This morning I am talking about Assassin’s Creed and there might be minor spoilers here and there. Be warned.
We’ve talked about this a bit in the past, of how in general Assassin’s Creed has not been my jam. I tried playing the fourth game in the series on Playstation 4 and the second game on PC, and while I definitely enjoyed parts of it… there were always missions that frustrated me… specifically the ones that involved racing awkwardly along the tops of buildings. Assassin’s Creed Origins however I largely picked up on a whim because it looked so damned cool… and I caught it on a holiday sale a year ago. I’ve always been a huge fan of Egypt mythology and I thought it would be cool to see what the world might have looked like at that time. I know next to nothing about the Templar versus Assassin’s thing… other than apparently the Templar are bad guys… which makes me a bit sad given my supposed Templar lineage. Assassin’s being the good guys is also a bit hard to wrap my head around given that they are generally bad… but I guess if you mostly kill evil doers you are okay. I on the other hand have a proclivity for killing everything with a red bar and dumping the body in the bushes… but that might just show deep character flaws in myself.
First off the game is freaking gorgeous… and of note I have been playing it exclusively through Parsec streaming off my upstairs gaming rig. Because of that I am choosing to play at 1080p Ultra settings instead of 4k as I probably would sitting at the console upstairs, because pushing a 4k image and having it downsampled to the 1080p client causes some weirdness. I know that it must be causing a lot more bandwidth because I end up with stutters on games that never have stutters on 1080p. Additionally I am streaming to a laptop… and quite frankly the best it can produce is a 1080p image so there isn’t much point at all of overtaxing the machine upstairs. All of those caveats aside it has been flawless, and playing in this manner has pretty much become my daily routine. Granted I did go through some nonsense steps to make my connection more stable, so you have to take that into account as far as how smoothly my personal experience with Parsec has gone.
I spent my evening running through quests in both Yamu and Alexandria… and I have to say Alexandria specifically is impressive as hell. It might be one of the cooler cities I have experienced in a game like this… in part because it feels accurate. I am not entirely certain how accurate it actually is, but there is a truth to the layout that transports you back to what it must have been like to live in that area at this time. I also never really thought about how deeply mingled the Greek and Egyptian cultures must have been at that time, and the game really underlines that point. It actually makes me really interested in continuing this journey into Odyssey, since it effectively moves the story more into the main sphere of Greek influence. I think more than anything that was what interested me in this game was because it was placed in a setting that I wanted to feel like I was experiencing. Sure London or Paris or whatever other locations these games have taken place in are cool… but I have been curious about all of these places the generated the Mythologies that I loved growing up and games like this are finally allowing me to explore them.
I think more than anything the free roaming nature of the game and the ability to keep collecting interesting weapons… outfits… and mounts is going to keep me glued to it for awhile. It really does feel like I am playing a single player MMORPG in some aspects… but the world feels alive in spite of not actually having other players in it. I think that is maybe something that these games have gotten better at doing, either that or I find myself craving being around other people significantly less than I used to. I would always bounce from single player titles because they somehow felt “dead” and that I kept craving the intangible characteristic that playing a game constantly surrounded by others brought to the experience. That said… right now I am having trouble sinking my teeth into MMORPGs at all… so maybe that is accounting for my wanting to delve deeper into these games than I ever really did in the past. The only negative is this does nothing to help out that New Years resolution of being more engaged socially in gaming… but for the moment it is bringing me joy and I am just going to roll with it.
I think you can pretty much consider me hooked at this point… and much like with Far Cry 5… I am going to see this out to the end. That said I think the end is going to be way less cut and dried with this experience as the path seems like it is going to be considerably longer. Last night I just completed the initial main story quest of the game, and it is clear that I am now entering a much larger world with complex interweaving story-lines. In fact the game just gave me an achievement to underline this point called “I’m Just Getting Started”. It has been awhile since I have played anything that I craved getting home to play some more of… and Far Cry 5 and Assassin’s Creed Origins have both given me that feeling. While I wish I could re-engage with Final Fantasy XIV, I am just going to go with this feeling while it lasts.