The Right Assassin For Me.

The Right Assassin For Me.

The Right Assassin For Me.

0 comments 📅28 January 2019, 13:14

Running around on rooftops, sliding into bushes and taking your target out is satisfying whether it starts with sliding down the pyramids in Egypt or leaping from atop St. Peters Basilica. This is why the Assassin’s Creed franchise has been going strong for 12 years now and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. I would like to start out saying that I am a huge history buff, so these games seemed to me to be right up my alley, but I have never been able to just jump in and enjoy the games as much as I feel that I should. My reasons for this vary, one of the things is no fault of the game at all but more game play preference.

I love sneaking around and taking out people every now and then, but the other part of me just wants to kick the door in and take care of the problems in a let’s say, messier way. I know there are those out there that have been playing these games and are so good at the combat mechanics that they can do that. Alas I am not that person. The other part that I have really disliked about the series was the amount of time I was spending outside the Animus. I understand that this is a big part of the franchise and that there are some legitimately amazing things to be done, but for me this is the moment that yanks me out of the story.

The thing that pulled me into the games was the idea that I could take out a Venetian politician or jump from the mast of my pirate ship and take out an enemy captain, not walking around an office building in Montreal. I remember when I was playing through AC4 Black Flag and I was just getting into the groove of how to handle the pirate ship and how to navigate the map then Bam! All the sudden I’m ripped out of that experience to go have a meeting with my boss?? That is real life, I do that every day, I just want to be a pirate damn it! The swapping of modern day and ancient time has been the biggest pet peeve of mine, but with the newest entry in the franchise they seem to have listened to my internal screaming.

Now that my ranting about how much the other games in the franchise have bothered me, let me tell you about how amazing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has been. Odyssey starts out with a fun tutorial involving everyone’s favorite Spartan Leonidas in the Battle of Thermopylae. It does a good job of teaching you the basics of combat without making it feel like a boring tutorial. After this you are taken out of the Animus, you all know my feelings on this by now, but its early enough in the game that it doesn’t take me out of it. I am rewarded by getting the choice to play as two different characters, Alexios or Kassandra.

I was so excited for this choice and was hovering over Kassandra when my wife intervened and said that she wanted to play the game as Kassandra so I should play Alexios and we could compare notes afterword. She won this round, so I am playing through this as Alexios but I do plan on going back to play as Kassandra later. This game is set in an stunning Ancient Greece, so almost immediately you are treated to some of the most beautiful land and seascapes that I have ever seen in a video game. The water is so blue and crystal clear that you want to jump through the screen and go for a swim, well until you see all the sharks. The other big thing that I loved about this game is that you have dialogue options that change your experience in the world. You can be a misthios with a heart of gold, or an asshole who just wants to get paid.

At first, I didn’t love the voice acting, it felt kind of off, tonally. So, an answer I chose thinking it would be delivered calmly was yelled at the other characters, to which they had no reaction like this was totally fine and in character. Later, this isn’t much of a problem but on the starter island its pretty noticeable. Speaking of islands, by Zeus’ beard there are a lot, and the map is massive! You run around the island thinking that this is a nice sized island then you see the rest of the map and you are little more than a spot, not to mention the mainland of Greece where Athens and Sparta are located.

Eventually you will get a boat and can explore, a note on that, it is an open world and you can go all over the place, but you won’t be able to survive very long. So, the regions aren’t level restricted, but if you go there, they give you a giant warning letting you know the peril you are putting yourself in. I have put around 30 hours into this game and I still haven’t come close to exploring the entire map.

The next thing they really nailed on the Luke will play this game check list is that they built on the RPG elements that were there in the previous entry Assassin’s Creed Origins. They give you 3 skill trees for you to put your attribute points into. There is the Hunter tree, which is for all you bow and arrow types, there is the Assassin tree which is for your stealth types, and finally there is Warrior, the type I play where you are very melee combat focused. This classic RPG touch goes a long way in letting you play the game the way you want to play it and not shoehorning you into a certain play style.

The next element that I really enjoy is the gear and weapons. In yet another RPG element they let you change and upgrade your gear throughout the entire game. And if you are like me and hate it when you have mismatching gear, don’t worry they have you covered. Every time you loot or buy or find a piece of armor, you unlock the atheistic of that gear. So if you find a gear set at level 10 that you REALLY like you can make any piece of armor that you loot for the rest of the game look like that level 10 armor. The same goes for the weapons too, one thing that bothered me, again nitpicky and petty, is that you cannot use a shield, and knowing the Greek history like I do the shield was a big part of the warrior lifestyle so its absence was a small thing I would have loved to have.

The last thing I wanted to talk about it the level scaling. When the game launched, they had a lot of push back on their level scaling system. So, in short level scaling keeps the level of your enemies around your same level. Say you are on the first island and you have been roaming around killing wolves so you can level up to beat a mercenary that is after you and you finally get to a point where you would be a level above the bad guy to make it easier to take him out. With the original level scaling he would go up a level with you. This could get very annoying and make the game a lot longer and less enjoyable for some.

So, in the January 2019 update for the game the introduced level scaling options. Heavy, all enemies remain at your level. Normal, no change in the difficulty settings. Light, content is around two levels below your level. Very Light, content is around four levels below your level. If you would like to just play this game for its amazing narrative, I would suggest playing it on the Very Light setting. I have not really gone into the story because I do not want to spoil anything for you guys but trust me you are going to get wrapped up in this amazing Sword and Sandals game. When I get to the DLC content I will write up another article going into that, so until next time fellow Misthios, I leave you with Alexios and Kassandra’s favorite saying, Malaka!

Alexios in the Aries Battle Gear

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Luke Hunsaker
Luke Hunsaker

Luke Hunsaker, also known as The Podcaster Without Fear, is the host of The Nerd Dome Podcast. He also writes a comic book review column on thenerddome.com. You will also find him as a frequent panelists at Salt Lake City Comic Con, and Fan X.

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