1. #1

    Climbing speed in AC1 compared to AC3-4

    Maybe we have allready discussed this, can't remember lol. Anyway I played some AC1 yesterday and what strikes me every time I go back to it is that the slower climbing speed compared to AC3-4 is much, much better.

    One of the things that makes the climbing different in AC compared to other games is the density of the grips and how natural it looks when the assassin grabs them. If you take an extreme example like Mario you are either on the ground or you jump up and stand on the platform. There is no transition between the two, so you don't feel that connection with the world. Or if you take a more modern example like Sleeping Dogs the character can run up walls, but there are no grips and the whole thing feels a lot more artificial and gamey than what it does in AC. No other franchise has as good climbing as AC does imo.

    Now here's the thing. In AC3 they greatly increased the speed Connor can scale a building. He more or less jumps from grip to grip and he can climb a tower very quickly. There is a greater distance between grips (it feels like that anyway). What this means imo is that the very qualities which make climbing in AC so unique are reduced. There's less of a feeling of connection with the surface. It feels gamier, less grounded.

    I can see why they did it, but imo it was a misstake. What do you think?
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  2. #2


    I think the rock climbing from AC3 looks pretty good and the player moves at a decent speed. This would be an ideal model for climbing all in AC
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  3. #3
    Agreed. I remember instantly feeling the difference when I first climbed a building in AC3. It required less focusing and didn't feel like an accomplishment when you climbed it, did not feel real. I really miss the old system!
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  4. #4
    Fatal-Feit's Avatar Senior Member
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    I don't think the speed is the main issue. It's the immersion, IMO. I haven't played AC:1 in a long while so I can't say much about it but what I can assume is that the premise behind climbing was heavily emphasized. In AC:2-AC:R, the main point of climbing was to traverse between collectibles, chases, and getting from point A to point B during puzzle sequences. There wasn't a lot of focus on the climbing itself, rather it's more focused on the player's objective. The 17th century saga took the climbing and like AC:2-AC:R furthered its direction towards a more seamless and indirect route.

    I think the point of this discussion as a whole is the fact that the future sequels of AC makes an effort in building around the main concept with contents, than focusing on its original foundations. So climbing isn't the only mechanic, TBH.

    Inb4HMS

    [edit] I'd also like to add this video in.

    From the video, you can see they're trying to add a lot of what you described AC to have, Sushi. I think the main reason with why we're not as immersed as before is because of what I said earlier. There are too much going on. On-screen HUD, collectibles, side objectives, mission prompts, and de-synchs. Despite the tedious mission designs, AC left us with plenty of room and freedom to enjoy the little things unlike the future games. Which I can guess is another reason why people have more fun watching demos or strolling around after completing everything.
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  5. #5
    I agree, but I'm completely fine with AC II and Brotherhood's climbing mechanics as well.

    AC Revelation's hookblade made climbing too quick and easy, but in AC III and IV there's just no challenge or thinking required - you simply press a direction for them to go in. I'd say this is a step too far, as there were several times playing as either Connor or Edward that I'd press a button hoping to hop across to something close by and they'd leap 10 feet to something really far away. This is an issue with the controls anyway as they've got rid of the jogging control which differentiated between jumping off a ledge to something below and leaping as far as you could.

    Again, it seems like a dumbing down of the games. Now we have one command to sprint quickly or to climb. I prefer a more calculated approach to climbing in AC games - where you have to think and where the player has more control over his movements. As Connor or Edward I felt incredibly clumsy. I can see why they went with this sort of approach because it only allows the player to jump if there's something to hold on to, saving them the bother of wondering. But I'd say it's had the opposite effect - I've had a lot more frustrations and issues with characters jumping or climbing where I don't want them to than I ever did in previous games.
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  6. #6
    Originally Posted by Silent14411 Go to original post
    I think the rock climbing from AC3 looks pretty good and the player moves at a decent speed. This would be an ideal model for climbing all in AC
    It's hard to compare with rockclimbing as that feature wasn't in AC1. I also don't think it's super important what is possible and not. To me it's about what feels right. And maybe it's nostalgia or whatever, but whenever I go back to AC1 the climbing speed feels just right and AC3-4 feels twitchy and unsatisfying. The bigger jumps also means that you almost never have to go around a tower to find a path up.


    Originally Posted by ItsAMeMario2013 Go to original post
    Agreed. I remember instantly feeling the difference when I first climbed a building in AC3. It required less focusing and didn't feel like an accomplishment when you climbed it, did not feel real. I really miss the old system!
    Agree about the focus thing. It has been simplified to a point where it feels mechanical, which is a shame.


    Originally Posted by Fatal-Feit Go to original post
    I don't think the speed is the main issue. It's the immersion, IMO. I haven't played AC:1 in a long while so I can't say much about it but what I can assume is that the premise behind climbing was heavily emphasized. In AC:2-AC:R, the main point of climbing was to traverse between collectibles, chases, and getting from point A to point B during puzzle sequences. There wasn't a lot of focus on the climbing itself, rather it's more focused on the player's objective. The 17th century saga took the climbing and like AC:2-AC:R furthered its direction towards a more seamless and indirect route.

    I think the point of this discussion as a whole is the fact that the future sequels of AC makes an effort in building around the main concept with contents, than focusing on its original foundations. So climbing isn't the only mechanic, TBH.

    Inb4HMS

    [edit] I'd also like to add this video in.

    From the video, you can see they're trying to add a lot of what you described AC to have, Sushi. I think the main reason with why we're not as immersed as before is because of what I said earlier. There are too much going on. On-screen HUD, collectibles, side objectives, mission prompts, and de-synchs. Despite the tedious mission designs, AC left us with plenty of room and freedom to enjoy the little things unlike the future games. Which I can guess is another reason why people have more fun watching demos or strolling around after completing everything.

    Maybe you have a point. But if you still have AC1 I suggest climbing a random tower in it and then do the same in AC3/4. The difference I'm talking about should be immediately clear. I also want to say that I think they made a lot of really good additions to the parkour such as vaulting, slding, rock climbing, treeclimbing and so on. I am absolutely not saying the team did an overall poor job. But the feel of climbing straight up a building is not as good as in AC1 imo.


    Originally Posted by jdowny Go to original post
    I agree, but I'm completely fine with AC II and Brotherhood's climbing mechanics as well.

    AC Revelation's hookblade made climbing too quick and easy, but in AC III and IV there's just no challenge or thinking required - you simply press a direction for them to go in. I'd say this is a step too far, as there were several times playing as either Connor or Edward that I'd press a button hoping to hop across to something close by and they'd leap 10 feet to something really far away. This is an issue with the controls anyway as they've got rid of the jogging control which differentiated between jumping off a ledge to something below and leaping as far as you could.

    Again, it seems like a dumbing down of the games. Now we have one command to sprint quickly or to climb. I prefer a more calculated approach to climbing in AC games - where you have to think and where the player has more control over his movements. As Connor or Edward I felt incredibly clumsy. I can see why they went with this sort of approach because it only allows the player to jump if there's something to hold on to, saving them the bother of wondering. But I'd say it's had the opposite effect - I've had a lot more frustrations and issues with characters jumping or climbing where I don't want them to than I ever did in previous games.
    Agree with everything you said. I mean climbing has always been and should always be relatively easy. It's just that they have taken it one step too far into brain-dead teritory. And it sucks the joy and feel out of the experience. And just like you describe it lowers the precision which can be aggrevating.
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  7. #7
    ACfan443's Avatar Senior Member
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    I've always preferred the slower climbing speed of the earlier games. The way Altair and Ezio shifted their weight, the intricate and precise movements, and the detail in the animations made for a navigation system which felt far more tactile and realistic.

    The way the Connor and Edward shoot up buildings like spiderman looks somewhat ridiculous, the speed and animations are suitable for cliff faces and organic environments, but not so much cities and other man made structures (in my opinion).

    Putting the time and effort into climbing a huge monument was once rewarding, it felt like you had accomplished an impressive feat (Acre, Florence, and Venice towers come to mind). But with the automation and speedy scrambling in the newer games, I don't feel that level of thrill or satisfaction anymore because of how little input I have. The unrealistically fast rate of scale also diminishes the feeling of height you get from an otherwise vertically impressive structure.

    I also find the new system to be clunky and problematic at times, but that's kinda irrelevant here.
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  8. #8
    Fatal-Feit's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by Sushiglutton Go to original post
    Maybe you have a point. But if you still have AC1 I suggest climbing a random tower in it and then do the same in AC3/4. The difference I'm talking about should be immediately clear. I also want to say that I think they made a lot of really good additions to the parkour such as vaulting, slding, rock climbing, treeclimbing and so on. I am absolutely not saying the team did an overall poor job. But the feel of climbing straight up a building is not as good as in AC1 imo.
    A reasonable point and don't get me wrong, I'm not disagreeing. Climbing in AC was the highlight of the game from what I remember, but IMO, after the continued direction of the franchise from then on, I feel climbing is at its best in the latest entries. Or at least parkouring in general.
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  9. #9
    IWGCJoeCool's Avatar Member
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    i felt totally immersed during th Ezio stories, when you had to work on the climbing alot, and utilize the jump/grab motion...the drop grab for that matter. i enjoy the better free running in III and IV, but the climbing coulda took more thought on our parts. your timing could make it silky smooth, bad timing clunky.
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  10. #10
    SixKeys's Avatar Senior Member
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    Agreed with OP. It feels weird going back to AC1 after playing the other games since it has the slowest climbing, but it also feels the most realistic. Connor, Edward and even Ezio climbed with such swiftness and ease, it made you feel like climbing those heights wasn't actually a big deal. Altaïr takes things one cautious step at a time, so when you're climbing something like the cathedral in Acre, you can practically feel the gravity weighing you down and the anxiety as you slowly heave yourself closer to the top. Altaïr may be a parkour pro, but he also controls more like a regular person. So you get the power fantasy and realistic immersion in one package.
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