Assassin’s Creed 2 EP15: You Are Sure Nobody’s Follow’ Us?

By Shamus
on Oct 20, 2011
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

At the end of this episode, I had the exact same problem Josh did. Some of those guards just walk up to you and there’s no clear way to get rid of them. Throwing money doesn’t help. Smoke bombs and murder cause instant failure. They follow you no matter how far you withdraw. I did finally get it, but as with Josh, it just looked odd and broken. They’re about to draw their swords and then suddenly the cutscene begins and I’m standing alone? Uh? Fine, but how was I SUPPOSED to deal with that?

It’s really frustrating that the game insists that you slip by the guards unnoticed, only to have it turn around and say, “HA HA! I KNEW you were there all along, Assassin!” Er. Okay. If that was his plan, then why did I have to sneak by those guards and why did I insta-fail when they noticed me?

I’m sure the sideways jump is because the guy you’re following can’t be assassinated. Again, this game gets a “get out of plot holes, free” card by saying, “animus”. You can’t assassinate him because that’s not how Ezio remembers it. Still, that sideways jump was outrageous. It looked stupid, it was clearly not what the player wanted, it made no sense, and it punished the player for the sins of the game designer.

True story:

I was playing a couple of nights ago. There was a pair of guards I wanted out of the way. Easy: I’ll just aim between them and kill both at once. Despite lining myself up carefully, Ezio hopped to one side and just killed one of them. Sigh. Fine. I try to leap on the other and kill him before he can draw his sword. Ezio leaps THROUGH the remaining guard and impales TWO civilians behind him. Instant ragequit. (I really hate killing civilians.)

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  1. Tobias says:

    16 minutes into the video, almost stopped hitting refresh on my browser.
    So this is a game where you ( according to some rumors ) can’t die from falling.
    Josh dies twice by falling of buildings, and once by falling into a plothole( from a curb).
    Strike that. Dies twice from falling into plotholes. Er, I mean 3 times. wtf.

    The end reminded me of the famous spider-limb glitch from New-Vegas. You missed it in that game and it has followed you all the way here, seeking vengeance.

    • Entropy says:

      Remember the faceplant? Josh died from falling

    • Kyte says:

      You CAN die from falling. It’s just that the definite-death threshold is above most walls and buildings, so most people don’t realize it until they mess up a Leap of Faith.

    • NonEuclideanCat says:

      He didn’t die from falling off a curb. He failed the mission because he got seen by 2 guards and his target.

      It’s always funny to me when people do this kind of thing. They fail a mission the instant some small event happens, and they blame it on the game glitching out on the small event and killing them. “I failed the mission after stepping off this curb, so the physics must have freaked out and killed me on the fall!” Never mind the two guards standing right behind you and that you’re right in the line of sight of the person you’re not supposed to be seen by (i.e. you have failed this stealth mission the same way you have the last 3 times). Also never mind that everything didn’t go red, as we know it does when you actually die. It simply must be the game’s fault!

      I can give the Spoiler Warning crew a pass on this one because 3 of the 4 people are watching it through a low-quality stream and the fourth is… well, Josh.

      • Jakale says:

        Well Josh seemed know what caused it.

        • Josh says:

          Yeah, I thought I said that too.

          • MrWhales says:

            You didn’t, but to anyone who knows the game, red zones mean don’t get caught or you desync. I did go back to check, I thought you had said it, and that everyone here was just being stupid. Also when I clicked back I heard Shamus say “Put your arm around him. There.” Worried me a little.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Well he did say he desynched because the guards saw him,but the rest of the cast just ignored him,because he is Josh.

              • ACman says:

                That area does have a decent corridor to follow where you can hide and not get caught.

                Stop running about in the open Josh.

                It is unfair that this almost entirely unstealthy game about assassinating people becomes stealth centric here.

                • zob says:

                  It is not unfair. Only reason Josh failed it because he was trying to do it fast. That “stealth” part of the game is ridiculously easy if you stop and look for guards for 5 seconds.

                  • Sleeping Dragon says:

                    Yeah, the stealth parts aren’t that difficult most of the times, but they can be slow and boring. While Ubi managed to make most escort missions pretty decent the stealth missions? Not so much.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      Well stealth is supposed to be slow.And compared to real stealth games,like thief,asscreed is pretty quick.

                    • Thomas says:

                      The stealth part is even easier if you just splash out for a group of people. Then you can walk all you like and they’ll give you cover

                  • Eruanno says:

                    Also, this section is much easier if you follow the city wall for a bit longer and jump into that hay cart later on, instead of jumping out and following them by foot.

        • Methermeneus says:

          It was just amusing because the first time he desynched because the guards saw him, it was literally the moment he fell off a curb, so it looked almost like he died from a two-foot fall.

          Also, it seemed that the non-Josh hosts thought it was a glitchy fall that killed him, so I can see whence your confusion comes if you didn’t hear Josh correct them through the cacophony of voices.

      • Tobias says:

        That is what I meant, when I said he fell into a plothole.
        He failed the mission and it killed him.

  2. tengokujin says:

    The sad thing is that since it appears to be related to the core, underlying game mechanics, even if the strange jumping thing came out in playtest, it would hardly be economical to go back and fix the physics or movement engine to disallow it, especially if they found it about the time the game went gold.

    Still, this just makes me appreciate publishers/developers who playtest early and often and keep fixing their engines.

    • Kyte says:

      This is a corner case. There shouldn’t be more than a handful of dudes tagged as unkillable in the entire game. Wasting time and money in playtesting and fixing a fundamental part of the game (ie the movement & physics engines) for a minor case like this, risking a whole slew of regressions, is nothing short of stupid.

    • MrWhales says:

      There are actually a few options in most of these missions, where you do have a greater freedom on how to kill someone, not nearly as much as the first where it was almost entirely up to you to do it all, but in Brotherhood, the game can’t stand when you decide to try another way. The 100/50% sync thing is so dumb. Sync goes from being a thing about health, to also being how they punish you for not doing it their specific way.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Um,you get partial sync in doing it another way than ezio actually did it,and you see that as being punished?Even though you are being told at the very beginning how he actually did it and how to get perfect sync?

      • Gale says:

        Eh. Going and doing the 100% Sync stuff just gets you some silly cheat codes. They’re just bonus objectives, I really wouldn’t call it punishment.

        • Raygereio says:

          All you really need is 75% (which is easy and non-frustrating to accomplish) to unlock the repressed memories. Especially as you can freely replay missions.

          The cheatcodes are dumb anyway. “Here have a cheatcode to turn all of your assassin aprentices into women”. Thanks, I can already do that by not recruiting men.

        • Sleeping Dragon says:

          Yeah, I didn’t really appreciate the 100% sync thing in brotherhood but when I checked on the net and found it doesn’t unlock any “secret plot” cutscene or anything really important it immediately stopped bothering me. Edit: Oh yeah, there is the 75% thing, in the post above, but far as I remember you can get 75% without doing most of the 100% objectives.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            It serves pretty much the same goal as the feathers and the flags:Us ocd people can get the satisfaction of looking at that 100% in every thread of the gene before we uninstall the game.

  3. Jakale says:

    I don’t remember if the other “Follow Him” quests are as bad as this. I think the rest stick to areas where you can actually hide from the guards and make sure the “oh no I can’t find the dude after 30 seconds even though I know he’s standing below that wall” timer doesn’t run out.
    Plus, the fact that you have to be unseen only for Ezio to stand out in the open, not even hiding behind a pillar or anything, bugs me.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Well you can follow him from the wall.It only that short field which you have to cross that has no cover.

      “oh no I can’t find the dude after 30 seconds even though I know he’s standing below that wall”

      You do,but ezio doesnt.He has to maintain the field of vision.Besides,the game is far more forgiving in this regards than others.

      But yes,that cutscene was crap.

  4. Kyte says:

    You know, that’s because Josh refused to take cover. Seriously, they WILL notice you if you’re jumping around on open field. The outer ring is a freaking tunnel. It’s really easy to drop inside, circle around to the side without guards and eavesdrop from there.

  5. Varewulf says:

    I recently replayed this game due to your choice of it as the new Spoiler Warning season, and I have to say I solved that last mission there in the same way on both my playthroughs. I ran around the left side where there were no guards, and climbed up, and then the game magically teleported me up into the sitting area where Josh walked in.

  6. Jock says:

    If you can catch them unaware and alone you can actually kill the guards. There’s one in the sunken walkway right before the amphitheater that you can drop down and kill, and you can hang out there until Jacopo gets to his destination and you can move up to trigger the cutscene. Took me a couple of tries to figure that out.

  7. Destrustor says:

    And the fast-forward made a return, and there was much rejoicing.

  8. Airsoftslayer93 says:

    The runners are either pickpockets (purse above them) or borgia messengers, well i suppose at this point theyre pazzi messengers. and yeah, these missions are easy, josh makes them far more difficul than they need to be.

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      Isn’t it interesting that it is the people from whom you’d like to hide the most, as in your targets and their lackeys, who can recognize you the instant they see you? When getting a job as a Borgia/Pazzi messenger you apparently go through some “Assassin spotting 101” class where they explain to you that you should watch out for guys in robes and hoods, carrying around a ton of junk, constantly jumping around various ledges… I imagine the moment they explain it there’s a lot of “oohs” and “aahs” and “I’ve always wondered” in the room.

      Also, bards and beggars need to have some variation of this class too since they only ever bother you.

  9. Zeta Kai says:

    It sounds like Ubisoft made a beautiful, vibrant world, full of life & interest…

    …which you can only see from the perspective of an uncontrollable mess of an avatar that makes Resident Evil characters seem smooth, intuitive, & responsive.

    • MrWhales says:

      The costume design is fairly normal looking from the front, except for some of the armor plates and the cape/hood, Ezio is wearing normal clothes..

      • swenson says:

        Also, normally it isn’t the freakish yellow/orange/whatever color they changed it to.

      • Gale says:

        I never really liked the outfit in AC2 – I always thought it looked too busy, too many frills and details, and even though I liked the idea of being able to die your clothes, most of the colour sets ended up looking drab and washed-out through whatever camera filter the current city had on. Also ugh at being stuck with a disgusting brown cape for the first act.

        I thought Brotherhood was better about it – brighter colours, a simpler, more elegant outfit, separate cape dyes, etc. I thought the Armour of Brutus looked atrocious, but the top-tier regular armour was basically as good, and there were entirely cosmetic character skins available – a couple of which weren’t complete jokes – so there were ways around it.

    • NihilCredo says:

      I never played Resident Evil, but if I hadn’t been watching Spoiler Warning I would have straight-up laughed in the face of anyone who called the Assassin’s Creed protagonists “an uncontrollable mess”.

      Watching through the eyes of a multi-tasking Josh is seriously unfair to the game.

    • Kyte says:

      The outfit is fitting for a noble of the time period. They ALL wore gaudy outfits. And the half-cape, oh so mocked by detractors, helps you hide the veritable arsenal of weapons you carry.

      And Josh is seriously not a good example of gameplay and control schemes.

  10. mediocre man says:

    You know that stealing from the minstrels accomplishes the task of getting them to gtfo w/o having to kill them, right Josh?

  11. Khizan says:

    The thing that pisses me off about those stealth missions is that Ezio is a juggernaut of guard slaughtering destruction. 20 guards? Piece of cake.

    You go through all this trouble to sneak into a place when Ezio’s perfectly capable of just putting a boot through the front door and rolling over everything with zero problem.

    • NihilCredo says:

      I kind of see your point, but letting you always do the slaughter thing would make pretty much every mission play the same way and it would get really, really boring. And if you made guards so much stronger that you had to sneak through, other parts of the game would suffer.

      Brotherhood has a decent approach to the issue: in many missions you can take the easy brute-force approach, but you lose the ‘perfect sync’ award for being so garish.

  12. Methermeneus says:

    I was just staring in horror as the Templar raised the sword, thinking, “Oh, god he’s not- he’s not going to- OH MY GOD, HE JUST SHEATHED THAT SWORD WITHOUT CLEANING IT!”

    Everyone’s got those little things that crack their suspension of disbelief, and this is one of mine. I can stand when people sheath their swords after killing someone if they don’t come out bloody, or even better if they just happen to have their weapons away because that’s their default character model, but when you go to the trouble of coloring the blade red…

    • GM says:

      I expect it is just this one person being a jackass,i might be wrong.

    • I know! These people are in the Renaissance for crying out loud – surely a villain would at least have enough class to clean the blade after killing someone, even if only to be stylish about it.

    • swenson says:

      It bugged me too! I was like “…no way. He is not going–he is! He did!”

      Truly he deserves to die now. This is a guy who is supposed to know a thing or two about fighting and he lives in a time period where people like that tend to know a few things about swords, and he sheathed his sword without cleaning it. Painful.

      • Atarlost says:

        I’m glad I wasn’t the only one. I’m disappointed none of the cast noticed.

        I thought *Everyone* knew not to put swords away bloody. You have to both never used a non-stainless knife and have never read LW&W to not know that.

  13. GM says:

    What happened at the end was Josh supposed to carry the old man? or was that the mistake :)

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      He was leaving the animus,and that gives you some time to dick around.I usually spend it looting the bodies,and I think thats what Josh wanted to as well,but he failed.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      So,another ubisoft platformer gets ported to big screen.At least the prince was an average movie,and didnt suck as hard as the rest of video game movies,so theres hope.

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ahh,its so satisfying seeing other people fall after kill like that.Thats maybe the one thing that frustrates me the most.And its even weirder when you jump on a guy and run him through,and it shows him and you suspended in mid air,with only the guards legs touching the edges.

  15. Vect says:

    I played this game on a console, and to be honest, it was generally easier to control for me. I really doubt that a game like this was meant to be played with a keyboard so that might be one of the problems.

  16. rrgg says:

    You should play Mercs 2, Shamus. You never hurt any innocents by accident and the treasure chests are replaced by something far more believable.

  17. Irridium says:

    Eugh, having to walk around, as an NPC. Truly, such a life would be one hellish affair.

    A truly hellish affair written by Chris Livingston. The guy who did Concerned.

    Well, hellish for him at least. Hilarious for us.

  18. silver Harloe says:

    At the end, the “leaving the animus” animation right when Josh threw the body… to me it looked like he threw the body and the body fell through the floor of the world and started to drag the world down into the hole like a carpet. It was a pretty awesome momentary hallucination.

  19. NihilCredo says:

    The reason you all thought this mission was ‘boring’ was because you were chatting and only paying attention to the movements.

    Most stalking missions like this one are actually a clever way to give info-dumps without boring the hell out of the player. While they’re walking, Jacopo and his guard talk a lot of plot exposition and future clues. Likewise for most other such assassination targets.

    Other games would have put a stupid long-ass cutscene in there, but the AC designers figured (IMO correctly) that letting the player retain avatar control through most of it would make them feel more immersed. Notice that the stalking is really easy through the city and early countryside when Jacopo is talking (so you can pay attention to the dialogue), then when there’s a bit of challenge in evading the guards in the theatre the conversation stops.

    It’s one of the better exposition game designs I’ve encountered, so I found it really frustrating to hear you guys rip on it just because the pace of the game slightly slowed down for three minutes; and bitterly ironic for someone like Shamus who regularly, and rightfully, rails against action games becoming mindless and plotless.

    • 4th Dimension says:

      Also stalking should be done from the roofs. I don’t remember having much trouble with stalking, and I never followed on the ground.

    • Naota says:

      I actually hated a number of the stalking sections myself, though certainly not for their pacing. No, what got to me was losing track of the target somewhere extremely obvious (say, inside a tunnel with one way in and one way out) and being saddled with a timer based on my line of sight rather than simple proximity or a mixture of the two.

      Trying to remain low-profile while keeping a bead on a target, moving forward, avoiding detection from pseudo-random elements like guard patrols and beggars/minstrels while also doing battle with an arbitrary timer isn’t any fun. Stealth by nature is a cautious, slow-paced activity that requires you to think before you act, examine all of your options, and look before you leap… and then suddenly you’re being rushed. The design goals here are at odds and often conflict and antagonize you. The game changes its expectations of you faster than a chimpanzee on cocaine.

      Sneak faster! Don’t lose him! Wait – some guards! Don’t move! If you run they’ll be on to you! Okay, now run! Minstrels! Stop running and weave! Leg it! He’s gone past some stationary sentries! Slow down and be sneaky! He’s around the corner and you can’t see him – hurry up! You can see him from that roof! Faster! No wait – look around for a better ramp! Don’t be so careless or you’ll jump from the wrong- Great… way to land directly on his head.

      You’re asked to be both quick/brash and slow/cautious at the same time, which is impossible. Cases where failure is absolutely inevitable by the time the player is able to see it coming are the result. Guards that break up crowds and check hiding places while you’re on the clock only exacerbate the problem.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Thats why you always climb the nearest roof and stalk the target from above.No minstrels,very few guards,and minimum chance of target running away.

  20. ccesarano says:

    There’s a mission where the three main villains remaining are walking through the city together, and you’re supposed to follow them and learn their plans. My friend ended up assassinating two of them at once, then killed the third one all before the game slowed down and said “Sorry, Mission Failure”. He was pissed off because he essentially beat the game, but not how the game wanted to be beaten.

    It was like a really bad DM rail-roading.

    I still liked the game, though.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      “He was pissed off because he essentially beat the game, but not how the game wanted to be beaten.”

      Except he did not beat the game.The goal of the game is not to murder people,its to recreate the memories.

    • zob says:

      Actually thats player stupidity. Your mission is not to avenge Ezio’s family your mission is learning about Piece of Eden by browsing through Ezio’s memories. You are trying to remember his memories by repeating his actions and you do that by guessing what he would do, more close your actions are more you remember. Setting and mission are already given. Denying those and expecting a reward is stupid.

  21. Museli says:

    With regards to the almost unkillable old man at the end – I’d love a game where the main foe is Rasputin, which basically consists of ten hours of hitting him with enough stuff to kill a couple of countries before he finally drops.

    • 4th Dimension says:

      Well considering Rasputin in this universe has Templar connections (he took staff POE from Nicholas II, which Tesla then nuked from half the world away, thus Tunguska), it’s not impossible.

  22. Aanok says:

    As one of the bitchy Italians who asked for language swap, I can’t say that I’m not personally displeased by your going back to murdering my cultural identity, you fascists; but I definitely understand how it really was the best decision for the show. To be honest, I absolutely recognize that having all of you know what is actually going on in the game feels so much better from a lot of perspectives. So I back you decision even if I complain a lot :D

    You see, I believe that Italian is a powerful language, much more than English (especially modern English), if I may be so bold as to say so, no offense intended. Unfortunately, such power derives from its variety and complexity, which also make it a very difficult language to master and employ properly. The result is that any less than perfect use of it sounds criminal to knowing ears, even moreso if it’s done by actual Italians.

    By comparison, I feel that English is much more easy and that it gives much less attention to sounds, as in when you don’t mind if you’re using the same word too much in a text, which is something you definitely want to avoid when you’re writing in Italian.

    But I can see how my point of view is probably influenced by the fact that English is not my first language :)

    • TSED says:

      Bit of a heads up – you’re 300-400 years late on that train. There was a pretty big “English is a sucky language” movement a long time ago, and then a bunch of English writers stepped forward and were all “SUCK IT” (only in Elizabethan or Jacobian language, naturally).

      Now, I am a native English speaker, and the English tongue is amazing to me because it has so many words. Synonyms abound! Vague pronouns simultaneously clear and obfuscate meaning, often in the same sentence. I am not a fluent speaker of any other language, though I have studied other languages (so far: 3, the most in-depth study being of Spanish), and my opinion is that these other languages become very repetitive.

      To tie these two paragraphs together: a few hundred years ago, Italian poetic movements were the dominant influence on English poetry. Then Spenser and Sidney stopped being relevant and Shakespeare showed up, and started screwing around with Wyatt’s sonnet form (note – sonnets are still pretty Italian, admittedly). And then a bunch more along the English canon came waltzing around, and, long story short, the English language is SWIMMING in national epics. From Beowulf (aww yeah, predate THAT) to the King Henry tetralogy to Paradise Lost to blah blah blah, you get the picture. The canon of English works helped indoctrinate the millions of people the British Empire needed to subjugate – what have the Italian epics done?

      Sort of inspire the English works to get off the couch and do something? Oh wow, what an accomplishment. English has masculine, feminine, and even sdrucciola rhymes. Your language can’t match ours for sheer rhyming versatility WHILE WE’RE STEALING RHYMING CONCEPTS FROM YOURS. And oh yeah, please excuse me when I’m not impressed by the rhyming ability of poets working in a language where 60+% of the words rhyme with each other.

      English is the borg of languages. There’s so little Italian influence on the English language, because there was so little worth stealing. (Ohhhhhh!)

      (Note: I am being facetious, and am trying to instigate a light-hearted friendly linguistic brawl. I can only apologize that I cannot answer you in your native tongue. Don’t be offended, but feel free to answer in this “CALL TO ARMS” fashion.)

  23. Zander says:

    Will you be doing any of the subject 16 content? I’d be interested on your take on it.

    • Gamer says:

      Yeah, especially since that’s when you tap into all the conspiracy and lore behind most of the series.

    • NonEuclideanCat says:

      I have a feeling they won’t, considering that they’d have to sit there and solve a puzzle. “Sit still and think” seems to be something they’re actively trying to avoid for the sake of keeping the show in motion at all times.

      Which is kind of a shame. One of the glyphs has a big block of hexadecimal hidden in it and it’d be amusing to watch Shamus translate it in his head.

  24. RTBones says:

    The first time I saw the video, I thought the tagline for Mumbles read “Ocktbowlerfest” not Ocktoberfest. I actually went back to check what it said.

  25. Otters34 says:

    I’ve already gone through this game, and let me tell you: stuff like that cutscene in the ruins keeps happening at the worst times, all of which could easily be avoided if the super-awesome bad guy didn’t try to do what his fit young soldiers can’t(kill Ezio). A really hair-pullingly bad instance of that approaches, and only sheer apathy for the story kept me from boiling with anger at how cheap it was.

    Also, I don’t get why Josh didn’t hire some of those prostitiutes when shadowing Jacopo, were there too many guards around for them to last long enough?

  26. izzy at school (from minecraft :D) says:

    lol i am commenting because the counter told me to

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