My Interest in Ghosts of Tsushima Just Shifted Laterally
In case you missed it, Sony’s most recent State of Play delivered an 18 gameplay demo. Except this time, there was actual gameplay, unlike Xbox’s most recent shindig. It delivered on a lot of things. It showcased how exploration worked and how organic and fluid it was. Then we got some combat gameplay where we saw protagonist Jin play two different styles. One as a samurai, and one as a “ghost”. But he’s not a ghost, he’s an assassin.
Yes yes, I was expecting a unique samurai dueling game but I got Assassins Creed: Odyssey. Or Origins. Moreso the new ones than the old ones. After playing Odyssey for 160 hours I kind of have that gameplay loop burned into my head.
Then I watched this 18 minute demo for Ghosts where the character marked a spot on his map then got on his horse to go to the spot. On the way there he, he picks up a branch without getting off. Clearly its for the crafting elements that are now mandatory for all games. The character also made a stop at an upgrade shrine, then another location where he unlocked fast travel. No climbing or synchronizing at least.
The combat comes next.
At first I was amazed at how the game appeared to be based entirely on reflex moves. Lost of samurai trope insta-slashes and bloody cool counter attacks. I thought that was unique until I also saw you can just whack dudes with your sword as well. But then they went back again and had Jin sneaking around the walls and gates, sneaking and assassinating enemies. Literally assassinating them, it says so on the button prompt.
Well then, not as unique as I thought the game was going to be. Watch the video for yourself. The majority of the gameplay experience looked exactly like the experience I’ve had in AC: Odyssey. It all looked far too familiar for me. That’s no a bad thing, as I’ve said, I sunk 160 hours into Odyssey. Why not sink some time into Assassins Creed Feudal Japan edition. Ubisoft never got around to making that Japanese setting that fans occasionally called for. Looks like Sucker Punch Studios is doing it for them. I can’t wait to get roped into the Ubi-loop once again.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the game in all honesty. It looks completely fine to me and I would definitely play it. But what started off as a very unique looking game has wound up into being a complete, by-the-books experience. All that’s left now is for it to have a great score, great story, and great fun. If it’s got all that, it’ll still be a solid experience.
Hate reading? The audio version can be found HERE.
BTW, the Black & White mode and the ability to turn off subtitles for the Japanese voice track was the most pretentious bullcrap I’ve ever seen.
This one’s slightly personal but here we go. I’ve been asked a few times why I don’t have any tattoos. I don’t have any super strong opinions on them, I just cannot imagine a single thing I like so much that I would like it permanently engraved on my body. Also, I’m a bit of a fatass right now, so no idea if a tat will look weird or wrinkled if I lose weight.
But I digress. An ex of mine wanted to get a Boston Bruins tattoo. She was a huge Bruins fan. I asked, what if she stops liking the Bruins? The team isn’t a permanent fixture, and the team has seen many great athletes come and go. I didn’t tell her not to get it, just literally expressing that same concern to her. What if you change your mind? What if I change my mind? Laser removal exists but I’ve looked it up and it’s hardly the best eraser.
You see the picture here, so you sort of know where this is growing. I’m a gamer, as you guys might have figured out. I run this website called Hard Mode Gamers, you might have heard of it. But is there a game with a logo I’d like burned onto my arm or back? Jet Set Radio Future is my favorite game ever but it’s too esoteric for me to get a tattoo. But then… there’s Assassin’s Creed.
I was on board with Assassin’s Creed since the first game.
I only briefly lost faith in it when Unity came out, and the only time I missed out on a mainline title was when Origins came out, I handed it off to someone else to review for the web page. But the first game came out in 2007, it’s a big fixture in gaming. Hell, it was probably the game that changed Ubisoftcs game design strategy for the foreseeable future. Think about it.
But… I’m already aware people have Assassin tattoos. Here’s the REAL QUESTION overall. Are Assassin’s Creed tattoos cringe? Because honestly, if I were to get one, it would probably be the Assassin logo. “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.” That’s a surprisingly poignant mantra. I really identify with their ideology. Freedom and whatnot. But a tattoo? I don’t know, that sounds pretty cringe to me.
Is it cringe? Is my aversion to picking a tattoo reasonable? Come @ me in the comments.
A final reflection on the games of 2019. It’s a bit late to talk about last year but I filmed this a month ago and it needs to be seen. Consider this a preamble to the HMG redemption arc.
That’s right, 2019 was awesome, I hated it. As of right now, YouTube sucks so I’m going to be sticking with Facebook Watch or any other non-YT video hosting platform. Plus, the FB page is where all the memes are at, so follow the video to my page and SMASH THAT LIKE.
Feminists everywhere love the realism of this art.
We all know that the body positivity movement is constantly under attack. Sexist and hateful bigots everywhere say it’s bad. We know this simply isn’t true. Women are healthy at every size. It takes a strong and bold woman to prove to the haters that their hate is all lies.
You’ve seen many fat acceptance renditions of all your favorite comic book heroes, video game characters, and Disney princesses. Re-drawings like those are reshaping the very paradigm of sex. A new culture is emerging and proving to everyone that women are beautiful. However, there have been certain issues with some more recent characters. We just don’t have enough of the perfect feminist role models in media. When we do, the characters are still very problematic. A whole army of people trolled the tolerant studio Bioware because their beautiful female protagonist wasn’t sexy enough for them.
We just don’t have enough of the perfect feminist role models in media.
Now we have the default star of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Kassandra. Although she is both very strong and smart, her appearance in the game needs to be unpacked. She has really big muscles for woman, and that’s a completely unrealistic standard. In order to get that big and muscular, she would have to go the the gym twice per day to look that good. But because it’s in Ancient Rome, they didn’t have gyms back then. So there’s nothing that can be done about that. She would also need to drink bulking powder and that didn’t exist back then either.
Fret not. We went to tumblr and found the perfect recreation of this iconic new character. Jessica Goldberg from @goldenbergerarts on the site had all the skill needed to show people what Assassins Creed needed. In true response for tolerance and peace of the women’s mind, this version was created. Now THIS is what feminine beauty is supposed to look like! Share this post everywhere. The manbabies on the far right hate it when people draw accurate representations of the better sex. You can already taste the toxic male tears.
Thankfully, this post was SATIRE in case you weren’t tipped off by “Ancient Rome”.
Legacy of the first blood has concluded with the final chapter, Bloodlines. In our last video on this, Chet went through a series of questions as to what was in store for us on this episode. Turns out, some of those guesses were true. Have a look and see what Chet totally called back in January.
Chet supports AC: Odyssey’s Season Pass. 3 episode DLC, a $40 game, and then another 3-episode DLC, it’s absolutely worth it.
Robots forgo hostile human takeover and settle for subjugating us by making addictive video games instead.
Ubisoft, has found a winning formula for their video games. We all know this. And they are sticking to it like a bear on honey. For one thing, almost any game from them will have an absolutely gargantuan map. That and an absolute ton of copy-pasted assets. These same games also follow a pretty simple formula. From Ghost Recon Wildlands, to FarCry, to Assassins Creed, your goal in the game is very simple. You open your map screen, there’s a bunch of things to do. You click on one of the things, and then you go there to do the thing. Then the game rewards you for doing the thing. Then it gives you some things and then unlocking more things to click on and go to.
This “carrot on a stick” form of game design is utter genius. Many gamers, present company included, are perfectly content with these time-devouring opulent offerings. Ubisoft has never been more confident that they have a winning formula until now. Just look at their recent offerings. The Crew 2 is a game with a map that is vaguely the size of the entire USA. They loaded it up with a bunch of pinpoints full of races for different types of vehicles everywhere.
So it begins…
That’s why Ubisoft was proud to announce this in a recent PAX East interview. They want to take the design of their games to the next level. Starting production in May, Ubisoft New Jersey will start on their next Assassin’s Creed title. But this is no ordinary dev team, as Ubisoft New Jersey runs completely run by automation. That’s right, the dev is actually a smart AI called U.B.I.S.O.F.T. (Which is short for Universal Binary Interface Siumulator of Future Technology). Several UBISOFTs will be operating day and night to crank out the next edition of your favorite title.
Ubisoft producer Marc-Alexis Côté mused on this exciting event. “We already know how to make a game that everyone will want to play. We have it down to such a science, that we soon won’t need developers anymore. The UBISOFT AI is perfectly capable of replicating our formula. It has already designed the entire map of the next game. It’s 8 times the size of Odyssey”. When asked if this would decrease morale among the human developers of Ubisoft he was resolute. “Well, the elimination of jobs by robots is just part and parcel of living in a society.”
Right now, nobody, not even Ubisoft themselves, know what the plot of the next game will be. Not even the location. The robo-team at Ubisoft NJ will be performing its own internal company showcase. “Everything is so easy to make. Our AI team will be doing all tasks for this project. The script and the main character will be made by our robot friends. We’ve also asked them what they are going to do for voice talent. They said they’ll either hire somebody on their own, or they might even do the acting themselves! Isn’t that neat? They are so smart they literally don’t need any humans to help them make this game work.”
By the way, this interview? It was also performed by the UBISOFT AI. They used their network database of every Ubisoft E3 show ever. After, they constructed a hologram of Aicha Tyler to ask all these questions. The likeness was completely uncanny, including her saying really awkward things that made the entire audience uncomfortable. Digi-Tyler asked Marc if they even knew the title of the game, he admitted something interesting. “We aren’t sure what they are calling this new project yet. But they’ve already presented several working titles based on the titles of other games on the market. It will still be called Assassin’s Creed, but the subtitle is either going to be: Redemption, Revolution, Sisterhood, and Revelations IV.”
Right now the UBISOFT is downloading all the assets used from every Assassins Creed game ever made and will be making slight modifications to them so they look newer. Another arm of the AI has already started distributing random pins on their map where they will eventually add quests to. Expect to hear more about this at E3 this year. The current one.
In case the slow dip into insanity wasn’t enough to tell you, this article is SATIRE. Seriously, Ubisoft New Jersey? C’mon, you know better than that. A simulation of Aicha Tyler? Really? Actually no that would be pretty cool.
What’s the big deal? It seems there’s a group of people out there who have a problem with how the second piece of Assassins Creedy Odyssey’s DLC ended. Legacy of the First Blade is now on chapter 2, Shadow Heritage. And heritage it has. The game lets you widely make your own decisions and choose how the events unfold. But in the ending of this particular piece of content, the ending is forced upon you.
Now, certain ‘special interest groups’ on the net have been foaming at the mouth, angry with this transgression. And the ‘who cares’ brigade has been firing back on them. This ending was such a big deal that eventually, Ubisoft folded an announced that they will change the ending. This hasn’t happened since Mass Effect 3, although that was a much bigger issues overall. The damage is done and the future is uncertain. We have no choice but to wait.
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Is it really a stretch that the main character fought mythical beasts?
An interesting topic was brought up in a thread about the latest Assassins Creed. A commenter said that the inclusion of magical elements and legendary beasts we a step too far. Sure, by now we all know that the AC franchise take many creative liberties with history. But in a game where you can relive the memories of ancestor via DNA sample isn’t really hard sci-fi, is it? But yeah, the jump between pre-movie AC games and the newer post-movie AC games does mark a striking change in some of the established lore of the series. (BTW, don’t watch the movie, just using it as a point of reference here.)
Very minor spoilers for Odyssey, but there are optional boss fights with beasts of legend from Greek folklore. But it’s not that surprising is it? After all, we do know that the people of the “first civilization” enjoyed messing with early humans. But is it a step too far anyway? It’s still the memories of the ancestor, so you should see what really happened, right?
No, actually. Coming up toe to toe with the Minotaur actually might make a bit of sense. The key operating word is that we are exploring memories. The game already likes to throw around the “memory glitch” or something as a handwave to issues. But that’s a weak excuse and there’s a better explanation. Memories can be distorted over the years. Some things aren’t quite how you remembered them.
Like how to spell the BerenSTEIN Bears or whether or not Sinbad was a genie. No, I’m not trying to invoke the Mandella Effect but… Well, yes I am actually. The stories are stories for a reason. Do we remember who killed Medusa? Was it the gods or just that Kassandra person?
Okay, so why is it okay then?
But really what it comes down to is this. It’s perceptions that paint these memories the way they do. When Kassandra defeats the legendary beast, the moment she takes the artifact, the ‘monster’ quietly transforms into a little Sackboy, basically. Were the ‘gods’ just messing with Kassandra’s head? There’s no way to know for sure.
But we do know that Kassandra believes she defeated these beasts. It is what she thinks she did. So when you’re in the animus, exploring her memories, its going to show you she actually felt about the fight. Maybe the Minotaur was just a slightly oversized bull that she had a hard time with. Maybe Medusa was just a sickly woman using superstitions or herpetology to fight back. Maybe she ate some psychedelic mushrooms on her way to the Sphinx?
In the film 300, the bombs that the Persian army chucked at the Spartans were referred to as magic. As is the case here, I believe. Whatever happened, Kassanda had her very own explanation for what transpired. Simply a matter of what she believes. And if she truly believes that she fought mythical beings, then that’s what the animus is going to show you. It’s not magic, just perception.
MALAKA! Chet has played about 90 hours of Assassins Creed Odyssey and doesn’t expect to stop any time soon.
By now I’ve found a missing person I’ve been looking for, killed a few “Templars,” found the lost city of Atlantis (sort of), and now have to win a war and compete in the Olympics. That’s right, I have four main quests to play on top of all the side quests I’ve been accumulating. The islands you can sail to in this game always have great side-stories that are totally optional. Now that I’m 44 hours in, I can safely say I might be done with one third of this game. Maybe. It’s possible. Give or take. The unfathomably popular Stealth/RPG (stealth optional) series developed and published by Ubisoft is now at its tenth main series game. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey adds even more elements to make it an even further evolution from the roots of the franchise.
This game is absolutely stunning, even on my sub-par Xbox One S. Stable frame rate, great coloration, variety, it’s all there at the baseline for a good looking game. What makes it look better is the sheer marvel of the whole thing. Ubisoft didn’t just make a few cities in Greece for their game. They made ALL OF IT. And it feels like they did, too. Everywhere you go there are gorgeous busts and statues, temples, altars, and residences that are all fully realized. I want to know where they got the time machine so they could take photos of Ancient Greece and use it as references for the designs. It’s the empire in all its glory. An absolute marvel to stand at the top of a mountain and look in every direction. In the distance, you can see all the ships in the water going about their business in real time. You can see other landmasses across the water and know that if you can go there if you want to. There… might be a few minor hiccups and glitches in some of the animation, but that is literally the only bad thing I can think of. And the sheer beauty and aesthetics more than excuse that.
I admit, at the beginning of the game, it’s hard to get into the plot. You are not really sure what you are supposed to be doing. The grand scheme of things is boiled down to simply leaving your home island to go on an adventure because you’re sick of being at home. There’s a goalpost, sure, but it’s far and not too tantalizing. This is definitely the type of game that you have to spend time with to get into the swing of things. The overarching narrative becomes far more clear well towards the 15-hour mark of the game. Once it does hit, it does so with ruthless efficiency. The way the game’s campaign works is the prime form of dangling the carrot in front of the player. It’s hard to imagine you would run out of things to do after being far enough in the game to really open up to the “go wherever you want” phase. Four main storylines. Every location story has its own stuff going on. I was on an island where I helped a young child make some friends while also meddling in “The Bachelor: Greece Edition”. Then I had to overthrow an evil ruler running another island ragged while hooking up with the sexy leader and her boyfriend if I so pleased. Hell, I had to take part in a gay orgy with a goat just to advance the plot. I’m not even remotely joking. A goat was involved. And Sokrates turns out to be the world’s first internet troll. Good times.
I’m going to mention one prevailing bug in the game that hurts the audio quality in a way. On a regular basis, around twice or more per hour, when you talk to an NPC, you or the character will interrupt each other mid-sentence and say lines on top of each other. It’s annoying. Some of the secondary characters don’t seem really committed to their parts, while other characters go full ham. The voice actress for the soundtrack gets old really fast. With such a big scope, I really, REALLY get tired of hearing the same music every time I open the menu. And the main “Assassin’s Creed Theme Leitmotif” is sprayed over every other song too. It gets old fast. I may eventually have to turn the music off and just play my own tunes or a podcast over it instead. Which would be great because I’m in the perfect setting to put my ｖａｐｏｒｗａｖｅ collection on full blast. But still, this is just the soundtrack I take issue with. The actual sound FX and quality of sound is tremendously satisfying. I will give the full grade because I’m being too personally harsh on the OST, even though it’s objectively decent.
There are many on the internet who say this game has become too action oriented. Sure, the formula has been changed, but it’s been heading this way for a while now. The fact is, you can still play this game stealthy if you want to. There are just more rules to it because you can’t assassinate people who are at a higher level than you. The majority of the EXP you earn will be from completing quests, not kills. So if sneaking in and out of an enemy base is your idea of fun, there’s plenty of that to be had. Yes, open conflict is a bigger part of the game now. It’s the play-it-your-way model that prevails. But everything in the game works and does accommodate for all play styles. Shoot everyone with a bow, bludgeon people with a hammer, death from above, and Sparta-kick your enemies of a cliff. There’s plenty of gameplay to be had here, as iterated above.
Ship combat makes a return to the game and I boldly welcome it as a delicious appetizer to sate my hunger for a good pirate game until Skull & Bones arrives. But that said, it’s a bit more minimalist than it’s predecessor, as there was less maritime war tech in this setting. They have also implemented a mercenary hierarchy that mimics Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis system, but it is also bare bones by comparison. Hunting down a devious death cult is the replacement for the assassination quests, but you have to put in the legwork to identify who they are. There’s also a conquest mode where you can take part in a big fight between the Athenians and Spartans. You can also change whichever team you’re on for every battle. You can also fight mythical beasts from Greek folklore, because hey, why not? This all may make it sound like it’s quantity over quality. And to an extent, yes it is. But set in this game, it’s actually not a big issue, it just works.
And now for a bit of controversy. Ubisoft has no problem putting expensive microtransactions in their fully priced games. It gives them big money, they have a right to. However, as an experience, they nearly broke their goodwill on a portion of this game. That’s the progression system. In order to level up or afford things, you have to do more than just missions to get enough EXP to progress. You’ll have to do a lot of mundane-out of the way stuff like exploring caves and attacking small camps at question marks dotted all over the map. I found myself in a position where I was two levels too low to progress through the game because the game is harsh if you are under-leveled. Ubisoft remedied it by offering a buff that will get you 50% extra EXP and money for the whole game, including new games. You have to at least buy the 20 dollar helix credits pack to get this. If you don’t, the game can get very grindy. Plenty to do is one thing, being forced to do everything is another. I caved and bought this buff, and it feels like this is the way the game was supposed to be played. It seems as though this was intentionally done to goad extra cash from the player.
I am willing to forgive this transgression because it was on me to make that choice in the end. I could have bucked up and cleared out every single icon on the map to take the game nice and slow. But, be that as it may, I cannot stop playing this game. Even with the buff, I did manage to get myself into another situation where I was under-leveled. But I kept playing and playing and playing. I told myself I had to stop at 11 PM, then 2 AM rolls around and I’ve conquered another city. I am willing to accept that the price I paid to make this game more enjoyable is worth it because of the amount of fun I’m having with it. Before tax, I paid a total of $68 for the game with the helix credits. That is an acceptable price for this game. I don’t know if I will finish any time soon, and I’ve had plenty of time to play.
In recent times, it seems as though 60 dollars does not actually pay for the “whole experience”. With pieces missing from the game should you choose to buy the “base version” you are forced to miss out on certain perks and benefits. Sometimes it’s big, other times it’s small. But this, this is egregious. Ubisoft made a perfectly functional game and then chose to make it a bit on the grindy side, compared to other AC titles. There’s a boost pack than increases your money and EXP by and extra 50%, and then they have the nerve to charge 1500 helix points for it. It costs $20 to buy enough of these transaction credits and you’ll have some left over, but you can’t afford the upgrade on the lower tier. AC: Odyssey is an amazing and LARGE game. But, essentially, they are selling it for $80 by making you feel obligated to purchase this pack. Unless you really want to be a completionist and don’t mind random crap between missions, this is necessary. Not just side missions, you need to actually go to random ? points on the map and do just a very basic encounter to earn the EXP needed to progress in the story. It’s crap. Have a look.
The Greek Historian Brotherhood, or GHB, has recently filed a complaint in Quebec. One of Ubisoft’s many various unique talents in game mastery, Ubisoft Quebec is responsible for the newest installment in this ongoing franchise. According to the district attorney’s office, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was in direct violation of the terms set when they were chosen as the setting for the game.
The foreign minister of Greece, Nikos Kotzias, pointed out that the depiction of soldiers and warriors in Roman historical times were a misrepresentation of the country. Further, he cites that if people play the game and see the amount of violence contained within, tourism would decrease for the region. In a recent testimony made public by the local newspaper, Kotzias said:
“Greece is a fantastical place richly filled with the culture of civilization itself. To depict the ancient city as a place of gory violence does a discredit to the country. For in the preservation of history, and for the interest in the comon [sic] folk, this video game cannot be allowed to be distributed. Not in our humble country, it is completely outrageous. And more so, it is not truthful.”
In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, you play as twin characters Evie and Jacob Frye, two Spartans who fought in the infamous “300” battle against the Turkish empire. The death animations are some of the most graphic and gratuitous in the history of the franchise. Many Greecians feel like this may make them come across as violent, though that is not the case.
Famous video game sales company in the country, Σταματήστε το παιχνίδι, has recently boycotted the game and refuse to stock shelves with it. They too are unhappy with the title. Recently, the CEO of the company, Ντόναλντ Τραμπ, put forward a statement.
“Ντόναλντ Τραμπ will not be selling Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, as it is a complete fabrication of our history. It is erasing our culture piece by piece, and we cannot endorse it.”
Assassin’s Creed has sold truckloads of money over the years, and this recent example isn’t even the first game to come under fire. Italy had its own complaints about Ezio Auditore da Firenze from the Assassin’s Creed 2 trilogy.
Despite this news, many Greeks are hotly anticipating the title, as slightly buggy open world games with choppy cutscenes have recently become popular over there. Odyssey ticks all right boxes, so it only makes sense that they would want to play it. Hopefully, Greece will change its mind soon enough, or the gamers of Greece are going to rise up.
In case the gratuitous factual errors didn’t make it clear enough, this article is in fact, satire.