Odyssey – Has Assassin’s Creed lost its identity?

Since last week I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and while I’ve been enjoying my time in Ancient Greece—which is not difficult considering how much I love the ancient Greek world and Greek myth—with my new buddy Alexios, the experience has felt off, as if there were things missing.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is an open world RPG, much like origins but going all in on the genre tropes, up to and including resource and level grinding and conversation options. But along the way, Ubisoft left out those iconic elements of the Assassin’s Creed series in favour of going all in on the RPG. Continue reading Odyssey – Has Assassin’s Creed lost its identity?

E3 2018 – Games I’m looking forward to

So, E3 just happened, at least the conferences and though I’m sure we’ll see some random announcements in the coming days, the bulk of it is done.

Some outlets will go on and on about the winners of E3, but after years of having those discussions, and even being on the apologist fanboy side at times, I have long since stopped caring about that bit and now just focus on the pretty toys I want to play with, and there are a few I’m eager to play this or next year!

Let’s get to it then! Continue reading E3 2018 – Games I’m looking forward to

Glorious Gaming Goodness

Last week was Extra Life and it was a day of fantastic tabletop RPG awesomeness. And though I hope that by plugging the event again and casually mentioning to you all our awesome prizes, which can still be unlocked by donating HERE until the end of the month, I can get you to give a bit of your hard-earned money for a good cause, it’s time to move on and get back to usual business.

The first week of November was an eventful one, wasn’t it, with lots of major game releases that we’ve expected for ages. There was the Nazi-punching simulator Wolfenstein, the next in the Mario Saga, and the Assassin’s Creed title with the double task of setting up the origin for its series’ canon and at the same time recover what its predecessors lost, loyalty and trust. There were other releases but in my eyes these were the biggest ones and of course, I got my hands on them.  Continue reading Glorious Gaming Goodness

On Recording & Broadcasting

In the past few months I’ve worked harder on the YouTube videos and the effort has paid off somewhat with new subscribers, comments and views on the channel. Still nothing to write home about, but it’s an improvement and one desperately needed. There were times were I wondered why I was still wasting my time don this stuff, and then someone made a nice comment or subscribed and I had a sudden jolt of endorphin for a job well done.

But recently, last week in fact, I came upon a realisation and that is that sometimes recording a game, or continue to record them is not worth the trouble. As much as I love Assassin’s Creed II, no one really cared about that series, and last week I noticed that after 42 episodes, I had only 4 minutes viewed between all of them, and three of those minutes were from an episode months ago. It’s because of this that I’ve decided to move away from this playthrough. It’s proven to be something the audience doesn’t care about, and so to keep pushing on with it is just pointless.  Continue reading On Recording & Broadcasting

Back to the Renaissance!

In the past weeks I finished Darksiders, the last series I played just recording videos and uploading them, and Tales of Zestiria, my longest running series and the first for which I edited the content to make it a bit more entertaining. Granted, I only did so for the last couple of episodes and only added a few animations, but you gotta start somewhere, right?

Before I took my break, I had three running series and with two of them done, it’s time to end the last one and move on to new projects. That’s right, it’s time to go back to the renaissance, fight the Templars and open the way to the vault in Assassin’s Creed II. Continue reading Back to the Renaissance!

Influential Sequels – Assassin’s Creed: The Kenway Saga

Last week I spoke of the characterisation in the Assassin’s Creed series and since then, thanks to a very generous if not controversial Steam Sale, I managed to complete my collection of the main series, meaning I bought Assassin’s Creed Rogue and Syndicate.

As I played Rogue, and having written the article last week, I started to think about the many Assassin’s Creed sequels and spinoffs and realised that the Kenway Saga is perhaps the most influential sequel in the series or at least tied with the Ezio Trilogy. They added new elements to the gameplay, expanded on the universe and created characters that we’re still talking about today. I’m a massive Ezio Auditore fan, he’s still my favourite character in the series and perhaps the most influential of all protagonists in Assassin’s Creed, but as a whole, I think the Kenway Saga tops Ezio’s in innovation, risks and variety.

Let’s take a look at what the Kenway Saga brought to the series, what it added to the mix. Continue reading Influential Sequels – Assassin’s Creed: The Kenway Saga

Assassins, Templars and Bartenders – Characterisation in Assassin’s Creed

I’m now playing Assassin’s Creed II as one of my LawfulGeek Plays series on YouTube. It’s my favourite game of the series and I have a thing for Renaissance Italy. I love the characters, the historical figures, the references mixed in with the series’ alternate history, all of it. I love that there’s a lot to do but without the overload present in future Assassin’s Creed titles.

During the first episode, I discussed why I thought Desmond Miles was a fantastic character. I went on and on about it for about five to ten minutes. Since then, I’ve been wondering about the rest of the characters in the series. I once wrote a small piece on them, and with more characters now to talk about, why not do it again, but this time analyse what makes them good or bad and how they could’ve been better!

So let’s get to it! Continue reading Assassins, Templars and Bartenders – Characterisation in Assassin’s Creed

Annoying Game Mechanics – Tutorials

Annoying Game Mechanics are those that just make you groan when you see them in a game. You’ve seen them at their best but you’ve also seen them at their worst. You can’t love them but you can’t hate them either, but you can definitely be annoyed!

This week the mechanic I’m having an issue with is Tutorials! Continue reading Annoying Game Mechanics – Tutorials

Annoying Game Mechanics – Collectibles

Annoying Game Mechanics are those that just make you groan when you see them in a game. You’ve seen them at their best but you’ve also seen them at their worst. You can’t love them but you can’t hate them either, but you can definitely be annoyed!

This week the mechanic I’m having an issue with is Collectibles!

These are the items, trophies and knickknacks strewn around the maps, there for you to find. They’re an optional quest, something else to do when you’re not saving the world or looking for a princess in another castle. They expand the gameplay—sometimes even padding it—and may or not include some sort of challenge to collect them. Maybe you need to do a tricky platforming segment, or climb a steep hill with limited stamina or defeat a powerful enemy to find this little thing.

I don’t mean health pickups and powerups, pieces of heart or mushrooms. Those are central mechanics, those we can call simply “pickups.” I mean the truly optional, those that if you took them out, the core gameplay would not change. I mean the Flags, the Gold Skultullas, the hidden memoires and ancient artefacts. As much as we dislike the idea of having to go around the maps looking for a tiny object or creature, we all do it in the end, because we hope there’ll be a big reward for the effort we put in.

And that ultimately is what separates the good Collectibles from the bad one. There is a function to them, a purpose to the scavenger hunt. Maybe it’s an upgrade or simply another ending to the game.

The staple of an annoying mechanic is that it’s seen both good and bad days. The following are some of the best and most disappointing uses:


  • The Legend of Zelda has always done collectibles right, giving you a big reward for your efforts.
    • Ocarina of Time had the Skulltulas, and every 10 or so would break the curse on one person and they would give you a reward.
    • From Wind Waker onwards you had loot bags for monster drops. These could be exchanged for treasure or in Skyward Sword’s case, used for upgrades. You might think the upgrades a central mechanic, but they’re really not, as you don’t really need them at all, nor does the game hint that you should do it.
  • TheEzioAuditore Assassin’s Creed games had you collecting Seals—through eitheraparkour gauntlet or a combat one— that would earn you the most powerful armour in the game, usually unbreakable and with more defence than any other piece of gear.
    • Not only did it have those, but also the Animus Fragments in Revelations and the ciphers and special puzzles in the other two games and completing each would reveal a part of the truth.
  • System Shock 2, Bioshock and Dead Space all have Audio and text logs, and while the benefit from them isn’t necessarily mechanic (such as a password), they help their title’s storytelling in a very rewarding way.
  • Batman: Arkham City made the inane Riddler Trophies useful, by setting them as prerequisites for the challenge rooms where Edward Nygma stashed his hostages.
  • Bloodborne has the “One-third of Umbilical Cord”. Taking three of them and selecting a particular option near the end, unlocks the game’s final ending. Again, you might consider this one central to the game, but they are in no way signposted and you can even find more than three, thus I consider them collectibles.
  • The Witcher 3 has Gwent Cards. As much as I dislike the minigame itself (I was a Dice Poker master!), the cards are a form of collectibles. There’s even a sidequest called “Gotta Collect them All!” Each card can bolster your deck which in turn can lead you to making some serious money.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles has special items thrown around its massive maps. You’ll come across them as blue balls of light hovering over the ground. You’ll often use these little items, which are completely random by the way, as objectives in some of the game’s thousands of subquests. And beyond that, you have an adventuring journal where you can ‘use’ these items to fill up the current zone’s collection for Flora, Fauna, Mechs, etc., and gain a small item when you’ve completed a set.
  • Final Fantasies have always had some form of collectible:
    • Final Fantasy VIII much like The Witcher 3 had cards (only this card game was quite fun!).
    • Summons are mostly optional in the game, and collecting them can be one of the most satisfying things to do, as there is always a challenge to be found.


  • Speaking of Assassin’s Creed, the series has also had its fair share of ridiculous and pointless collectibles.
    • As much as I love AC2, the feathers were unnecessary and tedious. The point of them is to give Ezio’s mother closure, but surely there are better ways than hunting for 100 random feathers in the environment.
    • The different flags found in all the games are a colossal waste of time, especially the Assassin’s Creed 1 and Brotherhood’s.
    • The Animus Fragments in Black Flag are the epitome to pointless collectibles. They really give you nothing for collecting them, just an achievement.
  • While Arkham City did make the Riddler trophies useful, it added the Catwoman Trophies in…just because. They add nothing and simply pad her segments, which aren’t remotely as fun as Batman’s.
  • The Legend, Anniversary and Underworld trilogy for Tomb Raider added Relics to the game, and they do nothing but unlock concept art, which is a complete waste of time. Give me something useful, not something I’m already slowly unlocking by just clearing the game.
  • Alice: Madness Returns has perhaps the most pointless of all collectibles. You can find memory fragments, which show you either a conversation or an image relating to Alice’s past and her mental state. The problem is they don’t offer any answers or insights into the plot. The real memories, the ones that do offer something interesting, are obligatory and found at the end of each level.
  • Alan Wake had you running around collecting all manner of nonsense, from Manuscript Pages to Coffee Thermoses! They completely broke any immersion, something that was already hard to come by with such a padded game (levels outstayed their welcome and then lasted for another half hour) without adding something so pointless as knocking over can pyramids.


Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Review

The Good

  • Fantastic cast of characters.
  • Blackbeard
  • Edward is a very strong protagonist.
  • Fluid combat.
  • Streamlined naval combat.
  • Vast open-world.
  • Strong and very emotional story.
  • Fun puzzle-oriented Present-Time gameplay.
  • Desmond files.

The Bad

  • Meaningless Collectibles.
  • Upgrading is a grind.
  • Flat Present-day characters.
  • Too many “Tail” and “Eavesdrop” objectives.

Continue reading Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Review