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18 Best Sequels, According To Rotten Tomatoes (And 8 Stuck With 0%)

We live in an age where sequels are all the rage. Every major studio is chasing those franchises that can keep their cash flow healthy for years to come. Sometimes, they’re exhausting. Other times, they can be our most anticipated movies. Maybe we could do without more Transformers movies, but Marvel and Mission: Impossible sequels are event movies that drive us to the theater in droves.

Sequels are tricky and unpredictable, though. On one hand, they’re often necessary for expanding stories and the good ones continue sagas we want to see progress. On the other, some are soulless cash grabs that shouldn’t exist. In the worst cases, some of them completely derail promising franchises by failing to deliver the goods. Then again, in some instances, sequels can get a series back up and running after they’ve experienced setbacks.

This list will look at those rare sequels that are considered worthy — and even superior — follow-ups. Those rare beasts that make us grateful for multiple movies in a series. Furthermore, we’ll also be discussing the most maligned sequels that brought no critical good will to their respective franchises whatsoever. It’s more fun this way. In order to fully appreciate the best of the best, we also must acknowledge the worst of the worst. Without evil, we wouldn’t be able to understand all that’s good and pure. Without terrible movies, we wouldn’t be grateful for the good ones.

With this in mind, here are 18 Best Sequels According To Rotten Tomatoes (And 8 Stuck With 0%).

26 Best: Captain America: Civil War (91%)

The decision to keep the same team of writers for all three Captain America films paid off in the end. The trilogy just went from strength to strength with each passing entry, though some would argue that The Winter Soldier is equally as good — if not better — than Civil War. Either way, they’re both prime examples of how to do sequels right.

Civil War tackles the same themes you’d expect from a movie about a do-gooder like Cap, but where the film truly soars is during its wild third act. The airport showdown is the best action showdown in the MCU, and that’s saying something.

25 Worst: The Bad News Bears Go To Japan (0%)

If you didn’t know that sequels to The Bad News Bears exist then no one would think any less of you. While the first movie is a cult classic about an underdog baseball team, the sequels have faded from the collective memory with the passing of time, lost like tears in the rain. That’s for good reason.

None of the sequels are good, but The Bad News Bears Go To Japan is especially bad.

While the idea to relocate to Japan for a big game is good on paper, the sequel is just bland, forgettable, and was made to cash in on the brand name.

24 Best: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (93%)

Some fans argue that The Force Awakens is essentially a retread of A New Hope in many ways. However, clearly the critics and audiences didn’t necessarily agree, given its stellar Rotten Tomatoes score and its audience score of 87%, not to mention its impressive box office haul.

As far as Star Wars movies go, it hits the spot. The new characters are great, the return of some old faces is a trip down memory lane, and the story still made significant effort to push the franchise forward. In those regards, the film definitely succeeded.

23 Best: War for the Planet of the Apes (93%)

Anyone who has a problem with classics being rebooted needs to watch the most recent Planet of the Apes trilogy.  The finale pits the apes in a brutal battle against the humans, which leads to an epic confrontation between the Caesar the Ape and humanity’s ruthless colonel (played by an utterly wicked Woody Harrelson). As far as concluding trilogies goes, War for the Planet of the Apes has everything.

By no means is this a pleasant movie, but it is rewarding. And not only does it wrap up an epic story, but the film boasts some of the great CGI wizardry out there. The action is also ridiculously impressive and compelling, which is crazy considering it’s a movie about people versus monkeys.

22 Best: Logan (93%)

James Mangold’s Logan, the gloriously violent and heartbreaking farewell to Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, is an all-timer. Taking cues from the Old Man Logan comics, the movie has just as much in common with neo-westerns as it does with superhero yarns, which makes for a gritty, character-driven elegy to characters many of us grew up with.

Logan deserves praise for going R-rated and taking some stylistic risks.

The movie is proof that audiences will still flock to see superhero movies with some edge. If you’re going to send off some icons, this is the way to do it.

21 Worst: Return to the Blue Lagoon (0%)

Considering that no one liked The Blue Lagoon (it currently holds a 9% rating on RT), why anyone would want to return to the franchise is beyond comprehension. Of course, every sequel is a perfect opportunity to right some old wrongs if handled with care. Unfortunately, this was not. The story follows two children who are marooned on a tropical island as the grow up and fall in love, etc. The characters don’t wear enough clothes either, which makes for some weird, uncomfortable viewing.

There are some unintentional laughs to be had at the poor script and performances.

Otherwise the Blue Lagoon isn’t a scenic cinematic paradise worth spending time in unless you want to punish yourself for some reason.

20 Best: The Dark Knight (94%)

Few superhero movies are ever regarded as anything more than popcorn fare. However, if there were ever a superhero movie that proved the genre could be prestige cinema, it would be The Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman is an exploration of chaos and just how far people are willing to go to achieve their goal.

The Dark Knight — for better or worse when you consider how devoid of fun some DC movies have been since — also brought a gritty, realistic touch to the genre. The movie feels more like a Michael Mann crime saga than it does a story about superheroes versus their outlandishly evil counterparts.

19 Best: Finding Dory (94%)

In recent times, Pixar has been criticized for relying too heavily on sequels, but if it ain’t broke… Finding Dory was released 13 years after Finding Nemo, and it was a smash with critics and audiences alike.

Its 94% on Rotten Tomatoes is complemented by an 84% audience score.

Upon release Finding Dory was praised for being as funny and thought-provoking as the first movie, while also adding a new dimension to the story. As with any Pixar movie, Finding Dory can be appreciated by audiences of all ages. 

18 Worst: Staying Alive (0%)

No other actor on the planet has experienced a career of ups and downs like John Travolta has. When he broke out he had the world at his dancing feet. After that, his career experienced a downturn until it was resurrected briefly following Pulp Fiction until it ultimately plummeted when he started starring in movies like Battlefield Earth. Staying Alive was released in 1983 when Travolta was experiencing his first fall from grace. Following up a classic like Saturday Night Fever was never going to be easy, but it shouldn’t have been this difficult, either.

The sequel lacks the gritty realism of its predecessor, and instead tries to get by on dance sequences. What’s the point in dancing when we don’t care about who’s doing it?

17 Best: Creed (95%)

No franchise tends to remain compelling seven sequels in, but Creed is proof that the Rocky franchise is the rare exception. Granted, some Rocky movies aren’t exactly knockouts, but Creed got things back on track and showed that it’s game for a few more rounds.

By serving as both a sequel and a spin-off/soft reboot, Creed gave the franchise a breath of new life.

It passed the gloves on to Michael B. Jordan as the eponymous character.  Creed 2 is right around the corner. Let’s see if it can do what the original saga failed to do and deliver a second outing that’s as good as the inaugural entry.

16 Worst: Leprechaun 2 (0%)

The first Leprechaun movie doesn’t come close to being certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so it should come as no surprise that the sequels didn’t receive any critical acclaim. Especially not the second movie, which no critic seemed to enjoy at all.

Here, the infamous critter resurfaces in Los Angeles to find a bride, which leads to him abducting a young woman and trying to claim her as his own. This isn’t high art by any means, nor does it try to be.

15 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (96%)

The Harry Potter books were an emotional roller coaster that affected millions of readers worldwide. Reliving those adventures on the big screen was also a great time to be alive, and the grand finale lived up to expectations. In the final installment of the saga about the Boy Who Lived and his fight against the forces of darkness, the ultimate showdown finally happens as our hero and his pals face off against Voldemort in Hogwarts castle.

It’s a true epic in every sense of the word.

As far as wrapping up the story goes, Death Hallows: Part 2 delivered the goods and gave us cinematic closure in style.

14 Worst: Looking Who’s Talking Now (0%)

Look Who’s Talking is a perfectly serviceable comedy that should never have received any sequels. In a bid to end to the trilogy on a high following the disappointing previous sequel, Look Who’s Talking Too, someone thought it would be a good idea to introduce talking dogs to the mix for the series’ swan song. 

Needless to say, Look Who’s Talking Now wasn’t the glorious goodbye the series was looking for, but at least the film did cast some cute dogs.

13 Best: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (97%)

The third installment of Sergio Leone’s influential Dollars trilogy, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly is the creme de la creme of spaghetti westerns. 

The story centers around two men who form an uneasy alliance following a scam.

This leads them on a quest as it turns out there’s money buried in the desert and they want to find it. However, they have to compete against another who won’t hesitate to put a bullet in them to claim the prize. On top of being one of the most acclaimed movies out there, the film has been hailed as a major influence on directors like Quentin Tarantino.

12 Best: The Godfather: Part II (97%)

The continuation of Francis Ford Coppola’s Best Picture-winning 1972 crime saga, The Godfather: Part II chronicles Michael Corleone’s further ascendency in organized crime while simultaneously taking us back to the past to explore his dad’s humble beginnings.

Like its predecessor, the sequel also won Best Picture and is hailed by many a critic and film buff as one of the best movies ever made. Whether it’s better than the original is up for debate, but they’re like two sides of the same coin. These movies set the bar for mob pictures, and to this day, other directors are still trying to recreate the formula.

11 Mad Max: Fury Road (97%)

Director George Miller was in his seventies when he unleashed Mad Max: Fury Road, but the energy and madness imbued in every frame of this extravaganza suggest a man half his age.

Maybe we’ll never see another Mad Max movie, but the world needs a Furiosa spin-off eventually.

Fury Road is essentially one non-stop chase that barely lets up from the get-go all the way to the climactic ending. Furthermore, it’s a movie that defied expectation by taking the focus away from the titular character and making Charlize Theron’s Furiosa the real hero of the adventure. 

10 Worst: Jaws: The Revenge (0%)

Is Jaws: the Revenge a good movie? Definitely not. Is it an entertaining movie, though? Definitely yes.

How many other movies have sharks that make a conscious decision to get revenge on the humans that wronged them? Not only that, but the shark here followed its target to the Bahamas from Massachusetts. And why would someone who wants to avoid sharks go to an island surrounded by ocean? The movie is illogical, silly, nonsense, but it does offer sheer entertainment value for bad movie buffs.

9 Best: Aliens (98%)

Alien and Aliens are quite different in some regards, but they complement each other perfectly. The first is an exercise in pure suspense and terror. The sequel, on the other hand, retains the horror elements but adds a lot more action to proceedings.

Aliens shows how to make a successful sequel: acknowledge what came before but don’t be afraid to bring some fresh ideas to the table.

James Cameron was on fire in the ’80s and he wasn’t afraid to make Ridley Scott’s baby his own.

8 Best: Mad Max 2: Road Warrior (98%)

While George Miller’s inaugural Mad Max caper is a cult classic, most film buffs would agree that a couple of the sequels are slightly superior. Taking nothing away from the first movie, Road Warrior is a vast improvement when it comes to world building and sheer action spectacle. The story follows the eponymous character as he helps a group of people steal oil from a tyrannical madman and his band of goons.

As far as cinematic thrill rides go, few movies are on par with Road Warrior. Here, Miller turned up the volume significantly by making the post-apocalyptic terrains feel more dangerous and the action sequences more gung-ho and grander in scale.

7 Best: Evil Dead 2 (98%)

Sam Raimi’s first Evil Dead movie was a huge achievement for independent filmmaking when it was released back in 1981. The movie still holds up to this day with its innovative camera work, effective scares, and excellent cast as well.

The sequel is a triumph in its own right.

While the first movie contained moments of dark comedy, the sequel amps up the zaniness to become what is essentially the splatter flick equivalent of a Laurel and Hardy flick. For 90 minutes, Bruce Campbell is tormented by laughing ornaments and his own severed hand. As silly as that sounds, Evil Dead 2 still manages to pack more punch than your average MMA fighter.

6 Worst: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (0%)

In the third installment of the Police Academy franchise, the cops are understaffed and in need of some help. Naturally, the force turns to America’s civilians to help aid in their mission. Things don’t go smoothly, for the characters in the film and the movie itself.

Rotten Tomatoes describes Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol as “Utterly, completely, thoroughly and astonishingly unfunny” and  a movie which sent “a once-innocuous franchise plummeting to agonizing new depths.” That sounds about right.

5 Toy Story 3 (99%)

Few franchises manage to strike three home runs in a row. Even The Godfather stuttered when it came to the third outing. Toy Story, on the other hand, never ceases to replicate the magic time and time again.

This emotional installment sees Andy get ready to leave for college and neglect his old toys.

He’s all grown up and has no use for them anymore, and what ensues is what is by far the most heartfelt movie in the series.

4 Worst: Highlander II: The Quickening (0%)

As far as pure entertaining action-fantasy goes, the first Highlander movie is a fun slice of popcorn entertainment that aficionados of cult cinema lose their head over. The sequel, meanwhile, is an incomprehensible mess.

Highlander II is too overplotted to explain, but the cusp of the story revolves around the hero from the first movie taking on a corporation after being led to believe that they don’t have the world’s best interests in mind. In this one, our hero is a defender of the ozone as well. What makes Highlander II so awful is that it completely retcons everything good about the original film and the mythology it introduced.

3 Best: The Bride of Frankenstein (100%)

We all desire to be loved by someone special– even bolt-head monsters made up of the remains of other people. But to find them a mate, one must dig up some more corpses and create a suitable partner that’s similar in genetic make-up. This is also the storyline behind James Whale’s 1935 masterpiece, Bride of Frankenstein.

There are too many Frankenstein movies to keep track of at this point, but this sequel remains the pinnacle of the original series.

The movie is a masterpiece that successfully blends campy fun with Gothic beauty and genuine chills that’s stood the test of time as a result.

2 Paddington 2 (100%)

No one expected the the first Paddington to be as good as it is. That movie is a bona fide classic in the making in its own right, but the sequel is some next-next level brilliance.

Paddington 2 sees the lovable bear go to prison and, unsurprisingly, all the mean criminals fall in love with him as well. Critics, like the fictional convicts, were also full of praise for the titular bear and his second big onscreen adventure as well. At one point, Paddington 2 was even the best reviewed movie in history.

1 Best: Toy Story 2 (100%)

Following up a movie like Toy Story was never going to be easy, but that didn’t stop Pixar from trying and succeeding. In this one, we find out that Woody is a collectible when he’s discovered and stolen by a greedy museum owner. Naturally this prompts Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Potato, and the rest of the gang into action and they set out to save their friend.

General consensus on Rotten Tomatoes states that Toy Story 2 is that rare sequel that improves upon its predecessor.

The sequel raises the stakes and ups the element of adventure while retaining the humor and heart that made audiences fall in love with the franchise in the first place.

What’s your favorite sequel? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-10 04:10:39 – Kieran Fisher

Assassin’s Creed: 20 Things Only Experts Know How To Do In Odyssey

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – the latest installment in Ubisoft’s wildly popular video game franchise – has finally landed on shelves. Set in Ancient Greece, Odyssey gives players the opportunity to assume the role of a mercenary from either Athens or Sparta, and to take part in a mythology-infused recreation of the Peloponnesian War.

The game features an even greater emphasis on the RPG elements first introduced in its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed Origins, and boasts multiple endings that are triggered by the player’s actions. Odyssey also sees the return of the controversial Hitbox combat engine which debuted in Origins – albeit in a significantly enhanced form. Thanks to these and other challenging core mechanics – not to mention the daunting size of the game’s virtual environment – Odyssey should prove suitably tough for more casual gamers. But for seasoned veterans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise? Not so much.

Indeed, gamers who have followed the series since the very first entry way back in 2007 aren’t likely to struggle. On the contrary, we expect them to flourish, putting to good use the skills and knowledge they’ve gleaned from the past 11 games in the series – not to mention the six spin-off entries – to finish the main quest in record time.  This will leave them free to start focusing on tracking down Odyssey’s hidden Easter eggs, secret areas, and other bonus content clueless rookies don’t have a chance of tracking down unaided.

Here’s a list of 20 Things Only Experts Know How To Do In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

20 Find The Legend Of Zelda Easter Egg

Of all the many classic video game franchises, few are as unanimously beloved by both gamers and developers alike as The Legend of Zelda series. The team at Ubisoft clearly rank amongst this iconic Nintendo series’ admirers – as the easter egg they tucked away in Odyssey proves.

In a tip of the hat to the most recent Zelda instalment, Breath of the Wild, a Korok – a small humanoid figure made out of clay, flower petals and twigs – can be found on the Pandora’s Cove coastline. Although this hidden tribute is now the most well-known Easter egg in the game, experts had no trouble tracking it down on their own within mere days of Odyssey’s release!

19 Achieve The Secret Ending

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey marks a dramatic change in direction for the franchise – from purely action/adventure outings to something closer to an action/RPG hybrid. This is reflected in how important the player’s actions are to the game’s overall narrative, and in particular, how that narrative reaches its climax.

Indeed, what the player decides to do – or just as importantly, say – will determine how events unfold next, and ultimately determine which of the game’s multiple endings they achieve.

Most players should be able to reach at least one ending.

If you complete every side quest and make all of the right decisions to unlock the secret, ultra ending, ensuring the best possible finale for your mercenary.

18 Visit Atlantis

As soon as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s Ancient Greece setting was announced, fans immediately began speculating over whether the fabled lost city of Atlantis would be part of its virtual environment. The good news is that Ubisoft hasn’t missed a trick, and Atlantis does indeed count among the many sunken locations scattered across the game’s humongous map. The bad news? It’s highly likely that only experts will be capable of uncovering the most eagerly anticipated (not to mention coolest) secret area in Odyssey.

The steps involved are extremely taxing, requiring players to traverse treacherous terrain, solve fiendish riddles posed by the Sphinx and dispatch a bevy of mythological horrors like Medusa, the Cyclops and the Minotaur!

17 Recruit Legendary NPCs Early

Over the course of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, players can enlist NPCs to serve as crew members aboard their ship, the Adrestia. Recruiting a high calibre crew is a great way to upgrade the Adrestia – so the trick is to bring legendary NPCs into the fold. Casual gamers will wait until they unlock these characters by completing quests, however experts are aware of a hidden mechanic that speeds up the whole process.

There’s a less publicized gameplay mechanic which enables you to recruit legendary NPCs by defeating them in combat using non-lethal takedowns.

Better yet, once your ship’s roster is made up entirely of legendary NPCs, you unlock the “Argonauts” trophy, too!

16 Regain The Cyclops Eye

One of the most frustrating moments in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey arrives early on, when you’re forced to give up the Cyclops’ Eye during Sequence 1. It’s not exactly the most classy of disposals, either: to put it bluntly, you squeeze it up the rear end of a poor, unsuspecting goat. If you’re scratching your head over this last revelation, then just trust us: it makes sense at the time!

Rookies will write off the Eye as a lost cause, but experts up to speed on the game’s secrets won’t give up so quickly. By engaging in an exhaustive goat-hunting expedition in Kephallonia, they’ll recover this valuable artifact, earning the dubious “Stink Eye” achievement, as well.

15 Change Their Ship’s Figurehead

Long-time fans of the series will recall that in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, you could easily customize your ship’s decorative figurehead as part of the normal upgrade process. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that carries over to Odyssey – and only expert players are likely to work out the secret method of doing this.

For starters, you need to defeat a boss – not exactly a walk in the park itself, by the way – and then behead them.

Once this has been take care of, if you scroll through the inventory of ship upgrade options, you’ll see your new souvenir listed. Select it, and voila! The Adrestia will have itself a brand new (and rather creepy) figurehead!

14 Track Down All Of The Cultist Clues

The underlying mythology of the Assassin’s Creed franchise incorporates several shadowy organisations – and Odyssey is no exception. The latest entry in the series introduces the nefarious Cult of Kosmos, and players aiming to get the most out of game’s story need to track down and eliminate key members of the group. In order to do so, they’ll have to swap their mercenary’s helmet for their detective’s cap, as the cultists’ whereabouts are only revealed by clues sprinkled through Odyssey’s sprawling Ancient Greece setting.

Some of these hints can be uncovered with little effort, whereas others will prove elusive to all but the most seasoned of gamers!

On the plus side, all of this running around pays off, as only players who chase down every single cultist will get to experience the game’s whole story.

13 Unlock Evie Frye

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – the ninth video game in the main series – is headlined by twins Jacob and Evie Frye. Of the two siblings, Evie is arguably the more memorable – which is probably why she’s an unlockable character in Odyssey. Now, before you get too excited, bear in mind that Evie is a legendary NPC, so you won’t get to play as her directly.

Still, it’s incredibly cool to recruit her as a crew member on your ship, provided you’re an Ubisoft Club member with enough XP to afford her. See, unlocking Evie requires players to part with 7,500 XP in exchange for the “Master Assassin” badge, which only long-time fans of the franchise will have amassed!

12 Access Battle Royale Mode

Battle royale games like Fortnite and Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds are currently the hottest thing on the block. Making the most of modern online multiplayer capabilities, games in this genre pit a pack of players against each other in thrilling, last-man-standing contests.

Obviously, this stands in stark contrast to the single-player, open world experience offered by Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – until experts stumble across the “Call to Arms” sidequest. Found by scouring the island of Melos, this mission – which requires skilled players to wipe out 99 consecutive enemies – represents a thinly-veiled attempt by Ubisoft to acknowledge (or should that be “cash in on”?) the popularity of the battle royale genre!

11 Find The Black Panther Easter Egg

Black Panther is currently the second highest grossing film of 2018, and with that success comes a considerable fanbase, too. At least some of the developers at Ubisoft fall within that category, if the Black Panther Easter egg included in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is anything to go by. As experts will have no doubt already discovered, the game contains a fairly faithful recreation of Black Panther’s two most notable scenes: the duels that occur at the base of a waterfall.

This is staged at the Gortyn Waterfall, where players can first spectate on the melee using Eagle Vision.

That’s not all, though: it’s also possible to clamber up the cliff where the fight is going down, and actually confront the pair of brawlers yourself!

10 Discover Sam Fisher’s Goggles

So far we’ve focused solely on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s Ancient Greece setting – which disregards the fact that certain sections of the game are set in a present day safe house. Anyone unfamiliar with the franchise’s convoluted (some would say downright insane) science fiction elements, just trust us when we say that this does make sense.

Regardless of whether or not you buy into this more far-fetched aspect of the Assassin’s Creed mythology, there are multiple Easter eggs to dig up during these segments. Not all of these relate to the franchise either – just ask the experts who’ve unearthed the iconic, three-lensed night vision goggles worn by Sam Fisher, the protagonist of Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell games!

9 Stumble Across The Sword In The Stone

The team at Ubisoft has done a remarkable job of recreating an utterly convincing (albeit wildly fantastical) rendition of Ancient Greece in Odyssey. This awesome attention to detail is reflected in almost every aspect of the virtual environment, particularly the character and weapon design. We say “almost”, because at least one item experts will undoubtedly come across whilst roaming the game map definitely does not fit the time period depicted: the Sword in the Stone from Arthurian legend. Fortunately, this gag is an intentional mistake on the developer’s part.

Unfortunately, you can’t remove this legendary blade from its Lakonia resting place.

That’s a real shame: historical accuracy be damned – there’s always a place for Excalibur in our armory!

8 Locate The Rabbid Figure

Another easter egg squirrelled away in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s modern era safe house setting, the Rabbid figure is hard to spot if players blitz through these sequences. However, experts tend to favor a more methodical approach – even when confronted by the franchise’s moments of less than engaging gameplay.

These long-time campaigners will cast their eyes over every inch of the safe house, which means snooping around each room, no matter how empty it appears to be. This will eventually lead them to the shelves of a particularly untidy room. Here, they’ll spy the Rabbid toy – a cute shout-out to Ubisoft’s all-ages Rayman franchise, accompanied by a line of dialogue (“Bwaah?”) associated with these bunny-like characters.

7 Acquire The Epic Unicorn Skin

It doesn’t matter what mythology we’re talking about: unicorns are invariably treated as an incredibly rare species. Certainly, this carries over to the world of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, where players can indeed transform their horse into one of these awe-inspiring creatures – provided they can get their hands on a unicorn pelt.

They sport an eye-watering 6,400 Drachmae price tag!

Rookies who are feeling flush will plump for either the Black Unicorn or undeniably amazing (though sadly, non-flying) Pegasus skins, purchased with real-world cash from the Ubisoft Store. On the other hand, genuine experts prefer to earn their keep, and will trawl merchant stalls for the appropriately named, randomly-spawing Epic Unicorn skin, which leaves rainbow hoof prints.

6 Home Town Pride

The developers of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey hail from Ubisoft’s Montreal headquarters, based in Quebec. Like the citizens of any city or town, these guys and gals are proud of the place they call home – so much so that they managed to sneak a Quebec-related easter egg into the game!

It’s something that will almost certainly go unnoticed by less observant gamers, but experienced players – the type of people who scan the entire game environment for secret material – will discover a travel magazine whilst rifling through the safe house. The destination this mag is promoting? Why, Quebec, of course! True, it’s not exactly the most exciting bonus content in Odyssey, but it’s a nice touch all the same.

5 Put The Arena Spikes To Good Use

A key trait which separates veteran Assassin’s Creed players from newcomers is the willingness of the former to experiment with their surroundings. Take the spikes that dotted around the Arena in Odyssey.

Rookies will probably dismiss these as mere set dressing and completely ignore them once the fighting breaks out.

Don’t expect experts to make the same mistake, though. Already clued up on just how interactive the game worlds in the franchise can be, these gamers will immediately identify the potential for the spikes to deal damage to their opponents. The next thing you know, the edges of the Arena will begin to resemble a shish kebab vendor who trades in skewered would-be gladiatorial champions!

4 Reminisce About The Frye Twins

It turns out Assassin’s Creed Syndicate isn’t the only instalment in the franchise to take place in London – Odyssey does, too. True, the vast majority of the game is set in Ancient Greece, but its modern era sections unfold in London, something that won’t come as a shock to more attentive players.

After all, just by gazing out of the safe house windows, you can take in a decent view of London’s famous skyline, with what tourists would recognize as Big Beg especially prominent. What’s more, if you allow yourself a moment to properly contemplate the sight before your eyes, you’ll even trigger a line of dialogue that references Jacob and Evie Frye, the lead characters in Syndicate!

3 Discover All Of The Underwater Locations

As you might expect from a virtual environment that recreates the entire Aegean Sea, Atlantis isn’t the only submerged area on the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey map.

The ocean floor of Ubisoft’s vision of Ancient Greece is littered with dozens of hidden locations brimming with valuable treasure.

Anyone prepared to embrace their inner Jacques Cousteau will be in for a real treat. That said, given the sheer amount of exploration required to pinpoint all of these sunken locations – fun fact: at 130km², Odyssey’s map is 62% bigger than the already massive world of Origins – we’d wager only experts will visit all of them.

2 Get All Of The Other Endings As Well

Sure, everybody wants to get the best possible Assassin’s Creed Odyssey ending – you know: the super secret, totally awesome one we mentioned earlier. Even so, part of being an expert is also having a completist streak, which is why we think they’ll figure out how to achieve Odyssey’s eight other possible endings, as well.

This might not sound like much, but it’s actually quite a feat, for two main reasons. First of all, this game is absurdly long – the main quest alone clocks in at 40 hours of gameplay – so repeating it again and again is no picnic. Secondly, they’ll need to ensure they get every single word and deed right, in order to arrive at their desired conclusion!

1 Climb Up The Naked Statue

Full disclosure: this entry is unashamedly juvenile in nature, given it revolves around players scaling up a male statue and dangling from part of its anatomy (three guesses which part). Regardless, we’re positive that even the most mature expert will decide to do just that, when they pass by this landmark early on in Odyssey – honestly, it’s just too hard to resist.

You’ll be rewarded for your childish antics if you do.

Performing this act initiates a wry line of dialogue from the player’s mercenary, which just goes to show that Ubisoft definitely predicted this becoming a thing. Although to be honest, they hardly needed the talents of one of Ancient Greece’s oracles to foresee it!

Did we miss out any other things that only experts know how to do in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-09 06:10:21 – Leon Miller

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Beginners Gameplay Tips

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is here, and it offers up something of a different experience from the previous games in the series. Rather than the stealth-based gameplay of old, Odyssey doubles down on the RPG mechanics, becoming a huge, deep open world game for players to enjoy. In essence, it takes what worked from Assassin’s Creed Origins and makes it even better.

The end result is a fantastic take on the Greek myth, albeit one that sometimes struggles a little to bridge the gap between open world RPG and its roots in the larger Assassin’s Creed universe. Nonetheless, those changes could leave some players a bit confused as to where to start, and after working through the opening island of Kephallonia things could become a little bit daunting.

Related: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – How To Get The Best Ending

That said, there are some ways to make the most of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey from the get go. After all, there’s lot to get to grips with before taking on Medusa or hunting after all those legendary armor sets. Instead, here are some tips for how to take up what Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has to offer fast.

Choose Exploration Mode

The most important first choice to make comes before the player even starts the game. When given the option, it’s highly recommended to choose Exploration Mode as the method of play. This is the way that Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was designed to be played, and for good reason; the additional level of emphasis on discovery is a delight to play, and much more fun than simply following map markers to reach objectives.

Effectively, Exploration Mode works by making the player find their own way through quests. NPCs will give hints towards locations to be discovered when talking about the mission in question, forcing players to use a little of their own intuition. This mode also makes map exploration much more fun, with the player finding random locations as they work their way around the regions hunting down quests.

Exploration Mode also means players will make the most out of eagle companion Ikaros. The eagle is not only able to scout out discovered locations, but also target enemies and notable items within specific locations, such as chests or hostages to release. Finally, remember to seek out Synchronization points to boost the power of Ikaros overall.

Think About Crafting Over Cash

Whether armor or weapons, it’s easy to find loot in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. As such, when players notice they have plenty of unused items sitting around in their inventory, it’s extremely tempting to drop them all off at a nearby blacksmith and make a bit of drachmae.

That said, it’s probably best to hold fire of cashing in. That’s because drachmae are not in short supply in the game, and can be picked up from completing quests, in explored locations, or from dead enemies. Instead, consider breaking down weaker weapons and armor into leather, wood, and metal, as these can be useful as crafting for upgrades to the player’s ship or even to beef up items at a blacksmith.

It’s worth bearing in mind that drachmae are needed in a couple of places in the game, and it’s always worth keeping some around in case of having to pay off a bounty to keep mercenaries off the player’s trail when it’s better to lay low. Nonetheless, put money on the back burner, and instead think about how best to boost the overall power of the misthios.

Choose Your Abilities Wisely

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has a fairly comprehensive skill tree, but there are some abilities that are better to unlock than others. As explained in our guide to the best abilities to unlock first, There are a few essential abilities, with the Sparta Kick being useful from a warrior perspective alongside beef ups to the assassin skill tree such as Shadow Assassin.

Overall, though, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey gives players the greatest level of flexibility in how they choose to play that the series has seen so far. It’s perhaps best to pick and choose skills based on what works for the player in question, providing they keep enough core skills in each area to make sure they can get out of trouble whatever the situation.

Remember you can always change your choices as well, albeit at a cost. A few drachmae allows the player to reset all of their abilities, so if some skills are found to be less useful than others, it’s easy to drop them and rebuild the character from scratch.

Take To The Waters With Style

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey takes the series back to the high seas, and it’s something that is long overdue. With gameplay reminiscent of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, the core way to travel between the different islands is to take to the Adrestia and hop from island to island seeking adventure.

Even though a lot of the gameplay takes place on land, it’s truly beneficial to upgrade the ship regularly. This could mean recruiting new lieutenants, which helps both with buffs to the ship’s power and when boarding enemy vessels, or improving things like rowing power or damage caused by ranged attacks. It comes at a cost in terms of drachmae and consumables, but it’s worth it in the long run.

This is because it’s all too easy to get into scraps with pirates, Spartan or Athenian vessels when out at sea. Naval combat is extremely good fun, but when outnumbered it’s much better to have more firepower onside, and it’s always satisfying to take out those Cult of Kosmos members who happen to captain a ship of their own.

Revel In The Game World

It may feel like an obvious rule to follow, but Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is much more fun if taken at the player’s own pace. The title’s story is a compelling, personal adventure that (generally) ties well into the larger plot of Assassin’s Creed, but the game perhaps works best with the player following their own path and doing what’s most fun to them.

As such, it’s important to stretch your legs in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Between the Conquest Battles, side quests and other additional smaller elements of the game at large, there’s no reason to purely stick to the main quest. This is something the game expects, too – there’s no real reason to grind in the game, providing players make good use of the enthralling, extra content available to them.

Perhaps the best examples of this are the game’s mercenary system, which leads to some excellent one-on-one fights with fearsome combatants, and hunting down the Cult of Kosmos. Although the cult ties into the larger plot as a whole, hunting down smaller members is a fantastic element of the game, and one that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Those are just a few tips to help players make the most of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. However, with a game as expansive as this, players are best suited to decide how best they want to play the game. Regardless of how they choose to enjoy the title, there are bound to be some surprises along the way.

More: Every Assassin’s Creed Game Ranked



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2018-10-09 03:10:13 – Rob Gordon

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: Legendary Armor Locations Guide

In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, there are legendary armor sets that players can obtain by completing missions, defeating specific bosses, or simply opening the right chests in the right areas. Obtaining and equipping a full set of legendary armor will grant players bonuses, some of which may change the entire course of their journey (including how they approach Odyssey‘s abilities).

While some legendary armor pieces may be acquired early on in the game, it’s best to wait until at least halfway through the story until players start to really try to obtain full sets. After all, most of them require defeating members of the Cult of Kosmos – and that can be harrowing in and of itself. Plus, the Cultists aren’t even introduced until quite a bit into the story.

Related: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: How To Get The Best Ending

Furthermore, equipping just one piece of legendary armor will grant players a bonus, but equipping all five pieces of equipment can either increase damage for all weapons and abilities, increase armor resistance, and perhaps even make players immortal in the grand scheme of things. Here’s a full guide on the all the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey legendary armor sets (images via PS4Trophies):

Pilgrim’s Legendary Armor Set

Players have to scour the Greek world looking for specific chests on specific islands. And acquiring each Pilgrim armor piece allows players to spend 40% less adrenaline when using the Shadow of Nyx ability.

  • Pilgrim’s Hood – Inside a chest in the Eleusis Telesterion in Attika.
  • Pilgrim’s Gloves – Inside a chest in the Akropolis of Argos.
  • Pilgrim’s Garment – Inside a chest in the Temple of Athena in Sparta.
  • Pilgrim’s Belt – Inside a chest in the Temple of Artemis in Lakonia.
  • Pilgrim’s Boots – Inside a chest in the Temple of Britomartis in Messara.

Amazon/Achilles Legendary Armor Set

Players who play as Kassandra will obtain the Amazon legendary armor set (something akin to Wonder Woman’s armor), whereas players who play as Alexios will get the Achilles armor upon defeating all the members of the Heroes of the Cult. Both armor sets provide players will a full set bonus of +2% damage dealt restored as health.

  • Helm of Achilles – Defeat Pallas the Silencer.
  • Bracers of Achilles – Defeat Swordfish.
  • Armor of Achilles – Defeat Belos, The Beast Of Sparta, in the Arena.
  • Waistband of Achilles – Defeat Okytos the Great.
  • Sandals of Achilles – Defeat Deianeira.

Agamemnon Legendary Armor Set

Agamemnon’s legendary armor set provides players with a full set bonus of +50% burning rate. But first, players have to defeat all the members of the Silver Vein branch of the Cult of Kosmos.

  • Agamemnon’s Helmet – Defeat Machaon The Feared.
  • Agamemnon’s Gauntlets – Inside a chest at the Silver Mine in Athens.
  • Agamemnon’s Body Armor – Defeat The Silver Griffin.
  • Agamemnon’s Waistband – Defeat The Centaur Of Euboea.
  • Boots of Agamemnon – Defeat The Chimera.

Immortal Legendary Armor Set

Although players can’t become immortal while wearing the Immortal legendary armor set, they do get an additional 20% health restored to them upon respawning. However, they first need to defeat the entire Worshippers of the Bloodline branch of the Cult of Kosmos.

  • Helmet of the Immortal – Defeat Zoisme.
  • Gauntlets of the Immortal – Defeat Chrysis.
  • Armor of the Immortal – Defeat Diona.
  • Waistband of the Immortal – Defeat Melite.
  • Boots of the Immortal – Defeat Harpalos.

Greek Heroes Legendary Armor Set

Instead of taking down Cultists, for the Greek Heroes legendary armor set, players have to take on mercenaries, who will drop the Perseus Helmet, Jason’s Golden Fleece, Bracers of Theseus, Hippolyta’s Belt, and Atalanta’s Sandals. However, different mercenaries may drop different items for different players. The armor set provides a bonus of 20% to all resistances.

  • Defeat The Translucent
  • Defeat The Flash
  • Defeat The Lucky Drunk
  • Defeat The Frenzied
  • Defeat The Resplendent

Arena Fighter’s Legendary Armor Set

In order to obtain the Arena Fighter’s legendary armor set, players will have to complete the Arena – defeating every champion – for a second time at or near the max level. Wearing the full set provides players with a bonus of +10% health restored with overpower.

  • Arena Fighter’s Helmet
  • Arena Fighter’s Gauntlets
  • Arena Fighter’s Armor
  • Arena Fighter’s Waistband
  • Pit Fighter’s Boots

Artemis Legendary Armor Set

The Artemis legendary armor set is obtained by essentially completing the Daughters of Artemis quest. A full set gives players a bonus of +15% damage on all Hunter abilities.

  • Master’s Artemis Hood – Defeat the Krokottas Hyena and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.
  • Master’s Artemis Gloves – Defeat the Erymanthian Boar and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.
  • Master’s Artemis Outfit – Defeat the Krekatan Bull and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.
  • Master’s Artemis Belt – Defeat Kallisto the Bear and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.
  • Master’s Artemis Treads – Defeat the Lykaon Wolf and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.

Snake Legendary Armor Set

One of the more intriguing legendary armor sets in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is the Snake set, which grants players a bonus of +10% intoxicated damage and weakening effect. The entire Eye of Kosmos branch of the Cult of Kosmos needs to be defeated in order to obtain the full set.

  • Viper’s Hood – Defeat The Master.
  • Venom Gloves – Defeat Hermippos.
  • Scaled Armor – Defeat The Snake.
  • Slithering Belt – Defeat Sotera.
  • Noxious Boots – Defeat Midus in Argolis.

Athenian War Hero Legendary Armor Set

Players have to defeat all the cultists part of the Delian League to obtain the Athenian War Hero legendary armor set. A full set grants a bonus allowing players to penetrate shields with arrows.

  • Athenian War Hero Helmet – Defeat Kodros the Bull.
  • Athenian War Hero Gauntlets – Defeat Brison.
  • Athenian War Hero Armor – Defeat Iobates the Stoic.
  • Athenian War Hero Belt – Defeat Rhexenor the Hand.
  • Athenian War Hero Boots – Defeat Podarkes the Cruel.

Spartan War Hero Legendary Armor Set

Considering that Sparta famously fought in the Peloponnesian War, it makes sense that players have to defeat the Peloponnesian League of the Cult of Kosmos to get the Spartan War Hero legendary armor set, which appropriately grants players +15% damage to all Warrior abilities.

  • Spartan War Hero Helmet – Defeat Monger in Korinthia.
  • Spartan War Hero Gauntlets – Defeat Silanos of Paros.
  • Spartan War Hero Armor – Defeat Skylax the Fair.
  • Spartan War Hero Belt – Defeat Lagos the Archon.
  • Spartan War Hero Boots – Defeat Kallias.

Pirate Legendary Armor Set

To get the Pirate legendary armor set, perhaps one of the coolest looking armor sets in the game, players have to take down the Gods of the Aegean Sea cultists. Then, the full armor set grants a +15% damage to all Assassin abilities.

  • Pirate Hood – Defeat Melanthos.
  • Pirate Gauntlets – Defeat Asterion.
  • Pirate Armor – Defeat The Octopus.
  • Pirate Waistband – Defeat Sokos.
  • Pirate Treads – Defeat The Mytilenian Shark.

Demigod Legendary Armor Set

Loot Deimos at the end of the main story to obtain four of the five pieces of armor needed to complete the Demigod legendary armor set. The four pieces of armor are: Demigod’s Chestplate, Demigod’s Bracers, Demigod’s Belt, and Demigod’s Boots. The final armor piece, Aspasia’s Circlet, is obtained by defeating the final Cult of Kosmos member, the Ghost of Kosmos.

In total, there are 12 legendary armor sets in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Some of them will be relatively easy to obtain, while others will require some skill and ingenuity. But Ubisoft’s latest installment is quite long and expansive, so there’s no rush. After all, one or two of them can only be acquired after completing the game itself.

More: Every Assassin’s Creed Game Ranked

Images via PS4Trophies



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2018-10-08 07:10:42 – Mansoor Mithaiwala

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: How To Get The Best Ending

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has arrived, and it certainly leaves a big impression. Its massive open world and variety of additional content makes it a hugely impressive and immersive experience, and one where it’s capable to lose hours at a time. Beyond that, however, the game also has a tightly wound and highly personal story to tell.

That said, players will have to pay attention during the game’s main narrative. Rather than losing themselves in completing Conquest Battles, a bit of care is needed during the core plot. That’s because Assassin’s Creed Odyssey offers up nine different endings, depending on the choices that the player makes over the course of the game.

Related: Every Assassin’s Creed Game Ranked

The story of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey isn’t exactly linear, with three core story arcs that intertwine over the course of the game. The roots of this plot lie in the family section of the story, which directly revolves around the player character (regardless of whether they choose Alexios or Kassandra), and it’s here where the end result of the player’s choices lies. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that those other threads of the story – those for the Cult of Kosmos and those that tie into the First Civilization of Assassin’s Creed lore – are also woven together here.

So, here’s a rundown of the choices players will have to make to make sure they’re left with the best outcome at the end of the game. Bear in mind that there are heavy spoilers for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey ahead.

During Chapter 2 of the game, the player meets their (adoptive) father Nikolaos, a Spartan general otherwise known as the Wolf of Sparta. Here, the player can kill Nikolaos for his part in nearly murdering the hero as a child, or spare his life. Sparing him is the option to choose here, as not only does it open up a quest line later in the game but it allows the best ending to still be available.

Next, during Chapter 6, players will need to make another choice – this time for their mother, Myrinne. Here, they will need to promise to save their sibling Deimos from the Cult of Kosmos to keep the happy ending possible.

The next few options revolve around Nikolaos again, in Chapter 7. During a conversation with Nikolaos, he must be convinced to intervene with Stentor, his adopted son, during the quest The Last Fight of Aristaios. Later in the same chapter, the player must keep Stentor alive when given the chance to kill him.

Next up is Chapter 8. Here, it’s extremely important to choose carefully during the conversation with Deimos in jail during Doing Time. The player has to convince them that they are being manipulated by the cult. Finally, in Chapter 9, the player must refuse to fight Deimos.

This will then result in the happiest ending in the game, with the family reunited. Of course, there are plenty of other endings available, depending on the choices the player makes, so stick to this route unless the player is after one of the different endings of the game.

More: Best Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Abilities to Unlock First



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2018-10-06 01:10:06 – Rob Gordon

WB’s Extended Aquaman Trailer Puts the MCU to Shame, Says Mark Millar

Comic book writer and artist Mark Millar expresses an aggressive opinion about DC Films’ new Aquaman movie, saying that it puts the current Marvel Cinematic Universe movies to shame. James Wan’s upcoming solo movie is the only DC Comics-based feature to release this year, and it continues Arthur Curry’s story that left off with last year’s Justice League movie. Considering that it’s the first time the character has been adapted into live-action in his own standalone movie, there’s obviously quite a bit of hype surrounding it.

Jason Momoa reprises his Justice League role as Arthur, aka Aquaman, in the new movie, which sees him go on a quest with Mera (Amber Heard) to find King Atlan’s Trident. Doing so will grant him the powers he needs to not only control the seven seas but also dethrone his brother, King Orm (Patrick Wilson), as the King of Atlantis and save the surface world from invasion. It’s a lot to take in, which is why the studio started marketing the film back at San Diego Comic-Con 2018. And then at New York Comic Con 2018, they released an extended, five-minute Aquaman trailer (the same one which was shown to Hall H attendees at SDCC).

Related: How Will Aquaman Get His New, Comic-Inspired Costume?

Warner Bros. Pictures officially released the extended Aquaman trailer online today, and it got quite the reaction from Mark Millar, who is best known for writing comic book series like Kingsman, Wanted, Kick-Ass, and even Marvel’s Civil War (of which Anthony and Joe Russo’s Captain America: Civil War movie is based on). In response to seeing the trailer, Millar decreed that the trailer makes the modern MCU movies look like they belong among 1970s Marvel TV shows, like The Incredible Hulk. Take a look:

It’s no secret that the studio has struggled with developing critically-acclaimed DC movies in recent years, despite the fact that the vast majority of those films have been financially successful. Still, with the exception of the third trailer for Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which infamously spoiled Doomsday’s involvement in the blockbuster team-up movie, the one area that DC has typically excelled in is making trailers. In fact, it’s the popularity of their trailers that convinced studio executives to completely recut David Ayer’s Suicide Squad.

Regardless of what Millar’s point is, it’s clear that people – including Millar – are excited about Aquaman‘s standalone film. Whether it turns out to be the hit that fans (and the studio) are hoping it will be remains to be seen. But it’s on the right track with regards to its marketing campaign, which should kick into high gear sometime in November, leading up to its crowded December release.

More: Aquaman Extended Trailer Breakdown: 18 Story Reveals & Secrets You Missed

Source: Mark Millar





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2018-10-05 05:10:49 – Mansoor Mithaiwala

Dragon Quest XI Review: A Magical And Near-Perfect RPG



The perfect RPG does not exist, or does it? Enter the release of Square Enix’ Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, the latest entry in the long-running Dragon Quest series. Not only is this title a joy to play, but it brings a particular kind of magic back to RPGs that has sorely been missing from recent titles.

The first Dragon Quest game released on the original NES in Japan in 1986 and the U.S. in 1989. Since then, there has been a slew of other Dragon Quest games, including spinoffs, as well as novels, manga, and two anime series. That’s a lot of history, but the good news is that players unfamiliar with the franchise will have no problem diving into Dragon Quest XI. And that’s the beauty of this latest title: it taps into what made the previous games so wonderful but also serves as a bold and beautiful introduction to the wonderful world of Dragon Quest.

Related: 15 Facts You Didn’t Know About Dragon Quest Games

Dragon Quest XI follows the quest of the Luminary, a boy who comes to realize that he is the key to saving the world of Erdrea from a dark force known as the “Dark One.” As is the case with any such quest, he ends up with his share of allies, those characters that want to help him save the world from evil. That also means that he has his share of enemies, including an entire kingdom who have mistaken him for the Darkspawn that will destroy the world. The Luminary must travel all over Erdrea and learn what it is he needs to do to save his world from certain doom, all the while staying one step ahead of his enemies.

For those familiar with RPGs, especially JRPGs, there is nothing new or groundbreaking about Dragon Quest XI. This is a traditional JRPG with lots of traveling, lots of grinding, lots of combat against a variety of enemies and lots of quests that allow the Luminary to learn more about his world, its people and each place that he visits. There is no learning curve for those who already know how to play this kind of game because it’s straightforward right from the start, throwing the player into the action almost immediately.

The primary mission is broken down into smaller tasks, each which will lead the Luminary closer to his primary goal. Completing missions earns items and skill points and progresses the story a little further. There are also side missions, which offer the Luminary a chance to help out others for additional items. The side missions also give the Luminary a chance to get to know the people of each of Erdrea’s lands, as well as give him an opportunity to learn more about their culture, hopes and dreams.

Dragon Quest XI’s turn-based combat is also straightforward. Players can choose to control every character in their party, or they can just control the Luminary and let an AI figure out how best to use other characters in fights. As this is a JRPG, grinding is essential, because leveling up is the only way the Luminary and his friends will beat the next boss fight. Boss fights are still challenging, though, but not to the point of frustrating players. Each character has a specific set of skills that they are automatically good at, but skill trees allow the player to determine which particular skillsets each character should focus on: this is determined by spending skill points.

Churches, or save points, are scattered throughout the world, making it easy not to lose progress. The “Zoom” function is nice, which offers a fast travel option to places the Luminary previously visited. It’s highly recommended, though, that players spend more time traversing Erdrea the hard way: by foot, horseback or ship. This slower method of travel gives the player a chance to fully immerse into the fantasy, as well as grind to continue to level up.

It’s the setting and story, though, where Dragon Quest XI excels. Erdrea is a beautifully thought-out and detailed world, with cities inspired by the real world (such as the Venice-like Gondolia) and fantasy (such as the underwater mermaid kingdom). Each land has its own theme, along with unique monsters that the Luminary and his friends must face. The monsters are as fantastical as their lands, although many will still feel familiar to JRPG fans. Each character is also interesting, with fleshed out backstories that the Luminary learns about as he continues on his journey with them. Even NPCs are well thought out. The overall storytelling here is top notch, the kind that might even make players get emotional at times.

Although Dragon Quest XI has a beautiful musical soundtrack to accompany its story, it’s the voice acting choices that sometimes feel a little off. Although most of the voices are great, particularly with the characters in each land having specific accents, there are times when a character’s voice doesn’t seem to fit a character. This is particularly true for Erik, one of the first allies the Luminary acquires in the game, who has a sort of Brooklyn accent that doesn’t seem to fit the world or the character. It’s a small annoyance, but it can eventually grate on the nerves after hours of gameplay.

That small matter doesn’t change the fact that Dragon Quest XI is a near-perfect game. It’s a perfect example of just how good a traditional JRPG can be. Its beautifully-rendered world takes players deep into its fantasy, immersing them in a world they can only wish were real. Yes, the perfect RPG exists and it’s Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age.

More: Dragon Quest Heroes Download is Too Big for Nintendo Switch Memory

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age releases September 4 on PS4 and PC. Screen Rant was provided a copy for the PS4 for the purposes of this review.



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