Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sometimes I miss things

Remember when everything on Xbox Live Arcade had a demo? Those were good times. I played games outside of my genres of choice and made fun of them. I understand that demos do not in any way generate sales so there is no reason for companies to provide them but I do miss this feature. If nothing else, it provided snark fodder and everyone once in awhile uncovered something that I would have missed.

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams was on such hidden gem. It is just a platformer, and by just I mean it is just about as good as the new Rayman games. It does not have the same character, opting one pretty princess sister and one girmdark puck sister who inhabit the same body, but it offers the same tight controls and reasonable challenge. Sometimes you just want to play a Mario game without having to own one of their silly consoles.

I never did buy Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams as I was working my way through Far Cry 3 at the time. It was forgotten until a physical release popped up during my daily investigation of GameFly's release dates. Yes, I do this daily. I have a problem.

It does not disappoint. I could have probably finished it in one sitting but there was Street Fighter to be played and I am in no rush. It is just a platformer. And that means something, something very comforting and almost serene in spite of its difficulty spikes and slightly annoying music. All games used to be like this, on a 2D plane at a significantly lower resolution. We have come so far and still return to shined up versions of our childhood memories.

Suddenly I want a bowl of Trix.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Free damage

Killer Instinct Season 3 hit last night, right in the middle of the Street Fighter 'updates,' so it was time to dust of the giant tomahawks and see if I remembered how to KI.

For about an hour I did not. Then it all came back and I found new mixup created by the new flip out mechanic that is absolutely filthy. Rage quit inducing dirty, nasty, I should embarrassed for using it but I am not, in fact I am going to abuse the shit out of it until people figure it out, mixup. But first, all is not well.

The lighting has been redone on most stages and it is just too dark. It may be an issue with my specific television, who knows, but I never had that problem before. The also goes a bit overboard with the particle effects, especially on Tusk's moves, but that is more of me wanting to be able to see what is going on and no longer being impressed when two fireballs hit one another and coat everything in a layer of glowing sand.

Then there are the game changes, all of which were announced months ago, so there is no excuse for being as salty as I am. I knew they were coming, I just had not thought them through. First is the change to breaker recovery. In seasons one and two the victim of a combo breaker landed relatively close to the opponent giving the player who just broke the combo some quick pressure. No longer - the break-ee is now pushed quite a ways away and lands on his or her feet, returning both character to neutral. This is a problem for character with slow walk speeds - like Thunder and Tusk.

Many moves were 'normalized,' damage wise. One of the victims was Thunder's shadow command throw. I will admit that it did too much damage but that does not mean that I am going to be happy about it.


For everything that was taken away from a character something else was given. The developers acknowledged that some of the engine changes were not good for my character and promised that a third change, the flip out, was very beneficial. They were not lying. Flip out moves change a character from a juggle state back to a standing state. This means that if I tag a character out of the air with a standing light kick he or she 'flips out' of the fall and lands standing up instead of on the ground.

Landing standing up means that I can hit you with another mixup. Most people do not know the mechanic works yet so the mixup defaults to another command throw. It goes combo into shadow damage ender (command throw), enemy bounces, I hit him with light kick, he lands on his feet and, if nothing else happens, they go back into the command throw blender.

It is not difficult to beat. Holding up after the flip out beats the command throw as will mashing jab, but again, no one knows this yet, so I get the best kind of damage: free. Once people get used to it the true mix up begins. If the jump out and I do nothing I can anti-air them. If they mash standing jab I can sneak in underneath with an ankle slicer. Fun times will be had by all.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Podcast - Love them and leave them

Chamberlain and Chance - Love them and leave them

An outbreak of tastefulness

I stopped playing another game that I started. How about that.

On Friday evening I girded my loins with an alcoholic beverage, knowing full well what awaited me in Alekhine's Gun. I had sampled the bad reviews, drank deep from their vitriol, and was ready to dispense some of my own. Everything I read about the game was true: there is not an option to invert the vertical axis on the right stick, the game never saves on its own, the stealth is bad, the shooting is bad, the voice acting is bad, enemies blend into the background which makes them quite difficult to avoid...

The game is without a single redeeming feature. It took a second alcoholic beverage to make it through level one. Alekhine's Gun was so bad that I could not play it sober.

Refer to this week's podcast for the gory details, but Chance diagnosed me with the following problem: I do not play games to enjoy them, I play them to get them out of the way so I can play the next one. Any enjoyment is a pleasant side effect of simply getting through enough of a game that I can call it finished and move on to the next one that will be subsequently discarded. As I sat down for night two of Alekhine's Gun, after having recorded, I began to wonder why I was returning to something that I knew I would not enjoy.

Just to finish it? For the gamerscore? Answers that are equally valid and asinine. Level two of Alekhine's Gun was too much for me as it could not tell the difference between requiring the player to be clever and making the solution to a problem needlessly obscure. One example: the first objective is to place a bug on the target's hotel room phone. The room is of course guarded so I could not walk right in so I made the logical leap to pick the lock to the room next door and climb out on the balcony, then jump across the gap and  sneak into the target room the back way.

You know, something that you have done and seen a million times.

No. The game would not allow this, only instead of giving me a reason it broke its own rules to prevent it. The guard was quite a ways away and was not looking in the direction of the room that I was trying to break in to. He should not have been able to see me. He did, walking over to shoo me away.

Because I am an insufferable dick I tried the same thing on the other side of the floor, placing a partition between me and the guard. He still 'saw' me and prevented me from breaking into a room that had nothing to do with my objective. Out of frustration I ran back to my target's room and dashed through the door while the guard who could see through walls took his sweet time to get back to his post. I managed to kill a second guard who was inside, stash his body and place the bug before the super guard made it back to his post.

When he did make it back he allowed me to walk out of the room that he didn't want to let me walk into with barely a second look.

Fuck this game. Fuck it,

Alekhine's Gun did not have to follow its rules so neither do I. I turned it off, placed it back into its envelope and bid it fond farewell. Good riddance. Some genre's are more easily enjoyable, in an ironic way, than others. Bad first person shooters can be a riot. Broken fighting games, equally so. But bad stealth games? No thanks.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Top that!

Gather round, my friends, and let me describe for you what, in my opinion, is the worst level ever.

Not hardest or longest or even most boring. Just the worst. The worst ever.

Earth Defense Force ramps up the difficulty by throwing more and more enemies at the player, at first on their own and then in ridiculous combinations. Jumping spiders are bad enough, team them up with the hectors and then smaller mechs that generate gigantic shields and you start to get the idea. This method of torturing challenging the player creates some truly insane sections but it never feels unfair. Yes, there is some trial and error in which the player finds out only too late where reinforcements are arriving and that being on the other side of the map at the time is not a good idea, but that doesn't happen very often.

Then there are the giant enemies. Well, more giant. They take a lot more hits but they follow the same basic rules as everything else: run away and fire missiles. Repeat until everything is dead. One of the final levels does levy a giant spider, two giant wasps and at least one giant flying ant at the player along with several drop ships, hectors, and about a thousand red ants (the worst kind) but it was still doable and never got boring.

It is when the game breaks its own rules, in levels new to this re-release, that things fall apart. Godzilla, or something very much like him, makes an appearance. The first time the player needs only to survive long enough for him to get bored and leave the area. Boring and stupid, but nothing compared to what is coming.

Later he shows up a second time and the player actually has to kill him. To level the playing field the game drops in a gigantic mech, as big if not bigger than counterfeit Godzilla, and provides backup in the form of around ten foot soldiers. The infantry is important because while the mech good for punching (yes, punching, no guns) it cannot defend itself against the normal enemies. It also walks really. fucking. slow.

The world's biggest and slowest slobberknocker ensues. And this is still not the worst.

Big twist here, there was not just one Godzilla, there are dozens of them. Upping the ante to absurd levels, the player is dropped into a battle between an army of mechs and an army of Godzillas, this time without a mech of their own. No, they are now the cleaning crew, picking giant ants off of the mechs.

Prepare yourself.

The level was designed to accommodate the giants. This means walking around on foot, which you have to do a lot, takes forever. The mech AI and the Godzilla AI don't do a good job of paying attention to the right things. Occasionally, and by that I mean every fucking time I tried, I would aggro a Godzilla. Little foot soldier me instead of the metal monstrosity behind me. That never ended well.

Likewise, the mechs would focus on the smaller insects, the insects I was supposed to be killing and that they had no way of hitting. At least once I had all of the Godzillas chasing me while the mechs futilely punched the air, trying to dislodge the giant ants chewing on their joints. It would have been comical if it wasn't so very stupid.

And then the boss Godzilla shows up and a final mech is dropped in for the player no where near where the player actually is. A long run on foot to the mech, a longer run in the mech, not run, more like exaggerated stomping, to the boss, a boss who is faster than the player and spends most of his time running away. That bastard was training me and five surviving mechs for ten minutes before, you guessed it, blowing up my mech and stepping on me.

And then I had to do the whole thing again.

The worst. But the game is done now. One day's respite before the next bad game.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Just to be clear

I do not have a tramp stamp that says 'get bent.'

Nor do I have one that says 'Don't tread on me,' 'Keep Calm and Carry On' or 'Kilroy was Here.'

There is more than a little ink that has been embedded into my skin but it is all tasteful, wordless, and entirely on my left arm or the upper right quadrant of my back. Until I get the jabberwock on my right side, an idea that is both so good and so potentially painful that it has supplanted all other ideas and may never actually get done.

With that out of the way.

Lord help me, I am still playing Earth Defense Force 4.1. I find it amazing how much I have forgotten about the game in the two years since I last played it. There are vague memories of bull shit levels that I keep promising myself will cause me to walk away once that are encountered. I had forgotten that in the last third of the game the insects morph into dive bombing dragons, that there is a four legged walker that dwarfs an AT-AT, and that the story is surprisingly dark.

Events from around the world are relayed via radio messages and the news is never good. Australia is gone, swallowed by the giant earth eater ships. Most cities have been decimated, first by the resurgence of giant ants, spiders and wasps and then by bipedal 'hectors,' flying ships that appear by the hundreds and giant capital ships that warp in and drop more enemies without warning.

This is a hector:

They come in several varieties, some with long range cannons and others with short range miniguns and shields. At least they are big targets that blow up real nice. Of course that is most things in this game.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Oh yeah, the podcast

Forgot to post this.

Chamberlain and Chance - Tramp stamps, video games and politics

Thanks again to Alex for dealing with our nonsense for a second time.

Forgot to quick rise

Between recording, editing, and other non-couch related activities I was not able to play much over the weekend, nor was I able to watch much of Final Round. This is a shame because there was a Necalli player who made is quite high in the top 8 and I would like to have seen more of his matches. You know, for educational purposed.

Not that I was going to steal any of his tech. Nope, I would never do anything like that.

Here's the rub: from what I saw, there was no tech to steal. There was no hidden ability of combos that he used that I did not know existed. He (Haitani, I believe) just made the right decision almost every time and therefore won. He chose the right anti-air option or used the right punish combo and he did this at every exchange.

No magic bullet. He just got good. Well, he was already good, he just applied what he knew to the new game. Is it wrong to be simultaneously elated and depressed that a guy who damn near won a major was using the same methods as every other Necalli player, he was just doing them at the right time?

It spite of sour grapes, it does speak well to the game. Winning really is more about the player, not the character, and there is still a lot for the players to learn about the game. Character variety in the top 8 was excellent, either 7 or 8 different ones, and no Chun Li, the early pick for top tier, proving that no one knows what they are talking about yet.

...and there were only two Americans in top 8, also proving that we have a long, long way to go. One of those was Sonic Fox, an MK player, who demonstrated that good fundamentals will get you a long way, then blew all of his resources immediately because that is how you play MK, and didn't take a match.

There is studying to be done, match videos to scrutinize, and better excuses to be made.

Friday, March 18, 2016


Yesterday was St. Patricks Day.

A fair amount of Guinness was consumed. Dropkick Murphys was played (poorly) in Rock Band.

...that is all I can manage at the moment.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

If you ignore it, it will go away

Playstation VR is a thing. A physical thing with a misleading price tag and a date. It will come out, enthusiasts will take it home and then run back to the store to pick up a Playstation Eye, because really, who has one of those, and then it will fade away in about a year, just like Playstation Move, motion controls and Sony's support for 3D TVs.

I have foreseen it.

Why? Precedent.

Sega CD, Sega 32X, Kinect, light guns, the RAM upgrade for the N64, the PS2 modem, the PS2 hard drive, and probably a dozen other console add ons that I have forgotten. All tried and all either outright failed or received such minimal support that owning them was not worth it.

They split the market so 3rd party developers made games for the larger chunk of consumers, that chunk always being those without the add on. That leaves the software burden on the first party, and what did Sony have it its sizzle reel? A party game, a first person racing game and several shooters.

Truly, the future is here. Same old shit only now it makes the player nauseous. I could do the same thing by sitting too close to my TV and spending that $399 on some very nice beer.

If Sony were truly serious about this then the PSVR would be a stand alone system, not an accessory that costs more than the device to which it connects. This really feels like them filling a check box. 'See, we have VR! Just like the PC and before Microsoft!'

Have fun checking that very expensive box.

And just so I am not accused of taking sides, Microsoft's augmented reality doohickey looks worse.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


There is no reason to play Earth Defense Force 4.1. It is a re-release (which I just found out yesterday) of the last EDF game. A game that I already played and I, as a rule, do not replay games. Even if I hadn't already played it, the game itself is, to be generous, not that great. You shoot giant bugs, followed by aliens, in what amounts to a B or C movie style send up of the genre.

And yet, what did I do for three hours last night? I killed giant bugs. And what am I going to do again tonight? Kill giant bugs.

Everyone has their weakness and this is mine. It is a pet series, the kind of pet you don't tell anyone about, like that smelly stray cat you fed behind your parent's garage. Sure, petting the thing gave you a rash but you just kept at it because, well, someone had to.

I feel like I should apologize to other games that I could be playing for spending my time on an EDF re-release. There are so many other titles clamoring for my attention. Maybe that's the problem, I am paralyzed by choice so I have retreated to something child like and simple: killing giant bugs.

Those oversized ants and jumping spiders aren't going to fire rockets at themselves. Someone has to do it. Unlike that cat, this won't require rabies shots when I am done.

Monday, March 14, 2016

C&C Episode 13

Sorry if the Alien: Isolation music put you to sleep last week. I can neither confirm nor deny that I nodded off in front of Audacity and was startled to find the podcast edited and posted when I regained consciousness. Chamberlain and Chance - Goodbyes and hellos

Friday, March 11, 2016

One night stands

Better yet, a marginally creepy one night stand.

Jokes about stamina aside, I do enjoy a game that says all it has to say in about three or so hours. No padding, no back tracking, just one sitting's worth of game for a reasonable price. Brothers did this quite well, Among the Sleep not so much. Layers of Fear sits somewhere in between, providing a linear narrative akin to a very good haunted house with a staunch 'alcohol is bad' message.

Horror games tends to have a central idea, or hook, around which the rest of the gameplay, scares included, is built. Silent Hill, when it was good, had dual worlds, one more unnerving than the last. Fatal Frame had its camera. Outlast had a similar idea with a night vision video recorder. Among the Sleep had a sense of scale for the first level or two before it fell apart. Layers of Fear establishes very early on that game world is not to be trusted, that the layout of a room can change behind the players back.

As the game progresses it gets less subtle, from a door appearing where there wasn't one before to all of the furniture floating midair, as if you caught a bunch of poltergeist moving men in the middle of their job. I am not going to lie, that one got me pretty good. Just when the player gets used to the world changing when he or she is not looking the game will stop doing it, allow a sense of normalcy to return, then BOOM a door is opened and there is a giant eyeball behind it.

So the sights are good, though the frame rate on the Xbox One is not good. The sounds are good, making liberal use of my subwoofer for thunder that rolled through the walls of my basement. But is the game any good? Is it any more than a creepy walking simulator?


Most rooms see little more activity than opening cabinets and drawers, looking for notes that explain the sparse story and paint the protagonist as more and more of an insufferable dick. Others are filled to overflowing with empty wine bottles or, if you are really unlucky, rats. There is the occasional puzzle, some of which require thought and investigation, but they are optional and the game does not do a very good job of indicating what is and is not required until it is too late to go back and catch something that was missed. On more than one occasion I solved a puzzle, got a key that I assumed was needed to progress, and then was barred from returning to the locked door because I went into the wrong room and the whole world ceased to exist behind me.

Or I died. Sort of. There is no 'fail state' to the game. If you are killed by the ghost that wanders a few levels (that the game tells you to ignore, but no, I had to try to go into the room with the sobbing spirit, so I got what I deserved) you are just placed into another room and allowed to work your way back to the main path. This did not bother me because it kept the game moving and allowed me to get to the end in one sitting, as I believe the game was intended to be played. There was no consequence for these mistakes other than getting a poorer ending.

After having watched the 'good' ending I have decided that I prefer my bad one. It is much more fitting, depressing, stygian.

Layers of Fear is not going to send anyone running for cover out of abject terror, especially not veterans of the genre. No game has scared me since the first Amnesia and I doubt one will. Layers of Fear did, though, surprise me several times, and at least once I muttered 'yeah, that's pretty good' in a effort to keep my composure. A creepy doll rhythmically banging its head on the side of crib will do that. It really is just a walking simulator, but the walk is through a very well made, if linear, haunted house. If you let it the game will engulf you.

And if you walk through scoffing at the trap doors and behind the scenes machinations that make it all work, well, then you deserve to not be entertained.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

So maybe I will attempt Dark Souls 3...

The pallet cleanser

Ahhhh, a (good) Lego game. Just what a I needed after fighting a losing battle against Assassin's Creed Chronicles Russia and then losing that same battle against Resident Evil 0. Starting a game and not finishing it really does bother me. Even though I spent at most three hours on the game it was a struggle to force myself to stop. Not enjoying it was not enough, I had to convince myself that leaving it unfinished was okay.

It's not okay, really, but the promise of collecting millions of Legos studs for no good reason in movie themed areas was enough to get me over.

Lego games, especially the more recent ones, can be divided neatly in two. There are the levels themselves, usually fashioned after action set pieces from the movies that they are based on, and giant hub areas filled with enough flotsam in the form of gold bricks and more characters to keep anyone who is a fan of such things busy for ages. Most other open world(ish) games will see me search down every last bit of this nonsense (see Just Cause 3) but that is not how I play the Lego games. They are a blitz through to the end before being discarded and there is one specific reason why.

It is not possible to collect everything in a level the first time it is played. Story missions are limited to specific characters on the first play through. That does not mean that there are not obstacles that said characters cannot overcome. On the contrary, they all filled with items that cannot be retrieved until the level is finished and returned to in free play mode. We all know how much I enjoy repeating things, it's just not going to happen, and this made it easier for me to not care about emptying any given level. Since levels are not being completed, why should I bother with the world as a whole?

In their effort to force replay the Lego games have killed my desire to spend any more than the minimum required time with them. And I still very much enjoy that time. Their take on movies is often just as if not more entertaining that the source material. The climax of Age of Ultron was better than what the movie mustered up. By the time I finished what I was going to play I wanted to go back and watch all of the Marvel movies I had missed.

Which is most of them. Loki dies in the second Thor movie? Seriously?

I am playing these game wrong: alone and on a tight schedule. And I will continue to do so until more of them end of like The Lego Movie game instead of this one. Then I will act my age and let them go the rest of the way.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I dub thee unplayable

Resident Evil 0 (remake) is a cyclopean window into the total bullshit that we, as people who play videogames, used to put up with. It has received a significant visual makeover, bringing it in line with the first REmake, so it is no longer offensive to look at. But my god is it impossible to actually play.

First, yes, there is just a little bit of charm in returning to pre-rendered backgrounds that have been redrawn and updated to take advantage of more current technology. They are no longer static, instead filled with small details like glasses jostling back and forth on a moving train or candles burning in darkened rooms. Generally things look better in game than they do in the cut scenes, which have not gotten the same attention.

And then you have to play the game.

Tiny inventories are bullshit, even when you have two characters to spread items across. It is possible to just drop things on the floor and they usually stay there but this necessitates running back forth, swapping ammunition for keys, and is just not a good time, especially when (at least in the train) zombies respawned.

Respawning enemies when ammo is incredibly limited is also bullshit.

Think way back now and while doing so remove the zombie colored glasses. Was the combat in Resident Evil 1 any good? No. No it was not but at the time we did not know any better. Killing zombies was not even passable until the fourth game. 0 came out between 3 and 4 and is much more like the early games than the later. In other words, fighting enemies is a chore. And there are more than the usual amount of enemies because you are controlling two characters, one of which the AI takes care of.

Remember how well that worked in 5? Take seven years of technology away from that and you can imagine how 0 feels.

Bad AI is bullshit.

I am not going to play this game any more. It is not worth the trouble to fill in that little gap in my gaming knowledge. Nostalgia be damned, the game is just not playable any more.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Podcast episode 12: Game over man!

Just a bit late because Shoutengine was being a pill last night. Agreeing is fun but does not always make for stimulating discussion. Next week I will accuse Chance of being a soulless shell of a man for not loving Brothers.

Chamberlain and Chance - Game over man!

Friday, March 4, 2016

It's time to stretch the bitching muscles...

Beware, incoming rant on a bad game. Not bad because it is hard, bad because it is bad.

On Tuesday I vented a bit about the final Assassin's Creed Chronicles eschewing  the more laid back difficulty of the first two for a less forgiving, less amusing level. That was before the true bullshit kicked in, bullshit not based on my lack of skill but on what I deem to be poor design.

Everyone knows what a monster closet is, yes? In some games, like Doom, they make sense. Monsters appear without warning for effect - a door opens, you jump, there is a shot gun, and nature takes it course. I will go so far as to forgive Nazi closets in games like Wolfenstein because, really, where else would you store surplus Nazis. And the game is a shooter so there is an answer in hand to deal with unexpected anti-semites.

But in a stealth game with as little margin for error as this last Chronicles having enemies walk out of doors unexpectedly is infuriating. I had spent quite some time mapping out a very difficult section involving enemies that you cannot kill (because if they do not check in when they are called on the radio the mission instantly fails), enemies that are wearing gas masks and are therefore immune to smoke grenades (what?) and land mines that require a magnetic key to pass, the keying being held by one the enemies that you cannot kill. The plan was complete and, for once, was going smoothly.

And then a door opens that has never opened before and I am instantly caught. On my next attempt I found a hiding place and stared down that fucking door, waiting for it to open so I could add that little bit of timing to the plan. It never opened. The monster closet was triggered not on a schedule but by walking in front of it and passing a specific point on the floor. There was no way to predict this or react to it.

Killing the player for not having information that the game hasn't bothered to provide is bullshit.

The final level is a timed chase with a tank. No, you cannot backstab the tank, all you can do it run from it. The margin for error on this section is so small that I do not know what I did differently, if anything, the one time out of thirty that I made it. There is no learned happening for the player, no improving, no building of skill. I lucked into getting up a ladder before the tank crushed it and I have no idea why.

Setting a game during the Bolshevik revolution was an excellent idea and I hope Assassin's Creed comes back to it. Playing as Anastasia Nikolaevna possessed by the spirit of a long dead Chinese assassin could be cool it a better game. It was wasted here, as was much of my time and a good portion of my remaining loyalty to the series.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

You used to be easy

I have a sickness. This sickness is called Assassin's Creed. I will play anything with that name attached to it and I am not really sure why. The over arching story, if there is one, has been reduced to an annual drip feed of nonsensical plot points and the way the game plays has not evolved much since the second game, though I do maintain that Black Flag was the way, the truth and the life and that Syndicate was actually pretty good.

It is this foolish blind devotion that led me to the first Assassin's Creed Chronicles, a 2.5 D distraction with a tenuous connection to the main games that was just stealthy enough to be interesting but forgiving enough that I could play it without losing my mind. At $10 dollars and two nights of work in was just the right game to play between other, larger ones.

This was also true of the second game, though that comforting mediocre difficulty level had edged a little closer to the standard unforgiving fair that is expected from stealth games. But there was a chase scene in which I had to flee from elephants, so all was forgiven.

Fallout 4 prevented me from playing the third and final Chronicle, Russia, and I remedied that last night. I believe that it the closest to modern day setting that has been used outside of the actual modern day parts of the big games. This means that the assassin carries around a rifle (that he never uses) and it doesn't look silly. It is still the same game with one small exception: that forgiving nature that I liked in the first game and that was slightly less there in the second is gone. This game is hard and not always for the right reasons.

The Russian assassin rescues Anastasia (yes, that Anastasia) at the end of chapter two. Anastasia is holding a rather important box, the piece of eden that was the focal point of first two games, and the assassin wants it. There is a small struggle and a necklace the assassin was wearing touching the box, there is a flash and suddenly Anastasia is possessed by ghost of the female assassin from the first game.

Not a bad set up, but chapter three sees assassin Anastasia on her own, fleeing from her captors with all of the skills of the assassins but none of the equipment. She has a dagger that can only be used for silent kills. No fighting. No smoke bombs. No rope daggers. Just her in her nightgown running for her life.

It was not a good time.

This is the last Assassin's Creed game that I am likely to get for quite some time so I will put up with this unnecessary difficulty spike but I am not going to like it.