Assassin’s Creed 2 EP27: Babysitter’s Creed

By Shamus Posted Friday Nov 25, 2011

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 119 comments

Link (YouTube)

Like I said, the game ended for me last episode, so I didn’t reach this part. At 21 minutes, does the game really make all of your assassination tools impotent so you have to wade in and swordfight? If so, that seems like a really obnoxious decision for a game about ASSASSINATION. Particularly since we just got the pistol. “Here is a new tool. You will find it powerful and useful. Until you need it.” However, I can’t tell from the video. Later on Josh was able to assassinate the guy without any problem.

For those of you who say we complain too much: It’s probably going to get worse before it gets better. If all goes well, AC2 will end next week.


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119 thoughts on “Assassin’s Creed 2 EP27: Babysitter’s Creed

  1. Phoenix says:

    Something wrong with the post? You’re really enraged :D

  2. Mathias says:

    I’m kinda glad to see this go, to be honest. This season was starting to feel a bit like it’d caught BioShock syndrome, and everything that needed saying about the game had been said.

    I kinda want you to do a playthrough of the original Assassin’s Creed now, just to see how long it would last.

  3. Hitch says:

    At 20:00 minutes the guy you shot was a munchkin. When he was rolling up his character he was asking the point cost for every possible advantage, he got to “bulletproof” and the GM told him it was free, since no one in that setting has guns. Then the GM forgot about it when he gave Ezio a gun. “See, right there. I took bulletproof for zero points. You approved it.”

    1. Grudgeal says:

      Given he’s fighting a guy who insisted on playing a Ninja in a game setting based on 15th century Italy governmental intrigue, well, I’d say he’s hardly the worst example around.

      1. ctrees says:

        Holy crap… if you take assassin’s creed 2, and think about it from a dm of the rings/darths and droids perspective, where you assume the decisions are made by bad roleplaying and ill-prepared dm’ing, the plot makes complete sense! One guy absolutely insisted on playing a ninja in a renn setting, Mario’s player just played for laughs and probably makes incessant monty python references… carnivalle was the dm padding while he wrote more plot, etc.

        1. Shawn P says:

          ^ This

          I am actually thinking you could do this with a LOT of games with decent plots that turn to gibberish as the game goes on. Happens all the time as it is actually incredibly difficult to keep coherency at times.

          1. krellen says:

            And if the game writers would actually do that, we’d laugh instead of rage.

    2. Torsten says:

      In my playthrough I managed to drown that guy into a canal at the point where you are stealing the mask from him. He showed up again at a cutscene later and wasn’t even wet. So he is not just bulletproof, he can breath under water also.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I think youll need a bit more than 4 episodes.Depends on how fast Josh cleares florence.And if the dlc is optional on the pc(since it was incorporated as part of the full game,Im not sure).Still,the dlc is more fun than the carnevale.

    And its a shame that youll skip the puzzles completely.It would be worth it to do at least one,just so you could talk about it.But,seeing how you didnt all finish the game,maybe not that insightful.But you did talk about the tombs.

    1. 4th Dimension says:

      I’m not sure if they’ll need toumbs to get Altair’s armor. Is that a required quest. I remember a prompt saying you need that armor for full sync, and since this is not Brotherhood.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        I dont think you need full sync for the main story,in either of the asscreeds.Its for optional stuff.

        1. 4th Dimension says:

          Oh good. Because an episode of Josh trying to do Il Duomo will be filled with him climbing and failing all the time while Rutskasn puns.

          1. nerdpride says:

            You mean you watch Spoiler Warning for something else?

            1. 4th Dimension says:

              Yeah, but these are allmost pure parkour platforming missions. It took me more than a few tries (and my sanity) to finish il Duomo.

              Now inset Josh into it, who is as distracted as it is. And that means we’ll watch him repeatedly failing to catch some ledge. Falling on his way to to ledge and so on. For HOURS.

          2. ctrees says:

            It’s rock climbing, Joel.

        2. therandombear says:

          he will need the codex’s though, no?

          1. Jarenth says:

            Jup. But those could be collected off-screen, in case of emergency.

            1. therandombear says:

              ya, probably…or as a Q&A episode or something while Josh jumps and falls too his death. :p

    2. Raygereio says:

      Yeah, unless Josh is going to skip over stuff by playing off scree, it’s going to be another 2 weeks, maybe even a third.
      The DLC isn’t optional, you can’t skip it. As for it being more fun then carnivalle, I have but one rebuttal and that is AC2’s stealthsystem.
      *shakes fist*
      Damn that boat!

      Also, I think that – while the assassin tombs are optional – you need to have all the codexpages to unlock endgame.

      1. Mathias says:

        Yeah, you need all the Codex pages, though they could concievably just have Josh pick them up off-camera once they get the Big Map of Codex Pages towards the end.

        I can’t wait to see Shamus’ reaction to the end when Ezio fights and beats Rodrigo “I have my own center of gravity” Borgia, Pope Alexander III, and then lets him live.

      2. Josh says:

        Even if it isn’t skippable by some prompt, we’re still going to skip it since even I haven’t played it and I don’t think we could hold out for two or three more weeks without murders happening.

        1. Raygereio says:

          I reckon the murders would have happened anyway if you did the Bonfire DLC.

          Carnivalle was dumb, but that DLC was the true downpoint for AC2’s gameplay for me. Just because of the frustration caused by forcing the barely fuctioning and not-at-all-fun-to-use stealth system down my throat.

          1. Mathias says:

            Really, the “finding all Codex pages” is just busywork. Though the puzzle was sort of fun, if very simplistic. It ties in well to the Subject 16 sidequest that’s apparently really important in Revelations.

            1. Vect says:

              Well, 16 is a big part of Desmond’s story in Revelations. For one, he appears in person. He also replaces Shaun as “Dude who’s an ass to Desmond”.

          2. Daemian Lucifer says:

            It wasnt that bad.You just grab the side of the boat,then topple them one by one.

            1. Entropy says:

              I totally knew exactly how to do it. Didn’t stop Ezio being a derp and jumping on the boat about half the time.

        2. Daemian Lucifer says:

          But you have to do the flying scene,you just have to.

          1. Raygereio says:

            What flying scene? You mean the one in the Forli DLC where you can just take the flying machine for ride for no reason whatsover?

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Well of course.You cant simply skip flying around for no reason.

  5. Gamer says:

    God. I can’t wait to see what you guys have to say about the finale. You think carnival was stupid, just wait until the last mission. I almost freaked out when I saw it.

    1. Mathias says:

      I laughed. In a game I overall enjoyed and considered very good, that endgame sequence made me simultaneously laugh and cry with just how stupid and out of character it was.

      Then it turned out to be sequel bait, and thus were the true colors revealed.

      1. Gamer says:

        That’s the one thing I hated about Brotherhood. It was a great game and added much to Assassin’s Creed, but the whole game seemed completely unnecessary. Very little actually went on.

        1. Mathias says:

          At least it had some closure until Revelation was revealed (pun not intended).

          1. Gamer says:

            That’s the thing though. Ezio’s story felt complete to me at the end of the first game. Brotherhood didn’t evolve his character in any significant way. I liked Revelations because it did develop Ezio and showed that he’s gained some wisdom over the years (as did Altair and it looks like Desmond is becoming more than slightly relevant).

            1. FalseProphet says:

              Yeah, Brotherhood didn’t add much to Ezio’s arc, but it wasn’t a totally unwelcome sequel. AC2 was the angry young man fighting back against the world that had wronged him. Brotherhood was more about the mature man trying to build something greater than himself, even if that often meant silly minigames.

              Revelations (disclosure: I’m only about halfway through it), I like that Ezio’s become the Old Man of the Mountain, and is a lot more calm and measured than the earlier games. But the way the local Assassins of foreign city just hand control of their cell over to him right after he walks into town isn’t working for me. They’re way too trusting for a supposed secret conspiracy, and he’s way too quick to dive into local issues when he’s there for other reasons–and the Ottoman Assassins’ problems aren’t anywhere as big as Ezio’s were in Italy. I would have preferred Yusuf (the only Constantinople Assassin with any personality) in a position of authority, but regularly seeking Ezio’s advice. Or alternatively Yusuf being a hothead like young Ezio, and Ezio trying to temper him, Obi-Wan style.

              1. Gamer says:

                Well, Ezio by that point is the “Mentor” or Grandmaster of the brotherhood. He’s essentially in charge of the entire operation. Since he currently operates in Constantinople, he works with the assassins there. Thankfully, with exception to the intro missions, most of that stuff is regulated to side-missions and optional fluff.

                I agree that he was a little too willing to get into other peoples business sometimes, but more often then not his goals coincided with what the faction of the day wanted to do. Most of the early missions like that mostly serve to introduce the player to new mechanics and city.

        2. 4th Dimension says:

          Maybe plot wise, but it did cover Ezio’s transformation from a lone hunter to Grandmaster of the Assassins. Also concept of Ezio not being the only Assassin, but actually belonging to a Brotherhood is explored.

          1. Mathias says:

            On that note, is Revelations any good? While I’d love to go back to Altaà¯r, I don’t really want to do it if they completely dropped the Assassin philosophy and just kind of reduce him to a wise old man.

            1. 4th Dimension says:

              Haven’t played Revelations yet.

              Or more probably you answered the wrong post.

            2. Gamer says:

              Revelations is good. Don’t worry, Altair’s character is wiser, but still intact. If anything, his moments are some of the games best.

              Ezio too grew a little wiser. His strategies seem more intelligent and he becomes a “Mentor” to the brotherhood.

              Bomb Crafting is interesting, but becomes a throw-away mechanic.

              Den Defense sucks. Fortunately, it is mostly avoidable.

      2. Raygereio says:

        It wasn’t sequal bait. Not in the way you meant it, anyway.
        Rodrigo doesn’t actually do anything in AssBro. That game’s plot could have worked just as easily with him dead.

        There are, I reckon, two reason why Ezio didn’t kill him.
        -It wasn’t Rodrigo’s time. Literally. AC2’s ending took place in 1492 (I think?), pope Alexader the 6th didn’t die until 1503 and we need that historical accuracy, dammit.
        -Ezio’s character growth and the horrible failure to portray it. Ezio supposedly didn’t kill him because it wouldn’t have brought back his family. He killed enough, he was past all that. Etc. Too bad we never actually saw anything of this growth.

        1. 4th Dimension says:

          Not in ACII but you do see it in Brotherhood. Untill Cezare whacks Mario Ezio is all about hanging his clown costume on the wall and retiring from Assasinating.

          Then Cezare being overconfident bafoon rouses him from his slumber.

          1. Raygereio says:

            No, that’s not what I meant. One moment Ezio is a youth driven by vengeace, the next moment he’s matured and is done with all this crap.
            The change is just so sudden. We follow Ezio’s life, but we never see how he transitions from the one phase to another.

            Sure, in the Bonfire DLC he gives some speech about how the rest of Assassin order taught him. But then we never actually see even the slightest indication that they’ve taught any live lessons to Ezio. The only thing I can recall is Antonio going on for a few seconds about how the commoners are the real nobillity. That’s it.

            1. Klay F. says:

              Honestly, I don’t think Ezio’s change is all that unrealistic. I mean, think about it. If your family were murdered by a bunch of scheming bastards, and you had to abandon your very way of life in order to survive, then spent the next decade or whatever on a single minded quest for vengeance, once you accomplished said vengeance, would you not look back on those years and just want to live for something other than single minded vengeance?

              After you’ve spent your life looking for vengeance, wouldn’t it make at least a little sense that you’d be tired of it?

              1. Raygereio says:

                Again, not my point.
                I agree that the change is realistic and I even think it’s a good change: characters shouldn’t be static.

                But we don’t see the how and why of Ezio’s change. The change should have been portrayed as happening over the course of the game as Ezio matured.
                As it is now it happened in a single second at the very last moment of the game with absolutely nothing leading up to it.

                1. Pete says:

                  Okay, how about thinking about it like this:

                  Rodrigos entire life goal was to enter the Vatican vault. Then Ezio walks in, beats the crap out of him and proves that Rodrigo never was the prophet. Hell, Rodrigo even tells him to get it over with. At that point, killing Rodrigo wouldnt be much of a vengeance – hell, leaving him alive just means he gets to savor just how much of a failure his entire life has been.

                  That work?

                  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                    It could,but the change has happened long before that.Remember that out of place comment about not bloodying his sword?See,ezio was fueled with vengance,mario told him thats not the way,and BAM,the very next moment ezio is suddenly zen.Its rushed.And the worst thing is that between these two events,time has passed,but we dont see it,except in a text blurb.It either shows ezio as a gullible idiot who changes his mind whenever someone tells him something,or shows an entire important chunk of ezios life missing.

                  2. Danel says:

                    Yeah, that’s how I saw it as well. When the guy’s practically begging him to kill him and put him out of his misery, leaving him alive is more cruel.

        2. modus0 says:

          From what I recall from Assassin’s Creed 1, historical accuracy isn’t Ubisoft’s main concern, as at least a few people (the leader of the Hospitalers, IIRC) are killed in-game years before they died in real life.

          Besides, they could hand-wave it away with an “it’s an alternate universe” excuse and I imagine few people would complain.

          1. Jakey says:

            Actual in-game explanation is that in a world essentially ran by Templars, all historical accounts are written and fabricated by the Templars as well and thus there’s yearly inconsistencies etc.

        3. Vect says:

          In Brotherhood, he just said that killing Rodrigo would make him a Martyr. And that’s bad. He gets over this when Machiavelli raises a shitstorm on him.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      But you get to use the apple.That negates all the stupid.

      As for the sequel bait,well of course.It was a part of a trilogy(what will it end up being?A 15 parter?),and 1 already had a sequel bait,so its not that bad.At least we knew it will be finished,unlike other games with such endings.

      1. Raygereio says:

        Only you don’t actually do anything fun with the apple.
        All that Ezio does is use the apple in a cutscene and summon a couple of extra Ezios that are just as usefull as having mercenaries follow you around. Big whoop.

        Heck, if you stand back from the fight Rodrigo will beat every single one of your copies with minimal loss of health.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          You mean just like you did with al mualims clones?The frustrating part of that fight was finding the real guy,not defeating his clones.And now,you get to grief someone else with that power.How is that not fun?

          1. Raygereio says:

            I didn’t find that really frustrating. Altair in my game just murdered all the copies with little effort, just like Rodrigo did.

            Brotherhood lets you have more fun with the apple as it allows you to murder people with it. Mind you, the whole casting-from-lifepoints-thing was a bit silly in practice, but it sure looked more satisfying.

            1. Gale says:

              Using the Apple was fun for a bit, but I hated the fact that it locked out all of the other weapons. I’d spend almost all of my health trying to kill a few people, and then five more would immediately run over and try to stab me before my health could regenerate. Died several times because of stuff like that. If it’d just let you switch to the hidden blade, then they’d all be dead in less than a minute with no real threat to yourself, but it forces you to use the Apple, and makes the whole sequence way riskier than it has to be. It was a nice trick at first, but I could not wait for those sections to be over.

  6. ccesarano says:

    I think the big issue in ACII and the whole “Assassination” thing was, well, too many players of the first game were bad at it. Sure, there’s a couple bosses that you can’t pull a “death from above” on, but most of them, if you took the time and patience, you could insta-kill like a real Assassin.

    Which is why the second one pissed me off by rail-roading you in the worst possible manner in the second. Instead of giving players more options to handle each fight how they want or something, you’re forced to handle it like you’re a shitty Assassin that doesn’t know how to do his job.

    Which means the only actual satisfactory kills are in the side quests.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Luckily brotherhood gives you more freedom,and you are only restricted if you want full sync,which is optional.

      1. FalseProphet says:

        Yeah, now that you mention it, the side missions in Brotherhood where you assassinate the Templar characters from the multiplayer game are probably the most fun in that game. Actually, I also like the first half of all the Leonardo war machine missions where you need to sneak into a fortress and destroy the plans. Not so much the clunky handling of the machines themselves, though.

        1. Adam P says:

          Yeah, the infiltration part of the Leonardo missions were pretty fun. The only machine I had fun playing with was the flyer.

  7. Johan says:

    I’ve found that in-engine battles always look pretty stupid.

  8. Nimas says:

    Surprised no one mentioned about how ridiculous that last cutscene looked when the random npc carrying the box walked into it and dropped his box. Then started complaining at Ezio :P

  9. Gamer says:

    Just out of curiosity, what made you all choose Assassin’s Creed 2 as your game for Season 6?

    1. Shamus says:

      It was a compromise title. We all had games we wanted to do, but other members of the cast didn’t want to do. AC2 wasn’t anyone’s favorite, but none of us objected to it, so it was chosen.

      Moving forward, we aren’t going to run into this problem again for a while. We’re all playing Skyrim, and it’s pretty much all we talk about when we’re in chat together. So that one is inevitable for us. Mass Effect 3 comes out next month. Good or bad, I’m SURE we’ll do that at some point in 2012.

      1. Raygereio says:

        Next month? ME3 was originally announced for a release in the holiday season 2011, but it’s been pushed back a good while ago to early march 2012.

        Edit: And the auto-moderator becomes stranger and stranger. The only explanation I can think off for this one is that the capricious beast has become mad with power.

      2. anaphysik says:

        “Mass Effect 3 comes out next month.”
        Err… what?
        Pretty sure it doesn’t come out until March. Unless you’re using bizarro ‘early release for reviews’ powers.

        1. Irridium says:

          I thought it was coming out in January…

        2. Mathias says:

          Yeah, Mass Effect 3 got moved. I think you’re getting it mixed up with The Old Republic.

          1. anaphysik says:

            Unlikely, since I haven’t paid any attention to TOR. Got a ref on that?

            from the Googles:
            “Best guess for Star Wars: The Old Republic Release Date is December 20, 2011”

            “Best guess for Mass Effect 3 Release Date is March 6, 2012”

            (based on multiple sites)

        3. Shamus says:

          Yeah, I was forgetting that it was pushed back. It was slated for “holiday 2011” at one point.

          If we do Deus Ex: Humor Revocation, that should take about 8 weeks. Then Skyrim should take ~5 months, assuming we give it the attention we gave New Vegas. That means we’d start in on ME3 around June or July, which feels about right.

          1. Entropy says:

            Does Skyrim have enough suck to make a good Spoiler Warning?

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Surprisingly no.But it has a enough good things to cover.The only suck Ive encountered was the ui and the steal flag,but those can be covered quickly.You cant even nitpick the dialogue since bethesda finally stopped pretending that they can write and gave us just the necessary.

              1. Klay F. says:

                Also, Josh’s hilarious propensity for bug-finding.

              2. acronix says:

                Don´t forget the player´s psycho horses, who will attempt to trample anything hostile, even dragons and giants, as soon as you dismount.

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Why would you want to buy an expensive horse that prevents you from picking flowers and chasing butterflies?

                  1. tengokujin says:

                    Actually, I rescued a horse from bandits who killed its owner. He’s listed as “stolen”, but never runs away, since its owner is dead. :3

                    Buy? I’ve got two horses for free! (Frost was a cheap persuasion roll)

              3. Adam P says:

                Another thing that isn’t great is when you’ll have two (or more!) NPCs having a scripted conversation in front of you, and then another NPC (or one them in the conversation) says some random greeting to you. Like this conversation between Some Thief, Another Thief, and Bartending Thief:
                Some Thief: “So I was robbing the Imperial Palace last week.”
                Another Thief: “How did that go for you?”
                Bartending Thief: “Yeah, wasn’t that the MacGuffin job?”
                Some: “Well, I had to sneak in through the sewers–the sewers, fer cryin’ out loud!–to get to the third floor. That place is built like-”
                Bartending: “Hail, Khajiit. Can I interest you in some fine Black-Briar Mead? Or perhaps you’d like to unload your stolen wares?”
                Another: “-manage to get out of there alive?”
                Some: “Oh, that was simple, I just-”
                Passerby: “Hail, Khajiit! You should try some Black-Briar Mead. It’s the bee’s knees!”

                …and then everyone in the Examplaria Thieve’s Guild died that day.

                The problem is that people will be talking, but then someone else will say something, and then the subtitles will display the mundane greeting that you’ll hear thousands of times throughout a standard playthrough. The one-time event, meanwhile, can be heard (barely) but not read.

                Something that’s terrible about Skyrim:
                Stormcloaks and Imperials. Do you side with the blatant racists, or the spineless puppets who tried to behead you? Or the families in each of the cities that support them, whom do you side with?
                As the old clichਠgoes, the only winning move is not to participate.

                1. tengokujin says:

                  I’m aiming for a house everywhere, so I was forced to join the assholes who don’t care about anything other than “taking back Skyrim for the Nords”. Problem is, I still can’t buy a house from Windhelm until I do more quests for them. FFFFFFFF-

                2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Hah,yeah,the constant talking.Its really frustrating during the game,but dissipates as soon as I exit.As well as your followers NEVER MOVING FROM THE NARROW CORRIDOR/DOOR!

                3. Danel says:

                  Well, from what I read in the Thalmor embassy, the only people who really benefit from the Civil War continuing is the Elf Nazis themselves. SO I guess it’s best just to pick one of the two at random and finish the damn war.

                  1. 4th Dimension says:

                    And then you have Ulfric being brainwashed by Thalmor.

      3. Daemian Lucifer says:

        What about l.a. noire?Its out for the pc,and it looks pretty impressive.It seems like thered be a lot to talk about.

        1. Gamer says:

          I could see the crew doing LA Noire. It wouldn’t take terribly long. Josh would have to play it first so that we don’t spend too much time looking for clues. I get the feeling though that the audience and the crew might get bored of it quickly. It’s not a very fun game to watch.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Really?I was amazed the very first time I saw people talking.Seeing that level of detail in a video game is pretty fun to watch.Heck,this is the first game that Ive switched the dialogue off because I dont want to read ahead and skip conversations.

      4. Gamer says:

        I see. I was just asking because it didn’t really seem like any of you had any significant feelings towards AC2.

  10. nawyria says:

    Bart’s face at 16:35 matches the ‘condom’ joke so well.

    1. X2Eliah says:

      That would be a great cutscene evaluation metric, I think. If the facial animations support the concept of one (or more) of the npc’s giving a condom to the player in the cutscene – any cutscene – then you know it’s a good one.

  11. Joel D says:

    Shamus, you complain a lot about Ezio having do everything. However, if all these things happened in the background, would it be as fun? Having all the NPCs take care of things for you doesn’t sound like a fun game to me.

    1. Shamus says:

      Right, but making all of your allies stupid and helpless sort of kills the world for me.

      You could fix this by having Ezio take part in a much larger effort. Make it sound like other, powerful people are moving behind the scenes, and you just lend a hand here and there, taking small but effective actions. This would require the writers to take Ezio off of his pedestal.

      In the above sequence, instead of having Ezio rescue ALL the soldiers, and then kill guards FOR the soldiers, have him rescue a few important specialists.

      “Ezio, my siege engineers were caught bringing gunpowder into the city and they’re being held in prison. If I try to free them with my vast and powerful army, the bad guys might kill them. But if you could slip in and quietly free them while I’m assaulting the other side of the city, then you could get them to safety and they would be able to help our attack.”

      That would show that this “general” commands more than eight guys. It would explain why his guys are so crap at combat. (They’re engineers!) It would explain why you aren’t instantly surrounded by hundreds of men.

      I’m not objecting to the gameplay. I’m objecting to the sloppy reasoning.

      EDITED: Edited for clarity.

      1. Joel D says:

        That does sound much better than both alternatives.

      2. tengokujin says:

        So many things could be fixed with better writing >.>

        1. Peter H. Coffin says:

          EXACTLY — That’s what makes it so annoying for me, and (if I’m understanding his reasoning) Shamus as well, that a LOT of reasons that could be made up for almost all the game play and actual plot events (with some exceptions) and made the story Very Good instead of Tolerable If You Don’t Think About It Much, if they’d sat a couple of writers down for a week in a room and slid beer and pizza under the door.

          1. tengokujin says:

            My mind broke at imagining how beer could be slipped under a door.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Straws are magical things.

      3. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Well you dont have to kill all the guards.I dont know how Josh managed to get them killed,but I simply sent the mercenaries to the guards and they did everything.Both from the jail break,to the setting up the pieces.

      4. Fnord says:

        I can hear alternate universe Shamus now: “If he’s already got an army, why did none of them attempt to rescue him until we came along?” “What do we need siege engineers for, when we’re already inside the city?”

        Bitching about poor companion AI is a cheap shot, especially when the biggest flaw is the same mook chivalry that allows the PC to survive fights with the guards. And calling it a “reasoning” flaw, instead of gameplay, is ridiculous.

        1. Amnestic says:

          “Following Bartolomeo’s (Minsc’s) capture, his soldiers had their morale broken. While a few made a valiant effort to rescue their general, they were cut down by the Templar troops. Following that, they went into hiding, unsure of how to proceed next.”

          Perfectly logical. You’ve seen Bartolomeo, if he got caught, it’s unlikely that Mercenary Mook #235 would fare any better. If they felt that a rescue attempt was hopeless, and without a charismatic leader to hold their troops together, it’s possible that they would scatter – if only temporarily – rather than risk dying needlessly against Templar soldiers.

        2. Blake says:

          I don’t think I like the implication that Shamus (or by extension, any of the Spoiler warning gang) is impossible to please. Half-life 2 aside, the whole point of the series is to using critical thinking to carefully deconstruct a game. Endless bitching or constant praise is poor form. This is about trying very hard to think about how to “improve” a game; To discuss what is good, what is good enough, and what simply isn’t cutting it.

          The thrust of it, if I’m not mistaken, is to encourage us to do the same to all media we consume. To be active participants who “think” about what’s being shown to us rather than passively “accepting” the story, characters and gameplay presented.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Except when they dont play (part of) the game,see something familiar,and jump on the bandwagon.”Oh,now we have to babysit these guys,just like with the thieves,boo!”,when you dont.And I still dont get how Josh got them all killed.Ive regularly sent bands of merc against overwhelming forces,and rarely would they get completely wiped out,even without my involvement.

        3. Naota says:

          I think it’s a fair point to make that there will almost always be arguments you could make about the logic of certain plot points, because even in real life with a mountain of facts and history at our disposal this happens every day. However, you assume that Shamus would be looking for them in his proposed alternate-universe Assassin’s Creed.

          It’s not that you couldn’t make quibbles about the logic of Ezio’s actions with the explanation Shamus gives, but that it simply holds up better and is more likely to preserve the player’s suspension of disbelief. That’s the key. As long as there’s a degree of reasonable doubt and a sane narrative to them, players won’t dwell on the plotholes.

          Alternate-Shamus wouldn’t be complaining because he wouldn’t have noticed in the first place, in turn because he wouldn’t have been sucked in by trying to make sense of the biggest and most obvious stupid plotholes that got the ball rolling. It’s when your game reaches critical derpmass and each blunder in common sense recursively leads further down the rabbit hole to two more that you get… Carnivale.

          1. Thomas says:

            It’s actually a really fascinating thing to study, Nostalgia Chick pointed out that films like Independence Day actually do explain all their plot holes. It’s just that the existence of plot holes doesn’t have much relevance on how many people believe there to be.

            All stories are sharing the dream of a pattern that makes sense, not the sense itself. So what we’re actually learning is, as you’ve pointed, that the story has failed Shamus, not that it doesn’t make sense. The actual logic is less important, what’s important is the idea behind this bit of story that everyone is useless, Ezio has to do everything and yet somehow he’s still limited by people saying things are impossible.

            I think MGS4 is probably the best comparison tool for ACII. They both probably have similar levels of plot holes or MGS has more, they’re both trying to stop good gameplay from becoming boring by mixing up missions. Yet in MGS the story seems vital and completley intertwined with the game. Snake seems like a badass, all the people he talks to and fights seem like badasses and all the problems they face seem less like arbitary obstacles and more the world showing how badass it is to try and dare get in the way of Snake.

            I haven’t figured out why this is and tbh MGS is a queer fish to start with (I’ve never even decided if the story weight is actually _enhanced_ by the ridiculously long cutscenes, they stop if feeling like level bookends) but I think the answer is there somewhere

            1. Raygereio says:

              Indepence day explains its plotholes? Really?
              I don’t recall explanations for such things as why aliens would use a human operating system.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                God did it.

              2. acronix says:

                I bet the reason is something like “we humans stole operative systems from aliens when they crashed on our planet!” Because, you know, we humans are incapable of doing anything marvelous without aliens help. Just look how a lot of people seem convinced that making a huge pyramid in the middle of Egypt is something only an extraterrestrial species could do.

                1. Raygereio says:

                  So what you’re saying is that Independece Day is actually a giant love letter to windows and Bill Gates?
                  After all, according to that theory Apple is apparently run by idiots who couldn’t make anything on their own and instead had to resort to copying stuff they found laying around in Area 51.

                  I think I rather like that theory. ^_O

                  1. Viktor says:

                    There was a cut scene about them figuring out the alien’s OS from the crashed spacecraft from the 50’s, and so he wrote the virus to affect that.

                    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      Because its logical to have your operating system unupdated for 50 years and not search for possible holes in its security.Providing an explanation to a plot hole is not the same as providing a reasonable explanation.

                    2. Raygereio says:

                      To add to what Daemian said:
                      The idea that an highly advanced, invading alien force is so pants-on-head-retarded that they haven’t figured out the concept of a firewall and just let any unauthorized computer connect with their own critical systems is downright insulting to the audience.

                      Who knows, maybe Jeff Goldblum just send them a email that said “free alien boobies!”.

                    3. Thomas says:

                      I haven’t seen it myself, but it was more complicated than that. To use our satellites (I forget why) they designed there OS to interact with ours. They weren’t expecting someone to make that a two way thing and use the link they’d built to work in the other direction two.

                      But yeah I agree with Daemian but in a slightly broader context, explaining a plot hole isn’t the same as providing a reasonable explanation _because_ a reasonable is part of the accepted film and on the right side of suspension of disbelief. The failure isn’t the plot hole but why people notice it. Like how no-one cares that Batman left the Joker at a party in the DK

                    4. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      “I haven't seen it myself, but it was more complicated than that. To use our satellites (I forget why) they designed there OS to interact with ours. They weren't expecting someone to make that a two way thing and use the link they'd built to work in the other direction two.”

                      I remember hearing something about that explanation as well,but it merely points to other plot holes instead of closing this one.So,this civilization contained completely in this fleet thought it better to replace all of their os,thus changing their entire infrastructure,instead of just making a few dedicated terminals?Heck,they didnt even need to make those,since even now you can emulate a console on your computer.Sure,it requires powerful machines,but I doubt a space faring civilization would lack those.

  12. See, I was worried AC2 would just have an unremarkable plot and interesting gameplay, and thus not make for interesting Spoiler Warninging. Luckily (or unluckily) that turns out not to be the case.

  13. Fat Tony says:


    No-one, no-one flushed me.

  14. Alan says:

    I went on a binge and watch the last 10 or so episodes. While I agree with your assessments of the game’s problems, especially the insanity that was the Carnivale plot line, it ironically made me want to load it back and and replay it. The core gameplay was good enough for me to carry the game. Of course, I’ll need to finish my replay through the Hitman series, which I started after watching your Let’s Play of that!

  15. Tharwen says:

    Have you tried killing people with fishing rods yet?

    I have no idea why that works…

    1. Raygereio says:

      It works for the same reason you can cut someone’s throat with a broom. Splinters are lethal man.

      Actually I think items like that are classified internally in the engine as equipable weapons, just like swords, maces, etc. NPCs that spawn in the gameworld equiped with them just use unique animations instead of the default ones for weapons.
      It was likely to much trouble to make a seperate system for it. They also probably gave those items weapon stats that allows the player to use them as weapon in order to prevent the game from throwing a hissy fit and crashing in case an enterprising player gets his hands on them.

      1. acronix says:

        I don´t know you, but the broom was my favourite weapon.

  16. RTBones says:

    On the Bianca reference…

    Shakespeare had at least one other famous Bianca – in Othello, she is Cassio’s jealous lover. If it’s a Shakespearean reference, this is the one I’d probably go with.

    The source of Othello was a 1565 story, “Un Capitano Moro” by Giovani Cinthio. There wasn’t an English version of the story while Shakespeare was around, but he likely knew both this version (Italian) and a French translation done in 1584. The story Cinthio wrote might have been based on a real-life situation that happened in Venice (our current location) around 1508.

    Of course, Bianca is also the name of a moon of Uranus, which by the way, is named after Shakespeare’s other famous Bianca. But the fact that it’s a moon of Uranus offers so many better entendres…..

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      What is this uranus you keep saying bianca is circling around?

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