Assassin’s Creed 3 Dev Says PC Players Need Controller

By John Walker on March 28th, 2012 at 9:15 am.

No, don't W! For your family, just S.

According to an interview with Gamespy, Assassin Creed 3′s creative director, Alex Hutchinson, has declared that Ubisoft won’t be “investing hugely in a mouse and keyboard setup”, instead suggesting that PC gamers use a controller to play the game. Which at first may look like another reason for us to hitch up our skirts and stomp angrily to the protesting grounds, but I’d argue that perhaps he’s right.

“We’re definitely supporting PC,” he told the green IGN offshoot. “We love PC, but I think it’ll be PC with a controller. I don’t see us investing hugely in a mouse and keyboard setup. I think if you want to play on PC and you want to play Assassin’s Creed, you have a controller.”

At a certain point, I think it’s reasonable for PC gamers to accept the necessity of investing in a decent game controller. In the days of the Spectrum I fully understood the requirement of adding a Kempston joystick (even if I did blow up my dad’s 128K by wobbling the Kempston port while it was switched on), and I think in our world of cross-platform shared games, which were built from the ground up designed for a controller, it’s fair to assume some games will not work optimally with a typing interface.

Oh, and here’s another thing to bear in mind: this isn’t new. None of the AssCreed series have been specially catered for in this department, and people have gotten by with mouse/keyboard. To the best of my knowledge, he’s not saying, “The game will ignore your peripherals,” but rather that the game will be optimally played on a controller.

Edit: Yup, Ubisoft confirm that it will of course have mouse/keyboard support, as with previous games in the series. But still won’t tell us a release date for the PC version.

So, if the game comes out and can’t be bothered to have implemented a mouse cursor for the menu options, I’m down with kicking off a fuss. That’s just rude. But if the developers believe their game is designed from the ground up to be played on a controller, that seems entirely fair to me. Would I prefer there to be investment in superb mouse/keyboard controls too? Yes I would. Do I hate it when writers pose questions to themselves to offer balance? Absolutely. And while I realise that many can’t afford to just add a 360 PC controller to their arsenal, I’d say it’s becoming an essential piece of equipment for the modern, well-groomed PC gamer.

If you’d prefer to read an angry version of this news story, check out Dark Side Of Gaming, who call it “horseshit“. Naturally there’s a petition to sign. And thanks to neon_25 for alerting us.

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314 Comments »

  1. Shooop says:

    I personally can’t think of any other way to play a third-person action/platformer. You don’ t need the same level of precision as a FPS. I tried using the keyboard with Batman Arkham Asylum and it felt all wrong until I used a Xbox controller.

    But of course there’s going to be a massive backlash against them for this, even though it’s not really that far-fetched. There aren’t a lot of actions to perform in AC games so having a 108-key plank is not going to mean easier interfaces because it’s not that complex. It’s just run, jump, stab, use special item.

  2. E_FD says:

    So, what’s new? The godawful Assassin’s Creed control scheme already forced you through idiotic nonsense like needing to hold 2-3 buttons at a time for certain actions, because they were too lazy to notice that a keyboard has a heck of a lot more keys on it than a controller pad.

  3. zakihashi says:

    What kind of discussion is this? No console have EVER even been close to having as many different controllers as use that use the the PC have, and always have had. We’re brought up with a gazillion amount of controllers.
    Like Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter had 0 keyboard mouse support at all.
    Let’s say this game was made to support controller only, we’d still have nothing to cry about.
    I don’t see the Xbox boys cry over their jumping up and down game not being possible to use with a controller, and infact only support Kintect as a way to control, grow up and stop crying.

  4. Ajh says:

    …Works for me. I’m an uncoordinated gamer who uses a controller for a lot of pc action games. While it’s not right to not offer the option at ALL…they’re not doing that.

    And using a mouse and keyboard is a preference. It does not make you more pc gamer than me, or anyone else.

  5. urza4315 says:

    No doubt you need a controller to play a game like say, Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden properly on PC, but this is Assassin’s Creed we’re talking about here, how precise do you have to be? Keyboard and Mouse worked just fine for me. The only thing that didn’t work particularly well was the quick menu, which I just rebinded to the middle mouse button, works fine.

  6. bill says:

    I just don’t understand why it always has to be a bloody 360 pad.

    Windows has been able to use multiple variations on USB gamepads (and other controllers) for decades, and suddenly I’m seeing games that only seem to support a 360 pad? WTF.

    As a PC gamer, I’ve had multiple input devices since about 1995… and although my Joystick is new packed up in a box in the loft, I have a $4 dual analogue 10 button gamepad that i’ve been using for years on racers and 3rd person games.
    Except those recent ones that refuse to accept it because it’s … something evil or something.

  7. krankyboy says:

    I won’t be signing a petition as that is begging. This will be the first time I boycott a game – the setting is boring (for a none American) and poor keyboard/mouse support just puts a bullet in it for me. It’s a shame as I enjoyed the series up until now.