Trying to Make Sense of Assassin's Creed: Unity's Main Character

Trying to Make Sense of Assassin's Creed: Unity's Main Character

Aside from its technical issues, Assassin's Creed: Unity has a few confusing plot points for its main character, Arno. Yahtzee takes a closer look.

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I never liked the timeskip stuff, when years pass of the main characters life, in Assassins creed at all. It leads to problems like sudden master assassins. Or evidence being handed over years and years after it was found.

Flashbacks and such are fine, but suddenly skipping a decade ahead just confuses and angers me. It pulls me out of the story.

You don't need the assassin blood to get in. Although it does seem to get you in quicker. The present day group from the Desmond games didn't have eagle vision. The british guy shawn mentions how he sort of stumbled into the whole thing.

Really at this point they should just cut out the present day stuff. Its not going anywhere and never will. At least the desmond stuff was building up to something.

I am the only one who thinks the whole future framing device is largely unnecessary? I'd be happy with most any game that let you run around old architecture stabbing things. Heck, I wish they went further into the past, like Babylon, acient India & China, Rome, etc. A lot more creative liberty (in that we know less about specific events of the time period) with the added bon us of being somewhere completely foreign. I can just imagine trying to hunt down and kill Alexandre the great during a party after he conquered & destroyed Persia (either as a Greek traitor, an angry persian or maybe an Indian who's afraid of what Alexander will do once he turns his eyes back east...).

But that's me. I get the impression that it's not the desire of the AC production dudes to go further in the past.

I've only played the first two ASSCreed games after hearing how "great" the series is. I don't think its a terrible series, but I didn't find the game as interesting as I first hoped. I also had plenty of problems with Uplay and a few crashes/in game bugs. So why, I keep wondering, if the next 4 or 5 games are basically the same as the second (or so I'm told) would I have any incentive to buy and play them other than to hear more of the story?

If they'd actually planned this out, instead of making it up as they went along, they could have dovetailed the future story and the past stories better. Instead of the more interesting past stories being glorified scavenger hunts for the less interesting future story, they could have told a much longer epic of the Assassins/Templar conflict. E.g. in Unity you'd note "wow, our predecessors in Revolutionary France really let shit go since the Golden Age of Piracy, didn't they? I wonder how we eventually fixed that? Maybe that explains why we seem to have less members and resources than they did" and then in the next game, presumably set in Victorian England or the Russian Revolution, you'd learn how the Assassins got through those shitty decades and it would somehow relate to the future story.

choren64:
I've only played the first two ASSCreed games after hearing how "great" the series is. I don't think its a terrible series, but I didn't find the game as interesting as I first hoped. I also had plenty of problems with Uplay and a few crashes/in game bugs. So why, I keep wondering, if the next 4 or 5 games are basically the same as the second (or so I'm told) would I have any incentive to buy and play them other than to hear more of the story?

Black Flag renewed the series a bit with great sailing parts, but yeah it's not something they can use every game.

Don't you get it? That missing stuff in the timeskip was cut out to be sold back to you as DLC.

Falseprophet:
If they'd actually planned this out, instead of making it up as they went along, they could have dovetailed the future story and the past stories better.

They did plan it out - it was supposed to be a trilogy and end after AC3. But then after AC2 Ubisoft decided to screw the series and start churning out derivative "sequels", which is what caused tons of people on the AC team to start leaving the company.

The story of Assassin's Creed would be fine so long as they made sure to make each episode perfectly well. It wouldn't be great as it's just faffing about without an ending. Perhaps Assassin's Creed would benefit from an anthology style story telling technique, like most of the Silent Hill games.

Its a shame, because so many good things could have come up and made sense for the future of these games. I dislike how half arsed some of it feels.
I cant say i expect anything here, i cant say i EXPECT a well versed and exquisitely detailed narrative that will continue to thrill me in every game without fail..
I can expect a game that, like Yahtzee said, has actually kept some consistency, can continue that consistency. That would be nice.

william12123:
I am the only one who thinks the whole future framing device is largely unnecessary? I'd be happy with most any game that let you run around old architecture stabbing things. Heck, I wish they went further into the past, like Babylon, acient India & China, Rome, etc. A lot more creative liberty (in that we know less about specific events of the time period) with the added bon us of being somewhere completely foreign. I can just imagine trying to hunt down and kill Alexandre the great during a party after he conquered & destroyed Persia (either as a Greek traitor, an angry persian or maybe an Indian who's afraid of what Alexander will do once he turns his eyes back east...).

But that's me. I get the impression that it's not the desire of the AC production dudes to go further in the past.

I'm pretty sure that the only reason they're still keeping the whole assassins vs templars shenannigans in past and present tense around is that it says "Assassins Creed" on the box. There's noticeably more hand-waving of the whole thing every game.

AC1 and 2 were trying to build up to something. AC2.x sort of were 2.x about present day as well, and ACIII tried to go and put an end to it, if only because at that point it was glaringly obvious to anyone that nobody gave a flying fuck about Desmond.

Ever since III they seem to be busying themselves screwing around with the mandatory Templars vs Assassins schtick, while getting back to going to interesting historical places, meeting interesting people, and stabbing them.

The worst bit is that Ubisoft don't NEED to string the future plot along. They can so very easily create characters, a story and then end it, knowing that the Templar/Assassin battle has been going on since the time of Adam and Eve and no matter who wins the current round, the fight will continue.

They can continue the damn game into the effing future, with city-based assassins hooning about the place, then space station assassins and, I dunno, alien assassins? If they want to go back in time again to do 'Assassin's Creed: Arctic Expedition' they don't need an animus (although they could still use one), they just need an effing plot-device-of-Eden - they've certainly left themselves plenty of space to add as many new ones as they want.

Dannyjw:
You don't need the assassin blood to get in. Although it does seem to get you in quicker. The present day group from the Desmond games didn't have eagle vision. The british guy shawn mentions how he sort of stumbled into the whole thing.

Yeah, plus in a couple of the Ezio games you had the pseudo-management sim of rescuing people in the street, gluing knives to their wrists, and sending them gallivanting around Europe. There are a few special people, sure, but by and large the foot soldiers are just people with grudges against the Templars or other authority figures and a willingness to solve their problems with neck stabbing.

VondeVon:
The worst bit is that Ubisoft don't NEED to string the future plot along. They can so very easily create characters, a story and then end it, knowing that the Templar/Assassin battle has been going on since the time of Adam and Eve and no matter who wins the current round, the fight will continue.

They can continue the damn game into the effing future, with city-based assassins hooning about the place, then space station assassins and, I dunno, alien assassins? If they want to go back in time again to do 'Assassin's Creed: Arctic Expedition' they don't need an animus (although they could still use one), they just need an effing plot-device-of-Eden - they've certainly left themselves plenty of space to add as many new ones as they want.

I think they kinda wrote themselves into a corner there. Up to AC3, they did a decent job of having everything seeming to build up to a big climactic battle, then there was some magic alien-gods who were going to destroy the Earth, but that's fixed now. Now they have the same problems a lot of sci-fi/fantasy shows run into, where they either have to lower the stakes and have people complain that they're making the series smaller, or keep cranking out apocalpysii for the heroes to foil like they're living in Sunnydale.

Personally, I'd rather they dial it back and present the player as characters from a bunch of small-time Assassin cells, snatching artifacts and foiling local Templar attempts, but that sort of stalemate can get boring for people who are into the metaplot.

william12123:
Heck, I wish they went further into the past, like Babylon, acient India & China, Rome, etc. A lot more creative liberty (in that we know less about specific events of the time period) with the added bon us of being somewhere completely foreign.

-snip-

But that's me. I get the impression that it's not the desire of the AC production dudes to go further in the past.

I reckon they probably will, but right now they're casting about for what would expand their series' appeal the most. 'Americans love the Civil War' was something I am certain came out of someone's mouth at some point when brainstorming ideas for AC3. :) Then there was 'everyone loves pirates'. Maybe one day they'll contrive a PoE or future thingymajig to give us zombies. There'll certainly be a world war or two in there somewhere. Then (or maybe before) they'll go for the rich asian roots that all the kids are into these days. Then we'll get the more ancient, obscure parts of history... probably tied a little more closely to Those That Came Before, if they ever get around to fleshing that time out.

I for one would LOVE to play a game set in that pre-history era.

Falseprophet:
E.g. in Unity you'd note "wow, our predecessors in Revolutionary France really let shit go since the Golden Age of Piracy, didn't they? I wonder how we eventually fixed that? Maybe that explains why we seem to have less members and resources than they did" and then in the next game, presumably set in Victorian England or the Russian Revolution, you'd learn how the Assassins got through those shitty decades and it would somehow relate to the future story.

That. Would. Have. Been. Awesome.

Thunderous Cacophony:

Yeah, plus in a couple of the Ezio games you had the pseudo-management sim of rescuing people in the street, gluing knives to their wrists, and sending them gallivanting around Europe. There are a few special people, sure, but by and large the foot soldiers are just people with grudges against the Templars or other authority figures and a willingness to solve their problems with neck stabbing.

*snickers*

I think the most egregious thing is the spelling of his name.
IT'S SPELLED ARNAUD, FOR FUCK'S SAKES. You'd think a Quebec studio of a French company would know how to spell a French name properly.

"Ostensibly we are being shown the events of Arno's life in order to persuade us to the Assassin cause, but I was of the understanding that being an Assassin is a hereditary thing, you have to have the special gene that lets you see the magic writing on the wall, they don't enlist random plebs."

Uh unless I'm mistaken the reason they are showing you Arno's life is because he is your ancestor which presumably means you have the sight too. So because your ancestor was an assassin they want you to be one too. It's not just picking you at random.

"And I find something very suspect about the way they inform you that, by viewing their material, you will be a member of the Assassins, no argument."

That one I'll give you. They must be pretty sure that you'll join up and fight the man when there is a good chance your character would either just think their crazy/liars or have no interest in throwing away their lives just because they say so. And from what I've seen and heard what they show doesn't exactly do a great job of giving motivation.

social justice Slacktivists....

Even in the most boring of stories, Yahtz still has that Goon's golden touch at putting words together

Kargathia:

william12123:
...

I'm pretty sure that the only reason they're still keeping the whole assassins vs templars shenannigans in past and present tense around is that it says "Assassins Creed" on the box. There's noticeably more hand-waving of the whole thing every game.

AC1 and 2 were trying to build up to something. AC2.x sort of were 2.x about present day as well, and ACIII tried to go and put an end to it, if only because at that point it was glaringly obvious to anyone that nobody gave a flying fuck about Desmond.

Ever since III they seem to be busying themselves screwing around with the mandatory Templars vs Assassins schtick, while getting back to going to interesting historical places, meeting interesting people, and stabbing them.

Ya see, I think they should turn "Assassin's creed" more into a brand/series ( la "Far cry", etc.) where it isnt the "trappings" (IE, "assassin v. templar" that are important, but rather the far more historically relevant struggle between order & chaos. There is such rich fertile ground there for philosophical exploration! What defines order & chaos? Who decides which is "good"? How do you tell which "side" you are on?

In any case, each game seems to make me slightly more sympathetic towards the templars. Maybe there should be a full game about Templars, try to nuance them beyond "Grrr, Templars bad" and all that Jazz.

Heartily agree about the future plot going away ruining the game for me. I assumed the games were basically training Desmond as an assassin and in the 3rd or 4th game or whichever was going to the final part of the series it would be all Desmond as an Assassin. Of course that would have meant the story having a beginning, middle and end which ofc is anathema to Ubisoft

The "future" narrative (wasn't it set in 2012, making it the past now?) really interested me during the Desmond saga. With his story ending in a cliffhanger, I had hoped the series would keep telling the story, but it seems not.

That bothers me for one main reason, that being that you don't really need the present-day narrative at all by this point. End the current-day stuff, and you can present endless Assassin's Creed games set in whatever time period without needing to mention the Animus or Helix or any of that. None of that is necessary anymore. We know what's going on. So just tie up the story of the glowy orange lady and her quest to destroy the world or whatever and be done with the current-day stuff. Don't be afraid to put closure to the overarching narrative, because you can just keep making AC games without it. Just give us an ending.

Bioware isn't letting the end of the Shepard saga stop them from milking the Mass Effect cow. As well they shouldn't. Mass Effect is awesome. AC can be awesome, too. But there's no need to drag the modern story on forever just to justify a new game every year.

On a side note, I'd be interested to see how the series would handle a scenario wherein guns have taken over as the primary weapon of choice. Up until now, guns have been a side-weapon due to their long reload times, and if we keep going forward in time, they'll eventually get to a period where reloading doesn't take as much time and blades fall out of favor. Then what? It felt ridiculous in the second game for Desmond to be fighting Templars armed with staffs, but at least they sort of made up for it with the shooty enemies in the third. AC turning into a shooter would be quite a jarring change. I would hope that would necessitate a shift to pure stealth with the hidden blade instead of going in guns blazing.

IMO, Arno got promoted to Master Assassin after the Council finally discovered Robespierre's Templar links and heard Arno killed La Touche in Versailles, so they let him run off to kill the Grand Master (I finally finished the Main Story last week), who they figured out was a Sage.

DirgeNovak:
I think the most egregious thing is the spelling of his name.
IT'S SPELLED ARNAUD, FOR FUCK'S SAKES. You'd think a Quebec studio of a French company would know how to spell a French name properly.

Well, Arno is half-Austrian, and half-French, so that's reflected in the German spelling of his name.

 

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