Assassin’s Creed Series Stealth Viability Analysis

Being a more or less active part of Assassin’s Creed fan community, there are several things I noticed that are, one might say, constant among quite a big number of its members. For example, a lot of people say newer Assassin’s Creed installments that take place post-1700 don’t feel like a real Assassin’s Creed game because guns (and that’s despite the fact that our protagonist got a gun in Assassin’s Creed II, and our enemies received firearms in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood… oh, the irony).

One other thing that I see quite often is how the latest 2013 installment, Black Flag, is not assassin-y enough. That as a bombastic pirate adventure with a considerable naval part it’s a Pirate’s Creed rather than an Assassin’s Creed. One of the biggest reasons cited would be lack of stealth in comparison to previous games (Ezio’s trilogy especially, supposedly).

So I got curious. Whenever possible, I play Assassin’s Creed the stealthy way, and I remember quite a lot of stealth in Black Flag. So I wanted to compare how often stealth is a viable option in each of the games. And here are the results, a full spread sheet worth of information. Oh, and Assassin’s Creed IV has got the most stealth possibilities in the whole series, just so you know.

Here’s the link to the Google Spread sheet

Here are the principles I used in the calculations.
1) Each mission (unless it’s a cutscene mission) or substantial side activity gets 2 points to distribute.
2) If the mission has situations which can be fully completed stealthily, then both points get to the ‘stealth viable’ column.
3) If the mission doesn’t have situations where stealth is an option (for example, it’s an open combat mission) or doesn’t have a scenario where stealth makes sense (for example, it’s a mission where we follow an ally around an area) then both points go to ‘the ‘stealth not viable’ column.
4) If the mission does have situations where stealth is applicable, but at certain points forces you into an open combat or chase or any kind of action situation, then each column gets 1 point. The exception is escapes after assassinations. ‘Approach – Assassinate – Escape’ is the core principle of an Assassin’s Creed mission, so I decided that escaping after assassination should not detract from stealth viability if such one exists in the mission (not to mention they’re usually fairly short deals).
5) After all points are reassigned, I sum them up and see what’s the ratio between them.

Note that this system is not perfect. First, it doesn’t take into account if stealth is indeed an option, or it’s forced (i.e. you lose if you get noticed). It also doesn’t take into account quality of missions, their length (a 10 minute stealth mission has got the same value as a 2 minute stealth mission), and the distribution of stealth and other situations (i.e. a mission with 7 minutes of stealth and 3 minutes of combat is equal to a mission with 3 minutes of stealth and 7 minutes of combat). But, I noticed that the results I get in such a way are really similar (with around a 3% margin of error in total) to very detailed calculations, so I decided that the more general approach was good enough for my purposes. And it shows the big picture really well, I think.

If you don’t want to spend time going around the spread sheet, here’s a list of the final results.

AC1:
Main Campaign (34) – 56%
Investigations (92) – 58%
Total (126) – 57%

AC2:
Main Campaign (168) – 43%
Side Activities (110) – 61%
Total (278) – 50%

ACB:
Main Campaign (92) – 40%
Side Activities (132) – 64%
DLC (32) – 44%
Total (without DLC) (224) – 54%
Total (with DLC) (256) – 53%

ACR:
Main Campaign (94) – 45%
Side Activities (76) – 74%
Total (170) – 58%

AC3:
Main Campaign (88) – 39%
Side Activities (196) – 22%
DLC (54) – 54%
Total (without DLC) (284) – 27%
Total (with DLC) (338) – 32%

AC4:
Main Campaign (86) – 53%
Side Activities (188) – 63%
DLC (36) – 75%
Total (without DLC) (274) – 60%
Total (with DLC) (308) – 62%

And here are some ‘best of’ and ‘worst of’ lists.
AC1 has got the most stealth-viable main campaign, followed by AC4.
ACR is the game where stealth is viable the most in side-activities, followed by ACB.
AC4 is the game with the most stealth-viable DLC, followed by AC3.
But in total, AC4 is the game with the most stealth-viable content, followed by ACR.

AC3 has got the least stealth-viable main campaign, followed by ACB.
AC3 has got the least stealth-viable side content, followed by (with a HUGE difference) AC1.
ACB has got the least stealth-viable DLC, followed by AC3 (which in this case isn’t bad for AC3, since stealth in its DLC is very prominent).
In total, AC3 is the least stealth-viable AC game, followed by AC2 (with a fairly substantial difference between them, though).

Thanks for reading, hope you find this information useful one way or another.

Posted on September 22, 2014, in Game Design and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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