I’ve gone through a recent spell of starting lots of new games in a bid to stop going through the motions and defaulting to playing games I’ve already sunk dozens of hours into. Always an advocate for getting out of my comfort zone as often as I can, as demonstrated by my recent obsession with Days Gone, I find myself trying more and more games which I typically would have no reason to. There are experiences like Days Gone which make these ventures into the unknown entirely justified and a good use of my time, but upon completion of it I’ve only been disappointed by the games I have started since to fill the void.
I made the decision at the end of February, upon hitting double digits in games I had bought but not played, to delete every game off my PS4 that I had played before. ‘Yes’ I thought, this will be all the incentive I need to break this pattern of predominantly playing old games, and I was right. For a time..
First up was Ace Combat 7 which lasted just one day on my PS4. I found myself very invested in the aerial dogfights early on but the cutscene lengths were dull and interminable, very much like Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots but with absolutely none of the charm. Progress came to a screeching halt upon getting to the end of the 4th mission where you have to defend a helicopter retreating from the Space Elevator. Things had been going well until I found myself checkpoint locked into a segment where I had to take out several enemy jets within a very tight time limit. After a number of failed attempts I uninstalled the game in disgust as there was no chance in hell I was going to restart the entire mission just to change my fighters loadout. Fuck Ace Combat 7, fuck it right in its stupid fucking planes.
The next game on my list was the Outer Wilds (not the Outer Worlds), a game I had wanted to try for years but ultimately never got round to. Upon starting it for the first time I was impressed with the art style and immediate freedom to explore a galaxy roughly the size of a small town. Excitement swiftly transitioned to boredom when I discovered there is no real direction in the game, and it is essentially a line following simulator where you literally scan lines with a language translator to discover what happened to an ancient alien race. You only have a set time to do this however, as after 22 minutes the sun explodes and you start the day again but retain your progress made. Thanks but no thanks, exploding sun or not, this game is boring and I’m done. Next!
The final new game I started is Star Wars Squadrons which so far I actually quite like. The detail in the cockpit of the starfighters I’ve used so far is incredible and I’m really getting into the gameplay loop. The only downside is that it doesn’t take long to get quite repetitive so I can play it in hour bursts but not much beyond that. Of the three games I’ve mentioned it is the only one I intend on returning to, but the consistent lack of a new game grabbing my attention has forced me to retreat back into the dark abyss that is my gaming comfort zone. And so…
I restarted the Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey expansions.
I have already played them all to completion on my PS4 run but was yet to touch them on Xbox One. I was just starting the fifth of six parts to the expansions when I realised how many hours I had clocked up on the game across my save files on both consoles. 300 hours, and counting. 300 hours! That’s 12.5 days, and I will comfortably hit the 13 day mark during this current obsession with the game, potentially even 14 days.
I am completely besotted by the visually stunning world, the exciting and spectacular combat (particularly with the upgraded abilities introduced in the latter half of the expansions) and I cannot spend enough time with Kassandra and Alexios. My Xbox playthrough has me playing as Alexios, and while I get that Kassandra is the canon protagonist I still love playing as him, with his quick to anger responses which set him apart from Kassandra’s tendency towards sarcasm and witty comebacks.
Elysium is a clear highlight of the post-game for me, not only for its incredible beauty but also for its verticality and new, dangerous adversaries in the form of the Isu Guardians. The abilities I mentioned earlier are lots of fun to use, particularly Fury of the Bloodline because it’s so over the top aggressive that I try to get it in a couple of times every fight.
The passion with which I recommend Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey cannot be overstated, as it is one of the most absorbing, exciting, rewarding and outstanding experiences possible on PS4 and Xbox One. I cannot wait to get back to playing Valhalla when I get a PS5 after abandoning my PS4 run at launch for how broken it was.
While Final Fantasy XV remains my favourite game of all time, Odyssey is a very very close second place.
Thank you for reading whatever this was. Let me know in the comments if you have played or are yet to play Odyssey, and if the former what your opinion was of it. I’ll be back next week so I will speak to you again soon!