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Official Single E3 gameplay commentary and trailer

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http://www.accesstheanimus.com/Lady_of_Paris.html

Fascinating article of how Notre Dame was broken down into historical pieces and gameplay mechanics.

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Quick! Before it's taken down!

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JoeyFogey wrote:
Quick! Before it's taken down!

Things to note: It's running on Xbox One, lots of running around/climbing, the Disguise skill in action, customization menus, looks to be pre-Revolution time (wealthy people walking around and not as many crowds), bad clipping, pop ins/pink hats (color issues).

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Also, certain chests can only be opened via AC Initiates or a "companion app" for the game.

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Damn it. Too slow.

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not sure where to put this, but: http://www.vcpost.com/articles/26148/20140904/assassin-s-creed-take-plac...

AC movie: Spanish Inquisition, modern protagonist is a death row inmate, historical one is a spanish assassin. both played by Michael Fassbender.

Glad it's not a retelling of one of the games.

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I'll put it this way. AC Unity is the first game in a while that actually seems promising. Unlike AC3 it didn't promise unnecessary changes and additions. There was no good reason (going from a THB point of view) to simplify combat or put so much time and effort in hunting. Unity is a breath of fresh air from everything that led the games off course so far. And I'm not making any assumptions. We have demos showing the things that really matter presented, game developers even comparing this to AC1.

So to IanXO4, FLAE, Rob_88 and anyone else who has given up hope on the AC series I say, "it's different this time. Ubisoft actually SOUNDS serious!"

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while I don't agree that pre-AC3 combat was really much more complex or interesting, I do agree that none of the games have really seemed to be about meaningful steps forward in AC gameplay in the way that Unity is.

I can't say I believe Ubisoft will ever slow the series down enough for major steps forward like this to be more common, and I'm still skeptical about this one going off without a hitch, or having as much depth as it seems.

But what makes me feel this is different is that I know I've talked about previous games being the biggest step in terms of new things since the first game. But this is the first time that I've really thought "This is what I imagined the first game would be before I knew anything more than the premise". This isn't "more stuff", it's "a better approach and a more suitable framework". You need only compare it to what AC: Rogue is offering to see the difference.

They usually talk in terms of "the fantasy" of the particular game, but instead it's been mostly all talk about systems, because they don't need to rely on the fictional dressings to clearly differentiate their approach. The blog posts they've been releasing show that they really do understand the series they've been developing and what people want from it, and there are very few of those wants that they aren't addressing in some substantive way.

even if this game is a failure, they've never set themselves a higher bar.

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say what you will about AC3, but I liked the hunting.

but besides that, it's still the only game since ac1 to humanize the templars. and that, to me, makes it one of the better written games of the series. if the gameplay didn't have so many issues and restrictions in the scripted missions, I'd say it's the best game, if not my favorite. I may not have replayed it the most, but that's because I spent 60+ hours on my first playthrough.

to bring this back on topic, I hope they deliver their promises for ac:u.

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When I look at how complex the assassination missions are going to be it's nearly impossible to imagine the game as a complete failure. Sure we don't know how everything plays, but non-linear/non-scripted assassinations more than make up for how sucky every other memory might be.

At this point I can only wonder how Ubi would pull off a game next year. With people getting tired of the series as it is they really had to step up their game to make Unity look worth it. And you can have only so many gimmicks to attract a large audience.

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@DoubleStab actually I'd agree, AC3 is probably my favorite AC. While it didn't revolutionize the gameplay I think it added a lot of interesting and useful mechanics that are still being built on. And it was also a big step forward in the overall feel of movement, both in free-run and out of it. Add that to Connor being one of my favorite video game characters and how deeply the story explored the assassin/templar relationship.

As promising as Unity looks, I really can't say I feel especially optimistic about where the series will go. I'm not super negative about it, but the bottom line is that they need to understand that they're winning me over on a year-to-year basis. Unity being good won't make me buy "just Unity but you have guns strapped to your feet"

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aurllcooljay wrote:
At this point I can only wonder how Ubi would pull off a game next year. With people getting tired of the series as it is they really had to step up their game to make Unity look worth it. And you can have only so many gimmicks to attract a large audience.

Just give us a map editor already. That way, if the game's assassination missions turn out to be terrible, we can still have lots of fun with it by creating great missions or just extreme stealth challenges for each other.

One day we'll have it and it'll be glorious. I'm calling it right now. September 6th, 2014.

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After seeing some Hitman Absolution I agree completely. The ability to create challenges within missions for yourself and other players cranks up replay value dramatically. And it doesn't even have to be a new AC game. Just take AC1 and/or 2, make an HD remake and add the map editor in.

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aurllcooljay wrote:
After seeing some Hitman Absolution I agree completely. The ability to create challenges within missions for yourself and other players cranks up replay value dramatically. And it doesn't even have to be a new AC game. Just take AC1 and/or 2, make an HD remake and add the map editor in.

Include the new co-op from Unity and I don't think I'll ever play another game in my life.

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are you all talking terrain/object-based level editing or guard/target layouts? because I doubt we'll see the former anytime soon, since AC's movement is based on nav-meshes that could easily freak out if not perfectly optimized, as we've seen in some previous games.

I do tend to like the Absolution style of doing things since it's an easy way to ensure that the mission is actually completable, and doesn't require any time going through menus and dragging and dropping.

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I'm not familiar with how Hitman Absolution handled it. Fill me in?

I thought because the AC1 world (and ACB's VR training zone) was basically built with pre-loaded stackable blocks, it would be not that hard to allow players to create small areas. Say, the size of a restricted zone from ACB's Borgia towers or ACR's Templar dens. a few streets and a courtyard, that's about it.

Now, for creating the rest of the mission, that's something else. You'll have to map patrol routes for guards somehow.

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gerund wrote:
I'm not familiar with how Hitman Absolution handled it. Fill me in?

I thought because the AC1 world (and ACB's VR training zone) was basically built with pre-loaded stackable blocks, it would be not that hard to allow players to create small areas. Say, the size of a restricted zone from ACB's Borgia towers or ACR's Templar dens. a few streets and a courtyard, that's about it.

Now, for creating the rest of the mission, that's something else. You'll have to map patrol routes for guards somehow.

in absolution you basically enter a mission, and then you can choose any three NPCs in the area to be your target. then you have to kill them, and the mission can only get sent out to players if you complete it by escaping afterward. so you can't just choose a target in a location where it's impossible to kill them without getting immediately detected and killed.

And it doesn't matter if it's just blocks, it's still based on complex nav-meshes. It would not be impossible to get it into a state where players could customize and move things around, but it would certainly take a lot of effort to implement, and even then would likely not be perfect.

As I mentioned, even with their powerful dev tools and years of dev time, there are areas in AC games where the geometry doesn't behave properly with the player's movement, a problem likely only made worse by the extra parkour and movement options available.

and then there's the lag issue. if they go with an extremely featureless and minimalist animus theme, this could be partially mitigated, but there's still probably going to be hiccups from a user created level whose configuration hasn't been specifically optimized, like the pre-set levels in the main game will be.

Again, not saying it's impossible, just saying it's more work than it seems.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTIIFvysvQo

Assassin's Creed Unity's levels were built with a much simpler, easier to use system than previous AC games. You can see it in action in that video. I highly doubt - if simplified - that putting it in the hands of players within a game-mode would break things dramatically.

Addressing the general idea of "things freaking out," this is nothing new to level editing. Level Creators, Modders and Map Makers have had to deal with their levels breaking constantly over the years.

One of the biggest parts of LittleBigPlanet is making sure levels don't break and - when they invariably do - getting sent Feedback by other Players so the Creator can edit the parts in question.

The best LBP levels were made this way, with an iterative, Version approach.

I don't see why AC Unity or an upcoming AC game would have immense difficulty doing this. We don't need it to be perfect, give us half-decent nav-mesh optimization, and hundreds of guides will start popping up around forums, hundreds of players will work and labor to make cool levels.

That's part of what makes the coolest custom levels in gaming so freaking cool - the fact that the uploaders were clever and creative enough to give life to such a stage that's actually playable and fun all the way through. Some of Media Molecule's designers were actually "drafted" from the best users who uploaded levels, so the possibilities are vast.

It'd be difficult - but it'd be worth it. They could even charge extra money for this kind of separate creator, as add-on content. I wouldn't be opposed to that, it'd be worth the price. (Provided it's not like, sixty dollars or anything crazy like that.)

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DarkAlphabetZoup wrote:
They could even charge extra money for this kind of separate creator, as add-on content. I wouldn't be opposed to that, it'd be worth the price. (Provided it's not like, sixty dollars or anything crazy like that.)

If it was $15 or under, I think people would be totally fine with that as an add-on dlc.

Anyways, it really depends on the content creators who build the levels that make it or break it. If a player-created level is too broken or frustrating, it'll get a low rating and no one will play it. Like DAZ mentioned above, the best rated/reviewed levels will stand out and be played the most. They'll even inspire better levels from other players.

I think they could just as easily take GTA V's content creator for multiplayer and infuse it with AC content. Give us a Black Box mission and let us tweak things. Or, let us select an area within a certain radius in the city and give us free reign to delete/swap/move/add structures and NPCs. If anything, give us their new "street building tool" in a simplified form so players could use it.

It might take 3 or 4 games, but I can see this becoming a feature soon. I'd spend so many hours on this and send it to THB users with challenges.

TL;DR - It's entirely possible, but give it to us when it can be perfected, not a last-minute shoe horn.

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Considering I'm currently training part-time (meaning, independently/on my own time) to be a Level Designer and Game Director, I'd feel such rapture having a tool like this. Just to be able to play with and experiment with things that are closest to the kind of game I'd love to make some day.

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I specifically said it is not impossible but it would be a lot harder than you're describing it as being. It's not something they would undertake lightly, and focusing on absolution-style mission creation would be a hell of a lot more efficient and consolidate a lot of the work they already did.

Those seemingly simple creation tools are running on hardware far more powerful than is needed to run the game, and once the design is finalized there's more work that's necessary to actually get it to final quality standards. even their best attempt to bring that kind of thing over to the game proper would have to be a severely truncated version.

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All I'm saying is that they had level creators since the Nintendo 64 days (Tony Hawk's Pro Skater). A simple drag and drop feature to add to blank areas or pre-concocted environments. I personally am not asking for anything insanely detailed to a LittleBigPlanet level. I'm also not saying Ubisoft is bad for not doing it yet. The ideas are there. The potential is there. They're skilled enough to find a way to do it someday. I'm just excited by the thought of actually having that mode.

If you've seen any Rifts gameplay for Unity, that's the basic idea I have for it. It's a smaller environment, but has potential to become a stealth level created by a player. I think it was Acre the player was running around in...

Also, I have no doubt they've been thinking about this since the ACB VR missions. They originally wanted co-op in AC1, but we didn't get that until Unity. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before they figure out the best way to make it work. Here's hoping.

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This isn't the right topic for this discussion, but oh well. I would prefer it if level editor was made for the classic AC1 and possibly 2 instead of a new game. Ubi would be building the extra content with mechanics and stuff that already exist in the game, so there won't be much worry of extra time and resources. Also they could take some of the features they started working on and finish them (from the things I hear they wanted to do a lot more in AC1 but ran out of time, from the ability to swim to co-op to factions to harder combat, so who knows what other things are floating out there in the unreachable game data). There were even features in the Acre demo that were removed.

Also I know for a fact they were planning to have guards fight each other at some point, and I'm not talking about the poor simulation at the battle of Masyaf. Some people even reported seeing guards accidentally do kill animations on other guards in a Gamefaqs discussion, one of them being our own JackReacher.
http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/930022-assassins-creed/41882218

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games are exponentially more complex than back then, in ways people take for granted so often. but yes, it would be a potentially good feature.

I just wouldn't expect it in next year's game. the year after, probably

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I wonder how Unity will be paced with regards to earning your abilities/robes? I always thought that the perfect pacing for an AC game would be AC3, if you imagine the game starts immediately when you begin playing as Connor. If haytham's whole intro had been reduced to maybe one mission, it would have worked a lot better.

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I thought they said it takes about 45-60 minutes to get to the open world-Assassin part of the game. Wasn't it in that podcast one of us posted a week or two ago?

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hmm, they said black flag was 1 hour before everything was open. so maybe a bit faster than that? that's alright with me.

hope the opening is solid, but I know them dragging a bit has been a barrier to entry for a lot of people. those title cards keep getting later and later.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zZTHkxOstQ

Nice Co-op mission that encourages stealth. More times caught in combat, the lower your reward will be.

In essence, does this mean that you can be caught 1 time, and have like 15 guards on your ass, and the money reward will still be greater than getting caught 3 times with each time having 1-2 guards on your ass?

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maybe it's actually based on the NUMBER of guards alerted, not the amount of transitions into open conflict.

I can definitely see how that could be bad if it basically makes the most sense to run through the rest of the mission after alerting one group.

Glad there's some stuff besides just assassinating that still allows for stealth and escapes.

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Vesferatu wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zZTHkxOstQ

Nice Co-op mission that encourages stealth. More times caught in combat, the lower your reward will be.

In essence, does this mean that you can be caught 1 time, and have like 15 guards on your ass, and the money reward will still be greater than getting caught 3 times with each time having 1-2 guards on your ass?

Or possibly the more guards you alert or more time you're causing an alert, it deducts the reward. Could go either way.

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I wonder if there'll be more than these two types of co-op missions? I'd kinda expected them to be all assassinations. it's cool that there's some variety.

and I love that this stuff basically doubles as extra single-player content. for once no-one can complain that multi is taking away from the main game.

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Calvar The Blade wrote:
and I love that this stuff basically doubles as extra single-player content. for once no-one can complain that multi is taking away from the main game.

Couldn't agree more.

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does anyone notice that Eagle Vision has a use duration and cooldown? it's the eagle icon to the left of the weapon icons in the bottom right corner. (it only shows up while it's being used or is recharging)

I guess that'll be one of the things you can upgrade and affect with different gear and skill points.

and listening to the narration more closely, cool that guard locations/numbers and the chest location are randomized! otherwise it would feel noticeably more static than an assassination.

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I guess that'll be one of the things you can upgrade and affect with different gear and skill points.

Hopefully not too much. The fact that you're able to detect guards through walls is a little overpowered IMO, so being able to use eagle vision more than a few seconds and with little cooldown might make things too easy?
Then again one can choose to not put skill points in the eagle vision ability at all to make it more challenging, but still.

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they mentioned that it was.

i saw that on this site, even.

something like eagle vision > eagle pulse > eagle sense, or something like that.

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Calvar The Blade wrote:
I guess that'll be one of the things you can upgrade and affect with different gear and skill points.

Hopefully not too much. The fact that you're able to detect guards through walls is a little overpowered IMO, so being able to use eagle vision more than a few seconds and with little cooldown might make things too easy?
Then again one can choose to not put skill points in the eagle vision ability at all to make it more challenging, but still.

from what was said in the video, the way it is there is the maximum upgraded version of the eagle vision ability. the various styles of hoods you can wear affect eagle vision, if I recall, but it seems to me that they were wearing pretty advanced gear in that demo. I'd bet the duration/recharge doesn't get much better than what you see there.

I hope the advantage of seeing through walls allows them to make guard setups more complex and interesting to navigate. one thing to note is that it doesn't appear to have an unlimited range of detection, so it's more useful as a tool for analyzing your environment rather than seeing the scope of an entire level immediately.

and there's the whole idea of tradeoffs: gear that maximizes your eagle vision range and duration might come with less increase to movement speed or make guards detect you faster. I definitely hope that stuff is all balanced well, since it seems pretty complex. Ideally no one build should be overpowered, just the most suitable for how you play.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P1zKpdaVaI
Co-op trailer. Pistols at dawn.

EDIT: I think this is one of my fav trailers in a long time. the song has just the right amount of intensity and catchiness. And they show player assassins getting hit in combat and one even being defeated. feels like they're trying to imply an atmosphere of potential danger, makes me believe what they say about the combat more.

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Calvar The Blade wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P1zKpdaVaI
Co-op trailer. Pistols at dawn.

EDIT: I think this is one of my fav trailers in a long time. the song has just the right amount of intensity and catchiness. And they show player assassins getting hit in combat and one even being defeated. feels like they're trying to imply an atmosphere of potential danger, makes me believe what they say about the combat more.

Yeah, it looked as though they were trying to say that if players try to be a tank and fight off a ton of guards solo, they're going to die, whereas the other stealthy Assassins went through the level no problem (either by stealth assassinating or taking on fewer guards).

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some new info about progression: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba9mTEd00qQ

The way they say it, it sounds like completing a Sequence unlocks new potential skill slots, completing brotherhood missions unlock skill points to spend in those skill slots, and gear is gained through both sidequests and spending currency.

I'm pretty sure they previously said every story mission gives you a skill point, so I think he misspoke when he only mentioned the brotherhood missions in the video.

So people who focus on the story will be able to progress, but likely not fill out the skill tree unless they complete the part of the side content that can be done co-op.

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part 1 of a dev blog on co-op: http://assassinscreed.ubi.com/en-US/news/news_detail.aspx?c=tcm:152-1753...

main interesting thing I got from it was that it seems like building the game to support co-op is largely responsible for them going back to a more open approach to levels and objectives. they talk about removing mid-mission objective markers, and instead giving the player an objective but not telling them so directly how they have to accomplish it.

so add that to them rebuilding the basic mechanics to support netcode in an open world w/ complex AI, and I think this might be one of the best examples of single player and multiplayer feeding into and helping each other.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9MZKk2maSQ

Here's another Q&A about Unity.

They were asked if you needed any specific skills to go through the game and complete it. The answer is that you don't need to upgrade at all if you don't want to.

I may do multiple playthroughs with this. One with a stealth build and one with no upgraded skills.

I love me some replayability.

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from what it sounds like you'll be able to max all trees by the end of the game, so while you might start out favoring stealth you'll still be able to play with the other options later if you want to.

Though outfits and equipment seems to play a pretty significant role in your stats, and you'll be forced to specialize in that case.

but yeah, I wonder if people will try speedruns, each upgrading only one specific tree.

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Did they say how many builds we can have available? It's probably going to be 3 or something. I hope it's 1 or 2 more. I have ideas on a Fighter build, Scout Build, Stealth Build, etc. As many options as possible would be lovely, but we'll see.

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JoeyFogey wrote:
Did they say how many builds we can have available? It's probably going to be 3 or something. I hope it's 1 or 2 more. I have ideas on a Fighter build, Scout Build, Stealth Build, etc. As many options as possible would be lovely, but we'll see.

I mean, you can upgrade all the skills for each tree and have them all at once, but I don't think there's a way to switch between which ones you have unlocked.

If you're talking about outfits and gear, I assume you can infinitely switch between different hoods and boots and shirts and whatever whenever you want...

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http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/08/13/gamescom-2014-how-assassins-creed...

IGN wrote:
Before the actual mission starts you’re given the option to customise your character loadout. Each weapon and piece of clothing or armour is given a rating in four main categories: Deadly, Unseen, Agile and Resilient. How you mix and match your loadout directly influences how your assassin will perform, so you might clad him in Deadly and Resilient gear if you plan on taking on large numbers of enemies at once, or perhaps you’ll choose more Agile and Resilient elements if you prefer to stick to the shadows.

These loadouts can be saved so you can switch between your favourite presets depending on the mission, and some of the 200 or so clothing options also come with bonus perks such as a certain hood that increases the range of your Eagle Vision when equipped, for example.

"Loadouts" is what I was trying to say.

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JoeyFogey wrote:
http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/08/13/gamescom-2014-how-assassins-creed-unity-seeks-to-liberate-players

IGN wrote:
Before the actual mission starts you’re given the option to customise your character loadout. Each weapon and piece of clothing or armour is given a rating in four main categories: Deadly, Unseen, Agile and Resilient. How you mix and match your loadout directly influences how your assassin will perform, so you might clad him in Deadly and Resilient gear if you plan on taking on large numbers of enemies at once, or perhaps you’ll choose more Agile and Resilient elements if you prefer to stick to the shadows.

These loadouts can be saved so you can switch between your favourite presets depending on the mission, and some of the 200 or so clothing options also come with bonus perks such as a certain hood that increases the range of your Eagle Vision when equipped, for example.

"Loadouts" is what I was trying to say.

oh, sorry, I wasn't aware of that system. man, they really put out a lot of info out, bet i still haven't seen it all.

I kinda didn't expect them to have a convenient feature like loadouts, just sorta assumed I'd have to run to a store to change clothes. This will definitely make me experiment with different playstyles more than I would otherwise.

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The more I hear about this game, the more I love it and the more excited I get.

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wonder if Shadow of Mordor's success will influence what Ubisoft changes about AC going forward.

It could attract folks who aren't exactly fond of the animus/modern day aspect.

The main strength is clearly the nemesis system and simulation of/ability to manipulate the orc hierarchy. it's pretty easy to see a concept for that kind of thing fitting pretty well into the open world side content of an Assassin's Creed game, though I'd imagine Templars would be a little less backstabby than Orcs.

I can see deeper simulations like this eventually replacing the usual "random encounter" style of side content in open world games. gives the feeling of a living world, infinitely repeatable, ect. very complex and difficult to implement, though, which is probably why SoM's main mechanics are so based on established things, so they could have a solid base to start building the system around.

I expect shadow of mordor to become a long-running series like Arkham, so it'll likely be a pretty regular competitor to AC. hopefully ubi does take notice of it and considers changing their release strategy so they can dedicate more resources to keeping up. (is this the 100th time i've said that?)

EDIT: I just remembered that one of The Division's focuses is on open world simulation that happens even if the player isn't around. given how ubisoft works i'd imagine that tech is being considered for future AC games.

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Calvar The Blade wrote:
I just remembered that one of The Division's focuses is on open world simulation that happens even if the player isn't around. given how ubisoft works i'd imagine that tech is being considered for future AC games.

Oh

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that's just the base for building a comparable system, not the system itself. who knows if they'd have used it for the same kind of thing w/o clear competition.

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