Assassin's Creed Doesn't Have Much of a Story, Does It?

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Assassin's Creed Doesn't Have Much of a Story, Does It?

Assassin's Creed doesn't churn out exactly the same tired thing every time. Just mostly the same tired thing every time.

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That was a question I had in my head watching the AssCreed IV review, what was the point of keeping Desmond alive in the first place?

But yeah pushing a story in your face hardly ever works out, it's why games like Portal wait half the game to really let the story stretch it's muscles and go full blast.

I actually liked the modern day stuff in the first two games. It was intriguing and mysterious because you knew and saw so little. Then when the trilogy plan went out the window all the present day stuff just felt like pointless meandering, there to fill an Assassins Creed checkbox. By 3 I was bored until the last five minutes, when I was irritated that it all amounted to a really stupid non-ending.

What made desmond worse was the 'adam sandler' quality that became more apparent as time went on. Not only in looks, obviously. There are no words hateful enough to describe my feelings for adam sandler. Im glad the new protagonist is faceless and voiceless, like some wandering spirit. You can't hate wandering spirits, can you? They'll just haunt you and kidnap your children.

Mass effect i have not actually completed the trilogy yet. There's too many side quests and by the time i get anywhere further in the plot, a new game has come out which i can't help but try out. It's just not feasible to do these things while aspiring to make music, art and study OU courses at same time. Maybe an amphetamine addiction could be the answer...stupid sleep cycles!!

I don't even remember the solar flare being an issue in any game up until 3; maybe I'm remembering it wrong, but I thought until then it was all about the Templars and Assassins trying to control magic artifacts (a plot I'm fine with; it worked for Indiana Jones). The random bullshit about the flare, and how the barely-characterized goddesses (honestly couldn't tell the two apart) were both accusing the other of being evil while doing jack squat to prove it either way angered me to no end.

Hey, look on the bright side: if they keep making it about old and ancient cultures, there will be a time when they run out of significant events in Western Europe or America and will have to start going back to the more obscure nations and cultures and the events that marked their history. And that's when the games will REALLY become educational.

So what you're saying is that Assassins Creed is basically a Shonen Jump anime? Like Bleach, for example?

You meet the characters, their powers are introduced, but look out! The Big Bad is coming! Cue filler episodes (Revelations), they fight the Big Bad and win, but wait! He was only a henchman for an even Bigger Bad! And so on.

This is exactly while I will never truly become a comic book fan, no matter how much I try. At least with these games you get a sense of completion by beating them. Try reading a DC issue picked out of the blue, see how much sense it makes or how satisfying it is when it ends in a cliffhanger of a cliffhanger of a cliffhanger.

moggett88:
So what you're saying is that Assassins Creed is basically a Shonen Jump anime? Like Bleach, for example?

Except instead of 700 chapters, one per week, it's 700 chapters, one per year.

I actually liked the Desmond storyline all the way up until Revelations. I mean, I didn't understand it, but I was interested in it. Particularly in the first game I thought the future segments broke up the game nicely. But now I just don't care anymore (like much of the series. just gimme my pirate ship)

Yahtzee:
I'm not a reader of superhero comics, but more accurately, I'm not a reader of any ongoing comic series. Because I was raised with a traditional education, which stated that a story only becomes a story when it has a beginning, middle and end. What doesn't work so well is when the story has a beginning, middle, more middle, something we thought might have been an end but was actually middle in disguise, then a reboot back to the beginning because we couldn't draw the middle out any longer.

That is basically my relationship with superhero comics in a nutshell. Also the writers changing.

I liked the first two Assassin's Creed games, but afterwards I just gave up on the plot (and the franchise given that what I like most about games is the plot...)

There really is a lot that you can read out of the modern-day stuff in AC4. It feels like a Dilbert strip at times (like when they mention that the little statues you get are in lieu of bonuses).

Thunderous Cacophony:
I don't even remember the solar flare being an issue in any game up until 3; maybe I'm remembering it wrong, but I thought until then it was all about the Templars and Assassins trying to control magic artifacts (a plot I'm fine with; it worked for Indiana Jones). The random bullshit about the flare, and how the barely-characterized goddesses (honestly couldn't tell the two apart) were both accusing the other of being evil while doing jack squat to prove it either way angered me to no end.

That is the story up until 3. Templars and assassins are after the artificacts because 1: they do crazy magical things and 2: they hold untold ancient secrets. Everyone is going after these things but then 3 pretty much retcons the whole thing into "Both assassins and templars knew from the very beginning that some impending doom, which in this game we magically reveal to be a solar flare, is coming and they are just racing to see who can claim bragging rights for stopping it first. Also, even though working together would save the universe they just want to kill each other and stop the other's progress."

I love the sci-fi idea of 'alien super race' and all their techy gadgets are great, but 3 just pulled the plot out of its butt. The flare was never meant to be the main conflict the series was trying to solve, it was just a contrite way of writing off Desmond because everyone hated him. The alien ghost thingy makes a much better main antagonist/conflict, and it would have been better received, but after retconning the danger to be all about the flare they inadvertently delegated that major conflict to a side show that people viewed as a distraction, and thus will not be as well received in the future. At least that's my opinion.

Thing is, I remember the writer for Assassin's Creed having some sort of harrumph about how everyone who hated Desmond was wrong, that Desmond's story was the story of Assassin's Creed, that anyone who enjoyed spending their time as the bad-ass assassin rather than the vague bartender just didn't understand, yatta yatta.

Now, between the series apparent ambitions to immortality, the abrupt snipping off of the Desmond plotline, and Ubisoft's insistence that they couldn't possibly set a game in the present day... Can we finally call bullshit?

Evonisia:
That was a question I had in my head watching the AssCreed IV review, what was the point of keeping Desmond alive in the first place?

But yeah pushing a story in your face hardly ever works out, it's why games like Portal wait half the game to really let the story stretch it's muscles and go full blast.

I suppose that it is easier to extract memories from an alive person since you don't have to stimulate the neurons with electricity externally(which would be tricky and could easily fry neurons).

...

I don't know.

And I have to concur; getting into comics is just a bit silly if its a never-ending narrative, as an ending provides pay-off which is what can make or break a story.

Evonisia:
That was a question I had in my head watching the AssCreed IV review, what was the point of keeping Desmond alive in the first place?

This is what happens when people don't pay attention.

In the first game they gave Desmond a choice to get inside the Animus voluntarily or they'd put him in a coma, which would result in slower extraction of the data. They needed him alive and well because they wanted to get the data as fast as possible. I imagine it's a lot more difficult with a dead brain according to the logic established in the game.

I'm still interested in the present story. I'm not obsessing over it, though. I play the games for the story within the Animus, but the fact that these stories are delivered as memories of someone's ancestors is extremely appealing to me. I like convoluted plots and mysteries. Even if I doubt that in the end they will deliver something satisfying. I really liked the addition of the Sage.

And it's really hard to complain when AC4 is such a great freakin' game. Best one since AC2 without a doubt. It feels like a complete reinvention of the franchise. In a good way.

It is *painfully* obvious the story was supposed to have concluded long before now. The D-date in the game was in 12/2012, which if you do the math should have been in the future assuming 2 properly produced 2 1/2-year development time Assassin's Creed sequels.

It's no coincidence the leads of Assassin's Creed fled Ubisoft, given what the series has become.

If a developer wants to keep a series going. then that's okay. As long as the quality holds up, I don't mind. I know that's not really saying much and that "quality" is very subjective, but that really is my only requirement.

I think the only reason for the future stuff is to explain the gaming elements of the game. It some kind of the meta stuff to explain why townies don't act realistically, why there are invisible walls, thus it is something to avoid suspension of disbelief. That is the only reason.

Maybe they also wanted to create some mystery like in Lost, but it didn't work. It was OK during the first two games, but then it was clear they were creating the story as they were creating the games. They had no ending for Desmond story from the beginning, a bit like Lost itself.

Assassins Creed is an enjoyable series, but they are much better by reducing the future story and making it some kind of meta-joke like in Black Flag, which is also the best game of the series.

TiberiusEsuriens:

Thunderous Cacophony:
- snip -

That is the story up until 3. Templars and assassins are after the artificacts because 1: they do crazy magical things and 2: they hold untold ancient secrets. Everyone is going after these things but then 3 pretty much retcons the whole thing into "Both assassins and templars knew from the very beginning that some impending doom, which in this game we magically reveal to be a solar flare, is coming and they are just racing to see who can claim bragging rights for stopping it first. Also, even though working together would save the universe they just want to kill each other and stop the other's progress."

I love the sci-fi idea of 'alien super race' and all their techy gadgets are great, but 3 just pulled the plot out of its butt. The flare was never meant to be the main conflict the series was trying to solve, it was just a contrite way of writing off Desmond because everyone hated him. The alien ghost thingy makes a much better main antagonist/conflict, and it would have been better received, but after retconning the danger to be all about the flare they inadvertently delegated that major conflict to a side show that people viewed as a distraction, and thus will not be as well received in the future. At least that's my opinion.

Pretty sure they introduced the solar flare at the end of two. Or Brotherhood. Which ever one has Ezio defeat the Pope at the end of it. The Ghost then talks directly to Desmond, which confuses Ezio.

I'm sure that's in 2, because in Brotherhood you are searching for more information. This leads to the cave in three, and you get the magic glowing key in Revelations.

I get what you mean. I like the concept of the AC series (looking through the memories of your ancestors with futuristic technology) but I just wish something would HAPPEN in the series' 'present'. That section in AC3 where you climbed up the tower was fun but so limited. Why can't a modern-day character have his own sandbox setting to explore, Ubisoft? You're clearly running out of places to set it in the past. Well, I guess I have Watch Dogs for that, so I'll cope.

Also worth mentioning that though I do like the overall storyline, Ubisoft are AWFUL at writing individual characters. They always come off as unbearably bland or unbearably arrogant and smug.

In Search of Username:
Well, I guess I have Watch Dogs for that, so I'll cope.

There are several hints that suggest Watch Dogs is set in Assassin's Creed universe. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Aidan Pierce crosses paths with Assassins and Templars in Watch Dogs or even become an Assassin at some point.

This is also the reason why I don't watch most western tv series with an ongoing story anymore. There are almost no shows that have some sort of definite conclusion, they're all about trying to milk the series for as long as they can make money off of it. Then they leave you with a unsatisfying ending that should have came ages earlier.

While I don't like most anime either, at least series exist that are short, sweet and end when they clearly intended to. Western shows that do this? Sherlock, and that's all I can come up with.

Adam Jensen:

In Search of Username:
Well, I guess I have Watch Dogs for that, so I'll cope.

There are several hints that suggest Watch Dogs is set in Assassin's Creed universe. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Aidan Pierce crosses paths with Assassins and Templars in Watch Dogs or even become an Assassin at some point.

Hmm, I wasn't aware of this. I knew it was largely the same style of gameplay with a bit less free-running, and both made by Ubisoft, but didn't know there were rumours of an actual explicit connection between the two.

Either way, looking forward to it.

The animus was a stupid idea from the start. They could've made one awesome pirate story, but noah, they love to ruin immersionz with big mindless fuuuuuu moments.

For me I have only ever really had interest in the past segments. The real heart of the game, at least those actually do have an ending. As long as Ubisoft can keep making interesting games set in historical periods then a history and gaming nerd like myself will be happy. The future parts are quite forgettable and it was clear that Ubisoft didnt really have any clue how to end it.

Ugh, I totally forgot about that whole "solar flare" thing. I remember playing AC3 and wondering where the hell that plot line came from despite playing every other game in the series; and of course they had to tie the Mayan calendar thing in with it. What a lazy way to ratchet up the tension.

The mystery of the Desmond storyline in AC1 was legitimately cool, but they clearly had no idea of where to take it beyond that.

I think the modern day plot was kind of mostly unnecessary from the beginning, and for once, Yahtzee and I are in agreement, at least about Desmond. But that's just my opinion. I still find it too be such, but at least now the character in question is a silent and faceless protagonist. At least then you can kind of imagine whatever you want the character to be, for the most part.

pilouuuu:

Assassins Creed is an enjoyable series, but they are much better by reducing the future story and making it some kind of meta-joke like in Black Flag, which is also the best game of the series.

This was pretty much my take on this. They could hardly cut all the templar vs. assassin shenanigans in a game called "Assassin's Creed", but they seem to have realised that the less said about it, the better. Which is good.

Also: I would like to voice my appreciation for a protagonist who left his soap box at home. Especially after the whiny self-righteous cunt with daddy issues that was Connor.

Elyxard:

The mystery of the Desmond storyline in AC1 was legitimately cool, but they clearly had no idea of where to take it beyond that.

I remember googling the weird symbols at the end of AC1, and loudly groaning when they turned out to be pseudo-scientific conspiracy bullshit. Wasn't all bad up to that point though.

M920CAIN:
The animus was a stupid idea from the start. They could've made one awesome pirate story, but noah, they love to ruin immersionz with big mindless fuuuuuu moments.

Yes. Thank you for that, as I've been saying that for a while now.

Also:

Yahtzee:
It seems like the series could just be about exploring various historical settings without having to bring us back to the future every now and again.

Again, thank you. I don't think any website has had the guts to say exactly that. Granted, my only issue was with the Animus in general, but I couldn't even bring myself to finish the first AC, so I'm glad that Yahtzee had the background knowledge to put it into perspective.

Back in the day, I was hoping that Assassin's Creed II was going to be set in the "game's" present day, and you would play Desmond. After playing part II, and being totally let down, I decided to toss out my wrist blade and go on with my life.

oldtaku:

moggett88:
So what you're saying is that Assassins Creed is basically a Shonen Jump anime? Like Bleach, for example?

Except instead of 700 chapters, one per week, it's 700 chapters, one per year.

Aww, you're both so optimistic, I love it.

No, what we have is Desmond slowly, but surely, becoming Mario.

The way the games were building in the first few ACs was that by say....AC4 it would be Desmond entirely in the modern setting against Abstergo in a game that would likely be a cross between Splinter Cell and Mirror's Edge. Desmond gets eagle vision in 1, then 2 is his training...then they ruined it. They even said it wont happen....idiots.

I personally have always thought that Ubisoft were taking the piss with the future story. The Animus seems to be little more than an in-joke about contemporary video game design (reloading previous memory = autosave, death = 'unsyncing' etc). My brother and I almost fell over laughing when Dr Obvious Bad Guy from the first game (can't remember his name) said "We're going to have to give you a bit of a tutorial!"

In general though I've never really rated even the in-period Assassin's Creed stories as terribly impressive. The first one began well with plenty of historical intrigue and power struggles, but then it went bananas and tried to explain away religion by introducing aliens or some shit. It was like sitting down to read an Alastair McLean novel only to discover that McLean died halfway through the writing and Dan Brown took over.

I was alright with the story until... and I might be missing a non-console game here... but Future Desmond stabs up Fish Lips and passes out and then wakes up in the animus and people outside his brain are talking like they figured out she was an Abstergo spy. Or something. That just screams retcon.

Also there was bomb crafting. Blegh.

I tried to get into AC3 but it seems they thought that making the past protaganist as bland as the future one was a good idea. I remember, in AC2.33333333333, the warning that the sun was going to explodey bits was a plot point because I remember being proud that I saw it coming. I totally guessed that the sun was a big enemy starting in AC2 when I happened to look at the sun with eagle vision turned on. But they apparently swept that mess under the rug. It was interesting that some petty squabble between two groups of humans was being over-shadowed by a threat that wiped out an entire race and now that it's gone I couldn't care less.

I had moved on after AC3 came out and just adding idealized versions of pirates to the mix isn't enough to make me care.

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