The Little Touches in Assassin's Creed

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I never noticed that... in MGS you can see the damn parachute of Liquid next to where you figth sniper wolf, in MG2 you get to knock out Snake and get his dog tag, and in 3 you could go in first person in certain scene to see the ghost of a guy showing you the code to escape your prission, or just call girls to flirt with them, or calling them and telling them that you noticed that eating glowing mushrooms "recharges" your bateries (and the girl confused goes along with it thinking Snake is being delucional) hell i remember the damn Zero saying he would give you a "Tuxedo" and a gun "shaped like a snake" to make you more like a super spy, him being british it makes sense he wanted you to become like 007, calling you 00-snake at one time, MG4 Mayor

but in MG4 it looses its touch, the spark is gone, its all cross referenced and super mega tied up that damn, it begins to make less and less sense and it looses immersion fairly quick...

GrizzlerBorno:
I would've picked Bioshock more than Half Life. The story and philosophy behind it was cool and all. But Goddamn,(!) Rapture was the most amazing city in Video gaming history and City 17 doesn't hold a candle to it. and the most amzing thing about rapture was how you got a sense of the incredible depth of it's concept and how it cam this close to being the perfect place. and while there were no emails, there were Audio logs. ahh.... the audio logs.

I think that has more to do with 4 years of hindsight then any skill difference on the developer's part.

I agree totally with this. The little things that you have to dig to notice give any game lots of depth and nice touches. The only thing I don't agree on is the baby tiger thing. Even big cats can be cute :D.

I think Desmond actually a pretty cool character.

Yahtzee's right about Fallout three. That's why it's my least favourite of the series. It's good, no question, but it lacks the soul of 1 and 2, which were amazing games.

I agree with Yahtzee when it comes to Fallout.

Finding someone on a mattress was thought provoking the first time, but after a while it just becomes part of the scenery.

I think the closest I've come to really finding something thought provoking was when I found a man lying dead on a mattress.

I went on to wonder if he'd been a wanderer similar to myself, and had run out of food or something and laid down to die.

The game has a lack of little touches outside of dry computer logs and simple random encounters. It hurts the game a little.

Frozenfeet2:
I like the writing on the walls in left 4 dead 1&2 and the interactions between characters.

YES! I love things like the 28 Days Later quote "The end is extremely ****ing nigh!" and someone writing under it "How rude!". Utterly classic.

Also:

"I'm gonna be a one man cheeseburger apocalypse!"

Mertruve:

I think it's a test of a game's immersion to be able to zoom all the way into the smallest detail and find care and backstory even there - this is where games like Fallout 3 fall down, looking spectacular at a distance but shallow up close.

Wait, what? The backstory found within random encounters was the best part of F3.

There's quite a lot of back story hidden in Fallout 3 but I think it gets spread out a bit too much. Take Megaton. While a few computers have information about the inhabitants, apartments are filled with useless clutter instead of personal affects. Moira has a back story and you can find it, but searching through her living quarters reveals precious little about her. One of the few apartments that said something about a character was Dashwood's as it was filled with mementos of his adventures. I would have liked to see that amount of attention paid to all the major NPCs instead of filling their houses with the same type of clutter found in every home.

I agree with every thing in the article except for the Fallout 3 bit. That game was practically basted in immersion sauce and baked in some fashion that infused it with taste and depth.

If you ever hacked a terminal in a abandoned building, read a note you found in a shack full of human remains or explored a vault full of clones, you'd know that it was full of small details that provided you with optional side stories and left something to the imagination.

Those sorts of small things are brilliant.

Straying Bullet:
I have to disagree with the Fallout 3.

The little things were FLAWLESS in my book regarding F3. For instance, if you decided to check out indoor areas and whatever houses/caves you can find, the scenery and the items are displayed and placed in such manner, you can tell a story from it all without a narrative explaining who/what/why it happened.

Much like finding two skeletons on a queen sized bed, with a single 10MM pistol with them, giving you an indication it might be suicide or they ultimatly decided to starve/die slowly whilst embracing eachother.

This is what makes Fallout 3 so perfect for me. They say a picture says more than 1000 words, if so, Fallout 3 contains millions of pictures just begging to be seen and experienced. The experience was far from shallow, if not, it showed me humanity and invoked real feelings in me.

Agree with everything you said here. From tiny details like finding song lyrics on computers, to two skeletons on top of a car arm in arm, or the tunnel where a motorcyclist met an untimely end trying to do a stunt...

I'm not sure how the hell Yahtzee came up with Fallout 3 as an example there.

Calvar Draveir:
I never f

Falseprophet:
Yahtzee's right, it's hard to buy into the modern day Assassin v. Templar conspiracy in Assassin's Creed when we hardly see any of it. But "The Truth" segments in AC:Brotherhood did more to give it weight than anything Lucy, Desmond or even Vidic have said. Most noteworthy is one phone log where

Now that's a little touch that shows just how pervasive and powerful this conspiracy really is.

I also thought that was a cool moment, the Truth segments showed us so much about the state of the world in 2012.

Desmond has never really been an uninteresting character to me, he's a bit quick to distrust people, he's not the most empathetic person ever, but he also has this kind of naivety to him. In AC 1 I always talked to lucy just to hear more dialogue between them. I think lucy is a nice character too. I find it funny that Yahtzee thinks she's stuck up and work-focused, since there's a bit of dialogue where Desmond doubts she ever does anything fun and she gets offended.

I think Yahtzee's just sticking with the first impression he got of these two characters, since they have gotten way deeper than from the first and even second game.

I really don't mind Desmond as a character. He may be a little bland - but not insultingly so. Shaun is one of my favourite characters from all videogames - maybe because I do love Danny Wallace and his reserved, sarcastic humour.

One thing I love about the AC series is this whole conspiracy/counter-factual history plot going on; and the fact the glyphs and the rifts in AC2 & Brotherhood respectively shed a lot of interesting light on how actual world events were always being manipulated by the Templars I thought was awesome:

I had the same conversation a few days ago playing Ghostbusters on the PS3. As soon as the mission started, I walked over to the water fountain and took a drink, knocking a table-lamp over on the way.

He laughed, and said "yes, you can drink the water".

I replied, "It's the little touches like that (including the bumping into the table and knocking things over) that make the world more immersive."

In FEAR 2 it was not only the fountain that triggered this little gimmick. Also if you shot at a nearby car right after you took control of the player character, your teammate would ask whether you don't have any respect for other people's property.
Later on when your meet up with the rest of the team this character would than apologise for being late and say that you were "busy vandalizing shit (or stuff, don't remember so well)"

I too thought it would be awesome if the game kept up this attention to detail but unfortunately there was no second example like that to find.

I dunno, if you read all the e-mails (at all 3 different computers) in Assasin's Creed 1, you get a pretty good idea of how much the Templars control the world. It also is how you learn that
SPOILER
The girl researcher is actually an assasin spy.

ike42:

feather240:

ike42:
As with others here I have to say that if he thinks Fallout 3 is shallow, then he didn't put any energy into the game whatsoever. It's so easy to miss things like the town full of Cannibals (Andale) or the little part where you can get a drug addict to pass OD so you can rob him. That game is packed full of stuff that you don't catch unless you're paying attention.

That game is packed full of stuff that you don't catch unless you're paying attention.

unless you're paying attention.

I have a problem with that. I couldn't find anything good until after hours of searching and I was getting tired of visiting abandoned buildings that had a few radroaches, so I asked myself why it took so long to find adventure in the wasteland. The answer? It was too big. I asked myself why it was too big. The answer? Fallout 3 is big because it wants to feel big. Ironically by making the map larger they made the game feel smaller. I could have lived with less open space. Would it have killed the desolate feel? Perhaps it would have, but that's the same reason they made almost the entire game world grey and brown. My ideal version of Fallout 3? Having Bethesda squeeze the game into a quarter of the map. That way when I go exploring I find something quickly.

I can understand your point of view, but when I play RPGs I want them to feel big. It can be tedious at times when walking across the entire wasteland, but I want the feeling of exploring a world. If I get an RPG I expect to spend 60+ hours on my first run-through. The problem is that Fallout 3 (and New Vegas for that matter) is an RPG that tries to be a shooter to appeal to a broader audience. Non-RPG fans buy an RPG and then complain about the game's RPG features. It's a classic example of savoring the experience vs. instant gratification.

Wouldn't they feel bigger if there was less filler space?

I love the little things. Even in a game with big flaws, little things that I find can make me feel allll better. Like in Dragon Age: Origins, the two mages having the discussion of reality by the docks at Lake Calenhad, and one of them mentions his boil as proof that they aren't just someone else's dream.

Sounds like someone hasn't played Fallout 3 quite enough. Or maybe he was just baiting the fanboys like us for no apparent reason?

Kinda detracts from the very good point of the article, though. ;)

Sean.Devlin:
Sounds like someone hasn't played Fallout 3 quite enough. Or maybe he was just baiting the fanboys like us for no apparent reason?

Kinda detracts from the very good point of the article, though. ;)

My Twitter informs me he actually meant to refer to Gears of War.

Yeah I love finding the little things in games, walking off the main path and coming across some random cool thing is always fun.

feather240:

ike42:

feather240:

I have a problem with that. I couldn't find anything good until after hours of searching and I was getting tired of visiting abandoned buildings that had a few radroaches, so I asked myself why it took so long to find adventure in the wasteland. The answer? It was too big. I asked myself why it was too big. The answer? Fallout 3 is big because it wants to feel big. Ironically by making the map larger they made the game feel smaller. I could have lived with less open space. Would it have killed the desolate feel? Perhaps it would have, but that's the same reason they made almost the entire game world grey and brown. My ideal version of Fallout 3? Having Bethesda squeeze the game into a quarter of the map. That way when I go exploring I find something quickly.

I can understand your point of view, but when I play RPGs I want them to feel big. It can be tedious at times when walking across the entire wasteland, but I want the feeling of exploring a world. If I get an RPG I expect to spend 60+ hours on my first run-through. The problem is that Fallout 3 (and New Vegas for that matter) is an RPG that tries to be a shooter to appeal to a broader audience. Non-RPG fans buy an RPG and then complain about the game's RPG features. It's a classic example of savoring the experience vs. instant gratification.

Wouldn't they feel bigger if there was less filler space?

No, they would feel cramped.

ike42:

feather240:

ike42:

I can understand your point of view, but when I play RPGs I want them to feel big. It can be tedious at times when walking across the entire wasteland, but I want the feeling of exploring a world. If I get an RPG I expect to spend 60+ hours on my first run-through. The problem is that Fallout 3 (and New Vegas for that matter) is an RPG that tries to be a shooter to appeal to a broader audience. Non-RPG fans buy an RPG and then complain about the game's RPG features. It's a classic example of savoring the experience vs. instant gratification.

Wouldn't they feel bigger if there was less filler space?

No, they would feel cramped.

How does a game with the filler subtracted out become cramped? :/

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: The Little Touches in Assassin's Creed

Yahtzee realizes that sometimes it's the little things that make a game interesting.

Read Full Article

Seasoning. Nearly no one notices it, but everybody misses it when it's gone.

I want to repeat this even if I'm going down, that's just what I believe.

Ezio is an awkward, uncommon name in Italy that leaves a bad aftertaste. The style for italian names is just different, see how Leonardo-Dante-Ludovico-Giulio how different they sound.

It's like hearing about Jay-Z, renowned scottish landlord.

Although the Assassin's Creed owe a lot to the whole Dan Brown Da Vinci Code thing, I find them fascinating simply because they open up players to highly detailed worlds that games generally don't venture into: the Holy Land circa The Crusades, and Renaissance Italy.

In a way, the AC games are more escapist than any other games I can think of.

The_ModeRazor:
In Fallout 3, if you open the right door in the right place,

If you found it, you know what I'm talking about. Is it fun? Hell no.

There are alot of doors in places, give an explanation will ya?

Now that I think about it, I think these little touches are probably my some of favorite parts of a lot of games. In every game I play I always end up exhausting my options of what I can check out trying to find little bits of goodness like this. The Assassin's Creed series does this really well, and I've spent way too much time finding all the little touches in the Mass Effect games.

Touches like that really can make the game for me.

I actually agree about the Fallout 3 thing. There where some hidden little things, but mostly it was all bland. I can only really think of the skeletons on the matress people mention, nothing else was particularly memorable.

Avoid this to avoid AC:B spoilers! Yahtzee, where's a MASSIVE SPOILERS tag in the article? Shit hasn't come out for PC yet you ignorant.

Oddly enough, when I read the title "The Little Touches..." the first game that jumped to mind was Fallout 3. True, the vast majority of the wasteland is devoid of anything "memorable,", but this actually helps add to the immersion, because what better way to make a player feel like they are trekking across a huge wasteland than to make it big. The long journey between locations is one of the highlights, IMO.

Back to the little things, though, if you actually take the time to explore FA3 and visit all the locations, you'll soon realize that each of these places tells a story. Some of these locations tell the story verbally, like Andale or (A personal favorite) Bob Anderstein's radio broadcast. Others use computer terminals or Holodisk recordings, like the Farming family who presumably got killed by raiders, or the Keller family transcripts.

The best ones, though, and most frequent, are the little stories that are only told through the setpeices. Several people have mentioned the spooning skeletons as a good example. Another of my personal favorites is the dead waste lander in the museum of History who is sitting in a toppled chair against a bloodstained wall, holding a .32 Pistol. All of these tiny stories add tons of depth to an already deep game.

So yeah, Fallout 3 is "big," but just because it's big doesn't mean it's empty (that's what she said).

This is what I find so appealing in Fable 3 everywhere you look there are hidden secrets that improve immersion and keep you interested. Where as a game like halo reach just stuffs ridiculous easter eggs in and calls it a day.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: The Little Touches in Assassin's Creed

Yahtzee realizes that sometimes it's the little things that make a game interesting.

Read Full Article

yahtzee fallout 3 has those little touches every terminal has a number of messages reports or notices on them

anyway furthermore why not mention bad company 2 the characters actually start quoting shakespear if you're not doing anything for longer than say a minute entire funny conversations spring up and new ones in each lvl as well for example when the pilot dies they start talking about giving him a funeral and how nobody ever new his actual name
The game even has the recurring jokes about the truck-a-saurus which have been in there since the demo for bad company 1 and then I mean a whole array of them

your lack at noticing this gives me the idea this is the first time you actually took your time looking around in a game

Edit : Oh yeah for the record assasins creed 1 had this too and I never checked in 2

sooperman:
I never noticed an email system in ACII, but the Codex was one of the most incredible little details I've ever seen. While reading it, I didn't even notice what was happening: I was getting an explanation for my upgrades.

Reading the Codex made Altair more... well, fascinating to me. Less bland than he was in his original game. Or maybe it's just my love of poets.

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