1. #11
    Swailing's Avatar Banned
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    -How important is historical accuracy in AC to you?

    It's important in terms of making the best use of history, but that doesn't mean I'm opposed to the forays into mythology and alternative history.

    I have to say though—one of my biggest disappointments with the series is the way the games are continually diving the wrong way with regard to which history to use. The Pazzi Conspiracy, the Bonfire of the Vanities and the Battle of Forli were used excellently in AC2. Everything felt locked in.

    But since then, it's been something of a mess. Revelations squandered Constantinople and the period and left the uninitiated player entirely uneducated on the topic. AC3 failed to make any of the history mesh naturally with the game. AC4 was a solid experience, but it didn't find a solid thread of historical story onto which to latch itself. Unity utterly misrepresented the French Revolution for some reason and became a bizarre exercise in sympathy for some of the worst people who ever lived. Syndicate could have been an amazing game about the sunset of the East India Company, and instead went the theme park route (Hello! I'm Charles Darwin, pleased to meet you! ffs) and failed to mention the EIC at all—and for a game in which the Templars are the antagonists, what the hell are you doing if you don't make the Templars into the EIC? Even with Odyssey: that game could have been so much juicier if you'd framed it around the rule of Dionysius the Elder followed by Dionysius the Younger, and I feel like you went with the Pelopennesian War because of the movie 300 and because this generation would run about the internet typing "Spartaaaa!" and making memes.

    The thing that made AC2 so captivating was that the player either knew a lot about the period or not much, and both could enjoy the history just as much. The history novice could enjoy the constant feeling of learning more about the world as they explored and played more of the story, and the history buff could enjoy knowing what was coming. Both were in the dark as to how the historical events were going to relate to Ezio and his friends. This was such an unusual thing to experience in a game, and at the time I put all my bets on AC in large part because of that. I thought all future ACs would choose their settings because of the selection of a perfect real-life page-turner of a story, with tension and turmoil, twists and turns.

    And of course, part of the reason they don't do that anymore is because of the growth of the games' worlds to country sizes. You don't want the game to be too prescriptive if the player is out hunting 20 bears to craft a bullet pouch, or hunting the lost armour, or grinding to get from level 21 up to level 57 before they play any more story. Get back to cities, please. It was so good when the game was gated and said, right, now we're going to live in Venice for a bit, and we got that fresh feeling of wonder at being in yet another new place with new streets to learn. If you did return to that idea, we could have stories with pacing again.

    -Has AC inspired you to learn more about certain historical events or time periods?

    Yeah, I think I've ended up reading at least a bit more about each period every time there's a new game.

    -In your opinion, does gameplay trump historical accuracy? E.g. adding in buildings or characters that are technically anachronistic for the sake of enhancing the experience?

    A difficult one, this. Ultimately, I think I'm going to say no: historical accuracy should win in the case of buildings. I think you can play with scale a bit, but beyond that I think we should get the environment as it was and make the game fit in with it. The assassin has extreme acrobatic abilities precisely to conquer the problems of city environments.

    As for characters, I think inevitably you're likely to have problems keeping people faithful to their history. Also, I've seen some absurd mistakes made by people who will insist that people spoke a certain way because of extant plays or poetry, which is a terrible way to understand normal communication. I do think that some effort needs to be made to strive for acuracy where it's reasonably possible. The games have done that in some very admirable ways. I really appreciated the running motion of characters in AC: Origins, which was seen by many people as some kind of weird animation mistake but was in fact completely accurate to how people would have moved (and still do) in cultures where people don't have hard shoe soles.

    -Would you prefer AC explore time periods from a more historically accurate perspective or veer closer to mythology?

    That suggests that mythology is antithetical to historical accuracy, and I'd disagree with that. Getting history right means getting mythology right, and if you also want to play with the mythological story too then I'm fine with that. The mythology in Origins and Odyssey is really fun but I don't want it to become a yoke around the neck of the series. We don't need the mythology every time, but where it's appropriate I will welcome it.

    -Do you enjoy the Discovery Tours? Why or why not?

    To be honest, no. I thought I would, but ultimately I didn't finish the Origins one or get anything out of it.

    However, I do think it's a good thing to do because of the way educators have responded to it. I think it's great that all of this work can be put to use in as many ways as possible. I don't think it's necessarily the Discovery Tour's fault that I wasn't enjoying it. It was probably familiarity that was the problem. If my only experience of AC Origins was the Discovery Tour, I expect I would have been as enthralled by it as I was by the early stages of the game itself, but having played the game first I really didn't feel like adjusting to the pace of it and walking from spot to spot.

    I think the censorship of violence in DT is fine, but I really didn't like the decision to fig-leaf all the statues. This flew in the face of the DT being educational, imo. I don't understand it. The books I learned from as a child in the 70s and 80s included statues of the ancient world with no censorship. What on earth has happened that we see these same images as somehow damaging or corrupting today? If the problem is particular countries, skip those countries! Maybe the envy factor will help to create a sensible approach to educational information.

    -Which do you prefer as a tool for learning about history, Discovery Tours or the database entries in older ACs?

    I really liked the database entries, particularly in Brotherhood where Shaun became the emodiment (or at least, the voice) of the database and his interjections were densely interwoven in the city exploration. But I understand that this fell away for a reason, and I'm not expecting it to come back.

    -Would you ever be open to an AC game that takes place outside of history, e.g. completely in Modern Day or during the Isu reign?

    Modern day, maybe. I think I'd get bored of an entire game in the Isu world though.
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  2. #12
    Originally Posted by Swailing Go to original post
    But since then, it's been something of a mess. Revelations squandered Constantinople and the period and left the uninitiated player entirely uneducated on the topic. AC3 failed to make any of the history mesh naturally with the game.
    I actually really enjoyed Revalations, but see it as kind of an exception to the AC template. It's true they didn't make as much use out of Constantinople as they could have, but it also felt like the primary goal of the game was to dive deep into the mythology and meta narrative, and Constantinople was kind of a second fiddle to this. If it were a fresh character in a new game, I'd say that would be a bad mistake. But given that it was the third game with Ezio, I honestly enjoyed the change of focus (not sure I would've enjoyed a deeper exploration of the new historical setting with old Ezio), I loved the return to the AC 1 base, the jumping by Ezio into the memories of Altair, even the hinky DLC that revolved around Desmond navigating the animus system and learning more about the prior test subjects, Lucy and Vidic. Plus, oh man that ending. It's honestly hard to think of a game that set up a climax better than AC Revelations did for AC 3, watching the final moments of Altair, Ezio finding his body, communicating with Jupiter, seeing the fall of the Isu civilization... great stuff.

    Agreed about AC 3, 4, Syndicate, and Unity. AC 3 in particular is largely where I think the series took a terrible turn. Not so much for the historical period, though the historical period was poorly done - Connor was not a good character, felt stale and lacking in personality, certainly lacked a natural and enjoyable level of interaction with the historical figures, and fit poorly into the colonial war for independence. The situation with the Assassins and Templar felt poorly thought out, and their involvement with the American Revolution haphazard and like a side show. Haytham Kenway was the only good thing to come out of the historical plot. But the real sin was in the meta narrative. The decision to kill off Desmond, and the manner in which the world was saved, was the most anti-climactic thing they could have done after the set-up they had been given by Revelations. RIP Desmond. The meta narrative of the series has never felt equal to what it was since he died.
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  3. #13
    Olympus2018's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by Torvaldesq Go to original post
    I actually really enjoyed Revalations, but see it as kind of an exception to the AC template. It's true they didn't make as much use out of Constantinople as they could have, but it also felt like the primary goal of the game was to dive deep into the mythology and meta narrative, and Constantinople was kind of a second fiddle to this.
    I am not sure "Revelations" is historically accurate, unless it portrays the Ottoman Turks as the oppressors and the Greeks as victims.
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  4. #14
    Originally Posted by Olympus2018 Go to original post
    I am not sure "Revelations" is historically accurate, unless it portrays the Ottoman Turks as the oppressors and the Greeks as victims.
    I barely remember the historical plot aside from that I know it involved an internal struggle among the Ottomans as to who would succeed the Sultan. I think there was also some plot where you foil a Templar who wanted to restore Byzantium and overthrow the Ottomans (personally I'd be on the side of the Byzantines, but hey, Ezio had a job to do and needed Ottoman help to do it or something, also I'm frankly pro-Templar.... shout out to AC Rogue, an entry people often forget to mention that was little more than an excuse to let us hunt assassins, but hey, I enjoyed it!).
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  5. #15
    Amazing information,don't know those details
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  6. #16
    cawatrooper9's Avatar AC Forum Moderator
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    Originally Posted by Torvaldesq Go to original post
    I barely remember the historical plot aside from that I know it involved an internal struggle among the Ottomans as to who would succeed the Sultan. I think there was also some plot where you foil a Templar who wanted to restore Byzantium and overthrow the Ottomans (personally I'd be on the side of the Byzantines, but hey, Ezio had a job to do and needed Ottoman help to do it or something, also I'm frankly pro-Templar.... shout out to AC Rogue, an entry people often forget to mention that was little more than an excuse to let us hunt assassins, but hey, I enjoyed it!).
    Basically, you pretty much nailed it.

    Spoiler:  Show


    The historical storytelling in AC Revelations is kind of interesting, in that Ezio is pretty much thrown into the Sultanate family's drama, but with little context most of the time (it takes him a while to even realize Suleiman is even in the line of succession!).

    If you're unfamiliar with the history (as I mostly was on my first play through) it might not make a ton of sense.

    Basically, it's a very dramatized version of the conflict between Selim I (Suleiman's father) and Prince Ahmet (Suleiman's uncle) over the Sultanate. Suleiman himself would go on to be a prominent historical figure, but we see a much younger version of him here.

    Additionally, the figure Manuel Palaiologos is given a much more expanded role in this game. He's made out to be this Templar figure working secretly with Ahmet to help the Byzantines take back the city (though I doubt Ahmet has any intention of actually letting that happen), whereas in actual history he was a former Byzantine exile who basically gave his blessing to Mehmed the Conqueror for the Ottomans to rule Constantinople in exchange for comfortable living there.

    It's all a little less on the nose than stuff like Assassin's Creed III, opting instead for both a more personal story with Ezio as well as one that focuses more heavily on the fictional shadow war between Assassins and Templars.

    I dig it.
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  7. #17
    Cpt_Nutsaw's Avatar Member
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    I think historical accuracy is vital to making a good historical game I don't want any mythological stuff outside of a couple Easter eggs and the Templars vs Assassins story line. I personally didn't like Origins and Odyssey because they take place in a time in history where there isn't anything outside of mythology that is interesting to me. Odyssey was better than Origins because of the Spartans since at least the Spartans are interesting but seeing the everyday life of the people in the ancient eras is boring because I can't relate to them at all at least not to those outside of Germanic cultures. I don't really care about any time-period BC or before around 200 A.D honestly though so for me if your going to make a game set in that time period you might as well focus on mythology since there isn't anything historical that interests me from that time unless it's about Israel vs Rome, Rome during the pre-christian to christian era, the apostles, or the life of Jesus.

    Short answer on whether historical accuracy matters is that it depends on the time-period but if you need mythology to make it interesting then it would be better to pick another era. (Off topic eras I like: The viking era, WW2, WW1, Cold War, Reformation, Crusades, Medieval Europe, the Spanish inquisition, Soviet Russia, Spanish Civil war, American Civil war, Napoleonic era, Ireland during the troubles, Iraq War, Italian civil war, Russian Civil war, Mexican civil war, the Reformation, Teutonic Order, German civil war and of course the Emu war.)

    Adding non-historical characters and buildings into the game is fine but only if they fit in, I don't want you to put in characters just to check boxes on gender-racial quotas, for example I don't want a Kenyan Jewish female LGBT+ character to lead Nazi Germany in a WW2 game (When's AC: World War II) but you could but a Kenyan Jewish female LGBT+ character into a game set in colonial Africa. As to running into characters that should not be present or buildings being finished when they shouldn't be I would prefer if that wasn't the case but if it's within the realm of extremely tiny minutely smal plausibility it should be fine.

    When it comes to learning about the history of the time-period I definitely prefer the databases, I liked how in Syndicate I could learn about stuff at my own pace and read when I wanted to, I would make it so you have a little "Wikipedia" text about everything in the game like factions, buildings and how they compare to real factions, buildings and so on.
    AC is the reason I love history and I grew up playing AC 1&2 so I would say AC had a hand into making me into the person I am today.

    -Would you ever be open to an AC game that takes place outside of history, e.g. completely in Modern Day or during the Isu reign?
    I don't know what the purpose of that would be, at that point just make another game franchise, for me AC is all about history but you could always make a spinoff.
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  8. #18
    -How important is historical accuracy in AC to you?
    Since AC IS supposed to be a real world history themed game, I think it should always make strides to be as historically accurate as possible, however, since it is also a game that plays on conspiracy theories involved in historical events, a little bit of diversion is good if done right.

    -Has AC inspired you to learn more about certain historical events or time periods?
    Not really. It's fun that I learn more history from it than I ever did any history class I was in, but it doesn't give me the burning incentive to go Wikipedia searching or take frequent trips to museums.

    -In your opinion, does gameplay trump historical accuracy? E.g. adding in buildings or characters that are technically anachronistic for the sake of enhancing the experience?
    Again, if done right (like, say it's something to do with the animus or Isu involvement), then I have no issue with it.

    -Would you prefer AC explore time periods from a more historically accurate perspective or veer closer to mythology?
    I like the formula that Origins and Odyssey has: History-based main story > AC Lore-dedicated episode > Isu/Mythology-inspired episode.

    -Do you enjoy the Discovery Tours? Why or why not?
    Since I actually enjoyed the Discovery Tour in Origins more than I thought I was going to, I'm actually curious to see how far this will go.

    -Which do you prefer as a tool for learning about history, Discovery Tours or the database entries in older ACs?
    Hard to say, actually. I didn't mind collecting data entries for historical sites back in the older AC games, but I admittedly never read them. With Discovery Tour, I could do it in a more interactive way.

    -Would you ever be open to an AC game that takes place outside of history, e.g. completely in Modern Day or during the Isu reign?
    As either a spin-off or DLC episode. I feel as though we have Watch Dogs somewhat playing as a Modern Day-focused sibling to AC, so I wouldn't mind seeing a bigger crossroad between the two franchises. Either way, I'm always a sucker for Modern Day and Isu lore.
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  9. #19
    First of all I would like to say that I have played every game up until Black Flag, but ever since then I have watched many hours of gameplay and read many wiki articles about every game, but I will answer based on what I have seen, therefore some questiones may be left unanswered.

    -How important is historical accuracy in AC to you?
    The one thing I love about the series is that it finds a way to fit the lore in critical events throughout history. If it wasn't for the accuracy, it would feel very out of place.

    -Has AC inspired you to learn more about certain historical events or time periods?
    I have spent countless hours in wikipedia and the unofficial Assassin's Creed Wiki reading and crosscheking the game's events with actual history

    -In your opinion, does gameplay trump historical accuracy? E.g. adding in buildings or characters that are technically anachronistic for the sake of enhancing the experience?]
    Of course, the developers should have a bit of freedom such as changing the year someone died (1 or 2 years earlier/later, not more), but they should stick to real events and how they actually happened, not how they wished they had happened to make it easier for them to fit the game's story in history. I mean no offense to the development team, I respect the amazing work they have done.

    -Would you prefer AC explore time periods from a more historically accurate perspective or veer closer to mythology?
    I am a die hard fan of historical accuracy. However, a bit of mythology would do no harm, after all the entire series concept is based on an imaginary pre-human era with the roman gods and their supernatural power, artifacts and profecies. Therefore, if mythology is used I would rather it was based on the lore, for example I would appreciate greatly it if Minerva and Juno (being Athena and Hera respectively in Greek mythology), had played a part in Odyssey.

    -Which do you prefer as a tool for learning about history, Discovery Tours or the database entries in older ACs?
    I have not experienced the discovery tours, however I know that database entries were much more fun because it gave the player the freedom to explore history as they saw fit.

    .-Would you ever be open to an AC game that takes place outside of history, e.g. completely in Modern Day or during the Isu reign?
    I think that a game during the Isu reign would feel very strange because on one hand it would go back to the very beginnings of the lore, but it would also lose any historical credibility the series has. A game in modern day, most probabl will be the last game of the series because it could show how everything ends between the Assassins, Templars and the Isu. However, I understand that it's very complicated. For example, where would the game take place, in a real city or an imaginary one? If it was in a real one it would mean that a country could represent the bad guys (for example if Abstergo Industries were in USA, it would feel like the US Goverment is controled by Templars), and that wil spark many complaints. On the other hand, if it was in an imaginary one it would mean that there would be no accuracy regarding the real world.
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  10. #20
    Originally Posted by chrisargy Go to original post
    -Would you prefer AC explore time periods from a more historically accurate perspective or veer closer to mythology?
    I am a die hard fan of historical accuracy. However, a bit of mythology would do no harm, after all the entire series concept is based on an imaginary pre-human era with the roman gods and their supernatural power, artifacts and profecies. Therefore, if mythology is used I would rather it was based on the lore, for example I would appreciate greatly it if Minerva and Juno (being Athena and Hera respectively in Greek mythology), had played a part in Odyssey.

    -Would you ever be open to an AC game that takes place outside of history, e.g. completely in Modern Day or during the Isu reign?
    I think that a game during the Isu reign would feel very strange because on one hand it would go back to the very beginnings of the lore, but it would also lose any historical credibility the series has. A game in modern day, most probabl will be the last game of the series because it could show how everything ends between the Assassins, Templars and the Isu. However, I understand that it's very complicated. For example, where would the game take place, in a real city or an imaginary one? If it was in a real one it would mean that a country could represent the bad guys (for example if Abstergo Industries were in USA, it would feel like the US Goverment is controled by Templars), and that wil spark many complaints. On the other hand, if it was in an imaginary one it would mean that there would be no accuracy regarding the real world.
    Spoiler:  Show
    Both Minerva and Juno were referenced in the final episode of the Fate of Atlantis DLC, the latter even making a full-on appearance with Aita.

    Also, I wouldn't worry about offending countries and the such with Modern Day settings. The movie reveals that Alan Rekkin, the Abstergo project, and the modern day Templar Grand Council are all based in England.
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