Today, I want to show off the differences between E3 Demos and the end products of each mainline AC game, looking at level design, game design, and promises made by the demo. Ratings provided are based entirely on perceived accuracy to the end product based on mission structure, level design, gameplay features, etc; not based on how cool the demo was. For anyone not wanting spoilers, the Valhalla section may lightly cover some events in East Anglia.
This game is a little special, as it actually will get 2 demos shown, one from
and one from
. In 2006, we see a massive difference immediately. At that time, while not shown, players could use a crossbow (which would be cut due to balance issues and changed to throwing knives), could enter the city of Acre from different and more cinematic points, even riding a horse into the city. Not enough of the city is shown to be sure about the rest of the level design, though it does look a bit different from the final release. William’s assassination is also outside the walls of the fort rather than inside. Following the assassination, during the escape, the city gates are closed and the player loses health for being in combat, and desynchronization pushes them out to be Desmond again. Pretty much all of this changed as you can see from this
; though the 2007 demo is more or less 1:1 with the
Demo 1 rating – 3/10
Demo 2 rating – 10/10
Assassin’s Creed 2
Assassin’s Creed 2’s
is fairly similar to the end product, but also noticeably different. The team was clearly shaking up the mission a bit to help show more gameplay variety, but the product is still fairly similar to what is in the
. They changed the location of the flying machine to be more cinematic and made it during Carnevale, despite that being a bit early in the real game. There’s also a minor difference in the cutscene showing Carlo Grimaldi's anticipation of Ezio’s arrival. I think this is more likely due to the other minor changes for the E3 demo rather than rewrites or changes to the game between E3 and release.
Demo rating – 7/10
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
is more or less the same as what we got in the
. The big differences are that they cut the Caterina sex scene from the gameplay demo, allowed players to navigate to the horse rather than starting them off on the horse, and at the very end, it shows assassin recruits climbing the Colosseum, which they don’t entirely do in the final game.
Demo rating – 9/10
Assassin’s Creed Revelations
Like Brotherhood, the
for Revelations is almost exactly the mission in the
. The only noticeable differences are guards present and some dialogue changes due to cutting the Sofia dialogue for E3 and changing the captain to Piri Reis in the final cut.
Demo rating – 9.5/10
Assassin’s Creed 3
just straight up is not representative of the final product. The level design of the fort is the same, but in the demo, it shows a small settlement in the frontier that Connor visits, get side missions from, and then talks to a soldier before moving into a mission in Sequence 8 to kill Silas Thatcher. This settlement doesn’t exist, nor do these quests in the main game. In Sequence 8 in the final game, Connor is imprisoned in New York. Silas, meanwhile, was killed in
by Haytham and his associates. A lot of devs have talked about this game, and how Haytham was placed in late, Philadelphia being cut somewhat late, multiple rewrites, and difficulties keeping track of the developers across like 10 studios with insane time zone differences causing leads to be up for 24 hours or more at a time. I believe the cutting of Philadelphia is what caused the rewrites and addition of Haytham, which is why he kills Silas so early instead of Connor. Ultimately the most representative part of this gameplay is the parkour and killing wolves.
Demo rating – 1/10
Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag
is fairly similar to the
with a few minor differences, likely altered to avoid spoilers. The Demo says the setting is 1717 west indies, while the game is 1718 North Carolina. The demo also features throwing knives at a person to “flush out a rat”. The biggest difference in the gameplay is contextual animations for blending, something that only came in-game with Valhalla. Plants did move in AC4 but only on the Xbox One and PS4 versions. There are some mild level design changes as well, extending the land mission before the mission ends with Blackbeard’s death. The ending cutscene on the demo was also mildly different but again was likely cut to avoid spoilers.
Demo rating 7/10
Assassin’s Creed Rogue
Rogue was not announced at E3, instead showcasing itself at Gamescom where this
debuted. It shows 2 gameplay segments, one open-world ship fighting, which is fairly accurate to the launched title other than Haytham Kenway being a regular part of the crew. The second is Lac Eternel which is again basically the same as the
Demo rating – 9/10
Assassin’s Creed Unity
shows off a ton of features in the game, however, the mission is nonexistent in the final product. Captain Xavier and these public executions and assassinations around them are not in the game, the importance of social clubs and enemy faction control was massively overplayed, and at the end, it shows multiple players joining in, despite the fact that the main story does not allow for co-op play at all.
Demo rating – 3/10
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Syndicate leaked in December of 2014 and Ubisoft immediately confirmed it, and then waited until May to show off their
. The opening cutscene doesn’t appear in the final product to the best of my knowledge, but the final gang hideout and fight with bloody Nora is more or less the same, as is the gameplay. It’s definitely interesting to see how much changed in the 5 months between the Victory leak and Syndicate reveal, but the demo shown was ultimately fairly representative of the final product.
Demo rating – 8.5/10
Assassin’s Creed Origins
Rather than a small
, Origins offered a gameplay trailer showing Medunamun’s assassination. The guard paths are a little different, and I’ve never had Medunamun run away like that before, however, the gameplay shown and level design is more or less the same as the
. The biggest issue I saw was that the dialogue implies Bayek just entered Siwa and his constant narrations that do not occur in-game. It also shows Bayek with a hidden blade at that point, which he did not yet have.
Demo rating – 8/10
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
The short 8-minute
is quite a bit different compared to the full 2-hour demo and the final product. The 2-hour demo is more or less the same as the final product other than Kassandra getting sick from a storm, however, this demo focuses on mercenaries, combat, conquest battles, and dialogue options. The gameplay is very indicative of what to expect from
, even if the story changed a fair bit between demos.
Demo rating – 8/10
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
for Valhalla is 30 minutes long, the longest of any initial gameplay demo. It jumps around between a few missions and pivotal moments to highlight gameplay. While a few weapon placements and ration limits have changed, overall the demo showing of East Anglia shows what you’ll get from the
Demo rating – 9/10
- Run for 100% on every Assassin’s creed game
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