I'm writing this mostly because I just tried to sit down with the game for an hour-hour and a half tonight and found playing the game like cracking into a nut that doesn't want to be cracked open.
I'm about half way through the game and I wasn't really looking to progress the story. Frankly I find the story extremely tedious. Riding around busting up Mongol bandit camps was really I was looking for tonight.
The first two bandit camps I encountered on the second section of the Island popped a warning message on my screen that the Mongols were too powerful and archer's immediately killed me. Attack mongol camps was exactly what I was looking for. Challenging Mongol camps at that. Finding extremely difficult Mongol camps was what I wanted to do.
Unfortunately it doesn't matter how you approach these camps. You always die immediately I guess for story reasons.
Sad that the game wouldn't allow me to challenge myself, I retreated to try and find other battles to fight. Which resulted in one lengthy boring investigative quest after another.
Screw this. I'm just going to go to places on the map I know for certain are basic bitch Mongol camps, there's plenty of them marked on my map from when I left the first section of the island. Each of these Mongol camps are defended by brainless, half-deaf, barely armed peasants in which you must rescue X number of hostages – necessitating I sit through X number of pointless trivial unskippable cut-scenes of the same cutting the cloth hand-ties over and over and over. When a camp is liberated I need to watch the villagers return and bang on their ruined houses with mallets from at least four or five different camera angles. Thank god that's over, oh well Jin is sleeping with his horse so let's watch this unskippable waking up animation again too.
This unskippable cutscene design is so trying my patience. Especially when you can see how absent it is elsewhere in the game. In RDD2 Arthur spends forver skinning animals and picking up herbs, one of the things that immediately delighted me about Ghosts was the instantaneous pickup for everything. Even while on a horse! No time wasting here!
Only there is no conversation too trivial for Jin to devote his whole attention. There is no nameless peasant too inconsequential for Jin to dismount and listen to carefully.
It's not a bad game and I can see how parts of the game I don't like might be someone else's favorite. I just found my experience with the game a little odd in how withholding it is with the parts of it I actually enjoy.
Find an incredible Mongol camp. Finally enemies worthy of all these skills and armor I've unlocked! Not allowed to fight them.
Begin a side mission, let's take down some baddies with a little bit of story context thrown in. First spend 20 minutes examining various pots.
Fine let's just ride around knocking over camps. But first watch one cutscene per hostage, one village liberation cutscene, one Jin just standin around lookin cool with the horse cutscene . . .
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