E3 2018 Day 3: Ubisoft Press Event Part 2

By Shamus Posted Thursday Jun 14, 2018

Filed under: Industry Events 123 comments

Here are the rest of my thoughts on the Ubisoft show. As before, the whole 1 hour, 50 minute ordeal is in this video at the top, and my text synopsis is below.

Link (YouTube)


It's a VR game about a VR experiment? Maybe?
It's a VR game about a VR experiment? Maybe?

What a strange experiment. It’s been 20 years since FMV games died an awkward, embarrassing, and very pixelated death.

Those games had a lot working against them. You can’t really give player direct control over a live-action actor, so those titles were always doomed to be more cutscene than game. Making things worse is that they were adventure games and saddled with all of the problems that genre was known for at the time: Bad puzzles built around inventory items and moon logic, which mixed abrupt “game over” states with trial-and-error gameplay, and offered no way for a frustrated player to know what they needed to do to advance the meandering story. I suppose it doesn’t help that almost nobody could afford real actors. Expensive to make and yet cheap looking by nature, FMV was a cursed genre from the outset.

And now it looks like the world wants to give FMV another try. But this time in VR.

I don’t know what to think of it. Technology has come far enough that our live actors can blend in with our 3D scenery. They’ve hired real actors this time aroundThis game features Elijah Wood, who also delivers this presentation.. The production values look solid and they’ve got a really wild concept for this story that revolves around mind transference.

This could be an interesting new frontier in videogames, or it could all dissolve into a David Cage style cringe-fest. I wouldn’t put money into this, but I would be delighted if it works out.



I haven’t heard a single other person complain about it, so I assume it’s just me that dislikes this art style. To me it looks a lot like Star Wars: The Old Republic. For me it falls into the void between cartoon and photorealism. It’s not detailed enough to give you the grit of photo-realism, but it’s not vibrant enough to create a sense of wonder. The faces are just a little too detailed. In the above screenshot, that guy in the middle looks like someone took a photorealistic model and put a cartoon texture on him. The result is… off. Everything looks like it’s made of the same dull plastic. (Which could be deliberate, since this game is all about toy integration.)

The trick with this game is that you buy toy spaceships and mount them on your controller, and these toys somehow communicate with the game. So as you swap out ship parts on your toy ship, those changes are reflected within the game. Here’s my hot take on that idea:

  1. I don’t want to use a controller that has a huge toy (about the same size as the controller itself) attached to the top of it.
  2. Swapping out toy parts sounds a lot less convenient than just, you know, going to a menu or pressing a hotkey to change weapons / loadout / reroute power to the shields / whatever.
  3. I imagine these toys are expensive. And being physical products, I can’t buy them digitally. I have to move my physical body to someplace on this planet where toys are sold. And the less I move this thing around the better.
  4. Great. Now I have all these toys cluttering up my apartment, getting stepped on, chewed by the dog, sucked up in the vacuum cleaner, and getting swiped by little children who can’t tell the difference between their kiddie toys and my allegedly “grown up” toys.
  5. If I lose access to the toy, does that mean I can’t use the ship anymore? If so, this creates the awful double jeopardy of the bad old days of DRM when we were transitioning from discs to bits. A game can insist that I have the physical media to play, OR the game can insist that I have a login to play, but it should never insist on BOTH.

But I dunno. Maybe these things will find a market. I imagine if you’re single and into collecting stuff then this could be really appealing?

For Honor

Look Ubisoft: When I watch your show there are only two things I want to see:

1) A ridiculous trailer for Trials.
2) The real-life Viking dude that made For Honor.

Why would you talk about For Honor without bringing the Viking Dude? That’s like Christmas without a Santa Claus.

The Crew 2

I’m not much into online games. But when I do play them I’m usually looking for some ability to make the experience my own: Design my avatar, pick a name, and choose which bits of story I engage with.

The Crew has about the most ludicrous pitch for an Online Game I’ve ever heard: It’s a linear story-based online game. You play as Alex Taylor. So does everyone else. All the other players you race against are also playing through the non-branching, cutcene-driven “Alex Taylor gets revenge on the bad guys” story.

This is it. This is the worst possible blend of single-player and multiplayer. It has the disadvantages of both and the advantages of neither. A relentlessly generic protagonist with a cliche plot told entirely through cutscenes that you must be online to experience, in a shared world where you have no means of self-expression. And just to make it as intolerable as possible, the linear story is atrocious. I just watched about ten minutes of it on YouTube. Here’s a single frame of it:

How is our protagonist able to "hear" that her name has zeroes in it?
How is our protagonist able to "hear" that her name has zeroes in it?

We could turn this into a game: “Who can find the single worst frame of this sophomoric disaster?” That would probably be more fun than actually playing The Crew.

Is The Crew 2 going to fix any of this? No idea. The trailer was all sizzle and no substance as cars and bikes and planes swooped around in front of the camera. The trailer promised YOUR STORY, but we’ve heard that promise before. In fact, we hear that promise about a dozen times every year, and I can’t remember the last time it was true.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Come on, Ubi. Put Kassandra on the cover. Let players know they have a choice.
Come on, Ubi. Put Kassandra on the cover. Let players know they have a choice.

The good:

  1. You can play as either Alexios or Kassandra.
  2. Ancient Greece is pretty cool.

The bad:

  1. It’s an Assassin’s Creed game.

Snark aside, The Assassin’s Creed games are an interesting formula. From my perspective they take 3 solid hours of gameplay and smear them out over ~20 hours of repetition. But it’s obvious that for millions of gamers, this is exactly what they want.

I know a lot of different folks who are into gaming, but by dumb luck I don’t actually know anyone who’s really into AC and excited about each new release. So I can only see this series through the lens of distant third-hand accounts. The stereotype is of someone who wants something they can play for an hour or two a day. They want a game that lasts a long time, but they want to feel like they’re making a little bit of progress with each game session.

Let’s call this hypothetical AC player “Brandon”.

Brandon’s needs are obviously radically different from mine. I don’t need a game to help me wind down when I get home from work. I’m going to power through a game in under a week, and then play it a second time. And maybe even a third, if I’m having fun. I want a story that engages me and surprises me. Brandon just needs the story to pop up once a game session to keep the mood alive and remind him what’s going on. I want either a deep combat system that rewards mastery, or a gratifying combat system that makes me feel powerful. Brandon doesn’t mind if the combat is a little same-y because he only plays for an hour or so.

The story of Assassin’s Creed drives me bonkers. I liked the anarchic idealism vs pragmatic authoritarianism vibe the game injected into the Assassins vs. Templars struggle in the first game, but they dropped it in the second to tell the story of stupid boring Desmond Miles. Then they threw that away and did this goofy meta-thing about game development. I keep trying to make sense of this mess but it’s just a meaningless chain of ad-hoc cliches and pointless twists that have nothing to say. I keep insisting that all these hours of cutscenes need to mean SOMETHING. Just… anything. Say something with it. Meanwhile, Brandon isn’t really engaged with the story and doesn’t really notice if it doesn’t all match up because he just wants to shank some dudes and see some cool scenery.

Again, Brandon is an extrapolation on my part. I don’t know any Brandons. I’m just trying to figure out how this bundle of missed opportunities became an industry juggernaut.

Given how diverse their stories are, Ubisoft must be a very hands-off company when it comes to narrative. While their games all hold to a pretty obvious formula when it comes to gameplay, their narrative designers are all over the place. The infantile stupidity of The Crew. The careful, almost obsessive worldbuilding of Beyond Good and Evil 2Seriously. If you go to the HitRecord page for the game you can read some dev notes on the various areas in the game, and it’s pretty clear that worldbuilding is something they take very seriously.. The half-assed mess of Assassin’s Creed. And then there’s The Division, which is the result of either provocation or incompetence. I still can’t tell.

Since Ubisoft doesn’t seem to care one way or the other, I often wish that AC would’ve wound up with a narrative director with a passion for worldbuilding and plot construction. There’s nothing keeping this series from smartening itself up a bit, except it’s just a not a creative priority for the people in charge of it.

That’s the Ubisoft show. I’ll have one more post this week to wrap up this E3.



[1] This game features Elijah Wood, who also delivers this presentation.

[2] Seriously. If you go to the HitRecord page for the game you can read some dev notes on the various areas in the game, and it’s pretty clear that worldbuilding is something they take very seriously.

From The Archives:

123 thoughts on “E3 2018 Day 3: Ubisoft Press Event Part 2

  1. Infinitron says:

    But wait, Assassin’s Creed is a Witcher 3-style RPG now, with dialogue choices.

    Since the last game they’ve changed the formula significantly.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      No,they havent really.It just seems like they have,but honestly every time its just the same game.Cool to play,and with one or two new interesting gimmicks that suck you in,but when you finish and look back,all of the games just blur together into a single blob of meh.

      Same thing can be said about a lot of ubisoft games.They are fun while you are playing them.Extremely fun even.But when you look back,there are so few things you can say about the countless hours you spent faffing about.

  2. Regarding your numbered concerns about Starlink – you apparently can buy the toys digitally, and if you scan a physical toy once the digital version is yours forever even if you lose the physical toy. Source: https://kotaku.com/ubisofts-starlink-is-surprisingly-cool-with-or-without-1826796451

    1. Jennifer Snow says:

      Honestly, it sounds like something that would be popular with people who have kids around age 4-9–the kids are old enough to be INTERESTED in the game and won’t leave the parent ALONE while they’re gaming, but they’re not actually old enough to PLAY the game much.

      So, you hand them the toy and have them do your gear switching so that they can play “with” you without you having to play down to their level.

      It’s like some kind of weird inversion of the old days when you were a youngster playing and trying to get your parents interested in playing but they had no clue.

    2. Mephane says:

      Wow, those weapon attachments on the wings in that video, both on the physical and the ingame model, are ugly. That bulky, boxy stuff slapped to the wing (on top no less) completely ruins the look of the ship.

  3. Thomas says:

    Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is my favourite game to walk round in. It’s got a really beauty painterly art style that’s a lot more subtle than the ‘1000 flowers’ look that’s trendy right now.

    You can climb a building, look at animations of some kids walking in the street and stab someone, all whilst wearing a spiffy hat.

    1. Hector says:

      Also, the environments are amazing. How many other games can sell a stand-alone historical exploration simulation mode just for fun? I didn’t really enjoy plaing the Creed games that much, but just walking around them was quite an experience.

  4. Thomas says:

    I’ve got mixed feelings on Odyssey. Ancient Greece is cool, but so many games seem to be converging on a homogeneous action RPG open world thing at the moment and I don’t trust Assassins Creed to be the ones who do it best.

    1. BlueHorus says:

      Do Assassin’s Creed games still do the ‘greatest hits tour’ thing with their given period in history?
      As in, Ezio in AC2 just so happened to know Leonardo da Vinci (And Leonardo made all his assassin gear), Conor in AC3 just so happened to watch the Decleration of Independence, and so on.

      Interesting to see if they shoehorn in a wooden horse or a cameo from Socrates or Plato.

      1. Olivier FAURE says:

        If you watch the gameplay trailer, apparently Socrates is your… I dunno, your mentor? Your conscience?

        He’s the guy you go visit after you killed a bunch of people, so you can talk about whether killing them was morally justified. Honestly, it sounds kind of interesting, and I guess it works with who Socrates was?

        1. Veylon says:

          It’s too bad they’re apparently shooting for the Odyssey instead of the Pellopensian War. Athens and Sparta kind of represent the opposing ideals of the Assassins and Templars in their time period. If they hadn’t already pushed things back into Ancient Egypt, Socrates would make a great guy to be the original founder of the Templars.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            They should set the game around thermopylae.Then you can have the protagonist yell THIS!IS!ASSCREED!

          2. 4th Dimension says:

            Also it’s really wierd that the (presumably) Assassin protagonist is a Spartan. An actual Spartan Spartan, considering how their entire society was UTTERLY ALIEN to the ideas Assassins are for. Anything involving Spartans if not made from the pop culture adoration of them should include the “Hellot ABUSE” mini game. But I bet they’ll completely gloss that over.

            Then again even supposedly democratic Athenians had a lot of cultural skelletons in their proverbial closets.

            1. TheJungerLudendorff says:

              Isn’t this also before the Assassins were supposedly founded in Origins?

              Maybe that’s how they play it? He’s a proto-assassin in service of the Spartan state (which would be the only logical way to play a Spartan straight), or he’s some kind of rebel against Spartan authority?

              1. Ander says:

                Origins already had the assassin blades as an “ancient weapon,” right? So the question of who came first is still left open for whenever they feel like going further back.

                1. TheJungerLudendorff says:

                  I’m holding out for Assassins Creed: The Eden Project, where Adam forges the first wristblade and stabs his way through the pantheon to free Eden from the oppressive “Templar” aliens.

                  1. Redrock says:

                    That sounds suspiciously like the original God of War trilogy.

                  2. Soldierhawk says:


                    Pft. OBVIOUSLY you’d play as Cain. I mean come on. How can the First Assassin NOT be the First Murderer.

                    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      Because assassins are the good guys and its the templars who are the cold blooded murderers.At least according to the lore of asscreed.

                    2. Retsam says:

                      Having Cain and Abel be the founders for the assassins and templars would be pretty entertaining, actually.

          3. Narkis says:

            I think it is indeed the peloponisian war and they apparently named it odyssey for the name recognition. At the very least it has a Spartan protagonist fighting against Athenian oppressors, and neither were prominent during the Odyssey.

            1. John says:

              It’s funny you should say “Spartan protagonist fighting against the Athenian oppressors” because the Spartans had a habit of installing and propping up dictators in Athens. To be fair, there was also the one time that they forcibly uninstalled an Athenian dictator because some exiled Athenian dissidents bribed the Oracle of Delphi to tell them to do it.

              That said, the Athenians did more than their share of oppressing. Though I can’t think of any examples of Athenians oppressing Spartans, during the run-up to the Peloponnesian War the Athenians had a nasty habit of extorting tribute from smaller city states in the form of “voluntary contributions” to an anti-Persian alliance run by Athens called the Delian League.

              1. Narkis says:

                Yeah, it’s not the first Assasin’s Creed that oversimplifies a conflict that didn’t really have good and bad guys, but the game needs its villains.

            2. Soldierhawk says:

              Wait are you shitting me? They made the ATHENIANS the bad guys?

              Sigh. Doesn’t that figure.

              1. Narkis says:

                Well, the Athenians weren’t exactly the good guys either. What they did to Melos is the worst example I know, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the only one.

  5. Viktor says:

    Starlink is going to have the same thing that Amiibos do, where someone yanks the code and puts it on a chip that serves the exact same function as the toy but costs roughly 25 cents a pop. If you want the toys, great, get them, but no one will actually need them to play.

    From what I can tell, Assassin’s Creed has really good gameplay that Brandon can’t get anywhere else. It’s sort of like Bethesda, if the game scratches your particular gaming itch, you’ll crawl across broken glass to play it, since they’re the only ones who are consistently making good 3d climbing puzzles and parkour simulators set in a massive open world.

    1. Guile says:

      I dunno if ‘good gameplay’ is accurate exactly? Running around on rooftops and climbing buildings is fun, but the combat is pretty and exciting without being … I mean, look, there’s a lot of combat stuff you CAN do, but all you need is to hit the one button to parry and the other button to counterattack murder that poor guard in the face. Then press the murder button a bit and I think he chains that into murdering a couple other guards until you need to press the parry button again.

      1. Narkis says:

        And for some people that is exactly what they want, and they can’t get it anywhere else.

      2. Isaac says:

        This isn’t the case anymore in AC Origins

  6. Grimwear says:

    Having not watched that Crew 2 video it seems backwards to me. Introduce yourself using the clearly fake name then provide your real name? Shouldn’t you introduce yourself using the real name in these situations then provide your nickname as a sign of familiarity? Maybe I’ve gotten so behind the times that convention has pulled a 180.

    As for Assassin’s Creed I only ever played 1 and 2 and spent so long searching for all the collectibles in 2 I literally gave myself a migraine and haven’t touched one since but I really dislike that they’ve added levels and health bars to enemies. The whole point of the games were to go back in time and experience life as X and trying to keep the simulation as real as possible but now it’s just, “Hey look at this dude he’s a higher level than me so avoid him!” Or, “O man I’ve hit this guy 20 times and he’s only lost 1/4 health maybe I shouldn’t be in this area yet.” It feels wrong.

    1. Sniffnoy says:

      Having not watched that Crew 2 video it seems backwards to me. Introduce yourself using the clearly fake name then provide your real name? Shouldn’t you introduce yourself using the real name in these situations then provide your nickname as a sign of familiarity? Maybe I’ve gotten so behind the times that convention has pulled a 180.

      There are situations where this makes sense, though I’m not convinced this is one of them (I haven’t watched the video so IDK). You called it a “nickname” but “r0xx0r” sounds more like a handle, doesn’t it? And if someone is known primarily by their handle (like, say, Mew2King) then using their first name instead can be a sign of familiarity; people tend to switch to real names IRL, so referring to someone by their first name rather than their handle may indicate that you know them IRL. (Whereas referring to them by their full name or last name would likely mean you’re, IDK, writing a Wikipedia article on them or something. :P )

  7. evileeyore says:

    So… Shamus did you not make the video a 2 parter? I haven’t watched it, but yesterday’s and today’s videos are the same.

    1. Shamus says:

      The video has the entire show, but I thought it was best to post the text in 2 parts.

      1. evileeyore says:

        Thumbs up!

  8. Alan says:

    Sometimes I wang well crafted plots with deep characters. And sometimes… sometimes I’m Brandon. I’m okay with that.

    1. The Rocketeer says:

      Sometimes I wang well crafted plots with deep characters.

      Just wanted to preserve this for posterity, in case it gets edited later.

      1. BlueHorus says:

        Everybody wants to wang a well-crafted story once in while…

        I’m definitely not a Brandon. A simple, cliche’d story is fine – just keep it to the minimum; I’m here for the parkour and the asssassin-ing, yeah?
        All the Assassins Creed games I’ve played (also Shadow of Mordor too) have, to me, just spent waaaaaaaay too long on the not-great story.

        And the ‘making it up as we go along’ nature of the future-storyline annoys me too. Just ditch it if it’s not adding anything!

      2. Henson says:

        Confirmed: The Rocketeer wants to preserve wang for posterior.

    2. Smejki says:

      There’s something that keeps pulling me towards AC. But just as Shamus said it’s a pile of missed opportunities. I tried to be Brandon with AC: Unity wich I got for some 5 bucks. I just wanted to mess around the beautiful Paris, in short bursts so that I wouldn’t easily get fed up with it. I couldn’t stand it for more than 4 hours.

  9. Dreadjaws says:

    Shamus, it looks like you’ve never heard about Toys-to-life games, like Skylanders or Disney Infinity. Yes, all that you mention is true, and frankly, it’s a bit of a dead genre (I think only Skylanders survives currently), but if they do it properly they might find a market alongside collectors.

    1. John says:

      That was my first thought regarding Starlink as well.

      Okay, my real first thought about Starlink was that it was some sort of weird Starfox sequel with humans in it, but my second thought was definitely the Skylanders thing. Man, I am so glad that my daughter dodged the Skylanders bullet.

    2. Lanthanide says:

      I’ve found Shamus can occasionally have these massive blind spots.

      What I find odd is he went through those whole 5 bullet points, and didn’t seem to consider “hey, maybe children that like playing with plastic toys when they go outside, and then play with consoles when they come inside, are the target market for this, not 40-something men”.

      1. Shamus says:

        “massive blind spots”? Like I said:

        Here’s my hot take on that idea

        The E3 deluge is not a place for deep analysis.

        Also, these toys tend to be pretty damn expensive, so “children’s toys” explanation doesn’t totally work for me. I mean, I have no doubt some kids will love these things, and maybe that is indeed that Ubi is thinking, but given the costs involved that would be a strange market to stake the entire game on. Generally making a product MORE expensive means aiming even harder at the young singles demo.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          The cost should be ignored when looking at toys.When I was a kid,I saw some super expensive toys littering the toy store where I was browsing for the cheap plastic of the week,and I also saw a few kids actually playing with those toys later.Not just rich kids either.So there are plethora of middle class parents who will be suckered into buying that one very expensive toy for their kid,then regret it every time they see their kid not playing with it after the first week.Parents who wish to make their kids happy are a very lucrative market,even when they arent super wealthy.

          1. Mephane says:

            Case in point: Lego. As far back as I can remember, it was always ridiculously expensive for the actual amount of (admittedly very high quality) plastic you got out of it.

            1. Droid says:

              Well, I for one played a lot with those little bricks back in the day (pretty cheap in terms of money/hour of entertainment for me, probably), and I can tell you firsthand that they are SOOO much better than any knockoff. They’ve survived things that no non-military/non-space-related material should withstand.

              So I guess the price is justified since, as a parent, you REALLY don’t want your kid to swallow parts of plastic that it somehow got off the whole piece.

            2. Onodera says:

              It’s the price you pay for their production tolerances. Some other studded building block sets my son and I have played with have blocks that either don’t stick together or require a grownup to attach or detach.

            3. Tom says:

              I think you need to factor the reuse value into that. If your kid is the sort of kid who builds just the model on the box once, then yeah, it’s crazy expensive for what you get. If your kid likes to build twenty unique things out of it per week that he or she dreamt up by himself or herself, the price might seem more reasonable.

              Myself, I was lucky enough to be both a Lego and Meccano* kid, but I was always making something new with it, so I hope I justified the significant investment those constructional toys must have represented for my parents!

              Of course, that only holds true as long as the parts supplied are sufficiently generic to be usable in many different ways. I think the Lego company have been known to court controversy whenever they’ve introduced specific new parts for a particular kit, but that’s nothing compared to Meccano’s legendary ineptitude at innovation, which resulted in at least two distinct periods of truly clueless flailing in which they seemingly forgot the entire point of constructional toys and started turning out kits built around large, single-purpose parts. Possibly the worst example would be the injection-moulded spaceship parts produced in one of their less successful attempts to add plastic to their almost entirely metal product (in the 1970s, I think), which were also of terrible quality.

              To get back to the original topic, I think these plastic spaceship console dongles (interesting that it’s spaceships in both cases!) are falling into the same trap. It feels like innovation, but at the end of the day you’re making a strictly single-purpose attachment for a product whose greatest strength is its inherently flexible and multi-use nature. Even light guns, the early 90s console gamer’s go-to example of the extremely-limited-use peripheral, have more re-usability potential.

              *which was even more expensive, being manufactured by a typically old-fashioned British company that turned out quality parts in steel and brass but, I believe, didn’t update their manufacturing plant or process all that much after about WWII, so I think the price per unit never really dropped significantly over time the way it should with a successful product.

        2. Olivier FAURE says:

          “massive blind spots”?

          That’s true. Sometimes you say things and they’re wrong. Smart people don’t do that.

          (I love you)

        3. Lanthanide says:

          No offense was intended, of course.

          It just seems to me that you would see these and instantly think “oh, they’re for children”, and rather than trying to imagine them finding a market or imagining some older men buying them to collect, the question that would spring to mind is “would parents pay that much for these toys?”.

          Amiibos seem to sell for $13 and skylanders for $16.

  10. Ibb says:

    The hypothetical Brandon is there for a long game. I’m there for the scenery, the culture, and the tangential learning.

    I’ve learned more about world history through AC games than I ever did in college. Yes, the gameplay, protagonists, story, and meta-setting are all thoroughly repetitive, but every game brings an entirely new world to explore and lose myself in. My greatest disappointment with AC: Origins is that we don’t have subtitles (translated+original) for the random banter that NPCs throw around while you’re walking.

    Edit: To clarify, these are historical settings with at least as much research put into them as most historical-fiction novels. There are very few games out there like that, and almost no other action games.

    1. Volvagia says:

      Vampyr is another attempt to kind of scratch the “historical game” itch (and not just that one, because I’ve also been starving for a good 3-D game where you play a vampire for A WHILE), and I’ve just got it from my local library.

  11. AzzyGaiden says:

    I can only speak for myself, but to me the environments in the Assassin’s Creed games are second to none. As an historical architecture simulator I have yet to see anything that even comes close.

    As far as the story goes I think they should have dropped the Abstergo plotline ages ago (not only because it’s obvious they have no idea where to go with it, but also because the writing is the worst example of that snarky-snark banter that thinks it’s far more clever than it is), but that’s probably hard given that the HUD and loading screens are supposedly features of the Animus.

    The gameplay is just serviceable. It doesn’t get in the way, but I don’t crave it as anything other than a means to see more of the beautifully crafted environments.

    Anyway, Odyssey. I’m so tired of this “two selectable player characters” crap. It was stupid in Syndicate, it was stupid in Dishonored 2, and I can’t imagine this game will improve the issue. The only, and I mean only, reason it’s done is because developers are afraid of the Neanderthal contingent of their fanbases revolting if the protagonist is a woman. That’s it.

    1. Preciousgollum says:

      Anyway, Odyssey. I’m so tired of this “two selectable player characters” crap. It was stupid in Syndicate, it was stupid in Dishonored 2, and I can’t imagine this game will improve the issue. The only, and I mean only, reason it’s done is because developers are afraid of the Neanderthal contingent of their fanbases revolting if the protagonist is a woman. That’s it.

      Firstly, we are all homosapiens, and everybody on Earth is related to a woman who lived in Africa around 200,000 years ago.

      Secondly, if any gender of homosapien is going to demand to have characters that represent them, then wouldn’t it be fair to allow for multiple gender choice in character select?
      I’m not going to say ‘both genders’, because it feels like a trap).

      Thirdly, gosh I remember Resident Evil 2 from 20 years ago where you could choose to play EITHER Leon or Claire first, then play as the other character second. You were encouraged to play as both, to uncover the story.

      Will people now start complaining about whatever ‘gender dynamics’ system they use in
      I need to lie down for a second.

      It isn’t unknown to have character ‘gender options’ in RPGs, and Assasin’s Creed is an RPG.

      This is the problem I’m having with the ‘women in video games’ debate
      – there are clear solutions to this problem, and some of them are absolutely fair and inclusive – If mods were easier, then there would be even less problem. Yes, the ‘narrative’ might suffer a bit, but that is the price to pay for inclusivity – for being represented in a game.
      Isn’t that the aim!?

      Segway: … and this was the issue I had with co-op Wolfenstein: Youngblood announcement. It felt like they were trolling the audience by that point. . Done.

      Yes, it is completely obvious that Ubisoft is correcting for the criticism of Assassin’s Creed Unity, and is using the stunt for cheap marketing points, but that doesn’t equate to males being fair game for scorn.

      80% of Mass Effect 3 players played as Male Shepherd
      (I swapped around Mass Effect 2 to play as Jennifer Hale Shepherd).

      Currently, this is a trend, an exhausting one, as if games are trying to unlock the form of ‘true-woman’ for the first time, and the industry is going super-overboard with their excitement for this trend, to the point of snobbery. I too can be a huge snob, and we can all be snobs together…

      … but please, I’m too weary to have to be a snob.

      1. Preciousgollum says:

        P.S As a strategy game player, I’ve played as a disembodied Camera that has no gender, and there is no protagonist.

        Points for nihilism!

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          You should dip your toe into spellforce.Its a rts/rpg hybrid,and all three of the games are good.

          Also +1 for nihilism.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Firstly, we are all homosapiens, and everybody on Earth is related to a woman who lived in Africa around 200,000 years ago.

        If we are going to be this nitpicky,then its fair to point out that we also have some neanderthal genes as well,because there was breeding between the two groups going on back then.This can easily be seen if you contact 23andMe to see your dna ancestry.

        I’m not going to say ‘both genders’, because it feels like a trap).


        and Assasin’s Creed is an RPG.

        In the loosest sense.But the real reason ubisoft is doing both genders instead of picking just a woman,or alternating between the two,or something like that,is because these games are bland.They arent there to tell a story,but to get you to meander through their world and (recently) to pay for extra crap.They really have no real thing to say,so whoever you play with is irrelevant.Your assassin could easily be replaced with a mute crash test dummy and there would be zero difference.

        1. TheJungerLudendorff says:

          Well, they wouldn’t have any young dudebro characters spouting “hilarious” snarky one-liners. So for some AC games the mute crash-dummy would be an upgrade in my book.

        2. Preciousgollum says:

          they [Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey] really have no real thing to say,so whoever you play with is irrelevant.

          Ah, so I think I’m getting the idea of why it is now ‘Diversity’ instead of ‘Inclusivity’. Things change fast.

          People find inclusiveness… boring. So, it becomes about maximising thrills… like a sort of ‘digital hedonism or masquerade party’. It isn’t about playing as ‘you’ anymore, but about playing whover/whatever you want to be… unless it isn’t and you want to be strapped in a chair by the narrator who knows best and has offered you a contract where you consent to be tied down.
          If Gameplay is King, and Diversity is Queen, then the Narrator is Mr Grey, who likes to spank me with meaningful story. ‘Verisimilitude’ is the Garden-Hermit.

          Monty Python’s Life of [x]:

          “Seems like there should be some sort of video game rule which states that man, (or woman), yes Stan, should have the right to express his, (or hers, theirs, she’s or its, other) yes Stan I meant both (all! It’s a spectrum), personal preference for gender, provided that it is of interest to the public (and the person playing of course!) Well of course it should be interesting to play, that goes without saying! -(This is boring!) All right, all right settle down!”

          “New rule – Women get to play as Women, and Men have the right to play as Women. Done. (What about Men playing as Men?) They already get to!” (What about ‘Verisimilitude’?) Shut up! We’ll get to him after Graphics and Immersion.”

          “So, [X], as Diversives, the only thing we hate more than the average mass of unaware gamers, are those F***ING Inclusives! Whatever came of the Gatekeepers? *Points* He’s over there. Splitters!”

          “Are you one of us, [X]? * [X] sees pretty game* Oh yes definitely.”

          1. Preciousgollum says:

            we are going to be this nitpicky,then its fair to point out that we also have some neanderthal genes as well,because there was breeding between the two groups going on back then.

            We’re all homosapiens though. I must argue this on the Internet to remind everybody that there should be no sub or de humanising… ever.

      3. AzzyGaiden says:

        I can’t respond to this because I honestly am not sure what you’re trying to say. That’s not meant to be an insult…maybe it’s just early but really don’t get what your point is with 90% of this (aside from nitpicking my obviously colloquial use of “neaderthal”?). I’m sorry.

    2. Civilis says:

      I can only speak for myself, but to me the environments in the Assassin’s Creed games are second to none. As an historical architecture simulator I have yet to see anything that even comes close.

      I haven’t played AC since 2, but one of the niches it scratched was that here was a beautifully rendered environment that I was free to explore. Just wander around taking in the buildings and the people… and it’s the buildings and random people that interest me most. There are a lot of open world games with beautiful natural environments, but very few with vast populated cities.

      Even GTA didn’t work right in that regard, as part of taking in the environment is “what’s on that balcony?” or “what does it look like from that rooftop?” and AC essentially became a quick mini-game where I have to figure out the quickest or most entertaining way up. I think the only other open world games that for me came close to that level of fun, gameplay based exploration was Just Cause 2.

      1. Liessa says:

        The gameplay of the Assassin’s Creed series has never appealed to me, but I’d kill for more games set in real-world locations and based around historical events (without all the pseudo-sci-fi bullshit you get in AC). I actually got interested in Italian history through watching an LP of Assassin’s Creed 2, where the player gave an explanation of the historical background behind the in-game events. It’s weird that you don’t get more games based on actual history (outside of WW2 etc.); the only recent example I can think of is Kingdom Come: Deliverance.

    3. Shoeboxjeddy says:

      Wait, why are two possible playable characters bad? In Syndicate, it was specifically to showcase a duo of siblings (AC protagonists tend to have dead or useless family, so this was a switch) who had different approaches to show off the different facets of the gameplay. In Dishonored 2, it made a second playthrough more unique since you received access to different powers. And in this one, it’s create a protagonist, like Shepard and it worked great in that game. I don’t think it’s because they are afraid of male gamers, it’s because picking a protagonist is a good fit for an RPG, which Odyssey is.

  12. Eric says:

    Just so you don’t feel alone, I also can’t stand the Starlink art style. It’s seriously at the bottom of the uncanny valley. Every character looks like a cheap Daz 3D model.

    As for FMV games, Her Story released in 2015 and is actually really good. I wouldn’t be surprised if its success prompted a resurgence for the format.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      The art irked me too.I mentioned it on the stream,and I thought it was just me.But those characters dont mesh with those ships and backgrounds.Its really weird.

    2. Nessus says:

      I’m in this bucket as well. that style of character design just makes me think of cash grab direct-to-DVD kids movies from the 2000s. It’s an almost aggressively bland style that screams “no budget shovelware”.

      Unity/Unreal asst store characters often have this vibe too, even if the technical style is different. In the case of Daz/Poser/Unity/Unreal assets, it’s because they’re being sold to be dropped into in any rando project, so they have to be generic looking. Unfortunately IMO the same genericness that allegedly makes them adaptable also makes them look almost creepily bland and “voiceless”. They can’t express an actual distinct sense of character no matter how hard the buyer tries, because they’re designed to be blank slates. Like the visual equivalent of elevator music.

  13. Paul Spooner says:

    Typo: “It’s a liner story-based”
    Unless, you know, you mean the story is giant, unwieldy, and yet overly luxurious.

    1. TheJungerLudendorff says:

      It does look like it’s going to crash, burn and sink from the sheer incompetence and ignorance of the people in charge of steering the whole thing.

  14. ElementalAlchemist says:

    I often wish that AC would’ve wound up with a narrative director with a passion for worldbuilding and plot construction

    Wasn’t that the bloke that actually came up with AC in the first place, but then was fired by Ubisoft? And then they bought the company he moved to and got hold of his new IP (which I think he eventually got back after a protracted battle). I assume they got rid of him in the first place precisely because they didn’t want someone that had passion for worldbuilding and plot construction, they just wanted a soulless production line to milk the IP for as much money as possible.

    1. Lars says:

      Jade Raymond told, after releasing AC1, that they plan a 3 parter. A closed story arc. Much like the “Sands of Time”-trilogy.
      But than success happened, and Ubi stock holders. AC2 got 2 not needed Add-Ons, where the 2nd one completely destroyed the Meta-story.
      There the series lost me. I only occasionally play a game long after it hit the 15$ sales to be Brandon. Doesn’t care about the story or the IP.

      1. Shoeboxjeddy says:

        For Brotherhood being “not needed” it has some of the best additions to the series ever. A guild of assassins you got to use and build up, a story that told the saga of the Borgias before any TV show got to it (that I’m aware of), and the very very clever multiplayer. It also had side quests with a meaningful story to most of them, rather than just a box to check off (for example, assassinate this target BECAUSE they’ve been menacing the district of one of your lesser assassins and you use the mission for training.)

        1. Lars says:

          I never said that Brotherhood wasn’t good. In fact: It is the best AC I played till now. (Next entry: Revelations. The worst till Liberation) But with Brotherhood Ubisoft abandoned the idea of a AC trilogy.
          The gameplay improvements could also have been in the final 3rd Chapter. The Desmont Miles meta story could have a meaningful end. Instead AC3 started where the Revelations bs ended.

  15. evileeyore says:

    As for how to pronounce ‘r0xx0r’ it’s obviously “arr zero ecks ecks zero arr”. Pretty easy to get messed up on.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Its actually pronounced Steve Buscemi.

      1. Syal says:

        The proper pronunciation is actually to put on a pair of glasses and stare forward wide-eyed.

        …the x’s may require the glasses to be taped, I’m not sure.

      2. Henson says:

        “How do you do, fellow hackers?”

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    But I dunno. Maybe these things will find a market. I imagine if you’re single and into collecting stuff then this could be really appealing?

    Kids.It may have been introduced at e3,but its really aimed primarily at kids.Just imagine back in the day when you played with hot wheels or dolls action figures of GI joe if you were given an option to project those onto a screen and then brag to your friends about this cool new toy you had.Its really an obvious thing,and Im surprised that its only nintendo* who is pushing these things.I mean yeah,they were a toy company before,so to them its a natural progression,but others couldve grasped the idea by now and at least attempted to make such an integration.

    *Seeing how this game is sort of a joint effort,Im assuming that the idea came from nintendo.I could be wrong though.

  17. Daemian Lucifer says:

    who’s really into AC and excited about each new release.

    I AM into the franchise,really into it,going out of my way to play almost all of them.But even I was never excited for any of them before I got to play them.Heck,I dont even care about those games after I finish them.Though granted,finishing them takes a lot of time.The last few even had the opposite effect,making me think that the game will be shit before I got to actually play it.I mean first ancient egypt,then ancient greece?None of those seem appealing for an asscreed game,and yet somehow the egypt was fun.Weird,I know.

  18. Redrock says:

    Wow, Brandon sounds… shallow. On an unrelated note, I love me some Assassin’s Creed. The historical settings are a big reason why. I visited Italy recently, and being able to walk around and go “Yeah, totally climbed that” was pretty amazing. They put a frankly excessive amount of effort into these. I also used to really enjoy the meta-narrative, especially when the mystery of the precursor race was still fresh. The Clarke’s third law Pieces of Eden, the crazy little reinterpretations of various historical events hidden behind the glyph puzzles, all of that was pretty cool and engaging. I was one of those weirdos who actually mourned the near-death of the present day storyline in AC. That said, the central conflict between Assassins and Templars was always weak, mostly because Ubisoft can’t decide whether the Templars are caricature villains or are actually supposed to have a point. I chalk that up to a lack of strong overarching narrative direction for the franchise.

    I think AC lost its way after the Ezio games, and it’s been a series of ups and downs from there, but the franchise has mostly been on the rise. Syndicate was better than people tend to think. Origins and Odyssey are almost a soft reboot due to their deep, deep prequel status and revamped gameplay. These days, Assassin’s Creed has become an umbrella term for Ubisoft’s series of pseudo-historical open-world games. Odyssey might as well has been named “Ryse: Daughter of Sparta” for all it has to do with Assassin’s or their Creed. I think they are actually going in that direction to bring back some of the people they’ve lost over the ages.

    1. Armstrong says:

      Wow, Brandon sounds… shallow

      Brandon is just a working-man type of guy who doesn’t really have the time or, frankly, patience to sit down and gobble up dozens of hours of gameplay in one sitting. I am sure Brandon can be quite interested and introspective when it comes to other things (perhaps Brandon has vast encyclopedic knowledge of every single MLB player in every single MLB team in every single MLB game since 1992), but video games? Eh, it’s just a side hobby. Something that Brandon does when he has a couple of spare hours in between grocery shopping and changing the motor oil on his 2003 Ford F-150.

      1. Redrock says:

        I thought that Brandon would actually prefer Call of Duty or Far Cry or, hell, Madden. Does Brandon have the patience for all the pseudo-sci-fe bullshit AC puts you through? Or the boring historical stuff? Or the TRAILING MISSIONS? I dunno. AC is weird, when you think about it.

        1. Armstrong says:

          Brandon likes Call of Duty, Far Cry, Madden AND Assassin’s Creed. All of these franchises provide what Brandon wants out of his games. I mean, what sort of “scifi” does AC really have anymore? It’s a silly framing device thrown out there out of obligation. Brandon is too busy talking with his girlfriend about the finer points of dishwasher operation to even pay much attention to it anyway. It’s all just nice scenery in which Brandon gets to walk around and stab some Templar necks. You don’t need to be a history buff to enjoy big Egyptian pyramids!

    2. Olivier FAURE says:

      Sometimes people want to consume entertainment while they’re emotionally drained; that doesn’t make them shallow or dimwits.

      I know I don’t play Overwatch or Call of Duty for the philosophical stimulation.

      1. Redrock says:

        Oh, that’s not what I meant. I just think that Shamus’s description of an AC fan was a tad unflattering.

        1. Armstrong says:

          I don’t think so it all. It’s perfectly understanding, and I can strongly sympathize with it.

    3. Hal says:

      Look, life has stages. For example, I have toddlers right now. I used to play a lot of video games. Now? I might get a couple hours a week split up over a few days, because I don’t play until after the kids go to bed and then I have to hit the hay pretty early myself.

      So that means I need games that I can play for a little while, put them away, and then come back in a few days without having to do relearn everything. Heck, even Skyrim doesn’t work for me in that sense anymore because if I only have a few hours to play, I don’t want to spend a quarter of my play time managing inventory.

      Does that make me “shallow?” You’re welcome to your opinion, but I think of this as “games which fit my schedule.”

  19. Mephane says:

    For me it falls into the void between cartoon and photorealism. It’s not detailed enough to give you the grit of photo-realism, but it’s not vibrant enough to create a sense of wonder. The faces are just a little too detailed. In the above screenshot, that guy in the middle looks like someone took a photorealistic model and put a cartoon texture on him.

    Going entirely by that image, I really like how the style takes your typical cartoonish style and shifts it one nodge towards photorealism, but no further, and I think they have hit a sweet spot there.

    However, the fox dude (I forgot his name, don’t beat me) looks a bit out of place though, because he is too far on the cartoonish side compared to the rest of the others, in particular the ears and eyes. But cover images like this can be deceiving and he might very well fit in nicely when we see him in the actual game.

    What really irks me is the name. In my head, the word “Starlink” is already the reserved for the planned satellite internet system of SpaceX.

    Why would you talk about For Honor without bringing the Viking Dude? That’s like Christmas without a Santa Claus.

    Afaik he left Ubisoft a while ago. But I agree, he would be the best for their presentation.

    Regarding the game itself, I played it for about a year and while it does a lot of things right, it eventually lost me due to two details: a) the game leans too heavily into the direction of fighting games (I would love for a game like this with a Battlefield style structure instead of 1vs1 and 4vs4 modes) b) the grind for cosmetic unlocks is atrociously slow. Like, a single match may give you 40 steel (the ingame currency), and a single emote typically costs 5000-10000!

    Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

    I have played the very first installment of the series to near completion, but gave up when near the end it shifted from “assassinate the target and escape or kill his handful of guards” to “fight dozens of enemies at once repeatedly in multiple locations”, with a combat system that was (deliberately, or so one would think) designed for very small and personal engagements.

    Also, the scifi meta-story was utterly stupid, and I think the game would have been better without it. I heard later installments doubled down on that scifi side, so I guess I am lucky for not having followed the series?

    Anyway, this new one looks somewhat interesting. While I am not a fan of ancient Rome settings (can’t even say why, I just find it uncompelling), ancient Greece now is interesting, which might have to do with me growing up with Xena and Hercules.
    Also, the dude on the cover holds a spear – a quick Google search later and I learn yes, indeed we get to fight with a spear. Yay! But has the combat system evolved in the meantime to support larger engagements, or are the newer games designed to avoid frustrating situations like at the end of the first game?

    Beyond Good & Evil 2

    I know this was in the previous post but I don’t think anyone minds if I combine my comment with this post. When I saw the previous trailer, I was very, very intrigued. It looked like a spectacular blend of The Fifth Element and Saints Row. The new trailer however has me rather worried; so the bad guys have a giant ship that can destroy entire planets? Please don’t be yet another story of saving the entire universe from unspeakably powerful evil.
    Well, At least this one would probably go with the “normal people stumble into things much bigger than them, and come out as heroes” variant, because if they make it yet another “your are the Chosen One” story, I’ll give it a pass.

    1. Syal says:

      the fox dude (I forgot his name, don’t beat me)

      The fox’s name is Star.

      so the bad guys have a giant ship that can destroy entire planets?

      That’s actually a typo. They can destroy entire plants. No cactus is safe.

      1. TheJungerLudendorff says:

        Hide the flowers and seedlings!

    2. Cubic says:

      “You too can be the Chosen One!”

    3. Shoeboxjeddy says:

      The fox’s name is “Fox McCloud.” Which sounds on the nose, I guess his dad, James McCloud was just trying to be cute.

    4. Dragomok says:

      Why would you talk about For Honor without bringing the Viking Dude? That’s like Christmas without a Santa Claus.

      Afaik he left Ubisoft a while ago. But I agree, he would be the best for their presentation.

      What’s his name? I wanted to see how much Viking-looking this Viking Dude is, but – obviously – Google just gives me pictures of Vikings from the game.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Jason Vandenberghe

        I assume thats the guy they are talking about,because he is the only dude with a viking sounding name that worked as a lead on for honor.

        1. Dragomok says:

          Thank you!

          I’m somewhat impressed that anybody noticed my comment on an article that had been posted 9 days ago – especially a prolific commenter such as you. Is there a feed with new comments or something?

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Yes.At the top of the page,on the left,there are two links for rss feeds,one for the blog posts,one for the comments.

  20. Cubic says:

    “Hi Alex, my name is r0xx0r, but you can call me”

    Hee hee hee, will it be possible to play this without smirking? Asking for a L33t friend.

  21. Armstrong says:

    I just wish they’d stuck with the numbering scheme for Assassin’s Creed. It’s so hard keeping track of the lot, nowadays. Especially when the subtitles are so unsubstantial and generic and tell you absolutely nothing of the actual game. I’d be much for forgiving to the series had Syndicate been called “Assassin’s Creed: Age of Steam” or Unity was “Assassin’s Creed: Revolution”.

    I think Odyssey might be the first one with a name that doesn’t sound like it came straight out of a generic video game subtitle generator (besides Black Flag, but that one also had a number).

    1. Shoeboxjeddy says:

      Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (It is about the formation of an Assassin Brotherhood. Ezio is on the cover to let you know he’s still the main guy.)
      Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (This is not a great one. The Revelations are biographical information about Altair, mainly. Turns out he had it rough after you stopped playing as him! Ezio is on the cover again.)
      Assassin’s Creed: Liberation (This is a Revolutionary era game. Also, the protagonist is a woman for the first time, so the association of “women’s liberation” is intentional.)
      Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (It’s a game about pirates, ‘natch.)
      Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry (It’s a game specifically about freeing slaves.)
      Assassin’s Creed: Rogue (It’s the first game in the series where you end up with a Templar protagonist. That’s pretty roguish.)
      Assassin’s Creed: Unity (Eh, this one’s a bit tricky too. Unity as in Civil War and French Revolution? If anything, this is a sarcastic title.)
      Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (As in a criminal syndicate, which doesn’t tell you the setting is in London, but the art should.)
      Assassin’s Creed: Origins (Okay, so it’s a prequel and then the art tells you Egypt when you look at it.)
      Assassins’ Creed: Odyssey (Like… the Odyssey… get it? It’s Greek this time.)

      I think the only dodgy ones are Revelations and Unity out of those, really.

  22. Misamoto says:

    I have no particular love for AC, but I play most of the instances. It IS beautiful. I don’t know how historically accurate the world is, but it always looks great. The gameplay, while not a gem, is sorta fun, so a plus there too. The abstergo crap is ignored pretty easily. The rest of the plot, while not exactly great writing, is still somewhat engaging, especially when you get to meet historical personages. Sure, it’s the same game every time, but the game is fun, and different enough to not feel like you’re repeating what you’ve done for the hundredths time.
    My biggest gripe is that it insists on stealth elements, while stealth gameplay is really unrewarding. As a fan of Metal Gear I’m compelled to try and pass unseen everywhere, but the game simply is a lot more boring if you don’t hack through a horde of enemies

  23. Olivier FAURE says:

    Please nobody take this the wrong way, but is it just me, or is the presence of a female protagonist in the last Assassin’s Creed really weird?

    I’m pretty sure Socrate’s Sparta was pretty repressive to women, and wasn’t at all open to the idea of female soldiers (exceptional circumstances aside). I guess they could just gloss over it by saying “Well, she’s incredibly skilled, so she’s the exception to the rule”.

    (I mean, I’m probably going to pick her if I buy the game, historicity or not, but it’ll be interesting to see how they handle it)

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      If you look at these games as even remotely historically accurate,then yes it is weird.But a series of games where adam and eve fought aliens,genetic memory exists and one of the popes was a swordsman,a woman fighter in ancient egypt/greece is one of the more plausible things.

      1. Olivier FAURE says:

        adam and eve fought aliens

        Oh wow, I did not know that.

        and one of the popes was a swordsman

        I mean, that one I can accept. The Borgia were pretty hardcore.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Yeah,if you solve one of the optional puzzles in 2,theres this bit about apple of eden being stolen by adam and eve from uber advanced aliens that populated the earth before humans.And in 3,you use one of their machine to help deal with the sun emitting a deadly solar wind or some crap like that.

          Not aliens. The precursor race are NOT aliens. They simply came … before.

          They are aliens,just not from space.I adopted a habit of actually saying extra terrestrials when talking about space aliens precisely because of this.

      2. Redrock says:

        Not aliens. The precursor race are NOT aliens. They simply came … before.

    2. Henson says:

      I’m no historian, but from the things I’ve been looking at, Sparta was not repressive towards women, but also didn’t have women soldiers, either. Women were seen as most important for bearing children, but enjoyed a great amount of freedom and social power as well (perhaps because the men were so often absent).

      But like I said, I’m not an historian, so take this with a few substantial grains of salt.

    3. Preciousgollum says:

      I’m pretty sure Socrate’s Sparta was pretty repressive to women, and wasn’t at all open to the idea of female soldiers (exceptional circumstances aside). I guess they could just gloss over it by saying “Well, she’s incredibly skilled, so she’s the exception to the rule”.

      Socrates was from Athens.
      Also, a successful Assassin is one that was never caught or identified – so it could be women.

      Regarding women in a ancient Greek Army, it is doubtful, since relationships were encourged between men of the Army in the hopes that they would fight better. Whether ‘men’ means ‘males’, is most likely.

      Generally speaking, until the Roman ‘Marian’ reforms, I think that the custom was for ancient people to pay for and own their War-gear.
      Since War-gear is expensive, and women in Athens had a limited right in transactional & trade business, then it would be unlikely for them to be able to afford the gear to fight in a war.

      Also, houses tend to go into ruin if not maintained, so it would suck big-time if soldiers came back from war to a ruined house…
      Err… there were slaves, but then why would women want to fight in a war if they didn’t have to and could enjoy the benefits of a household run by slaves?

      So, the classic “I want to fight!” narrative line doesn’t really hold up to scrutiny.

      1. Preciousgollum says:

        The TL;DR answer is because Videogames.

      2. Henson says:

        The game’s protagonist is a Spartan, but it’s unclear whether this protagonist is raised Spartan, or merely Spartan by birth, since she is an outcast child of Leonidas. Neither option makes it likely that she would be a soldier, but most likely the developers will find some way to make her largely independent of the societies of either Athens or Sparta.

    4. John says:

      Spartan women did get some gymnastic and other quasi-military training, unlike Greek women elsewhere, but they weren’t put through the same training as men and were never part of the army.

    5. Isaac says:

      This is a series about two ancient secret societies that fight over mystical objects. Historical accuracy in AC games is only apparent to an extent.

    6. Viktor says:

      The Creed is “Nothing is True; Everything is Permitted”. An assassin who breaks the rules of her society is actually kind of the point of the thing.

      1. Olivier FAURE says:

        Well it’s not really the “point” if nobody ever points it out and the character have the same lines of dialogues whether they’re talking to the male or the female PC.

  24. Narkis says:

    I’m friends with a Brandon, and your description is spot-on. Once upon a time he used to play more involved games, but he has neither the time nor the patience for one now.

  25. Onodera says:

    I am Brandon now. I have a son who likes to watch me play video games, so I can’t play too much. He enjoys recognizing actions and objects, so repetitive gameplay is kinda good.
    When he’s away, I can play Deadfire, but when he’s with me, I play something like AC: Oranges or Dead Cells.

    1. MelTorefas says:

      I know this is a typo but I really want to see Assassin’s Creed: Oranges. It’s the AC/Veggie Tales crossover I never knew I needed.

      1. BlueHorus says:

        Assassin’s Creed; The Veggie Chronicles.

        The Swede put up a good fight – but he couldn’t survive forever. Eventually his carroted body was found in a ditch.

        It was a poor turnip for the books – he should have bean more prepared.

  26. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ok,I think Ive been too harsh on ubisoft and asscreed,so I think they deserve a bit of praise from me.Its astonishing that theyve kept the franchise still mostly single player for so long.It wouldve been easy to turn it into a mumorpuger,especially after the success of their first ass v ass attempt.Then they couldve just released new locations as “expansion packs” and milk the money.So kudos for keeping the game still mostly geared towards us friendless curmudgeons.

    1. Viktor says:

      They’ve had good multiplayer modes in the past. I’m actually cool with them including those, since it’s a series that’s basically alone in it’s niche, so all the new ideas and mechanics have to come from the team. Multiplayer modes are a good way to test new stuff before building a game around it, see how people actually play your game, and look at what sort of things players are trying to do.

      I wonder if they considered an MMO and decided it was impossible? Picture putting together a group to assassinate a boss. In the 5-minute gameplay trailer, you need someone to draw off the guards in a fruitless chase, a disguiser to get close to the target and kill him, an archer who waits outside in case the target flees, and a tank who can drop in to cover the disguised person’s escape. Now picture trying to do that mission with one friend and 2 randos? The tank would go Rambo, the archer just snipes a guard whenever he gets bored, and the disguiser is 30 feet from the target when her connection drops. No one could ever actually play a mission that needed more than 2 people, no matter how awesome the trailers are.

      1. Shoeboxjeddy says:

        Unity had 4 player co-op multiplayer, are you aware of this?

  27. Steve C says:

    “But I wasn’t up to streaming and giving live commentary.”

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