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 Post subject: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-10-31 03:01pm
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Has anybody picked it up yet? The storm wasn't so bad in DC to force the BestBuy to close, so my roommate picked up a copy and we spent the rainy afternoon playing. I'm a fan of the franchise in general, so I am a bit predisposed towards liking it. That said, a few pros and cons from my initial reaction (I will try not to have any spoilers):

Pros:

Game-play is beautiful. Free running has been improved, and exploring the Frontier region is the highlight of the game thus far.

The fighting system takes some getting used to, but is more fluid, and less button-mashing (relies more on combo timing, and remembering which particular attacks are useful on which particular enemies).

The map/level design in general is really well done. Boston and environs are gorgeous, and the Frontier is fantastic.

The hunting/trading system is a nice touch, even if it doesn't make a lick of sense to be given 500 pounds for a bear skin by some dude in a covered wagon, heh. In general, though, I like it, though at this point in the game it is too early for me to say how useful it is for anything but idle amusement between killing folks.

The story line so far is pretty good, managing to avoid outright "AMERICA FREEDOM RAR!" nonsense. Quick notes:
[Reveal] Spoiler: Plot
1) The surprise reveal that Haytham is a Templar is very well done. 2) The development of Connor is pretty good, as well. He has no real allegiance to the Assassins, or any other faction in the game. He doesn't care about the British or the colonists, only his goals. In fact, he is less of an Assassin then just a random badass that happens to be fighting Templars.



Cons:

There are some annoying graphics bugs that pop up during some of the non-cinematic cut scenes and game-play. This may be due to me having an older PS3, but all of my software patches are up to date ...

The enemy AI is about as bad as it always has been. During combat, they actually acquit themselves well, and are pretty good at trying to attack you when your back is turned and whatnot. However, they are really stupid in a lot of other situations (especially when you assassinate one of a group ... there seems to be some sort of conflict between line of sight awareness and the "stealth" afforded by assassinating instead of outright attacking, which sometimes causes enemies that see you assassinate someone to freak out, unable to decide whether to become alert and attack or to stay unawares, and they will sometimes just walk in circles).

They made "escaping" from a fight a lot more difficult in the city (in the Frontier it is pretty easy, you just climb a tree and go). Unlike previous installations, potential hiding spots no longer appear on your HUD radar, which makes planning a route impossible. The enemies are also faster with better line of sight. There are lots of places to hide, and cool dynamic options like windows opening that you jump through, but they aren't marked or indicated in any way - so you have to basically luck upon them, because you don't have time to carefully search while running. Similarly, once you are in a hiding spot, the indicator that you are hiding/blending isn't as clear as it was in previous games, and there have been occasions where I was spotted by an enemy while blending for no apparent reason. It combines to make fighting easier than escaping.

The menus are difficult to navigate (for example, the window that lists challenges, quest achievements, items/collectibles, and that sort of thing is hidden in a submenu of the map instead of the pause menu with the game progress information. Very odd choice).

Sometimes the mission goals (and optional goals for full synchronization) can be confusing. For example, there is a mission where you are given the optional choice to kill a certain character, without having been given any indication that completing a different optional choice before you kill him makes it impossible to do so. Sometimes you don't know about an optional goal until the indicator flashes on the screen that you failed to complete it.

Some story elements were confusing, even if overall the plot is pretty solid - I admit, though, some of my complaints might be alleviated by later developments, it is still early in the game. Quick notes:
[Reveal] Spoiler: plot
1) The affection/connection/whatever between Haytham and Connor's mother doesn't make any sense, and seemed pretty clumsily tacked on to an otherwise well done opening sequence. 2) Although this is hardly a complaint against this game specifically, and can be levied against virtually all video games, some of the flimsy expositions by minor characters teaching you how to do simple tasks are annoying - like Sam Adams teaching you how to reduce notoriety, or Ben Franklin randomly asking you to help find his Almanac pages. 3) The character of Achilles doesn't make a lot of sense so far, but at least there is still a chance to change that. However, the sequence where Connor goes to get trained by him is confusing ... Connor is given incredibly vague directions to "go east," which somehow results in him finding this house and being absolutely 100% convinced the crippled black man is going to train him.


In any case, at this point this is all I have to say. Anyone else play it yet? Any thoughts?

Also, I get the impression from a previous thread that not many people here are fans of the franchise. So if you aren't going to comment on the game itself, please don't waste everybody's time with, "HUR DE HUR ASSASSINS CREED IS TEH GAY"



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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-10-31 03:41pm
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What's the multi like? Most reviews don't even mention it, and its gone from tacked-on to terrible over the years.

Ziggy Stardust wrote:
Also, I get the impression from a previous thread that not many people here are fans of the franchise. So if you aren't going to comment on the game itself, please don't waste everybody's time with, "HUR DE HUR ASSASSINS CREED IS TEH GAY"


Are you fucking SERIOUS?



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my first manager and I spent the better part of an hour in his office asking an insanely hot female employee to go through the "B" authors in the Lit section. Why? Because that would make her climb up on the ladder right where the security camera was and gave us a perfect view of her perfect gazongas
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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-10-31 04:33pm
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The mythos is utterly retarded. That said, I'm enjoying myself so far.



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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-10-31 05:53pm
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Stark wrote:

Ziggy Stardust wrote:
Also, I get the impression from a previous thread that not many people here are fans of the franchise. So if you aren't going to comment on the game itself, please don't waste everybody's time with, "HUR DE HUR ASSASSINS CREED IS TEH GAY"


Are you fucking SERIOUS?


Probably thinks "criticism of problems in the game play or narrative" = "hates the game".



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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-10-31 11:30pm
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Seriously, like the biggest game to come out since ME3 and like 4 people have said anything about it? This forum is worthless.



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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-10-31 11:33pm
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Did you just notice y/n?

Its actually been a pretty good few months for games, but you wouldn't know to look here. The few threads made for new games generally aren't followed and just drop off.



Elfdart wrote:
my first manager and I spent the better part of an hour in his office asking an insanely hot female employee to go through the "B" authors in the Lit section. Why? Because that would make her climb up on the ladder right where the security camera was and gave us a perfect view of her perfect gazongas
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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-01 12:55am
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No, I've known for a while, I am just finally voicing it.
Get on the Xbox mang.



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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-01 08:55am
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Stark wrote:
Are you fucking SERIOUS?


Look buddy, no-one wants to have to deal with the intellectual terrorism of the axis of cynicism, so by predefining all such criticism as internet shrieking you can avoid having to engage with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-01 09:51am
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Havok wrote:
Seriously, like the biggest game to come out since ME3 and like 4 people have said anything about it? This forum is worthless.

The game still hasn't hit retail in a lot of countries. Over here, for instance, I don't believe it comes out until tomorrow.

I'm waiting to see what the Wii U version will be like, since I'll probably be picking that console up around Christmas or early next year.

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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-01 04:42pm
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No one cares what the English think. It's either going to be "jolly good" or you will be too polite to say anything bad about it. :P



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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-01 04:54pm
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Racism is FUNNY.

I'm curious how the end plays into their braindead story and if it might actually go somewhere. Can I dream?



Elfdart wrote:
my first manager and I spent the better part of an hour in his office asking an insanely hot female employee to go through the "B" authors in the Lit section. Why? Because that would make her climb up on the ladder right where the security camera was and gave us a perfect view of her perfect gazongas
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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-01 05:06pm
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And you wonder why people don't post about games in this forum anymore?

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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-01 05:11pm
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I don't wonder; everyone with sometime to say just says it somewhere else.

Can you contribute? People are curious about the plot and multi and other features, and here on SDN you're supposed to look past the style to see the message. AC3 is a huge world-shaking release. Surely you have something to say about it? Even the OP (for all the gay bashing) had a concrete message which was reasonably negative. OH NOEZ.



Elfdart wrote:
my first manager and I spent the better part of an hour in his office asking an insanely hot female employee to go through the "B" authors in the Lit section. Why? Because that would make her climb up on the ladder right where the security camera was and gave us a perfect view of her perfect gazongas
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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-01 05:45pm
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Block wrote:
And you wonder why people don't post about games in this forum anymore?


No one gives a fuck about what a bunch of immature, butt hurt manchildren are offended by.



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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-01 05:51pm
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Well mayb they should when a whole forum is basically dead. :v

Is there really a population of people who play games (C3 in this case) and don't post because they're afraid of ... Text? I'm curious just how lame we're talking. Even people who are basically twitter feeds like Ando can talk about things they like and don't like. And talking about a huge release should be easier than talking about maligned shit like RE6 and indie bullshit.



Elfdart wrote:
my first manager and I spent the better part of an hour in his office asking an insanely hot female employee to go through the "B" authors in the Lit section. Why? Because that would make her climb up on the ladder right where the security camera was and gave us a perfect view of her perfect gazongas
whatisprojectzohar.com

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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-01 06:05pm
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Block wrote:
And you wonder why people don't post about games in this forum anymore?


I'm fairly sure it's not because mean ol' Stark will be horrible about them. I mean people just take that as read now since Stark is an individual with discerning tastes hates everything.

Really it's because they're all too busy playing World of Tanks. Which ain't gonna grind itself.

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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-01 07:04pm
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I haven't had the opportunity to start my copy of 3 yet but I'm hoping to get to it over this weekend. What I have been doing is playing Assassin's Creed III Liberation on the Vita. There is no chance of a thread about that game going anywhere so I'm going to post some impressions here.

I'm about 2 hours in and so far I'm fairly impressed. This is one of the first games that feels like a justification of the Vita's main thesis; console gaming on a portable. The areas are large and detailed, the control scheme is fairly smart (context sensitive touch controls suck just as much as they always do but don't tend to be necessary) and its difficult to point to any given area and say that a compromise has been made in getting the AC experience onto a handheld. Also, the Persona mechanic in Liberations feels like something that is overdue for the series as a whole. Starting out you have 3 different "personas" (essentially costume sets) that affect how NPCs react to you. In the Slave persona you an easily blend in with crowds, climb easily, and fight with limited weapons. In the assassin persona you are most heavily armed and can still climb and run easily, but guards are always on the lookout for you. The Lady persona can't run much or climb due to the heavy dress, but keeping the hidden blade equipped means you are never helpless. You can charm guards, bribe them, and sometimes pass into areas that would normally be restricted. This is a great counter to the ongoing complaint about all the series protagonists up to this point, mainly how can they possibly blend into a crowd when they are the guy covered in weapons? More importantly, the persona system allows for different approaches to missions. An early mission has you infiltrate the governors’ mansion during a party. You can either sneak in as a slave or enter as a guest using the lady persona. Further play is going to be needed to see if this is used in an interesting way or if all the infiltrations simply boil down to "pick a costume based on whether you want to climb or not." Combat is fluid but still mostly boils down to waiting to counter into a string of kills. Free running pathing is good and the maps seem to encourage more freerunning than the rooftops of Constantinople in Revelations did.

There are a few things that are a concern even this early in the game:

The storytelling is very anemic so far. Cutscenes are perfunctory at best, there is no given back-story, and mission objectives occasionally appear without the game making any particular effort to justify why you are doing something or even explaining who has asked you to do so. I'm hoping some of this will be filled in as the game goes on but it's off to a pretty bad start.

Ranged combat is kind of ridiculous. In the Assassin Persona you have a pistol which loads and fires like a period gun. This would be fine if the previous 3 games set in the 1600s hadn’t given you the quick reloading magic assassin pistol. I guess they lost it… Then there are the muskets, which just irritate the hell out of me. They are probably the most common weapon that guards have and you can disarm them or pick them up once a guard had been slain. It’s basically a spear once you pick it up. As far as I have been able to find out you cannot fire a musket in this game. That’s just incredibly stupid. Hell, at least in previous games if you picked up a spear you could throw the damn thing.

So overall I’m enjoying it, and I hope that certain issues with the presentation will improve as the game progresses. I’ll post further impressions as I make more progress and try to answer questions if anyone has them. I may be slow to answer though since I have limited internet access at this time.

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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-01 07:10pm
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Does that mean they've tried to tone down the magic alt-history stuff, or is it just a Vita thing?



Elfdart wrote:
my first manager and I spent the better part of an hour in his office asking an insanely hot female employee to go through the "B" authors in the Lit section. Why? Because that would make her climb up on the ladder right where the security camera was and gave us a perfect view of her perfect gazongas
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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-01 07:27pm
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It's probably too early to tell but it does seem less involved in magic gimics. I don't know if that's reflected in ACIII or just in the Vita Version. Liberations also does away with the Framing story almost entirely. The conciet is that it is a commerical entertainment release of the Animus technology by Abstergo which is certainly an interesting development but I really don't feel like that detail is going to go anywhere.

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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-19 09:51pm
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Stark wrote:
Does that mean they've tried to tone down the magic alt-history stuff, or is it just a Vita thing?
The muskets not being usable as ranged weapons seems to be a Vita thing; in AC3 there's a segment early on where the devs seemed to have intended for the player to be essentially killing enemies for their muskets with which to kill more enemies, though neither game touches on "why didn't the quick-reloading pistol design get passed down?"



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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-25 11:11am
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UCBooties wrote:
As far as I have been able to find out you cannot fire a musket in this game. That’s just incredibly stupid. Hell, at least in previous games if you picked up a spear you could throw the damn thing.


Really? Cause...you know, you can. Firing a musket is easy. How are you not doing this?

Finished out the game last night. Despite the internet hate, I really do enjoy this series. I'm breaking this up into two parts. The first is the overall feel. The second is more thinking about the story itself.

The Good:

Out of all the AC incarnations, I would say this one had the best story. Ezio will probably always be my favorite character, and Brotherhood is still my favorite in game-play, but the story in this one was quite good. It had a few genuine twists I didn't expect, and the ending itself was both satisfying and unsatisfying (in a good way) at the same time.

Graphics: I don't buy a lot of the big name games like Call of Duty or the like, so I'm not up on what is typical in graphics these days. The closest I get to the big stuff is the DCS World and perhaps Skyrim. Thus, my ability to recognize good graphics might not be as keen as others. Having said that, I found on the whole AC3 to be gorgeous and definitely a major step up from the previous AC games, which I never thought were that bad.

The little things. Early in the game Haythem was in Boston and I was just milling about and looked over and saw an NPC leaning against a wall. I went over closer, and while you couldn't actually see it, the pose and the way he moved clearly indicated that it was supposed to be a guy peeing in the back ally. Little details like that spread throughout the game really brings the game alive. There seems a substantially larger amount of details in this game to bring it to life than previous games.

Weather and seasons. Finally. This was long overdue, and they handle it fairly well.

The Bad:

The economy. Not the whole economy, perhaps, but shipping and crafting and the like. The whole process is considerably time intensive and incredibly annoying. By that matter, a lot of the menus are poorly laid out compared to previous games and add to confusion. I was on the PC version, and it took me a hell of a long time to even figure out assassination contracts because you had to left click to get to them, but it didn't say you had to do this on one particular part of the screen. I have to now figure out what pivot points are because that's a new thing now that I've beaten the game.

Condensed controls. This has been a problem with all AC games, really, and it's a product of these games being used for other platforms. As a PC gamer, I'm used to having a large bank of controls, not limited to only a few. The afore mentioned DCS World uses every key and nearly every combination of keys. This title, adding more abilities, further constrains the controls. Certain abilities that used to be separate keys are now mashed together, and sometimes makes for more frustrated play.

Ship combat. I was fairly certain I was going to hate this aspect of the game. It turns out that I don't hate it quite as much as I thought I would. It is kind of fun, but the objections I had initially still remain. I'm cursed with playing too many sea-going games and so the non-realism of this game really grates. The ships feel like they're moving at 60-80 knots, not 12 or less. Missions are more centered on destroying rather than boarding, while the latter was more common in that era. I suppose this is a pithy objection, though, as we had Ezio flying around and engaging in tank battles. But I always took those as interesting "what-ifs" whereas this was a more well-documented history that could have been done better. Sea combat during rough seas though was particularly fun and enjoyable.

Bobcats and wolves and Bears, oh my. Combat with these things annoys the crap out of me, but mostly because I hate games that force you into combating in this certain way. The "you must hit these keys in this order or you fail" meme is annoying as fuck. It encourages me to try and kill these animals in more stealthy ways, but the problem is that there is often more than one of them around. The way they do this makes fighting these animals much harder than fighting any human, which seems idiotic given the tools you have.

The ending battle. One of my larger complaints involves the killing of the last two targets. Both of these were highly disappointing. In Brotherhood, the ending battle was more traditional, having to go through waves of enemies (or avoid them) to get to the final boss, where you fought him and his reinforcements and weren't forced to hit certain combos in certain ways. This game had the most disappointing ending battle I've seen in the entire series.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
The battle with Haythem was a gimmie. You had no danger of losing health (no health bar) and required scripted actions to beat him. You kill him through a single click cutscene. Lee was even worse, where no actual fighting occurs with the man and the climax is just a chase. Lee dies by cutscene without your input. This left me very unsatisfied.


Desmond. I was really hoping a separate game would involve Desmond's quest throughout modern world. It's clear that such a thing was theoretically possible given what we see in this series, but ultimate the modern setting was too subdued and wasted an opportunity. The whole "gun" issue still is a bane against this series' existence, and shows up in a glaring way here. When you see Abstergo's guards reloading their 9mm pistols after every shot like the revolutionary guards do, it's a real face-palm moment. If they plan to do a new series of games, they need to address this issue. The lack of any real threat or ability for you to die as Desmond also kills the atmosphere, but then that's been there since the beginning.

Overall, I think this game is a fine addition to the series. It has it's weak points but has a lot of strengths, character, and a lot of environmental factors that make me feel like I'm there. I look forward to playing a lot of the extra quests now.

Continued in part 2.



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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-25 11:55am
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All right, a little more in-depth about the story itself and why it was probably my favorite of all the stories done thus far.

A lot of the criticism leveled against this game regarding making the British the bad guys falls fairly flat once you start playing it, at least to me. Throughout most of the game, I think it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the Templars and the British are allies, but as the game makes quite clear, they're not. The story, especially in later chapters, paint the patriots in a negative light. While throughout most of the game the British ARE the enemy, it comes down to the fact that, in the end, Connor is betrayed by those he trusted to hold to freedom.

I admit to being highly skeptical with the developers' portrayal of how they were dealing with Connor. They described him as a man who knew right from wrong, who had firm beliefs in the justness of his cause, and would do anything to protect it. Basically, another uncompromising hero. Ezio and many of the other assassins have always been more grey characters, at best, and this description worried me. However,
[Reveal] Spoiler:
This dynamic works here because so many of the other characters around are out for their own gains. Calls that this game was "America, Fuck Yeah" don't carry much weight when George Washington goes after Connor's tribe, or when, in the end, you see along the streets the selling of slaves and the removal of his people from their land. Connor's goody two shoes character becomes a tragic, bitter character in the end, having fought the good fight and been betrayed by all those around him. In the end, his outlook made him naive and even more of a pawn then Ezio to Juno, and thus a tragic character.


Besides the Haythem's surprise, the end of Desmond's story was also quite a surprise to me.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
More than any other series, it really didn't feel like there were any winners for the "good guys" (assuming you could call the assassin's that) here. I was surprised that they decided to kill off Desmond, as it's not exactly a typical game ending, but was even more surprised in how they decided to do it. I was under the impression that they would be wrapping up the series, allowing the Templars to still exist and be a threat, but deal with the immediate threat and not add additional threats. There's certainly enough story and enough leftover First Civ artifacts to work on just artifact recovery and the elimination of the Templar threat. Instead, they actually upped the threat, which will be very unsatisfying if the series doesn't continue.


The philosophy behind the two factions was spared a lot of attention, which is a negative of the series as a whole. Overall, the Templars and the Assassins seem to both have horribly flawed ideologies. Rule peace through control, or rule peace through "freedom" which is so nebulous a term as to be meaningless. One thing that always struck me about the Assassins was that it seemed as if they were basically advocating a kind of anarchism, though never directly stated. Really, what the ideal world for the Assassins would be is pretty unknown, and I don't think even they know anymore what it should be.

Having said that, the series in a way did take a side, and it was surprising to see how it did so.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
In the end, Desmond had to choose between destroying the majority of the world and trying to rebuild it only to see himself become a religious figure and have his name corrupted by those wanting power, or unleash Juno and have her rule by control anyway. The series left no choice that an Assassin would find palatable. It was almost a rejection of the whole philosophy because, in the end, all Desmond had was a choice between who would end up controlling the world. Of course, he ends up saving the world only to potentially enslave it soon after.


In this way, the two stories between Connor and Desmond intersect.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Connor's work with the Assassin cause ultimately led to his people losing their freedom regardless of which side he chose, and the same thing happened to Desmond.
The similarity between those two characters in that manner made for a very interesting story.

I've always liked morally grey stories, or morally grey characters, and I like stories that don't always end cheerily with victory for all. The AC series has delivered fairly well in that regard throughout most of its run, and I think the Desmond story goes out in that spirit. I think it does a good job calling into question the Assassin's philosophy without outright rejecting it wholesale, and even humanizes the Templars somewhat through Haythem.



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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-25 10:34pm
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I got the game on Tuesday, and have been playing it during pretty much all my free time since. I just got to New York and I'm loving the game so far, especially the naval combat, though the changes to the main controls have taken some getting used to (fun fact: depressing RT only partway lets you jog like RT did in previous games). Thankfully, I haven't encountered any of the many bugs/glitches I've seen on YouTube, but I did have to deal with one I hadn't heard about:



Around half of the Regulars at that fort had their random grunts replaced with a woman's, with other enemy types being unaffected. Did anyone else have this happen at any point?



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どうして?お前が夜に自身を触れるから。
Long ago in a distant land, I, Aku, the shape-shifting Master of Darkness, unleashed an unspeakable evil, but a
foolish samurai warrior wielding a magic sword stepped forth to oppose me. Before the final blow was struck, I
tore open a portal in time and flung him into the future, where my evil is law! Now, the fool seeks to return to
the past, and undo the future that is Aku... -Aku, Master of Masters, Deliverer of Darkness, Shogun of Sorrow

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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-26 03:58pm
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[Reveal] Spoiler:
I'm personally disappointed that they killed Desmond. I really wanted to see him evolve into a full fledged Assassin in the modern world. I'm curious as to how they're going to spin the stories of future Assassin's Creed games now that their primary vessel for going through history is dead.



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 Post subject: Re: Assassin's Creed III PostPosted: 2012-11-26 04:04pm
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A lot of people feel the same way, because they saw the series as a whole as moving forward into the modern day.

To be honest I think the braindead story wouldn't really allow this, and it's safer and easier to sell a historical game.



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