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Assassins Creed - an experiment in repetition
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Poo Bear
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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Location: Sheffield, UK



PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:15 pm    Post subject: Assassins Creed - an experiment in repetition Reply with quote

I missed this one first time around somehow, but it's hard to pass up when its in the bargain bin Smile

I'm about 3 hours in and it seems the most fantastic demonstrations of 'graphics, stories and clever ideas do NOT a well rounded game make'.

The countryside looks gorgeous. The cities look amazing. The implementations of free running puts Mirrors Edge to shame, it's very very good. Animation and moving through crowds is very immersive and clever. You can almost hear the lamentations of a hundred programmers and artists Smile The story is even interesting - eek! A kidnapped guy forced to relive genetic memories of his assassin ancestors - certainly original.

BUT

Every missions starts with a 10minute horse ride through the desert to a town. Then there follows a 10min exploration of the town to fill out the map. Then we spend 5mins either picking someone's pocket or intimidating someone for clues. Then the main assassination mission can start, which always involves sneaking in somewhere, stirking the target and fighting your way out. Then you must return to the local assassin HQ while the city is on high alert, then finally return to the main base to pick up your next mission.

The first time I went through that sequence I thought 'Wow, this is awesome, shame the combat is a bit hit and miss'.

Second time - 'Wow, this is great...'

Third time - 'Wow, this is OK...'

Fourth time - 'Wow, this is annoying...'

Fifth time - 'Wow, is this a joke? ...'

Sixth time - \\\"Please kill me ...'

Wink

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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Played on a bit further, there are still moments where I catch a glimpse of the city and have to pause a moment to look at it. It really is a technical achievement.

The tedium is beginning to ratchet even higher though. My boss just told me everyone had been taking it easy on me and now things would be much harder as my fame spread i.e. more guards, quicker to go into high alert.

<sigh>

Sure enough, the next city was swarming with guards on the ground and every other roof top had one too. Also, we now have poor unfortunate insane people stood on street corners. For some reason they take great offence to my presence and lash out at me, if this happens in front of a guard and I stumble into someone then it's high alert time yet again.

Another odd (but funny) feature are the people carrying urns and boxes. If you so much as look at them they drop what they are carrying, and again, if a guard is nearby the alarm goes off. These S.O.B.s make a bee line straight for me! Conga lines of 5 or 6 will see me and veer towards me desperate to smash their urns and boxes. Sad

Evading the guards is much trickier now. You have to hide in a straw bail or odd looking roof tent while they calm down. However, if they see you get in it then it doesn't work. In this last city I find myself running for miles in a mad dash to find a quiet straw bail to hide it. Crazy game.

It's all oddly compelling, one of those games where you sit swearing at it yet play on anyway?
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely a heavily flawed gem.

I can't stop playing it, but its like torture Smile

Our hero, Altair, cannot swim. It's never been an issue, the game is set in the desert after all. However, I came across a city with a canal through it and of course ended up falling in. In fact I only noticed the canal when I fell off a building and ended up in it.

A super assassin who cannot swim and drowns in about 5secs? Odd.

Never mind, it's a one off canal that is easily avoided, silly but not a big deal.


Then came the city on the coast with missions actually set in the bay. I actually cannot believe a game with this much money spent on it was released with these water based missions included. It really beggars belief.

In one mission you have no choice but to hop and jump your way out to a tower completely surrounded by water. Little poles poke out of the water here and there and you have to jump from one to the other. Now something has gone very wrong here. The whole game is built around the idea of making the fumbling idiot player look good i.e. every time you jump, the game looks for hand holds, ledges, steps, etc anywhere near you and subtly moves you to the nearest one so you only fall if you are miles away. This doesn't work over water. Even though the only thing for miles around is a big lonely pole sticking up in front of you, if you don't jump at it EXACTLY right then you go into the drink. Even if you fell 6inches from the pier it's game over.

Remember those angry drunks and crazy people who love to push you if you go anywhere near them? They are all over the pier and even in some of the boats - go anywhere near them and they'll push you in ... and KILL you. Still, at least the game is consistent, you can push THEM in and watch them die too Smile

I really can't remember off hand any other game with levels purposely built around something that just doesn't work. Remember, dying in water isn't a bug, this is how it was made. I think someone at Ubisoft hates people Wink
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Autopsy of a broken mission - warning spoiler!

In this mission you have to kill someone - OK, not too surprising Wink

Phase1 - get to the target, sadly you have to cross a bit of water, enough said about that travesty Wink

Phase2 - kill him. If you kill any of his guards (like some skilled assassin might do) then even if he cannot see you, he knows and he starts running. If you sneak up on him and stab him or get him with a throwing dagger, he starts running. Yep, he's invulnerable. So our conclusion here is just blunder in shouting and waving, no point doing anything else, we just need to get him moving.

Phase 3 - kill him again. Once he's running he'll head to a nearby guard post, just tag along, nothing you can do until he gets there. OK, now he is actually vulnerable. Only problem is he is part of a conga line made up of his original guards, the guards he ran past on the way here and the full complement of tower guards at this outpost. It looks pretty funny really.

Obviously you have ZERO chance of coping with around 30 guards. Still not to worry, you can run off and hide, pick them off, choose your moment, etc. You know, like an assassin might? Wrong, if you get too far away from the target the mission auto-fails and you have to restart.

Phase 4 - please kill me. OK here's the skinny. Once you have a conga line of enemies in pursuit (with your target in it somewhere), run up the nearest small elevated platform. There are so many guards they will jam up and have to slowly climb the platform one or two at a time. As they climb up smack them on the head with your sword. Sadly you will occasionally trigger a complex attack flurry and hurl yourself off the platform. Not to worry, try to find somewhere with two good platforms nearby, then you can just go from one to the other as needed.

Job done. BOY, DO I FEEL LIKE AN ASSASSIN NOW!

Sorry, that should have read A S S. Smile

p.s. why, when someone realises an assassin is after them AND they have alerted 30 guards to kill him, do they feel the need to join in themselves, therefore putting their own lives at risk? Note to people under threat of assassination: when you discover the assassin, alert the guards and then just leave. Much safer. Wink
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I need therapy. I've actually completed Assassins Creed, it certainly demonstrates the power of addiction. I sort of hate myself a little bit for sticking with it, especially after the marathon play session I had to put in to complete the last mission.

I don't remember the last time I played a game and really felt like the developers were actually out to hurt me. To really stick the knife in and make something completely brutal and nasty. Gives me fond memories of all the old 8-bit games of yester year Smile

The last mission puts you on a narrow enclosed path. There are no alternate routes, no ledges or buildings to climb on, no tents or straw bails to hide in, no scholars to blend with. Nothing. You are no longer an assassin, you are a victim. At points along this path are large groups of guards just stood waiting for you and each group gets bigger and tougher.

It feels like some kind of evil frat house initiation gone wrong or just being mugged and beaten up!

At the end we have a small enclosed area only about 5m x 5m and again there is nowhere to hide and nowhere to go. There is a nice cut scene and then you are literally surrounded by knights templar. These are tanks of death, plate mail armour and massive swords that will often break straight through your guard. It's just pure brutal evil torture. They just wail on you and there is nothing you can do, I was almost in tears Smile

SPOILER

Searching the net I found the answer and I couldn't believe it. I double checked with five different play guides and they all said the same thing:

Just stand there in guard mode so you fend off at least some attacks. Constantly try your 'attack break' trick, which will occasionally defeat an incoming attack and knock the assailant to the floor. While he is down whack him. You will get hurt yourself while doing this, but ignore it. When you are nearly dead RUN IN A TIGHT CIRCLE FOR FIVE MINUTES TO RECOVER HEALTH. The knights aren't quite as fast so you can just lead them in a little conga line circle. Repeat this process about 10 times to kill them all.

So, everyone agrees. The only way to reliably get past this bit is to take advantage of exploits (i.e. bugs) AGAIN!!

Unbelievable.

Now. Is the sequel in the bargain bin yet?

<glutton>
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Holly



Joined: 15 Nov 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please, never, ever play this game again. The dog was traumatised by your distress.
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