Friday, October 12, 2012

So, I Actually Really Like Assassin's Creed: Revelations

I feel like, based on what I've heard about the game, that I should qualify that with "But I'm only in chapter 3 or whatever", as well as given my own track record with AC games, but I'm not really lying.  It's too early to say just how it's going to end up, of course, but I went into the game with my expectations low and it really has surprised me.  I keep trying to think of excuses, keep thinking "Well, they're good at openings" or "I'm just excited to be playing PS3 again" or stuff like that, but I really think that it's just that the general gameplay of AssRev is enjoyable in a vacuum and it's more or less the framing and the rest of the game that tends to get in the way of that.  And....eventually the gameplay, yeah, but what I'm saying is that most of it, on its own, is pretty righteous, and they made a really good effort at an engine.  I'm very glad to know that there's been improvements on it between the Ezio Trilogy and Assassin's Creed 3, but it wasn't -bad-.  It's just that, when you compare it to some of the other freerunning/parkour-based engines out there or just the basic 'climb everything!' engines, it doesn't always measure up.  Which is a hard task to do, really, so I can't blame it -too- much.

Of course, basically being AssBro's engine means that it has inherited almost all of the issues, control-wise, that I had with AssBro itself.  I can already experienced these problems as well, and it's.....Not disappointing, but I guess a little disheartening, perhaps.  I just remember the hour I sank into that one Romulus Dungeon, trying to make it through without getting injured and the game literally wrested that victory from my hands and smacked me across the face.  "You're not getting Full Synch!" it said.  "This is happening right at the end of the level to make a point!" it said.  And I raged and raged, but I moved on, yet am still obviously a little bitter about it.  And having one of those moments where I have literally stood up on thin air next to a rooftop.....only to plummet to the ground because I wasn't standing on the rooftop in the first hours of the game is certainly a little telling.  Though I suppose not as telling as climbing to the very very top of one of the weird steelped towers and dropping to get back down to the synch post...only to be bounced about four feet away from the actual tower to fall to my death.  So again, I'm not completely impressed with that.

What I -am- incredibly impressed with, however, is Revelations' "Build-Your-Own-Bombs" mechanic that I had absolutely no idea was in the game.  I mean, when a high-profile game comes out and you're like "I'm not going to play it right away" you inevitably find that certain things get spoiled for you just because of cursory browsing and this and that.  I never actively looked into Revelations info, and I don't think that I've had any of it really spoiled for me, so I guess it's pretty natural that I missed this.  But at the same time I'm just left confused as to the how, because I'm just like, how are people not talking about this all the time?  It's simple, yes, but it doesn't have to be big and complex or anything, because it's just a really goddamn good idea implemented well, save for the low amount of bombs you can carry at one time.  (I'm hoping you can upgrade those pouches, but I have a sneaking suspicion you cannot)  They work out like 'tools' instead of just straight-out weapons which is pretty damn astounding, really.

Though their weaponized functions are quite above average anyway,, which I more than appreciate.  I had two separate instances where bombs -really- proved their worth in not only a utilitarian way, but an entertaining one.  After experimenting with different casings and such (and doing all the 'tutorial' missions), I had a few Fuse Lethal Grenades with Arabic Gunpowder and Shrapnel made up since that's...well, pretty standard bombs.  Just wanted to try and keep it simple to start out.  And, as sometimes happens, I found myself surrounded by an amount of enemies that was more than six but less than twelve, I'm guessing (after seeing how many entities can be on-screen at once, I wonder honestly) and I wondered what to do.  Sure, I could just counterkill/killstreak every single one of them, but I have shiny new toys so I want to use them, damnit!  So I throw one of my bombs at my feet and rush off through the crowd.  Shifting the camera to look behind me as I run, I watch as none of them break battle stance and I await the ticking time with an anticipation that was palpable.  And then, in a flash of wonder, it did exactly what I wanted.  The bomb exploded and every single soldier was dead.  It was amazing.

There was another such scenario when I had done up a different batch of lethals - pretty much the same really, but with the Resin bag instead of the fuse case.  Sticky bombs are always fun, after all, yes?  Well, I wandered around Constantinople, looking for particularly fun uses when I happened upon one of the norms you come to seeing.  There was one of those semi-closed off areas with archways that contained a sparse few treasure chests within, with four guards standing...well, guard.  With two per archway and enough space between them all, no one bomb was going to take them all out just like that, but that's what I -wanted- to do, so I pondered on a way.  And then it hit me. Folks familiar with the line of Assassin's Creed 2 games know that the poison used in the game has the effect of making the affected spaz out and go crazy before dying and, when that happens, other guards come to investigate just what the hell is going on.  I also noticed that planting a sticky bomb on someone's person, against all logic, does not alert them or anyone else.

I'm sure you can see where this is going.

I used a poison dart on one of the guards, waited a few ticks and then hit him with a sticky bomb as well - after that it's just the waiting game after all.  I couldn't stop myself from grinning as I watched the guard flail around, in the throes of his poisonous demise, nor could the other guards posted.  They gathered around as he entered the final steps of his strange, intoxicated dance and I, from afar just waited for that last second.  Just before he fell, the sticky bomb planted squarely on his core exploded, taking all four of the guards out with it, allowing me to get my bounty without a single problem and in rather good spirits, I must say.  It was just that simple and it was quite enjoyable as well, if only for the fact that, I was given the tools, tried to use them in a logical way, and it worked.  It was satisfying, and that's pretty much why the game has impressed itself so positively on me as it has.  We'll see if the shine begins to dull or anything of the sort, but I'm not so sure.

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