The Games We Play During Lull

My druid is 9/21 rep with Ven’ari. My rogue is still desperately trying for the final Nathria weapon token. Other than that, it’s other games on my table.

Star Wars Battlefront: I’ve finished the campaign a while ago and put it on a shelf. It’s been an amazing SW movie-like experience, and there will always be an option for re-running the campaign which I now deem a canonical chapter of the universe (and it is) or a quick player-vs-AI random scenario session just for the sake of pew-pew in the universe I love so much!

Horizon Zero Dawn: ultimately failed to lure me deep into its universe. It was super beautiful, the general story and setting was cool enough to request a movie, and the gameplay was engaging and fun enough to keep my interest. Its drawbacks are few but vital. First, it’s super sad and melancholic with no comic relief at all, deadly serious – personally I dislike that. Second, more general, the characters are wooden. The protagonist is super nice, and her guide for the second half of the game, Sylens, is interesting, but other than that? I didn’t feel anything to any of them, they’re just talking heads you can’t love or hate. So I had no desire to run side questlines, or explore and simply rushed to the big finale.

If they really make a movie, they would have to put some real effort into characters, dialogues and side stories. Overall, the game is totally worth checking out and playing through the main story – it’s quite epic and interesting take on the post-post apocalyptic setting, combining rogue AI gone wild and viking/indian primitive tribal society themes to discover the horrid past in a stunning gorgeous scenery.

Blade and Soul: I’m experiencing technical hiccups all over the gameplay since the beginning. I don’t know what the issue is, but 1-sec freezes during mundane things, like activating speed runs, flights or entering a new zone are super annoying. This is when you begin to appreciate WoW which is simply flawless in its technical department.

I decided I’m finishing the game as a single player, and that would be it. The crafting and upgrading system seems super complex to my liking, but thank gods I don’t need that yet – as I don’t plan dungeons and raids or god forbid PvP. Thankfully, you don’t need all that to experience the story. You gain level cap by the end of Act IV, which is an epic finale of the initiate story, done solo, and then proceed with what I understand were “expansion” questlines through Acts V-XI. Currently I finished Act 7, and I plan to play through the rest, as it’s no worse than the previous ones. You don’t need to farm any gear to move through the story, and neither of them requires you a dungeon or raid boss to see the end – it’s all done in an open world/solo scenario common gameplay.

Blade and Soul is unique in a zillion aspects from all other MMOs, and totally worth checking out – at least as a single player (free-to-play, btw). What is amazing is that you revisit the low level places and characters over and over for the new stories, not abandoning them for good once the zone is done. And being character-centered MMO rather than faction or empire centered, it works too well to abandon it in the middle of the narrative.

Genshin Impact: a genuine Twitter hit judging by the number of screenshots is a sort of unique RPG. First, it’s the visual art – being an animesque candy land, it utilizes 2D characters in 3D environment… very unusual, and strangely, it works. The second thing is, while you lead a protagonist, you also get additional “crew members” that you could swap in a blink of an eye (you see and operate one at a time). Moreover, it is encouraged that you do: for example, your main does a water spell, drenching an enemy, and you’re supposed to swap her for an electricity character to cast lightning and electrocute a wet mob!

I’ve not decided yet if I like the latter – I think the limit will be if I have like 10 characters and more to combine and pick them. I hate Hearthstone and other card games alike for this very reason – too many is too much, you know. But if I can operate with 4-5 to complete the story, this is gonna be great. The game is fun, super cool visually, and entertaining so far. Now I put in on a shelf at least until I finish Blade and Soul story.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: takes most of my time nowadays. This is my first experience with AC series, and I find it simply amazing in every aspect. I’m enjoying the gameplay as it is, running through every small questline, thoroughly exploring every place of interest on the map. The story and characters are all great and funny, with under-the-belt, Witcher-like humor built in, the combat system is superb and easy, the gear, resources and upgrading systems are crystal clear, and the Greek setting is engaging.

From what I read, AC games are more or less the same, with tweaks about gameplay here and there, so you’d rather pick an era you want to be at. I’m very interested in Egypt, Victorian London and Carribean settings once I finish this game, but it won’t be any time soon I presume – with my pace and levels of enjoyment I’m experiencing, I’m not rushing through the main story to complete it and move on!

It’s good to come out of WoW-cave once in a decade and discover there are other projects and other awesome games… but it’s gonna be awesome to return back to the cave too in 9.1. :)

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