah, this might be my favorite topic yet, and possibly one of the most important ones we've covered.

    I think almost all of these issues are very closely intermingled, so I won't go point by point on this one.

    I guess you could say my "Golden Rule" for Assassin's Creed is this: The series' greatest potential is the ability it has to tell an overarching, complex story across all aspects of our world's history.

    That includes the known history (the main time period), the unknown history (the Isu eras) and the present/future (modern day content). They can and should all be linked, both with the lore and with storytelling themes.

    At the risk of sounding overly harsh, I'd say this potential has never been fully realized. There have been great moments, such as Ezio/Altair/Desmond's meeting in the Nexus, the Rift in Syndicate, or the connections in the Kenway trilogy, but I think they can do even better. One of the things that I have frequently said is one of the biggest missed opportunities in the series is this screen from the opening of Unity.



    Imagine if some year, instead of a huge sprawling open world, we got a game that featured several scaled down worlds (maybe cities scaled like Odyssey's) set across various time periods and locations. Now, imagine a coherent story thread that weaves between each of these settings- maybe something like a Peace of Eden connecting them all, a family's legacy, or just the general idea of a related struggle between the Templars and the Assassins. You could be playing as a Shogun in feudal Japan, then later continue that same story as an Assassin trying to fight off Conquistador invaders in Teotihuacán several decades later.

    Now, I don't think every single game would be like that. This is a very micro-level take on the idea of the series. Instead, I think this could also be utilized by creating games with a more focused setting, and making a narrative thread between them. And this has been done to pretty good effect several times in the series, with the Ezio trilogy and the Desmond Saga being two pretty obvious examples. A lot of time, these sagas have overlapped, and I think that's fine (credit to Mentor Turul for this image).



    Then there's just the idea of storytelling in general, ignoring its contributions to running series threads. We can see this a lot, I think. For instance, the "family" story in AC Odyssey. It didn't really contribute a ton to the mythos of the Assassins or Templars, but I think there were definitely some well written parts in it. I definitely don't think that every scene needs to add some sort of huge bit of lore to the overarching narrative, and slowing things down to take more personal and intimate views at characters and their lives can be very important. Balance is key.

    Finally, I think transmedia can be effective (I think Star Wars has used it to pretty good effect on more than one occasion) and I think the idea of transmedia gels pretty well with my "Golden Rule". It's just, to me, it feels like AC transmedia hasn't built up this universe- it's torn it down. I know this is a pretty common opinion, but I can't stress enough that the games should 100% be the primary storytelling vehicle.

    Anyway, I am excited for the future of the series, for sure. I think Odyssey really did do some things that I'm curious to see explored in future content.

    Thanks Six!
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  3. #3
    pesto.'s Avatar Senior Member
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    -What are your thoughts on the overall storytelling of the Assassin's Creed Franchise?
    Honestly this is a weak point of the franchise. There's so little nuance, it picked up a little around Unity, but then went straight back to reductive and in some ways apologetic feeling.


    -What are your thoughts on the current state of storytelling in Assassin's Creed?
    Better than it's been in the past in some ways and worse in others. There's little clear motivation for pursuing certain tasks beyond grind/xp, and it's not clear what the main plot is. But on the other hand the characters feel stronger in a wider world, the aspects such an open ended open world bring improve things, there are more individual smaller stories and side stories, and characters you get to hang out with. In a way we've gone from narrative to character driven, which is a step forwards. Now the characters need to be more than 2mm deep.

    -What are your thoughts on the use of transmedia to expand the Assassin's Creed universe?
    Not keen. It was a huge problem for Destiny where most of the game's story wasn't in the actual game, and it sucked. Although some might consider me fairly hardcore as a gamer I consider myself a casual gamer in that I am not willing to invest heavily into a game to the point that I would bother reading lore elsewhere or play across different platforms, I do not have my iPad or phone sitting next to my PS4 or Xbox. I want my entire experience in the main game.

    Of course if you wanted to make an AC TV series on Netflix or more films, this time a little more weighty, or start building a library of books to go along with AC, then that's all fine. So long as there's nothing dependent on this in the games.

    If you have a lot of lore that you can't just fit in to the main cutscenes then add it elsewhere in game, because obviously when you have about 15 missions and each one only has dialog for a page or two tops then that's not a lot of time for character development. I liked Kassandra mentioning things as she entered a new location, telling you her thoughts. Look at how God Of War used the boat as a location to pass on lore and backstory and discuss latest events with simply storytelling. This is a good way to handle this stuff. Look at how GTA mentions your exploits on the radio. Gossip from NPC's would be a great way to deliver additional story content as well as make your decision feel more permanent and affecting of the world you're within.

    Alternatively go full on Witcher 3, have side quests that branch from the main storyline to fill out additional lore. Allow it to be ok for them to time out if you pass a certain point. It's ok if a player needs to play a game a few times to get all the content.

    -What are your thoughts on the present-day narrative?
    Really dislike it. It feels like it's played out, there's nothing more to say, let it die already. It breaks the immersion and feels like it should be spun off into a separate game entirely. Here I wouldn't mind if that were trans media, i.e. an iPhone stealth game or something. An optional addition for those that want it.

    -What are your thoughts on having separate protagonists for every game? What are your thoughts on using the same protagonists across multiple games?
    I think both can be great, and AC has already done both. But heck, I would love to revisit some of the characters we've played more, including even the recent ones Kassandra and Bayek. But I'd love new characters, when do we get to play as Robin Hood?

    -Do you feel satisfied with the storytelling?
    No. Because I think it lacks nuance and underestimates the audience. The people I see talking about AC online are for the most part articulate, intelligent and thoughtful people or all ages. Yet a lot of the storytelling would fit better in Far Cry, Just Cause or Saints Row. Even GTA has a far more meaty approach to both story and dialog and that's targeting young teens.


    -Are you excited for the future of the Assassin's Creed story?
    At this point the story is irrelevant to me. I care about the characters if they're played by engaging voice actors, I love the world and game mechanics. But the story is as deep and important as Space Invaders.


    -Do you feel like the series has remained faithful to established canon/lore?
    Yes, and that's a problem. Odyssey is an improvement because it circumvents a lot of that.


    As always, please feel free to add any thoughts you might have that are not covered by these example questions!
    Individual stories are important, but focus more on characters. Also try to be a little more nuanced and true to the historical figures. Julius Caesar was reduced to a driveling idiot with a god complex in Origins, I think he was even presented as emperor which was never the case (he famously defended the republic and forgave the senate for going after him), yet here was the man who gave us the modern calendar and time keeping, who reinvigorated the roman empire, doing many great works for Rome, getting rid of the corruption and improving the lives of the citizens, who conquered Gaul, who was captured by ptolemy and escaped with Cleopatra writing one of the love stories that sear through history. It's a fictional universe but with material like that to end up with such a weak set of characters and vapid scenes is almost unforgivable.

    History is a list of the of the greatest heroes and villains we have created. I know that presents problems when dealing with modern sensibilities, these were not politically correct people. But even if slightly reinterpreted they are still incredible and there's no excuse not to give them nuance and complexity. You now have games as a service, deliver the story over a longer period if necessary to give each character a fair shout, add more side quests related to the main characters.

    Also stop pulling all the punches. When a character dies who is important it's huge motivation but we should feel motivated, not just "oh remember that guy right at the beginning of the story that you were told was important but you never saw them again till the end where they'd died before you got there and your character said how pissed they were, so that's why we're doing this". Make us cry. Lows are as important as highs.

    Show don't tell (goes with the above, Bayeks friend dying was a prime example of doing this wrong with tell don't show).

    If you must have modern day in there - then take it seriously and make it worthwhile. HBO Drama quality writing, don't add "playable" elements in there unless there's a purpose to it, i.e. just use a cutscene, or use transmedia for it instead of forcing the player out of what they're doing. I wouldn't mind the odd cutscene outside now and then so long as it's not as drawn out as Metal Gear Solid. I don't like feeling like I'm being ripped out of the freedom of open world and the narrative I'm building myself and then locked in another body in a locked room in a locked universe with nothing but some email to read before I'm allowed to carry on. It's not cognitively dissonant in a cool way that mirrors the experience of people in the animus, it's just annoying like a pop-up advert on a website.

    Allow the use of more varied camera angles during dialog too. Over the shoulder is great some of the time but you can spice things up with a few more angles. The visual storytelling is as important as the written storytelling. Look at how GTA, RDR do things, anything by Naughty Dog too. Look even at how you guys did things with Watchdogs.

    The bad guys always end up being just purely unlikable in AC and that's boring. There's maybe some side characters with depth, but it's OK to have a likable bad guy, to have someone who you sympathize with is often better, it's OK to have to have moments of introspection for your own character too, and it's ok to have some character growth on both sides. Right now I feel it is formula by the books for both the hero and the main villain in each AC and it makes you feel less invested in them.

    Bring the storytelling up to the standards of the visuals, sound and gameplay. AC should have moments of silliness but it shouldn't be far-cry, it should have moments of pathos but it shouldn't be a Tom Clancy game, it should feel epic just as history is, you should invest in the characters as heavily as possible. Right now AC feels DC when it should feel Marvel.
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  4. #4
    pesto.'s Avatar Senior Member
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    I always felt being able to travel back/forth in time in a single location would be a core part of AC too. But other games that have used that mechanic have often felt repetitive, you end up doing the same things in multiple timelines "find the same relic in different timelines" or "open the door here, for your character in the future to be able to go through" etc.

    I've often wondered if it would ever be possible to have a series of games where the maps could connect in some way. Like jigsaw pieces or Ordinance Survey maps. So you could perhaps have AC Italy, and AC France, and your character would literally be able to walk off the edge of one game into the map of the other. Creating a vast meta-map.

    Perhaps if AC became a full service then DLC updates to an existing game could contain different time-periods too. If they can't do the whole map then it may even fit into canon to have a single person experiencing too many different people's lives beginning to have a breakdown with bleed between different eras and different times, that way you can have different era's on a single large map. Escape the mercenaries simply by walking into a different timezone similar to syndicate and unity, but without the actual helix rift.
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  5. #5
    cawatrooper9's Avatar AC Forum Moderator
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    Originally Posted by pesto. Go to original post
    I always felt being able to travel back/forth in time in a single location would be a core part of AC too. But other games that have used that mechanic have often felt repetitive, you end up doing the same things in multiple timelines "find the same relic in different timelines" or "open the door here, for your character in the future to be able to go through" etc.

    Gameplay-wise like that it could be interesting, but I can see how you might get annoyed quickly with it, or for it to start to feel gimmicky.

    But from a story perspective, I think it could feel a lot less invasive. Like, not every single thing that happens needs to be be something that connects to another era, but there are elements that weave through each of the eras, making it feel like all one universe.


    I've often wondered if it would ever be possible to have a series of games where the maps could connect in some way. Like jigsaw pieces or Ordinance Survey maps. So you could perhaps have AC Italy, and AC France, and your character would literally be able to walk off the edge of one game into the map of the other. Creating a vast meta-map.

    That's a pretty fascinating idea, almost treating later releases like DLC.

    How do you see that affecting story? Would having access to previous games open up more story content in there as well?
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  6. #6
    pesto.'s Avatar Senior Member
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    Well I was thinking it would simply allow for an expanded world to explore without those annoying borders, even if there are only procedurally created contents in those area like mercenaries, faction battles and daily missions.

    Of course it'd be nice if you could seamlessly do the missions and quests for the map/region as if it were just one big game, but that might be problematic with different characters and different eras. But perhaps in a game where it's all set with the same character or at least the same time period you could do that, even taking into account new skills or different progression trees and new mechanics added into newer games. You could end up with a very very busy set of maps of course. It just seemed like a fun idea and the quality of artwork and engine has reached a point that means that it wouldn't feel terribly odd if you abutted two AC maps against each other, I mean the older games on this generation of consoles are by no means looking ugly or long in the tooth, they could coexist (but for the era differences). I could see sailing north from Egypt to reach Greece seamlessly and not batting an eyelid as the sky and lighting transition occurs just as smoothly as going into or out of Memphis.
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  7. #7
    I don't have anything to say in much detail, just a plea to devote as much time and attention to modern day content as possible. The concepts the series is built on are so strong but rarely feel like they're utilized to their full potential.
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  8. #8
    ninja4hire10's Avatar Member
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    *What are your thoughts on the overall storytelling of the Assassin's Creed Franchise?

    I'm a little on the fence about this one. Overall, it's fine. But what I'd like to see is a return to story elements of the earlier games. I think AC's gotten back to its roots a bit in this regard...a little...but I'm still wanting that hard-hitting, thought-provoking story that shows the many shades of grey that exist in what's become (somewhat) a black n' white paint-by-numbers AC world. Tie real world events into the lore, like in AC2, or go deeper into the two conflicting ideologies, like Connor and Haytham's argument in AC3.

    -What are your thoughts on the current state of storytelling in Assassin's Creed?

    See above answer.


    -What are your thoughts on the use of transmedia to expand the Assassin's Creed universe?

    More. Give me more. The movie was so-so, but a live action show on a streaming service is better suited for the brand. Loved the Brahman and The Chain graphic novels. Never read the prose novels. I think if these other properties can create an expansive universes, like the way Marvel-Disney has done with their superhero and Star Wars franchises, then Ubi can (and should) do the same with AC. And Watch_Dogs. And Splinter Cell. Maybe not Just Dance.

    -What are your thoughts on the present-day narrative?

    I get that it's the tying thread, but I don't particularly care too much, at least in terms of playing through modern day elements. I do like Layla much more than Desmond. But as I said above, having a return to how actions or events in the past relating to the Assassin's vs Templars impact our modern day society is that wonderful blend of pseudo plausibility that makes the series unlike any other.

    -What are your thoughts on having separate protagonists for every game? What are your thoughts on using the same protagonists across multiple games?

    Either-or. Ezio's story was one of a kind and a rarity in games, where you play the lifespan of a protag. It's nice being intro'd to differing characters and seeing their time, and their struggles, and how AC fits into their lives. But I also really dug Aya and Bayek's story and would've like to have seen how it played out, at least in another game.

    -Do you feel satisfied with the storytelling?

    Overall, yeah. Could be a tad better (again, see above comments.)

    -Are you excited for the future of the Assassin's Creed story?

    I think it's moving the right direction. Maybe slowly, but it's getting there.

    -Do you feel like the series has remained faithful to established canon/lore?

    Sort of. Returning to its roots would help. Acknowledging established lore in future games, and not just the more recent ones, would help patch some holes.
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  9. #9
    Swailing's Avatar Banned
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    I'm going to say "you" a lot here, in the hope that these answers are read by the creative team.

    -What are your thoughts on the overall storytelling of the Assassin's Creed Franchise?
    I don't think it's ever quite hit its potential, and I think the size of the games is only making the task harder.


    -What are your thoughts on the current state of storytelling in Assassin's Creed?
    Origins and Odyssey have been a mixed bag as far as story quality goes. There are ways in which the greater length has allowed the characters to embed in a particularly strong way, simply because you spend so much time with them and there are so many hints about who they are. However, I feel like Odyssey was a step back in this regard, since Origins had something more interesting going on with Bayek: the grief for a child he can never see again, and the pull of the romance he can never reconcile because of that shared loss. I'm not generally a fan of "dead family" as a character motivation tool, but here it really worked. I thought it was great to see little moments of Bayek and his son in happier times via mission stories and via the astronomy mini-games (which, of course, encouraged exploration and deepened our knowledge of the period's mythology and what it meant to Egyptian people). I absolutely loved the fact that Aya wasn't turned into a quest item for Bayek, and that their story resolved in a 100% believable and satisfying way without giving the player the usual "success state" when given the storyline of a broken relationship.

    However, both games' stories suffer from their long length for a number of reasons:

    1) They're too long to play repeatedly.

    One of the reasons the fanbase loves Ezio so much is because his games were about 20 hours long, digestible over a week of playing (or a weekend if you really binged). And it's not as if those games felt small; they too felt epic, taking you on a grand journey to different locations. But they were short enough to be played over and over, and we did... well, I never managed to play Revelations more than twice because I hated that one! But ACII, and most of all, Brotherhood? I played them many times, which cemented their great moments in my mind. I don't know how any of these 100/200-hour giants will become so fondly remembered if I only ever play them once.

    2) They're too long to achieve any momentum in their stories.

    This has been a problem for a long time, which has been exacerbated by increasing game lengths. The one place it was lessened slightly was in Syndicate, where you might have been going off the story path a lot but at least you were generally doing things that felt like necessary tasks in the quest to control London. (The predecessor Unity didn't have this, since you weren't liberating districts from gangs. Although you were "cleaning up districts", you didn't get the same sense of making a difference, essentially just ticking off a to-do list.) The story was still extremely diluted, which was only highlighted by the Jack The Ripper DLC where we got to follow a story through London and some outer locations which largely unfolded in a stream of narrative punches. It felt organised, crafted and formed through intentional pacing. It wasn't perfect, being only a DLC, but thinking about it still makes me pine for how AC could feel with a bit more direction and love.

    3) Everything and everyone is too loose.

    When it takes 100 hours to see the proper ending, it absolutely sucks if you suspect you know who the Big Bad is the moment you meet them, you 100% know for certain they're the Big Bad when they get to come with you but have no obvious purpose in the story, and then the game plays coy for another 90 hours. Because that reveal, when it comes? It makes your eyes roll out of your head, and every moment leading to it where everyone wonders who the Big Bad could be look completely ridiculous. There are ways you can make this work in a shorter game, but when it's 100+ hours, don't play at being Agatha Christie; you're out of your element. Either hire someone who writes world-class crime fiction to handle this, or find another way.

    Remember the one place this worked? Brotherhood, when Ezio realises which member of his crew sold him out: Paganino, a Borgia spy. Remember why it worked? It was written about one small scene, but a very powerful moment in the story, so you definitely remembered it when you saw the flashback. It was a situation where the guy was a minor character and even as a traitor, he was just a rat: not an all-powerful Mephistopheles, or an ingenious Moriarty. And unbeknown to us at the time, it was a premonition about who Lucy was.

    On this topic, no character can get sufficiently close to us because there's no way in the world that they can. The game is too vast. If someone is meant to be a good friend of yours, or a dearly beloved relative, they will never feel like more than an acquaintance because even if you had a movie's worth of dialogue with them, you would still look estranged in the course of such a gigantic saga.

    -What are your thoughts on the use of transmedia to expand the Assassin's Creed universe?
    I don't care, since I'm not going to consume them. I tried reading part of a book, and it was a bad book. I tried reading some of the comics, and they were bad comics. The film was a bad film. What's the point? Get the game right.

    The one good thing that I can see from the transmedia is that you apparently wrapped up the terrible Juno story off-screen, so I don't have to deal with that anymore. I can also see how this is a huge negative for the players who were avid fans of the Juno storyline, since they never got to face off against Juno.


    -What are your thoughts on the present-day narrative?
    I think it's going pretty well at the moment. I like the way you're getting back to a strong story mechanic in recent missions, where we go back with Layla to a place that Kassandra has already seen. This was a huge factor in the charm of the Ezio-era games, which understood the power of these re-visits. There were loops within loops in the mission preceding Fate of Atlantis 1, where we went back to the sculptor's workshop. This is great to see. So many recent games have been stretched thin for the lack of this kind of structure.


    -What are your thoughts on having separate protagonists for every game? What are your thoughts on using the same protagonists across multiple games?
    I'm happy to see a new protagonist each time. I liked Kassandra, and I expect I'll enjoy seeing her again if she's being set up as a fixture of the series between her time and 2019, but I don't think I want to play as her again right now. She could be really interesting to play again in a completely different era, like 17th century Prague or something. As an immortal, she has that factor that makes writers interested in vampire characters, and by the time we see her again she will have watched many beloved people die. It will be interesting to see how this changes her.

    However, I think we need to keep moving because I still don't think you've found an assassin personality yet that really feels right, and I'm hoping that when you do it will change the entire series for the better.


    -Do you feel satisfied with the storytelling?
    I almost said "yes and no", and therefore I have to say "no". What we get is okay. It even has impressive flourishes of great dialogue at times. But I don't think the games are what you would imagine them to be in your mind's eye if the series had never existed and someone brought this brief to you for the first time today. I think you're making iterations on what you've got, sometimes very bold and admirable iterations, but while the visual/sonic design can make me feel like I'm very much in your world, I don't feel like the story is really drawing me in. I don't feel like my character is reacting in believable ways to events, people, or people's behaviours. I don't feel like my enemies are smart enough.


    -Are you excited for the future of the Assassin's Creed story?
    That depends on what it is, and what you do with it. I really want to get away from entire countries and chunks of continent. I want the detail you're currently spreading across the Aegean region condensed into a city that feels like it lives and breathes. Rather than ~10 NPCs with speaking parts per small region, I want hundreds of NPCs in one city who I can find and meet, theatres and opera houses I can visit. Encourage me to live in that city like anybody else would, patronising the restaurants, parties, galleries and entertainments and encountering missions as a reward. I want a society that I can tinker with: stories that can emerge based on who I help, manipulate or betray. I want the ability to bring about someone's downfall in the way Alkiabades would, not only via my blade but by tugging various threads of a spider's web until they are crushed. I want to uncover and exploit the connection of one person to another.

    Something that's getting thinner while other aspects become richer is the sense that characters know each other. I realise Sokrates and Herodotus and the others kind of know each other, but they feel the most loose of the A-list NPC casts we've seen. I don't need them to be best buddies or acting like a Scooby Doo gang, but I need more sense that this society all interlinks. And not just the top tier NPCs, either. I'd like to see more of a sense that the shopkeeper in a district knows the other businesspeople, and so on.


    -Do you feel like the series has remained faithful to established canon/lore?
    In the important ways, I think it has. It's certainly taken big steps at times to restore connections when the team has realised the game is straying too far away from important parts of its roots, and that's good.
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  10. #10
    Wow, wow, easy there, easy! It's so surprising! So, let me finally say my word...

    -What are your thoughts on the overall storytelling of the Assassin's Creed Franchise?
    It was fine during, thanks to cawatrooper9, the Golden Age of the franchise. We had a protagonist who is a hero, the only one, the key. Like Dovakiin in Skyrim - it is the best comparising. During this period Assassin's Creed was definitive. We had a basic character - Desmond. We had a goal - to prevent a catastroph.
    The worst thing in the whole series happend in the end of the third game. Juno was released and it was shown to us. That means, that the ending of a great saga ended with... cliffhanger. It was absolutely bad. Assassin's Creed III had to be an independent story that should've end the whole saga. After this game, players had to say: "Okay, this is the end". But no. Juno was released and we were waiting for the next game.
    Still, I liked the move with Black Flag and Rogue. We had no protagonist in these games and they were not vital to the plot (except for this modern day Sage who then turned into the Pheonix Project). Black Flag felt like "Okay, you did a great job last year, so let's go on Carribean vacation, woo-hoo!". Like Far Cry 3. Rogue was a game that ends the storyline of Kenway Saga - nothing more, nothing less. It's was a lore game.
    A few more words about Rogue and Unity. There is a big connection between them. In Rogue we've seen how Assassins became corrupted with their powers. We've seen that they're not saint guys. In Unity, we hear from Arno a very good words, that "Nothing is true, everything is permitted" is more like a warning than some sort of motto or lifestyle. Unity has openned my eyes on who Assassins really are.
    Still... In Unity and Syndicate it could've been a right time to present us a new protagonist. Maybe, Galina. The Pheonix Project had to be seen in games. It should've ended in games. Juno had to die in the game engine and not on the paper.

    -What are your thoughts on the current state of storytelling in Assassin's Creed?
    I don't take it seriously. The ending of the Atlantis storyline (not the DLC) in Odyssey, in modern world, creates a very big misunderstanding. I mean... There should've been only one and canonical character to show up because all we've seen in Ancient Greece was just an Animus representation, including the character we've chosen. And the ending of this storyline... It is not the Animus representation, it is real world! Only one character should've been there, the canonical one. So, this is the reason why I don't take it seriously. I hope it will be explained in the Atlantis DLC, but still I have an interesting article on reddit about it. Still, it was written a long ago, so I can be disagreed with myself by now.


    -What are your thoughts on the use of transmedia to expand the Assassin's Creed universe?
    Comisc, books, movie? Well... Negative at this point.
    Comics about Nikolai Orelov and Daniel Cross were brilliant. I love them very much. During this time, we had two main protoganists: Desmond and Daniel. It was simple as 2x2.
    When the comic book series like Assassins, Templars and Uprising arrived... Well... It was bad. I mean, I had some fun reading these stories, but it's a shame that they covered such a big event as Juno's rise and death. They had to be something like an expanded universe such as The Fall and The Chain, they should've been more minimalistic and short and without any changes in the game storylines.
    I mean, Daniel's story was more like an addition. A spin-off. In Assassin's Creed III, after you first met Daniel, Rebecca told you about him... And it felt not like "Oh, if you want to know who is he read comics", but "Read comics if you want to know more". New comics intruded into the main storyline and broke it. I hope new comics won't be like them.
    What about books... It is a complete shiame. Teenage assassins! TEENAGE ASSASSINS! What?
    Also, I liked the movie. Hope you won't do anything like that, because you can't bring it's cast into the games in their full power. I see it clearly. But it was a nice experience.

    -What are your thoughts on the present-day narrative?
    See pre-previous paragraph. I don't see it as a moving force of the whole franchise anymore.

    -What are your thoughts on having separate protagonists for every game? What are your thoughts on using the same protagonists across multiple games?
    This is the hardest question in the list.
    I would like to see the continiue of Connor's story, the future of USA Brotherhood. But it was a smart and fresh move to tell about Edward, his grandfather. Also, I would love to see Edward's adventures as the grandmaster too. The same for Shay: why did he kinda dissappeared from all the story? The same thing for Arno, Evie and Jacob (well, I didn't really liked Syndicate so I haven't finished it yet). Also, I don't have any big questions to Bayek and Aya: their fate was shown in The Hidden Ones DLC. Still, I would like to know how their lives ended and why are they buried inside one tomb.
    My idea about it is... Bringing some small episodes with the previous characters into the new games. Like it was with Revelations (but with open world, like Lydia's story in Syndicate). Players would love to return to the places they like. So, if you would ever like to create a new game in America, please, add episodes about Connor, Edward and Shay (maybe, Aveline too). If you would like to create another European game, you may add episodes with Arno and Syndicate protagonists (but I'm not really sure about it, really). Bayek and Aya... It can be told anytime in the future. The problem is the cast of these games: there's no sure if they would like to work again with you or with these characters.

    -Do you feel satisfied with the storytelling?
    Yes. In games, yes, I feel fine.
    But I can't ignore this problem with The Legacy of The First Blade. When you give player a choice, you give player a faith of the character. It serves like an emotional synchronization, and TLoTFB breaks it. Still waiting for the proper patch, if you will.


    -Are you excited for the future of the Assassin's Creed story?
    Yes. I don't want these series to be closed. I love it and I'm going to buy 2020 game.

    -Do you feel like the series has remained faithful to established canon/lore?
    Hard question too, but I think that yes, mostly. Well, I haven't played The Curse of The Pharaons DLC for Origins, and as I heard it breaks the whole lore with adding alternative worlds and something like that. But, I think, that yes: Assassin's Creed remains to be Assassin's Creed even with these additions.
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