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THE MEMBERS' LODGE => The Games Parlour => Topic started by: Ninchilla on October 28, 2017, 08:52:34 AM

Title: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Ninchilla on October 28, 2017, 08:52:34 AM
Played the first 20 minutes or so of AC Origins last night; not going to put much more into it until I've at least finished Shadow of War's story (don't expect to platinum it any time soon).

Egypt looks spectacular. The controls are different enough to both Shadow of War and previous Assassin's Creeds that combat is a struggle, but I think I'll get the hang of it in short-ish order.

I have no idea what's happening in the story. There's an opening cutscene where Bayek sees the Pharoah riding an elephant, then it skips forward a year to the middle of a murder an assassination. I don't know who the guy is or why Bayek is killing him. Then there's a fight with the dead guy's bodyguard, a brief exploration/loot tutorial section, and then it's out into the open world, which as mentioned looks amazing, and seems to be colossal.

Really looking forward to getting my teeth into it once Mordor is... whatever it is Talion does to it.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Garwoofoo on October 28, 2017, 09:03:11 AM
Yeah, I’ve got it too but I want to finish Invisible Inc before getting into it. There’s a patch due in a couple of weeks that will add HDR apparently so I might hold off for that.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Ninchilla on October 28, 2017, 12:37:29 PM
Ah, I'm a non-HDR peasant, so that makes no difference to me. Only have one Shadow of War quest left in the plot, it looks like, so maybe I'll get that polished off tonight.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Garwoofoo on October 28, 2017, 02:26:26 PM
Everyone's complaining about the opening, I think it all becomes clear eventually.  And I hear there's an alternative control scheme that makes the controls a lot more like previous AC games, if you're struggling there.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Ninchilla on October 28, 2017, 02:50:28 PM
I have considered checking out some of the alternate controls. It's mostly fine, just feels weird having free run on X instead of R2.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Ninchilla on October 28, 2017, 05:33:24 PM
Shadow of War complete. I think it could have done with a zone or two fewer, and its disregard for Lord of the Rings canon borders on contempt, but it was fun. Fewer trophies left than I expected; may go back for the platinum some day. For now, though: onwards to Egypt.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Ninchilla on October 29, 2017, 03:12:04 AM
Okay, another hour or so in Origins, mainly just doing side quests and a bit of exploration in the first zone.

It's a very, very good-looking game. I love busy switching to Senu and just soaring around admiring the scenery. It's a shame his controls aren't more intuitive, though; he flies much like the drakes in Shadow of War, in fact, just carrying on in a straight line unless you choose to steer, and you can hold aim to hover in place and tag enemies and resources. I think I'd prefer a more direct, steer-with-camera approach for the cruise mode.

Switched to the alternate control scheme; think I like it better.

The bow is wrong. Unlike almost every other game, you hold aim and the bow is both raised and drawn, and you just press fire to release - it ends up feeling more like a gun than a bow, and the only other game that I remember doing it that way was The Last of Us, and I hated it in that, too.

The menus lift a lot from Destiny, but instead of scrolling smoothly, the cursor is sticky, and clings to the buttons, meaning it's far too easy to overshoot what I'm aiming for, which can quickly get irritating in the skills menu, where there are a lot of little icons close together.

Overall, though, impressions so far are positive.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Garwoofoo on October 29, 2017, 02:00:27 PM
Couldn't resist in the end: had a quick look at the first half hour or so just to see what it looked like.  It's confirmed my decision to wait for the HDR patch, as it's pretty spectacular-looking and also big on the contrast between dark tombs and bright open deserts - it should really benefit from the upgrade.

I couldn't help but snigger when the lead hero burst into a house and its occupant shouted "Bayek!". It's like the game's suddenly turned into Assassin's Creed: Yorkshire. I hope he has a friend called Eehbahgum.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Ninchilla on October 31, 2017, 11:41:56 AM
The photo mode is a little anemic - you can't tilt the camera, and there are no border options - but you can still get some pretty good shots, mostly thanks to the amazing lighting engine.

http://imgur.com/gallery/fB5cP
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Ninchilla on November 02, 2017, 11:19:19 AM
I've realised something that's missing from this - social stealth. Being able to hide on benches, or blend into crowds/monks/ladies of negotiable affection was a big part of previous Assassin's Creeds, and without it, it feels less subtle.

It's also far too easy to just suddenly find myself set upon by roving guards, bandits, or crocodiles. Bandit gangs hanging around in remote parts interrupt my hallucinatory desert jogs all too often.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Garwoofoo on November 02, 2017, 11:41:15 AM
Apparently the HDR patch is out now, less than a week after the release of the game. That's a lot quicker than I expected. Lots of other fixes too and an improved photo mode.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Garwoofoo on November 02, 2017, 01:03:30 PM
This looks absolutely spectacular in HDR.  They've done an amazing job.  Up there with Horizon Zero Dawn in terms of sheer spectacle.

Game itself seems super fun too. Seems all I want from a game sometimes is to run around mopping up side quests in a lovingly rendered historical environment. I zoomed out on the map and just sat there for a moment or two gawping at the scale of the thing.

One question - I saw you on my map, Ninchilla.  Does that mean you were playing at the same time as me and can we interact at all?
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Ninchilla on November 02, 2017, 03:31:46 PM
I don't know... I haven't played today. Where was I?

I have seen (and done) missions to avenge other players by assassinating the NPCs that killed them, and you can see other players' screenshots; maybe it prefers friends for what it displays?
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Garwoofoo on November 02, 2017, 04:25:33 PM
Just somewhere in the initial oasis settlement. There was a little box on the map and I gave you a heart. Didn’t get the chance to go and check it out though so maybe it’ll all make sense when I do.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Ninchilla on November 02, 2017, 06:19:18 PM
Ah, yeah, that's a screenshot I took. Photo mode both saves to the PS4 and shares it with other players.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Garwoofoo on November 02, 2017, 07:00:20 PM
Oh that’s interesting. I’ll see if I can leave any good ones lying around for you.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Ninchilla on November 03, 2017, 05:05:50 AM
Some of the improvements to photo mode are quite good, but disappointed that you can only tilt the camera about 45°; was hoping for the full 90 so I could get some full-res, proper-format phone backgrounds.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Mr Party Hat on November 03, 2017, 05:27:51 AM
Just somewhere in the initial oasis settlement. There was a little box on the map and I gave you a heart.

I think that means you're married.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Garwoofoo on November 03, 2017, 06:35:58 AM
I’m already betrothed to my camel.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Ninchilla on November 03, 2017, 08:16:06 AM
I got a horse from somewhere that I use, but there's a rare camel that occasionally appears at stable vendors that tempts me. 

I'm still not sure what the difference is between the mounts, as there's no listing of stats anywhere, and "rare" mounts seem every bit as common as common ones.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: feltmonkey on November 03, 2017, 12:51:50 PM
I really don't like that sort of thing - seeing other players on the map, being able to leave messages for other people.  I find it sort of immersion-breaking.  I also don't like other people being able to see what I'm up to in a game, whether that's swimming off the edge of the map, dying hundreds of times to the same minor enemy, or sitting in the GTA strip clubs for hours.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Ninchilla on November 03, 2017, 03:02:52 PM
It's not a live feed, or anything - as long as you don't take screenshots of the strippers in photo mode, nobody will ever even know you were there.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Garwoofoo on November 03, 2017, 03:55:49 PM
You say that like you think he’d be able to restrain himself.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Ninchilla on November 03, 2017, 07:30:09 PM
Some random's screenshot of a topless corpse already popped up in my feed; can't imagine felt doing any worse.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Garwoofoo on November 03, 2017, 08:00:50 PM
I got a screenshot of some random NPC having a piss. Now that’s detail for you.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Garwoofoo on November 05, 2017, 06:21:15 AM
I've realised something that's missing from this - social stealth. Being able to hide on benches, or blend into crowds/monks/ladies of negotiable affection was a big part of previous Assassin's Creeds, and without it, it feels less subtle.

On further play, it seems that stealth in general has taken a bit of a step backwards. Syndicate had a pretty functional stealth system and it really added to the game; Origins is back to the Black Flag method of hiding in bushes and whistling. It's one of those cases when it becomes clear that the AC games are made by different teams and they have their own styles, but it's a shame when innovations in one game don't make it through to the next.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Garwoofoo on November 08, 2017, 05:06:51 AM
OK, so let's talk about the combat system, because I'm probably doing this wrong.

I quickly realised that my trusty AC approach of charging in and furiously button-mashing was a very quick way to get killed.  Instead I've adopted a kind of Dark Souls approach - keeping back, then rushing in, taking a swipe or two then rolling out of there again.  It works, mostly, but if I'm facing more than a couple of enemies then I either get bumrushed or plugged full of arrows.

I hold down L1 at all times to keep my shield up.  It doesn't seem to help, much.

Is the parrying the bit when you get the big circle appearing?  Or should I be trying to parry more often? That's R1 with the shield up, I think.  (Alternative controls).

I have no strategy for mounted combat at all.  I've had a couple of missions where I've had to liberate something like a cart from armed guards on horseback, and I don't know what to do about it apart from charging in, swinging wildly and then running away when my health gets low.  It feels like there's some kind of sophisticated way of doing things that I haven't understood at all. Probably using my knackered old starter camel isn't helping.

In terms of weapons, I've kind of defaulted to the sickle sword but really need to experiment with the other options.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Ninchilla on November 08, 2017, 05:12:58 AM
Shield seems to be a toggle for me, not a hold? Maybe it's an option. Parry is just hitting R1 when an attack is coming in, near as I can tell; haven't noticed a specific prompt.

Mounted, I tend to favour a hunting bow. There's pretty generous lock-on, and as long as I ride in fairly wide circles, I can manage moderately large groups of enemies (and two phylakes so far).
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Garwoofoo on November 16, 2017, 03:51:27 PM
The more I play this, the less like Assassin's Creed it feels.

There's virtually no parkour, for instance.  Even in Alexandria the roads are too wide to really make rooftop navigation a viable option.  Most of the rest of the time, you're in smaller towns or out in the wilderness, where it's not even an option.  You spend more time climbing rock faces, Zelda-style, than you do shimmying up buildings.  It's not a problem (Black Flag was similarly short on urban environments) but it's a definite change of pace.

Also I kind of miss the proliferation of icons on the map.  There aren't really many collectables, in terms of treasure chests or little objectives you can just hoover up.  There's no percentage figure telling you how much of each area you've cleared.  The side quests are proper little side stories, that spiral out in unexpected directions, in a way the series hasn't really tackled before (The Last Maharajah sequence from Syndicate is the only one that springs to mind).  It reminds me oddly of The Elder Scrolls Online, which similarly turned every quest into a little bit of world-building.

I do like it a lot though.  I can absolutely see why it appeals to people that haven't really clicked with the series before.  Even the main plot is pretty engaging.  Combat-wise, I've settled on the Heavy Blunt as my weapon of choice, which lets me play the game much like I played Monster Hunter, as a hammer-wielder.  Slow, but brutally effective, as it turns out.

I really miss the Animus database, though, and it's the first game that hasn't had all that background material to hand. I hope the "historical tour" update they're planning for next year makes up for it somehow.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Garwoofoo on December 07, 2017, 11:27:15 AM
So that's Assassin's Creed: Origins completed then.

It does a lot of things very well indeed.  The world is huge, beautiful, insanely detailed and feels alive in a way that's hard to describe: it doesn't have Unity's massive crowds, nor does it have the series' traditional insane proliferation of icons, it's just that it all hangs together in a way that feels more natural than almost any other game I can think of.  Things feel like they're in their proper place, not just put there as part of the game.  Exploring a new region genuinely feels like venturing into the unknown.  And the side quests really help to set the scene: almost all of them are little stories about life in Egypt, and in solving the people's problems you feel more and more like part of the world.  The writing's good, the acting's decent and almost nothing here involves simply running from icon to icon just for the sake of it.

Bayek is a great character: earnest, passionate, yet with a dry sense of humour and a sense of the absurd.  He's probably the best protagonist Assassin's Creed has ever seen (although Ezio will always have his fans).  His wife Aya, who you get to play as intermittently throughout, may be even better: fierce and driven, she's yet another in a line of strong and non-sexualised female leads for this series.  The plot actually makes sense and is pretty interesting (although it's drawn out a little bit towards the end, with a number of false endings) and Bayek's anger is entirely convincing.

It's a great game, it really is. People who've been put off by the series in the past may well find lots to like here.  Even the combat system is improved (although I still don't think it's great, it's definitely taken some inspiration from Dark Souls and it's a lot better than the counter-counter-counter-hit rhythm that all the other games have used).  Personally, I don't think it's my favourite Assassin's Creed game: Syndicate, with its London setting, crazy time hops, grappling hook and murder mysteries still tops the list for me. But Origins is the best entry point for new players, without a doubt, and it's a very impressive game in its own right.

So the Garwoofoo Ass-o-meter now stands as follows:

AssSyndicate -> AssOrigins -> Ass3 -> Ass2 -> AssFlag -> AssRogue -> AssBro -> AssLib -> AssRev -> AssUnity -> Ass1
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Ninchilla on December 07, 2017, 12:10:28 PM
I stopped playing it when The Frozen Wilds came out, then got sidelined by FFXII, and I'm honestly not sure how much enthusiasm I have to go back. It's undoubtedly very polished, it's just missing... something.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Garwoofoo on February 21, 2018, 02:39:42 PM
The Discovery Tour educational mode has been released as a free update, and it's excellent. I wish all Assassin’s Creed games had this. Even apart from all the historical information, it’s a great mode for kids to run around in without you having any fear they’ll accidentally stab someone in the face.
Title: Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Post by: Ninchilla on February 21, 2018, 03:58:03 PM
"Accidentally".