Zero Punctuation: Assassin's Creed Syndicate

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Assassin's Creed Syndicate

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Assassin's Creed Syndicate.

Watch Video

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Assassin's Creed Syndicate

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Rock Band 4.

Watch Video

Didn't know you could stab people in Rock Band 4

I really liked the cinematic reveal at the end, I actually laughed. I'm glad Yahtzee mirrors my own horror when it comes to The AC series.

Was hoping to see Yahtzee tear into Halo 5 today, but this was one of his better videos in a while.

I didn't actually think that simpering bullshit message Ubisoft displays every time you load up an Assassins Creed game could get any more pointless. But I also thought they couldn't make a game worse than AC: Unity.

Proven wrong on both counts.

Yatzhee I hate to tell you this, but Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is overrated.

I mean that game is extremely piss poor by todays standards. Combat is bare bones and just reduced to spamming. Platforming has no skill and momentum and its all just timing.

And the plot, oh the plot, was nothing special. Despite the Prince constantly telling me how enthralling his story his.

Honestly, this sounds like the best episode of WishBone ever! We need to reinvent Assassin's Creed as a dog-based educational game.

Samtemdo8:
Yatzhee I hate to tell you this, but Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is overrated.

I mean that game is extremely piss poor by todays standards. Combat is bare bones and just reduced to spamming. Platforming has no skill and momentum and its all just timing.

And the plot, oh the plot, was nothing special. Despite the Prince constantly telling me how enthralling his story his.

He does kinda fall into that Nostalgia Critic/AVGN little loop were everything was better back in the day, doesn't he? The type of guy who would look you in the face and say Godzilla 1954 has better graphics and looks more believable than Pacific Rim or that compared to Gordon Freeman's massive characterization Commander Shepard might as well be a piece of stale toast on a white napkin.

But I've been making that same rant about Silent Hill 2 for years and Yahtzee has never responded.

PapaGreg096:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Assassin's Creed Syndicate

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Rock Band 4.

Watch Video

Didn't know you could stab people in Rock Band 4

You're clearly not playing it correctly. :P

OT: At this point shouldn't you be able to complete an AC review in a single sentence?
"It's Assassin's Creed, this time you're in Victorian England."
Done.

I remember when the first one came out, I said something like, "I'll buy them as a set when the series is complete." I thought it was going to be a trilogy. Clearly I will never own these games.

PapaGreg096:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Assassin's Creed Syndicate

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Rock Band 4.

Watch Video

Didn't know you could stab people in Rock Band 4

What else are you supposed to do with the drum sticks?

Not really able to pinpoint why exactly, but I found myself laughing at this Zero Punctuation more than I have in quite a while. Well done Yahtzee! You may sleep soundly knowing you entertained a complete stranger this afternoon.

Huzzah! *confetti*

Thanatos2k:

PapaGreg096:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Assassin's Creed Syndicate

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Rock Band 4.

Watch Video

Didn't know you could stab people in Rock Band 4

What else are you supposed to do with the drum sticks?

... drum with them?

Loved the Shark Jehovah's Witness and the sideburns bit part.

I don't know why, but immediately after, I thought, "SIDEBUUUUURNS, CRAWLING ON MY SKIIIIN".

You know, the hairy version of Linkin Park.

Mangod:

Thanatos2k:

PapaGreg096:

Didn't know you could stab people in Rock Band 4

What else are you supposed to do with the drum sticks?

... drum with them?

Wait, you mean those aren't called forced scream sticks?

Big Ben is the bell, not the tower. That'll be my lesson of the day.

Samtemdo8:
Yatzhee I hate to tell you this, but Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is overrated.

Samtemdo8 I hate to tell you this, but Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is amazing.

The skill is the timing, both literally and figuratively, since the game both had you navigating fully 3D obstacle courses while introducing time-manipulation gameplay that factored in heavily in puzzle platforming as well as reworking the traditionally frustrating the trial & error endemic to the genre.

The plot is nothing to write home about, but what's truly great about the game are the characters - the way they're presented and characterized, the way they interact and evolve over time. The relationship portrayed is unusually mature and realistic for a game. Maybe it's not so much about how characters change (which, deep down, they don't) so much as how they regard and treat each other. I particularly like the Prince's conceited attitude. In general I think the game has a rather unique personality, both in its presentation as well as its gameplay.

Is female enemies really something to be upset about? I'm all for it.

And Assassin's Creed, historically accurate. HA!

Silentpony:

Samtemdo8:
Yatzhee I hate to tell you this, but Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is overrated.

I mean that game is extremely piss poor by todays standards. Combat is bare bones and just reduced to spamming. Platforming has no skill and momentum and its all just timing.

And the plot, oh the plot, was nothing special. Despite the Prince constantly telling me how enthralling his story his.

He does kinda fall into that Nostalgia Critic/AVGN little loop were everything was better back in the day, doesn't he? The type of guy who would look you in the face and say Godzilla 1954 has better graphics and looks more believable than Pacific Rim or that compared to Gordon Freeman's massive characterization Commander Shepard might as well be a piece of stale toast on a white napkin.

But I've been making that same rant about Silent Hill 2 for years and Yahtzee has never responded.

And I was well aware of Sands of Time but never got the chance to play it. Seriously I started playing that game last year for the first time. (Got it on GOG)

And after how legendary the game has become with all the 10 out of 10s and GOTYs I was dissipointed. Warrior Within was better then this game.

The only reason that game was so up there is because of the presentation. Graphics were great for the time perticualarly in the environments. Soundtrack was sexy, and I admit the platforming was alright. Heck playing that game reminded me alot of ICO which I found better than Sands of Time.

Kaitlyn Jennar can eat her own dick, no, literally. She still has her manly lumps. Oh great, here come the SJWs. *POOF* Smokebomb, Hookshot. Sideburn slap, D'oh!

I never saw the charm in the AC series. I played the third one and most fights were *hold X to deftly dodge enemies and win*. Sneaking is fun and all, but I like more visceral combat than this game could provide. But I might give the series another chance, eventually, who knows?

"Yahtzee, I have hairy sidebuns!"
"No... No, that's not true... That's impossible!"
"Search your critic heart... You know it to be true..."
"FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK! FUUUUUUCK!"

Other than that, this game sounds okay to play drunk especially when the game goes Mr. Peabody and Sherman because why not...

Johnny Novgorod:
Big Ben is the bell, not the tower. That'll be my lesson of the day.

Samtemdo8:
Yatzhee I hate to tell you this, but Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is overrated.

Samtemdo8 I hate to tell you this, but Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is amazing.

The skill is the timing, both literally and figuratively, since the game both had you navigating fully 3D obstacle courses while introducing time-manipulation gameplay that factored in heavily in puzzle platforming as well as reworking the traditionally frustrating the trial & error endemic to the genre.

The plot is nothing to write home about, but what's truly great about the game are the characters - the way they're presented and characterized, the way they interact and evolve over time. The relationship portrayed is unusually mature and realistic for a game. Maybe it's not so much about how characters change (which, deep down, they don't) so much as how they regard and treat each other. I particularly like the Prince's conceited attitude. In general I think the game has a rather unique personality, both in its presentation as well as its gameplay.

Well let us debate:

Personally I am surprised people did not call out the time rewind mechanic as essentially "Press A to not die" I mean seriously people complain about games dumbing themselves down to appeal to a broder audiance and casuals and THIS game which was released years before this whole Dumb Down craze began gave us a litiral "Press A to not die" mechanic ;)

Personally I found the Prince in the Sands of Time game very very bland, whiny, and bitchy. I am going almost as far as to say that he sort of reminds me of Tidus from Final Fantasy X. And the princess. Worst Escort Partner ever. In combat her bow and arrow is completely worthless to quote AVGN "Its like the Cane in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" and if she dies GAME OVER!!!

I firmly believe the reason this game was big back then was the presentation and art stlye. But again I admit the platforming and environments were top notch for what it is. Like I said the game reminded me of ICO very strongly.

The ending of this video had me in fucking stitches. XD

Attack of the sideburn people indeed.

erttheking:
Is female enemies really something to be upset about? I'm all for it.

And Assassin's Creed, historically accurate. HA!

Yeah, I mean no-ones complained about the female enemies in mass effect or the various bioshock games who are sensibly dressed and treating just like male enemies. Its like, maybe there's something different between them and the other women in games who do get complained about. Up for a wager on how long it takes other people to notice?

Xisin:
I remember when the first one came out, I said something like, "I'll buy them as a set when the series is complete." I thought it was going to be a trilogy. Clearly I will never own these games.

Honestly: you're saving yourself a lot of headache and a decent chunk of money all at the same time.

Re: the new politically-correct-message...
I guess he didn't get far enough into the game to meet Ned.

(and the carriages are a LOT faster than the not-batclaw over any significant distance horizontally.)

Samtemdo8:
Yatzhee I hate to tell you this, but Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is overrated.

I mean that game is extremely piss poor by todays standards.

Having played the entire trilogy a lot even recently, the only way I can see this is in regards to the camera and controls. Then again, I still come across plenty of games with cameras just as bad (if not worse) and controls that will still map two actions to the same button and let context decide things. So I can't really say it is outdated, just as frustrating then as it is now.

Combat is bare bones and just reduced to spamming.

Did you ever play around with the sand powers? Did you try to figure out the acrobatic options available to The Prince and which enemies were vulnerable/immune to which ones? Then did you consider how plenty of fights as you got later on were designed to throw enemies at you that you couldn't spam against? If not, then this complaint is on you not paying attention.

Sure, the overall combat wasn't as good as Warrior Within or The Two Thrones (especially the former), but it was hardly awful either. If you want a game that really was repetitive and encouraged spamming, go play The Forgotten Sands. That is an example of how repetitive, "spammy", and boring combat can get!

Platforming has no skill and momentum and its all just timing.

Timing and puzzle solving aren't a skills?

Bear in mind also, the game wasn't going out to be an incredibly challenging game to beat. It even tells you that it doesn't want you to be concerned with beating it so much as paying attention to the characters. Speaking of which...

And the plot, oh the plot, was nothing special. Despite the Prince constantly telling me how enthralling his story his.

It wasn't supposed to be some elaborate plot, and every fan is aware of that. It was all about the relationship between The Prince and Farah. There was even a seen in the library where Farah broke the fourth wall to tell the player as much. This was, unfortunately, something the later games completely forgot about and many people seem to have missed.

Samtemdo8:
Personally I am surprised people did not call out the time rewind mechanic as essentially "Press A to not die" I mean seriously people complain about games dumbing themselves down to appeal to a broder audiance and casuals and THIS game which was released years before this whole Dumb Down craze began gave us a litiral "Press A to not die" mechanic ;)

Because they aren't remotely the same. "Press X to not die" is a reference to QTEs, which replace more substantive gameplay with a single button press. The rewind mechanic of The Sands of Time was designed to prevent you from having to constantly go back to checkpoints when you die. Unlike QTEs, it wasn't meant to replace substantive gameplay. It was a way to get you right back to the challenge that you could't overcome rather than constantly running through the same challenges over and over again to get to the one you failed to complete. It was also probably designed more to avoid breaking the flow of the story during difficult sections.

Furthermore, it encouraged other things like exploration (you wanted to collect all the sands you could) and ran a slight risk-reward with how certain powers would drain your ability to rewind but would reduce the chance you had to rewind. There was a lot more going on than "Press X to not die".

Personally I found the Prince in the Sands of Time game very very bland, whiny, and bitchy. I am going almost as far as to say that he sort of reminds me of Tidus from Final Fantasy X.

That's because, as mentioned above, the story is about the characters and how they grow through the experience. It's impossible to have that unless the character has some flaw to work through, hence The Prince's childish, conceited nature throughout much of the game.

And the princess. Worst Escort Partner ever. In combat her bow and arrow is completely worthless to quote AVGN "Its like the Cane in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" and if she dies GAME OVER!!!

I've never gotten the complete repulsion to escort characters. Sure, there have been absolutely awful ones (the Zelda series is full of them), but I've felt that characters like Farah (and even more so Ashley from Resident Evil 4) showed how it can be done right. They're fragile enough to add challenge to the combat and make the player want to look out for them, but they also aren't so stupid or excessively fragile that their fate is outside the player's hands. I've never had Farah die on me in a way in which I couldn't learn from what I did wrong in keeping her alive. That's good challenge and makes the character more meaningful to the story/gameplay dynamic than if you just left them as a vending machine of good things to come (e.g. Elizabeth from BioShock Infinite).

And while her bow can't kill, it can come in handy for stunning enemies and drawing them away from you. You were probably helped a few times throughout the game and didn't even realize it. But of course they have to prevent making her a crutch. Otherwise, the game goes on autopilot, which is a completely new (arguably worse) problem.

I firmly believe the reason this game was big back then was the presentation and art stlye. But again I admit the platforming and environments were top notch for what it is. Like I said the game reminded me of ICO very strongly.

And that's part of what Yahtzee was talking about in this video. The Sands of Time was an imaginative game that he believes contrasts Syndicate's lack of imagination.

But beyond that, just because you don't like The Sands of Time doesn't mean it's an awful game that blinds people with nostalgia. Do you really think people haven't been complaining about the camera, controls, combat, and story since day one? Those have been well-known complaints for a long time. Fans of the game (no doubt including Yahtzee) have been aware of these complaints for years. It's just that we've determined it either shows a lack of understanding or is just a subjective opinion we disagree with.

That isn't to say there aren't problems. I have my own problems with it, from the annoying camera to the slightly outdated controls (though not so bad I can't enjoy it anymore). It's just that with all the things it does so well (e.g. characters, platforming, puzzles), I just don't see those problems as significant.

Well the ending to this video makes me wonder if someone could replace all the enemies in Consuming Shadow with sideburns monsters and all the runes with "Cheeky british quotes #1-5". It would probably be a better Victorian London game than this one too.

erttheking:
Is female enemies really something to be upset about? I'm all for it.

And Assassin's Creed, historically accurate. HA!

Well it's always (or at least as far as I'm aware) has tried to have the world itself /feel/ historically accurate, anachronisms and templars vs assassins non withstanding, but having half the enemies be women feels really off.

OT: "Beliefs, sexual preferences and gender identities?" Fuck off, so what? People shouldn't be defined by their sexuality or gender, that's a horrendous attempt at pandering and inclusivity blaring. No one wants or needs this banner in front of a game, or at least I should fucking hope not. If you do, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Samtemdo8:

Silentpony:

Samtemdo8:
Yatzhee I hate to tell you this, but Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is overrated.

I mean that game is extremely piss poor by todays standards. Combat is bare bones and just reduced to spamming. Platforming has no skill and momentum and its all just timing.

And the plot, oh the plot, was nothing special. Despite the Prince constantly telling me how enthralling his story his.

He does kinda fall into that Nostalgia Critic/AVGN little loop were everything was better back in the day, doesn't he? The type of guy who would look you in the face and say Godzilla 1954 has better graphics and looks more believable than Pacific Rim or that compared to Gordon Freeman's massive characterization Commander Shepard might as well be a piece of stale toast on a white napkin.

But I've been making that same rant about Silent Hill 2 for years and Yahtzee has never responded.

And I was well aware of Sands of Time but never got the chance to play it. Seriously I started playing that game last year for the first time. (Got it on GOG)

And after how legendary the game has become with all the 10 out of 10s and GOTYs I was dissipointed. Warrior Within was better then this game.

The only reason that game was so up there is because of the presentation. Graphics were great for the time perticualarly in the environments. Soundtrack was sexy, and I admit the platforming was alright. Heck playing that game reminded me alot of ICO which I found better than Sands of Time.

Well, as someone who played SoT around it's release in 2003, I have to say I loved it from both presentation AND gameplay standpoint. Combat wasn't the best of both worlds (although it had it's moments, especially at the beginning), but parkour revitalized the entire 3D platforming genre (which was in shambles at that point after terrible Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness or even previous PoP game - 3D). Crisp, responsive controls, great camera work let you do your normal job properly, while time rewinding mechanic let creators go a bit crazy with additional stuff like wall running to jumping to wall bouncing, all with killer traps along the way. It was challenging without being frustrating, and the fact that they managed to marry the theme to it (in all aspects, not only setting but also inevitable gameplay moments like pretty amusing "Prince's bad memory" parts, during game over screens) put the cherry on top.

Would it hold up for me today? Probably not, because:
a) nostalgia is a bitch, and after seeing a marathon of old Bond movies lately I know how big of a bitch it can be.
b) Today's games improved the concept and are now doing it better.

But that's the thing, isn't it? It was so good back in 2003, that it was seen as worth improving upon. I'm pretty sure that we wouldn't have not only Assassin's Creed series (which I always considered a spiritual successor to PoP gameplay-wise), but also latest Tomb Raider games, Uncharted or even things like Batman Arkham games, InFamous or Mirror's Edge if SoT mechanics didn't turn out to work so good. It's an important milestone in XXI century's gaming history, and it definitely deserved all the praise it got back in the day.

Ps - I'll agree with you though, I also think that Warrior Within was better. It improved platforming a bit and combat a lot, and I didn't mind the mood shift. It's a good thing though, sequel's SHOULD be better. If sequel is worse, then something definitely went wrong.

Ps 2 - It's funny that you mentioned ICO, because I have similar regards to it as you do with SoT. I played it years after the release (and only because it was bundled with Shadow of the Colossus), and I thought that gameplay was really underwhelming. I liked it anyway because of good world-building and touching story, but both puzzles and combat (if they were supposed to be good in the first place) definitely didn't stand the test of time.

elvor0:

erttheking:
Is female enemies really something to be upset about? I'm all for it.

And Assassin's Creed, historically accurate. HA!

Well it's always (or at least as far as I'm aware) has tried to have the world itself /feel/ historically accurate, anachronisms and templars vs assassins non withstanding, but having half the enemies be women feels really off.

OT: "Beliefs, sexual preferences and gender identities?" Fuck off, so what? People shouldn't be defined by their sexuality or gender, that's a horrendous attempt at pandering and inclusivity blaring. No one wants or needs this banner in front of a game, or at least I should fucking hope not. If you do, you should be ashamed of yourself.

If they want it to feel authentic then every famous person at the time shouldn't stop to have something important to do with the main character. "This person is the most important person in existance" is hardly what I'd call leading towards the historical accuracy. Not to mention quite a few entries that said "Historical person did X!" and then something to directly contradict that happens. If you want historical accuracy or to feel historically accurate I need a bit more about Leonardo Da Vanci than to show his flying machine and hint that he was doing his assistant in the ass. And I say that as someone who downright adored Da Vanci in II. Also I'm going to take a wild stab and say that these terms didn't make it into Syndicate.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/53529/56-delightful-victorian-slang-terms-you-should-be-using

What they do is not so much historical accuracy or feeling historically accurate as it is creating what people generally THINK feels historically accurate.

Meh. Is a phrase like that really getting worked up over? I mean I find it more funny than anything else. I like what they did with the female enemies but I'm never going to forget that the reason that they didn't have a female playable character in Unity is "Programing womenz is RLY RLY HRD!"

Remus:
I never saw the charm in the AC series. I played the third one

That's your problem.

This series hit its peak with the Ezio trilogy (Assassin's Creed II, Brotherhood, and Revelations), and then started going downhill rapidly. AC III was pretty crap, and Black Flag, while not a bad game, wasn't the same game I fell in love with back when the series was first released.

But I've been gone so long, I have no idea where the overarching story is. I really don't care enough to get back into the series.

The female Enemy thing isn't even a new idea since that was in AC rogue but since nobody played that... Shame about the story getting lazier though you think that with the era that had to play with it could have a good story.

AssCreed has definitely become lazy, but then again it's a side effect of Ubi becoming obsessed with the sandbox game and thinking it's some kind of gaming apex. Too bad all they've done is make their games blur together into a mediocre blob with zero ambition or creativity. It's just tedious and I wouldn't be surprised if Ubi starts scaling back on AssCreed and turns Far Cry into their yearly cash cow.

If there's one franchise I truly could not give less of a flying fuck about and that I really wish would die, it's Assassin's Creed, if you've played one you've played them all.

I do like their non-AC sandbox games though(though I have to say Far Cry Primal is not looking very good from what i've seen, the whole concept reeks of desperation to me).

Silentpony:

Samtemdo8:
Yatzhee I hate to tell you this, but Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is overrated.

I mean that game is extremely piss poor by todays standards. Combat is bare bones and just reduced to spamming. Platforming has no skill and momentum and its all just timing.

And the plot, oh the plot, was nothing special. Despite the Prince constantly telling me how enthralling his story his.

He does kinda fall into that Nostalgia Critic/AVGN little loop were everything was better back in the day, doesn't he? The type of guy who would look you in the face and say Godzilla 1954 has better graphics and looks more believable than Pacific Rim or that compared to Gordon Freeman's massive characterization Commander Shepard might as well be a piece of stale toast on a white napkin.

But I've been making that same rant about Silent Hill 2 for years and Yahtzee has never responded.

Actually Yahtzee's not like that, he's repeatedly criticized games that try too hard to evoke nostalgia but do it poorly, games that have not aged well or games that still insist on using archaic mechanics (I.E. lives systems).

Also in his Prince of Persia retrospective video he DID criticize the combat in Sands of Time.

Also AVGN has criticized plenty of shitty games back in the day, some of which he liked as a kid but had to admit were not good.

Remus:
Kaitlyn Jennar can eat her own dick, no, literally. She still has her manly lumps. Oh great, here come the SJWs. *POOF* Smokebomb, Hookshot. Sideburn slap, D'oh!

I never saw the charm in the AC series. I played the third one and most fights were *hold X to deftly dodge enemies and win*. Sneaking is fun and all, but I like more visceral combat than this game could provide. But I might give the series another chance, eventually, who knows?

I personally don't like Jenner because she killed someone after she crashed into them while driving and she never apologized for it.

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