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A blog to showcase my creative and technical work. Talk about what I like to talk about.


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The Creed of the Assassin’s – Recommendations

Hey everyone,

Been a while since I posted here. In between that time, I managed to play all the main Assassin’s Creed games released for the PS3. So here are my brief thoughts on each as well as ranking (from most recommended to least). If you are only interested in the rankings, please skip to the end of this post.

Games Thoughts:

Assassin’s Creed –

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An okay game. The main issue this game suffers from is its repetition and lack of variation in gameplay. However it did introduce us to the satisfying feeling of being a ninja type assassin while posing some interesting philosophical questions along the way.

The game definitely has many issues that makes it a drag to play at times, but it is still worth a shot for this is what started the whole AC universe.

 

Assassin’s Creed II –

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A brilliant follow up that expands the gameplay in meaningful and fun ways. This game seems to rectify the issues of repetition with the original and adds on loads of things to do.

The main character Ezio is also a step up from Altair. The story seems to go for a more personal approach this time versus the philosophical one it had with the original. You also get to see some great character development for Ezio as you progress in the story.

New mechanics introduced definitely help vary up the gameplay as well as add more value to the fun. But that is not to say that the game does not have any flaws. In fact sometimes there are forced mini-games that really help bring the fun to a grinding halt. The mini-games can be infuriating to play at times due to the weak control scheme (although controls are far more responsive and less “floaty” than the original).

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood –

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An okay follow up to the second game in my opinion. It follows Ezio’s adventures again, but this time the game feels too padded. The whole series has this issue where they try to add in as much padding as possible to extend gameplay time, but this one just seemed to take it to the max. That’s the feeling I got when I was playing it anyways.

There are several features that return with few minor new ones. Mechanically it is the same as the second one, which does sometimes drown out the fun as you will be battling with controls at times (unlike their new controls from AC III and on-wards). The story just wasn’t as enthralling to play through unlike AC II. At the beginning it is very interesting, but then the story just begins to lose my interest due to the slow pacing and sometimes padded missions that make me more tired when playing.

But it was still a nice minor advancement in the series and for Ezio’s story as well.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations –

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The last game in the Ezio trilogy and quite a different AC experience in comparison to the ones before. The experience is different because we get to play as Ezio and Altair during various sequences of the game. Ezio is still the main protagonist, but Altair has an integral role to the story and an expansion of his character. On top of that, we get more explanation into the admittedly convoluted backstory of the precursor race and what not.

Mechanically this game is much the same as Brotherhood due to it only having one year in development. Minor improvements to the graphics and controls help this game shine above its predecessors. Not to mention, this game concludes Ezio’s journey as an assassin and you the player get the sense that Ezio deserves to finally get his closure.

Assassin’s Creed III –

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This game is the one game that really changed up the gameplay for good. The control scheme was simplified, the parkouring was improved and the graphics simply go through the roof in comparison to Revelations.

The story of this game, while not as focused around Assassins versus Templars when compared to the previous entries, it is still a worthy game to play through. The story takes place in the American Colonial Revolution and has you play as an Aboriginal protagonist.

Many people complained about him being a plain and boring character, but in my opinion he is just as interesting character as Ezio if not more so. I say that because of his Aboriginal heritage. It is nice to see a character come from such a background, not to mention he gave up so much and sacrificed so much in his fight, but in the end he was left with so little (in some cases, nothing at all).

He is also a very ideologically driven character with a sense of naivety due to his inexperience and youth. The discussions he has with other characteres on more philosophical topics about Templars really helps stand him apart from the other protagonists so far. The struggle, the sacrifices and the ideological thinking really helps solidify him as an interesting character in my book.

The game also introduced ship combat, although this was extremely poor due to its sloppy mechanics and controls. These sections even got frustrating at times. But unlike the previous AC games, this one didn’t have any annoying mini-games and was a blast to play through all the way. I was always curious what was going to happen next and seeing the ending made me completely sympathize for Connor. The game also gives us more to do in the present time story-line and concludes Desmond’s story arc.

A worthy addition that helps boost my love for this series.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag –

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The Pirate’s Caribbean game as many like to refer to it. The pirate game that Disney could never release. This was the second game I played in the series (I played Revelations first and then this one. After that I decided to get the whole series on the PS3). This game is what really sold me on Assassin’s Creed. Unlike AC III, the ship combat in this is fantastic. The development team really improved the gameplay on all aspects which made this one only even more fun to play through.

The story is not as much of an Assassins versus Templars story as much as it is Edward’s journey from being a money loving pirate to a responsible assassin. I would even argue that the character development in this one is far better than the one in Ezio’s trilogy. You can actually tell the development in his character apart, where as with Ezio’s trilogy, it wasn’t as evident due to his constant playboy and easy going nature. The psychological sections for Edward’s journey were fascinating to play through as we delved deep into the symbolism of his experiences and those around him.

Piloting your own ship as well as creating your own army was very fun. The only negative for this game would be the grind you have to go through to upgrade your ship sometimes. It can get very repetitive, and eventually boring to do. But it will be worth it in the end as you can destroy nearly any ship with ease. It will make that once puny boat you called “Jackdaw” turn into a tank.

As I mentioned before, it takes a step away from the traditional Assassin’s versus Templars just like AC III. But that’s not to say that you don’t kill Templars, trust me there is plenty of that once you decide to commit to the brotherhood. But what really fascinated me was a third party in this game that acts as an ally and an enemy for a short while before meeting your blade. There is still a magical device involved to help progress the precursor story, but this also ties into the present time story that is quite interesting to play through on its own.

If you love ship combat and the AC combat then this will go hand in hand for you. The mix and balance of the two is phenomenal. You are also given several mini-missions to do along the way to actually help better your ship and your gear. I definitely recommend this to any player even if you haven’t played any previous AC games.

Assassin’s Creed: Rogue –

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This one is quite a unique entry in the franchise. In this game, you actually get to experience both sides of the coin, the Assassins and the Templars. This game carries over many mechanics from Black Flag, while improving on some and introducing certain new things along the way. Unlike Black Flag however, there is not as much emphasis on ship combat, but more so on foot combat like AC III.

What really helps make this game fun is seeing Shay’s (the protagonist) journey going from Assassin to Templar. He goes from an ignorant, young, and following orders without much question Assassin to a man forced to mature due to the heavy guilt he carries on his conscience and joins the Templar side. The story in no sense is traditional to the AC formula, in fact this game’s story is very different compared to what you will have played through in the past.

One complaint I do have is that the game is on the short side. While I can see why due to story reasons, it would have been nice if the story was a little longer extending to at least 8 or 9 sequences/chapters as opposed to the 6 we get. But that is a minor complaint in the fact of excellent gameplay and story.

Rankings:

Here are my rankings for the games recommendation list on the PS3. 7 is the lowest recommendation, where as 1 is the highest.

7 – Assassin’s Creed

6 – Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

5 – Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

4 – Assassin’s Creed II

3 – Assassin’s Creed III

2 – Assassin’s Creed: Rogue

1 – Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

But if you want to get the full AC experience, then I say play them all and in the order of their story progression.

That’s my list, what is yours like?

If you would like to post your own order for recommendations, feel free to post them in the comments section below :).

Thanks for reading and hope you have a blast playing the games should you choose to.

Catch you all next time!

~ Mohit

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The Souls Charm

hype-meme-0a79c29f1f3235b7e1d08393bbbe03c2There was once a time where I wondered why there was so much hype and rave about Dark Souls, and the Souls series as a whole. I played it once I got the opportunity to, and then the charm took me over. The Souls charm won me by a landslide in comparison to any other game I have played to date.

The way the game is designed at its core seems to adhere to some of the most basic game design principles. It doesn’t go for any fancy gimmicks, instead the series focuses on solid combat, strategic/critical thinking and exploration. Perhaps due to the level of simplicity it possesses for a new player, but at the same time the complexities needed for veteran players was what won me over.

dxg-dark-soulsI first started with Dark Souls, then got Dark Souls II and finally had the opportunity to get Demon’s Souls recently. Playing a test run of Demon’s Souls to make sure it worked fine on my PS3, I was hit with instant nostalgia for Dark Souls. Keep in mind, I haven’t finished any of the Souls game yet. I’m more than halfway through for Dark Souls, but decided to put it down for a while as I felt I was getting a little burnt out on it. No fun in playing a game that feels like it is wearing you out.

I was in love with the series the moment I picked up the controller in Dark Souls. So many good co-op sessions, and epic boss fights even if they do follow a pattern that with enough attention and patience can become predictable. Not to mention the complexity of the world we transverse through, all of it culminates to a brilliant game and game design.

425-3-1370142006Now the Souls series would be nowhere near as good without it’s death mechanics. Every Souls game has seemed to changed the penalties for death somewhat in the past. But that feeling of dying remains the same in any game. There is a constant fear of loss when you first start out. You know that the more souls you carry, more is at stake. In some games, it limits your health lower than 100% as well. That fear of death can either paralyze you, or create a sense of adventure to keep on pushing forward.

But once you overcome that fear, so many options will open up to you in how you choose to play. You can be a lot more daring, or still play passively.

Let’s also not forget the character evolution in these games. You can start out as one particular class, but evolve the character into something else as you progress through the games. This level of freedom allows room for great experimentation.

darksoul_facebook_miniDark Souls III is going to release only on the current gen hardware (PS4, Xbox One & PC), sadly I won’t get the opportunity to play it. At least not right now, but when I do, I’ll savor every moment like I do with the rest. These games alongside Bloodborne are a necessary existence in the gaming industry, it shows other devs that there are still gamers out there who yearn to be challenged both mentally and skill wise when playing their games.

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Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed that post! Stick around for more! 🙂

~ Mohit