The Real Problem with Assassin's Creed

I hate to say it, but this is what happens when you put a business woman in charge of a game. It feels like someone’s grandmother designed this game and put all this etiquette crap and moral garbage in the game and covered everything with doilies and screwed it all up.
UPDATE: If this offended anyone, I apologize. Don’t worry, everyone will forget this by tomorrow anyway.

Well, that was enlightening.

Ah yes, the internet.

It’s really a pity how Assassin’s Creed turned out.

Whenever anyone begins a sentence with “I hate to say it…” or “No offence, but…” or “What you need to understand is…” I know I can safely ignore everything that comes next.

Ah, internet crazies. Ain’t they grand. Oh well, if he had a real gaming site, he’d know that Patrice Desilet led the design of the game, because he’d have had an interview with one or more of the people who actually worked on it.

Funny, it looks like someone has defaced the site in the past hour or so.

I always knew Patrice was a woman!

The problem is that it was Grand Theft Auto with collectibles instead of missions. There really aren’t missions because any Assassination seems to consist of a bunch of collections that spawn the guy you want to assassinate. It’s pretty obviously what they were going for, but that’s the problem with it. It was an assassination game that decided to not take after Hitman, that’s pretty vague territory.

If there’s anything I’d blame on the female involvement it would be the homoerotic slant of the special moment Alistair shares with each of his storyline victims.

Wrong again, that was all Patrice.

So whom do we point the pitchforks at for flag-collection?

The players.

Charles, thanks for clearing that up.

Man, where would we be without this wisdom?

It sounded flippant, but they were added based on user feedback from focus groups. They wanted “Something else to do. Like collect things.”

So… 1000+ flags. Collect things. Huh…

Yeah, focus groups work.

Although, I think it might’ve come from another perspective. The world in all it’s glory was very apathetic. There was no other way to interact with the cities and citizens aside from the missions and starting a self-perpetuating fistfight. Given the nature of the game, I’m not sure how you’d go about addressing that without turning it into a straight-out RPG.

I didn’t mind the collection mechanic per se - it’s just that it was kind of overwhelming and you got nothing for getting part-way there.

I found the 20 flags in Masyaf, but after that I just didn’t care any more, especially when I found that the only reward was a measly 10 points. The thought of having to find 100 King Richard flags in Kingdom is just insane, especially since you have to get every single one of them before you get any reward at all.

There were secret packages in GTA3 also, but you got in-game rewards for getting parts of them - you didn’t have to get them all, IIRC. If I got minor boosts to my horse’s speed, or extra damage for my blades, or more throwing knives, or some kind of doodad/costume unlock for every 10 flags I found, it would’ve made the collecting more compelling.

What?? Maybe I should get this after all.

The overall lack of synergy is the game’s most glaring flaw.

They had all the pieces, but as Charles has stated, they didn’t have time to really do the work needed to take the game to the next level.

This confirms the wisdom that testers are great at finding problems, but terrible at proposing solutions. They accurately assessed that the world is curiously empty of things to do and devoid of meaningful interation, but their solution was… sub-optimal.

Focus groups are not testers. Focus groups are randomly selected people (not even necessariliy gamers) who haven’t played the game, who are brought in early to give feedback about their experiences.

Actual flow is:

-Focus group plays game.
-Focus group says “needs random stuff to do in the world”
-Design comes up with collectibles
-New focus group plays new version
-Focus group says something about some other system, implying that the solution was good enough to move their focus to a different part of the game.