Assassin’s Creed: Unity. If we were using numbers still, and every single Assassin’s Creed game were numbered, this would be the 7th game in the main line (or 8th, if you count Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, also releasing this fall, as the 7th). Apparently, there have be 13 other games in addition to these mainline titles, either on console, browser or mobile.

The series was originally introduced in 2007 – if you take the main line only, that’s (going to be just over) a game per year. If you include all pieces, that’s nearly 3 pieces of software each year for the last 7 years. 

And I can’t fucking wait to play AC: Unity. Seriously. French revolution? 18th century France? I’m there. I’m sold. Tell me nothing else about the game, and I’ll just see you online. 

Maybe it’s because I’ve played every single main line game and I’m invested in the series, or maybe it’s because the Assassin’s Creed games are generally very well made, have interesting settings and scratch my 3rd person adventure game itch each fall. I’m just not “le tired” of the series, and I don’t know what it will take for franchise fatigue to set in. I know what franchise fatigue is like – I’ve got it for the Call of Duty series, and there’s pretty much nothing Activision can do to bring me back into the fold. On the opposite end, Ubisoft and the AC series have delivered a consistently high-quality product with enough variation year-over-year that I’ll trust they show I shouldn’t.

What game franchises have you fatigued? 

Thursday, 8:58 am – Ricky

Yay matt! Way to post words on the internet!

I guess it’s tough to tell if you’re getting tired with a franchise, or instead, with a genre or mechanic. I’ve certainly had my fill of sprawling open-world third person shooters for the moment. Last year, I couldn’t get into GTA V, and I recently received Saints Row IV as part of this awesome Humble Bundle, but I have no interest in playing it… I think that “shooter” is the key word here, as I just played through Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor – a third-person action game in an open world – and loved every second of it!

For a while, I fell out of love with first-person shooters, but Destiny has brought me back into the fold. Maybe I’m just tired of Call of Duties level-up and reward mechanics? It’s tough to tell exactly what I’m fatigued by with each franchise. I guess that’s why it’s so amazing to have so much choice when it comes to games!

I installed Assassin’s Creed: Unity overnight with the intention of booting it up before work this morning and seeing if all of the negative press it’s been receiving is true. For context, my PC:

– i7 4770K
– 16 GB of DDR3 1600 Mhz RAM
– MSI GTX 760
– Latest nVidia drivers, “ready” for AC:U

My machine is no slouch. It’s not super high-end, but it can get the job done. AC:U looks gorgeous on boot-up, but even the intro sequence saw some stuttering and framerate issues. I tried to hope into nVidia’s GeForce Experience app to “automatically optimize” the game for my machine, but it couldn’t detect my copy of the game. I’ll have to hop in and tinker with the settings, but I think I’m good to just set it aside for a month and let Ubisoft patch it up. I’m ready and raring to go, but there’s no urgent need for me to play it in its current state. I’ll report back on it later on, but in the meantime, it’s more board games and possible some Splinter Cell: Blacklist or Deus Ex: Human Revolution for me.

Sneaky Sneaky.

Wednesday, 10:01 am – Gavin

Well well, matt lives!

I never really got into Assassin’s Creed.  I was always aware of its existence, but I couldn’t get excited about the game itself.  I suppose I’ve always liked combining stealth with being something of a pacifist – nonlethal takedowns in Deus Ex or Splinter Cell, for example.  With rare exception, I don’t want to be a murderous assassin (Splinter Cell: Conviction notwithstanding).  I got AC4 for free courtesy of that ridiculous Best Buy/Future Shop deal back in 2013, and I’m glad I didn’t pay for it.  I recognize it to be a good game, but it’s just one I couldn’t be arsed about.  I played two hours of it and decided that it wasn’t for me.  But then, I’m not much one for open-world games like that.  The developers spend ages building this games, and I don’t take advantage of them, so it feels like I’m wasting my time/money with them.

Speaking of Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft is getting some flak right now for issuing post-release embargoes on AC:Unity.  Reviewers were forbidden from publishing anything on the game until 12 hours (I think) after launch.  I can understand review embargoes up to launch day, but post-launch?  That screams anti-consumer.  Ben Kuchera at Polygon spoke at length about this issue:

On franchise fatigue, I definitely need to take a few steps away from the Zelda franchise.  Relatively recently, I played Ocarina of Time 3D, my first exposure to the game.  It was a great title and I was happy to play it, even if it showed its age in parts.  When I bought Mario Kart 8, I got a free download of Zelda: Wind Waker HD.  I played this for several hours, got quite a ways into the game…and just stopped caring.  It’s not that it’s a bad title (though there are parts I don’t like.  The first fortress is entirely forced stealth, which is so out-of-whack for the series – there have been forced-stealth sections before, like entering Hyrule Castle in Ocarina of Time or getting to the entrance of the Palace of Darkness in A Link Between Worlds, but nothing as lengthy as an entire dungeon); it’s just failing to grasp my attention.  I think I’m just a bit burnt out on that formula for now.  I’ll get back to it when Zelda U is released in 2015, but until then, I need a purge.  I think I just don’t want to play anything with too large a scope for the first time right now.  It’s sad, because A Link Between Worlds was my game of the year for 2013, but, these things happen.  It could just be that Wind Waker wasn’t my style.  It mostly has the ingredients, but I don’t think I’m in the right frame of mind right now.

To that end, while I will probably get Majora’s Mask 3D when it releases next year, I’ll probably need a bit of a break.

I think the best way for me to avoid franchise fatigue is to go back and play titles I already own, rather than jumping on new ones.  Fortunately, Smash Brothers isn’t my jam, so I’m not lining up for that one.  I started replaying Metroid Prime about two weeks ago, and I’m reminded why I love this game so much.  It’s been about five years since I played it the first time, and when I first played it, I wasn’t as crazy about it as I expected to be.  Flash forward, and now I’m focusing on all of the small details and really appreciating the stage design.  It’s fabulous!  The hint and guidance system is perfect – if you try to engage in an activity that you can’t do without a particular upgrade (for example, trying to roll up a half-pipe in morph-ball form, but without the boost ball capabilities), the game tells you almost immediately, which is perfect for not wasting my time, and lets me know to make a note to come back there when I do have the right equipment.

On that note, it’s reminding me that the #1 thing I want for a Metroid title on the Wii U (if I’m lucky enough to get one) is the ability to make a note on the map with the game pad so that I can remind myself to come back to a particular room later.

I also find that as time goes on, I’m liking “discrete” gaming more and more, where there’s a definite start- and end-point to a particular segment of a game.  It’s why games like Super Mario 3D World and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D are great for me.  As such, I’m really looking forward to Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.  It started out as a mini-game in SM3DW, and now they’re extending it to a full-length title.  I’m excited to see what they can do with puzzle creation and with the mechanics.  Plus, it’s a discount title – I think it’s $45 rather than $60.

I’ve been making the same point for years now, but I’m not spending much money on new games these days.  I have too much great stuff to go back and appreciate again.  I did that for years before, and I’ll do it for years afterward.  I’m getting to the point where I’ve reached catalogue saturation.  I can stand to pick up more 3DS titles because of the commute, but when I’m home, I have so many classics to replay!

Monday, 1:10 pm – matt

Interesting topic this week. I think anyone who has ever visited this site knows of Ricky’s love for Assassin Creed games. I grew tired of the franchise pretty quickly but it still goes strong so what do I know?

On the topic of franchise fatigue, Tomb Raider was a series that I was in love with growing up, but quickly spiraled out of hand the more games that were released. It took a while but the recent reboot that was released last year brought it all back in a comfortable package. I see my fondness for Grand Theft Auto growing stale, and I think I know the reason why.

As more games in a particular franchise release, the developers start feeling the need to add in more gameplay mechanics to drawn in more interest from their hardcore fans. This often involves bringing in elements from other gameplay types like Action/RPG/Simulation type games. The Assassin Creed franchise has kept true to is core – gamers like me might joke about the repetitive nature but at least UbiSoft didn’t introduce a magical sword that talks and can be leveled up as you go – its kept true to its form. Rock* I feel did the exact opposite with GTA 5 – after having made a near perfect game in GTA 4, I feel they tried to make a game that catered to everyone, rather than making a true GTA game the mass population flocked to (especially online).

I worry about my love for LBP actually, after several games across the playstation family, im not sure if they have evolved enough from one game to the next, especially for those of us who don’t take advantage of the level creator tools…

Monday, 7:40 am – Ricky