Monday, February 19, 2018

Closing in

The map is filled in. All but one side quest is complete. Every question mark has been explored, every activity completed, save for fighting the elephants, because again, fuck them. I think that I am just about ready to pass the point of no return and run through the final story quests in Assassin's Creed Origins. This is the most time I have spent on a game since Tales of Berseria. Before that was The Witcher 3, which Origins will not equal.

Before that was Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, whose play time topped one hundred hours, something that is likely to never happen again.

There are warts and I have mentioned them. To mediocre combat and the level cap I would like to add shitty rewards for long quests. Give me a weapon, not an outfit that doesn't do anything. The game has pulled this several times and each was more disappointing than the last.

But Bayek is the best protagonist in an Assassin's Creed game since Ezio and the game as a whole is second only to Black Flag in regards to be honestly enjoyable to play. It is difficult, perhaps impossible, to beat sea shanties and Blackbeard and simple but enjoyable ship to ship combat, but Origins has certainly tried harder and had more success than Syndicate or Unity.

It even almost, almost, makes the overarching narrative of the impending end of the world that was stopped by Desmond, or was it, interesting. Origins steps right up to the line of a cool idea, that there is no proof that the character looking into the past via an animus is not him or herself just being looked into by someone a layer up, thus the 'nothing is true, everything is permitted' mantra of the Assassins, but it doesn't do anything with it. So close, still so much extraneous bullshit. It would be a better game without it.

Just let me be Bayek, mejay of Siwa. Let me wander the banks of the nile before hopping on my camel, taking a ride to Giza and spelunking the pyramids. Let me be the good guy and help the oppressed Egyptians and Greeks.


Speaking of oppression, I find it surprising that, if one were to follow nothing but but the story missions, the Romans would not be encountered. I did not run into them until I was filling out the map and holy cow, they are motherfuckers. The whitest people in the area are also the worst. This checks out.

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