Best AC game yet!

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Sahalarious

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I'm only about ten hours in, but every second I've spent with this game has been an absolute joy. It takes all the stuff I loved about Origins, the movement, sense of discover,y beauty, and refines it into a gory, gorgeous adventure game. They've found the sweet spot for the RPG elements, stepping back from the overwhelming Odyssey but still giving you meaningful progression to work towards.

So far for me its the map and traversal that really stands out, these colored dots point you towards the main points of interest without spoiling or telegraphing what they'll exactly be, but on my way to investigate a golden dot I have found a crack in the side of a mountain hiding a room with a single chest, skeletons, and some artwork, with nothing on the map to indicate there was anything worth seeing, giving you a reason to actually look around and explore, something even Origins failed at. They've crammed this world with discovery rather than question marks to check off a list and it feels great. Anyone out there that really enjoyed Origins but couldn't get into Odyssey is in for a real treat!

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Efesell

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Seems real suspect running on PC though so maybe consider console versions or Connect+ to try it out first.

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Zuljin

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#3  Edited By Zuljin

Very exciting! I've not tapped into AC since 2. I've got a PS5 on the way, so this might be my way back in! I know we won't get Spiderman level loads, as that was designed from the ground up to showcase them, but I'm currently rocking a non-pro PS4, so I'm sure that I'm in for a big difference.

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htr10

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I mean, we’re saying best compared with Origins and Odyssey?

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Ares42

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Haven't been able to put too much time into it yet, but so far this is the first of the "new" AC games that no longer feels like it's an AC game to me at all. So I guess it makes sense that some people find it to be the best AC game yet.

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Humanity

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I’ve been hearing a lot of good things but then again I heard people say Origins is the best one yet when that game came out which was a sentiment I strongly disagreed with.

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norm9

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Odyssey was cool for the first ten hours too. Then there's 100 hours more of the first ten hours.

DOes it differentiate itself from Odyssey or is it more of the same with a reskin? Because if I wanted an England tour simulator, I could just play FH4 and that's "free" on gamepass.

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BaneFireLord

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I've still got all the Atlantis DLCs to tackle in Odyssey and I'm savoring it, so I probably won't be getting Valhalla any time soon but I've been hearing this sentiment in a lot of places and I'm very glad it's shaping up well.

@sahalarious The organic exploration sounds really awesome, but does it still feel like there's a lot of stuff to do in the world, or is there a lot more traversal now where copy-pasted points of interest would have been in the past? I'm weird and loved the grindy bajillion points of interest progression in Odyssey and Origins that they're scaling back on and I'm not sure an emptier map with more unique points of interest is necessarily an improvement if you have to do a lot more walking to get to them.

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FacelessVixen

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I wanna challenge this, but I gotta finish II, III, III Liberation, Black Flag, Unity, Syndicate, Chronicles China, Origins and Odyssey first.

I mean, thanks Ubisoft for giving some of these away during certain events and promotions, but...

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bigsocrates

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@facelessvixen: What, no Bloodlines? No Brotherhood? No Revelations? What are you, some kind of dabbler?

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FacelessVixen

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@bigsocrates: Rain drop.

Drop top.

They didn't have those at GameStop.

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Sahalarious

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@htr10: for me Origins is the best AC game by many miles, so of course it's subjective. odyssey for me is one of the worst.

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rorie

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I am looking forward to playing this! Will be hard to top Odyssey for me, though.

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Sahalarious

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@norm9: it feels much tighter, movement is weightier too. Odyssey felt like a connect the dots with question marks with so many fucking objectives and poorly acted queslines, and the movement felt floaty and inconsequential. This is a major refinement of Origins, not a sequel to odyssey. So far everything I've found feels like it was worth my time even if I don't get anything tangible out of it.

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Ulfhedinn

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AC Odyssey was such a chore.
I'm afraid to go into Valhalla and experience the same so I'm putting it on hold.
At least until I forget about AC Odyssey.

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jaqen_hghar

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I am still early on (I think I am about to get the hidden blade), but I have done some combat, some mini-games, some exploring and such. I am already hooked more into this than I was into Origins. Never bothered getting Odyssey seeing how I bounced off Origins. Not sure what makes it so different, but there is something about the pace of the start that on-boarded me a lot more smoothly. I really tried to get invested, but something about it seemed rushed and slow paced at the same time? The hours I played it I kinda never got into the story or what I was doing.
It also controls a bit better than what I remember of Origins. The setting and main character does wonders for my immersion as well, as I am a long-haired and longish-bearded Norwegian.

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TheRealTurk

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1. Is it less of a chore than Odyssey? That game had about 25 hours of content stretched across a 100+ game.

2. How's the combat? The previews have all made it look really floaty and imprecise.

3. Please tell me there is less modern day stuff. The modern day stuff has always been kind of bad, but it's been really, really bad in the newer games. Layla Hassan might be the worst video game character of the past generation. The less of that garbage the better.

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ToughShed

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#18  Edited By ToughShed

@humanity said:

I’ve been hearing a lot of good things but then again I heard people say Origins is the best one yet when that game came out which was a sentiment I strongly disagreed with.

Yeah I agree, and I still see that sentiment. I actually think it's a pretty good game too but there's such glaring flaws with it. Everything with the progression and abilities is goofy to bad in a lot of ways, from how there's no story justification attempt at all about the abilities in the game about THE FIRST ASSASSIN to how unbalanced and overpowered it was to how much of a cake walk it is to get every ability.

It can't top AC II when that came out.

All that said, if this is a refinement of the previous two games I can be pretty interested. It doesn't seem like a stealth game at all but I like Vikings and if the combat is good that would work for me pretty well.

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fetchfox

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To me it's a mix between old AC and new. It's starting to get it's narrative hooks in, and I like the more "minimal" approach to loot and gear. It's borrowing more of the RPG aspects I like, less like Odyssey.
It's fun having my country represented in a big game like this, and I love vikings and Norse myths so this should be my fit. I'm enjoying it so far, hope it doesn't get too grindy later.

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chaser324

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#20 chaser324  Moderator

@efesell said:

Seems real suspect running on PC though so maybe consider console versions or Connect+ to try it out first.

Really? I've put in a pretty decent amount time and haven't run into any issues. Running with a RTX 2080 and Ryzen 5 3600.

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reap3r160

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#21  Edited By reap3r160

So I'm not hating it, but it seems sort of unclear on how to progress, compared to origins and odyssey at least.

Like, they took out any sort of side questlines(which sort of bummed me out considering some of those in origins were the best) and replaced them with "world events" to level up. Which are basically just turned into collectibles, as they're just points on the map.

I'm still early in the game on the "Birthrights" mission however when I scroll over it it says that zone is power level 280....?? This is only 3 hours in mind you, and I'm like level 15. Am I missing something? Or when I get there will it just be some sort of scripted thing?

All that said, it looks and runs amazing on Series X. And has solidified in my mind the opinion that despite also having a next gen PC, I will always suggest people look into buying a console over a PC. I just downloaded it and started playing.

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Efesell

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To me Origins was a sort of reforging of AC and I’m happy to see it continue. I loved Odyssey but dialing back a little is the right move otherwise things would get out of control.

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Nodima

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I'm always game for a good collectathon game and the Quick Look of this appealed to me a bit, but I've been burned by every Assassin's Creed past the first one which even that only held up as a one-day HD-era spectacle and then went back to Blockbuster (remember that?) never to be thought of again.

I've touched II and Freedom Cry and both just felt terrible in my hands, from character movement to combat. I really, really wanted to like Freedom Cry too given the setting and the free-ness of it' PS+ inclusion but man did the boats suck and the movement feel floaty and combat just not click.

...If I feel that way, how would I feel about these modern not-so-AC games?

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Seikenfreak

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#24  Edited By Seikenfreak

Hmm.. ehh maybe I'll get this one? I got Black Flag for PS4 launch and that's been my favorite. But I don't think I've touched another one since then. They all seemed kinda meh. Maybe even more-so for me because I liked the old games. Less action, more assassin etc.

Could just use my Amazon credit to scoop it up for PS5.. Probably wait to hear some more opinions, particularly from those who like the older stuff.

Also, as someone said somewhere on one of the podcasts I listen to, the AC game appeal probably comes from your interest in that time period. So like.. I like castles and knights. Sailing a boat around (gorgeous looking) waters and tropical islands was rad. I don't really have any interest in Egypt or France. Waited for them do an old japanese/ninja type one.. and then other companies beat them to it. Vikings.. might be down for it.

Oh and check out Norsemen on Netflix if you're looking for some dry-ass viking comedy supplemental viewing.

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Sahalarious

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1. Absolutely, none of the endless scrolling list of mundane side quests, I havent beaten it so an hour count i can't provide, but if you go mission to mission you seem to be making serious progress, no filler. Someone else posted this but i'll recap, side quests are now more of a collectible, something you can stumble upon and typically wrap up within a couple minutes just for fun and some xp. So far they've been a ton of fun and are pretty quirky.

2. The combat is a BLAST. I would caution that a lot of the core abilities are hidden as treasure, but once you have a few ranged and melee abilities you can lay waste to folks. combat, stealth, and exploration all have seperate difficulty levels, i found the hardest to be too hard and normal to be too easy, but there is a sweet spot.

3. about 15 hours in and i've spent maybe 10 minutes out of the animus, just as throwaway as ever but very short, especially if you dont linger around for flavor text and just hop straight back into the animus.

1. Is it less of a chore than Odyssey? That game had about 25 hours of content stretched across a 100+ game.

2. How's the combat? The previews have all made it look really floaty and imprecise.

3. Please tell me there is less modern day stuff. The modern day stuff has always been kind of bad, but it's been really, really bad in the newer games. Layla Hassan might be the worst video game character of the past generation. The less of that garbage the better.

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Ares42

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Having put some more time into it I think I can nail down the things that make this game feel "off" to me. First off, the overhaul to combat with stamina and health pick-ups is VERY not-AC. Not saying it's necessarily bad, but they change the dynamic of the combat drastically. AC has always been leaning more towards the Arkham-style melee combat, so just imagine how a stamina bar and health packs would completely destroy the combat flow in those games.

Secondly, the world event system is also very not-AC. With the premise of AC it could've been a series that was all about investigation and discovery and dynamic systems etc etc, like Hitman, but from the very first game it was always very much about showing you where to go, what to do and giving you clear instructions. Again, there's nothing wrong with what they're doing with the world event system, but in a game where the other 85+% of the game is still "old AC" it feels very jarring.

Third, the stealth. While most of the system is still pretty much the same, you are no longer an assassin in any way shape or form. In the first 10 hours of the campaign I can only think of one story beat where I did any sort of sneaky stuff. You do still have the option to approach combat scenarios with stealth, but so far I've yet to encounter any sort of fort or encampment where it's somewhat necessary to dwindle the enemy forces before getting into open conflict. For a comparison, in Origins you're sneaking into a fort in basically the first or second hour of gameplay. (also, one of the new main activities is literally you storming large encampments rather than approaching them with some finesse.)

I'm still having a decent time with it so far though, but if you'd showed this game to me back in 2012 I don't think the thought that it was an AC game would even cross my mind.

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BladeOfCreation

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I'm about 12 hours in. I just finished Soma's quest line, after looking up where to find the yellow longship. I'm enjoying it well enough, but some of the differences from Odyssey feel like they went in the wrong direction. I'm pretty sure I know where the main story is going. The combat feels different and I'm not a fan of it. The bird feels useless compared to Odyssey's bird.

The skill point system is atrocious. It looks like Path of Exile's skill tree. You get skill points at a quick pace, and you can reset them at any time, but the incremental improvements you make there don't seem to be reflected in the information of the gear itself. Many of the actual skills have to be found in the world.

The boat navigation is terrible. I've set the boat to follow the river to a waypoint along already-charted routes and the boat will run aground. When entering an area to raid, while pointed at the shore, I get a message saying that I must be pointed at the shore to start a raid. Thus begins a tedious process of conducting a 3-point in the river to face the right direction.

The stealth and combat both feel subpar compared to Odyssey. The heavy attack has a such a long time between input and execution that it feels unusable in many combat situations. Many of the locations feel like they don't have enough opportunity for stealth. The change from random loot to fixed loot feels incredibly limiting.

In addition to all of this, I've had two game crashes and an endless loading screen that required a restart.

The game looks amazing and the story seems interesting so far. The voice acting and characters are fine. I'm just not enjoying this as much as Odyssey at this point.

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SethMode

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#28  Edited By SethMode

It's wild because I love this game so far (10 hours in or so), yet I can understand all perspectives. I enjoyed Origins, wanted to like Odyssey and tried it for double digit hours multiple times, and this one feels like a good step back from Odyssey for me. I never cared for the combat in any of the new ones so, that one never phased me.

I personally love the world events. Fewer, more weird and fun things are better to me than what Odyssey does.

One random thing: it is hilarious to me how everyone in this game looks like they are stomping around waiting to tell someone off.

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Efesell

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The world events feel like Red Dead stranger encounters and it’s all the better for it. Can just go full weird.

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Ares42

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@bladeofcreation: I actually really enjoy what they've done with the skill tree. The thing is, if you're actually gonna do a skill tree (and not just unlock abilities as the game progresses) then doing the plain Borderlands style tree is super boring. You're not really making any choices, you're just picking which thing to unlock first. You might as well not do a tree at all, just have a bunch of skills and pick one every time you get a new unlock.

With this new tree you're actually making choices, and you can fiddle around and optimize and make weird builds etc. It sure falls along everything else not feeling AC, but at least it's more engaging than "stacking one box on top of another".

I do think they made a terrible choice with how it's concealed though. Especially since you can just spec and respec over and over to reveal the whole thing (which for some stupid reason gets concealed again once you leave the menu). It's also not very well balanced, with plenty of lackluster main skills etc.

There is an actual stat page in your inventory though, where you can see your summarized stats. But they're poorly defined, and in a game like this I doubt many people would want to get into the nitty gritty of optimizing stats.

I guess some way 5-10 games down the line AC will fully complete its transformation into an ARPG, and a skill-tree like this will feel right at home together with all the other game elements supporting it.

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BladeOfCreation

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@ares42: I'll check out that stat page, thanks for the heads-up about it! I agree that completely concealing the skill tree is stupid. I don't like that kind of thing in general, because all it does is make me want to find that info outside of the game. I think that's bad design.

For context, I will say that "feels like AC" is not really a deal maker or breaker for me. I have no long-running allegiance to the series. I played the first one on PC many years ago and didn't care for it; I tried 2 on the 360 and stopped after an hour. My love of this series starts with Odyssey, which I put 140 hours into it. That is probably a combination of setting and the RPG mechanics that came together in a way I really liked.

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Efesell

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I kind of appreciate that the bird has been downgraded to being more of a bird than just an omniscient drone.

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SethMode

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#33  Edited By SethMode

@efesell: Same. It was a little hard to get used to at first considering it feels essentially like the same mechanic (I had a few early moments where I was like "WTF the bird isn't tagging anything"), but in the end I feel like it is a good example of dialing back the overall "gaminess" of Odyssey, if that makes sense.

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HighlanderRi

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mikewhy

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#35  Edited By mikewhy  Online

I just wish the world events would give me something to follow. The first couple I did I wasn't paying full attention and the person ran off and there wasn't a way to tell where they went.

And I'm not very far in, but I've got another type of quest that's just on a note, where you have to go into your inventory, into your bag, then scroll down and find the note. Please, just put that into that beautiful tab named "Missions".

Finding valuables seems much more difficult, where Origins would highlight them, give them a pip (I think?), and trace lines on your screen back to your character so you know where they are spatially, this game ... I'm not even sure what it does. I can't see anything if it's doing anything.

So yeah, definitely feels like a few regressions to systems I thought were in pretty good shape for the last few years.

Also had those silly things like having the boat follow its own course only to run itself into the shore, or the game telling me I need to be standing next to a body of water to call the boat as I'm standing in the low tide looking at the ocean.

Also what's the deal with your character switching back to their regular axe when doing some finishing moves?

The other changes I'm still getting used to, but I'm open to them.

Edit:

also tagging things with the eagle is such a crapshoot. Things like the little gold dots, they appear through objects. That's cool. When you mark one, it raises and displays a certain way. That's cool. This second way is, for some reason, now occluded by objects. So if the gold dot is in a cave or something, it just vanishes.

These nits are adding up and taking away from the game, which sucks cause Origins is my favorite and had high hopes here.

And like, I just marked a key with the eagle, but I guess they can't be marked, so it doesn't show up when switching back to my character. Despite totally looking like everything else I've marked so far.

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takayamasama

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I really loved Origins, it was my second favorite game that year, only barely beat out by Yakuza 0

I REALLY loved Odyssey, it was my favorite game of the year and I was still playing it here and there up until Valhalla released.

So far, I really like Valhalla! I think my opinion of it will only go up when our Series X arrives in Dec, playing it on a One S right now and it's totally fine if not a bit sluggish in some super crowded areas. Character wise I am unsure where I land with Eivor, but they seem fine. Eivor, at least for what I've played, is a lot more of a "blank slate" character compared to Bayek and Kassandra. Though I can see Eivor's personal story starting to form a shape, and it is intriguing.

Gameplay wise I'm glad they found a middle ground between Origins and Odyssey, especially with the loot. It got a bit crazy after 200+ hours in Odyssey, and I like knowing that loot I pick up can be good if I like the effects on it, should I upgrade them.

This game also seems like it will get REAL weird, which I love when AC games do it. The DLC in Origins and Odyssey that take things to another level were fantastic, and I have already stumbled upon some of that stuff in Valhalla and I freaking love it.

Seriously...when you all get the chance to build a "Seer's Hut" in your stronghold, DO IT ASAP.

Very excited to spend another 100 hours with this game, I should go play some more right now!

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Sahalarious

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Just checking in, now about 25 hours in and out even more in love. I second the guy that urges the seers hut upgrade....wow. The environments are beautiful and varied, the combat and various skilled tree paths you can take is amazing, penalty-free respects at any point what you really kind of experiment. The lack of loot is amazing, I'm spending a lot of time upgrading starting gear rather than filtering through a list of hundreds of garbage randomly generated weapons.

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bwheeeler

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Having played about 200 hours of these games between Origins and Odyssey, I'm shocked at how much they continue to refine these. They just keep getting better and better.

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mikewhy

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#39 mikewhy  Online

Does it get substantially better after the intro area? I haven't had a worse reaction to an AC game since 3.

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Efesell

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@mikewhy: I mean.. the intro is very slow but its not hiding a different game for you to like more once it's done.

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mikewhy

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#41 mikewhy  Online

@efesell: it's less the speed of the intro and more that I just had to raid the same place 3 times cause the war chief wasn't dropping the loot he was supposed to drop, or just straight-up disappeared.

Then I rage quit trying to get to the next main mission when my character slipped down the edge of a mountain mid descent and died when finally hitting the bottom. The fast-travel points, at least in this intro area, are placed incredibly sporadically.

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Afael

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@mikewhy Once you get to England the game does get better imo. Norway suffers from everything being either at a bottom of a giant mountain, or at the top of a giant mountain. And getting there in the snow is a drag. England is a lot more open and going places doesn't feel anywhere near as bad since there is a lot more to look at than just snow and mountains.

On the subject of the game itself, its really surprising how much AC swiveled into Witcher direction. There are quests and areas in this that wouldn't feel too out of place in W3. I know it causes some divide on "This isn't AC", but frankly we know what that AC looks like. They've made like 12 of those. Granted, if they make 12 of these, it'd get just as stale so here's hoping they keep improving.

I like a lot of what they did with the world and the little dots. There is a Mystery type (well, 2 actually) that are straight up insane boss fights. And just walking into one thinking it'll be a "Hurr durr help a dude out", only to get blasted was probably my fav experience of the game so far. And I will SUPER SECOND the advice to upgrade the Seers hut asap - its nutty that "thing" is in the game.

My only complaints so far are with controls occasionally feeling finicky - the LB/L1 being both a parry and a left hand attack leads to some oopsies, and Eivor still suffers from classic AC issue of "Oh god please just jump on that thing".

After a disastrous Watch Dogs Legion, Valhalla is a surprise hit for me. Sucks that a lot of people who worked on it did so in awful conditions though.

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Haz_Kaj

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I think its the worst of the 3 new open world ones. Really boring characters and story is just the least engaging.

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Haz_Kaj

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@mikewhy: not for me. I'm glad I was able to get most of my money back.

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Humanity

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I just started playing this and it's very ironic that the Accessability option for Hold instead of Tap that I turned on right at the start broke the game so that when it came to choosing my gender I wasn't actually able to do anything. Also at that point you don't even get an option to Go Back to Main Menu so I had to quit back to dasboard and relaunch the game. Watch the intro cinematic of the fight all over again as it appears to be unskippable just to get to the Gender choice once more. Before I Googled the issue I had watched that movie three times.

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mikewhy

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#47 mikewhy  Online

@afael: thanks, I was hoping to hear that it's just a lackluster intro area

@haz_kaj: I decided to sub to their subscription service cause I was bored when Watch Dogs Legion came out and knew I'd want to play Valhalla so luckily I'm not in for very much money.

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tdous

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Big fan of the entire series. I'm still pretty early on. Feel pretty Odyssey-y to me. Which is fine, though nothing's really standing out yet. Except the occasional loss of progress from reloading saves when Eivor skids into the geometry and just sort of quickly vibrates in place, unable to complete his skid and return to regular walking around control.

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Afael

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@humanity I had the same issue, its so incredibly dumb that the first instance of Hold doesn't support the feature and locks the game up. And yeah, that movie should've been skippable.

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I miss tagging enemies with the bird, but that's not nearly as annoying as what I just discovered: apparently you can't assassinate the Zealots. In Odyssey, one of my favorite things to do was hunt down mercenaries, especially ones that were much higher level than me, for their gear and the fun of killing them. So I tried to sneak up on a Zealot here and despite being hidden, the prompt to assassinate never showed up.

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