Assassins Creed Unity

This is that time of the year when I go back to playing my favorite games on PlayStation. This year the gaming arena has changed a lot and I am experiencing a lot of exposure to games in India people + the fact that there is a huge play of Open World, freedom of choice, how would a player play the game, and of course multiplayer.

Every game I will play this year, I will make a post about it as to what was my experience and it will be for my PlayStation friends who I share the experience. So let’s start with Unity..


 

Before I get into my experience Unity this year like other games (noticeably DriveClub) have had several launch issues. Unity was pitched into the same arena as of AC 3 where the game has several bugs and was not performing and FPS issues. The reviews from major players have not been awesome. IGN reviewed the game at 7.8/10 and GameSpot reviewed the game at 7/10. So much so that several people cancelled their pre-orders (or so they said on forums). I still went ahead and got the game.

I haven’t been able to play for hours but I have played enough. I am start of Memory Sequence 6 and have 3 more memory to go. So, I would say about 60% played and dealt with. Here is my view…

GamePlay

It’s more or less what you come to expect from a franchise. You cant expect them to change how the game plays. AC has been around for 8 years and it is all about history. We did see Naval Gameplay in AC 4 Black Flag but will we see guns and airplanes in this series – not anytime soon. We can expect it to go there some day but the progression to the overall Assassins vs. Templars play has to be continued. So you wont find this refreshing but if you were looking for something different in this title it was probably a mis-placed expectation to start with.

Even then, the game has some new things which excite me and want me to go back. The foremost is the free running and introduction of the new Parkour system. The dedicated buttons for going up and going down are awesome and it gives me so much more control. The free running has been improved as well – I am able to jump from roof to roof and roof to ropes and what not with a very high certainty as to what I want is what Arno does. This is the first game when I love to hang about on roofs and just travel across Paris all the time.

The missions have been changed and they are no longer – follow directions sort of missions. There are some help and some opportunities but you can ignore them and do however you want to. I have completed several missions exactly how i wanted to. Some of them get linear because of the location as there are no many ways to reach the final location but when I can, i find my own ways.

The AI is highly improved and soldiers remember you. So, you just cant have a conflict, run away and go back into the same area hoping to sneak by – the soldiers will recognize you immediately and attack you. The fights are no longer click-click kill. You can’t take on more than 4-5 enemies and if they have guns you will die. I am still a Soldier and have a lot to upgrade but it’s tough so you have to rely on stealth a lot. Several missions, I just use Crouch and Cover to do what I need to do. I sit around in a hidden position and find my opportunity – see enemies to cycle on their path and sneak by. It’s not easy to do missions any more and certainly if all fails – go in and kill all doesn’t work any more.

RPG

This is a new one and I love it. As of Sequence 4, I didn’t have my Double Air Assassination and I had to earn it and it was making my life miserable. But, as I saved up for that skill and when I got it I felt a sense of achievement. It was so fulfilling of a sense that I fell in love with this RPG system. The customization of character is another big one – not only can i make my Arno look like how i want it to look like I can now chose what gear he has and how it affects my game play. I have chosen to grow my Arno on Stealth and Health and my gameplay is not melee or range. I have to stay in shadows and find cover kills and it enhances my experience several fold. The RPG system is still very linear and apart from Health and Lock Picking everything is single level. I would like to see UBI take this concept to next level and provide me more, and quicker upgrades which make me do missions more and more.

The only downside I feel in this system is that it’s only Co-Op (later on that) and single player missions that give Upgrade Points and it’s tough to earn them. It’s maybe a bit too harsh on that part and I would have loved a bit more freedom – especially when every mission gives you something but lesser so you are compelled to do other missions too. Right now, I want to rush through all of Single Player missions to get all upgrade points but once the story is finished i have little to come back to the game and again like all AC games before – side missions have little consequence in the RPG.

Bugs

How can i not talk about it. Many people reported a few issues broadly – Arno stuck, Arno falling into ground, Low Framerate, etc. I saw Arno getting stuck only ONCE (1 time) in all of 30 hours I have played and i didn’t notice any frame-rate drops that impacts my experience. Some places where there are 1000s of NPCs, I do feel Arno running slowly but it’s okay. I had to strain myself to notice that. It wasn’t there until someone said it to me it was there. I dont know where these bugs are coming from but my experience of the game has been smooth.

Graphics & Story

The city of Paris is beautiful. I haven’t visited Paris ever but now I want to go there for sure. The structures and their details are so real. And you can go almost everywhere inside houses, there are windows, doors unlocked and locked which you can pick and go inside. For the first time I feel connected with the city and it feels like I am in one city for real unlike previous games where they were just structures helping me to navigate around and hide and complete missions.

Story till start of 6th sequence is not great but it still draws me in. I want to go forward but Paris and all of it’s missions keeps me from going in. Arno is pretty much on a revenge path but he is going through the journey of becoming an assassin. He is still new to the Creed and his mentors are helping him. I still have to see if everything he does – does it links to something bigger i.e. assassins vs. templars. There is a small side story on Abstergo and talk about Sage – the story does tells that the Grandmaster that Arno is after is the sage that Abstergo and Assassins in current world need information on, maybe that’s the connection. So while the story is probably about Revenge by Arno it seems to be connected. Does it draws me in fully – not really but it draws me enough. It seems like a stop over before a big push that AC franchise can do in next series. More on this once I finish it.

Multi-player

I have only played Co-Op missions (heists still pending) and once time it was 2 player and other time it was 4 player. Both times it was fun and there was some serious co-ordination. The 4 player Co-Op was awesome – we all were random players matched and we just went about knowing what to do and were supporting each other. It was a case of some skilled and experience AC players. We didnt chat even once and we successfully finished the missions. The experience as awesome and I can’t wait to do a heist with a friend and talking and planning. We don’t have PvP as it was in AC 4 but I didnt like that much. This Co-Op is so much more fun and the amount of co-ordination it takes to get to stuff done is great.

 

Overall

I love this game and my decision to get this game on preorder and enjoy has paid off. The reviews I think are just not doing justice to the game (I know they are professionals), but having played the game i just cant agree to some of their comments. If you like AC games, this one if not to be missed.

 

 

 

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Assassins Creed 3 // A Mixed bag

Last week I started playing the game and earlier this week I finished it as well. It is not that I played for hours. All in all this one had about 12 sequences each having

Assassin's Creed: Lineage
Assassin’s Creed: Lineage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3-5 missions that needed completion. Now that I am done, I realize that I would have been able to finish the game in flat 10 hours if it wasn’t for the glitches and all those side missions that kept propping up and I felt that the need to do all of those because it would have an impact on how the game unfolds.

 

At some level, the game is dis-appointing when I consider the prequels like the Brotherhood and Revelations. I could have finished the game without needed a single pound (it was dollars in the previous versions). The game stands completed with 40% still undone so which means there are missions all over the place that I can go back and do with the only incentive being a completion rate and no impact on the main story. The things that I don’t like are

  • There are glitches at some places. Some of these glitches don’t open up missions on maps and you have to run around and even then they won’t come up. While at times it does makes a difference when you go to the place, sometimes they just don’t popup and it gets frustrating
  • Game actually hung on me twice and I had to restart the console – this has never happened with any of the games AC or anything else
  • The main missions are way too easy when compared to the older versions. I went back to see if there is a way to set the difficulty (like GOW) but there is none. The soldiers are way too less and I was able to kill all of them no matter how many would come even with the basic of the weapons with which i started the game. The ship fights were a little tight, but once I got the hang of it they were way too easy
  • Contrary to previous point, the side missions are way too much and some of them are nuisance like catching wild animal in the Frontier
  • AC3 has an open world that is way more than any of the previous games which eventually seems like a distraction and does not adds to the game. Like in previous ones, I would have expected the need of earning money to be key as I would need advanced weapons but none of that is needed in this version. I can finish all main missions without doing any side missions
  • I missed the free running missions // they are just so less in this version of the game. Last few games free running was just amazing and having missions around those were simply awesome to master. AC3 doesn’t have a lot of it.

 

Of course that the game did have its good parts as well

  • The whole driving a ship in the open sea and get into a battle of different kind was pretty cool. I had a few battles and it was cool killing ships with different set of weapons
  • Another thing that was good about this was the aspect of how the game gets realistic. If you are doing a mission like assisting a farmer harvesting, the missions comes up only if it is daytime because logically during day time the farmers would be sleep. There were hints of this Revelations when we had to conquer forts and there were shift changes if a captain/officer would flee the attack and you would have to wait
  • Side missions are nice some of those especially the homestead ones as it gives you a feel of growing the town unlike the previous ones where you buy shops, banks, etc and just earn money. This one makes you earn your money whether it is by growing homestead or saving your convoys from getting destroyed. It is like you are vested in yout little investment which was nice
  • Some of the movements are more streamlined like the Free Running is smoother than previous ones. Some of the new movements like jumping over not so high fences and then diving underneath opening are new moves which make this more real and fast. However, I would have liked to see more free running missions which are fun part and are very little here

 

Verdict

If you have’t played this series then this is not the one to begin with a) you will not gather any context & story and b) you will not find this one boring as the main story is very limited and not that interesting compared to previous ones. But, then how can you not have played AC2, ACB or ACR. SO go and buy those 3 and then come to this one.

Why would you come to by AC3? For kicks of not missing any of the series. The cost is a bit steep given the fact that the game is almost a year old. Maybe wait for AC4 release and the price drops and you can buy. The game is still worth, because it changes how you interact with the game and the experience is still nice given you got to spend a few hours and you can always come back to achieve all 100% completion which would be interesting. There is so much side stuff you can do so if you are getting bored you can always go back for the side stuff. On the face value of main story alone, I wouldnt recommend, but as an overall package and being the series I wouldnt miss for the world.

Now decide who you are? Are you a series fan? Then go get it today.

Assasins Creed – III

I have been on a break for several months from my PS3. On this past weekend; The inspiration to get this back up was the upcoming launch of FIFA 14 which is due end-September. I finally got it back up and running and I got back to older games like the FIFA 13 and in a day I had listed down several games that I want to buy. The very first one I got my hands on was Assassins Creed III.

Assassin's Creed: Lineage
Assassin’s Creed: Lineage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I reached home finishing my day’s work, had dinner and hit the PS3. It was around midnight, so you can probably understand how much excited I was to get started with game. I have played AC2, AC brotherhood and AC revelations and all of them have taken up the experience a notch. The mechanics and the excitement of playing in a world I didnt know (1500s or what have you), and getting to do all sort of stuff like jumping roofs, using bows and arrows, melee attacks, buy clothes and look stylish, get new weapons like Swords, etc .was so cool. The best part of this series for me has been the whole Assassins aspect. The concept of me being a Master Assassin and then being able to recruit new folks and mentor and train them to be master assassins was just so captivating. Being able to control the battle from a roof top by commanding assassins to guard and then call them to get there and kill was the wow factor.

 

I started this game in the first 60 minutes, I felt this one was going to be different. It was slow. The era had changed, there was no connect to previous AC versions I had played. I was now in a modernish world. The game is played in Boston (first 3 hours) in 1750s and I had a pistol to use from the beginning. None of the older mechanics are true. There have been some glitches where I was painfully stuck because of what the game play was and unable to make the gun shooting very clear, but it is my sense that this will be a different experience.

 

The sad part is I cant see the connect from older AC version and the aspects which connected me are now missing. The good part is that there are some new things, I saw for the first time in AC series a concept of a weather – there was rain and then there was snow. I dont know if these are just visual affects or do they really impact the gameplay; this remains to be seen as I go deeper.

 

I am a little disappointed with this purchase, but for some reason I have faith in the designers that they cant do a bad job with AC. Let’s see how the weekend unfolds when I have planned out several hours of playing (of course if my kiddo allows me to). Will post a detailed review from my viewpoint soon.