Best posts made by Ingel_Riday
Title pretty much says it all. I don’t know why, but it bothers me that for some reason all topless female Roman statues have either conveniently eroded-away bosoms or (much more rarely) incredibly low-res stone bras glued onto them (saw this at a ruin east of Jorvik and laughed in disgust). My ancestors were actually Puritans, and this is the kind of garbage I would expect them to do. Smash all erogenous zones off statues lest impure thoughts fester among the populace.
But hey, they had the right idea, eh? We can’t have bare female breasts in this game (outside two witch bosses). It might corrupt our children and trigger our sensitive folk. No, best to remove the offensive content… which is anything that doesn’t involve massive amounts of murder. Because, in true Puritanical fashion, it’s okay to:
- cut off arms
- slice off legs
- behead people
- cave people’s skulls in via curb-stomping
- cave people’s skulls in via smashing them with giant hammers
- ram a spear through the back of someone’s head before using such said spear to snap their neck
- break someone’s back with a hidden blade and see the vertebrae and sinews be rent asunder in a lovingly rendered, slow-motion gore fest
- shove a knife through the bottom of someone’s jaw, pushing it through their entire head
- stab a sword into someone’s neck and cackle as they gasp in agony and fall to the ground
- shove a double-headed axe into someone’s head and then leave their limp body propped up on such-said axe like a tripod
- knock someone down, grab a shield, and crash it down on their windpipe so hard that you completely shatter their neck
- So on
That’s all fine, apparently. All of the above is cool, but we better hide those Roman statue tig ol’ bitties. Gotta respect our women-folk, right? I’ve played 62 hours and killed more people than I did in 140 hours in Origins. It’s been a raging festival of slaughter, but thank you for hiding un-sexualized cleavage. *sigh*
But yeah, that’s it. Again, it’s a small, petty detail… but I’m truthfully rather disgusted by it. I’ve gotten used to the weird direction this franchise has been heading in, what with my anachronistically LGBTQ+ friendly Viking village, my anachronistically 50/50 gender split raiding parties, my bizarre anime-golden armor and weapons, my anachronistically progressive clan in which gender is literally nothing more than a cosmetic aesthetic (there has never been a society in human history where this was the case), almost no assassinating / emphasis on assassination gameplay in a game series called ASSASSIN'S CREED, and every side-quest having been written and designed while under the influence of the most wild drugs known to mankind.
I’ve also spent the past two games being lectured to by Internet tough-guys for not playing the “real canon protagonist,” because apparently Ubisoft’s spin on the whole “choose your character” Skyrim thing is “you can choose whichever character model you want, but only one is canon and the other is you playing a fake animus ‘what-if’ scenario that never happened, scrub. Har har. Feel like those choices mattered now? Like there was anything at stake whatsoever? No, because you were just a meaningless 'what-if' scenario? Good.”
Heck, I’ve even gotten used to the relatively dull Dark-Souls combat which has zero combos (light light heavy) and seldom goes deeper than dodge + light attack spam. After 280 hours with Origins and 400+ with Odyssey, I’ve learned to accept a lot of revisionism, madness, and vapid internet abuse.
But this… lopping the “offensive” parts off female statues to appease God-knows-who is just so freaking weird and regressive. Regressive in the pursuit of pandering to progressives who have become so progressive that they are as backwards as my 400+ year dead ancestors. Bizarre. It makes me miss the Ezio trilogy all the more, which would never have been green-lighted if it was proposed nowadays. *sigh* "Only 20 hours long with no micro-transactions, no revisionist identity politics, no way to crap on the player for choosing a dude, and the statues haven't had their naughty bits chiseled off? GET OUT OF HERE."
I think I'm getting burned out, haha.
@dbgager Yeah... my Eivor has averaged 1.62 kills per minute and has slaughtered 3,879 beasts & men in the past 100 hours... and I have not gone out of my way to kill things. That's just his normal pace.
Also, I kind of wonder what you consider "homicidal maniac" at this point. I guess raiding an innocent village, burning every thatched hut and building to the ground, killing every local militia member in sight (you know, the brothers / sons / fathers / husbands of the community that vowed to protect their families & people), slaughtering the local leader, and looting everything of value that isn't nailed down doesn't count as homicidal or maniacal so long as you don't stab anyone that isn't actively wielding a weapon? *shrug* Lowest bar I've ever seen, morality-wise.
If ever there was an Assassin's Creed game in which the "desync for killing civilians" option made no sense, it would be this one... in which you belong to a faction that is literally conquering and colonizing a foreign realm while tormenting & pillaging every single indigenous settlement you can find. Haha.
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.
Haha. I'm not mad about it, really. I just think it sucks on multiple levels.
A. It is utterly disingenuous and repugnantly cynical to market the game with the male version, focus on the male lead in gameplay previews, and then use the novelization and comics (which almost no one reads, for good reason) to canonize the female version and pander to "progressives." They did this with Odyssey, too.
B. There has never been a society in human history where gender was a mere cosmetic option. A female Eagle Bearer would have faced major societal barriers in Athens, wouldn't have even been allowed to watch the Olympics, and would have discovered that her greatest and most vital duty within Spartan society would be... to get knocked up and raise fighting sons for the army. But nope. Not in Odyssey. Gender has as little significance as what color shirt you picked this morning.
It makes the storytelling kind of... well, insipid. I don't want some woke, overly dramatized "oh, being a woman REALLY sucked back then guys. Patriarchy and men = bad. sob sob" narrative, but it should matter. It's flavor for the character. It's context. Without it, there's a real disconnect between the heaps of effort put into historical accuracy for the setting and the complete LACK THEREOF regarding the lead.
Same goes with Valhalla. Vikings had women on their crews, but usually it was because a male raider was sick and if no one from his family participated, no one from his family got anything. So his wife or his sister would get some armor, a weapon, and take his place. There's evidence of this... and a goodly amount of evidence that such said wife or sister would get... boat guarding duty. Women are, on average, slimmer and smaller than men. They weren't put on the front lines of a raid. They kept the getaway longboat safe.
It would be interesting to see Isu-blooded female Eivor buck the trend. Maybe she'd flex her demigod blood, like Kassandra, to break through historical gender norms and go against the proverbial current. Maybe there would be some character-building moments resulting from that for both female-Eivor and the supporting cast. Maybe it could be a story beat or two; enemies underestimating a female vikingr, not realizing at first that it was a demigod female vikingr.
But nope. Gender means as little as picking a purple shirt or a green shirt in the morning. Bland, insipid, meaningless drivel. All this effort at historical accuracy in setting undercut by game characters and writing (ironically, Eivor's enemies don't get this treatment. The Anglo-Saxon armies are all male and societal gender norms are predominantly maintained. Guess you're meant to hate them? Weird)
C. It makes most playthroughs meaningless what-if scenarios. I had no trouble getting invested in Ezio, Haythem, Shay, Bayek, Jacob & Evie, and so on... but since I didn't pick "the canon character" in Odyssey, my playthrough was just an Animus "what-if" scenario. Same here. It strips my immersion of any lore significance whatsoever. By comparison, this is not a problem with most RPGs like Skyrim or Cyperpunk 2077, because they aren't churning out mountains of unwanted novels and comics that canonize "The Dragonborn" or "V." The Dragonborn saved Tamriel. "Who was the Dragonborn?" No one knows; the Dragonborn is shrouded in mystery. Done. Everyone's Dragonborn is The Dragonborn. There is no non-canonical wrong choice.
Not here. Who fought the Order of the Ancients? Kassandra. Who led the Raven Clan? Female Eivor of the Chain Smoker Clan. In essence... if you didn't pick an Argonian berserker lesbian Stormcloak, then you didn't pick the canonical Dragonborn and your playthrough was a "Skyrim what-if" scenario. Scrub.
So yeah, not mad. I just think it's cynical, kind of lame from a story-telling perspective, and indirectly tells 67% or so of the playerbase that their playthroughs were non-canonical animus tomfoolery that never happened. Pick a gender for the lead and stick with it.
I don’t know if this is necessarily the praise you are looking for, but in terms of engagement… I have finally beaten this game after ten months and I couldn't have done it without the seasonal events. They brought me back in every couple months to get the rewards (being a completionist is a bizarre thing), and afterwards I’d have enough left in me to complete a few more zones before my will drained anew. Rinse and repeat four times and I've done it at last.
I just… I don’t know. Sometime didn’t click here for me. You did fine darn work. I’m not trying to disparage your achievements here. If I had to put a finger on it though, the game launched pretty buggy (not blaming you at all, by the way. Senior leadership leaving due to scandals and COVID disruptions are not conducive to AAA game development). It crashed too much, had performance issues, and it gave me a lot of downtime to see the proverbial trees in the forest… which in aggregate irked me.
Why are the Anglo-Saxon fighters historically accurate but the Viking soldiers are even-split between male and female? What Yankee Puritans on your teams decided to censure the breasts on every single statue but add a dozen new dismemberment animations? Since when were Vikings a pro-LGBTQIA society in which half of all relationships were openly gay? What kind of revisionist bandwagon did you jump on? When did you decide to smooth out history’s blemishes for your favored causes / factions?
These are the most sugar-coated, Batman-esque Vikings that I have ever seen. “I’m going to raid your village with my multiethnic, diverse, inclusive war band that even includes a non-binary Iranian. SKAL! We’ll steal all your valuables, murder all your fathers/husbands/brothers/sons who try to defend your town, blow up your grain silos (?!?!), burn down your cottages, and leave you to die of exposure when winter comes… but we won’t ever stab an unarmed civilian lest we desync… cause we don’t roll THAT WAY. Remember, the real bad guys are Aelfred Rex and his intolerant Christianity. Be better!”
Does any of the above stuff really matter? Not really, but when my game crashed for the sixth time in an hour and I had seen the same scene one too many times, I noticed… and I sighed. Then I noticed that I couldn’t preview any of the Helix shop armors on Male Eivor, because I’m apparently non-canonical scrub tier. I noticed that even Eivor’s beard selections were modeled on female Eivor face.
I went to read the Wikia to see what I couldn’t see for myself, and every article made an overt point to emphasize Vannirsdottir. I realized that once again I was playing a what-if scenario that had no bearing on anything whatsoever… oh, and thanks to the Ubisoft reps who expressed open disappointment to the media regarding how many players picked the male option yet again (you expressed the same sentiment about Alexios getting 68% of all players). Very sweet of you. We feel so supported.
I’ve been a fan of this franchise since 2007. Heck, my first international travel was to Canada to see an Assassin’s Creed symphony (got rescheduled from October 2019 to March 2020 and then Covid did it in. Oh well, I still had my fun celebrating Diwali in Brampton). I own most of these games on multiple systems and I have put over 1,200 hours into all of them. This game made me realize that OVER 50% OF MY TIME with the franchise has been spent on Odyssey and Valhalla alone, and in both cases my playthroughs were MEANINGLESS. Utterly meaningless what-if scenarios. What was the point of any of it? Just killing for killing’s sake to see some numbers go up on a virtual avatar?
Just broke my motivation to continue, really. I honestly wasn’t going to bother beating this game, but again… your strategists are pretty shrewd. The fear of missing out on timed events, when paired with the completionist zeal engrained in me by too many open world games, dragged me back in.
Each time, the game was a little less buggy and I was able to ignore your revisionist politics and subtle disdain for just a bit longer. I managed to do six zones in a one-week fell swoop after the pre-Siege of Paris festival and hit the finish line (with only about 12 crashes total. 2 per zone is a lot better than it used to be). You even got an additional $29.99 in micro-currency transactions out of me and Magnus Bruun Nielsen’s moving performances in some of the final zones actually touched me emotionally. He's darned good.
So yeah… I rambled too much but such it is. Your events worked on me. I’ve gone from a pretty negative opinion of this game to a “well… their politics and historical revisionist fever-dreams drive me up the wall, and I feel like I’ve wasted yet another 200 hours of my life on nothing but pointless, vapid slaughter… but try it in mid-2022 when they’ve ironed out the lingering bugs and its on sale for %50 off, Steve.”
That’s better than “buy AC: Origins, the Ezio Trilogy, or Black Flag, get the AC Valhalla soundtrack for a glorious achievement in musical composition, and pretend the actual game doesn’t exist.” Victory for you, I suppose.
Also: to the whole “Boo hoo. Don’t like being a what-if scenario? Pick the female character, you patriarch cisgender! Be Better!!!” crowd… I tried. Kassandra’s voice actress channeled too much Gal Gadot seriousness into what was effectively a campy Charles Heston game (I murdered your mater and slept with your pater, Estupido!) and Female Eivor sounds like a chain-smoker and tries too hard to be butch and tough at the expense of nuance. Not the voice actresses’ faults, by the way; both ladies have great range and talent… but voice direction DOES matter. I have limits. Loved female Fenyx. Eh. Events = Thumbs up. Identity Politics in 9th century England = Thumbs down.
Also, as an addendum:
I did just try taking my longboat to the correct bandit camp to see if the missing ale cask would be there. Sure enough, it has spawned in the game world and it is sitting right there, all shiny and pristine, in the main building.
However, I can't interact with it at all. Which, frankly, makes sense. I'm sure the quest chain is:
- Go to brewery. Trigger conversation script "what happened here?"
- Speak to Alwin to advance to the next phase and spawn Ake
- Speak to Ake to advance to the next phase and enable the cask to be interactable
- Interact with cask, carry it to designated spot, and set it on the ground to complete the objective
But since Alwin is dead for some reason, I can't complete this and I'll have to grind out the archery minigame another four times. I'm also, as mentioned before, probably screwed if I need to talk to Alwin for some reason to advance a main story quest later on. I hope I don't.
Seriously, I'm just shocked.
I heard from the rumor mill online that AC: Valhalla tried to fix cloaks clipping through shoulder-pads by lifting such said shoulder-pads WAY too high above the player model. "Yeah dude, it's worst on the Mentor set. Clearly aren't even visibly attached. Just floating in the air, all goofy as $&$&. Don't worry, though. Almost every other set looks bad now, too. Yours is just the worst."
I can't believe they weren't joking. I ground out the spring festival (why the archery woman only has four lines of dialogue to repeat ad-nauseum is beyond me), left for almost two months, and came back to... this. How was creating goofily uplifted shoulder-pads for almost every major costume deemed an acceptable solution to cloak clipping? I wish we had been given a choice as players; I would have preferred to keep minor cloak clipping over this.
I don't even know what to say. You fixed one minor aesthetically annoying problem (only visible when one's cloak is on) by creating an entirely different aesthetically annoying problem that is impossible to ignore, cloak on or not. It's such a backwards way to solve the issue, which probably would have been best solved by just leaving it alone and shrugging.
*sigh* Maybe I can find a transmog cloak that just doesn't include shoulder-pads at all. Of course, it will have a cloak stitched together by the world's worst amateur-seamstress, with seams the size of bratwursts. Great that you can't choose cloak design independent of shoulder-pads. Marvelous.