He who hath not sinned can cast the first stone. Or was it he who hath now sinned? Not sure, Henry is going to find out though.
Inspecting The Foundation
Once again, Henry has taken on the role of an investigator. However, this time the crime is one that is more political in nature instead of criminal, or at least on the surface.
I will say that while it was nice to have a quest that didn’t heavily feature combat, the mechanical limitations of the engine are starting to show itself a bit. For the most part in this game if you aren’t talking to someone, inspecting an object, or searching for an object; You are killing something.
Now I don’t want to be unfair, there are obviously a lot of different ways that you can tweak the above list. For example “searching for an object” could involve breaking and entering into a home, which does bring in the legal and reputation system somewhat. However, at least as of this point in my playthrough, I am dubious of the impact that gains/losses in these areas will have on the overall gameplay experience. I hope I am proven wrong with this over-time, but I feel like at this point the game seems to be settling on what the core game-play loops are, which to be honest is a bit disappointing.
I can’t fully blame the game for this though. After all, I was the one who spent a solid 5 to 6 hours repeatedly killing deer in the woods, allowing me to buy high end equipment way before I should have. Furthermore I spent a great deal of time with Captain Bernard before I even felled a single bandit outside of the games exposition. The vibe of the game would be very different if I wasn’t walking around these low level quests knowing that I can afford to make stupid mistakes because my opponents wimpy blades with break upon my layers of plate.
However, at the end of the day the perceived lack of sandbox toys hasn’t dulled my enthusiasm for the game. The real strength of this game for me has been the story-telling and world-building, which this game has been absolutely aces on. In fact, one could argue that this game packing in a bunch of extra gizmos for you to play with would absolutely detract from the cohesiveness of the world, so in many ways the game is better off without them.
So while this quest was not the most novel of game-play experiences, it did still shine in the places that this game has always shined. The dialog was tight, the subject matter was interesting, and they did mix things up a bit by adding an element of verticality to the environment. While it definitely featured more horseback riding than I was hoping for, I also can’t fault the game there given I am the one who willingly chose to play the mode where fast-travel is disabled.
So yeah rambling aside… it was a fun quest! However, I am definitely looking forward to getting back to the main event…
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