[Assassin's Creed] To fight the horde, sing and cry

Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular


The latest entry in the AC Franchise is Assassin's Creed: Valhalla.
Massena wrote: »
So, if I have this right:
-Play as male or female
-A raven is your companion animal
-Set in Scandinavia, Norway, Britain, and Alfred the Great is the big bad (which, yeah that's a significant reversal from his typical portrayal)
-Build your own Viking village (super interested in this)
-In-game decisions affect settlement, story, romances (will this fill the void in my gaming that Bioware left when they started sucking?)
-Customize tattoos, beard, war paint, gear, longboats (sort of expected but still awesome and fun)

I'm super pumped here as long as they don't, you know, pull a III or a Unity.

It's coming to current and next gen consoles, and likely PC as well


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The AC Franchise is over a decade old and features games in multiple historical settings and eras. The overarching plot ended in AC3, but the games latest iterations focusing more on RPG style character building and choice trees, like an action adventure Mass Effect. So while the original games were about Desmond stepping into his ancestors shoes, these new games are about the player themselves taking on Desmond's role.

Well known for Unity's buggy release, Syndicate marked a shift in Ubisoft's direction for the series. They recognized fans wanted more freedom and control over the experience, starting with choice of player character. Originally Ubisoft was quoted as saying that female Playable Characters would be too expensive and time consuming to implement. Well they've apparently found it in their budget to include them in every game since, something fans are quite happy about. While the games are a far cry from the original trilogy, the modern releases are oft praised, starting with Origins in 2017.

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  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    I've greatly enjoyed Syndicate (still have some missions to play - Helix Glitch missions, Queen Victoria, Jack the Ripper DLC), but I wish they did more interesting things with the Assassin/Templar conflict. They always hint at something more complex and ambivalent, and they're usually good at giving their villains personality on a scene-by-scene basis, but they fail at story/character arcs. The potential's there, and that's almost more frustrating on the whole.

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  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    That's because the main writer left very early.
    AC1 had the most ambiguous plot by miles.
    They always had a good point. Sure, their actions were terrible. Absolutely terrible. But their reasons always involved a good point or two.
    It was fun watching Altair work all this heavy shit out.

    He wasn't built for thinking. He ended up doing really well in the end.

    There hasn't been character growth like that since. Ezio got better at being an assassin, he got his revenge, but he didn't really grow much until near the end of revelations.
    And none of the villains in his arc had anything but mustache twirling motivations.

    AC3 had a very ambiguous plot.

    Nobody liked that plot.

    I've long ago lost any hope that we are going to get an actually interesting and good story out of this franchise.
    People, enmass, the buying public, the reason they're pumping these games out.

    They don't want moral greyness. They want good guys and bad guys.

    And that's all we are going to get.

    Forever.

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  • vamenvamen Registered User regular
    That's because the main writer left very early.
    AC1 had the most ambiguous plot by miles.
    They always had a good point. Sure, their actions were terrible. Absolutely terrible. But their reasons always involved a good point or two.
    It was fun watching Altair work all this heavy shit out.

    He wasn't built for thinking. He ended up doing really well in the end.

    There hasn't been character growth like that since. Ezio got better at being an assassin, he got his revenge, but he didn't really grow much until near the end of revelations.
    And none of the villains in his arc had anything but mustache twirling motivations.

    AC3 had a very ambiguous plot.

    Nobody liked that plot.

    I've long ago lost any hope that we are going to get an actually interesting and good story out of this franchise.
    People, enmass, the buying public, the reason they're pumping these games out.

    They don't want moral greyness. They want good guys and bad guys.

    And that's all we are going to get.

    Forever.

    The is most dark and disturbing of predictions. But I fear you're right =\

  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    AC3 made the mistake of telling its ambiguous plot through a drab main character with little apparent personality. IMO Black Flag told a good, surprisingly poignant story with good characters, but it didn't really do much for the overarching plot. Unity had a great starting point with two main characters on opposite sides of the conflict, but it did very little with this; just imagine if they'd had Elise as a playable character together with Arno, along the lines of Evie and Jacob. There's a lot of potential in what they do, and they keep introducing ideas that could be great, but then they hobble themselves by reverting to good vs. evil. The bits that hint at ambiguity, at more interesting stories and characters, end up clashing with the simplistic main plots.

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  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    It wont change.
    If they really wanted to tell an interesting story they would.
    They've had, what, 10 or 11 games now?
    Ever since it went annual these games have been aimed straight at the wallet of the common denominator.
    The average joe don't give a fuck about ambiguity, they get confused when a story doesn't follow the rails they are expecting it to follow. Simple with a few emotional moments. Bombastic. Hint at mystery, but dont actually confront anyone with it.
    That is the way they intend to make these games from now on and nothing we think is going to change that. The evidence is staring us in the face. Nine years of assassin's creed and not a single one of them did anything with the templar assassin plot. That carrot will be dangled in front of the donkey until it dies.

    It is not going to happen duder. The games are going to coast along at exactly this level of quality, with exactly these kinds of stories, until they stop making them.
    Honestly, if the only reason you keep buying them is hoping they'll get better, I'd recommend you save your cash.
    I'm not playing these games for the story, so it doesn't bother me that it wont be changing.

    I know it'll never be anything special, so I always just wait until they hit a low enough price. They're not worth the full cost.

    I always end up with a better experience too, since all the bugs are fixed.

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  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    Oh, I primarily play these games because I'm a sucker for historical tourism. However, if they were entirely unambitious in terms of storytelling, they wouldn't have all of those bits that hint at something more complex. If they wanted to go for lowest common denominator storytelling only, they could do so much more easily. On a scene-by-scene basis, there's some pretty compelling stuff there - not consistently, not all the time, but it's there nevertheless. It's when you look at overall plot and story/character arcs that the Assassin's Creed games fall flat IMO.

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  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    That's what they call a hook.
    It's a very common technique for garning interest in your series, and the good part is, you never have to risk actually following up on it. The hook is just interesting enough that people think there will be more, but all they ever do. All they have done for nine years.
    Is keep on dangling more bait.

    You are being played. We are all being played. Many franchises do this kind of thing. A little bit of spice to keep things interesting. They will never go all the way with it.

    It's really easy to do too, because all you have to do is put in just that little bit more effort here, and maybe there, and then the rest of your story can be some generic good/bad dribble. A little bit of work for a huge reward.
    They know it is what keeps people interested, and they're doing it deliberately. The historical evidence is nine years long. The changes in formula are nonexistent. They've got this shit down to a science.

    You can believe in your heart that they really want to do something really ambitious real soon if it makes you feel better though.

    Could be anytime now.

    Could be the next story.

    You should preorder it!

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  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    I picked up Syndicate on sale from the store, haven't jumped in yet but I am excited to.

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  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    I just want more modern stuff. That ARG thing sounded interesting, but the F2P junk in it just made it such a chore to actually play. And I think it's down now anyway.

    Oh well, at least there are new Mirror's edge and Deus Ex games coming out next year

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  • KendrikKendrik McKinney, TXRegistered User regular
    So, I have a weird issue with AC: Syndicate. I've gotten all the way to the
    Gatling Gun
    mission and I've gotten a couple of crashes. That's not weird for an AC game. What IS weird is that it appears to taking my RAID down with it. In other words, the game crashes and when it goes my D: drive is no longer recognized by Windows. Has anyone EVER seen an issue like this before? As it stands, every time I load up the saved game it immediately crashes so I'm unable to proceed. Since I was actually enjoying the hell out of it I'm a bit nonplussed. Any suggestions?

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  • MongerMonger I got the ham stink. Dallas, TXRegistered User regular
    So it seems that the next game is likely going to be in Egypt, and not out until 2017.

    This game might finally be happening, after last having been teased in AC4.

    It is about goddamn time this series took a year off. Considering I never got back around to Unity after it got patched, never installed Rogue, and didn't even end up buying Syndicate, I might get a chance to start catching up.

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  • KadokenKadoken Giving Ends to my Friends and it Feels Stupendous Registered User regular
    That sounds pretty cool, appsrentky they're trying to make it more Witcher-like.

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  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    I do wonder how much climbing there will be in Egypt

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  • KadokenKadoken Giving Ends to my Friends and it Feels Stupendous Registered User regular
    Spoit wrote: »
    I do wonder how much climbing there will be in Egypt

    Those shiny ass pyramids gon be slippery

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  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    Lots of scaffolding and stuff like that, I imagine

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    I need something more than kotaku talking about a post on 4chan. But it might be neat. Although they also talk about doing Rome again.

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  • mere_immortalmere_immortal So tasty!Registered User regular
    Got Syndicate last week and I'm pretty surprised at the extra Dreadful Crimes stuff on PS4. Those platform exclusive missions are usually pretty terrible, but I quite enjoy these ones. They're quite simple but nicely produced and a good change of pace.

    Also Frye twins for best reaction faces '15.

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  • ErrorError Registered User regular
    I expect Rogue will be released on the PS4 and One if they are indeed taking a year off for the other game.

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    I played through Syndicate over New year's and really enjoyed it. The protagonists felt a lot more compelling than in some previous entries. And the hookshot it's a huge quality of life upgrade.

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  • Skull2185Skull2185 Registered User regular
    Error wrote: »
    I expect Rogue will be released on the PS4 and One if they are indeed taking a year off for the other game.

    I'd love this. Never got to play Rogue, and I hear it was quite good. Plus, I'd like to go back to awesome ship combat. If they do release a PS4/One port, I hope they don't try to do something silly like release it at $60.

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  • SwashbucklerXXSwashbucklerXX Swashbucklin' Canuck Registered User regular
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    I need something more than kotaku talking about a post on 4chan. But it might be neat. Although they also talk about doing Rome again.

    If you read the article, Schrier goes into great detail about which rumors have been backed up by his own independent sources over the last few months. He's one of Kotaku's more reliable people when it comes to this stuff.

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  • MongerMonger I got the ham stink. Dallas, TXRegistered User regular
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    I need something more than kotaku talking about a post on 4chan. But it might be neat. Although they also talk about doing Rome again.

    If you read the article, Schrier goes into great detail about which rumors have been backed up by his own independent sources over the last few months. He's one of Kotaku's more reliable people when it comes to this stuff.
    It's true. Schreier is actually a competent journalist, and I probably wouldn't have linked the article if it had been written by anyone else. Maybe Patrick Klepek. I don't understand why either of them are still at Kotaku, honestly.

    Local H Jay
  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    If they do work in the "powers" from the old Prince of Persia reboot, it would probably mean that the protagonist has access to a Piece of Eden and wields it throughout the story (which would be a dramatic departure from most AC games where you only get to use them at the end/post-game). It would be cool to see someone actually use one for good for once.

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  • altidaltid Registered User regular
    Just finished the main story in Syndicate. Really enjoyed it overall, but do have quite a few nitpicky things about the game. The dynamic between Jacob and Evie was excellent throughout. They did a much better job with the characters in Syndicate than Unity, largely by focusing on a smaller cast and giving them more screentime. Outside of Arno and Elise I can't really remember anyone from Unity. Well apart from Napoleon who wasn't in it much.

    One of the nitpicky things is that having lived in London you tend to notice how compressed the map is - St Pancras moved quite a bit south! It also cut out the area of London I was most familiar with (in and around UCL down to the British Museum), but I suppose it's to be expected. I was a bit disappointed with the lack of interiors to buildings though, most notably St. Pauls.

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  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    Monger wrote: »
    So it seems that the next game is likely going to be in Egypt, and not out until 2017.

    This game might finally be happening, after last having been teased in AC4.

    It is about goddamn time this series took a year off. Considering I never got back around to Unity after it got patched, never installed Rogue, and didn't even end up buying Syndicate, I might get a chance to start catching up.

    Finally, maybe we'll get something with teeth again.

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  • KadokenKadoken Giving Ends to my Friends and it Feels Stupendous Registered User regular
    Teeth for what?

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  • ProhassProhass Registered User regular
    I am so excited about the rumours for a possible cleopatra era egypt/hopefully Rome

    I've been wanting them to do ancient or classical for so damn long

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  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited January 2016
    Kadoken wrote: »
    Teeth for what?

    It's a shortened, paraphrased saying

    "Something to get your teeth into"

    It means quality.
    Actual fucking polish and, you know, quality well thought out content.

    I want to see more than the mere iterative changes they've been doing so far. I want to see real change AND quality content that thoughtfully uses this change.

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  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    Syndicate was rad

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  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    altid wrote: »
    One of the nitpicky things is that having lived in London you tend to notice how compressed the map is - St Pancras moved quite a bit south! It also cut out the area of London I was most familiar with (in and around UCL down to the British Museum), but I suppose it's to be expected. I was a bit disappointed with the lack of interiors to buildings though, most notably St. Pauls.
    I would've loved a mission (or five) set in the National Gallery - or just the option to hang out in there, catch some nice art and grab an Afternoon Tea. :)

    I enjoyed the Jacob/Evie dynamic, but it made me think it would've been very cool if Unity had offered two playable characters, Arno and Elise, and if we'd actually seen more of the Templars' perspective. That's not the game we got, but once again, the potential in the setting and ideas is huge, if only they showed any sustained interest in exploring this potential more than they have to date.

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  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    Syndicate was rad

    I haven't played that one yet.

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  • Andy JoeAndy Joe The AdirondacksRegistered User regular
    Kadoken wrote: »
    Teeth for what?

    It's a shortened, paraphrased saying

    "Something to get your teeth into"

    It means quality.
    Actual fucking polish and, you know, quality well thought out content.

    I want to see more than the mere iterative changes they've been doing so far. I want to see real change AND quality content that thoughtfully uses this change.

    Having or not having teeth, metaphorically, is typically used to describe the effectiveness of laws. I've never seen it used as shorthand for "Sink your teeth into," which means to be engaged passionately with something.

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  • KadokenKadoken Giving Ends to my Friends and it Feels Stupendous Registered User regular
    I always thought of "Having teeth" as biting, like a satirical or punditry show not afraid to go after people

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  • DeadfallDeadfall Registered User regular
    Yeah Syndicate was fantastic.

    I hadn't had that much fun in an AC game since Brotherhood. For one, they went back to the unstoppable murder machine combat that Unity ditched.

    I liked being an unstoppable murder machine.

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  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    Syndicate was rad

    I haven't played that one yet.

    It's just weird seeing people greet the news of the new game with responses like "oh maybe this'll get things back on track"

    When the newest game in the series is arguably the best

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  • mere_immortalmere_immortal So tasty!Registered User regular
    I'm playing Syndicate at the moment and really enjoying it, but I can understand the reaction to this news. Despite the quality Syndicate is still the same basic series formula of every game since 2, so the idea of a complete overhaul is exciting to me too.

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  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited January 2016
    Andy Joe wrote: »
    Kadoken wrote: »
    Teeth for what?

    It's a shortened, paraphrased saying

    "Something to get your teeth into"

    It means quality.
    Actual fucking polish and, you know, quality well thought out content.

    I want to see more than the mere iterative changes they've been doing so far. I want to see real change AND quality content that thoughtfully uses this change.

    Having or not having teeth, metaphorically, is typically used to describe the effectiveness of laws. I've never seen it used as shorthand for "Sink your teeth into," which means to be engaged passionately with something.

    What is this, metaphor police? The point of them is that they can be used for anything. Here I am, using it for anything. We all understand now, so whats the problem.

    All I want is some quality gameplay I can engage passionately with. I used a shorthand. Another way of putting it would be I want that content to be effective at engaging me.
    Lets move on eh? This is getting a tad silly.

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  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    I honestly thought you were making a joke about the face glitches in Unity

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  • Andy JoeAndy Joe The AdirondacksRegistered User regular
    All I want is some quality gameplay I can engage passionately with.

    And I hope they tone down the collectibles a little. They've gotten out of hand, not just in this series but action-adventure games generally.

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  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    I don't even bother with collectibles anymore. It's just fluff added to games to force you to retread areas of the game for any you'd missed initially.

    Games like Crackdown made orb hunting fun. AC games have never done collectibles right.

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