0 Likes/1 Replies/45 ViewsOriginal poster BigMoneyDollars 2 posts
Trying to make this as short and clear as possible, though it'll be a bit lengthy no doubt.
Even though I think the story is very strong and well written, and the gameplay is a great system for an open world rpg, I believe that these two aspects of the game play tug of war with one another.
AC has always been a story driven franchise, with signature gameplay elements such as the robes/coat/hood, hidden blade, stealth, and parkour. Although these elements are still in the game, they are mere mirages of what these mechanics used to be.
- Parkour used to be interactive, with back and side ejects, climb leaps/dynos (with the player having to press the button to do so), voluntarily grabbing a hold in midair by pressing a button, and just interactive mechanics in general that gave the player real control over the parkour. In addition, each and every single time the player made a move (still referring to the first 4 or 5 games) there is a visible, tangible object that the character grabs or jumps/lands onto. When climbing vertically, the player can see all of the different holds quite definitively and is able to see a climbing path right away.
- In this rpg style engine, however, anything and everything is climb-able anywhere across the entire texture. The character simply grasps a seemingly flat surface and can climb anything. Not only this, but there are absolutely no more controlled movements. I am unable to side eject onto a balcony that is 2 feet away, Eivor just jumps all the way to the ground. I can not grab onto a particular hold if I fall, as there are no definitive visible holds and no obvious grab button [or none at all]. The climb leaps are absolutely ridiculous, no longer requiring the player to press a jump button and then grab button, and the animation is absurdly unrealistic. To sum it all up, not only does it feel much less satisfying as it feels more like the game is doing it for you with unrealistic and unsatisfying animations, but there are no more special controlled movements. All of this culminates to not only take away the feeling of being a highly skilled character with mechanics that make the player feel as if they themselves are this skilled fellow, but it can be incredibly frustrating when parkour/climbing screw ups get you detected or even just cause you to fall or jump where you did not want to. I cant even pull up onto a balcony without accidentally sending Eivor 12 feet to the left in a ridiculous sideways climb leap animation with the twitch of the stick, rather than just climbing over the balcony railing and onto the floor. Climbing is not exciting or cool, and does not feel like something that only the character you are playing as can do. It is merely a means to and end for easier gameplay rather than a pillar of the game that helps the player feel immersed in the Assassin roleplay fantasy.
Combat in my opinion was almost perfect in Unity. Weighty, timed parries and counter strikes, a bit of a challenge but not annoying in terms of mechanics. It felt grounded and realistic and challenging, but do-able enough that you still felt like an accomplished and highly skilled assassin when you win combat. This is because it required precision, felt weighty and effective (realistic), and did not feature any unrealistic or comic book-y animations. If this could be integrated with the two handed system and weapon variety, I think itd be great.
- The side content system is very good. No more cluttered quest logs, no more miles of boring and useless activities. I think its great that players are actually enticed to explore the open world, and that the content in it is original, useful, interesting, funny, or any combination of these things.
- However, I often found that this caused the narrative/overall story to feel very broken up and asyncronus. The biggest drawback here is that I was so enticed with the open world that I feel like this game is actually two different games in one; on one hand it is a wonderfully written story with awesome return to AC lore and suggesting an interesting and exciting narrative for the future. A+.
- However, I also felt that it was a totally different game when exploring the open world, and it left me with so much time to get frustrated with the aforementioned mechanics that Id find myself wondering why I was even playing this game. Im not a fantasy rpg player. Im an Assassin's Creed fan. And then I'd remember, oh yeah, this game has the best story we have seen in years, one that finally makes me feel like Ubisoft has a unique and original story that isnt written by profit projections but real, talented people who care about old school AC fans and all of the loose ends that the last several games have left for them. But the open world continuously distracted me from all of this, and highlighted all of the mechanics that I wish were better.
In conclusion, I wish that the parkour and combat were to return to styles tried earlier in the franchise (parkour was at its peak in the Ezio series, and combat was the best in Unity). I also wish that the game were more narrative driven, as the open world gameplay really takes away from the story, and makes it feels like two different games that were made for two different audiences. That being said, the amount of sales and fanbase increase with the rpg style of gameplay is likely foreboding of more to come. It is for this reason that I wish that Ubisoft had simply made a new rpg series to garner these fans and profits, rather than using the Assassin's Creed brand value to ease their way into a new market (i am NO expert but that is simply my assumption), leaving the entire fanbase built from the first 4-7 games dead in the water with none of the elements that previously allowed them to be immersed in the Assassin fantasy. It is now an Assassin's Creed RPG game in which you can hardly roleplay as an Assassin, and that frankly feels insulting and greedy to old school fans. While these mechanics are there each feels like the ghost of what it once was, and suggest a sort of disregard to the old fans.