Quick Game Reviews: Assassins Creed Odyssey, Stardew Valley, Heavy Rain

Assassins Creed Odyssey – Good – An eagle bearing mercenary sets out on a journey that turns into a Greek tragedy and evolves into a strange hunt for cultists, artefacts, mythical beasts and a its family. This game gives a choice of male or female protagonist which sadly doesn’t seem to have much effect on the story. The combat is well done and requires some skill to win the tougher fights in the game. There’re abilities to chose from when levelling up meaning your build could be a warrior, an archer or an assassination specialist or a mix of what you want although the gear and looting system makes a focused build seem better. The story is long, dramatic and interesting with a decent amount of twists too. This would be great but it has my most hated Assassins Creed feature required in a lot of the travel, ships. Ships mean naval combat and I really don’t like the way these games do it. I also think it was too long, I played 45 hours and got bored, I did return for another 35 but that was six months later, it didn’t hold my interest long enough initially and I forgot some of the story. Worth playing though.

Stardew Valley – Average – A farming life simulator which allows the player to farm, fish, mine, fight and scavenge in order to improve the plot that your character owns. NPCs can be socialised with and relationships can be built until everyone has a high approval rating for you. The ultimate goal seems to be to get a high rating after a few years and just generally achieve as much as possible. It’s a game of persistence and small goals that build into a bigger goal but for me it doesn’t have a hook. This game is alright for when you want to pass time and have nothing better to do, there’s nothing really wrong with it, I just don’t find it entertaining.

Heavy Rain – Bad – A story driven crime drama full of quick time events and button prompts that can be very interesting if you can ignore the silly control decisions, plot holes and voice acting that ruin the game. The characters, their quirks and motivations and the way the story play out could make this great if it were a movie but being a game the player needs to interact with it, to walk you’re forced to hold a button down rather than just use a thumbstick like you’d expect. The finger contortion required for the button prompts was ridiculous, at one point requiring me to use my nose because I didn’t have any more fingers that could reach the required button. The villain doesn’t seem to know he’s the villain until the end and one character see’s drowning kids which never really got explained, these plot issues really take you out of it and make the narrative less immersive. There’s also emotionless shouting which this game is now famous for with the press X to Jason being so bad. Ultimately, awful decisions ruin what could have been a great game but it’s probably worth a go for story lovers.

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