♫ hello backlog my old friend... ♫ char’s profile
I’ve given up on 100% completing every game I own, training myself to not be a completionist has been quite difficult. If I’ve marked something as completed but I don’t have that many achievements that just means I’ve 100% completed the game, I don’t pay attention to achievements.
As far as a plan for tackling my backlog goes, I don’t really have one. I just plan to play whatever appeals to me, even if it is a game I’ve already played. Productive right?
CURRENTLY PLAYING: Assassin’s Creed Origins, Witcher 2, Mass Effect
Games I own on Uplay/Origin:
- Beyond Good and Evil - Unplayed
- Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon - Unplayed
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - Unplayed
- Rayman Origins - Unplayed
- The Crew - Unplayed
- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell - Unplayed
- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist - Unplayed
- Crysis 2 - Unplayed
- Mass Effect 3 - Completed
- Mass Effect Andromeda - Beaten
- Dragon Age II - Unplayed
- Dragon Age Inquisition - Unplayed
- Medal of Honor Pacific Assault - Won’t play
- Nox - Unplayed
- The Sims 3 - Won’t play
- Mirror’s Edge Catalyst - Beaten
- Syberia II - Unplayed
Looks Like I’m Due for an Update
Haven’t written a post in a good 4 months, mostly because I didn’t have much to post about. Now, however, I’ve finished quite a few games and now I’m due to write about it. Since As much as I may want to go off on a tangent like I usually do, I’ve finished so many games I’ll keep my descriptions of everything short.
I’m proud to say I have 100% completed nearly every game I’ve finished this time around.
A game I absolutely love (as you can probably tell by my playtime of 200+ hours), but with my excitement about all of my new games, I’ve put this most recent playthrough on hold. Really haven’t been feeling it lately anyway as I’m starting to see all of the glaring flaws this game has. It’s brilliant and my favorite of the Assassin’s Creed games and it definitely has the best story in the series. It’s just that the gameplay is lacking in a few areas (namely stealth) and can be very frustrating when a guard still detects you when there’s a 10 foot wall between you and him. All in all I’m glad to take a break from this, again, great game.
Skyrim: a game everyone loves but eventually gets sick of eventually (be it 200 hours later or 2,000). I started this when I really had a craving to play it and couldn’t load my original Skyrim save because I broke that game by overmodding it. For me, I got sick of it because it can’t compare to the Witcher. I think if I tried to play it in a few months from now, I’d enjoy it again, but starting it during my playthough of Witcher 3 was a mistake. This has been on pause for a while and at this point if I play it again, I’ll probably just start a new playthrough, probably on the old edition of Skyrim since it has so many more options for mods.
Shit, I feel awful for saying this since this game was gifted to me on SG, but I kind of hate it. And I don’t know why.There’s nothing wrong with it and it seems like a great stealth game, I just really dislike playing it. I still have it marked as ‘never played’ because maybe I’ll give it another chance in a few years, and it doesn’t really feel like I started it (more like tried it out), so I can’t mark it as ‘unfinished.’ I really just feel terrible for not liking it though, someone who really would have loved it could have won it instead of me. But nope.
I literally just finished this game less than an hour ago (I decided to go for the ending that is generally considered bittersweet. Without spoiling anything, it’s what made the most sense as every option is shitty if you think about it. This one is what I thought was the least shitty). I have mixed feelings about it, as the story is absolutely great and the characters have a lot of depth but almost everything else is either mediocre or downright bad. It’s definitely by far the most buggy game I’ve ever played. I had to restart the game multiple times due to game breaking glitches. I can look past that, it’s fine, just very annoying. What the real issue was is how horribly repetitive it is. Repetivity isn’t always bad, but when it’s like this it definitely is. It’s just the same shit copy and pasted over and over again in about 10 areas. The eliminations are great and anything that strays from those general missions is good. And the story, wow, there’s some hard hitting stuff in there that will make any not racist person furious. Those few missions and the story and characters is what makes this game worth playing. But you have to have the patience of a saint in order to 100% this, and I just couldn’t do that.
And shoutout to my boy Donovan, the best character in the whole game and definitely one of my new favorite chracters. I’m not about to spend $15 on a 45 minute long DLC centered around him, but I do hope we see and hear more of him
Every game in this category, I absolutely loved. Let’s start with the one I loved the most.
My favorite game of all time, and I’m confident nothing will ever beat Witcher 3. I liked it so much that I’m going to read the book series, then play through all of the games. And I don’t even like reading. I actually had to take a break for a few weeks after finishing the expansions (finished the base game a few months ago) because I literally fell into a depression for a little bit. I was actually bawling when the final credits started rolling. Needless to say it was a big part of my life. It took me 6 months and almost 300 hours to do everything there is to do in that game. And I loved almost every second of it (can’t say I liked those smuggler caches in Skellige very much).
Really enjoyed this game, the time travel mechanic is so ingenious and was a dream come true to people like me who just have to know every outcome to a choice based game. Only thing I didn’t like was that hella cringy (dear god hate myself for even typing that word) and that nothing mattered in the end because everything boiled down to two choices at the end that dramatically change the ending. Only a few things made very minor differences. That’s generally the case in choice based games though, and it isn’t a huge issue.
One of my favorite games, definitely. It vastly improved on its predecessor and had some great gameplay. I don’t know what the general consensus on this is, but I thought the story was good, but not great. I really don’t think I had a single problem with this game aside from a few minor technical issues. Everything was smooth and well done.
Really loved this, it was so cool to play this game from Clementine’s perspective. She’s such a great character. I didn’t like it quite as much as I liked the first game, and this one really showed how nothing you really do makes a difference. For example there are a few times you have the option to stop someone from dying, and they die no matter what you do. Other times you can pick whatever dialogue choice you want and will get the same response. Again, not a huge deal but this is definitely a much bigger problem than it was in Life is Strange, where you could actually prevent deaths and change events with what you say. Anyway, I made a big mistake in choosing the ending that I did, so next time I play it I’ll definitely go the other route.
Abzu is so great. Just beautiful, atmospheric, and relaxing. I played it twice just so I could 100% it. One of the best things about it was the beautiful soundtrack, which I think made the whole game.
Last game. I really enjoyed this one too, enough to 100% it. I absolutely adore Danny Wallace’s voice acting so I had wanted to play this game for a while. Pretty crafty how they were actually able to make you feel for these quadrilaterals.
So next up on my list of games to play is between a few choices. I’m missing RPGs, so I may start Fallout New Vegas. I didn’t like what I played of Fallout 3, but everyone raves about NV so I’m willing to give it a go. I’m also thinking about LA Noire or Mafia 2 since I really enjoyed the whole old timey vibe Mafia 3 had going on. And then as a side game, something linear and story oriented like The Wolf Among Us or Firewatch. I would have loved to have played the new Walking Dead but I’m just not sure if it’s going to be worth $12, especially with how short it is. But anyway, I have lots of options and I’m really excited to start right after I submit this post!
TIL I Don’t Like First Person Games (clickbait title, this is really just an update)
So it’s been a few months since my last update, and I’ve actually finished a few games, and left a few unfinished that I really wanted to finish. So I’m due to make another update. This is going to be a long one, so strap in for a long and boring ride!
I loved Tomb Raider. One of my favorite game genres is third person action, and this game is pretty much the epitome of a good 3rd person action game. For some reason it took me a really long time to get into it but once I did I couldn’t get enough and finished the second half of the game within a few days. I loved seeing Lara develop into the badass she was in the older games (and probably RotTR as well?). Everything was just good and very smooth, it felt like a movie where I was controlling the main character. Such a cool experience. Overall I cannot wait to play Rise of the Tomb Raider, I’ve heard it’s even better than this one.
Would I recommend this game? Absolutely, it’s a must play.
One of my all time favorite games. I liked the original WD and even enjoyed the not-so-great story. The problem is it took itself way too seriously and didn’t refine many of the key mechanics of the game (namely driving and hacking). WD2 fixed what the first game did wrong. The story can be cringey at times but at its core is fun and lighthearted with plenty of social commentary (on racism, gang warfare, and of course Big Brother). The game world is riddled with outdated memes and neon colors, and half of the Dedsec characters look like they’re dressed to go to a rave. It was one of the most fun games I’ve played. The stealth gameplay is great, you can infiltrate areas without stepping foot in them, and you don’t have to kill a single person in the whole game if you don’t want to. But you can also shoot up everything if that’s your thing too (though the shooting isn’t anything noteworthy and doesn’t fit with the tone of the game at all). You have plenty of options and all of the main missions are unique and designed well. The coop is really fun and the seamless multiplayer is done well. The missions can get repetitive but they’re still quite fun. The soundtrack is spectacular, the second the main menu of the game opens up and that music plays, you know it’s going to be a good game.
My biggest complaint about the game is the side missions. And I’m not talking about the actual missions you get (those are great), I’m talking about the minigames like motocross racing, drone racing, sailing, etc. Just like the first game and its boring side content, this is equally boring. All you do is race and that’s the whole point. If you’re into that you’ll have a great time but I personally hate racing games with a fiery passion so I didn’t take part in that part of the game.
Overall I loved Watch Dogs 2 and can’t wait to play it again someday.
Would I recommend this game? 100% yes. It’s my pick for 2016 Game of the Year.
Much like Tomb Raider, this game felt like such a cinematic experience. The story wasn’t spectacular (it’s your typical revenge tale) but it was interesting and I liked the character you play as and his transformation into some kind of “God”. The combat was fun, albeit very easy. It’s basically a series of quicktime events over and over again and it sometimes got monotonous but was mostly a really fun part of the game. The executions were satisfyingly brutal. One of the biggest appeals of the game is how beautiful it is, the graphics were seriously incredible. I saw some reviews complaining about how short it was but I think it was a perfect length. Any longer and it would have become repetitive and boring.
Would I recommend this game? Yes, it’s a short play and has some great level design and combat. It’s worth playing just to take it the scenery as well.
I love the new Hitman. Incredibly open levels with countless different assassination opportunities. The disguise system isn’t convoluted like it was in Absolution and the gameplay is just great. The stealth is really well done, with only a few small hiccups like the AI being occasionally omniscient but also being completely idiotic at the same time. I finished the campaign and found that each level was varying degrees of good with great unique assassinations. I even tried my hand at an Elusive Target (if you fail, that’s it; you can’t try again) and managed to not fail, but it went absolutely horribly. The story is a small element of the game but was still rather interesting. It of course ended on a cliffhanger to leave you wondering what’s going to happen in Season 2.
The biggest problem with the game is the Always Online bullshit (I think it’s because of Denuovo but I’m not sure). It’s frankly ridiculous for a single player game to require you to have a constant connection to the server in order to play the game properly. I lost connection multiple times and was unable to play the game until my internet came back on. You essentially lose all functionality and I totally get why people are angry about this. I don’t think it’s worth not recommending the game because of this sole factor. It’s really the only big negative about the game.
Despite finishing the campaign I’m not even close to actually being truly finished with the game. Its incredibly satisfying to complete challenges, becoming more and more skilled in each level after each playthrough.
Would I recommend this game? If you’re a stealth fan, you have to play it.
My favorite game of all time, I’m taking my time playing it and loving every second. It’s the only game I’ve ever played on hard mode because I actually love the combat. Just the other day I killed an enemy almost 20 levels above me in starting level armor. It took over an hour and killing it was probably one of my proudest moments in gaming. I totally understand why people play games like Dark Souls now.
Don’t ask my why I can’t finish this great game because I honestly don’t know. I haven’t played it since last year; I tried to force myself to play it but I couldn’t do it. Aside from the terrible disguise system, it’s a really decent stealth game that is definitely worth a playthrough. I’m hoping one day I’ll pick it up again and finish it up, as I’m pretty sure I’m about 3/4 of the way through and I just want to finish it at this point.
Over the past few years I’ve tried to play this game multiple times. I played the original around 3 years ago and I loved it, it was one of my favorite games. The story is great, it’s one of the better open world games. It has some really unique ideas too (balancing being a cop with being a ruthless gang member can be really interesting) and has some great gameplay and combat (it’s similar to Batman’s combat, but it’s better IMO - the environmental kills are amazing and gruesome). No clue why every time I pick it up, I can’t play it for more than a few hours without wanting to put it down. It’s not boredom, it’s just a lack of motivation. I’ll try to play it again in a few years, it’s sad because I really do love this game.
At first I tried to play the Remastered Edition of Bioshock. But like everyone else it crashed every time I tried to save and it would delete my saves. I finally gave up and switched to the old Bioshock. I was really interested in the story but I don’t think I’ll ever finish it. In fact I’m hesitant to play any other first person games at all, as I’ve noticed a pattern where I just don’t enjoy them. I liked it well enough, just like very other first person game I’ve played, but I just got bored so easily. I don’t get what’s wrong with me because I’d probably adore it like everyone else does if it just wasn’t a shooter. I’ve done the exact same thing with multiple other critically acclaimed shooters/first person games: Far Cry 3, Dead Space, Dishonored, Fallout 3, etc. I don’t know if I’ll ever pick Bioshock up again, but I do know that its convinced me to not buy any more first person games.
The conclusion I’ve drawn from these past few months is that A. I can’t get into first person games no matter how hard I try and B. Shooters (that aren’t open world) apparently bore me to death. I’m not going to try and beat a dead horse by forcing myself to play a genre I’m clearly not a fan of. I guess from now on I’ll stick to the genres I really love like open world and stealth games.
Happy New Years!!!
I hope everyone has a great year and makes a huge dent in their backlogs!
I haven’t updated my status in a few months and that’s mostly because while I have been playing a fair amount of games, I have only finished one or two. So here’s an update on what has been going on the past few months (And I’m using pictures for the first time too! I hope I format it right…).
I really enjoyed this game, I liked the main character Aiden Pearce. He’s boring, but he’s intimidating, to the point, and maybe a little sociopathic (like Batman, no one calls him boring though). The game is really dark and that worked in its favor. The story missions were great, the side content was not unfortunately. Playing with a texture mod made the game look beautiful, I was really impressed with the graphics after modding it. This game is also top notch when it comes to special effects, especially explosions. It’s not the best game but I think it’s a lot better than people say it is as long as you don’t think about the story too much.
A fun little mission that I played a couple of times, interesting setup to Absolution. It took maybe 15 minutes to finish the mission a few times.
Cool game, it wasn’t at all what I was expecting after seeing so much of the new Hitman’s gameplay. My biggest gripe with the game is how broken the disguise system is. Otherwise it’s good fun, I hope I get the motivation to finish it.
I think this is my new favorite game. I absolutely adore it. It has to be one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever played too, sometimes I like to just run around and take in all the sights. Also I am officially addicted to Gwent, the card minigame that everyone loves so much. This game is pretty much a must play, everything about it is great, especially the story and characters.
Really good game, I’m not a huge fan of the action sequences but I love the tombs that you can explore. I’m having the same problem with it as I am with Absolution in that even though I enjoy playing it, I never feel like playing it. I hope I finish it.
I have been eagerly awaiting this game since it was announced, and I’m really happy to say that it’s a decent game. I’m not far in enough to judge the story too much but it seems to be a really fun, lighthearted story which is a refreshing change. The graphics are pretty lackluster and I’m having framerate issues, but that’s no big deal. It’s definitely more fun than its predecessor, but I’m not sure which one I prefer yet. I haven’t played a lot of the GTA games, but I can still confidently say that this is the most alive world I have seen, it’s very impressive.
Great game that I fully intend to play again, I just wanted to play Witcher 3 more. I know for sure that while I abandoned this playthrough, I haven’t abandoned the game.
And that’s it! Unfortunately this year is going to be a busy one for me so I don’t know how much backlog assassinating I’ll be able to do, but I’ll try my best! Also, I noticed we can’t change our bios anymore, what’s up with that?
I actually finished quite a few games since I last posted, however they’ve mostly been quite small and I haven’t made much progress on the bigger games I’m playing.
The Swapper (abandoned)
I don’t know, I just wasn’t feeling it. I got about half way through the game when I realized I was really bored, which is strange because its a good puzzle game with a cool art style and really clever puzzles. The story element bored me to death though, so maybe that’s part of the reason I quit.
Would I recommend this game? Yeah, I really don’t know why I didn’t like it
To The Moon (completed)
Wow, this game is an emotional journey. I was really skeptical at first because I’m usually not a huge fan of these kinds of games (where you don’t really do much except watch the story play out). However, I’m glad I was wrong because the story is spectacular, and you really fall in love with the characters. The minisodes that have been released have me dying for a sequel, the story is getting really mysterious and interesting.
Would I recommend this game? This is a must play
Valiant Hearts: The Great War (completed)
I love this game. I got it on ios a long time ago, but only played the free part of the game, and ever since then I had been itching to finish the game. Like To The Moon, this game is very story oriented, but it also has arcade elements like puzzles and stuff. Sometimes those can be frustrating not because they’re difficult, but because sometimes it can be easy to screw up. Valiant Hearts tells the story of 4 people and a dog who are caught up in the mess of WWI on both sides, the allied powers and axis powers. It’s tragic and heartbreaking and I won’t lie, the ending had me crying.
Would I recommend this game? Absolutely
The Stanely Parable (beaten)
I’m sure most people have played this game already, but it really is a good game with a really cool concept. I love how there are so many different endings, and how the narrator is with you the whole time, attempting to guide your actions while you blatantly disobey him. This game can be a mindfuck at times, but that’s a good thing!
Would I recommend this game? Yes
A Bird Story (completed)
A spinoff from To the Moon, this game is a really short, cute game. I use the term “game” loosely because the most gameplay you’ll do is walk around a bit. This isn’t a game that needs things like puzzles and gameplay, because all its doing is telling a sweet, heartwarming story about a boy and his bird. It’s definitely a lot lighter than To the Moon, but it still stirs up your emotions.
Would I recommend this game? Yep! But play To the Moon first.
I’m very happy about this month’s theme, because I just started The Witcher about a week ago! I doubt I’ll even be close to finishing it at the end of the month though. I can see this taking me months to complete.
Saints Row IV (beaten)
Really great game, even more fun than Saints Row 3. I was so close to getting full completion, and I thought I was going to since I had done everything, but I found out after finishing the game that there was a lot of boring, grindy crap to do in order to get that last few percent, and I just don’t have the time or patience for that. It was mostly a really fun experience though, aside from a few side missions that I absolutely hated. It did crash a lot, but that’s not a big deal. The superpowers were a really cool feature and made getting around (the very boring) Steelport fun and fast. The whole game was hilarious, and such a nice change of pace from the games I usually play.
Would I recommend this game? It’s a must play
Never Alone (beaten)
I won this on SteamGifts the other day and was really happy about it, after playing it I’m a tad disappointed. Everything about the game is great, except the gameplay, which is okay at best. The platforming is just really not that good. Everything else like the story and art style was great, and I really enjoyed learning about a culture I knew nothing about.
Would I recommend this game? If you’re willing to be patient with it, yes
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst (beaten)
Really cool, really beautiful game. Miles better than the original Mirror’s Edge. I’ve been playing this game for a long time, pretty much since it was released. It got overshadowed by other games I was playing, but I finally picked it up the other day and decided to finish it.
The world is beautiful, and they did a great job with it, but they did screw it up a bit. It’s soulless, and it breaks the cardinal rule of open world games: Don’t make the world revolve around the player. The world is almost exclusively on the rooftops, there are very few NPCs, and the ones that are there stand on the rooftops in one spot for the entire game, just waiting for you to accept their delivery mission. The world is huge, but you’ll often find yourself taking the same routes over and over again, which gets boring quickly. Despite all this, the open world environment was one of my favorite parts of the game, and I often found myself just running around and exploring because it was just so pretty. Each district is distinct from one another and very cool to explore.
The story is not great. It’s fairly short, but they try to pack a huge amount of characters and lore into 15 story missions anyway. The new world and the story had so much potential to be great, but it was ruined by the fact that we didn’t get to see the majority of it. They put a lot of effort into it as well, the mirror’s edge website (along with the secret documents and recordings in game) has a huge amount of lore and background into the story that show if it was included in the game, it could’ve created a massive universe with a really great story. Instead we got undeveloped characters, unexplained subplots, a mediocre main plot, and a villain with a motive that was never all that clear. All the makings of a mediocre story. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it, even though it was a bit shit (much better than the original game’s though, at least they tried this time around). It helped that all of the main missions were very fun and well done.
Sorry completionists, this game is nearly impossible to 100%. Well, not impossible, but it would take you a very long time to do it. There are a large amount of collectibles in this game, but there is only a map for one type, called GridLeaks. Secret documents, recordings, and electronics parts (of which there are many) don’t have a map, and they can sometimes be very hard to find. Since it’s a rather big open world, getting all the collectibles would be a very difficult task.
The parkour is amazing. After playing this game, I went back to the original ME a while back to compare the freerunning, and honestly I don’t know if I could go back to the old game again. It’s so fluid, precise, and fast paced, the original seems clunky and slow in comparison. Some of the deaths felt cheap in the first game, but in this one whenever I died, it was 100% my fault. I honestly recommend playing the game for the parkour alone.
The combat isn’t bad at all, and can sometimes be very satisfying, but I for the most part was not a fan. It’s somewhat difficult, but it actually works really well and if you got good at it, I imagine it would be good fun. If you get your combos right, sometimes you even get rewarded with a very cool looking 3rd person takedown scene. The environmental moves you can pull are very cool as well, and don’t break the flow of the game. My biggest complaint is that in the original ME, you could go through the whole game without killing anyone. I usually liked to avoid combat, so this was great. In this game, I guess they really wanted to showcase how much they improved the combat, because there are a few times where you’ll be placed in an enclosed area, with no escape, and be forced to fight hordes of enemies. Unless you’re really good, you will die. A lot. You also can’t use guns, which is fine with me, but I know it pissed a lot of people off.
Side missions are mediocre and very repetitive. You have a couple different activities to pick from: deliveries, distraction missions (lure guards away from a point), dashes, and user created time trials. I loathed the distraction missions, and didn’t finishing some of the dashes or deliveries because I got bored after a while, and they can be very frustrating at times. Some other side missions are not as plentiful, but they’re great. Grid nodes were probably my favorite part of the game. They’re like big, dangerous puzzles with lazers. They have a healthy dose of platforming, timing, precision, and puzzle elements. Security hubs are fun, they go back to the roots of the original game. You shut down a hub, and get the police after you, and you have to lose them to complete the mission. Hackable billboards are similar to the Grid nodes in that some of them are very challenging to get to. Lastly, there are a few side missions related to the story. Most of them are great, a few of them aren’t. Overall the theme with these side missions tends to be quality over quantity.
Overall I really enjoyed this game despite its issues. It’s funny, almost all of its problems were complaints in the original Mirror’s Edge too.
Would I recommend this game? If you enjoyed the original or you like fast paced games, yes. If you’re only in it for the story I’d give it a pass.
The Beginner’s Guide (completed)
I’m editing this into the bottom of the post, because it’s not worth making a separate post. This game is very thought provoking, and after finishing it I don’t know how I feel, or what the meaning of it was. I suppose it’s up to interpretation.
Would I recommend this game? Yes
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (completed)
Well, I was pleasantly surprised with this one. After the messy gameplay that AC Unity had, I was a bit nervous that this one would be the same. I’m so glad I was proven wrong, because I really liked this game. I actually liked it enough to take the time to fully complete it. Since they’re similar games, I’ll be using Unity as a comparison a lot.
First off, the story. It’s nothing special, but not bad by any means. Evie and Jacob Frye (the 2 playable characters) are charming and extremely likable, and they were written well. The side characters are all interesting have a really interesting dynamic with the twins. Most of the story missions are very fun and nonlinear, and you usually can choose which character to play as too. Assassinations are just as good, if not better than Unity’s. There are really cool unique kills for every assassination, and a lot of different approaches you can take, though stealth is always encouraged (yay!). I will say that that despite all this, the story really doesn’t have much to do with Assassin’s Creed, which IMO is fine, but a bit strange considering it’s an Assassin’s Creed game. Yes, the protagonists are assassins and there’s still all sorts of lore, but they’re more gang leaders and justice seeking rogues rather than assassins.
AC Unity received a lot of criticism because of it’s poor optimization and shitty performance, but there is a reason it was like that. The detail, graphics, amount of people, shaders, effects, etc all pushed the game and everyone’s systems to its limits. Yes, some people had bad performance, but wow it was breathtaking. However, because of these criticisms, Ubisoft was forced to downgrade Syndicate. The detail of London is considerably worse (meaning less detailed buildings, less trash, worse character models, etc), the graphics aren’t that much worse but it is noticable, and I can’t explain it but it just all around looks worse. Most notably, the massive crowds that made Unity seem so real are gone, because they were too performance hungry. Consequentially, Syndicate looks beautiful, but much emptier than Paris and is not as realistic or immersive. Another thing about the world worth noting is that where a large portion of Unity’s buildings have interiors, Syndicate has almost none. It’s something I took for granted and now I’m disappointed they weren’t in this game. I would like to stress that while Industrial-era London is not as good as Revolutionary Paris, it is still a massive, realistic, and very impressive city to explore. It’s just that nothing can compare to Unity’s Paris.
In my review, I talked about how my performance was actually pretty good, and I didn’t experience any glitches. Where Unity was supposedly an unoptimized mess, Syndicate is apparently a good port. Unfortunately, that wasn’t my experience. At 1080p, I couldn’t run the game at a steady 60 fps on max settings. I don’t mind a lower framerate, but 1. It shouldn’t be happening in the first place and 2. Dips down to 30 fps are unacceptable. The shadows are what seemed to be the problem, and lowering them to high fixed things and I didn’t even notice a difference, graphically. I also had a notable amount of crashes (around 10), which isn’t something that’s ever happened with any other game. My experience seems to be unusual though, as most everyone says it runs well.
Gameplay wise, Syndicate took everything Unity tried to do and made it good. The gameplay is superb.
The stealth works! Unity’s stealth had a lot of potential, and that potential was realized in this game. You can whistle again (praise Jesus), corner cover actually works well, you have plentiful supplies (such as throwing knives and smoke bombs), and a lot of the time it can actually be challenging, but in a fair way. I can with confidence, actually call this a stealth game instead of a “stealth game” (like all the other AssCreeds).
The combat is good. It’s still not my favorite, but after I got used to it I enjoyed it a lot. It’s not slow and janky like Unity’s was, and there are a lot more options for combos, multikills, etc. It’s been simplified a lot, however it can still be very punishing during earlier parts of the game. If you’re level 1 and try fighting a level 10 guard, chances are you’re going to die immediately. I like that there’s still some challenge, and ultimately the whole combat system has really been refined.
Unity brought in some RPG-like mechanics that really added a lot to the game, and they’re still here in Syndicate, but they’re drastically different. Instead of gear determining your level and stats, you have a skill tree that unlocks abilities and once you unlock enough, you level up. It’s a nice, simple system. Evie and Jacob are very different in terms of playstyle. Evie favors stealth, and Jacob favors combat and a more direct approach. They’re both very capable with combat and stealth, but they excel in their respective fields. While I tried to balance the two characters, I found that I ended up playing as Evie most often, because of her skills in stealth. Overall, they simplified the weird RPG mechanics that Unity had, and it worked out really well!
Finally, the freerunning. It’s really good. It’s much more refined in this game, and because London is so massive and the buildings are so far apart, you get a rope launcher that you can use to get around faster. It’s very fun to use, but it can slightly detract from the freerunning if you accidentally find yourself overusing it, like I did.
Overall they did a really good job with making the gameplay fun again. I enjoyed it so much, that I didn’t even find it tedious to 100% the game.
This game is great, and I would definitely replay it in the future. Even though I enjoyed it a lot, I still don’t think it comes anywhere close to being as good as previous AC games. The gameplay is really what makes it so good, without it it would be a very mediocre game. EDIT: You know what? Scratch that, this game would still be really good even if the gameplay was as bad as Unity’s was.
Would I recommend this game? Yes, even if you’re not into Assassin’s Creed.
I’ve finished every main AC game, and now I have no idea what to play next. I’m thinking about a shooter, just so I can get used to using keyboard and mouse so I can move on to The Witcher as soon as possible. I’m not sure though. Any suggestions are always welcome.
Assassin’s Creed Unity (beaten)
Assassin’s Creed Unity can be summed up in one sentence. Great game, so-so mechanics. At first I was disappointed by the game, but as I played I began to enjoy it more and more. It does, however, deserve some of the criticism it gets. A lot of things that people originally complained about have been fixed or gotten rid of (for example you don’t need the iPhone app anymore, and microtransactions are there but not pushed on you).
The story is actually pretty decent, and I enjoyed it a lot. unfortunately there really isn’t much I can say about the story without spoiling something. Arno is a reasonably well written character (his character development happens far too late in the game), and the side characters are the best part of the game’s story. Elise, a templar and Arno’s girlfriend (but she isn’t just a love interest, don’t worry), is easily one of the best characters to come out of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. I honestly would have preferred it if she had been the protagonist, and Arno the side character. Assassinations are very unique and done well. I feel as if there were a few too many, but they were a great part of the story missions. My biggest issue with the story is the fact that even though it takes place in the French Revolution, the story has basically nothing to do with it. It’s as if Arno cares more about his goals than the goals of the people of France. Other than that, the story isn’t nearly as bad as some make it out to be.
This game is also by far the most beautiful game I’ve ever played. The graphics are incredible and the Paris map is almost the size of the real Paris, and about a quarter of the buildings have interiors to explore. The new engine allows for a massive amount of people to be on the map all at one, and as you explore random events pop up that let you help the citizens of France. All of these things add up to make an amazing open world experience. The city actually feels alive. All this comes at a cost though. Despite efforts being made to make the game run better, it’s still not a well optimized game, however I would argue that it’s much better optimized than Black Flag. I was happy with its performance, I got on average 60 FPS at max settings, but in some areas it would dip as low as 40, or go as high as 90. However just because the game ran well for me doesn’t necessarily mean it will run well for you. Keep in mind this game is heavily reliant on your CPU, so if you don’t have a good processor you’re going to have a bad time.
Just like how the game now has better performance, most of the glitches have been patched out. While I’m sure there are a few major bugs still out there, I didn’t experience a single glitch or bug.
As far as side content goes, the game is bloated. I only say this because there are only 15-20 hours of main story content, but 50 or 60 hours of side content. I think that’s a bad ratio, and I actually love collectibles and side missions.There are upwards of 500 collectibles, and some aren’t available until late-game, which I find to be annoying because they clog up the map. Co-op missions are fun, but can be borderline impossible if you play them solo. I enjoy difficulty but the missions are built for 4 people. Sometimes the challenge is fun, and sometimes it’s like hell. For that reason I didn’t complete about 3 co-op missions. Side missions (called Paris Stories) are great, in fact the murder mysteries were my favorite parts of the game. Instead of focusing on collectibles, I wish they had made more Paris Stories as they really were fun, and immersed you in the city of Paris.
And here’s where it gets shitty. With some big exceptions, the gameplay is not the best. There are so many new things in Unity and I can’t talk about them all, so I’ll just focus on the main mechanics.
What I’m most pissed about is the stealth. It had so much potential to be amazing, but ultimately ended up being functional, but bit broken. The cover system only works about 1/3 of the time, and cover kills usually draw a lot of attention, which shouldn’t happen because they’re quick and quiet. You can no longer lure guards by whistling, which makes hiding spots basically useless. The only lure/distraction item in the game are cherry bombs, which are about as reliable as the cover system. Despite this, playing stealthily is still fun and would’ve been amazing if it didn’t have such major issues
The combat is both good and bad. it’s been overhauled, and you can no longer kill entire armies of people without dying. The largest amount of people I was able to kill in this game was about 17, and even then I was chugging the medicine. I actually like this, the difficulty in the combat is a welcome addition. Plus, guards don’t attack you one at a time anymore, which is exactly why it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The problem is the combat sucks. It’s mind numbingly slow and sluggish, and it feels like master assassin Arno has never picked up a sword in his life. For whatever reason, human shields are gone. Bullets do a huge amount of damage (as they should), but now the only thing you can do is dodge them. Like that’s more realistic. You can only dodge bullets in combat, so if you’re running away there’s nothing you can do to avoid getting shot. And for some reason every guard in the game is like a world class sniper because they rarely miss. On that subject, actual snipers are great. Depending on how much health you have, they can pretty much one-shot kill you. Snipers were a threat in the other ACs, but now they’re very dangerous and it’s a nice feature. It’s worth noting that once you upgrade combat skills and get a top of the line weapon, the combat doesn’t change much but it is more fun and Arno seems more skillful.
Ranged weapons are great. The guns are useful and the phantom and berserk blades are lifesaving, especially if you’re trying to be stealthy. I also like how you’re encouraged to go for headshots because most enemies take 2 or 3 shots to go down otherwise. I ended up using ranged weapons a lot, which isn’t something I usually do, just because it’s so fun and very convenient when trying to avoid a fight.
One thing I really liked was the addition of RPG-like mechanics. You can customize Arno based on your playstyle, and you have levels, which adds further challenge to the game. If you are level one and try a level 5 mission, you’re in for a big challenge. However there was also a lot of unnecessary stuff added. You get skill points, and you buy skills with them. For some skills this makes sense, but for some, it seems a bit ridiculous that Arno doesn’t know how to do them already. For example, in order to be able to blend, you need to buy that skill. If you want a gun, you have to buy the ranged skill. If you want to double assassinate, you have to buy that skill. I could go on. It makes sense from a gameplay perspective, but is still not a great feature. This is a minor complaint, but one that affected my gameplay a lot. Most of the outfits are ugly as all hell. Want to be stealthy? Well you can be, but you have to buy puffy pajama pants to do so. Because the game has varying levels of difficulty, it’s not the best idea to stay in Arno’s nice looking, original assassin robes, so you have to look really hard for a combination of clothes that actually look okay. I eventually found a balance between what helped my skills and what looked nice, but it took a lot of time and (in game) money. Luckily money is not hard to come by.
This is an edit because I somehow forgot to even mention the freerunning in the game. It’s very good, but imprecise. Running across the buildings of Paris is quick and seamless, but the flaws in the freerunning come out when you have to jump or mover somewhere with precision. Other than that, climbing and running is near perfect. You can now free run downwards, which is one of the best features in Unity, and you can slide under and over things in order to keep your momentum. The parkour is extremely unrealistic, however. Arno is basically spiderman. It bothered me at first, but it’s clearly made unrealistic because Paris is so big and the buildings are far apart, so Arno needs to be able to move faster and further than previous assassins, otherwise the frerunning would just be frustrating and slow. Freerunning is one of the most refined aspects of the game and is miles better than previous AC’s parkour systems.
I won’t say much about the Dead Kings DLC, but it was fun and in my opinion, worth playing.
So overall, Unity was a good game that I liked a lot. It’s something that I would maybe replay, but not anytime soon. It’s also the only Assassin’s Creed game I didn’t fully complete (because of those co-op missions and stupid optional objectives I didn’t mention), and I don’t plan on ever completing it. I think it’s my least favorite Assassin’s Creed game, but it redeemed itself a bit with the beautiful environment, good story and characters, and some nice new features.
If anyone is interested, this is what my Arno looked like when I finished the game. It doesn’t look the best from the front, but from the back it looks great.
Would I recommend this game? Yes, but it’s certainly not the best in the franchise. If you want a challenging Assassin’s Creed, this is your game
The great Assassin’s Creed marathon
For many months I’ve been playing a lot of Assassin’s Creed. I was playing the first game for a while and once my PC was built I started on Assassin’s Creed Black Flag and Rogue. Next, I’ll play Unity and Syndicate and will hopefully finish the whole franchise within the next few months (excluding minor games like the Chronicles series).
Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag (completed)
Well, this one was a pleasant surprise. I loved it. I started off a bit skeptical because the story had less to do with assassinating and more to do with pirating. So at first I was a little pissed that it was basically a pirate simulator, especially since the naval aspects of Assassin’s Creed have never been my favorite thing. Even though I still liked them, I wasn’t keen on naval combat being a huge part of the game. However, they improved so much over the more primitive naval combat from AssCreed 3 (it was a prototype, and actually very good until Black Flag came along) and I found myself spending hours plundering ships for upgrade materials. It was addicting.
For the first third of the game I was admittedly still unimpressed with the storyline but it picked up the pace and turned into something great. Edward is one of the best written characters I’ve ever seen and his character development is just spectacular. I can’t say any more about it because I don’t want to spoil anything, but the story really was amazing, especially towards the end. The characters in the Kenway saga as a whole are written very well.
The combat and freerunning is very fluid, but somehow felt slightly less fluid than 3’s. The targeting (during combat, switching targets to start kill streaks and what not) sort of had a mind of it’s own which made combat with a large amount of people a bit tricky. The tree climbing also felt less refined, but not enough to complain about it. The stealth is exactly the same as 3’s, with whistling and bushes and all sorts of sneaky stuff. Overall the gameplay is great and very fun, and I’m making it sound a lot worse than it really is.
The few cities in the the game are beautiful and the small islands and villages are also really interesting to visit. The beautiful environments make getting the myriad of collectibles actually fun.
I could sing praise about this game for hours, but there are a few cons too. This is by far the worst Assassin’s Creed PC port, and one of the worst ports I’ve played. I have a very solid rig (GTX 1070, i7 6700K, 16 GB RAM) and at first it wouldn’t run above 30 FPS for me. No wonder my laptop couldn’t handle it. I found a fix and then the game ran at an even 60 FPS (it’s locked at 60) on max settings for most of the game. However, even with the fixes, there were some parts that had some stuttering and certain areas always caused big frame drops. My one other complaint: Something they had started to phase out in Assassin’s Creed 3 were those godawful trailing missions. Well, they’re back in full force in Black Flag. Not only are you tailing people, you’re eavesdropping, tailing people in guard riddled restricted areas, and guess what! You get to tail ships too! Luckily these frustrating missions are made slightly better with Edward’s strange X-ray vision.
If I could I would write a full scale review of this game but I don’t want to force someone to scroll through too much of my bad writing
Would I recommend this game? A thousand times yes, even if you don’t like Assassin’s Creed
Assassin’s Creed Rogue (completed)
AC Rogue, aka the Black Flag clone with a lot of potential that was for some reason released at the exact same time as AC Unity. Rogue had so much potential to be just as good as it’s predecessor, but it seems as if it was just a side project to milk the success of the naval combat. That being said, I really liked it. I just think it could have been so much better.
Much of what I said about Black Flag applies to Rogue, since they’re pretty much the same game, just with different settings and stories. The freerunning and combat is exactly the same and the naval combat is very similar, if not slightly improved to the combat in Black Flag. Plus there are less trailing missions!
Now to the story. It’s not bad per say but it’s incredibly short, which doesn’t allow for good character development or a good story arc. My main problem in the story is how they handled the Assassin vs Templar war. In games like AC1 and 3 (and to a degree, 4), you really had to question which side was right. The stories did a great job of showing that both sides are not black and white, meaning the Assassins aren’t inherently good and the Templars aren’t inherently bad. I expected this in Rogue as well, and I was a bit disappointed. Rogue made the Templars look like saints and the assassins like assholes, the complete opposite of what the Ezio trilogy did. The story would’ve been much more powerful if they didn’t paint the assassins as the villains. Shay should’ve had to question whether he made the right decision in switching sides to become a templar, but he didn’t need to do that because the Assassins in this game were just cruel anarchists. That being said I did enjoy the story despite its issues and Shay was a very well written character that deserved to be in a much better game.
I really liked the North American setting in this game, I personally liked it a lot more than the tropical setting of Black Flag. Exploring the icy North Atlantic was a very unique experience, as was seeing AC3’s New York in a new light. Bottom line it was super pretty.
The game is a fairly good port, it’s graphics options were limited compared to other AC games, but there were still more than enough options. Frame drops and stuttering were less common and overall it performed very well.
Would I recommend this game? Definitely yes if you’re a fan of the series, and if you want more naval combat
And now I’m going to start playing Unity, even though I’m a bit burned out with this series. I hope it’s not as bad as some people seem to think it is!
Mark of the Ninja
Finished this not too long ago, it’s a pretty good game. The gameplay was very fluid and fun and the story actually got very good towards the end. I won’t spoil anything but it’s a lot deeper than it seems and actually makes you think. Really cool art style too! I didn’t like it enough to 100% it and I won’t replay it but with a New Game +, this game has a lot of replay value.
Would I recommend this game? Yes!
As I’ve said many times, I love this game. This was my 4th playthrough so I finally decided to 100% it. Meaning I completed every objective and collected all 420 flags. I also limited my weapon choice to only the hidden blade, which makes the combat easier but also much more challenging because you need good timing. I’d really recommend doing a playthrough with just the hidden blade! It did take me a while to finish the game because every once in a while I did tire of collecting so many damn flags but it was so satisfying after I got them all.
Would I recommend this game? Yes, but some people may not like its repetitiveness.
Tomb Raider: Legend
Welp, another abandoned game. I started playing this yesterday and it has aged very badly in the gameplay department (graphics are nice though!!). Clunky, unresponsive controls and a sickening floaty camera, and boring levels. I tried playing with KB&M but the controls are even worse on that. I found myself looking at walkthroughs if I couldn’t do something after like 2 tries, which is a telltale sign that I was lying to myself about actually having fun with the game, and I was actually just trying to get through the game as fast as possible. The story is average, but the soundtrack is actually really great. It’s also a very glitchy game (I often thought I was doing a puzzle wrong but it turns out I wasn’t and the game just messed up) and crashes often, so if you play it be prepared for frustration. I played through about half of the game until I realized I wasn’t actually having fun. I might go back to it but probably not.
Would I recommend this game? No, play the newer Tomb Raiders instead