Save Me From Assassin's Creed III's Creepy Nightmare-Children

The Assassin's Creed series has always been full of weird ambient dialogue. People on the street mutter the same few lines, and the mix never sounds quite right. Most of us have less-than-fond memories of the "Mah-ney mah-ney mah-ney!!" guy from earlier games in the series, and those accursed bums who bump and bug us as we try to look cool and flit about the streets.

While Assassin's Creed III thankfully doesn't feature any physically aggressive passersby, it does feature the weirdest, creepiest NPCs I've met all year -- those ghastly children.

They roam in packs of three. They laugh like Pennywise the Clown and gesticulate like… I don't know, like they're doing a magic trick? And everywhere you go, they follow.

I wouldn't mind the kids except for the fact that every time I see them the game plays the same audio loop, over and over and over and over and over again. Seriously. One audio file, repeated with such frequency that I just can't believe no one working on the game noticed it.

I've been playing ACIII again on PC (the PC version just came out on Tuesday), this time with a mind towards finishing it. Despite the fact that I've been very disappointed with the game, I'm determined to really dig in and get into it, to better understand what it's all about.

Happily, the PC version runs much more smoothly than consoles, and whether it's because of the sizable patch that's been released or the increased power of the PC, I'm seeing fewer bugs and weird transitions than I did on 360. (Though there sure still are bugs.)

I'm playing with an open mind, and want to be sure I don't overlook the things I really do like to focus only on the things I don't. But the repeated, looping sound effects remain baffling to me. How did no one notice how strange they are? In an early mission, you attempt a rescue of a guy who has been swept on a log down a river. "Aaah! Help meeee!" he screams, over and over and over and over again, his audio on an incessant loop. In a bar fight, a guy gets stuck on a table and begins shouting "Too slow, I'm afraid!"

That kind of thing happens so often Assassin's Creed III that I have to wonder: What drives the decision to make audio loop like this? Who on earth hears it and doesn't immediately think, "This sounds weird! We should fix it!" Is this actually the kind of thing that can happen haphazardly, or by accident? Can it really be that at some point, someone said, "Well, all of our ambient audio is looping constantly, but there's nothing we can do about it"? It seems unlikely, but if you have insight into this sort of thing, I hope you'll pipe up in the comments.

All I know is, if those kids ever come for me in real life, I will run the other way and never look back.


    ...the first time I heard the "Orphans" I thought they were Mental Institution Kids....and since them have considered them just that. Utterly useless. Even in a Follow mission, a group followed me and the person didn't notice/care.

    passers by that dont piss you off? every guard that bumps me ends up dead

      haha I always run around with my hidden blades out, makes him look like wolverine or something. Guards get disposed if they're in my way.

    Really going to dig in? A light trowel should do it, not a shovel worthy game.

    Im really enjoying itso far - it looks absolutely incredible on PC - I wouldlike to see sligtly better draw distance though

    I apologise in advance; this has turned into a rant. It was originally just engaging the "little bugs that playtesters should have seen" point, but what the hell.

    Unfortunately, you can't kill them, like you could the other "annoying" NPCs in the past.

    This game is confusing. You can tell that 95% of it is a labour of love with hours of time, heart and research poured into it. On the other hand there is 5% of just stupid rookie mistakes that Ubisoft should NOT be making. The sort of thing playtesters SHOULD have realised. Half of the minor gripes I have would probably take absolutely minimal effort to fix. Eg: the weapon/assassin menus take WAY too long to open. AC2 & co were almost instant, whereas I now have to wait for the animation and then scroll through a slow linear list to get to the Horse Whistle. Eg. Double Assassinations are stupidly hard to position on the ground and it's hard to tell if a target is within reach - they remain highlighted the same shade of white, just there are faint sparkles on them. Map coverage - View Points cover a very small portion of the map. This means stuff that you need to find is often totally hidden until you walk RIGHT PAST IT. Some of the Liberation missions were almost impossible to find because of this.

    Major gripes:
    - Stealth has been basically ignored from a mission perspective (despite the massive improvements to the system) and large-scale climbing has been dumbed down to the point where you can hold the high-profile trigger and a direction to complete them. Again, the great engine upgrades are totally wasted.
    - Weapons/Armour/Crafting. No increased ability to take hits as you progress - armour of some form would be nice. You have a small selection of weapons available from the shop which are priced obscurely and do not improve. The only way to get better weapons is a craft. Missed the appropriate artisan recruitment mission (ie. Blacksmith)? Too bad. No more weapons for the ENTIRE GAME. WTF?

    What gets me is that these major gripes are all non-existent in the AC2 era. Pure stealth missions were abundant and interesting infiltrations matter. Weapons/Armour were available IN THE SHOP and scaled with the story. All side-missions could be done at ANY TIME.

    Don't get me wrong, it's a great game. It just could have been SO much more with a tiny extra bit of thought and well-placed effort. I personally couldn't give a toss about getting everything so authentic, if it was the price for better gameplay and characters.

    The children's "laugh" sounds like it belongs to the lobotomised children from the Skool Daze level of American McGee's Alice. I get creeped out every time I run past them.

    Reminds me of the kids from "passion of the Christ" chasing judas

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