Thursday, November 19, 2009

Assassin's Creed Plot - A Lesson in Failure

More good comments from Rachel yesterday. She's wrong about one thing though...I have no issue with linking to her site no matter how big an Ubisoft fan girl she is. In general I really like Ubisoft and I've played a ton of their games. It's just that, thanks to Assassin's Creed, I'm once bitten and twice shy.

Speaking of Assassin's Creed, one of my biggest disappointments with the game was the story. A disgraced member of a brotherhood of assassins must redeem himself by slaying nine high profile targets in the ancient Middle Eastern holy lands, all the while unraveling the mystery of how they're connected and what terrible secret they're dying to protect? How can that miss? Well, it missed and by a wide mark.

More than anything, the designers' biggest mistake was in rationing out the story FAR too slowly. I like suspense as much as the next guy, but every time you eliminated a target you'd think, "Finally, they're sure to tell me a little bit about what's going on now!" But's just more of the same ambiguous crap and idle prattle that you've been given in heavy doses all along. By the time the game decided to tip its hand and give us a big reveal (at the VERY end), I had long since stopped caring. I think a lot of this was borne of the fact that they were trying to make a series of games and didn't want to use up too many good ideas on the first one. Here's a thought guys: make a great game first and THEN develop it into a series if people like it.

Plus the dialogue was insulting to the player's intelligence on a variety of levels. I remember the doctor who maimed his psychologically ill patients to keep them under control. And when I killed him, the magnanimous bastard had the audacity to make it sound like he was the good guy, chiding me that he was only doing what was necessary and "you wouldn't allow a child to come to harm if it was throwing a fit, would you?" Uh no, but I wouldn't break it's legs to shut it up either, dumbass. Who are you kidding here?

I only bring these things up because my next post will talk about the plot of Prince of Persia, which is greatly streamlined compared to AC, and yet it works for me on a more subtle level. Also AC2 comes out soon and I'm hoping against hope that the story is better conceived. The tedious gameplay of the first game would have been well worth it if the story had lived up to expectations.

1 comment:

  1. Reading this totally brought back to me why I lost interest a quarter of the way through AC and stopped watching. After all the "oooh, shiny" wears off there's really nothing left to keep a person interested. That eagle dive is the shit the first couple times but then when you've done it 50 times and listened to each victim's loooooooooong ass last words the most entertaining thing is the 12th Century version of the homing missile. But since Ubisoft has still got me by the short hairs I am ignoring all that and hoping ACII is "oooh, shiny" and has an interesting story. I've obviously been missing out by not paying more attention to PoP.