No, I agree with you. As much as I love Odyssey’s gameplay improvements, I really think Origins’ ancient Egypt was more memorable. First, we get games set in ancient Greece, or using the trappings of the period all the time. Ancient Egypt usually only comes up as set dressing for tomb raiding or undead mummy fighting. Origins treatment of the setting is unique as far as I’m aware. On top of that, while both games reuse assets to make their towns and villages, I really felt the cut and paste in Odyssey. The only distinctive places I can recall are Sparta and Athens.
Also ancient Greece for me is like how Rome is for Tom. Boring. :P
I actually thought there was a lot of variety in the textures and terrain types used. Also… The Akrokorinth zipline! Yowza.
BTW how do you start the Odyssey discovery tour? I just looked and don’t see it anywhere on the menu.
NM, it appeared after the game updated. I didn’t realize it was playable while updating.
None of those things were ever a thing in the ancient world. Ancient people shook hands like normal people, not like Hollywood morons who think grabbing someone’s forearm is a cool thing to do. Bracers go back to early Hollywood movies, like Spartacus. The closest thing you have from antiquity are forearm guards, which are surprisingly rare, and often limited to one arm only (namely the one not carrying a shield).
I was editor of Ancient Warfare magazine from 2012 to the very end of 2016 (I also have an actual PhD, having written my dissertation on warfare in ancient Greece from the Bronze Age down to the Persian Wars). I then switched to be the editor of Ancient History magazine in 2017 before leaving the company and founding my own (online only) magazine about the ancient world. I write there frequently, including about movies, TV shows, and games. We also do a podcast.
I actually wrote this piece that’s still on the Ancient Warfare blog about “Hollywood Romans” from back when I was editor of that magazine.
I still don’t understand how this managed to make it to the final game:
That’s from relatively early in the game, and a bloody cutscene to boot. They didn’t even bother turning those columns a bit to make it even slightly less obvious that they were just copy-pasted…
Edit: Since I’m plugging myself here anyway, might as well remind folks about the series of articles I wrote about Odyssey, available here.
Subscribed! Always looking for another history podcast.
I hope they don’t do a Japanese setting AC so all my useless Japan Studies education can be twinged on all the inaccuracies.
I’m sorry but I cant even start to understand how people bother to complain about copy + paste in a game as huge as AC Odyssey? Sure, a few things are copy pasted but to this point, it has never bothered me in the game or even been particularly noticeable. Towns are different, islands are different, but most importantly: the QUESTS are different. And imo, the story keeps the game interesting at all times, making me care a lot less about details that otherwise would have annoyed me.
Origins annoyed me, mostly due to the fact that the story was so incredibly thin that I forgot it even HAD one, and just stopped playing all together.
Grab Greedfall and play for a couple of hours - copy paste will have a new meaning afterwards.
I thought Origins story was way wayyyyy better than Odyssey.
Totally agree. And Bayek is so bland as a main character too.
I found the setting in Origins to be dull as desert dirt as well.
One of the coolest things about Odyssey is the way it works in seasonal themes into its areas. There are some regions of the game that have an autumnal palette, others that are very spring, or winter or summer. I love that.
I liked both settings, though Odyssey was more extensive (good or bad depending on your taste I guess) and felt more alive. Neither story was, shall we say, Faulkneresque , but I found Kassandra’s tale more engaging than Bayek’s. I never really grokked Bayek’s whole relationship with Aya, and felt their separation was less heart-tugging drama and more mechanical gimmickry. At least Kassandra’s daddy issues made a degree of sense, and you had far more options in Greece than you did in Egypt, in terms of how you, the player, interacted with the story.
That said, I really enjoyed both games.
Maybe the flavour dialogue is a tiny little bit different from time to time, but there are like 5 types of quests in the game repeated ad nauseam and playing the DLCs now, I gotta say I am pretty fucking fed up with being a fed ex girl and hitgirl for everyone. First DLC was utterly dreadful, now I am playing the second (Atlantis), whole new location, beautiful, and what is the first quest I get?
GO CLEAR A FORT
Gee thanks, that’s something new I haven’t been doing for the past 120 hours! So creative!
Ubi need to take design and writing lessons from CD Projekt, Warhorse and Rockstar.
Ok, I can’t. I spent lot of time today forcing myself to play the Atlantis DLC (episode one), and just when I thought it would finally end, I get this quest
I can only take so much Ubisoft completely disrespecting my time and taste. Fuck 'em. Uninstalled.
I think that Ubi’s open-world games are just not really your cup of tea. They take a very different philosophy from the games you cite as paragons of quest design. Ubi games are basically about the world and the combat; quests, story, and all that serve mostly to get you roaming and fighting with a modicum of structure. Games like Kingdom Come are far more focused on narrative impact, and on detailed, RPG-like, interactions with the world and its people. Both approaches are fine, but they are very different.
Why would Ubi put the tremendous time and effort into hand-crafting a ton of side missions/quests when for most of the player base it wouldn’t matter? There’s a reason why Odyssey, that last two Ghost Recons, the Far Crys, etc. keep to the formula they have. It works for the player base. The combat is the focus, so having a fort/checkpoint/base that you have to capture/infiltrate/destroy, with a bit of variety in enemies and layouts and loot, is perfectly fine. At least, it keeps me happy, as I like the combo of mild variability and dependable familiarity the games dish out.
For a game like Kingdom Come, or The Witcher, this approach would not be appropriate. I’d argue those games’ approach would not really work for Ubi’s open-world games, either. Different dynamics totally.
Yet he has infinite faith in Star Citizen. Boggles the mind.
Hi everybody! I only just started playing this, so I’ll skip the previous 1,676 posts-worth of discussion and paste what I put in the immersion thread:
There are plenty of things I don’t like about it, or at least am tired with. Fortunately a lot of those I can skip or skim; it’s been an exercise in focus for me not to get bogged down in the boring parts, but it is overall working out quite well.
You know, I had the almost exact reaction. I’ve been liberating humans for 5-10 hours only to be told to do it again because the quest isn’t aware of my previous actions. Fuck them.
Then sunk-cost fallacy sunk in and I finished it anyway.
Yes, the dreaded Sunk Cost fallacy. I really, really hated uninstalling it, after I spent 120 hours in the game. I wanted to see the conclusion. But the idea of spending another 20-30 hours doing the same cookie cutter borefest killed my will to live. I had to cut the cord for the sake of my mental health.
I am hyperboling…slightly.
I’ll just watch the cutscenes on youtube.
No offense meant, but I dislike this kind of alibism. “If you dislike something that’s because it’s not for you.”.
I love open world RPGs and I have been playing AssCreed since 2007. I am a fan. But even I can only take so much unmemorable, cookie cutter bullshit.
You say that “it works for their playerbase, so why change it?” And…yeah, sure. It works, I guess. But there is a reason why no Ass Creed game since AC2 won many GOTY awards and just in general aren’t as celebrated as their competitors. It is because of how uninteresting the missions and writing is in these games. Hell, I would guess 90% of quests in Odyssey wouldn’t even get greenlit for production at CDP, because of how basic and unmemorable they are. The peak of creativity in Atlantis DLC, from what I played, was poisoning a wine at a party. That was pretty cool, but it drowns in the sea of fedexing and hitwomaning.
And that’s not to say Witcher 3 is perfect (it has overreliance on the witcher sense crutch) or that RDR2 is (its main mission design is restricted to a T and features excessive amount of fail states). But at least they are memorable and interesting to do. I do not feel like these games waste my time. The experience of playing them feels meaningful.
This is unfair of you. I do not have “infinite faith” in Star Citizen. I just appreciate its technical and artistic achievements and hope it gets finished, eventually. If it doesn’t, shame. I put zero cents into it so it’s no skin off my back. And people who back it, I suspect most of them realize it is uncertain donation.
I know!! I was a bit “wait a sec, this is a bit off how can it be autumn here and spring over there” but ultimately I’m thankful for it since it gives diversity to a huge game.
It might be a little bit my own fault, since when I played Origins, I really went all in to finish ENTIRE regions before moving on. The story kind of disappears then, since it’s so long between actual story plots and just kill&retreive-missions. In Odyssey, I’ve tried to rather follow the ebb and flow of the game and the regions the story brings me to, and pick upp missions in that area without getting too hung up on finishing everything (still, I get stuck in regions sometimes because I enjoy the area and quests there without getting tired of it so…).
I know, and I’ll definitely be more annoyed with this as time goes by. But I’m still enjoying it somewhy, maybe because I learned my lesson from Origins and have been more careful with how I play the game so as not to get to bored with repetative missions.
I definitely think they should be more restrictive on forts and such when making a game this large. Plus you could trigger quests that involves that particular fort (or make you unable to go there yet) if you stumble upon it before the given quest.
On that note - they’ve actually made this a bit better already. I’ve cleared ut a few forts and picked up quests afterwards that have involved picking up something at that fort, but by then I already have that in my inventory and don’t have to go back (i.e. tools for some family business, a poison, an antidote…).
Let’s just have our fingers crossed that they keep fixing what turns us off in huge games like these (since they already fixed a lot of them from Origins), cause all in all, it’s a really good game.