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Do You Think that Allowing Players to Pick between Male & Female Characters Hurts the Franchise?

I recently watched a video by Laymen Gaming, and they brought up a good question which was does intentionally injecting the option of being male or female affect the game and the franchise?
 
Laymen Gaming came to the conclusion that it could affect the game's story/franchise because it makes it harder for the story convey certain things because now with the inclusion of both sexes, the story writers have to take into account both sides. To be fair, they also said that they are not against having women in games. What they do believe is that it's okay to have a story focus on one sex, gender, ethnicity, or race without having to shoehorn in diversity. I'm of two minds about this. I agree and disagree with their conclusion.
 
On one hand, I do see where they are coming from that intentionally shoehorning your story could pigeon hole the experiences of the characters in the game because the story now has to take into consideration crafting a story that both sides can relate instead of having a well written story that only looks at something from one side. I can see how being able to pick more than one type of character can affect the story.
 
On the other hand, I do like the idea of being able to pick a character that is not only male. I like to play as a badass female warrior. When you play as a female, you're literally the embodiment of a revolution that seeks to bring women on par with men. Nothing pisses of some men like a badass woman kicking ass. For example, Lara Croft is a badass & female version of Indiana Jones. I'd pick playing as Lara Croft over any other adventure any day of the week. She kicks ass in all of her games.
 
On a side note, Tomb Raider is a good example of both points of view because you're playing as a woman and the story is only being told from one perspective, so there's no worry about having to make sure the story makes sense from both the male and female perspectives. Just thought that was an interesting example.
 
So what do you, my fellow Mooters, think?

LV.21GG2 months ago
Poll10 votes

ASSASSIN'S CREED ODYSSEY REVIEW

https://youtu.be/sF99utFEfk4



Ironically for a game set in ancient Greece, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is anything but Spartan. This epic-scale action-roleplaying game shines as a grand adventure through a magnificent and beautiful open world on a scale we’ve rarely seen. With so few compromises between quantity and quality, Odyssey vaults over its predecessors to become the most impressive game in the history of the series.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey begins more than 2,400 years ago at the onset of the Peloponnesian war: a decades-long struggle between Athens and Sparta for dominion over the ancient Greek world. It’s a fitting period to explore that’s rife with social and political intrigue, full-scale warfare on land and sea, and a tangible air of myth and legend. And after an astonishing 60-plus hours of galloping, sailing, and slicing through that historical-fiction sandbox, it’s easy to see why it was worth fighting so hard over.

Odyssey’s world is the biggest and most vibrantly colorful of the series. Even though much of its playground is blanketed in the fickle blue waters of the Aegean sea, its playable acreage is immense and rivaled only by its sheer jaw-dropping beauty. Greece is a stunning series of picturesque locales: white-stone isles, eternally autumnal forests, sun-blasted desert islands, an endless expanse of beach, alabaster cities defended by titanic statues of bronze and stone, and the inviting, rolling waves of the open sea. These beautiful scenes explode into life thanks to a lighting system that still causes me to stop and snap a picture even all these hours later.
Of course, as with virtually all grand-scale game worlds, flaws lurk just under the surface. They range from minor immersion-breaking hiccups like draw distance that never seems to be quite far enough to capture the view, textures that arrive moments too late, or slightly off-sync audio, to the more severe: getting terminally stuck on geometry, finding an unlootable lootable item, or having your tamed beast become untamed when you die and reload – which may very well cause you to die and reload again if you happen to have had a tamed bear. Bugs like these were annoying, sure, but not quite frequent enough to sour me on exploring what has become one of my favorite open-world maps ever.

For the first time in an Assassin’s Creed game we get a choice of whether to play exclusively as a man or a woman: siblings Alexios and Kassandra. True, as far as the story’s concerned they’re effectively the same character, but even though they’re superficial there are some meaningful differences. Namely, Kassandra’s voice acting is generally more consistently well done than that of her brother.
These protagonists are easily the most flexible characters in any Assassin’s Creed game to date.


For that matter, accents and voice delivery throughout Odyssey are hit or miss, usually falling somewhere between good and outright scenery-chewing, especially when it comes to no-name NPCs who sound like someone who’d watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding once before being asked to do an impersonation. But the facial animation of the marquee characters is superb, and you can sense the subtle disgust or confusion on the face of Alexios or Kassandra without them having to say a word.
These protagonists are easily the most flexible characters in any Assassin’s Creed game to date when it comes to their personalities. As a mercenary, my Alexios was free to be whoever I decided he should be. A merc with a conscious, a one-track-mind horn dog, or a ruthless murdering psychopath – there are no wrong answers, but there were definitely consequences to the decisions I chose.

Most dialogue decisions usually don’t carry much meaning outside of whether your character is an upstanding person or a total dick. For example, a desperate fisherwoman pleads to find her husband she fears was overtaken by pirates: I could agree to help find him for the sake of love and reconciliation and all the brownie points, or tell her I don’t work for free and watch her hopes dashed to pieces like the body of her former spouse upon the rocks. But some of those choices do affect the greater world around you: varied side missions become available according to your deeds, and certain characters could live or die – all the way through to the multiple possible endings. I never felt like I screwed myself out of something I wanted to do, but I had the freedom to be who I wanted to be.

Who I wanted to be was someone who’s often too lazy or self-assured to hide his murderous ways, which put me in conflict with Odyssey’s new notoriety system. It’s a simple, common-sense approach: the more crimes you commit, the more likely it is that someone in the world puts a bounty on your head, and then a relentless cadre of procedurally named mercenaries begin to hunt and track you down.

While I initially found the mercs who were sicced on me to be little more than loot pinatas, as I leveled up the generic names and descriptors – like Ilona the Agile (who was admittedly quite agile until I sunk her vessel and she drowned in the Aegean) – began to get more bombastic and threatening. For example, Mariah the Glimmering dogged me throughout my level-30s and her flaming spear and voracious pet lion worked in tandem to skewer or maul me into sweet oblivion on multiple occasions. I eventually just started running away when she had tracked me down, before finally ending her reign of terror some ten levels later. Sure, the loot wasn’t great, but it was worth it.


With a high enough bounty, this endless procession of relentless pursuers began to show up in force to complicate matters while I was in the middle of sieging a fort – and before I could finish fighting one another would join, eager to hunt my head for coin. Then another, then another, and soon I had to choose between battling five headhunters while I tried to complete my objective in a defended fort, or turn tail and run. They eventually earned my respect, and I appreciate the chaotic X-factor they bring to Odyssey. Rising through their ranks to gain the attention of their legendary warriors is a fun meta-game in and of itself.

Similarly, the nation struggle system allows you to help the war effort for either Sparta or Athens in each region. By destroying supplies, pillaging war chests, or deposing a national leader, you’ll trigger a conquest battle. While these huge melee or naval battles are thoroughly excellent combat scenarios and reward you with some good loot, they mean disappointingly little to the story. Regardless of whether you’re attacking or defending, which side you join, or who ultimately wins, the war machine keeps turning. Eventually, I got to a point where I was able to weaken a region and trigger a conquest battle rather quickly, which made these mini-wars effectively farmable. That sucks some of the grandeur out of them, but seeing a hundred soldiers, captains, and mercenaries locked in combat is always a sight to behold.


Odyssey continues what Origins started last year, moving combat to a free-flowing dance of light and heavy attacks. The weapons are swords, daggers, axes, maces, spears, and staves, all of which behave just differently enough for meaningful nuance. In the heat of battle, it’s an easy-to-grasp system of slashes and skills, and I’m still picking fights just for the joy of it – especially against improbable odds, like the Greek legends of old.
There’s a staggering amount of equipment to find, upgrade, and engrave with powerful perks. Odyssey smartly offers you the chance to upgrade an old piece of gear to your level for a hefty fee, depending on its rarity. Thanks to that system, I didn’t have to say goodbye to my favorite sword and axe that I used throughout much of the adventure – but that attachment cost me a small fortune in resources to keep them up to date every few levels. But even if I didn’t always have the crafting materials or currency needed to upgrade my old reliable Spartan War Hero helmet to my current level, a constant stream of new viable gear continued to pour in, giving me options until I refilled my coffers.

Leveling is a seamless experience, and though it predictably slows the higher you get, I never felt like I was spinning my wheels for an excessively long time before being rewarded. The real progression comes from Odyssey’s three distinct skill trees: Warrior (melee), Hunter (archery), and Assassin (stabby stab stab). Each holds powerful abilities that can devastate on the battlefield, and while I opted to turn Alexios into a killing machine by focusing almost entirely on the warrior tree I also dabbled in the others, enough to pick up Archer skills like the head-splitting Predator Shot and the Shadow Assassin ability that made silent kills more reliable. More than any other Assassin’s Creed before, I felt I could tailor my mercenary to my play style without making any real sacrifices.

Even when experimenting, every skill I chose felt worthwhile. Stripping shields from the hands of well-defended enemies, delivering brutally overpowered attacks, activating life-saving heals, and a multitude of craftable special arrows made me feel like I had the utility to handle a small army. But thanks to the murderous power of gravity, I found the Sparta Kick (a winking acknowledgement to Leonidas’ punting a foe off a cliff to his death in the movie 300) to be the single most devastating and just plain fun weapon in my arsenal for nearly half my playthrough.

The other pillar of combat is naval warfare, which is the best it’s ever been in Assassin’s Creed. It’s that same familiar system of ramming, raining arrows and javelins on opposing vessels – both standard and of the fiery variety – and maneuvering to fend off retaliation. But this time around, your ship, the Adrestia, has much more excellent upgradeable options to buff out arrow damage, ramming damage, or durability at the cost of a ton of collectible resources. While those costs continue to rise, finally collecting enough to sink a point into a new upgrade instills a sense of real accomplishment. By the time I had finished the main story, I was annihilating mercenary vessels several levels higher than me because of the upgrades I chose, and I felt like I could handle just about anything the Aegean had to throw at me.
But Odyssey’s thoughtful systems for upgrading mean even when you’re on land, the sea is ever-present, because you can always be working toward upgrading your ship. Nearly every enemy you encounter, from foot soldiers to Spartan generals, can be subdued and recruited to join your ship as a lieutenant in a way that’s reminiscent of Shadow of War’s army-building Nemesis system. It’s a smart sub-layer of optimization that not only adds customization, but kept me thinking about the Adrestia even while I was hundreds of miles inland. And of course, gliding across the glassy Aegean and charging headlong into an armada of pirates, Spartans, Athenians, or even helpless merchant vessels is something I relish even after so much time dominating Greece’s waters.

While side missions and combat are abundant and fun, eventually you’ve got to move Odyssey’s main story forward. It’s enjoyable, with genuine moments of bare emotion that made me feel for those involved. Its straightforward family drama is unhindered by the tired Assassins versus Templars soap opera, which is thankfully all but entirely kicked to the curb this time. Instead, it comes up with enough twists and memorable side characters of its own to keep me invested.
At the same time, Odyssey’s main story is padded with mission after mission of meaningless errands that make getting to those strong character moments a painstaking gauntlet of splintered tasks. Oftentimes the payoff of a major character reveal was dulled because I had to spend six hours chasing my tail through half the Greek world to reach it. Which is a shame, since those moments really solidify your mercenary character as a person, rather than a means to an end.

But even after completing the main story, there’s still so much left to uncover that I’m nearly as overwhelmed with where to go and what to do next as I was when I started. The three main story pillars weave in and out of one another, but for a large chunk of the adventure you have access to quests from each, so there’s both a variety to choose from and meaningful things left to complete when you finish the main character’s family story. Whether I’m hunting down the remnants of the sinister Cult of Kosmos, tracking down relics that push the totally superficial present-day story forward, fighting mythological monsters, or hunting the great beasts of Greek legend, there’s a staggering amount of content left to discover.
THE VERDICT
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a resounding achievement in world building, environment, and engaging gameplay with occasional problems throughout. Its incredible recreation of ancient Greece is something I’ll want to go back to long after I’ve finished its main story, and its excellent systems mesh together in a way that’s hard to beat. While there are definite rough edges, Odyssey sets a new bar for Assassin’s Creed games and holds its own in the eternal debate over the best open-world roleplaying games ever.

LV.20Join my group!2 months ago

[AC2] See Monterigionni in real life!

Last summer I decided to go on a road trip across northern Italy. At first I had no clue where I should go or what I should visit. In the end there came up this awesome idea: Follow the traces of Ezio Auditore and visit all cities, villages and places he crossed in AC2!

The level of detail of AC2 was astonishing! I was seriously surprised that EVERY place Ezio came across existed in real life! I figured to share some pictures and impressions of the probably most interesting place: Monterigionni!



[unfortunately I didn‘t take any picture from the outside so here‘s one from the internet! http://lovefromtuscany.com/where-to-go/small-towns-in-tuscany/monteriggioni/

The first thing which I could already see from miles away were those huge defense walls. If you played the game you will already have an idea of what to expect. The only difference is that there weren‘t any of those huge defence towers (anymore).
What surprised me the most is that in real life Monterigionni is a lot smaller than in game! Those who played Assasin‘s Creed know that ingame Monterigionni is huge! You can spend hours explaring every inch and every alley. Who knows maybe Monterigionni used to be as huge as ingame back in the 13. century but today most of its houses and architectures are destroyed -sadly!



The first thing you will see when you enter is this huge entrance with the blazon of lords of the tuscany at its top! It was really exiting and brought back some AC2 memories. Indeed the entrance ingame isn‘t too far fetched!



I have to admit it was quite a while ago that I played the game but if I‘m not completely mistaken there‘s also a church in the Monterigionni of Assasin’s Creed which, in many aspects, looked very similar to the in real life existing one!



Fun fact: Did you know that Monterigionni was actually governed by templars?
Over all the years it were always Templar-Lords who reigned over Monterigionni and although there were several conflicts between the lords of Italy it never changed its lord!



This one is so cool! I can swear that I saw the same house ingame! The level of detail of AC2‘s monterigionni is amazing. The devs made a really great job!



Anyone who might have thought that the ingame Villa actually exists in real life sadly has to be disappointed! There is no Villa - at least not anymore. I was as upset as you are now!



So yeah that was basically it. Next stop for me was Florence, then Rome and Venice! Sadly I didn‘t take to much pictures of those as I considered them less interesting.
Hope you liked my pics!
Have a good one!


Cheers!

LV.23Mod5 months ago
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