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Blakey

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

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I've put around 12 hours into this since starting it Tuesday morning.

 

I'm mainly going to focus on the additions and changes to the formula since Origins as I feel like there's many posts of mine already extolling the virtues of that game.

 

Exploration mode is one of the major new additions. It lets you strip away a lot of quest markers and gives you clues as to a place/person etc. you have to find, so instead of just pointing you towards your target and placing a marker down for you it'll say 'South of Mount Apollo', 'West of Athens', 'near Fort Marmaris' or something like that and you'll have to use your own deductions to find your way there, sometimes having to speak to someone who will then point you in the direction of your destination or having to investigate an area to find where a certain person of interest went next. As soon as you get close to your destination it'll pop up with 'you're close, use Icarus - fucking eagle - to find target' which takes away a bit of the mystery but it still remains more satisfying and engaging to play this way, I was sceptical and didn't think I'd bother with it but it's the intended way to play the game and I can't recommend it enough, just helps immerse you in the world that little bit more.

 

They've also added a dialogue tree to almost every conversation you can engage in. Almost straight away the game starts you off engaged in conversation and you have to choose your responses for the first time ever in an AC game - which as a long time fan I was genuinely exhilarated about. On the surface of it it's a small detail but having that ability to pick your own choices deeply enhances your engagement to certain quest-lines and conversations, instead of sitting passively by and waiting for a conversation to be over so you can get on with the quest at hand you feel more proactive and engaged every step of the way so when you finish the conversation.

 

It also means you've got more agency to make your own choices, I've had one mission where I saved some villagers from some enemy soldiers and they thanked me by giving me their life savings in Gold - you can either take it or tell them to keep their money and go on your way. There was another mission where some villagers stole some supplies from a Spartan caravan, I found them in a cave and could've slaughtered the lot of them but I decided to let them live and went back to my Spartan soldier quest giver only to end up empty handed, save for a 'Sparta thanks you' as a reward. Certain quests that have you finding select treasure you can lie about and say you found nothing, pocketing the trinket yourself and things like this. Granted, none of this is new in the RPG-sphere but it feels very new and fresh when implemented so superbly in an AC game. The new romance options are sure to delight too, so far I've only managed to sleep with one lady but I had to work to get her to that point!

 

Complimenting the new dialogue tree is a brand new quest structure which I've not really seen before in an AC game. It kind of makes everything meld into one, even the main story quests aren't given particular gravitas at all, they're just on your quest menu and have you doing small tasks which will eventually add up to something bigger later on, they can also run into a variety of side quests and overlap. Again, other RPGs have done this before so it isn't anything special per se but to see them overlap to such an expert degree that it feels incredibly organic is a real triumph. Origins had a similar idea but everything still felt a little disjointed at times but here everything feels seamless.

 

Full fat Naval Combat returns from AC4. In Origins there were brief sections of Naval combat but most of your time on the seas was spent in rafts and basic sail boats. Within the first 5 hours of this you're given your own boat and free reign to go wherever you'd like on the high seas complete with Naval missions like sinking x number of ships and being able to board enemy ships and slaughter their crew - just like you could in AC4. Another return from AC4 are the sea shanty's, which just are a delight and help add to the tranquillity when you're sailing around on the open seas. I don't yet know whether other AC4 naval options like hunting down legendary ships, taking over Naval forts etc. are going to be in the game but I hope they are.

 

You can also fully upgrade your ship by picking up supplies floating in the sea and sinking ships. Making it stronger and stronger by upgrading the Hull, archer capacity, adding new weapons like a flaming pot and things like that. Along your travels you can recruit lieutenants who work on the ship and give various perks to you and your crew along the way.

 

The Phylakes system in Origins - where certain actions would make a strong enemy hunt you down throughout the world - has been expanded into the new 'mercenary' system which acts quite similarly to the Nemesis system in the Middle-Earth games. You start off on the bottom tier and work your way up hunting down - and being hunted - by stronger mercenaries eventually working your way up to the top. I really liked the Phylakes in Origins and I like the system again in this, it definitely feels more fleshed out this time around and the incentives for working your way up the leaderboard to be a legendary mercenary make the whole system more compelling.

 

Without giving anything away about the story, it is already quite a bit better than Origins’ so far. Whilst I did like Origins’ freeform mission structure (and the way you could pick and choose which targets you want to take down and when) the story feels much more focused in this - at the moment anyway - with a lot of cutscenes, flashbacks and interesting, intriguing characters who you can’t quite tell their motivations. The dialogue tree plays its hand in the story missions too with you being able to make key decisions about whether you want to let a certain person live or die and the narrative shifting based on your decision, I’m sure there will be many more like this as the game goes on as well. This helps keep you invested in Alexios/Kassandra’s story quite a bit more, and it took me a good minute or two to make my first key decision and was an unusually emotional for an AC game.

 

The combat and upgrade system is largely the same as Origins but you seem to be a bit more limited in the abilities you can equip at any one time which means you can’t just spam special attacks over and over until an enemy is defeated. If you liked the combat system in Origins you’ll like it here, it is still very satisfying to take down a difficult enemy and the new abilities help you feel like more of a badass, especially the Spartan Kick which feels amazing to kick some high level fort boss off a cliff. The ability tree itself seems to be much more toned down compared to Origins as well with far less clutter and superfluity, you can only equip 4 melee and 4 ranged abilities at one time as well which helps you not get overpowered too quickly in the game.

 

The Greek setting itself I haven’t found quite as fascinating to explore as Egypt so far. Egypt felt so distinct and different in its art styles and environment whereas this can feel at times like a lot of other RPGs with European settings. Nevertheless, it is still incredibly beautiful and walking through a town and watching the inhabitants go about their daily routines or seeing the sun go down over the Mediterranean is spellbinding, it is still such an incredibly easy game to get utterly lost in. I’m sure once I experience more of the Aegean Islands and Athens things will begin to feel more distinctly Greek.

 

Safe to say I’m besotted with it so far, it's maybe got a little less of the evocative magic that made Egypt feel so vivid and memorable in Origins but it makes up for it in pretty much every other way. I’d put it on the same level as Witcher 3 so far and it’s probably one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played.

 

Spoiler

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Played another 7 hours since my last post, now up to 19 hours total.

 

Wow, is this a massive game. In those 19 hours I’ve only cleared 3 regions, and I counted them the other day and there’s about 30 regions 😮 I’m still relatively early on in the 4th chapter of the story.

 

Speaking of story, it is already a hell of a lot better than Origins’ story. I don’t want to give too much about it away but there was this mission last night where you have to go under cover to infiltrate an organisation and it was just absolutely spectacular, the tension was palpable at times and the dialogue was so well written and acted.

 

Kassandra continues to be a delight too, she is definitely one of my favourite AC protagonists already. At times with the setting and playing as a women it almost feels like you’re playing a Wonder Woman game too which is pretty damn cool.

 

I’ve been banging everyone as well. An old lady who’s husband couldn’t keep up with her wanted it so she got it, banged my first dude last night too who was this ‘handsome’ doctor in a town, wonder if an orgy is possible? 

 

The game has introduced two new mechanics into the mix since my last post too. The conquest battles which were shown at E3 are similar to the gang battles in AC Syndicate and are a nice touch, I don’t think they’re amazing or anything but seeing as you can lose them if you’re not careful and taking down some of the enemy captains at the right time is key, it’s  just a nice addition. Once you’ve won a conquest battle and the region turns to the other side in the war (Athens or Sparta) you can then go back and win it back for the other side endlessly if you wish -  although I’ve stuck to doing just 1 conquest battle per region for now - still gaining rewards for doing so.

 

The other is similar to the way Origins’ main story targets work where you can find targets out in the world and eliminate them. They make it far more interesting here though as to reveal the location of a target you have to gather clues to their whereabouts by exploring certain areas or regions dotted around the map, only when you’ve got enough clues will the targets location be placed on your map.

 

It just keeps adding more and more features into the mix as you progress which is so incredibly engaging and continues to build more and more layers onto this deep, grandiose adventure, what a game.

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6 hours ago, Sly Reflex said:

Who gives a fuck about all this. What we want to know is have you swung from the dick of that statue yet?

 

Oh god yes, I’ll put up the pic tomorrow ;)

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Well I tried to get the Zeus Cock Pic but for some reason it isn't in the image folder on my PC :( 

 

Played another 7 hours since my last post, 26 total.

 

I mentioned in my last post that they keep adding more and more layers onto the game, and guess what? I carried on with the story for a bit and there was yet another layer put on that gives even more incentive to hunt for clues and take out certain targets around the world. 

 

I'm still not 100% sure I prefer it to Origins yet but it is just so incredibly magical. I carried on with the story for a bit, then went back in and just sailed around some of the islands basking in the starlight, listening to my crew sing shanty's and it was just such a special moment in a game full of them.

 

I was just utterly engrossed earlier taking down a Fort. You will take down a lot of Forts/Bandit Camps etc. in this game there's no two way's round it but that feeling of cheekily taking out enemies in a base or managing to go through one completely silent still has such an incredibly special feel to it. I forgot to mention this previously with the Mercenary system, but if you fuck up a Fort massively it can act as a kind of up to 5-star wanted level and you find yourself stuck in a Fort with a ton of regular enemies and 2 or 3 Mercenaries too and let me tell you, that shit's intense! 

 

I also possibly neglected to mention how great the Spartan Kick move is. When we all saw it in the first trailers we all rolled our eyes a bit - it has been a long time since the film 300 came out after all - but the feeling of goading an enemy to the cliff edge then kicking them off and watching them wailing all the way to the ground just never gets old, they've absolutely nailed the oomph you feel on the controller and sound effect when it happens too. I've specced Kassy as a Hunter primarily (similarly to how I specced Biyek) and it is still so incredibly satisfying to get a headshot with the bow, I don't know what special sauce they use to get that feeling but it feels great every single damn time. 

 

I had a fucking amazing side quest today as well. A guy called Stupideo says he's hearing voices that he'll murder his parents so he locks himself in a Cage. He tasks you with retrieving a Sword and Shield from nearby so his parents can protect themselves if anything goes wrong when he gets out. You go to the Blacksmith first who has the sword and you can agree to bang him if he tells you where the sword is - of course I oblige - but then he says he doesn't have a full 'spear' lately so you need to collect flowers. 

 

Once you've got the flowers you bring them back to him and you can choose to go through with the fuck to get the sword or turn him down. I followed through with the banging, got the Sword and brought it back to Stupideo to then find out I'd already killed the women that had the Shield he wanted (from a cave I'd previously explored). 

 

Anyway, it turns out his 'parents' outside the cage aren't actually his parents, they're his foster parents. His real dad was the guy I just fucked and his mum was the women I just slaughtered, he's still in the cage wailing 'you fucked my padre and killed my madre?!?!' :lol: :lol: :lol: so fucking good.

 

Some pics:

 

THIS IS SPARTA!

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Now 33 hours in.

 

Don't have an awfully lot more to add.

 

Just wanted to say that I carried on with the story at one point, sailing from an island to Attika (where Athens is), stopped off at a 'small island' to explore.

 

Was there 6 hours 😮 what a game. Had some side quest there where it actually had the time ticking down for me to save someone too, never seen that before in an AC game. I stupidly thought the 'shut up, I'll kill you' choice would save both of them but they both got their throats cut.

 

33 hours in and I've explored like 6 regions out of 30 😂 barely feels like I've scratched the service, this is one mammoth game.

 

Some pics:

 

 

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43 hours in now.

 

I reached Athens in my last session and it really was pretty damn mind boggling. I've never been lucky enough to go in person but seeing the Parthenon and Akropolis slowing emerging in front of me as I walked over a hill as the sun was setting was such a special sight to behold. Just the size and scale of the city is mad, definitely feels way bigger than Alexandria in Origins and is probably more akin to an entire city in one of the early AC games.

 

Before I arrived in Athens I spent a ton of time exploring some of the little islands and having an absolute whale of a time. There was this really cool side quest chain which involved training for this 100 person battle royale on an island with a training buddy - Roxana - who I then proceeded to shag and share a romantic moment with before we set out for the tournament and then if you make it to the final two you have the choice to rebel with her and overthrow the tournament organisers in dramatic fashion or cut Roxana down and take all the money and glory for yourself. Being the nice gal I am I decided to overthrow the oppressors and she joined my ship (as an epic level lieutenant no less).

 

Getting back to Athens. I carried on with the story quest-line I'd been neglecting and met Socrates, Pericles (father of democracy), a famous artist and a few other figures. It is quite interesting how I'm being pulled in numerous directions New Vegas style with one of the military guys wanting me to help him overthrow Pericles and realising Pericles isn't exactly a shining example of democracy of himself with vote rigging and such going on. So it's going to be an interesting dilemma once everything comes to a head there.

 

Did lots more exploring and polished up almost all the ? in Attika. Once these are done I'll follow the main quest on quite a bit again to catch up and then head off exploring.

 

I know I've said this many times at this point but it is just utterly mindboggling how gigantic this game is. I'm 43 hours in, FOURTY THREE HOURS and I've discovered like 11 regions, am Level 28 and have barely scratched the surface on the story really. I can say it is easily as big as Skyrim, possibly a lot larger even? It's difficult to tell, but it continues to baffle me with its size and scale.

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The times you're posting are actually doing a fairly good job of putting me off this, I'm not sure I want to spend that amount of time with the game... sometimes having gaming ocd is a curse.😂

 

Just Cause 4 here I come.

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Not got much to add really, just going to post some photos.

 

I'm 75 hours in now, still absolutely loving it but clearing all regions is definitely catching up with me and I think I'll have to ditch it soon and just concentrate on the fantastic story if I want to finish it within the next 50 hours.

 

I'm Level 45, got the Level 5 spear now and got up to TIer 2 of the Mercenary ranks.

 

Spoiler

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Went back to this today and am now at 95 hours played.

 

On Thursday because of Red Dead coming out that evening and having neglected the story for an awfully long time I decided to mainline the story.

 

It's been pretty amazing I have to say. The missions themselves and the activities you do aren't anything groundbreaking per se but all the different steps and decisions you can take along the way in accomplishing these steps that lead to a final goal in a particular regions are really nice when they all come together. Really reminds me of Fallout New Vegas and all the differing story strands you can take that may end up with one big decision or story path at the end. It is definitely a million times better than Origins' campaign and makes that look incredibly bare bones in comparison really.

 

There was one mission with Testikles which had me giggling like a school girl. 

Spoiler

You have to transport him from this small Island to the Olympic games in Olympia in Elis on your boat. This guy is like a super thick beefcake type and you see Kassandra rolling her eyes in a lot of the scenes :lol: 

Anyway, when you reach your destination and get off the ship Testikles comes at you for a hug on the jeti. You dodge it and he falls off the jeti into the sea, Kassandra and the others are like 'surely he can swim right?' and then you can just see a load of sharks and a blood puddle rising to the surface of the sea and they just go 'well, there goes Testikles' and you have to compete in his place :lol: 

 

So yeah my aspirations to 100% every single region were a little too ambitious and I think I would've worn myself out anyway so I'm just going to concentrate on finishing off all the story stuff for now and then I might go back and finish off all the exploration of regions and side quests at a later date sometime down the line. Got 1 more artefact to find in one quest-line and another 7 targets to kill in the other so that shouldn't take me too long.

 

I think I found a Black Panther reference in Crete too:

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And here's one of the mythical creatures I fought, spoiler tagged just in case:

Spoiler

 

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Think I'm right near the end of the main family story-line now and will go back and wrap up the other two story-threads after I've finished the family one, will hopefully finish it off tomorrow.

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Finished it today, took me just shy of 100 hours.

 

I can definitively say that Kassandra and the story in this are definitely the best the series has ever produced. The personal feel to the story makes you care about Kassandra that much more and when certain events play out you genuinely feel for her and for the first time ever in an AC game I found myself getting a little bit emotional in some scenes, the dialogue choices obviously help with this as well as you feel more involved in the plot and directions that it's taken. The writing and care in the dialogue is just something you don't usually see or associate with an AC game, the only low point is the villain which is written so incredibly poorly and so over-acted by the voice actor - luckily though he is only in the game for about 30 minutes max out of a huge story.

 

The world though just didn't live up to Origins unfortunately. Egypt was just so wonderfully evocative and varied in its landscapes, you had swamps, areas that looked like they were part of the Roman Empire, deserts (of course) and the cities all felt breathtaking and unique. In Odyssey the world just didn't have that same impact on me. Athens and Sparta are really impressive the first time you see them don't get me wrong but the majority of places follow two environmental design philosophies. They're either Santorini-esque Greek Mediterranean with white sand beaches, olive trees etc. or they're Northern Greek/Eastern European Witcher-esque places with mountains, dense forests, bears and all that other stuff. 

 

I felt like the Naval side of things was a bit of a let down too. Ship combat was really cool but it never felt as involved as Black Flag and there wasn't anywhere near the level of activites to do with you boat, no forts or whale hunting or anything like that, just pirate/spartan/athenian ships you could sink and a rare Epic ship you could go after if so inclined. I think the Naval side of things was incredibly underutilised throughout the Campaign too aside from a tool to get you to discover other regions around Greece.

 

Other things like the puzzle designs of Tombs were designed so much better in Origins. Here they just seemed to apply the Origins template but not really personalise them as much and give them as unique a feel. Going through Tombs in amongst the pyramids will always feel infinitely more special than just finding one in a random Makedonian hillside too.

 

But then Origins had a really poor Campaign in comparison that felt incredibly bare bones alongside this so it evens itself out really. Origins' world is more fun to explore and get lost in but Odyssey's protagonist and Campaign are so much more inviting and compelling than Bayek's.

 

Overall though it is a truly astounding game. Not only a truly great AC game but a truly great RPG in its own right.

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On 07/10/2018 at 15:46, Sly Reflex said:

Who gives a fuck about all this. What we want to know is have you swung from the dick of that statue yet?

 

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I just did.

 

GOTY.

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Just started playing this myself. Haven’t committed to an AC game for a very long time,I got burned out with the yearly sequels and ditched it.

 

So far,this seems very impressive. It looks stunning,with an absolute ton of stuff to do. And I saw a floating donkey. Yay.

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Considering I've put about 27 hours into this game I'm not sure why I haven't spoke about it more.

 

Maybe it's the fact that even 27 hours in, I've still barely even scratched the story... Seriously, I'm playing as Kassandra , I was introduced to...

Spoiler

the cult

... 10 hours ago and I haven't done a main mission since.

 

A side quest leads to a bounty board, leads to a new island, leads to a new side quest, leads to hopping in a boat and setting fire to stuff, leads to more side quests. It's the same thing over and over, admittedly, but it's got that addictive AC quality that gets its claws into me and doesn't let go for a long time. Suffice it to say, I'm really enjoying this up to now, even if the combat seems more difficult than Origins (or did I just play too many easy games last year?)

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I’m 30 hours in,and still got an absolute ton of stuff to do. I’ve really enjoyed this,I haven’t committed to an AC game since the PS3 era. But a break from the series has done me the world of good. Because this feels fresh,and addictive.

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Completed the main storyline,though there’s still an absolute ton of stuff to do. Definitely one of the best games in the series,haven’t enjoyed an AC game properly in years. But other than being a bit grindy,this has been excellent.

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I've started this on the back of AC Origins. First impressions are that the character models seemed better in Origins and that the story won't match up. Origins has a beautiful set of characters with real story, motivations and sadness. The relationship and sacrifice between Bayek and his wife was one of the best portrayals in a video game now I think about it. Not sure Odyssey will live up to it, but we'll see. Also not sure whether Odyssey can compete with the pure variety of Egypt.

 

That sounds a bit negative but I am enjoying it. My only genuine gripe which is why I've paused in frustration, is the fucking bounty hunter. I'm not quite powerful enough to kill him yet and he's cropping up everywhere. I'm in a mission, he appears. I'm in a cut scene with an NPC he's waiting when I exit the conversation, just rocked in from nowhere. It's really stupid, intrusive and game breaking. At least with the Phylakes in Egypt you could decide tactically how, when and where you'd confront them and it was genuinely satisfying taking them all out. But if these pricks keep interfering in my game play then my game's spoiled.

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You can pay off the bounty @smallofbooty in the menu and they’ll go away.

 

You’ll be seeing an awful lot of the Mercenaries throughout the game, but, if you can’t be arsed with them then stay stealthy and keep paying off the bounties. 

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