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  • C-Pick
    Original poster 74 posts

    I ran across a Screen Rant article about a potential ditching of the open-world design for the next AC game (https://screenrant.com/assassins-creed-richard-open-world-ditched-third-crusade/) in favor of a more semi-linear design that characterized, say, the first AC game.

    And I'd just like to voice some very clear opposition to this idea. I am not one of those players who would like Ubisoft to move away from open-world structure in Assassin's Creed. One of the only reasons I continue playing games today is to immerse myself in vast, expansive, and beautiful open worlds that I can explore and be lost in for months if I want.

    My absolute favorite games are big open-world action/adventure games or action-RPGs, including Horizon: Zero Dawn, Ghost of Tsushima, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Days Gone, Red Dead Redemption 2, Grand Theft Auto 5, some of the Far Cry games, the Watch Dogs series, and the recent Assassin's Creed games (especially Origins, my personal favorite of the RPG-style ones). These are the games that keep me coming back to my PS4 after the work day is over and during my free time.

    I grew up in an era where games were still oppressively linear and restrictive in their design, and as open-world games blossomed, I gladly welcomed that shift in design. More freedom, more places to go on my own time, more lived-in environments, fewer or no loading screens. These are all GOOD things.

    Some people complained that the world of AC: Odyssey was "too big." Look, I legitimately don't understand claims like that and probably never will. I WANT open-world games to be expansive AND detailed. The huge open-world Classical Greece of Odyssey is a strength of the game, a credit to the development team's designers and artists, something I really adored about Odyssey. My only real criticism of Odyssey would have to do with the weirdly tanky, damage-spongey enemies and the frustrating, unrealistic, cartoony combat (it should NOT take 16 hits of my sword just to make an enemy twitch). Now, that doesn't mean that there shouldn't be meaningful things to do and see within these open worlds, of course. Some people complained about the wide, empty deserts in Origins' recreation of Egypt. I LOVE that stuff. Things like these lend a sense of legitimacy and a sense of immersion I seek in video games. I love finding myself in a huge sea of sand and traversing it at will, trudging through the dunes and climbing atop a hill to seeing a city off in the hazy distance.

    These are the experiences I want in my games. This is what I crave. And Assassin's Creed helps to fulfill that for me.

    If the game world is too big for you, my goodness, just use the dang fast-travel options and skip over everything that makes an open world great. But some of us like to get lost in these worlds--seamlessly, with nothing hidden behind loading screens. Some of us want to take in their sights, observe their macro and micro details, walk or ride through miles of terrain, explore every far-off location, climb every mountain, visit every town or settlement, see what the locals are up to all to feel like we're existing in a convincing place and adventuring at our own pace, on our own time.

    Don't get me wrong--in these recent RPG-heavy games, I REALLY wish we could move away from this obsession with damage numbers, stats, lifebars over enemies' heads, etc. If I strike someone with an axe, they should just look like they just got struck with an axe. If I shoot an arrow right into someone's face, they should just look and act like they just got shot with an arrow to the face instead of barely flinching and continuing to attack me like nothing happened. If I set someone on fire, they should look and act like they've been set on fire. At the very least, keep giving us many options to disable artificial HUD nonsense so we can have a more immersive visual and gameplay experience as well as difficulty options that lower enemy health and increase damage we deal and so on.

    So please, Ubisoft, keep the open-world design and structure. Keep giving open-world haters the option to fast travel to their next quest objective, but let the rest of us continue immersing ourselves in your legitimately huge, gorgeous worlds. I don't want to lose that in this series.

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  • pesto.
    160 posts

    Pretty much agree. I remember when final fantasy tried going back to linear and it was a huge incredibly dull failure that highlighted exactly how archaic the system felt.

    The complaints about game size are from game journalists who hate having to play through large games in order to be able to review them and for whom games aren’t pleasure or an investment. They have a fundamentally skewed viewpoint, their needs are to be able to quickly go through a game, make a pronouncement and then move on to the next game as quickly as possible, large games break their economy and frustrate the heck out of them.

    Now complaints about thin content is another matter. Many Ubisoft games have way too much repetition to feel alive or maintain interest, for example watchdogs legion. It’s fundamentally a boring game because you endlessly repeat the action of breaking in to an enemy stronghold that looks and feels exactly like every other enemy stronghold, stealing the same 4 things (upgrade mod, lore, access key and a key item) and escaping, very easily. AC is one of the better series for this, usually the worlds feel a little more alive with random street events and opportunities, fewer but bigger forts, more variation in activities, side quests and secondary challenges. They don’t need to be cut down to maintain content interest.

    As for the idea that tighter control = tighter narrative. Well sure, but you don’t play a game to read a book or watch a film, you play it to have your own adventure. Open world games have some of the best stories out there, there’s little evidence that linear games are better in that regards.

  • C-Pick
    Original poster 74 posts

    @pesto Agreed, friend. Very well said!

  • katzenkrimis71
    181 posts

    Potential ditching

    ---

    Leeks and rumour mills. I wouldn't believe any of it. Especially in the entertainment industry.

    The last three games sold well for Ubisoft. That's all you need to go by.

    Besides, this article talks about the linear idea being scrapped, not developed. You should be happy that they scrapped it, not worried that it's going to happen. They have the mobile platform to develop and experiment with linear junk.


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