Death To Fall Damage

One of the things I love about Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, a game full of things to love, is this: You can’t die from fall damage. No matter what.

From the start of the game, your main character (Kassandra, or Alexios if you’re basic) will take reduced damage from leaping off mountains or buildings, no matter the height.

Then, at level 20, you’ll take no damage at all. It’s a brilliant feature that, coupled with freeform climbing, encourages exploration in a way reminiscent of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. You can wander in any direction you’d like, moving up and down with no concern for how you’ll get back to where you started.

This is a nice contrast to other massive role-playing games, like The Witcher 3, in which you star as a grizzled mercenary who can single-handedly defeat entire armies but dies if he jumps more than five feet.

The logic behind fall damage in video games is twofold. One: it makes the world feel more realistic when you can’t leap off huge mountains without dying.

Two: it creates an artificial barrier to prevent the player from exploring and reaching places they shouldn’t be reaching. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey wisely throws both of those rationales out the window, accepting the fact that a game about a woman who uses VR to travel back through time doesn’t need to be too realistic, and that reaching places you shouldn’t be reaching in a video game is actually pretty damn cool.

If Assassin’s Creed Odyssey influences other game developers in one way, let it be this: Fall damage is bad and should go away forever.


Comments

    Pretty sure you can fall to your death in BOTW?

      You are correct! But, if you use the hang glider, you can survive any height.

    the fall damage was only removed because of how mountainous greece is and how damn annoying it would be to die so often.

    even then before hitting level 20 you still take falling damage and while you will never die from falling, you are still left with just 1 single hit point so if you are in combat or there happens to be an enemy close by theres still a high chance you can die

    I would feel more comfortable if you could toggle this off and on.
    Nothing breaks immersion or creates carelessness than 'God' mode.

    Personally not for me, I think its a bad idea

    What is next, no bullet/sword damage?
    Breath infinitely underwater?
    unlimited sprint?
    straight out flying?

      Spot on, I recently played through Uncharted 4 (backlog is large) and you can see in the animations where its guiding you onto the ledge (you almost seem to travel up)

      It just lead to me not caring about the platforming at all, it was just mash the jump button and know that the game won't let me jump without a ledge present to grab.

      Just made it a segment to be mashed through, no care, no thought, no "game"

    There was no fall damage in the recent Spider-Man, either. It was a fantastic decision there, too. :)

      I think for Spider-Man, it kinda makes sense.

      The world is completely open to you and there are no areas that are hidden away by story progress (with the exception of areas that are "loaded", e.g. going inside specific buildings, or travelling to the RAFT prison etc.), so you essentially can't "cheat" by trying to get to places that the game doesn't want you to.

      With Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, having no fall damage, or at least no death via fall damage, is an interesting decision. I can't tell if I personally like, or dislike the decision because I haven't played the game yet and honestly, I probably won't.

        I like it for a couple reasons.

        1) It's fucking tedious to go out of your way to navigate around it. Hiking for a half an hour down a mountain is not fun gameplay. I'm here to stab people, not carefully climb back down a mountain that I already got the same view while climbing up in the first place.

        2) It's consistent with the lore, explained in-game: the animus is a recreation based on flawed data.
        There's some lore advice given to the modern-day operator that warns the sample is only 80% accurate, and that a lot of the simulation is going to be a guesswork patch-job filling in the gaps, with some potential for innacuracies. (Hence the Origins Egyptian Gods 'glitches.' Or in Odyssey, a quest that features a hustler using modern sales-pitch lingo and techniques.)
        So in-game: when you leap off a building and don't die, it's basically the animus simulation taking a digital shortcut in representing how the historical figure was in one spot, then arrived at another, without de-synchronizing the operator who couldn't be fucked spending half an hour recreating a boring-ass walk downstairs.

          This. Am all for realism in games, but when that realism makes the game in question less fun/is just busy-work then it can jog on.

          It's good that you like it.

          I think the where people disagree with stuff like this is more to do with the whole animus concept.

          From polls, we know that the fan-base is pretty split on the whole animus thing. Some people love it and see the modern-day story with intertwining (and overarching) Templar vs Assassin conflict as a fantastic backdrop.

          Others just want to play a hyper realistic murder-sim set in Ancient Egypt, the Carribean during the golden age of piracy, or Ancient Greece during the Peloponnesian War.

          I'm in the camp who really dislikes the animus. I see it as poorly written guff which has gone nowhere and not really achieved anything over the last 11 years. I like to turn off as much modern-HUD as possible and immerse myself in the absolutely magic settings of modern Assassins Creed games. The more realistic the setting, the better, as far as I'm concerned.

          I'm not sure I'm conveying my point properly. But hopefully you can understand why some people might not like the removal of fall damage - whether it can be "justified by the animus" or not. However, I can see that perhaps players like myself are not playing the Assassins Creed games in the way they were intended.

          Assassins Creed Origins had some great mods to improve it though - I have no doubt mod makers will continue to cater to players like me.

            Nah, I get it. I don't agree/it doesn't apply to me, in that I really enjoyed all the nods to modern times and the age-old conflict, and the underlying themes of the interactions between modern humanity and the long-dead progenitors, but I can sympathize with folks who just want an historically-accurate murder simulator that they could ignore all the other guff with.

            I kinda empathize, because that's a lot like how I feel about AC4: Black Flag, and the 'so close yet so far' Skull and Bones. If Skull and Bones had been a PVE next-gen pirate simulator (a la Sid Meier's Pirates!) with borrowed/expanded AC4 mechanics, I'd have been stoked... but we've got another hybrid bastard PVP arena-with-an-overworld relying on other players to be the content instead of coming up with real content.

            So close... yet too far. I won't be playing it, despite (or perhaps because of) my love for Black Flag, which I regard the best game in the franchise.

            It's obvious that they've increasingly catered to folks who hated the modern-day AC story by relegating that aspect of the series to cutscenes or a codex, so I don't know why they didn't include some 'hyper-realism mods' to just strip the whole thing once and for all... guessing some (admittedly well-founded) belief that without the Assassin/Templar thread winding through it, it wouldn't really be an 'Assassin's Creed' game.

            That said, exploration mode is certainly a jump in that direction, plus the expanded options for removing... well, pretty much ALL HUD elements. I think the only one they didn't get rid of was, 'You are near your objective, use the eagle drone to find it' one.

              Great reply.

              And I 100% agree regarding Skull & Bones. What should be a sure-thing for me is no longer even on my radar. Absolutely zero chance of me ever playing it.

              However I will almost certainly end up buying AC: Odyssey (currently playing Origins). I just might have a delicate little whinge about my perceived grievances first.

    You know what's boring and slow? Climbing straight up.

    You know what's interesting about climbing straight up?
    You might fall.

    You know what's scary about falling? You might die.

    So what's climbing without the risk?

      On the other hand, climbing down is twice as tedious and equally as slow. You may find yourself not climbing for leisure, but when you have to climb in order to go to places, you'll be happy that you won't have to climb back down.

        They’ve known that since AC1 though (conveniently placed piles of soft things in abundance) so it’s not like it’s a design revelation. There’s plenty of things you can do to reduce the tedium without removing all the danger.

        I hate not having fall damage in the vast majority of games. It messes with the feeling of being in a physical space and takes the fun out of climbing.

        I remember climbing the Mountain with the Bomb-King in Super Mario 64 and the cool feeling of climbing up so precariously high. It annoyed me in Super Mario Odyssey when you couldn’t take fall damage.

    After having played hours of Monster Hunter World this year, I'm suddenly always disappointed when I fall in a game and take fall damage.

    Fall damage is the worst. The. Worst.

    Like all mechanics it should only be in games if it's a part of the game.
    In a platformer it might make sense to punish people for doing a bad job or in stealth games it might make it harder for people to cheese the AI if they can drop of any ledge without issue.
    But gameplay mechanics shouldn't exist if they're not making the game better, and punishing players for the fact their avatar is stupid enough to walk off a tall building when they meant to stop at the edge isn't fun for anyone.
    Removing fall damage can be good, giving players some way to avoid the damage (like whipping out a hang glider from hammerspace) can also alleviate the pain.

    If Assassin’s Creed Odyssey influences other game developers in one way, let it be this: Fall damage is bad and should go away forever.Wrong. The correct lesson is that fall damage is like any other game design element, it should be used where it makes sense and adds to the game.

    The climbing itself seems way too easy in Odyssey so far. No matter the surface Kassandra (or Alexios for the basic b**ches) can just clamber up it (apart from a chest-high wall, for some reason). I hadn't even tried falling from a great height yet apart from leaps of faith from sync points. I went from playing Spider Man to this and so far they seem about as capable of clambering up any surface as each other.

    Players don't like dying, therefore removing damage is good?

    I'm ok with this but given the previous games did have it, I would've appreciated the option to turn fall damage on or off? A 'very hard' mode or something that contains fall damage for example?

    I think fall damage is fine, but I do like it when there's a way to mitigate/reduce the impact in some way (BOTW glider, Just Cause parachute etc.) Keeps climbing (and falling) carry at least some sort of risk, which keeps it interesting.

    Unless it's a superhero game or such of course, fall damage in a game like Prototype would be terrible!

    Bah! Fall damage is good. It creates danger and adds more exhilaration to pulling off great stunts. The lack of fall damage in Spider-man made the webswinging just that much less interesting. One of my only complaints with that game.

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