Assassin’s Creed Shadows Seems To Have Superior Graphics At The Cost Of Gameplay

Ubisoft's new main title of the series seems amazing from a visual perspective. However, it does not deliver on gameplay.

Story Highlights

  • The game features excellent graphics but lacks combat, which does not do justice to the fans.
  • Fans were expecting to go stealth mode on the roofs of Japan, but it seems otherwise.
  • Is Ubisoft doing it for the fans or the money?

When Assassin’s Creed Codename Red was announced on September 11, 2022, I was in a state of bliss. Ubisoft had a big reveal stating the upcoming games in the Assassin’s Creed lineup, but Codename Red caught my eye.

It was announced to be the main game, released in 2024. They also told the fans that this game is set in feudal Japan. Hearing Japan, the first thought that came into my mind was how I would be able to do parkour over the architecture of Japan.

As Ubisoft claimed they were returning to their roots, I also expected some good stealthy action. However, Ubisoft Forward happened recently, and oh boy, do I have bad news for all of us. The game looks undercooked and highly outdated. The stealth seems poor and lackluster. The enemy AI is poorly designed, and this does not seem like a triple-A title. Let us discuss the game and its flaws in detail.

Good Visuals But Lackluster Gameplay

The Lackluster Combat Of Assassin's Creed Shadows
The Lackluster Combat Of Assassin’s Creed Shadows | Image By eXputer

The recent trailers and gameplay showed promise in terms of fidelity. However, when the actual gameplay was revealed, the combat felt short of satisfying or even up to date. The overall mechanics of the game seem unoptimized. I was looking forward to the game until I saw utter jank when Yasuke killed the other enemies. The enemies had little to no density and felt like paper being swung around like a bag.

YouTube video

Things took a turn for the better when Naoe’s section was introduced. It took us back to the Assassin’s Creed layout that we all love and cherish. You start infiltrating a castle in stealth mode to kill a single target.

The parkour looked okay—not as good as Assassin’s Creed Unity’s or any old titles, but it could still work. The disappointment kicked in when Naoe was forced to fight some enemies head-on. She swung her katana around, and the trees fell to the ground. The foliage is poorly designed, and the enemy responds even worse.

Hope Of Tsushima?

The Game Looks Visually Appealing
The Game Looks Visually Appealing | Image By eXputer

Even though Ghost of Tsushima is set during the Mongol invasion in 1274, Assassin’s Creed Shadows is set in the Feudal Japan era in the 1500s. I can not help but see uncanny similarities in both games. Taking inspiration from one game is good; for example, Nier: Automata inspired Stellar Blade, which came out fantastic. However, it seems Ubisoft is trying to capture what Ghost of Tsushima did directly, and they are not shy about it.

Let’s start by comparing the protagonists of both games. Both Jin Sakai and Yasuke seem to have experienced a personal loss. They are on a journey to avenge it and free themselves from their shackles, a common personality trait in video game protagonists.

YouTube video

The other aspect I found similar was the combat. In Ghost of Tsushima, you can have different stances for different types of katana-wielding. In Assassin’s Creed Shadows, you have various weapons, but they are not really that different. They are just another wielding katana with a skin layered on them.

The last thing taken directly from Ghost of Tsushima is the Parry system. At the precise moment, a white line appears where you must press parry. The same can be seen in Assassin’s Shadows when fighting Fujioka Jiro.

Poorly Executed Enemy AI And Voice Acting

The Enemy Seeing But Ignoring The Player, Poor AI
The Enemy Seeing But Ignoring The Player: Poor AI | Image By eXputer

The voice acting in the game seems a little disappointing, and that’s an understatement. Remember when people made fun of Elder Scrolls 4 Oblivion’s voice acting? Yep, this is precisely what it feels like. The characters have feeble basic voice acting. I hope Ubisoft works on it before releasing the game.

The other concern I have about the game is the enemy intelligence. There were multiple sections in the game where Naoe went past the enemy’s line of vision, but they did not react to it, and when they did react to it, she was already gone.

YouTube video

There was an extreme lack of awareness and inconsistent difficulties in multiple areas. On the one hand, you were clenching your toes because the enemies could be alerted ever so slightly, while on the other hand, you could run past them, and they would not notice. The enemy’s behavior is also very predictable.

Ultimately, I am still excited about an Assassin’s Creed game set in Japan. I hope Ubisoft fixes these problems, but I do not expect them. Pray together, fellow gamers.

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Najam Ul Hassan is a News Reporter on eXputer who enjoys investing hours in his favorite video game titles. When he’s not playing games, he’s practicing Journalism. He began his career on eXputer after combining his limitless love of video games and all things geek with his considerable writing experience. He has been cited numerous times by several noteworthy publications and sites such as Game Rant, Yahoo, PlayStation LifeStyle, VGC, VG247, TheGamer, among others. Experience: 2+ Years || Education: Masters in Mass Media Communication || Written 300+ News Stories.

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