Very interesting post, and I agree with most of it, and have a few notes:
It is, though they do at least make her a Spartan, which based on all the historical evidence makes it instinctively plausible given we know the Spartans (according to various sources) valued athleticism and independence in their high-born women.
It is interesting that despite the huge amount the Greeks wrote down, recorded visually, and generally impacted our culture, and have been studied by archaeologists and historians, the jury is indeed still out on how they treated women (it’s out even on just Athens specifically), which suggests, if nothing else, some fairly significant diversity in how they treated women over the years and across very different Greek cultures - and even within cultures. There’s so much wildly contradictory and confusing evidence about it. One writer will be basically saying women are treated like the Taliban treats women, dressed in the equivalent of full burqas, kept inside all day (though this seems like, on close examination, it might a Draco-type situation), and a contemporary will be writing about women doing this that and the other, wandering around, and so on, and then there’ll be some clear transaction document showing a women owning property even as another author says “Women can’t own property” - and this is just Athens alone. And there’s so much stuff where people are writing about how they think it should be, and in that attitudes to women vary wildly, from clear respect and a belief in at least near-equality to utter oppression. And then, just look at Athens there’s the foreign women vs Athenians women thing, where it looks like maybe foreign women, i.e. non-Athenians maybe had much greater rights.
What I find interesting is that I think, based on their own writings, that Greeks of various eras and locations would have quite enjoyed the idea of Kassandra, the story of Kassandra, and so on. They loved a good FICTIONAL warrior-woman, like Semiramis, who they seem to have built the entire legend which for, which was then reflected back into the near-East.
I disagree and as my evidence I present this:
They specifically note that they had a historian and so on, and frequently imply that what they’re doing is, to some extent, historically accurate. Which is obviously nonsense I agree, but I think it’s wrong to think that they aren’t trying to say they’re representing this as historically accurate.
I mean personally from that article (as I noted in the comments), I was pretty disturbed by one of the “tours” being “Spartan training”, i.e. of Spartan youths, which is what, getting abandoned in the wilderness and murdering some helots so you can steal their food? I guess that’s kind of old-school AC action there but damn. And anything else would be ludicrous white-washing.
I do agree that their portrayal of Greece is far superior to the usual vaguely-racist wank-fantasies like 300, though, based on what I’ve seen, it does share the usual white-washing of Sparta more broadly, but I haven’t finished the game, so maybe that changes (though I doubt it), completely ignoring their massive ethnically-different serf/slave population issue and the massive related structural issues the entire Spartan state had as a result. One day someone will make a film or game or something about the real Sparta, about the sheer, hubristic insanity of building a state where a tiny number of men train basically 24/7 in order to put down constant slave/serf revolts from the ethnically-different and vaaaaaaaaaaaast population they rule over, and how that society slowly circles and then goes down the drain as a result, unable to advance culturally because they’re stuck in a vicious cycle.
I didn’t find it that bad, or the ability to run in and kill everyone to be quite as high as you suggest (unless you build for it - and you can build for stealth), but I definitely agree that it’s unnecessarily fiddly to go stealth, given the vast number of opponents you typically face. But I was playing on Hard, I think.
In general I agree that the combat is not very satisfying. It’s very approachable, and makes what is a pretty low-twitch game look like it’s extremely action-packed, but it’s actually a lot less engaging to get into these big fights than, say, Shadow of Mordor/War. I agree that making it more lethal would likely have worked well.
Yup. And I think this made it very similar to TW3 for me in this. In TW3 I loved talking to people and wandering around, and some of the monster-fights, but good god I got to bandit breaking point in that game and I was just DONE, I didn’t care if the story was good, I had had e-fucking-nough of fighting endless twatty bandits or soldiers or the like. AC:Odyssey isn’t as bad, but it does get old fast when you’re doing that stuff.
I felt like this was rather a distinction from, say, ME2/3, which otherwise the game kept bringing to mind (I think as a combination of the way it does conversations, the general attitude, and the delightfully tough female protagonist), where the combat was actually usually quite fun (particularly in ME2), and not just “in the way” (ME1 had some “in the way” combat but generally it was sparse enough).
Ubi really needs to kill the AC aspects of AC. I mean, this isn’t a new or clever opinion on my part - people have been saying this for a few years now, and it’s clear most gamers, at least those who write about it, agree (though there is a small hardcore who loves all the Abstergo nonsense). 90% of players though, they don’t want, nor need the actual “franchise” stuff, the bizarre and anti-compelling meta-fiction. But I don’t think Ubi knows how to get out of it at this point.