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Still Catching Up on Assassin’s Creed …

May 22, 2014

I finished Assassin’s Creed 2 recently. It’s definitely going to be one of my favorite XBox 360 games. It was a far better experience than the original AC was. I started on AC: Brotherhood. I have mixed feelings about it. I /really/ like the kill combo system, where entire groups of baddies can be dispatched in Batman Gotham style mini-quick time event; however I absolutely loathe the Borgia Tower sections and the “100% Memory” requirements.

For anyone that hasn’t played AC:B, the Borgia towers are Hitman Agent 47 style sections of Rome where the player must sneak his way to an enemy captain and dispatch him before the enemy can flee to the tower. On paper the concept is fine, however if you fail, you have to leave the area and wait for it to reset. This makes the Hitman trial-and-error system much more of a chore than it should be, especially since you can’t save/load like you can in games with a similarly low margin of error. You end up wasting a LOT of time traveling to these towers (since you can’t unlock fast travel points near them until /after/ you’ve completed them), traveling back out after you fail, and then waiting for the captain to return before trying again. That’s really, really lame. It’s controller-throwing frustrating at times. I won’t have anything to do with those except for mission-required ones – they are bad enough that I avoid them /entirely/.

Next up is the “100% Memory Sync” requirements. The story missions have criteria for “100% Memory” completion that are beyond what the base story mission requires. This includes things such as don’t lose ANY life in a huge-ass fight, don’t get detected at all while sneaking around a maaaaassive castle, and so on. Again, if Save/Load was available, it wouldn’t be that bad… But it’s not, and some of these missions are fairly long. If you screw up you have to start the entire mission over, including cut-scenes (which you can’t easily skip). Ordinarily I don’t care for “hard mode” mission criteria, except I have no clue what I’m losing out on. I don’t know if I get the shitty ending for not obtaining 100% Memory Sync or what, or just some stupid unlock. What’s worse is the warnings. The game is sure to rub your face in it if you don’t meet the 100% Memory Sync requirements; including warnings in the mission and a big fat score at the end of the mission.

Those two nagging problems aside (that weren’t present in AC2), I am having a good time playing AC:B and I’m really looking forward to getting into AC:R. While the entire Templars / Assassins / Stargate stuff is a bit much and perhaps too similar to Davinci Code material; otherwise it’s one of the better game stories I’ve played in a long while.

Flagship – A first person space RTS? I’ve got to say that I’m pretty interested in that. While the game looks pretty rough around the edges, it is still just a Alpha. The is a lot of potential for a star ship simulator in this day-and-age, with graphics and computing technology being so much better than what it was in the days of Homeworld and Independence War. I’m hesitant to believe the “Rift Oculus” native compatibility, since the technology isn’t even on the streets yet and certainly isn’t well proven… but just the thought of it is pretty amazing. That would be one of the best uses of VR technology, since it would allow the player to take in the environment while controlling his ship and fleet. Now, imagine if you will, a multiplayer version with players at various stations, such as tactical / weapons, systems management, and so on. Perhaps even EVE style competitive play with numerous ships crewed by players. I’d buy Oculus for that alone.



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