Tags: Action Adventure, Single player, Open World, Puzzle, Infinite Screen
Assassin’s Creed has long been the favorite game of many a player around the world. Now adding eye tracking features to its arsenal, gamers will have yet another reason to play.
London, 1868: full steam ahead for the Industrial Revolution in the capital of the world. And as factories grow, so does the power (and waistbands) of their owners and the brutality of the gangs that fight for supremacy over the murkier sides of the city.
You visit London as one of the twins Jacob or Evie Frye. When you meet Charles Dickens, he has a mission for you – find and disarm the character known as Springheeled Jack, a shadowy figure who has made “scaring poor Londoners” his hobby. You’ve only just started your investigation when you come across information about a factory that exclusively uses child labor. You decide you can allow yourself the time to pop by the factory to release the children and prevent the factory owner from repeating his sins, before continuing the hunt for Springheeled Jack. And so it all begins, with plots and subplots and major and minor missions to be completed, all set in a London possible to recognize, yet far from today’s orderly city.
If you’re an avid Assassin’s Creed player, you’ll feel at home in Syndicate. But how does using your eyes to control the game make for a different experience?
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate comes with plenty of eye tracking features implemented in the game. For example, the feature Aim at gaze lets your eyes choose a target for your gun or hook. Just look at where you want to aim, and when you shoot your gun or throw your hook, it’ll end up in that very place. Nice and simple.
Another feature that affects the play strongly is the Extended view feature. Thanks to this, the game camera automatically adjusts to center the screen on your focus when you look around. When you look close to the screen’s edge, the whole game view changes so that your point of focus ends up in the center of the screen. This lets you rest the mouse and keep your focus on what’s happening on the screen, instead of the screen itself.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate also uses eye tracking to enhance the gaming in subtler ways. One of these features is how the game adjusts the brightness of a scene depending on how long you’ve been looking at it, in the same way that your pupil opens or closes depending on how bright the light is. This is not new in itself, but since the game now knows where you’re looking, it creates a more realistic experience. Another game-enhancing feature is the way the eye tracking control is used by the game to decide what to show the player at a given moment. For example, the heads-up display is only shown when the player looks there; the rest of the time the HUD is almost transparent, leaving the game screen clean. Similar effects are used for map information and other types of meta displays.
In total, eye tracking controls offer the gamer both new ways to interact with the game and new possibilities to dive deeper into the gaming experience as a whole.
So, why not get yourself an eye tracker and a copy of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and explore mid-19th-century London ...
Aim at gaze. When using a ranged weapon – such as a pistol or a throwing knife – or when using your hook, you can aim just by looking at your target. For example, when you look across the street from one roof to another and all the possible anchor points pop up, you just choose one and press the right key, and you are ready to travel.
Clean UI. Since the game knows where you’re looking, it adapts the information visible for different parts of the screen. If an object of interest displays a simple user interface (UI) when you look at it (like health bars for pedestrians), when it’s out of focus, the UI is hidden.
The same functionality is used for the heads-up display (HUD), which becomes almost transparent when you move your gaze away from it.
A similar use of the same feature is for the map markers that you see from high above the city. Close ones are opaque, while the ones farthest away from you are almost transparent, thus implying distance.
Dynamic light. Thanks to the eye tracker, the simulation of your eye’s adaptation to light or dark environments is done in a more realistic way.
Extended view. When you look around on the screen, the game camera follows your gaze and strive to center on your focus point up to a certain limit. The effect is that your view extends beyond the screen borders without you needing to actively adjust it.
For example, when you look at the left-hand side of the screen, the scene camera will auto-pan to the left. The panning stops when the point right in front of your avatar reaches the edge of the screen, thus minimizing the risk of you getting disoriented.
Eye tracking features are built into Assassin’s Creed Syndicate PC so you just need to start the game to get going, when you have:
Do your friends know what it’s like to annihilate an enemy with the power of their eyes? No? Sucks to be them, then.
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