For the record, this is not foreshadowing. Our review is coming soon; this is merely a question for discussion.

You might spot a growing trend with the Assassin's Creed III reviews that are headed your way: The game will be viewed as an accomplishment of the highest order, with the obvious exception of a few easily noticed bugs and glitches.

The question is obvious- What exactly qualifies as an "acceptable" flaw, and what factors must one consider in determining the requisite criticism? A game like ACIII is ridiculously large and ambitious so perhaps one should be more lenient when it comes to such errors. On the other hand, isn't that a slippery slope? In some ways, a lot of games are ambitious; it can't be okay to simply dismiss or purposely overlook glaring flaws just because the designers had a very tough task.

After all, isn't it important to accept one's limitations? Ubisoft has already said that they barely fit ACIII onto current hardware (with the help of the new AnvilNext engine), and that should tell you something. Maybe this is a project that would've been a better fit for better hardware, and it was a mistake to try jamming it onto current systems just for the sake of high holiday sales. But if the bugs in question don't significantly hinder the gameplay experience and are mostly only visual in nature, isn't it more of a "graphic-whore" commentary to condemn the entire game for those graphical miscues? Aren't we missing the larger point?

Then again, if the AI isn't very good, that does have an impact on the experience, although to what extent is largely subjective. It's a difficult question to be sure, and it's one people will be arguing over for the next few weeks. What do you say?

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Temjin001
Temjin001
8 years ago

I've read or listened to a variety of issues with ac3. Some of which are graphics, and others concern loading times, or even missions that don't complete properly because of bugs. I say these things need to be accounted for and shouldn't be found in premium quality games. I think this is especially so for a game that has received a ridiculous amount of promotional campaigning throughout nearly the entire year. If there's one thing I think everyone can agree with game critics on is bringing to light bugs. Those annoying flaws, not subjective preferences of how a player believes a game ought to be, but straight up flaws or problems that everyone hates. Their weighted determent to the overall experience will be up to anyone.

AC3 PS3 metacritc sits at 87 right now. Their list hasn't updated with some recent reviews by other metacritic frequenters like, Edge 8, Destructoid 7.5, 1UP 80, and Joystiq 7.
Honestly, I'm a little surprised by the scores actually. It seems AC3 wasn't the goty candidate everyone expected it would be.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 10/30/2012 10:32:19 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

Proof that the yearly release schedule is problematic. Doesn't matter if AC3 has been in development for numerous years, when you put these same games out every year there's just too much it has to do to stay relevant (especially when it's not an MP shooter).

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

A few things to note, Temjin:

In terms of reviews, Edge is extremely unreliable (they give Uncharted and Killzone games 7s and 8s, too), Destructoid is useless (gave Heavy Rain a 4), and I think Joystiq does 5-star rating, not a 10-point scale.

If we're going to be objective, we should probably count the perfect scores from G4TV and The Escapist, a 95 from EGM and Game Informer, a 92 from GameTrailers, and 90s from Eurogamer and and Strategy Informer. Both GameSpot and IGN gave it an 8.5.

As is typically the case, the average score is misleading because outlying scores on the very low end aren't treated as the statistical outliers they are. 🙂

Killa Tequilla
Killa Tequilla
8 years ago

I will accept any bug AC3 has to offer as long as it's not game breaking and I enjoy the game.

Temjin001
Temjin001
8 years ago

Ben I mostly have problems with Edge concerning their exclusives I havent seen anything foul at play with their multiplats. But i havent really looked. They do at least have some of the most professional writers in terms of writing quality in the biz. i mention Destructoid only because they're an aggregate. Anyhow, I've come to learn it isn't any one site for me to acknowledge or dismiss and I take things case by case editor by editor. I've read good to terrible articles from most sites at some point or another. Joystiq uses 5 stars, including half stars. A 10 point system. They gave it a 3.5 star rating.
Right now I don't see any statistical outliers. Recalling a statistics course I took, a statistical outlier is data that is more than two standard deviations from the mean. Judging by the more comprehensive aggregate for the 360 release, a score of 85 which mentions most the sites I failed to list and you pointed out, the high is 100 and the low is 70. That's 15 points up or down from the average. If I saw a 30 or 40, I'd be worried too, but right now everything is within tolerance.

I look forward to AC3 despite the lesser than I expected critical reception at the aggregate level and ill probably enjoy it plenty.
I've gotten use to loving what some critics hate anyhow (thinks of ign's Mitch dyer's NG3 and Double Dragon Neon reviews….. a 3!!! )
=p

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

Those publications may be crazy folks but when you add them into the average it does sometimes even out the ones who go nuts and overscore what they like.

Anyway the scores are still good and I'm still interested in the game for later on.

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

They should go Olympics style and drop the top and bottom 5% of reviews (since the number of reviews varries from game to game)

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
8 years ago

I found a obscure gaming site yesterday that even gave it a #3 rating, so I didn't bother to read their dribble.

And needless to say, that if if I could remember the name of that site, I'd never return to check out anything even related to their site ever again.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

** "Didn't bother to read their drivel."

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

Is screen tearing back with a vengeance? It is getting good scores but not elite scores like everyone expected. I think Dishonored has just lost its competition for GOTY in the dust.

In considering a review certain things can be overlooked if they are properly balanced elsewhere, which means you can shift the score inside a small margin of error but glaring problems that qualify as unforced errors that must have been obvious to the devs and playtesters should be punished especially if they were left in to hit a release schedule like the one AC has.

Temjin001
Temjin001
8 years ago

Looking at this years highest PS3 aggregates we have…

ME3 93
Journey 92
Borderlands 2 91
Xcom 90
Dishonored 87

I don't doubt PSXe's goty may be Dishonored, but I think we'll see a variety of goty picks at the year's end judging by the critical aggregates.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

ME3 is going to have trouble after the scandal, Journey is going to have to fight being a downloadable title, Xcom won't make it, so I'd say Borderlands 2 is the other big runner, metacritic scores aside.

Temjin001
Temjin001
8 years ago

I think ME3's "scandal" was more due to a relatively small but very vocal crowd of complainers and not a failure of critics. People who care too much for virtual characters and believe they should have had a say in how the story ought to be written. I'd hope most critics stand behind their evaluation at the time it was written and the game it was pertaining to and not the raft of negative outburst media attention the game received subsequently. That really shouldn't have a bearing on an assessors perception of quality. At least, I'd hope anyway.

dmiitrie
dmiitrie
8 years ago

@World: While I have to admit that ME3, AC3, and Dishonoured will most likely get the lions share of GotY awards, why do you dismiss XCOM so completely? It's averaging a 90, so reviewers obviously see it as an elite title; it has zero major bugs or glitches; and it's sold relatively well. I'll grant you that strategy is a niche genre, but again, the reviews don't seem to hold that against it.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

I should say, obviously there will be tons of GOTY awards so they will all get a few votes but there tends to be some general agreement of what was the year's best offering among the more high profile publications. As you say Xcom is niche and it would be unusual to see that grab the GOTY in an across the board manner even if it got 10s. Generally it is a game that a lot of gamers were drawn to and played. I think Borderlands 2 has the best chance at grabbing it now, though I'd like it to be Dishonored 🙂

Highest aggregate score or even best quality product doesn't necessarily translate to top game for the year is what I'm trying to say. The ME3 flap may not even have been warranted but it mars the image of the release horribly. I'm sure some sites that are big fans of strategy shooters will be happy to give it to Xcom.

Jawknee
Jawknee
8 years ago

From what I can tell from viewing the game online there doesn't appear to be any screen tearing. I picked up Liberation and there is zero tearing in that game so hopefully AC3 won't have any either.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

yay, I know most gamers don't notice or care, but it drives me crazy for some reason.

Jawknee
Jawknee
8 years ago

I absolutely hate it. In my opinion it's one of the worst offenses a developer can make when it comes to quality control. There's no reason for it other than pure laziness.

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

I haven't noticed screen tearing yet. I know it when I see it too, but it doesn't usually bother me too badly, unless it takes place during a cutscene. Anything out of the ordinary during a cutscene pulls me right out of the experience completely.

So far it's been the musket in mid-air, a limb on a dead guy freaking out, some weird… not freezing… but like freezing… during high intense moments (not always). It's hard to explain. You notice something off happening, but it happens so quickly, you're not really sure what it was. And then during a cutscene, one character's mouth didn't move during their lines. That was the one that annoyed me. The others were just sort of humerous.

YesterdysRising
YesterdysRising
8 years ago

I've played the game for a couple hours today. I haven't seen too many glitches but there was one time when a character's mouth didn't move when he was talking and I was actually just thinking about how it bothers me that your clothing goes right through the horse when you're riding it. I don't think it's that big of a deal but it made me think about Nvidia's Physx. I think it would be cool to incorporate that technology into the PS4. Maybe have a dedicated card, unless the CPU and/or GPU could handle it too. Some people say it's just a gimmick but I actually think it improves the experience quite a bit. Yes, it's still "eye candy" but who doesn't enjoy that? It can make a game more immersive! A few PC games that come to mind are Mafia II, Metro 2033 and Borderlands 2. The physx in those games are really cool and I'd love to see it in next gen. I think that's one thing Sony could add to their next console to outshine the competition.

As for the article, I don't think it was a mistake for them to put the game on current consoles. I haven't played a ton of it yet but it seems to be of high quality so far. No matter what game you play, there's always glitches here and there. No game will ever be perfect. That being said, I think these small issues are acceptable as long as the game is not unplayable at any time in the game. If you can progress from beginning to end without a glitch interfering with the ability to understand what's going on in the game and interact accordingly, I think the game is perfectly worthy of release. And hey, that's what patches are for. If I hear a game I'm interested in has some bigger problems, I just wait till a significant patch comes out. And it's usually cheaper by then anyways 🙂

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

I agree. There certainly are glitches and small errors, but nothing game breaking (not yet, anyways) It's still extremely fun so far.

@World
If you read this, I've been having to adjust to the control a bit, and I bump into people I don't mean to (I totally admit it's because I make him do it because I haven't mastered control yet). But it feels differently than the previous AC's. I think in the past, the characters sort of… helped the controller. I never had the problems you did, perhaps because the game was trying to "help" you in ways you didn't want help, whereas me or Ben subconsciously expected it to help us the way it's designed to, and thus, no issues. I wonder if you'll find you have more control in this one… it definitely feels like a different design even if the button mapping is similar.

Norrin Radd
Norrin Radd
8 years ago

I've experienced a number of bugs so far too. Nothing game breaking, but I felt like a ga e promoted as highly as this one was would be more polished. There are a number of issues, IMO. The characters Re far too stiff in their movement. It overall lacks a sense if fluidity to me. JMO, but that's what it gpfeels like so far.

OTOH, the story is great and very immersive and the gameplay is solid, if a bit slow. I also find the menu system a bit unintuitive.

I've been playing a ton of BL2 lately and it seems like everything else I play is just missing some of that games tightness in the gameplay and visuals department. YMMV.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
8 years ago

Issues, are issues, if they are there they should be noted. Regardless of scope. Plenty of games this gen have suffered from it, AC3 should be no different!

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
8 years ago

I am surprised that AC3 isn't getting the same free pass that Skyrim got so far.

Oh well, the game will be played plenty at my house regardless.

dmiitrie
dmiitrie
8 years ago

According to Ben above, ACIII got a couple of perfect scores and several more 90+s. So, it sounds like the aforementioned bugs and glitches aren't holding it back too terribly much.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

Skyrim didn't actually get a pass, it's just that nobody played it long enough to break it in their review.

sawao_yamanaka
sawao_yamanaka
8 years ago

Yea I know. Skyrim, fallout 3, fallout new Vegas all have glitches and bugs and somehow they were all given a pass. Sucks that since we are so connected with online and gaming that any company can release a "half-released" game :. The game is fun though. Haven't run into any of these glitches yet.

Temjin001
Temjin001
8 years ago

Free pass? No. Bethesda dodged the backlash by shipping everyone the 360 version of the game for review, even psxe. Ben made it a point he was reviewing a 360 version.
Suspicions were high at that time because of this stunt. Critics were played my friend by the publisher. No free passes.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

I take issue with that, as different games there has to be different bugs and glitches which are or are not forgivable. Due to the insane number of options and giant worlds in Bethesda games more things can be let go. There must be different standards in place for different kinds.

Killa Tequilla
Killa Tequilla
8 years ago

See this is why you wait for the GOTY edition. All DLC plus patched!

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

yup

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

and cheaper!

But I couldn't help myself. *sob*

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

Yes Ben. Yes. Some bugs and glitches *are* acceptable in games as huge and ambitious as this.
We, the gaming community, should stop being so god damn anal about this. The glitches should be noted in a review, they should not be ignored or covered over, but yes YES, there are such a thing as an acceptable bug or glitch.

When I read people refusing to buy a fantastic game because of sporadic screen tearing, a few distant pop-ups during hectic sequences or minor drops in the frame-rate that adds up to a small minute during a ten HOUR long campaign – and the amount of gamers who express stuff like this is on the rise – I cringe. I get sick. It only shows how incredibly *spoiled* we are these days.

So again – yes, Ben. The answer to that question is a sounding YES. 🙂


Last edited by Beamboom on 10/31/2012 2:08:11 AM

___________
___________
8 years ago

depends on what they are.
if it causes the game to freeze for a second than continue progress than who gives a %$#@!?
if it causes the system to freeze to the point you have to pull the power cable out, the PS button and power buttons dont respond, than upon rebooting the game your save file is corrupted, than no its not acceptable!

really dont like the sudden trend of day one massive patches fixing game breaking bugs.
first MoH than AC3, whats next?
publishers really need to stop this, if its getting to the point where retail disks are so buggy they need a massive day one patch than the game never should of passed certification in the first place!

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
8 years ago

I think that it depends on the severity of them. If they're not game breaking and don't detract too much from the game, where's the issue. If it's Skyrim all over again and the damn thing basically doesn't work after a fairly reasonable amount of time spent in the game for the content that it offers, then we've got us a problem. And from what I gather, the issues with ACIII are primarily the former. It's all good.

Rogueagent01
Rogueagent01
8 years ago

This for me is simple, minor graphical errors are perfectly acceptable to me, gameplay errors are not, and if quests are bugged, the game is broken, or if it has Bethesda type time and save issues then no they should be burned at the stake.

I look at NASA as a reference point. They have glitches everytime they put something in space. However they are usually very minor glitches that can be resolved with very little effort. But when you look at the one Mars Lander that had the altimeter put in wrong, then no it is not acceptable, that is a major glitch and people should lose their jobs.

Ambition and Scope have nothing to do with it(to me). Just because you can reach for the stars doesn't mean you are ready to go too the stars. When you have a truely ambitious idea or concept test it first. Use the downloadable market that is sitting right in front of you. Work out some of the bugs see if the scope is to grand and scale it appropriately.

Now though I find certain glitches, bugs, & issues acceptable I hope that critics do not. Many consumers look to critics for a honest review and if there are issues of any kind the games score should reflect that, especially since not everyone reads the reviews, some just look at the score.

wackazoa
wackazoa
8 years ago

Dude NASA glitches are unacceptable. For the ammount of money they spend to create things and send them on their way, no way dude. As smart as they are, they should test more and have thier stuff bulletproof. Some of thier glitches are just terrible.

Rogueagent01
Rogueagent01
8 years ago

Sure some of their glitches are terrible(the one about the lander is a prime example), but what you are asking is impossible. What NASA develops is being developed and tested within an atmosphere, that also has gravity. We can only do so many tests to ensure that things will work the same out in space. Also redundancies have become key over the last few decades because of some of the terrible glitches they have encountered. NASA and Space Agencies around the world have some of the best troubleshooters that have ever lived.

Unforunately no matter how much testing you do on something mechanical failures, programming errors, and simply the unforseen will always arise and throw a wrench into your best laid plans, that is a fact. And gaming like any other industry also suffers from these issues, nothing out there is perfect. That is also why I tend to lose interest in any critic that gives a perfect score, since to me it implies that, "that's it! everybody can stop trying to make a game within this genre as we have hit perfection" it doesn't exist and that is why I never want to see perfect scores. Certain bugs, glitches, and issues are acceptable to me and that is because I don't want nor expect perfection from anything in life.

wackazoa
wackazoa
8 years ago

I agree with you on the perfect scores, exactly. I see 10's (or 5's) and think just like you said, thats it. No more of this series/genre but you cant top perfect so why try. And I can understand glitches from an AI stand point.

As far as NASA I again agree with you that they have the best and brightess working for them. But when you take that and add in a huge budget then it makes you wonder what the hell is going on, where the money goes with some of their stuff.(The fact that alot of that stuff is paper thin makes you wonder what and why they spend their money on.) Thats all.

wackazoa
wackazoa
8 years ago

To me it depends….. If it is a scripted action by the game designers, the no bug is acceptable. If it is a game AI thing were-as it is reacting to your game style then it is accpetable. I do think it is difficult to program AI to react to gamers, when you watch youtube videos of the people play, who dont always play the game the way the devs. intended.

So AI glitches would be the only acceptable ones to me. The others are just poor quality control.

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

I haven't had any glitches ruin my experience to the point the game or a mission has broken on me. I've had things like a musket hanging suspended in mid-air. That was just funny. But during an early scene that was supposed to be high emotion, one of the character's mouths stayed sealed shut while the other character's mouths moved. It kind of sucks you out of the scene. Again, not something that makes me hate the game, or anything, but I did find it distracting! lol

I'm finding the analog control a little too sensitive, but I'm pretty sure that's just how this game controls and I'll get used to that soon enough.

Lastly, I've seen some parts of the game sort of… hiccup. Like, I don't know how to describe it… it's like a momentary freeze or flash. It's not the animus glitching that is supposed to happen. It happens when I counter attack sometimes. It's actually when the musket I talked about earlier froze in mid air… during a counter attack. Hopefully, that doesn't make the game freeze on me in high stress moments.

Zeronoz
Zeronoz
8 years ago

See an apple floating mid-air? Key characters not showing up? Well, the game didnt glitch, its the animus thats glitching! =)

jugheadjones
jugheadjones
8 years ago

I have been playing for about four hours and it seems to be solid, so far. I'm having a blast!

Temjin001
Temjin001
8 years ago

This got me thinking about something silly. So MK fans long awaited great arcade ports of the MK arcade games. In the past many hardcore fans disliked that certain exploits or glitches that were present at the arcades WEREN'T included in the home conversions. So the good guys who converted this latest MK Arcade Kollection opted for an exact replica of the arcade games, bugs and all.
Okay, who cares?
Well would-be fans noticed that Scorpian's "Get over here! was glitched with just "Get…" in their much sought after "arcade perfect" home conversion of the MK code. Small but vocal protesters got all mad because they believed it was a shoddy port job of the arcade code.
The reality? That sound glitch is an actual bug from the arcade and they got exactly what they asked for.

Can't please 'em all =)


Last edited by Temjin001 on 10/31/2012 3:02:24 PM