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  • Ingel_Riday
    Original poster 12 posts

    Heya all. Wanted to ramble just a bit, now that I’m officially waiting for the next two or so patches before I try giving this game another round.

    Credit where credit is due; this game by-and-large works. It has bugs, sure, and those bugs finally broke me. My personal last straw wasn’t the incredibly buggy Yuletide festival, nor the drunk Eivor loading bug. No, it was the “Taken for Granted” quest bug where if you choose “now is not the right time,” Randvi’s dialogue options glitch, the quest is removed from your completed list, and you potentially lose access to conversational options needed to beat the game. Great. I have a save 30 minutes back where I can choose to hump my brother’s gal and betray his trust in order to avoid this glitch (what a reason to have sex with your sister-in-law, eh?) … but you know what? No. Nope. Done for now. You’ve lost me.

    But aside from the above, the game runs pretty well. The combat works. The music is nice, when it plays. It’s another Assassin’s Creed Action-RPG, and that’s all the enthusiasm I can muster after 100 hours. The law of diminishing returns, I guess.

    Frankly, this is the third one of these that I have played. I have over 500 hours in Origins and Odyssey, so this is a breath of stale air at this point. The tweaks to gear, skills, and combat depth created a nice middle ground between Origin and Odyssey systems, but after a few dozen hours I found myself in the same rut doing the same loop over and over in a world that, frankly, is kind of oddly lifeless.

    I can’t quite put my finger on it. Origin’s Egypt felt like a lived-in, real place that I was just visiting. You could readily discern the primary economic activity of each village by their fields and shops. They also had logical road structures, fort locations, grain depot sites, and docks. It was a nation wedged onto what little fertile land existed. It was a society, presented warts and all, with a degree of affection.

    Odyssey was more fantastical and didn’t give a darn about historical accuracy outside architecture (the game played like an Assassin’s Creed version of Xena: Warrior Princess), but it still tried for the Origin level of detail. Given a minute or two, I could probably readily discern what each village relied on primarily for trade. The docks, roads, and sign posts linked these together logically. Ancient Greece was a land of nation-states, wedged wherever they could fit on an otherwise mountainous, hard-to-traverse peninsula.

    I have no idea what Valhalla is going for. There is no structure. No sign of each kingdom being a functional state. I couldn’t for the life of me explain how Oxenfordscire works as a region. It feels like a bunch of copy-and-pasted buildings glued together at certain river junctures for the sake of making sure the player never goes more than 750 meters in the sandbox without finding another town to pillage. The sheer amount of rolling hills to ride across is mind-numbing after a while.

    I don’t even have the character to fall back on to make up the difference in personality; this game kept the god-awful Bioware branching dialogue from Odyssey, so there is no consistent characterization of Eivor. Bayek and the other previous assassins grew over time. They developed and came to grips with their own foibles. Eivor just spins his wheels for over a hundred hours of nothing.

    In 60 hours, I met Ezio as a baby and I watched him die of a heart attack as an old man. I watched him mature over the course of three curated, well-crafted narratives from a brash, lusty teen to a battle-hardened, wizened Master Assassin full of unspoken regrets. I miss that.

    Bayek only had one game, albeit a 140 hour long one, but gods did he grow from an angry, vengeance-fueled Medjay to a thoughtful Hidden One at peace with himself and his life. The juxtaposition between himself and Aya, who never moves on from her vengeance, was kind of sad and poignant. The more Bayek grew and developed, the more you realized he was never going to have a happy ending with her.

    I have nothing of the sort here. Nothing. It’s the same Odyssey problem; you can’t do a lot of foreshadowing and character development in a game where the player can veer wildly between diametrically opposed decisions. Heck, you can’t even maintain a consistent main quest narrative; Dag’s anger makes sense if you’re always sitting on Sigurd’s throne, contradicting Sigurd every chance you get, striking Sigurd and Basim physically, insulting Dag whenever able, and openly screwing Sigurd’s wife. I didn’t do any of those things, but hey… gotta have that Dag fight, right?

    I could keep going. Why do I get desynchronized for killing civilians when I clearly show no qualms raiding their village, burning all their homes to the ground, murdering all their brothers/ fathers/ husbands/ sons who enlisted in the local militia, assassinating their leaders, and pillaging all their valuables? What kind of selective morality system is the Raven Clan using, for God’s sake?

    I caught myself wandering an old, ruined Roman tower. I had just killed a bandit with a single spear thrust and his head, severed from his neck with a comical geyser of blood, had rolled down a hill towards it. Figured I’d follow it and look around for another chest. Along the way I found another bandit and my heavy attack ripped off one of his legs as he died. Blood squirted into a thick puddle around the stump as the severed limb bounced along the ground, defying gravity.

    Then I noticed that every female Roman statue had poorly textured, low-resolution clamshell bra cups glued over their breasts. Thank goodness, right? Bare breasts in my murder simulator is where I draw the line, after all! Gotta have my selective morality system respected.

    I know some Puritan-minded Ubisoft committee censored the model before it was copy-and-pasted all over the map, but in my head I pictured some Anglo-Saxon proto-Puritan wandering the land, gluing these on to every single Roman statue in the ENTIRETY OF ENGLAND. He must have had as little life as me, but he chose this over murdering 3,879 creatures & animals in 100 hours (1.62 things killed per minute). He even glued mermaid bras onto the statues in the hidden witch lair. Such pure dedication to progressive conservatism. “Take that, male gaze!” Truly stunning.

    A hundred hours in and that’s the most connected I’ve felt to this game world. It makes me sad to think about. I came away from Origins stunned, and Odyssey amused but worried about the direction of this franchise. I come away from this game (for the time being) with memories of dismemberment, The Little Mermaid, and a sense of exhaustion. I never thought I’d sing the praises of Immortals: Fenyx Rising over Assassin’s Creed, but here we are and I wish the loose, baggy monster format would get some truncation and refinement.  

    Then again, who am I to talk? Look at this stupid post, and I’ve shown zero character development throughout. Guffaw. 

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  • OrcBeard92
    160 posts

    @ingel_riday I agree with some of your points. This game has made me want to rant a couple of times but its more to do with bugs than with the world/game itself.

    Just to give you some context to one of your points about there not being any discernible economy or structure in England in comparison to Odyssey's Greece or Origins' Egypt, with their separate (if slightly cookie-cutter approach) to how certain zones exist within the world.

    Eg. Korinthia being a major pottery zone, Arkadia being famous for grain. Or Faiyum with its rich farmland and fishing industry, Kyreneika with its silphium fields, or even Siwa with its oases and date orchards.

    England at the time of Valhalla had virtually 90% of all of its land devoted solely to farming. In my experience, this is mostly what you see when you're riding about. Lots of cows, sheep, small farmsteads and huts. They certainly feel less copy/paste than Odyssey, but it's not perfect. At a glance you might assume that its the case here, but that's really what a lot of England was like back then. It's a fairly boring place.

    Oxenfordscire in the Anglo-Saxon period was fairly underdeveloped, mostly only being known for its namesake (a ford for oxen). The Romans before them had left it pretty much untouched, as it was a fairly unimportant place resource wise. We can assume then that Ubisoft has taken some license with its landmarks, while still keeping some of the important forests and notable towns therein.

    You also have places like East Anglia, which is mentioned several times as being a pretty miserable and marshy place, fought over by the various kings (it hasn't changed much today either). You will come across several ruined farms and fields left trampled by raids or plagued and rotten. In Lincolnscire, other fields have been left to go wild due to banditry, and so on. Though they do make a note of adding the martyred King Edmund, which later became a site of pilgrimage. Similar to St Albanes, Repton, or Canterbury in Cent.

    Mainly, the Saxon way was to make use of every piece of available land, and use it to graze cattle, or make grain. And where this wasn't available, land would be cleared. You see several cases of this near settlements in Valhalla, where stretches of wood are cleared to build the walls and palisade, or potentially make room for food.

    I did wonder why Ubisoft chose England to begin with, due to it being, as mentioned, a pretty boring place at the time with only a few large settlements dotted about. Everything else was insubstantial, from where the 'Fyrd' is drawn. Farmers called up to serve in war. However I generally find it to be one of the more 'fun' worlds Ubisoft has created. I never really get bored, like I did in Origins sometimes. They've managed to do quite a lot, with comparatively little to work with. The 'North' zones, and Norway are where the game shines for me.

  • ImaginaryRuins
    418 posts

    @ingel_riday There is nothing wrong. As one who has finished all AC main titles (from 2010 until now), I can say for sure there are titles which I prefer more to the others. Personally I like Valhalla more than Origins and Odyssey. Perhaps that is because there is so much greenery to look at, the storyline is separated into multiple independent sections which are more compacted, and also there are elements connecting to previous AC titles.

  • customer_x
    15 posts
    This post is deleted!
  • customer_x
    15 posts

    Origins and even Odyssey were superior compared to Valhalla.. the scenery (lands) arn't bad or ugly in Valhalla by no means.. it's just empty and soulles.
    There are just not enough people in some places, fishermen, traders along the roads (horse/cart/wagon), patrols, some hunters randomly in forrests should be good and many houses and places are just EMPTY.

    This annoys me to such extend that after 1 hour i am bored with the game and stop playing.

    Origins was the best world, it is like Ubisoft people went back in time - the mystery of the pyramids/tombs and ISU interaction etc.. just walk around in Alexandria / Memphis or any city, sail a boat on any river or lake mariotis, simply magic.

    And i miss the Adrestia, can't help it.. there many things that are not in Valhalla like fighting from horseback that got me some of the BEST fights in Origins (these bloody patrols were everywhere LOL) .

    The Valhalla world is for EIvor, just like the Settlement (we have food and drink on the tables in the main building, where are the people / families like the trailer?) .. i don't see it's for the people who actually live there.
    We can sit down and have a chunk of bread, that's it .. what's the point.

    I like to get surprised, visit a place by the river for example were there is nobody.. and next time there are some dudes fishing or cooking a rabbit.. things like these makes the game SO much better.
    A 1000 tiny scipts like this should be in the map.. these days things like this should be possible right?.

  • LurcherLady
    13 posts

    @customer_x I know what you mean and feel that myself riding around. However, I can't imagine that there was a lot going on in that particular time period. I was a bit disappointed, the UK is an island, yet we cannot sail out to sea. I can only imagine this was because people complained about the amount of sea-travel in Odyssey. Personally, I enjoyed the change of scenery and pace it gave you. It's also really clumsy at the moment when you try and go on the longship. Most of the time, unless it's a forced thing, I don't even bother.

    For me it seems as though halfway through the game, Ubisoft got fed up and things just feel rushed from that point onwards, the idea of pledging to areas is a good one but I think they could have done a lot more for each area and made it more in depth. It seems that way at first but then fizzles out somewhat towards the latter regions.

    I too loved Origins and it is probably comparable in size to Valahalla. It just felt more polished and I loved the story of Bayek and Aya. I guess we'll just have to see what the additional DLC's bring to the table.

  • ADarklore
    175 posts

    It's always interesting when I see people playing a game based upon history, to complain when it is actually fairly historically accurate. People complain about so many obstacles when riding overland, well DUH, people tended to use the ROADS and didn't run across other people's lands... and people back then tended to use various forms of barricades- wooden fences, bricks, etc... to either keep their livestock in or denote their land borders. While annoying, I appreciate the attention to detail in trying to give us a historically accurate map and allow us to 'go back in time' to as close to real-life back then as possible.

    This is why I hated Origins... which I played AFTER Odyssey. Odyssey's world was amazing, and being a student of history, I was constantly in wonder of the world around me- the beautiful vistas... then Origins and it was just dirt and sand everywhere you went. I love ancient Egyptian history and was excited to be able to go back in time to that part of the world... but after playing a few hours, it began to all look the same... sand, sand, sand and more sand. You'd have brief areas of which I was like, "OMG, I'm standing on the great pyramid"... but overall, it was just boring IMO. I loved Odyssey, I love the time period, and even loved the mercenary system and respawning forts with loot to grind and sell to buy material to upgrade your gear. With Valhalla, so far it's fun... better than Origins for me, and being a descendant of vikings, I definitely appreciate visiting the historical period. However, for Eivor to be penalized for killing innocents doesn't make sense because he never joined the brotherhood (as far as I know where I'm at in the story) so he wouldn't be held to their 'creed'. Vikings typically only followed those they felt were strong and ruthless, and most saw compassion as weakness, so Eivor would have been challenged constantly by others who saw him/her as weak. Plus, making female Eivor canon goes against what we know historically as well- but just Ubi doing the SJW thing again.

  • Kormac67
    812 posts

    @ingel_riday
    Well, what do you expect when you tell a woman “now is not the right time” ?
    That she'll wait until it pleases you? Haha, dude, don't try this in real life.
    Randvi turning you a could shoulder afterwards is just the logical outcome.
    Also it may be you get another chance much later in the game, but I can't confirm it, because I hooked up with her right away.

    I don't understand how people can be so enchanted with Origins. I tried it after Odyssey (which I liked very much), and found a boring dude I didn't care about a bit. Who cut off his finger with his new toy - how dumb can he be I thought?!? Ugly characters, boring quests and a nice girl I would have loved to play if not for a stupid Ubi bigwig who decided "girls don't sell" (never heard of Tomb Raider apparently).

    I have enjoyed Valhalla very much (was lucky not to be stricken by major bugs) and am looking for more content to come, nothing interesting to do any more. I won't do the anomalies, noo, didn't like them from the beginning, and now never ever.

  • C-Pick
    98 posts

    @kormac67
    I loved Origins very much. Played start to finish 2.5 times. Sometimes I wonder if I played the same game as Odyssey fans.

    I almost hated Odyssey (but just almost). It's so . . . stiff. Origins, by contrast, is a far more fluid and smooth experience, crafted with way more care by the Montreal studio.

    Combat was another major factor for me. My goodness, combat in Odyssey is so miserably, ridiculously damage spongey, and that was made worse by the forced level scaling. Literally, what is the point of leveling up, upgrading weapons, and getting stronger if every enemy you come across is just gonna be as strong as you and take 17 whacks of my sword to kill? I remember how frustrating it was to sneak up to a sleeping enemy, do an assassination move, and watch as he'd get up and attack me as if I'd just tickled him.

    I also just adored the open-world Egypt depicted in Origins. Such an interesting setting.

    Valhalla is more of a return to the style of Origins, which I appreciate. There are still things I object to (like the recently patched-in forced level scaling and certain HUD elements I can't turn off), but I'm enjoying this far more than Odyssey.

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