Assassin's Creed series

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Brief

Short description of the game.

See entry[1] at Wikipedia and the Assassin's Creed wiki for more details[2]

Main Gameplay Design Patterns

Gameplay

Some Achievements are also represented within the Game World, for example through paintings of important targets assassinated. [3]

Algorithmic Agents

Eagle Vision

Notoriety rating

Minimap, including distance left


Game World Exploration

Traverse

Maneuvering

The gameplay is explained as reliving memories, but with the abilities to choose what to do. Failures in the game are explained as desynchronization between what the player tries do to and what Ezio actually did. This concept of desynchronization is also used to bound the player diegetically in what is possible to do and not, letting the gameplay be limited so it follows the intended narration as well as forcing players to behave according to Ezio's personality, e.g. not kill innocent (killing one warns the player and killing three causes desynchronization).

Hit points, some regeneration

The Truth

Puzzles

e.g. finding specific objects in images


Actions

Movement, interactionm, speak

Actions are contexual depending on both weapon and location, e.g. hiding in carts or hanging on ledges make special assassination possible.

Goal Structures

Stealth is for most part of the game a Continuous Goal.


All quests can be accepted or declined.

Codex pages

Completed goals are cataloged in a DNA structure, with the main goals sorted as part of different Sequences of the game narration. Additional, options goals are stored in other categorizes with some classified as Secondary Memories.

The game also keep track of Gameplay Statistics in five categories: Overall, Fight, Navigation, Locked, Social.

Completion of goals are mapped to receiving Achievements.

Check Points

Assassination quests

Developing Cities

opening shops, renovating places

Renovating places grants access to small new areas with treasure chests, so a part of the investment is quickly returned, and needed to get all treasure chests.

All aspects that increase the value of the city increase its income, and in this sense money is a Renewable Resource in the game.

Treasure chest collects the accumulated income. It functions as a Container with a limit, motivating players to return to it at regular intervals (i.e. has Traverse goals).

Collections

Codex pages, feathers, models, seals, paintings, portraits of targets

Finding tombs

Equipment

Non-Player Characters

Historical figures such as Leonardo da Vinci

Due to the story, guards are a permanent types of Enemies in the game. However, they do not attack as soon as they notice you due the possibility of avoiding to draw attention to oneself in various ways. How suspicious guards are of Ezio is shown both by Game Status Indicators but of utterances they make.

Money can also be acquired by stealing from NPCs on bumping into, but this of course attracts attention.

Those NPCs that can be interacted with in other ways than opponent in battle or victims of theft have a glow, a Geospatial Game Widget.

Doctors

Art Merchant

Fast Travel Stations

Tailors

Blacksmiths


Ezio can draw attention to him by failing to Diegetic Social Norms, e.g. starting to climb walls and banners.

Attention can be avoided by Blending with NPCs, which is done by simply moving as a group of them do or sitting on benches together with them. This is indicated with a glow, a Geospatial Game Widget when done successfully.

Officials

Mercenaries, Thieves, and Courtesans can be hired as Allies to help Ezio either to avoid detection by distracting guards or to support him in battle.

NPCs do fight or flee depending on how their odds to win are, and through this show a Sense of Self. They also focus their attention to odd behavior and situations, e.g. looking at corpse on the ground and commenting on them. In this sense they have Context Dependent Reactions but do no active action to restore the environment to its former state (which is not necessary since corpses are simply removed when the player does not see them).


Escort NPCs to certain place, i.e. have Delivery goals.

Game World

All known places in the game world where services, treasures or new quest are available can be see on the game map. By selecting any of these are being current targets, players can guide themselves there through how the mini map shows which direction Ezio need to travel in to get there.

Navigation

Assassin's Creed 2 makes use of Diegetically Outstanding Features in the form of bird droppings to convey where the Ezio can make Leaps of Faith actions, long falls that safely end in carts filled with hay or leaves (note that these are not examples of the Leap of Faith pattern since players know beforehand that they are safe to do). Birds are typically also located near these places, but the birds also act as Diegetically Outstanding Features for showing where next to go in some Optional Goals, such as finding tombs.

Another example of Diegetically Outstanding Features are the viewpoints which are located on many of the tallest buildings in the game world. These, which are indicated by Eagles either perching on the spot or circling above them, allow the player to update the game map with new marker. Since there is a certain challenge to reach them, and the game keeps track of how many one has found, the unlocking of marker that help Game World Navigation is also Optional Goals. The viewpoints always have Leap of Faith actions associated with them, so that players have access to Quick Returns.


Treasure chests provide an additional way to get money, and the number of treasures found are kept track of as a Gameplay Statistic.


Areas not yet accessible are shown with a slight glimmer, and these act as Invisible Walls but are given an deigetic explanation through missing information in the database which cause desynchronization.


Posters

Looting takes some time (making it an Interruptible Action) so it cannot effectively be done during combat.

The Optional Goals of locating tombs, e.g. the Il Duomo's Secret quest, require much Maneuvering to complete. A combination of Save Points and Quick Returns break down the task in smaller units. Quick Returns are also used to be able to get to the main game world after finishing without having to navigation ones way back.

Other Noteworthy Aspects

Developer

Ubisoft Montreal

Publisher

Ubisoft

References

  1. Wikipedia entry for Assassin's Creed 2
  2. Entry for Assassin's Creed 2 at wikia.com
  3. List of achievements on the Assassin's Creed wiki on wikia.com.

References to external sources that describe the game, e.g. Wikipedia entries.

Contributions

Place to acknowledge people that have provided examples and insights but not directly worked on the description.