Assassin's Creed

My stealth experience in Valhalla


My stealth experience in Valhalla

Hi all! I'll try to write my thoughts in an orderly manner, but I'm not a huge monologue writer. And I'm not a voice of any community or fandom, I'm just a casual player who loves Assassin's Creed for it's story framework and core gameplay systems. /u/SparkedSynapse wrote a very insightful post about the problems in stealth in Valhalla. In that post i was encouraged to form my opinions in a separated post, so I will do that.

Perspective

In this discussion, I will compare stealth mechanics mostly to the two games which came before Valhalla. The reason is that these last three games have a lot of common gameplay elements, plainly they're quite similar.

Origins

When Origins released, I personally was blown away how well it handled stealth. This game utilized very restrictive rpg mechanics but at the same time kept stealth fully viable and for me very enjoyable. There are two things I really like about it. One: you still can use tools, (sleep darts, smoke bombs, poison darts) and you can get quite creative with them (example: apply sleep dart on smoked guards, throw sleep dart to fire for AoE). Two: the awareness of guards were much more threatening (line of sight, detection speed), but you had the tools to overcame these obstacles or react for your own failings. So my preferred play-style was stealth in this game and I really loved it.

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Odyssey

This game for a lot of people is a black sheep for multiple reasons and one of them how it handles stealth. I will say I personally loved this iteration as well, when I learned how to play it. The statistics and active ability driven gameplay feels quite different to older games, since you don't have tools, and the level design not as stealth-friendly as in Origins. All that said it's not just viable, it's quite fun to play stealth (at least for me). You have multiple options to assassinate enemies with a lot of HP, you can use equipment with high crit chance attribute or you can chain abilities to deal with them (this is my preferred method because it reminds me to chaining tools in the older games). For me the enemy behavior feels like as in Origins, and I still feel I have options for fun stealth.

Valhalla

When I started to play Valhalla, I expected the same gameplay feel for stealth as in Origins and Odyssey. I will talk about "gameplay feel" because I don't know if I can speak about ** rules *, because if there is any, I cannot define them by playing the game. This sentences describes my core problem I think, which is the * feel of inconsistency *. There is no way to tell if you will be seen in a roof, or in ground or anywhere. And this problem applies to traditional line of sight gameplay and social stealth, which in truth mostly still line of sight based. The contextual social stealth spots are almost useless, but the funny thing is that this whole distrust area gameplay concept would work fine without it, if the detection were consistent. Since you don't know if you will be seen or not, you cannot choose actions, because in a lot of cases you don't know it the repositioning of the character or an assassination is a safe move. I will tell tough there are scenarios where you can be certain of your invisibility, but the problem is not that, the problem is that you cannot expose yourself by following gameplay rules, which means there is no * risk management **, there is only slow stealth or failing. As it stands the only viable stealth gameplay tactic now is that I try to use stealth, I will fail and hide again. This is as fun as it sounds, not the worst case but could be better. And this problem is magnified by the fact that you don't really much good options for hiding again. You can play dead, which is slow, you can use smoke bomb but in only a very specific context and it's not potent at all. I'm really dissapointed with the state of stealth because the level design and the interactivity of them tells you that it could be good, but the detection behavior wrecks it all to hell. And lastly I have to say: I don't know what the heck stealth difficulty does, if anything.

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Thank you for reading, I would like to read your opinions, and I would like to encourage you to post it if you're not satisfied with the stealth system in Valhalla. Maybe if there's no change we still can understand how it operates together.

Have a nice day!

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