Patrice Désilets, Creator Of Assassin's Creed, Has Apologized About Gaming's Climbable Tower Epidemic
Taking the high ground.
Patrice Désilets, who created the much loved Assassin's Creed games, has opened up about one aspect of his enduring legacy as a designer. He's looked on as the architect of the popular Ubisoft series, having served as creative director on Assassin's Creed, Assassin's Creed 2, and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. He left Ubisoft in 2010 and eventually Panache Digital Games in 2014, and he now says he's sorry for inspiring a common trend we've seen in numerous games over the last decade: climbable towers.
In a Q&A panel with Destructoid at EGLX, one attendee asked Désilets if he's still considered "The Assassin's Creed guy," to which the creative director responded, "I dunno man! Honestly, I don't know. A little bit! If you're going to spend years on something I hope that happens."
Those early Assassin's Creed games popularised the concept of the climbable viewpoint, whereby you would reveal parts of the game map by scaling towers and syncronising the view. Other open-world Ubisoft games quickly adopted the mechanic, most notably the Far Cry series, and it made its way into a plethora of other games, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
"Breath of the Wild, wow!" Désilets exclaimed. "That was a game where you could do anything, once you finished the first half-hour or so. Now, you're going to just climb towers and unfog the rest of the map. Sorry...it's my fault..."
Désilets latest game--and Panache Digital Games' first--still features plenty of climbing, although there are no radio towers to be found. Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey puts you in the primitive body of an early hominid 10 million years in the past, with the goal of ensuring your lineage continues through to two million BC, when our ancestors' evolution transitioned from ape-like beings into a more human species.
Jordan Ramée handled GameSpot's Ancestor's review, saying "Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey lingers for far too long on its most toilsome aspects. The game does reward initial experimentation, but then asks you to repeat processes over and over again without any means of securing your legacy. It's an absolute grind to reach the closest that Ancestors has to an endgame goal--survive for eight million years--and one costly mistake, whether the game's or your own, can erase everything you've accomplished.
"What small satisfaction the game does provide is consistently ruined by violent predators, though the threat does lessen once you make it far enough into the neurological network's expansive skill and perk tree. But as it stands, investing in Ancestors' journey demands too much effort for too little reward."
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