I am starting this blog because do you know what? It's my domain so I can do whatever I want with it. I pay yearly for this domain and montly for hosting! So I'll be damned if I don't fill this website however I want.
So what will I talk about in my blog? Who knows! I will talk about gaming, games and game industry. I will talk about travelling. I will talk about politics. I will talk about programming, obviously. Etc, etc, etc.
As for a first entry, I will start by talking about something light that has little significance to me or to the world: Assassin's Creed Origins.
On numerous occassions, I have ranted about Ubisoft with mad fury. I hate so much so many things Ubi does. For instance, imagine what great games the world would have if Ubi spent 1% of its marketing budget for game development?
(Side note: I have also defended Ubisoft when I thought it was fair to do so. For example, the negative reception for Assassins Creed Unity was very, very undeserved. The game might have launched with too many bugs- I wouldn't know because I played it a while after the release as one should try to do with Ubi games. As a result, AC:U is definitely my second favourite AC game. Stop the hate about it, RIGHT NOW!)
Anyway, to the point: Ubisoft deserves a real praise this time. Well, let's make something clear: When a game is good, it is usually the people who worked on that title such as the programmers and the designers that deserve the praise. When a game is bad, it is often the studio's managment squad to blame (see EA's Battlefront fiasco). Greed, filthy corporate greed. Of course, there are exceptions (see CDProjekt Red). Nevertheless, this time Ubi earns success as a whole company.
As most people might know, Ubisoft made a decision after Assassin's Creed Syndicate to skip a year before their next AC title. I applaud the company for this great decision. It just goes to show how Ubi is actually blessed with great employees who can create amazing games when not slaved to a deadline too close.
Now listen to this: Bravo, Ubisoft. Bravo. This game is really brilliant. I am actually quite impressed as I didn't expect this much improvement.
Overall, AC: Origins might be the most complete AC game where everything just "clicks".
The free run dynamics are excellent. It is still not as fast as it used to be in Unity but nevertheless, for the first time I never had the trouble of falling or jumping to the wrong spot during my gameplay. The player really can go exactly where they want to and the smallest edge is enough to climb. I was very, very happy with the development of this. It is difficult to explain but while playing you will certainly understand the difference.
The combat, again, is much better than it was ever before. Combat in AC games used to be sort of a joke. It was easy to kill waves and waves of enemies by simply "Parry-Attack" combination. Not anymore! For the first time, an AC game made me feel obligated to plan my attacks carefully before running like a maniac. Combat is more difficult, more realistic and requires actual game play which is obviously very fun. The addition of archery with various different methods to use it is definitely a great part of this improvement.
Talking about the planning part: Again, for the first time, I was very happy with the "bird view" mechanic that Ubisoft so often uses. And again, it is difficult to explain exactly what's different but planning your moves with your eagle is much better than it was for other Ubi titles. It is actually fun and really useful, finally!
Moreover, the game is finally full of fun side quests and meaningful collectibles. The stuff you find are not infinite like it used to be, the quantity is very well set and they are often useful. So much that I could say the game gets very close to being kind of a RPG, even if a very simple one. I did spend a lot of time selecting my gear and improving things, carefully choosing my skills. This is really something that AC lacked before. Note, its also the new combat too that makes this process much more important and concrete than it was before.
Yes, the map. The map is vast and everything is unbelievably beautiful. Riding through the desert or walking through a city, the details and the visual directing is amazing. I spent maybe 1/4 of my time taking screenshots using the Photo Mode. AC always created amazing cities and environments but something about this game and Ancient Egypt is just better.
Finally, maybe most importantly, AC: Origins succeeds at something which Syndicate failed a lot for me: Creating atmosphere. As I play, I really feel like I am at Ancient Egypt and this is an amazing effect. I walk around and look at the architecture, watch people continue their daily lives, learn more about this incredible culture and history. It is very, very cool. As a Medjay, you really can enter the mood of wanting to protect your land.
Some people complain about the anticlimax nature of the story but I disagree. I think the story is good enough for wishing to uncover more of the plot but more importantly, it achieves to do exactly what the game aims: Showing how the Creed started.
In conclusion: Buy this game as soon as you have the money for it. I criticised Ubisoft a lot before but this time all I can say is bravo, Ubisoft. Bravo. It is not a legendary game but it is much better and certainly a good one.