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Assassin's Creed is bloated, unfocused, and needs to shed some systems (PC Gamer)


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  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to Assassin's Creed is bloated, unfocused, and needs to shed some systems (PC Gamer)

I was talking to a friend the other day and I was telling him how cool games could be now if they utilized the hardware and game engines to make smaller, mind-blowingly awesome environments instead of everything having to be a sprawling massive landscape. I kinda miss the days of the Zelda dungeons and the corridor shooters.

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I think there's room for everything. Origins and Odyssey are probably my favorite AC games. Breath of the wild is probably my least favorite Zelda game. I haven't played Valhalla, but ultimately I don't really care what they do as long as they do it well.

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The game used to be about verticallity and running on rooftops not running though the countryside. The game is Assassin's Creed in name only by this point.

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I've never played any AC game other than Origins and Odyssey, both very briefly.  The latter felt a lot more scattered and unfocused to me than the former, at least in the opening hours.  Neither was riveting, but I don't think I could easily appreciate Odyssey without Origins weaning me in.

I don't know if I'll ever get around to them.  I'd probably be happier beating 2-4 games in the time it'd take to finish one of them.

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I love the series, especially the last three, but I wouldn’t mind a return to smaller scale. Stick with a city or two. 
 

and they can definitely cut down on the boring collectibles and meaningless side shit. I didn’t do any of the mushroom things in Valhalla and I only did one of those weird glitch puzzle things. 

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I’m playing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey now and loving it, but it’s not really an AC game. It’s a big sprawling third person open world action RPG that focuses more on melee combat than stealth. It doesn’t really feel anything at all like the earlier AC games.

 

I think that Ubisoft should have made a new IP for the action RPG AC games (Origins, Odyssey, Valhalla) not having them connected to AC (no current day sci-fi stuff), and keeping AC a focused smaller scale assassin sim series.

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Cutting down on the "bloat" on its own won't accomplish much. Having less side content doesn't necessarily or automatically lead to the main content being any better. In that sense, you yourself can cut down on the bloat anytime you want by just not engaging with it.


Rather than cutting down on bloat, I'd rather they just make each system have more depth and meaning. I love a wide variety of activities, and they're all certainly much better than earlier AC games (which, apparently people in this thread have forgotten, were bloated to fuck and back with copy-pasted meaningless side missions that didn't even have unique dialogue let alone a unique setting or enemies) but I think they can push much further.

 

I like these new AC games far more than any of the previous ones, which I barely even tolerated half the time, and do not care about the sanctity of the AC name or "hurr durr assassin is right in the NAME this is a valid argument wooo" approach, as long as they keep making them fun and interesting, that's the AC I want, and I feel like they're progressively getting better, even if sometimes a feature or two stumbles or takes a step backward.

 

I think for me the most important change they could make is making the combat less floaty/stilted at this point. They've gotten great at adding lots of fun abilities, but they should really polish the whole thing up to a mirror finish before adding more systems to combat in particular. As underwhelming as I find Ghost of Tsushima compared to what I perceive as the average opinion people hold on it, the combat is definitely snappier and more responsive, which for a game with as much combat as AC, is paramount in keeping the game fresh in the long run. Also give me a jump button already! Jumping in GoT is fun because jumping in games is fun.

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I own all three of the newer Ass. Creeds and only beat Origins after several years of owning it and put over 100 hours into the game. Odyssey is even bigger. I remember when Valhall was announced I was worried that it would be even BIGGER and bloated but the Devs said it was more focused. I haven't even started that game yet but I've heard that its just as big and never ending as its two predeccesors. Somebody at Ubisoft fell in love with The Witcher 3 and decided to do THAT times 1000. The basic gameplay loop is good but after 100 plus hours of doing the same shit? I'll eventually get through both games but damn. They really need to chill. Wildlands and other Ubi games suffer from this as well.

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3 hours ago, Xbob42 said:

AC games (which, apparently people in this thread have forgotten, were bloated to fuck and back with copy-pasted meaningless side missions that didn't even have unique dialogue let alone a unique setting or enemies) but I think they can push much further.

I legit don't remember these. Maybe I didn't do them. I remember unlocking all the view points and getting the legendary armor, but I don't recall any side quests other than the armor. AC2 and Brotherhood are my favorite games. AC died with AC3, but I wish another company would make games like AC2 and Brohood. Those games always felt like Medieval-Parkour GTA to me and that's what I want more of. I'd really like for this to happen in a low-fantasy world with magic being more of a utility than a means of attack. With it being fantasy you don't have to have even semi-realistic architecture and could go wild with the Climbing and Parkour shit. I never finished reading it, but I can't help but think of something like The Night Angel Trilogy but Assassin's Creed. 

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7 minutes ago, Bacon said:

I legit don't remember these. Maybe I didn't do them. I remember unlocking all the view points and getting the legendary armor, but I don't recall any side quests other than the armor. AC2 and Brotherhood are my favorite games. AC died with AC3, but I wish another company would make games like AC2 and Brohood. Those games always felt like Medieval-Parkour GTA to me and that's what I want more of. I'd really like for this to happen in a low-fantasy world with magic being more of a utility than a means of attack. With it being fantasy you don't have to have even semi-realistic architecture and could go wild with the Climbing and Parkour shit. I never finished reading it, but I can't help but think of something like The Night Angel Trilogy but Assassin's Creed. 

You don't remember the Chore Coops?

 

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These were a huge turnoff to me. They felt almost procedurally generated, but I think each one had a unique name and there were only like 30 of them, but because they were so bland and samey (Go here, kill guy, and if I remember correctly, no real dialogue or anything) it felt like there were millions of them. And that was just the ones for assassinating people. And I dunno about anyone else, but I count collectables as "side quests" as well, except even less involved or interesting, aside from the occasional bit of fun parkour if you get lucky.

 

I've never hated the AC titles, I even enjoy the first one, but in my head I try to remember my time with the earlier ones... and it's just some interesting story stuff right at the start, hours and hours of just kind of wandering around collecting shit, mindless counter-spam combat and then crazy endings.

 

To me, stuff like Origins, Odyssey and Valhalla is more interesting because it makes the part you spend the most time with (wandering around collecting shit and fighting) a lot more fun, and therefore the game as a whole a lot more fun. Still keeps the crazy endings and interesting beginnings, so in my mind... not much is different besides the combat finally not being shit-tier garbage.

 

I actually think the games have always blown major chunks as assassination games because the "stealth" systems were terribly undercooked (didn't we JUST get a crouch button??) and your character was so overpowered that it was borderline stupid to go through with stealth anyway because you could basically one-shot everyone with counter attacks. At least now stealth has actual value as enemies can be quite tanky, so if you spec deep into stealth/assassination you can end fights before they begin, because fighting an entire fortress is no longer a cakewalk, at least on harder difficulties.

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I kinda remember them, but I guess I didn't hate them. Well, I remember the coops, but not any of the missions. This shit was basically Medieval-Parkour GTA so I was just looking for reasons to go a slaughtering with the goal of one hit killing as many enemies in a row as I could. I loved just one-shotting a pack of enemies only using the hidden blades. 

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And I have never played the new AC games. The way AC3 ended just killed off any desire to play these games. If they had abandoned the sci-fi part I probably would have kept playing, but they didn't. And the way they are bringing back the plots from those previous games makes them even less desirable.

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32 minutes ago, Bacon said:

I kinda remember them, but I guess I didn't hate them. Well, I remember the coops, but not any of the missions. This shit was basically Medieval-Parkour GTA so I was just looking for reasons to go a slaughtering with the goal of one hit killing as many enemies in a row as I could. I loved just one-shotting a pack of enemies only using the hidden blades. 

That'd do it then. If you like the power fantasy/fun of one-shotting everything, those early AC titles definitely excelled at giving you that experience.

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I have beaten all the console games in the series. No regrets. I’ve played the shit out of most of them. 
 

I just love the history and the environments. I have nerded out so hard playing Valhalla because I love that time period in English history. 

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All of the AC games up through Syndicate were one style of game.  IMHO, by that point the series was getting stale and needed a gameplay refresh.

 

They got that refresh with AC: Origins -- which, similar to the original AC had a number of issues.  They've largely fixed those with AC Valhalla.  Yes, there is way to much bloat in Valhalla.  The river raid section felt tacked on -- and largely pointless.  There were too many "similar" encounters throughout the game.  If they had shortened it by about 50% it would have been a better game.  But I could say that about most open world games today.

 

That doesn't change that it is a VERY good game and worth playing.

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Assassin’s Creed games have ALWAYS been “bloated.” How many flags were there to collect in the original? II, Bro, and Rev were padded to hell also. I’d wager most people probably take 2 - 2.5x as long to get through something like Odyssey as they would have to get through Bro, but I don’t think the difference is just “bloat;” I think the newer games are much less repetitive than the old ones. Yeah, river raids and whatever the hell the battles in Odyssey were ended up being very samey but those events has a lot more going on in between them than the missions Xbob was referencing.

 

I dunno, the Ass Creed games have never really been afraid to fuck around with stuff and to jettison things that don’t work... we haven’t had to play tower defense in a while. :p

 

I think the latest three games have been very good and each have flirted with being something truly special. A little more focus, a few really interesting assassin set pieces, and I think they’d be right there.

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12 hours ago, Xbob42 said:

Cutting down on the "bloat" on its own won't accomplish much. Having less side content doesn't necessarily or automatically lead to the main content being any better. In that sense, you yourself can cut down on the bloat anytime you want by just not engaging with it.


Rather than cutting down on bloat, I'd rather they just make each system have more depth and meaning. I love a wide variety of activities, and they're all certainly much better than earlier AC games (which, apparently people in this thread have forgotten, were bloated to fuck and back with copy-pasted meaningless side missions that didn't even have unique dialogue let alone a unique setting or enemies) but I think they can push much further.

 

I like these new AC games far more than any of the previous ones, which I barely even tolerated half the time, and do not care about the sanctity of the AC name or "hurr durr assassin is right in the NAME this is a valid argument wooo" approach, as long as they keep making them fun and interesting, that's the AC I want, and I feel like they're progressively getting better, even if sometimes a feature or two stumbles or takes a step backward.

 

I think for me the most important change they could make is making the combat less floaty/stilted at this point. They've gotten great at adding lots of fun abilities, but they should really polish the whole thing up to a mirror finish before adding more systems to combat in particular. As underwhelming as I find Ghost of Tsushima compared to what I perceive as the average opinion people hold on it, the combat is definitely snappier and more responsive, which for a game with as much combat as AC, is paramount in keeping the game fresh in the long run. Also give me a jump button already! Jumping in GoT is fun because jumping in games is fun.

 

Pretty much this. Good post. I'm about to start up Valhalla in a day or two and look forward to it. 

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I own them all, but I think the only one i've actually beaten was Black Flag, and that's after an 8 month break then saying "Fuck the side quests, focus on the main story" because I enjoyed it so much.

 

I miss the days of KOTOR man....those fixed size maps that still felt large and got to explore, but not crazy - One the the things I enjoyed about The Outer Worlds as well.

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22 hours ago, Bacon said:

AC2 and Brotherhood are my favorite games. AC died with AC3, but I wish another company would make games like AC2 and Brohood. Those games always felt like Medieval-Parkour GTA to me and that's what I want more of.

Assassin’s Creed II and Brotherhood are my favorites in the series as well, and I’ve played them all except for Valhalla. However, I disagree that the series died with Assassin’s Creed III. Black Flag and Syndicate are really good, and even Unity is somewhat decent. Origins and Odyssey are really good too, they’re just a bit of a departure from the traditional AC formula.

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1 hour ago, Bacon said:

Boats are shit and lame. 

 

The boats and shit were the best part of three, mainly because everything else about 3 sucked, but was fine for a side mission thing. When they made a whole game about it I really fell off the series.

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8 hours ago, Bacon said:

Boats are shit and lame. 

Black Flag is the only game in the series that overdoes it with the ship stuff, there’s no ship stuff in Unity or Syndicate and there’s not too much in Origins. There’s a little more in Odyssey, but it’s kept fairly basic and is a fitting and fun aspect of the game IMO.

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1 hour ago, Bacon said:

Boats are shit and lame. The traversal of water is shit and lame. The amount of time doesn't matter. Never fun. 

I’m not a big fan of the ship stuff either, but the little of it in Odyssey is fitting for the game IMO. But I could realistically do without it, especially in the other AC games.

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I'm 43 hours into Valhalla and I'm not even fucking close to beating it. Overall, Valhalla is scaled down from Odyssey but it's still too massive. 

 

However, England is a beautiful place to roam around in that's for sure.  

 

On 4/7/2021 at 11:24 PM, XxEvil AshxX said:

I was talking to a friend the other day and I was telling him how cool games could be now if they utilized the hardware and game engines to make smaller, mind-blowingly awesome environments instead of everything having to be a sprawling massive landscape. 

 

I'd love for that to happen. It could be incredibly detailed with amazing AI. 

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On 4/9/2021 at 6:59 PM, best3444 said:

I'd love for that to happen. It could be incredibly detailed with amazing AI. 

 

Imagine if the next Ghost Recon was less open-world looter shooter and more GR2-GRAW stage-based missions. 

 

GRAW was incredibly intense for its time and still holds up really well. I would pee my pants if they went back to that with today's capabilities.

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12 minutes ago, XxEvil AshxX said:

 

Imagine if the next Ghost Recon was less open-world looter shooter and more GR2-GRAW stage-based missions. 

 

GRAW was incredibly intense for its time and still holds up really well. I would pee my pants if they went back to that with today's capabilities.

 

I absolutely loved GRAW. God I hope that happens sometime this new gen.

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1 hour ago, XxEvil AshxX said:

 

Imagine if the next Ghost Recon was less open-world looter shooter and more GR2-GRAW stage-based missions. 

 

GRAW was incredibly intense for its time and still holds up really well. I would pee my pants if they went back to that with today's capabilities.

 

Imagine if it was more like classic Ghost Recon or Ghost Recon 2!

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43 minutes ago, Keyser_Soze said:

 

Imagine if it was more like classic Ghost Recon or Ghost Recon 2!

 

GR2 Summit Strike was my favorite of all-time. We used to get 12 people in a mission with no respawns and the difficulty jacked. If we were lucky we finished the mission with more than one or two people. Playing through the mission and seeing people get killed as you go and having your numbers dwindle was probably one of the best times in gaming. If you were one of the few left, you KNEW they were all watching you in observation mode, but you couldn't hear what they were saying because no party chat. Then to succeed/fail would kick you into the lobby to a round of cheers or boos. It was excellent. I'm actually kind of sad that it will probably never be that good again.

 

EDIT: On a side note, at that time, I consistently had at least twenty people on my friends list that were legit. I accumulated those because GR had one of the best co-op communities at that time. We'd bring in friends, friends would bring in friends, and everyone was cool and communicated and if they started shit they were gone.

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