10. The Customisation

Not only were there a host of cool new weapons in AC2, but Ezio’s clothes and capes could be dyed for some visual variety. Specific capes actually had some affect on NPC behaviour – an interesting idea. For AC3 we first begin to see Ubisoft overlooking some of the smaller details of the series. Sure, customisation (as simple as it was) was never an important feature of the games, AC2 introduced it as an extra for the player. But if you’re going to include a feature from a previous game, at least be consistent in the implementation of it.

For example, there were three levels of visual customisation of Ezio in AC2 – different pieces of armour, different capes (some that granted special in-game bonuses) and dyed clothing. All of these things could be purchased and seen in every cut scene of the game in real-time. By contrast in AC3, capes and armour aren’t appropriate to the time period so they are gone (fair enough), but if you buy Connor a new outfit in AC3 you can wear it in the game, just don’t expect to see it in any cutscenes. In order to make the cut scenes more cinematic, they have been pre-rendered. Sure those scenes look nicer, but no one would have complained if they were in-engine. It may seem like a small thing, but AC2 at least rewarded the player if they chose to alter their gear. It makes me ask: why did they even bother with dyed clothing if they didn’t really care about including them in cut-scenes? To throw the fans a bone? That bone was thrown 5 years ago and, surprisingly, it had a lot more meat for the player.

It’s a shame to see something so small, that was executed so well in a 5 year old game – be dismissed now. It’s a small thing, but it’s often the small touches that fans appreciate – often just as much as the big features.

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This article was first posted on December 4, 2012