Assassin's Creed

This game is DRAMATICALLY better than what I was expecting and has massively surpassed my expectations.

Content of the article: "This game is DRAMATICALLY better than what I was expecting and has massively surpassed my expectations."

I'll admit. I had very low expectations to begin with. It's not that I didn't like Assassin's Creed Odyssey, because I did. It's just that I didn't like it all that much. And while I was expecting improvements to the game, I didn't expect Ubisoft to solve the core problem I had with the last 2 games.

What's making me love this game so much (at least so far) is not the fact that the graphics are so much better (which they are) because I liked the last game's graphics. It's not the fact that I personally find the combat to be better, because again, I liked the last game's combat.

It's that this game has completely altered PROGRESSION and has actually managed to overcome the single-greatest problem with AS: Odyssey: there is now a reason to go out and do everything on the map.

The biggest problem with Odyssey was its level scaling, or rather, how it tied into progression. Turn it off? And you could cakewalk the game. Leave it on? It made exploring pointless. You loot more powerful items, which give you more powerful enemies, which give you more powerful items, etc.

Coming into Valhalla, I was expecting the same fun, but quickly tedious slog. I was expecting to go into a camp, kill a bunch of fuckers, end up with a Borderlands quantity of various rarity of gear, sell it all, etc.

Doesn't work that way in this game. In this game, there are no loot drops of gear from the enemy. Every weapon and every piece of gear is a treasure hunt. You will not fight a battle only to emerge with enough disposable garbage to open your own business. Everything in this game, EVEN THE SKILLS, requires exploration and adventure.

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When you see that going to a place gives you a piece of gear, it's EXCITING, because you know you're not getting some random throwaway crap — in fact, you can't EVEN throw away gear or sell it in this game.

When you get a piece of gear or equipment, you're getting a whole new way to play the game. Something new to upgrade, save, or keep in mind for later. Treasure in this game is ACTUALLY treasure. And the game seems to realize that quantity =/= quality.

Thus, there are fewer treasure chests, but finding each one is rewarding in an almost zelda-like way.

For the first time since AS turned into an RPG, I actually want to find everything. To see what I will get, knowing my fortunes are not based on a random number generator, but the meticulously crafted and distributed loot hand-placed there by the developers.

It gives me an actual reason not to just steamroll through the main campaign and ignore everything. It's so thrilling to get a new ability to use or a weapon I wasn't expecting!

This, combined with the better graphics, more engaging story, and improved combat, honestly makes me feel like this game has completely rejuvenated the series for me. So many of my friends are passing on it because they think it's going to be just "more AC" (which is what I at first thought). In a way, that's true. But it's also a vastly different feeling this time around. It's not just some theme park world where you pick whatever rides look most attractive and forsake anything that doesn't. You need/want to do everything, because treasure is actually treasure this time around.

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(I'd give Odyssey a 6.5/7)


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