I'm sure there have been many posts like this but I feel like putting my 2 cents out there.
I got ACO for free with a video card. Having not played an AC game since Brotherhood, I was pretty excited to see how far the series had come.
It started out pretty cool. Tutorial Island did a great job of introducing game mechanics one at a time. Combat, conversations, exploration, caves, enemy outposts, side quests. Unfortunately your first few interactions with these systems are the best parts.
I believe Ubisoft showed their entire hand a little too early. From the moment you pick up the first batch of quests on the mainland, you already know that this game is rinse and repeat.
Dialogue is boiled down to "good response", "bad response", and "more info". Every single quest is either gather or kill something. Dialogue for side quests is irredeemably repetitive ("So you need me to kill them?" followed by "Your man is dead."
The environment is gorgeous and the climbing is fun, but there is next to no landscape variety aside from a couple small islands.
The loot system is so saturated with pointless gear that sorting/selling/dismantling your inventory feels like a huge chore. I don't want to spent 15 minutes in my inventory every time I go to town. I will admit that I enjoyed collecting set pieces and playing around with those passive bonuses, but I ended up alternating between 2 sets for the entire game.
Enemy outposts are literally copy and pasted half the time. And once your clear one, it's magically full of the same enemies next time you ride by. The mercenaries system was intriguing at first. It felt very dynamic and I liked the obvious inspiration from the Shadow Of Mordor/War's Nemesis system. However I quickly became disillusioned once I realized that enemy mercenaries literally just sprint across the map towards you then start walking and slowly searching once they get within a certain range of you.
Naval combat was incredible the first 5 or 6 times but again becomes more of a chore once the novelty fades.
And finally the main story I just couldn't stay engaged with. I tried catching up on the total mess of a story behind the AC series but holy fuck what is going on in that writers room. The overarching story is an irrelevant clusterfuck and the main story is nothing special whatsoever. It's a doomsday cult and your sibling is the big bad.
My enjoyment of this game peaked about 15 hours in and then steadily declined. I admit I still got about 60 hours of decent gameplay but at some point I just dropped it completely out of pure boredom. I didn't even finish the game.
Almost every system in this game is wonderful until you become too familiar with it. Wide as an ocean, deep as a puddle, yadda yadda. Does Valhalla fall victim to the same modern tropes?
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