Assassin’s Creed 3 Dev Says PC Players Need Controller

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.


  1. Valvarexart says:

    It has always been this way with the AC games, this is nothing new. However, a gaming mouse should do the job pretty well (you can use the side buttons for running/freerunning).

    • Bob says:

      Interesting. After a work mishap my 5 button Razer has been a blessing while a couple of fingers on my right hand mend. I’m left handed and would love a seven button mouse for a leftie. I’d rather spend money on that than a controller if it (mouse) gets the job done.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        You have seven fingers on your left hand?? By “work mishap” do you mean “lab accident”?.

        • Kroakie says:

          You have only 10 keys on your keyboard?!! How did you manage to type that reply then?

        • kastanok says:

          Kroakie – Lenny’s comment is a joke, intentional comic absurdity. No need to get angry. :-)

      • hemmer says:

        The new SteelSeries mice are all perfectly symmetrical, and as such usable by leftys as well. Zowie too. In fact I’ve seen quite a few universal mice by several manufacturers.

    • Stevostin says:

      I played AC with mouse and keyboard no problem (and probably better than I could with a pad). I dropped the game out of it being boring, nothing else. Controls were just fine.

      1- Ubi, you’re ridiculous. A gamepad over a keyboard is largely cultural. Some learned to play with a Sega or a Nintendo console, while some other learned with a C64, an Amiga or a PC. All those had joystick whose on the long run were often replaced by just the keyboard as it was more accurate (and less fragile). Now modern gamepad have, years after we had the addition of mouses, analogic stick. OK, that’s nice and in some case, when both are used, and as they’re is only one mouse, I can see how it could, in theory, be the better option. Fact is it nearly never happens. I did all my GTAIV without a pad (that and all Rockstar games). It works well enough. Why spend and get an ugly extra item on my desk ?

      2- That being said I won’t play AC3 so to be honnest you’re not loosing a customer with me. I won’t play it because it’s third person view and uninspiring background. Look at me giving my money to Dishonored when it’s out !

      • paterah says:

        3- Look at Ubisoft not giving a fuck.

      • KenTWOu says:

        I played AC with mouse and keyboard no problem…

        Just press Q-button and you will notice that AC:Brotherhood has better mouse/keyboard support than latter AC:Revelations. Also bomb making menu in Revelations is awful from mouse/keyboard point of view.

      • Metonymy says:

        Puff all you want about elitism, if your game should be played with a controller, it is made for children, not for adults.

        Since we already knew this about AC, why is this a news story at all?

        • gwathdring says:

          Oh. Damn. I should probably stop playing Skyrim on my friend’s Xbox and start playing My Little Pony: The Runaway Rainbow on PC, then. Close call there, I almost judged whether or not a game was appropriate for me based on the content rather than the peripheral.

          • kastanok says:

            Nicely put.

          • Metonymy says:

            But Skyrim (not a good example for you, its pretty simple) shouldn’t be played with a controller. The UI never should have been designed for a controller. Refute the actual comment please.

          • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

            An excellent point- My Little Pony touches on lots of sensitive real-world issues in a complex fashion that Skyrim just totally ignores in favor of chopping things with swords. The ESRB clearly have the ratings backwards.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Spot on with the gaming mouse. My MX-518 works great with Res Evil 5, Ass Creeds 1 & 2, Arkham Asylum, GTA4, and Deus Ex: HR, I’ve had zero problems with console-oriented ports nor poorly optimized PC layouts. As long as I can rebind my keys, I’ve been fine. The one caveat to that last piece would be Dead Rising 2, which has no key binding options, but I thought their PC control scheme was actually pretty good for that game.

      If one doesn’t mind a controller, then go for it. That’s one of the things that’s so great about PC. You can use KB/M, controller, racing wheel, hell you could probably even rig up a midi controller if you really wanted to.

      Ever since I severely gimped my left hand not too long ago, I haven’t been able to reliably use the XBox 360 controller. I prefer, instead, to use my gaming mouse. It feels a lot more natural and doesn’t cause anywhere near as much stress on my wrist. Before, the left trigger and top-buttons would always cause my grip to slip and/or mild discomfort. I’ll still tolerate it for a game of Pro Evo with friends, but I’m not gonna be playing a tournament. Actually, even before I shattered my hand and wrist, I didn’t like the 360 controller, nor the PS3 one. IMO, the PS2 controller is still the best designed and most comfortable controller ever made.

      • gwathdring says:

        Isn’t the standard PS3 controller the Dual Shock 3? Whenever I’ve tried out a friend’s PS3 or demoed one in stores, I’ve used a Dual Shock 3. Its basically the same casing, but with new gadgetry under the hood and admittedly rather different shoulder triggers. I found it just as comfortable, and agree that no controller I’ve tried really matches the Dual Shock line for comfort and usability.

    • Mericet says:

      You know, I always feel like I’ve managed some fantastic achievement in ignorance whenever people say “Assassin’s Creed plays better with a gamepad.” Somehow I’ve gone from Masyaf to Rome and back again on a mouse and keyboard, without even touching the keybinds and it played just fine.

      • kastanok says:

        +1 / Like / Retweet / Hear, hear, what, what!

      • Robert says:

        I’m not sure why go on the defensive regarding this. Sure you can play it fine with mouse/keyboard, but it being better suited for gamepad doesn’t make that any less true.

        You can play badminton with a tennis racket, and will beat lesser skilled people with it too, but that doesn’t mean it’s insulting if I say that badminton is meant to be played with a badminton racket.

        • Mericet says:

          Probably should have mentioned that when I tried a gamepad, the only noticeable difference was that Ezio was marginally better at interacting with things not visible to the camera. Huge gains.

      • Hidden_7 says:

        I may be a freak on this one, but I’ve tried both and prefer M+KB. I played through the original AC on my Playstation when it came out, as it wasn’t out on PC at the time. I then rebought it when it came out on PC, and really wouldn’t want to go back to playing it on a controller. All subsequent AC’s I’ve waited for the PC version. I hardly touch my PS3 anymore because it requires the use of a controller. I can get through games just fine with one, it just always feels like I’ve got one hand tied behind my back.

        It’s the looking around that really gets me. I usually can’t be bothered to do it on a controller because it’s such a hassle, so I always feel like I’m playing with blinders on. If your game has anything worth looking at at all, or any kind of cohesive environment I’ll be playing it on a Mouse + KB, thank you.

      • UberMonkey says:

        I actually really tried to play AC with a gamepad; it just seemed like a game that actually was designed with the gamepad in mind. I just couldn’t get over not having proper freelook. I’ll admit that it might have been slightly better for some aspects of navigation (there are places in the game where the camera locks and you have to jump at a funny angle, which is kind of hard with just WASD) but I just couldn’t enjoy the game without being able to use the mouse to look around quickly. I still find it more comfortable to move the camera myself and just go “forward” than to move the player at an angle and let the camera catch up. And really, my only complaint about the KB/M setup in the game was that there was no way to disable the terrible mouse accel/smoothing, but it wasn’t that bad.

    • Boothie says:

      I gave in to my insctinctive distaste for peripherals aside from mouse and keyboard a long time ago, instead of whining over every game that turns up on pc with focus on controllers i now just whine about every console exclusive that doesnt show up at all, id give a leg to play the god of war series on my PC

  2. Kleppy says:

    Yep it’s made to be played with a controller. A wired 360 controller is cheap and works far better for a lot of current games than the keyboard.

    • Clash says:

      I went and bought a USB receiver for wireless Xbox controllers a few months back. It’s especially great for having your computer plugged into the TV across the room. :D

    • Amun says:

      But what if you don’t want to give microsoft any money? =p

      • mrosenki says:

        Razor Onza TE tis quite a sweet alternative then (if you do like the 360 pad layout that is)

      • paterah says:

        I think Madcatz and razer have some xbox style controllers. Logitech also has Sony-layout controllers and they have Xinput as well and also the buttons of the xbox controller, works perfect on PC.

      • dr.castle says:

        if you have an old ps2 controller lying around (or can grab one from a friend who does), justpick up one of these cheap adapters. Between XPadder and Xbox360 controller emulation files, I’ve never had a problem getting it to work with a game. I also prefer the smaller form of the ps2 controller, personally.

        • stupid_mcgee says:

          I agree. The PS2 controller, IMO, is the best ever made. They made the PS3 one a bit fatter and heavier, and it just doesn’t seem to settle in one’s hands quite as easily.

      • zakihashi says:

        Then you use MotionJoy DualShock 3 tool and just plug your PS3 controller in(or buy a bluetooth reciver) and use a USB cable to emulate the Xbox 360 controller.

    • stahlwerk says:

      Edit: Reply to ^^^
      You’ve already paid for using Windows, ain’t cha?

      Logitech will gladly take your moneys as well.

    • lurkalisk says:

      How in the world does it work any better for any situation? A KBM setup provides for all the needs I have with greater function and similar comfort to a game pad. I’ll never understand why people think a 3rd person view makes a game pad better.

      A flight stick or a wheel (and respective periphery) makes sense, but a game pad is just a shoddy substitute for something that can simply do more with higher quality, save pressure sensitive buttons, but I can’t think of a single good use of such a feature so far.

      • TotalBiscuit says:

        This is BS I’m afraid. A KB/M is not better for every game because a keyboard has no analogue function what-so-ever, giving you extremely imprecise control over movement. Mice are great for aiming, the best in fact, they are not good for movement. Examples of games that more often than not work better with a controller

        Fighting games
        Third person action (especially if it involves platforming)
        Some platformers
        Racing games

        • Frosty840 says:

          It’s surprising how little analogue control many games give you, to be honest. Many implement footstep-by-footstep movement, so you can only move in single steps of “walk” or “run” anyway. Many also only implement a small number of movement types, so you can be walking, or running, or sneaking, but there’s none of the actual fine control which is implied by the analogue control stick.

          At very, very slow speeds, I know the AC series has allowed you to move ludicrously “standing-on-one-leg-for-seconds-at-a-time” slowly, but I wonder how much real analogue control you have at high movement speeds and how much is essentially imaginary…

          • paterah says:

            AC would not be a good example because it has modifiers for different movement types and as such the analogue sensitivity won’t make a terrible difference. Most action games don’t though and have different movement types depending on how much you push the stick.

          • Reefpirate says:

            It’s not just about walking vs. running… With WASD you only have 8 potential directions to input, whereas an analog stick would have more (I don’t think it would be as high as 360 degrees, but higher than WASD).

          • kastanok says:

            To be fair to Mouse&Keyboard, the mouse has unparalleled analogue control.

        • Bremze says:

          While controllers with good d-pads, fightsticks and hitboxes are arguably better than a keyboard for fighting games, trying to play fighting games with the usual xbox 360/ps3 controller is far more painful than with the numpad.

        • Khemm says:

          You should have said “some third person action games”, because it really depends on the game.
          Max Payne, Mafia 1-2, Warhammer 40k Space Marine and Batman Arkham Asylum/City are fine examples of games which work MUCH better with mouse and keyboard – imo, of course.

          • MonolithicTentacledAbomination says:

            While I began Batman: AA and Space Marine both on m/kb, I was eventually made to swap over to the 360 pad for want of better movement. In Batman it was the awful running-toward-the-camera moment while escaping Killer Croc’s lair in particular that did it.

        • Deano2099 says:

          Yep, racing games work best on a controller, and essentially Assassin’s Creed is half racing-game. You hold the buttons down, point the direction you want to go and steer….

        • InternetBatman says:

          I think there’s still a fundamental problem.

          In two of the examples you list, the best method of control is something else entirely. Racing games are both better with a wheel and accelerator and fighting games are arguably better with an arcade style joystick. On consoles when the method of input is not best for a game developers use adaptive technologies. On the PC they release a poorly designed port with bad keybindings, and expect everyone to use a dual-analog pad to make it easier for them rather than simply playtesting and slightly altering games for a couple of months.

          • Wreckdum says:

            lol no they don’t… They do the same thing they do on console. They already said you can use your keyboard. The game will control better on a controller… Stop being defiant just for the sake of being defiant. 3rd person and platform games are better with a controller. It’s not a debate. I find PC gamers hilarious lately. Yes I’ve been PC gaming since the early 90’s playing every Sierra adventure game ever made. I will say they were my addiction. But I was also raised in the 80’s on the NES. Just because you hate where consoles have gone doesn’t mean you have to forget where they came from. There is nothing inferior about a controller in a platform game. The only keyboard vs controller argument that holds water is aiming in an FPS type game. Yes mouse + keyboard is superior in that regard. Everything else is just a bunch of arguing just to hear yourself argue.

        • Wut The Melon says:

          No surprise there, I guess we should be honoured that Ubisoft still ports to PC. But to those that say controller beats KB/M I have to disagree. Obviously a mouse is more accurate than a controller, but a keyboard offers so many more keys than a controller, allowing me to do so much more than with a controller. The analogue stick is really the only advantage a controller has (over WASD), but as long as the camera’s decent I use the mouse (and camera) to aim. Of course, console ports sometimes give limited control over the camera, pissing me and my WASD off, but if a company does proper PC development I wouldn’t miss the analogue stick.

          In short: obviously the controller is preferable if you refuse to develop half-decently for KB/M. But that’s Ubisoft’s fault, not the keyboard’s.

          • CptPlanet says:

            Developing good for KB/M won’t transform your keyboard in a gamepad which is what arguably works best with most games today.

        • DrGonzo says:

          You’re not an idiot TotalBiscuit. So why are you making such foolish comments? You must be aware of subjectivity. Control schemes are exactly that. Subjective. My dad won’t play anything without a mouse and keyboard. It is irrelevant if I prefer to play with one or the other, many people only like using one or the other so they must both be supported.

          I’m also looking at Mass Effect on this one.

        • Kuraudo says:

          As someone who plays more than their fair shair of fighting games, unless you want to bring 150 dollar fightsticks into the equation, I’d rather use a keyboard than a terrible 360 controller.

        • Ashnal says:

          I totally agree here. There are certain functions that are much better with analogue control. Arguably the best analogue control device is a mouse, but it just doesn’t make sense for any analogue control aside from aiming. Game pads have the benefit of having multiple analogue inputs that can be used for varying purposes.

          Examples of things that benefit greatly from analogue input but don’t fit well on a mouse:
          Analogue character movement, steering a vehicle, an accelerator in driving games, anything involving balance.

          I’ve played the AC games on PC with a pad myself, mostly because I get mouse lag in them, and because I feel analogue character movement really makes the game easier to play.

        • Hidden_7 says:

          The only eight directions thing only comes up when the game does silly things like lock your camera at weird rackish angles. It happened once in Brotherhood where the camera was set such that I couldn’t run straight along the platform I was running just by using WASD. While I’d agree that there it would have been nice to have access to analog movement directions, it would have been FAR nicer for them not to take control of the camera away from me to give me a useless cinematic camera focused on something off in the distance while I’m trying to do platforming in the foreground.

          Basically a properly designed game you will be able to easily accomidate for only being able to move in 8 directions relative to the camera by adjusting the camera. Which is how I move anyway, even if I do have a gamepad. I tend to look where I’m going.

          • UberMonkey says:

            Yeah, that’s the thing right there. The mouse allows you to aim the camera and then go forward in whatever direction you want, which makes a lot more sense to me than trying to move the player at a funny angle and waiting for the camera to catch up (at which point I have to use the stick to just move forward anyway). Maybe some people prefer the stick controls, but for me even in AC it made more sense to control the camera and always just run straight forward (or side to side sometimes, I suppose). If it hadn’t been for those odd camera control stealing sequences I’d say the KB/M controls were perfect.

      • jezcentral says:

        I’ve found the Batman games and Space Marine (and Just Cause’s aeroplanes) play better with a controller, and that’s from someone who has been KB+M gaming for 20 years.

        Hell, I used to play Doom with just a keyboard.

        A controller is just another weapon in the PC’s armoury, alongside keyboards, mice, joysticks, steering wheels, haptic contollers, flightsticks, pedals, Kinnect….

        • Stephen Roberts says:

          And here, we arrive at the truth of the matter. I’ve played three Assassins creed titles and found that I could pretty much switch from Keyboard and mouse to Xbox Controller mid session without it troubling me in the slightest. It’s one of the more intuitively designed games for controller usage anyway. As for Super Meat Boy, that game becomes better, the game itself becomes better when you play it with a controller.

          But I wouldn’t play the excellent Dead Space with a controller for money. It’s aiming. It’s a mouse.

          And I’d go and buy a very good joystick before I bought Take on Helicopters. There’s no space in a PC gamers lexicon for petty rivalries. We just get the best of it all, controllers included.

      • suibhne says:

        That’s simply not true. At best, keyboards offer eight degrees of movement; with an analog controller, you essentially get infinite granularity. With a first-person or over-the-shoulder camera, mouse control is clearly superior, but a fixed camera always advantages the “analog” movement control of a gamepad.

        The best of both worlds would be a peripheral offering analog movement control and a group of keys for your keyboard hand, allowing you to mouse at the same time. Probably niche enough it’ll never be developed, tho.

        • Apples says:

          The Belkin n52te has a group of keyboard keys (wasd and the surrounding keys, and space) and a little joystick that can be thumb-controlled. Unfortunately the joystick is rubbish and I’m not at all sure it’s properly analogue, but that sort of thing does exist.

          • iniudan says:

            The joystick is analog, I own one (so a joypad in other word =p). The joypad was fine if you deactivated in between direction and just stick to using the 4 cardinal one. The trouble with the N52te is that the software (developed by razer) is crap. Never properly saved profile other then the one saved in the n52te memory. Also software kind of a pain the in ass to make work properly with windows 7. But other then the joypad, the hardware was good stuff.

            Not sure it Razer upgraded the software (the driver at kept up to date at least, so will not have the windows 7 trouble of the n52te) when the production went from Belkin to them and his now called the Razer Nostromo, so would check review of the Nostromo before buying one, cause I got no idea if the software is still shit.

      • Blaaaaaaag says:

        I’ll never understand why some folks insist that a device based on a typewriter is somehow perfect for every gaming situation. Sometimes you need an analog move switch, WASD is not precise enough for all purposes.

        • Dominic White says:

          This needs repeating: No matter how fancy your gaming keyboard, it probably has approximately the same range of inputs as an antique typewriter. Modern gamepads offer 5+ axes of analogue control, often analogue buttons on top of that, and in the case of the PS3, six axes of motion-sensing as well, albeit not very accurate, on top of 14 or so digital inputs.

          The mouse is a great pointing device, but its usefulness ends there.

        • RakeShark says:

          Could not have said it better myself, good sir.

        • DrGonzo says:

          I’ve never played a game where WASD wasn’t sufficient. For example, GTA4 you have a ever so slight advantage with a controller while driving, though I still prefer the keyboard. But on foot you have an absolutely mahusive advantage.

          There are racing games. But they suck with a pad compared to a wheel. So by your logic game pads suck at everything. Oh I guess there are fighting games, oh no an arcade stick is better.

          • CptPlanet says:

            So despite the fact that you have an advantage on GTA on both foot and driving it still “sucks” at everything…you contradict yourself in the same comment.

          • Falcon says:

            I can name two real world examples off of the top of my head, games I’ve played both on controller and KB/M. (I prefer KB/M for most of the games I play.)

            Batman: Arkham Asylum: The game controlled very well with KB/M except for not having analog control during fights. If there were 2 or 3 enemies in the same area (say down + back, or A + S) it was anybody’s guess which one I’d go for. I had multiple times where I had combos end prematurely because I couldn’t pick exactly which direction I wanted to attack next. The combat system felt great and analog really is better in that case.

            Mirror’s Edge: This is a game where it’s very nice to have analog movement both in the direction you’re going and exactly how fast you’re going. Some routes become nigh impossible with a KB/M, so for the best flow or for going for best times in trials, KB/M is pretty much out.

            I’m happy that there are some companies experimenting with motion controls and analog + mouse control type devices. Hopefully someone will come up with something fantastic and I’ll get the best of both worlds.

            And again, to make it clear, there are many, many games I wouldn’t want to play on anything other than KB/M. Any RTS, MOBA, MMO (although Tera does feel pretty slick with a controller for melee classes, admittedly), etc. However, in anything which has movement as a primary concern or gaming mechanic, digital input fails hard. Can you more than likely scrape by with a keyboard in those situations? Sure, but it won’t be nearly as good of an experience.

      • frightlever says:

        I fought against using a controller for years but as I get older I find it a LOT easier on my wrists and hands than using M+K. There’s also the lean forward/lean back argument. Good luck using a M+K slouched back on an easy chair in front of your big screen TV – although I do wish there was a neat way to M+K while reclining for older games with less than optimal controller support.

        X51 under the telly – you know it makes sense…

      • ThinkAndGrowWitcher says:

        Dear lurkalisk,

        I do hope you get to read the replies above before departing for your Easter holiday (possibly via bi-plane, and a moustache-jigglingly bracing penny-farthing ride).

        Do note that you yourself mention one (of several) extremely useful advantages of gamepads: “pressure sensitive buttons”…

        However, I do understand that you may be one of the few who prefer the binary acceleration method afforded by certain types of electric wheelchair or colourful toddler vehicle.

        • lurkalisk says:

          How exactly are pressure sensitive buttons useful? Like I said, I’ve never seen an even vaguely useful application of such a feature.

          That’s the point I was making, while there are unique features of game pad, a few of which have some degree of potential, I have never encountered a game that requires or plays better with anything that a keyboard and mouse doesn’t provide, whatever potential game pads have is completely wasted. Yes, game pads usually have analog sticks, but what good does that do? It’s rare that movement is somehow helped by anything greater than an 8-way input, and on those rare occasions, said analog control is just used for silly little things like lock picking minigames (which can just be done with a mouse).

          It’s fine if a game pad suits someone else better, but to say that one simply works better is ridiculous, at least until someone makes a game that actually makes good use of something pressure sensitive buttons, or makes analog movement at all beneficial

      • dr.castle says:

        Oh come on. A lot of games are designed around analog control, where pressing the stick to a different degree=a different input to the game. The AC games are definitely like this–there’s a lot of running along rooftops/narrow areas (well there was in AC2 at least) and being able to finely control the character with an analog stick is almost essential. In addition to third person platforming like this, I’d also never play a racing/driving type game with a mouse and keyboard…the analog input it too essential there as well.

        • DrGonzo says:

          There aren’t any points in the AC games where analogue movement has mattered though. You always just need to be going as fast as possible.

    • fish99 says:

      Stop making excuses for them, there’s no reason why any game can’t work well on both a gamepad and mouse/keyboard. Not putting in mouse/keyboard controls is pure laziness and just shows how little of a damn UBI give about the PC.

      • jezcentral says:

        Come on, Fish. You posted this way ages after the article was updated.

    • DrGonzo says:

      In your opinion. Remember that.

  3. thestage says:

    I was about to post “I don’t see any split infinitives!” but then you changed the post and got rid of that part, foiling my reverse grammar police fun :(

    • galen says:

      I was about to do the same, except point out that the only split infinitive I could see was John himself writing “to angrily stomp”! How embarrassing.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        Ah, the classic example from Neil Armstrong’s famous “To angrily stomp” speech.

    • Oof says:

      I spit on split infinitives.

  4. kikito says:

    What PC gamers really need is crappy and intrusive DRM.

    • Simon Hawthorne says:


      Nobody buys the Assassin’s Creed games to play them on their PC. They buy them to test the reliability of their internet connection and their own patience.

      Ubisoft basically sell Buddhist meditation tools.

  5. rei says:

    If the previous games have been fine being played with MKB, there’s no excuse for the same not being true for this one.

    • Unaco says:

      People will complain anyway.

      • MarcusCardiff says:

        Anyone who thinks complaining is wrong deserve to get ripped off by being sold crappy half working rubbish for inflated prices.

        • Unaco says:

          I don’t think complaining is wrong, if it’s justified. Rei said that the previous games were fine for M/KB. So, there shouldn’t be any excuse for people not finding AC3 fine for M/KB… if it’s the same in AC3 as previous games, there should be no new excuses or reasons for complaining about it. But, now that there’s a post/news story about it, people will complain.

    • suibhne says:

      The previous games have mostly played well with KB/M setups…but the fixed-camera sections in the temples was sheer torture. Those could have been designed to work with KB/M, by not placing the camera at off angles, but Ubi chose not to do that. I assume this means they’ll make the same choice again – hardly a surprise, considering that this problem cropped up consistently (tho rarely) in the last three AC games.

      • InternetBatman says:

        This right here. An analog stick is probably better for the parkour stuff. But it takes only slight adjustments to make the game much more playable on keyboard and mouse and a lot of developers don’t even think about that let alone take the effort.

  6. RedViv says:

    I still find peculiar that, within such a short span of my PC gaming life, players “in general” have completely turned around their stance on gaming peripherals. Mid-90s, having a lot of them was the sign of the hardcore PC gamer, and ten years later, it was the repulsion at the sign of any game being more playable with a gamepad. Because, you know, consoles.

    • CMaster says:

      Indeed, a Gravis Gamepad was recommended by id Software for the Keen games.
      PC mags used to be packed with peripheral reviews when I was a child.
      The “mouse and keyboard or nothing” attitude seems to fail to recognise that well, M&K are crap for some things.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        I don’t think it’s mouse & keyboard or nothing but more mouse & keyboard at least

      • catmorbid says:

        I’ve always found mouse and keyboard perfectly suitable for any type of game, and have never bought or used or wanted to use any type of controller WITH THE EXCEPTION of driving games and flight simulators, both of which I recognize the idea of a dedicated controller, simply because of the simulation aspects. I play neither games, so there’s never been a need to have such a controller, though.

        • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

          Clearly you have never played QWOP.

        • Crainey says:

          Very much the same, I am used to using my M&K and as such I do so, always. Anyway, my brother either lost or broke all the controllers so I guess my arguement is invalid then.
          Not to mention I’ve invested heavily in said peripherals in both time and money (time being amount of hours spend gaming with them).

      • Cinek says:

        Game that requires specific controller != game that has too lazy developer to make proper PC controls

        • Llewyn says:

          Yeah, all those lazy flight and racing sim developers, eh?

          • Cinek says:

            Flight sim is exactly the example of game that requires dedicated controller. You know: planes have joysticks inside too.
            Same with racing games.
            Random action/killing game doesn’t belong to this category. Not with the level of simplification AC has.

        • InternetBatman says:

          Two things. One is they’re putting keyboard & mouse in anyways. They’re pretty much just saying it won’t be good.

          The other is that this is a game with four antecedents that had keyboard and mouse controls, not DDR, Wii Fit, or Red Steel 2. It doesn’t require a specific type of input.

          Think I might have read the tone of your post wrong though.

    • frightlever says:

      I played Doom with a joypad, which was logical after a youth spent playing on the Atari 2600 (oddly I took to the callous inducing joystick like a duck to water, despite being introduced to telly gaming with the Binatone Pong roller thingy). I was HIGHLY sceptical about playing ANYTHING with a MOUSE. Then Quake came out and I 180’d. Obviously M+K was the ONLY way to play game, with LMB for fire and RMB for run. It was YEARS before I accepted WASD.

      But good luck playing Mavis Beacon Typing with your fancy controllers! Unless it’s one of the ones with a keyboard clipped on.

    • fish99 says:

      I think you’re wrong, a lot of PC gamers own a 360 pad and don’t mind using it on PC on the games where it works better, stuff like Super Meat Boy, Limbo etc. The specific objection PC gamers have to pads is when people claim they’re as good as mouse/keyboard for FPS which they clearly are not.

      The bottom line here though is that a game not supporting keyboard/mouse at all is just plain unforgiveable laziness and/or greed, especially for a game with a huge budget. If tiny indie companies can find the time to program pad and m/k support, there really is no excuse for UBI. And as others have said, the other AC games work fine on m/k, so there is no excuse.

  7. Yachmenev says:

    He´s right to say so, and Team Meat says the same about Super Meat Boy every time you start that game. People who game on PC should invest in a gamepad. I have no problems with Ubisoft saying this.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      I foolishly followed Team Meat’s advice and used the controller to play Super Meat Boy at first. After a while I switched to using the keyboard and found it much, much easier, especially to pull off tricky jumps.

      Maybe that’s because I grew up playing platformers with a keyboard, and not a controller (never had a console (or a gamepad) until recently). But at least Team Meat put excellent keyboard controls in their game.

      • Premium User Badge

        bsplines says:

        I actually have the exact opposite story. I finished World 1 with the keyboard and didn’t have many problems or deaths (apart from the boss at the end – first part in ages that made me rage). Going to World 2 I would usually die 50 or more times in every stage, slowing the game to a snail’s pace as I would need up to 15 minutes for a single stage and sometimes even more.
        When I reached stage 2-7 (or something like that) I started using a gamepad and within an hour I had reached the boss getting A+ scores in half of the new levels as well as succeeding in two of them in the very first try. Using it on the previous levels also improved my timing.
        So I guess is more to preference than anything.
        As for the AssCreed games I played II using both options (not at the same time) and found them to be perfectly workable. The game was easily playable with a KB+M.

      • Cinek says:

        +1 @ VelvetFistIronGlove

    • HilariousCow says:

      Yep. You design games based on the interface. I have found that trying to design for multiple interfaces for the same game results in a venn diagram: one circle represents “what interface A is good for”, the other represents interface B’s strengths. The game has to fit somewhere in the intersection. This intersection is not always as large as people would like to believe. As a result, the design/interface/mechanic/kinaesthetic possibilities available to you where both interfaces really work become more limited than if you’re just working with one target. Although… I guess it has fuzzy edges, too: it’s POSSIBLE to port a game onto an ill suited interface, but it’s also probably a waste of consumers’ time? Or occasionally has hilariously cool results? Typing of the Dead springs to mind.

      Heck, I’ve cut (or recommended cutting) really lovely touch screen features because there was not a perfect analogue for the interface when using a mouse. Touch and Mouse might seem similar enough to assume you can do the same thing, but there are enough subtleties there that if you try to conflate the two, either version of your game is going to come off as a lazy port of the other.

      The benefit of multiplatform engines like unity or unreal can actually become a bit of an albatross for a developer: “your engine works on every platform! porting is a cinch!”… well, technically, yeah, but interface wise, to do a game justice, you kind of have to start thinking about the game from scratch. Re-use assets, sure, but the gameplay has to arise out of the affordances of controls rather than the controls doing backflips to accomodate ill-fitting gameplay.

    • MD says:

      I never understood the Super Meat Boy gamepad thing. Everyone and their uncle insisted that a gamepad was essential. But I’m pretty sure there was no analogue control, at all. What can you do on a gamepad in SMB that you can’t do with two hands on a keyboard?

    • mouton says:

      Well, I look at it differently: how many games that I want to play require a pad? The answer is, very few – a lot of gamepad oriented games are poor console conversions that I have no interest in playing anyway. There are some special titles like SMB, but they alone do not mandate the purchase.

      So no, PC gamers in general “shouldn’t” invest in a pad. Still, it is advisable if they like pad oriented games.

  8. CMaster says:

    He’s stood on the ridge of that roof John. He’s probably a lot safer W ing (at least for a short distance) than he would be S ing. Calm down!

  9. DanPryce says:

    “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.”

    That’s assuming a 360 controller will work with AC3. My experience with 1 and 2 is that 360 controllers don’t work, which is a shame because mouse/keyboard is kind of fiddly for AC. The number of times I’ve activated StickyKeys in combat…

    • Kdansky says:

      Don’t have sticky keys activated, ever? You are complaining that an optional functionality that helps disabled people write letters is bothering you when playing games.

    • MaXimillion says:

      You can, and should, deactivate the shortcut for sticky keys as one of the first things you do with a new windows installation.

    • BwenGun says:

      IIRC they actually fixed the Xbox controller thing for Revelations. (Only took them two games to put into the game what fans had already modded in.)

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Also, by what definition is essential? I have a lot of games across a lot of genres and I can’t think of many where a controller would be really beneficial. In almost all cases, the mouse and keyboard control scheme is totally preferable. Especially for action games such as these. Mostly sports games are what comes to mind when I think controller.

      • iniudan says:

        Platformer tend to be easier with gamepad also. (especially if you don’t have an n-key roll over keyboard)

      • Mattressi says:

        Yeah, about the only games I can think of that would benefit from inputs other than a mouse and keyboard are shmups, racing games and flight simulators. And, really, of those only shmups would have controllers as their optimal input method. Oh, and I guess sports games, but they aren’t real games anyway – go join a bloody sports team :D (half kidding…but seriously, it’s like making a game about cooking a regular dinner – just go do it if that’s what you want to do)

        For something like Assassin’s Creed, surely mouse and keyboard would be the optimal input method if it was implemented properly? Anything that involves vaguely aiming at something, for me, requires a mouse and keyboard, but maybe I’m just bad at using gamepads?

  10. wodin says:

    COntrols for AC have always been a massive pain for me, jumping off walls when I didn’t wnat to etc. My biggest gripe of the game. I remember when using controllrs was OK for a PC, I had botheJoystick and controller at one point.

    Infact aren’t controllers pre console controller?

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Yes but there has been a history of supporting both control methods, accepting that not everyone would have a controller of joystick. Even space sims and hardcore flight sims who favoured joystick controls when they were big and practically everyone had one still had to support mouse and keyboard

  11. Torticoli says:

    “I don’t see us investing hugely in a mouse and keyboard setup”

    Allow me to quote TotalBiscuit’s response to that :

    “Well I don’t see me investing full price for your game”

    Honestly, when did it become acceptable for gamers when you develop a PC game (be it a port or not, who cares) without tight, PC-specific controls ? Is this a joke I’m not getting ? If I want to play AC with a controller, I can, in fact, play it on my console. Do developers require me to plug a mouse and keyboard in my console in order to properly play FPS games ?

    Seriously, guys, come on…

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Mouse and keyboard are not the better control option for everything. Third-person action games have always been better played with a pad than mouse and keyboard. Really, it makes as much sense to claim you should play AC with m+kb as it does to claim you should play an FPS with a controller.

      • Torticoli says:

        You’re right, m+k is superior to a controller in some instances, and the other way around in others. However, in this case, it’s debatable which method is the best, and what I’m saying is that developing a PC game without PC-specific controls (or at least, without focusing on them) sounds preposterous to me.

        I’ll also quote what’s been posted here by Cinek : “It’s BS like that which made Skyrim PC interface come to life”. I tend to agree. I’m not a fan of the slippery slope argument, but in this context, I can’t help but think we’re actually seeing a slippery slope unfold. Developers are already… well, developing, a tendency to not care about the PC platform, providing poor control schemes, poor ports, poor options (terrible FoV comes to mind) and bad consolified interfaces ; we shouldn’t let them get away with crap like this.

        If they want to develop PC games, is it really that ridiculous that we demand they include PC-specific controls in their game ?

    • mondomau says:

      What about flight sims? Driving games? They’ve been around on PC for years and a lot of them have minimal keyboard support, because it isn’t the optimum configuration for the game and is often a nightmare to implement.

    • Derppy says:

      Keyboard lacks analog control, so it’s inferior for moving your character in games. I totally understand developers not wanting to invest much time in keyboard controls for a game like Assassins Creed, where the game is all about movement precision and you don’t need a ton of buttons.

      PC isn’t a fixed platform, it’s not one system you buy that comes with one controlling method. It’s a pile of components you use with the peripherals you want. Keyboard and mouse are naturally a popular choice, because they are very effective in browsing and managing a ton of data. They are also great in certain kind of games, but that doesn’t mean it’s the preferred control method for all games.

      They didn’t say there won’t be keyboard/mouse support, but they said they won’t put so much effort to it, because it’s not a very good controlling method for their game and I totally support it. Not only for saving resources for the actual game, but also for getting PC gamers to buy gamepads so they might realize PC isn’t something that has to sit on your desk, plugged to a monitor and used with only mouse and keyboard.

      Try building a beefy HTPC to plug into your TV and equip it with a gamepad, you’ll notice some games play much better that way and your gaming console becomes obsolete (except for exclusive titles, but exclusivity to inferior system sucks anyway)

      • InternetBatman says:

        Developers should invest the amount of time in proportion to the amount of money they’ll get out of a platform. If it takes $100k to make good keyboard controls (that’s three testers and two programmers working six months which seems like waaaay too much staff and time), that’s 2400 steam buys of the new product. So, if they have just 5000 customers (a tiny amount) that use the keyboard and mouse and buy it at $60, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t properly port it to keyboard. Instead it’ll probably be a lazy port.

    • c-Row says:

      Did TB reply that to this particular issue or to something completely different and you are just paraphrasing? I remember that he supported the idea of having a controller to fully enjoy some games of late in one of his mailboxes, and I can fully support this opinion for games like Skydrift or Sonic Generations. Not being arsed to try and implement a good KB&M control scheme with the excuse of a proposed controller setup is rather weak indeed, though.

      • Screwie says:

        That line is from TB’s twitter account, verbatim.

        • c-Row says:

          Ok, thanks for clearing that up.

        • Prime says:

          Well that just makes TotalBiscuit sound like a TotalBerk. Overreacting, much?

          • MasterDex says:

            Well his point was that if Ubisoft are unwilling to put in the effort to deliver a decent port, why should he be willing to spend money on the port?

            It’s one thing to say “This game is better played with a controller” and another to say “We don’t care about those who want to/can only use kb+m”

  12. SanguineAngel says:

    I love the PS3, absolutely, and any games I may produce in the future will definitely support it. But I don’t see myself investing heavily in control pad support. If you want to play my games on the PS3 you will want to use a mouse and keyboard.

    I realise it’s not new but it is not good. I enjoy assassin’s creed but I don’t particularly enjoy using a control pad – I suck at using them for one. The fact is that the mouse and keyboard is the native control for the PC. Controllers cannot and should not be taken for granted. It wouldn’t be acceptable the other way round would it?

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      No, it wouldn’t be acceptable, yet here you are considering it:

      “If you want to play my games on the PS3 you will want to use a mouse and keyboard.”

  13. Kadayi says:

    Played all the others using a controller tbh (similarly FO3). No biggie.

  14. MerseyMal says:

    I much preferred a joystick for games on my ZX Spectrum because most games were in 2D or basic isometric 3D.

    One of the main reasons I play PC games is that I’ve never got the hang of operating controllers for 3D first/third person games. Personally, as long as it’s still playable via keyboard & mouse I’ll be sticking to it.

    • Prime says:

      Q, A, O, P and M! Joysticks were for flight sims and for making Daley Thompson run. For everything else, QAOP and M was king.

    • terry says:

      Ehhh, my O and P keys were busted for so many years, I ended up using 6789 and 0 :P

  15. Khalan says:

    Never understood why some people refuse to use anything other than mouse & kb (if they have a choice). Sure, mouse control is superior for FPS and RTS genres and I’d hate to use anything else, but I also use a joystick for sims and a gamepad for action adventure type games (and I used to use a wheel for driving). Some games like AC and Batman just suit a gamepad much better.

    One other point – a 360 controller is much better quality than most other gamepads I’ve had through the years, both in durability and ingame support. YMMV of course.

  16. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    Actually, there are very few PC games that are not just fine with Keyboard and Mouse. I know I’m the minority and unnessessarily hostile, but I have never and just can’t work with controllers. To my mind, the mouse still has significant advantages, even in 3rd person action games (Batman, Assassins Creed, GTA)

    • ThinkAndGrowWitcher says:

      “…but I have never and just can’t work with controllers”

      And that my good sir is bullsh!t of the highest order: there’s nothing intrinsically more difficult in learning to use a twin-stick controller than learning to coordinate a mouse and keyboard together.

      What you should have written is:

      “…but I have never and just won’t work with controllers”

      To my mind, your mind is playing silly games with itself (possibly using dual-analogs), and short-changing its ability to quickly adapt to a control method that is superior under certain gaming circumstances (though, of course, certainly not all).

      Note: this is from a once mousing-only gamer who used to be called “grandad hands” due to their wonky 360-gamepad control. Give yourself a single solid hour and you’ll easily get to grips (literally) with using a decent gamepad on PC for games that it most definitely suits best.

  17. BwenGun says:

    To be honest if I can play a game on my PC with a controller, within reason, I will. In the past couple of years I’ve played Batman: Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, AC1, AC2, ACB, ACR, Skyrim, GTA IV (And all DLC), Red Faction Guerilla, Just Cause 2, Bastion, The Witcher 2, and currently Kingdoms of Amalur. Though admittedly with Skyrim I played it with a controller only when not going with my archer character as archery is a pain with a controller.

    The thing is unless I’m playing an FPS or Strategy game using a controller allows me to lean back in my seat, or hook my computer up to my TV and play in a much more chilled out fashion. Not to mention that many games just play better, imho, with a controller. Asssassin’s Creed and Grand Theft Auto being prime examples.

  18. Alexander Norris says:

    The problem is that the previous games haven’t been fine with a controller either. Altair and Ezio had a nasty habit of ignoring your controls and jumping off rooftops to their deaths for no reason. :(

    If they’ve fixed that for AC3 though, it ought to be good.

  19. Antlia says:

    Flight simulators work best when played with a joystick, too.

  20. Zeliard says:

    Whoever doesn’t have a controller at this point may as well invest in one for Dark Souls. :)

  21. catmorbid says:

    Yes, of course, mouse is the most inaccurate pointing device in existence and a standard keyboard with it’s ~104 keys is completely inferior input device for anything except slow typing of things called words, known in ancient times to be used to compose verses of information that could be even spoken aloud by the wise. Versatility and remapability of the ancient keyboard is of course vastly inferior to the ~10(?) button 360-controller, which if wanted to use to input letters and words takes mere 1000% longer than a simple keyboard.

    • mendel says:

      Mouse control is analog, but has no center. Hence, driving with a mouse doesn’t usually work well.
      If you need analog controls that have a fixed neutral position (e.g. for controlled movement), controllers are good.

      Mouse is good for looking (any look direction is stable) and aiming.

      Keyboard is good for one-handed digital control.

      So these controllers are suitably *different* to make any of them worse than the others in certain situations. Citing situations where mouse and keyboard excel does not change the fact that there are situations where they don’t.

  22. Cinek says:

    I disagree with making excuses for the guy and supporting idea of “PC gamers should get Xbox controllers”.

    It’s BS like that which made Skyrim PC interface come to the life.

    • RedViv says:

      No, that’s just Beth’s laziness due to their “Eh, PC modders will fix it anyway and the game will still be bought” attitude.

      • Runs With Foxes says:

        Sorta like Ubi’s laziness due to their ‘eh we’ll sell most copies on console anyway’ attitude? Kind of like that?

  23. PitfireX says:

    Every day is another middle finger to hardcore gamers.

    P.S. What ARE they going to invest in? Obviously not new ideas.

    • DOs says:

      I’d argue that if you’re a hardcore gamer you have a gamepad for your PC and you use it for the right games. Hardcore is often misinterpreted as clinging on to something “just because”.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        I couldn’t agree more!

      • InternetBatman says:

        I generally just interpret hardcore gamer as idiot anyways. No one says they’re a hardcore gardener, hardcore philatelist, or hardcore moviegoer. It’s just a term that has its roots in xenophobia and elitism.

    • Yachmenev says:

      Mouse and keyboard is not what defines hardcore gaming. It´s the game in themselves. And Assassins Creed are light action adventures that have been designed for gamepad controls from the beginning. Games that really should be played with gamepads or joysticks is not a new thing on the PC.

    • bfandreas says:

      I don’t consider anybody who isn’t knee-deep into the init files and owns at least two drawers full of different control mehtods a hardcore PC gamer. So please turn in your “hardcore PC gamer” badge in on your way out.

      When Wing Commander 1 was released, we bought a Sound Blaster.
      We bought the full shebang for our various flight sims. I never even dreamed of playing X-Wing without a proper analogue joystick. Thrust, flightstick and pedals were a given when we played Jane’s F15.
      We bought 3DFX VoDoo cards for our 3d games.
      We bought Gravis Joypads for various id games.
      We upgraded our 386 for Doom.

      This is PC gaming where you can choose the right tool for the job. We are not locked in like console gamers are. Indeed I welcome when games support controllers when it makes sense. Bastion is a blast when played with one.

      …and in this day and age when you don’t have to calibrate the axis of any analogue stick anymore, complaining is just lazy.

      I propose the term “limp-wristed PC gamer” instead.

      • AndrewC says:

        I would suggest ‘fundamentalist’. The modern rage against controllers is entirely tribalistic, and based on fear.

        Obvs. a better word for ‘hardcore’ might well be ‘obsessive’, but we all have our problems.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        But all of those things were optional. Sountracks were made available in MIDI and Sound Blaster for years. Flight and space sims included often in depth keyboard & mouse controls. Heck I remember when mouse controls for games started being used – all games seemed enable keyboard only controls too. Early 3D games usually had a 2D option. Even Thief & Half Life didn’t require a 3d card.

        Regardless, Ubi ARE integrating KB&M – just pretty badly/half heartedly.

  24. MiniMatt says:

    Bloody whippersnappers whinging about kempston wobble. Till you’ve suffered the TERRORS of ZX81 ram pack wobble you’ve had it easy :o)

  25. NathanH says:

    I’ll accept this as soon as someone makes a cross-platform game and says “we’re not really investing in controller support, just plug a mouse and keyboard into your XBox”. Of course, nobody is going to say this, because “cross-platform” is code for “made for consoles; PC gamers can have some crumbs”. I have no intention of waving the white flag to controller bullying.

    Fortunately, it gives me a good way of filtering out games I have no interest in playing.

  26. Cytrom says:

    There is a difference between a game being designed around a certain control mechaism (flightsims are better with joystick, platformers and fighting games are better with controllers, racing games better with a wheel, etc) and being too lazy to develope a PC user interface for a game that would work perfectly with keyboard & mouse.

    This is just Ubisoft taking a dump on PC gamers like usually, there is no Controller specific gameplay in AC.

  27. Syra says:

    Well he’s right you know, most ubi games, pretty much all third person adventure games that don’t need a fine aim of a gun and ESPECIALLY the assasins creed series are fucking awful with mouse and keyboard. You can get by but really why would you want to. That’s why I stick to ps3 for those titles..

    • SanguineAngel says:

      But that’s surely because Ubi have never properly supported M&KB controls. Because I can tell you for sure that M&KB works just fine for 3rd Person Action games and that I actively prefer them over a controller – given some care and thought, Assassin’s Creed would play perfectly with M&KB – native control support really ought to be the minimum for bringing a game to any format.

      • Beva says:

        Surely it’s because gamepads have analogue sticks, which makes movement of a character in a third person game analogue. It doesn’t matter how much effort you put into controls (it matters in general, ofc). At the same time, regardless of how much effort you put into FPS gamepad controls they will always be better with M/KBm simply because a mouse is vastly better for aiming.

        • SanguineAngel says:

          But if you play an FPS game on a console, you would still expect the developer to have produced a coherent control scheme using the controller, adjusting to it’s limitations and perhaps ideally capitalising on it’s advantages as well.

          I concede your point regarding analogue sticks but they are going to have to cope with that limitation REGARDLESS because they will still be integrating M&KB controls. Instead of doing a half hearted job and saying “It’s your fault for not owning a control pad” they could spend a little more time and effort and adjust the controls to cope with being on a different system.

          Time was that developers often created a whole new game for a different format. That’s not necessary anymore but it certainly gave the impression that they cared.

        • Beva says:


          But they ARE giving you KB/M controls that most people here seemed to be saying were/are fine, no? The point is that AC is better suited to a gamepad just like any number of games are better suited to the KB/M combo. It’s just the way it is. So, if someone is interested in playing games that work better with a gamepad, there is really no reason for them not to own one.

    • DodgyG33za says:

      I avoid third person shooters like the plague. I thought it was just because of the lack of immersion, but now I come to think of it they do play bloody awful. You can get the same experience with FPS if you don’t use the strafe key.

      I have nothing against using other controllers if they work for the game – after all I remember a time of analogue joystick ports which from memory predated the serial mouse (at least for me), but if it is just because they can’t be bothered to port properly it is a bit sad. Not that I will be buying this one either way, but it has put me off buying any sequel to Skyrim for much the same reason.

  28. Ian says:

    I don’t think not bothering so much with mouse/keyboard is as bad if they WARN you that it’s the case.

  29. Premium User Badge

    Grimsterise says:

    won’t be “investing hugely in a mouse and keyboard setup”
    Proper response: “You better or I won’t buy your game.”

  30. HisMastersVoice says:

    For God’s sake, Ubi, you have very good m/k controls in all four of your previous games in the series. If you’re going to tell me something has changed, you better tell me why, and not try to sell a clunky control tool on me “just because”.

    I’ve played AC with m/k from the beginning and I can change running directions in full sprint with split millimeter accuracy, thank you very much.

  31. WebFusion says:

    It’s interesting to me how many “hardcore” pc gaming sites are simply giving a pass and/or going along with these not-so-subtle pushes to shoehorn PC gaming onto the console model. As the person above said, if I wanted to play games using a game pad, I would play them on a console.

    I wish PC Gamer, and RPS would start being strong advocates for the platform they’re supposed to represent, as opposed to just accepting the drivel that these companies are feeding them.

    Meh – what’s the point. At this rate, the only games left that are being produced for the PC are MMO’s. BF3 has convinced me there’s not a “hardcore PC” publisher of AAA titles left. PC gaming isn’t dead, its games have just been dumbed-down, homogenized, and trivialized to fit the IQ/attention spans of console gamers.

    • Yachmenev says:

      You´re so off, if´s not even funny. Do you actually read the articles on RPS? PC gaming is thriving.

    • Zeliard says:

      Good grief, just buy a controller and plug it in. This notion that PC gaming = keyboard and mouse at all times is lunacy. The platform actually supports a variety of controller inputs, unlike consoles. Make use of that fact.

      It’s pretty silly for Ubisoft not to support kb/m but to act like using a controller is teeth-gnashingly awful console idiocy is fairly ridiculous. You aren’t debasing yourself by using one.

      • Khalan says:

        Agree completely but bear in mind that KB/M is actually fully supported for the game.

      • Torticoli says:

        When I buy a very expensive gaming PC, with very expensive peripherals, I expect to be able to play PC games with them. I don’t expect to be required to buy a damn console controller in order to play them.

        I’m sorry, but while your argument is valid (a PC has the advantage over a console to be able to plug in a variety of control methods), I just can’t accept this ridiculous situation of being required (not just having the option, being required) to buy a console controller in order to play PC games. It’s ridiculous. Options are fine, but coming out and openly saying “we’re developing a PC game, and we expect you to not play it with PC-specific controls” is ridiculous to me.

        • Zeliard says:

          Thanks Khalan, didn’t see that edit in the article. And Torticoli, the game supports kb/m. It’s just optimised for gamepad, which as a third-person action game isn’t too surprising. It should still be perfectly playable with kb/m.

        • Prime says:

          In the context of Assassin’s Creed, which is not a “PC game” as you’ve claimed but a multiplatform title, leaning towards pads for their control scheme is justifiable. It’s an option they’ve taken. It’s a choice that they feel fits the game they’re making. They aren’t suggesting you use one for Anno 2070 or The Settlers, are they? No.

          The beauty of the PC platform is that it can be whatever developers want it to be. It’s criminal that beat-em-ups left the platform for a while. That never should have happened. We should have been buying pads to support this genre but while the PC was associated so heavily with M+KB these games weren’t being made for us. Some games are just better with a pad. Microsoft – or someone of note on the PC platform – should have been promoting them so that PC owners would naturally come to regard them as essential parts of their controller toolbox.

          Finally, if you can spend a fortune on a PC then surely less than £20 on a pad isn’t going to break the bank?

        • Yachmenev says:

          Gamepads have not been exclusive to consoles since the early 80´s. It´s wrong to call them console controllers.

        • mendel says:

          $600 PC – must-have.
          $60 game – good value for the money.
          $30 controller – what an outrage!

          • SanguineAngel says:

            I was pretty wealthy when I built my computer. I am not anymore. Value is based partly on circumstance.

            Edit: Also, the computer can be viewed as an essential item (if you are going to play pc games), the games can also be viewed as essential expenses so that you can actually play them. A game seems more like an unnecessary purchase. I already HAVE the computer, I already have the game. Now they want me to go out and buy another third party product.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Yeah, nothing says “I’m a strong advocate of PC gaming” like implying that the only thing that differentiates your PC from consoles is the controller. Good work.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      PC gaming isn’t dead, its games have just been dumbed-down, homogenized, and trivialized to fit the IQ/attention spans of console gamers.

      And the real problem is that previously proud PC players, like those who have replied to this above, simply can’t see it. Or they prefer it. In which case there’s not much hope left.

  32. rb2610 says:

    It’d be like playing an RTS on a console and expecting it to work well on a gamepad, or trying to play Guitar Hero with a gamepad, sure you can shoehorn it in, but it’ll be poorly implemented and difficult to use. The AC series just doesn’t suit a kb/m very well, at least they’re actually releasing the game on PC and hopefully on time.

    It seems similar to people who refuse to make the change from XP to Win7, stop being a technophobe and holding back gaming technology.

    Not that gamepads should be supported over kb/m, but where appropriate people should expect to have to use hardware that gives the optimal experience in a particular game. Any gamer worth his salt who plays a variety of genres should have a gamepad of some description. (Although fair enough if all you play is FPS, RPG and RTS games)

    Why are people saying a keyboard’s multitude of buttons is an advantage? AC only uses a few buttons, is not an MMO that requires seventy-billion shortcuts, anything more than around 12 buttons is superfluous in this case.

    Also, Assassin’s Creed is a movement based game, not an aim based game, so what matters most is what your left hand is doing, on a gamepad, it’s pretty much dedicated to movement on an analogue input, on a keyboard it’s divided between movement and additional controls and is restricted to digital input, it’d be like using the d-pad over an analogue stick.

  33. LuNatic says:

    If they mean “We recommend a controller because it better suits this style of action game”, then that’s fine by me. If they mean “We recommend a controller because we can’t be arsed properly implementing mouse and keyboard support”, then I have a problem with that. It’s kind of hard tell which is the case from the wording of the article.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      I might be reading it wrong, but it seems to me that rather than “we can’t be bothered to implement proper mouse and keyboard support”, they’re saying “we think this game is better suited to pads and are designing the control system accordingly”. Which is fair enough, if that is what they’re saying.

      Edit: it appears that rather than reply I have chosen to repeat exactly what you said using different words. Still, worth repeating, maybe.

      • Runs With Foxes says:

        You’re handling Ubisoft’s PR very well for them.

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          Fuck off you condescending prick. That good enough PR for you?

  34. SurprisedMan says:

    I don’t get it. What happened, PC gamers? Back in my day having a controller in your PC gaming set up, and a joystick was pretty much business as usual. Have PC gamers got so grumpy about anything vaguely console-y that nobody has a controller anymore?

    • Yachmenev says:

      The internet happened. Having a strong opinion is more important than what the opinion really means.

    • iniudan says:

      Just wish it was easy to still find cheap reliable joystick in store. Not feeling safe to order the cheaper joystick on the net, since it the kind of hardware I want to see the build quality before buying, but if I had the money order a quality joystick like a X-65F I would order in an heart beat.

  35. Innovacious says:

    I just wish 360 controllers were not THE standard. I really prefer the layout on PlayStation controllers and a lot of generic PC controllers that sort of follow the same design. At the moment I’m actually using a 3rd party ps2 controller with a USB adapter for my controller needs.

    I guess its because the PlayStation controller was the most used controller in my life and i just got used to that. When i was younger we had a Commodore 64 and Amiga PCs so i used mouse+keyboard or joysticks. Of the actual consoles with controllers I’ve had over the years (mega drive, ps,ps2,xbox 360,ps3) the ps and ps2 were the most used by a long way.

    I STILL much prefer the feel of using a mouse for view movement (and menus n whatnot of course), but understand the use of analogue sticks for player movement, its more fluid and allows for varying speeds. Is there any sort of keyboard out there with a analogue stick in place of wasd? Thats the ONLY thing i feel i really need from a controller over a keyboard.

    • Zeliard says:

      Just use MotioninJoy. It emulates a 360 controller perfectly. That’s what I do with my Dualshock 3.

    • Beva says:

      I second Motioninjoy, once you set it up it works wonders, only thing is that you will have to adapt to the 360 pad button prompts. (X is A, O is B etc.)

      • Zeliard says:

        Sure but the button placements are basically identical. :P

        • mickygor says:

          Which is all well and good if you know where they lie on an XBox controller.

          • Zeliard says:

            Well yeah, but it’s four whole button placements you need to become accustomed to. A B X Y. The rest are identical. Should be a quick study for most, I would think.

        • Beva says:

          Yeah, it is.
          I rather meant that sometimes, if you have no idea which x-box button is which, it might make it slightly hard to know what you are meant to do when a game says: “press Y now”. It’s not a HUGE issue.

    • paterah says:

      You can get a Logitech F710, it’s almost like a PS controller but with Xinput and Xbox buttons. it’s very recommended if you don’t like the xbox one. It’s the only PS style controller I’d recommend for PC.

  36. mondomau says:

    I must say, I’m quite surprised at how many members of the ‘screeching irrational entitlement’ club and the ‘not actually reading the article or doing any background research’ society there are present today. I’m all for lambasting Ubisoft for the many (many) genuine dick moves they pull, but this seems like a.) not that unreasonable an attitude and b.) not actually news, since it’s really just a rationale for the approach they’ve used on all the other AC games.

  37. kud13 says:

    I have terrible coordination, and I absolutely suck at using gamepads, Probably because i’ve never owned a console in my life.

    The fact that Ubi recommends a controller for AssCreed is one of the main reasons I never played any games in that series.

    If you’re making a game for PC, you should ensure that it works well with the primary method of input used by a PC,
    Otherwise, not only do you lose sales, you also hurt your own reputation. Oh wait, this is Ubisoft……

  38. Doubler says:

    The previous games were perfectly playable with mouse and keyboard, I don’t see AC3 being so radically different that it’s impossible now.

    The strength of the pc platform is diversity, and this counts in peripherals as well. By twisting this to mean that everyone is expected to have the proper peripheral ready for particular games you’re doing the platform a massive disservice. It won’t exactly help the accessibility of PC gaming either.
    And ultimately M&K is the only thing you can expect every PC gamer to have. Anything else is targeting a niche.

    Personally, I simply find controllers uncomfortable to use, so being able to use something else is a must for me.

  39. Ceyoda says:

    I guess I’ll pirate the game now because the money I had that was to be used for buying the game, had to go towards a controller to optimally play the game. The universe has balance.

  40. Sivart13 says:

    I have played the previous four games in the series with a wired Xbox 360 controller and have enjoyed it.

    HOWEVER, something about my particular wired 360 controller makes AssCreed mad, and I generally have to rebind all the buttons when I start playing a game.

    WHAT IS EVEN WORSE is that in Multiplayer it doesn’t seem to allow all the same binding opportunities, so I’ve never been able to puff around in assassin’s creed multiplayer.

    So yeah… get it together, eh, yobi soft. Or I’ll just buy a different controller, some day? I don’t know what’s wrong with this one.

  41. Dowson says:

    I imagine this means they’ll continue with what they did previously, you can play it with a keyboard, but that is not the best idea because a pad is better.

    Seriously, its 2012, you can’t tell me you’re a PC gamer and don’t own at least one gamepad.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I can. I am. I don’t.

      • Dowson says:

        Must be awful intentionally handicapping your choice in games.

        • SanguineAngel says:

          Well that’s ridiculous. Even here, AC3 will still be playable using a M&KB setup. I think people are mainly up in arms at the idea that major devs are dismissing the idea that they should put the effort into accommodating for a system’s native control input. Which is fair enough in my view and I happen to agree.

          I have yet to come across a game I have been unable to play simply because I didn’t spend out for a controller.

        • NathanH says:

          There actually aren’t very many games that are easier to play with a controller you aren’t used to using than with a mouse and keyboard that you are proficient with.

          I’d be up for learning to use a controller when they start making games for Mouse & Controller, since mouse is just the best tool for controlling view.

          • InternetBatman says:

            Same here. I liked the wii nunchuck for controlling movement, and I think a button mouse would do fine for the rest.

        • Apples says:

          I haven’t owned a PC gamepad since about 1996 and I’ve never been unable to play a PC game because of lack of controller. I even played SR2 without one and it was fine! I guess for those who are super into difficult gameplay that requires infinitesimally small movements it will be a problem but it’s not exactly at the level of ‘handicap’ for most people.

    • Kadayi says:

      Indeed. There’s a lot of stuff that works a lot better on a controller than on M&K.

      • RakeShark says:

        I’d say for example: Sports games. Especially baseball, hockey, and foot-to-ball FIFA games. I used to use a damn joystick for NHL99. With the MLB2K series, I finally broke down and bought a gamepad, made the game much more enjoyable to play.

        I sure as hell wouldn’t play a FPS without a M&K, mostly because that’s been refined to an exact science. But I make no apologies for dishing out a few dozen bucks for a racing wheel, foot pedals, joystick, and gamepad to enjoy my games.

  42. SanguineAngel says:

    Allowing my rage to calm down, I suspect this simply means not much will change. It won’t have amazing PC specific controls (which is a shame) and will play better on a controller. I would like to see some more effort made to integrate PC controls into all games on the PC. I don’t mind if it controls BETTER with a controller but this just highlights a general attitude to PC porting which is a bit slap dash.

  43. sophof says:

    One of the nice things of PC gaming is that you can plug in any controller. These days I also think a lot of gamers will have the xbox controller for their PC. I don’t think mouse/keyboard is so normal because PC-gamers are so adamount about it, I think it is that way because not properly supporting mouse-keyboard unnecessarily reduces the amount of potential customers. The lack of effort it takes to support it hardly ever makes it worth to ignore it, so I don’t really get this statement from them.

    If you really think the experience is better with a gamepad, you can always take the super meatboy approach or something similar, informing the player.

    I’m pretty sure the reason why fligt sims and space sims didn’t survive was because of the distinct lack of affordable flightsticks, that kind of shows the danger. Throwing up another barrier for your game is bad PR, no matter how much sense it makes.

  44. Etherealsteel says:

    I don’t see the big deal really, unless they totally take out KB/Mouse controls, which they aren’t. We all know a Race wheel or flight stick is better than using a KB/Mouse in racing or flight games. Don’t get to ruffed up on this, but do fight any heavy DRM restrictions.

  45. Jimbo says:

    PC wins because you can play everything in the best way possible, not because you can stubbornly insist on playing everything with M&K, no matter how inappropriate it is for the game at hand. Now, if they were doing a half-assed job of supporting M&K in a FPS, that would be a different story.

  46. MrStones says:

    Why can’t we just find the better for everyone (well me at least) middle ground offered by controller AND mouse. I when possible will use half a DS3 controller in my left hand and a 5 button mouse for in my right. This gives me 14 buttons (16 if you don’t mind stretching for start and remapping the Ps button) which is more than enough for most games.

    Unfortunately a lot of games seem to realise this is how I like to play and now disable either the controller or K&M when the other is selected forcing me to chose between one or the other.

    /dreams of a day when we say “nav and mouse” and keyboards are for typing only.

  47. DK says:

    I wouldn’t have a problem with that statement if what he said was actually true. It’s not though. What he MEANS is “PC Players need an Xbox 360 Controller”, because devs are too fucking lazy to code any other gamepad support but the microsoft gamepad. All the other gamepad implementations are always absent or halfassed to the point of uselessness.

    • Zeliard says:

      Again, you can emulate other controllers into a 360 controller easily. Games that support 360 controllers will think you are using one, including giving you the proper button prompts. The Assassin’s Creed games in fact do just that.

      • mendel says:

        I found it easy as long as all you want are digital controls. I tried getting my Thrustmaster gamepad to work with Need For Speed World, which only supports Xbox gamepads, and failed to get the analog sticks working. If all I can get are digital controls, I might as well keep using the keyboard.

        Maybe you’re using a tool I haven’t heard of?

  48. mickygor says:

    Alex Hutchinson says I don’t want to play Assassin’s Creed. Incidentally correct, but who is he to assert my stance? It sounds like post rationalisation to say that 100% of your market already has a controller peripheral.

  49. ain says:

    Not like I’d buy a console port anyways.

  50. Azhrarn says:

    Personally, I prefer to use Keyboard and Mouse, but there are certainly instances where a controller allows for greater enjoyment.

    My personal favorites would be games that behave similarly to say, Darksiders or The Saboteur on PC, both have “adaptive” control schemes, that switch seamlessly between controller and keyboard and mouse as dictated by the player.

    For instance running and gunning in the Saboteur is much easier with mouse and keyboard, but driving works much better with a controller, and the game will switch all button prompts, in-game control references, between mouse and keyboard and controller, depending on which you touched last.

    Unfortunately, games that do that are fairly rare.