Assassins Creed: Origins

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Snowy
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Re: Assassins Creed: Origins - 1 Day Toto Release

Postby Snowy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:04 am

So a little more detail.

I am really enjoying myself. It still feels like an open world RPG more than an Assassins Creed title - hell I don't even have a hidden blade in my wrist (although I am sure that will change - still, several hours in at this stage). I am pleased to say that the generic look and feel that I mentioned from Jim Sterling's video has not emerged - everything feels very Egyptian. I am surprised that they chose to set it in the Ptolemaic dynasty, right at the end of the age of the Egyptian empire and with heavy incursion from Greece, but it works very well as a setting.

The character Bayak that you play is very likeable, he has a role in society a bit like a policeman, making his 'righter of wrongs and kicker of oppressive arse' actions completely understandable. Some old Ubi tropes like hunting to make pelts for armour upgrades are there, but feel very much at home in the time period. Also given that packs of hyenas, or crocodiles (man they put the willies up me every time I go swimming) or hippos are generally pretty aggressive, getting something for killing them is a decent trade-off.

In terms of background, there are loads of lovely little details that really bring the world and the period to life. As I mentioned previously, the map is utterly fucking huge with lots of very cool stuff to find, especially if you love ancient Egyptian history (and I do). Starting in Siwa for example, being able to visit the temple of Amun, somewhere I have visited myself, but brought back to life by the artists working for Ubi, is just superb.

Combat-wise, you have to be careful. Almost everyone has a bow, and if you get stuck into a melee surrounding enemies will not hesitate to pepper you with arrows. You can die pretty damned fast, so using stealth and diversion to whittle down your opponents is key. I have just acquired a legendary hunters bow (AC:O sniper rifle effectively) which has arrows automatically aflame. This should be most useful, as jars of oil and other flammables are quite common within compounds. I liked that the game doesn't tell you about some scenery interactions, for example nocking an arrow and holding it over a brazier or torch will ignite it. Little things like that have made me very happy.

Finally, it looks great - have some piccies. (The photo tool in-game, available at a press of F3, is very nice - your own in-game instagram)

Looking over Alexandria having just arrived, with the famed lighthouse (for all you Civ players) clearly visible:

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Ancient Egypt meets ancient Greece:

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My first view of the pyramids:

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Somewhat more evocative than my actual first view of the pyramids (this one from my honeymoon rather than in-game):

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Re: Assassins Creed: Origins - 1 Day Toto Release

Postby Jez » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:22 am

That last shot is amazing it's almost photo realistic!!!!!! Dem grafix!!!

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Re: Assassins Creed: Origins - 1 Day Toto Release

Postby Medicine Man » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:15 am

You can almost smell the overpowering stench of shit in the air. :D

Game does look great though, nice shots Snowy!

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Re: Assassins Creed: Origins - 1 Day Toto Release

Postby Snowy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:30 pm

Medicine Man wrote:You can almost smell the overpowering stench of shit in the air. :D


Cairo smells overwhelmingly of exhaust fumes rather than shit. I have never seen a city quite like it, the traffic is beyond insane and never stops, day and night. We were staying in a nicely soundproofed hotel that was a converted Bedouin palace, but when I opened the balcony doors at about 3am because I was restless and wanted a smoke, it was still a total cacophony outside. Amazing place though.
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Re: Assassins Creed: Origins - 1 Day Toto Release

Postby Jez » Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:40 pm

I was there about 15 years ago on Illustrious as were transiting to the Arabian gulf. I don't think I'd want to go back.

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Re: Assassins Creed: Origins - 1 Day Toto Release

Postby Snowy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:18 pm

Did you get to look around at all Jez? The museum of antiquities, the Khan el-Khalili souk etc? Some fantastic things to take in if you missed them. A real culture shock city.

EDIT: Oh, and some pyramids :)
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Re: Assassins Creed: Origins - 1 Day Toto Release

Postby Jez » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:51 pm

We were only there for 24 hours waiting for customs permission. This was kinda unexpected so nothing was organised officially. In any case I was 26 or whatever and looking for other things :lol:

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Re: Assassins Creed: Origins - 1 Day Toto Release

Postby Medicine Man » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:51 pm

Ladyboys.

:P

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Re: Assassins Creed: Origins - 1 Day Toto Release

Postby Snowy » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:26 am

You know it is true.

The game continues to be a lot of fun, if a lot more Creed-y with the introduction of the wrist-blade. Still very good though - you really need to avoid mass melee and some of your enemies are real fuckers, especially the bounty hunters who start to hunt you once you have completed the initial assassination missions.

Top marks to the game on the quest front too - no more track/eavesdrop quests, and many of them once you complete the initial element open up into small quest sequences that give you little stories to work through. Also nice is that it does The Witcher's trick of letting you inadvertantly complete quests. I like clearing out enemy compounds, which usually consists of killing one or more ranking enemies and/or stealing treasures (which means lewt - weapons or valuables). One such yielded a set of blacksmith's tools. I later came across a blacksmith who had had his tools poached by a local villain, only for Bayek to say "My friend I think I have already helped you in this matter" before handing over the tools - mission instantly completed.

It does nick a lot of ideas. Revenge killings from Shadow of Mordor/War (avenging other fallen players) is an example that I particularly like. Pretty much all done very well too.

Top marks too for the inclusion of chariot racing at the hippodrome, you can properly get your Ben Hur on as shown below. Complete with graphics glitch of cheering fans visible through a stone wall, but the racing is so much fun I will let that slide.

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Medicine Man wrote:Ladyboys.

:P


Look - ye ancient Jez visiting Egypt:

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Re: Assassins Creed: Origins - 1 Day Toto Release

Postby Jez » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:30 am

not enough scabs

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Re: Assassins Creed: Origins

Postby Snowy » Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:33 am

So I wanted to tackle something that has come up in a lot of the reviews, namely grind.

Many reviews have made a point of having to complete side-quests and activities in AC:O in order to progress, basically that to stand a chance you need to be of a certain level in order to tackle specific quests. In many cases, they are quite damning of this.

I am struggling to understand this criticism.

If you were playing an RPG, you would not expect to be able to stray into endgame territory as a fledgling character, and no review on earth would mark it down. Likewise in an RPG if there was only a single story arc to enjoy, the game would rightly be pilloried. Half the fun is in going off the beaten track, carving your own path and having your own adventures in the world the dev has made for you. Hell, in Skyrim I sunk countless hours into quest chains that I enjoyed without even considering the main quest line, I didn't actually complete that until my second play-through.

AC:O has a main storyline that spans the 40 levels your character can attain. These are set at recommended levels in parts of the world that themselves have a recommended level span (the map is broken into areas much in the same vein as Azeroth is, as an example). It also has a load of different activities, from treasure hunting, stargazing, tomb exploration, random encounters as well as a host of shorter side quests. Some of these side-quests open up into short story-arcs which provides colour to the game-world as well as fleshing out your purchase to allow you to sink loads of time into it should you so wish.

My question then is why on earth would a game be criticised, marked down, for including a level structure and RPG feel? I have sunk a load of hours into this so far, and am already level 22. I have actually found myself over-powered in many fights but as I tend to a stealthy approach this doesn't manifest overmuch as I use insta-kill rather than melee abilities. I have had loads of fun exploring the map, finding things and having my own game, exactly as I would hope from an open-world adventure. GR: Wildlands was the same, giving me a massive playground with loads of activities to cover off, thus extending the game as much (or as little) as wanted.

At no stage has it felt like grind.

I wonder if game reviewers, looking at titles as pieces of work with a deadline rather than something to be prolonged and enjoyed, just have a fundamentally different mindset from buyers who want an expansive experience for their money.
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Re: Assassins Creed: Origins

Postby DjchunKfunK » Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:52 am

I think some of that comes from what AC used to be so reviewers perhaps struggle to reconcile that with how the game is now and so see it as grind rather than stuff you would normally do in an RPG. They come into the game with a certain mindset about what the game should be and therefore what is acceptable in that context.
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Re: Assassins Creed: Origins

Postby Mantis » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:05 pm

Historically the AC games have not had great side activities. You can understand that many people will have apprehensions about needing to level up doing these side quests when generally Ubisoft have never done a great job making them enticing and actually feel worth doing.

It's quite endemic of a problem when you can offer people the opportunity to pay to skip the content in your game that you consider not really worth taking the time to actually see.

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Re: Assassins Creed: Origins

Postby Jez » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:14 pm

Sounds like they had little else to complain if this is the case Snowy. Again playing Devil Advocate it might simply be a case of differing opinions and what they view and tolerate as grind is different to you.

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Re: Assassins Creed: Origins

Postby Snowy » Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:03 pm

Mantis wrote:Historically the AC games have not had great side activities. You can understand that many people will have apprehensions about needing to level up doing these side quests when generally Ubisoft have never done a great job making them enticing and actually feel worth doing.

It's quite endemic of a problem when you can offer people the opportunity to pay to skip the content in your game that you consider not really worth taking the time to actually see.


That's where it is really odd - the whole lootbox thing. So, you can buy weapons, crafting equipment etc, but you can't buy levels. All you are doing by buying them is (a) removing the excitement of finding a new cool weapon and (b) removing the benefit of some of the levelling activity - getting crafting components and money. What the loot boxes do not do is skip levelling. Their inclusion in a full-price title is, frankly, ballhang and something Ubi should rightly be beaten with a shitty stick for using.
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