Review: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: Cloud Version (Switch) - TheFamicast.com: Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!

Latest



Thursday, October 18, 2018

Review: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: Cloud Version (Switch)

by Danny Bivens

Hail the almighty cloud.


By now, you’ve probably already read numerous reviews on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey with reviewers praising the controls, the action RPG elements, the deep combat and the excellent open world feel to the game. There’s obviously a lot to like here in terms of story and gameplay. However, you’ll be hard pressed to find any outlets offering a review of the Cloud Version on Switch of the game and how it performs. There’s a disappointingly good reason for that - the game is geo-locked to Japan. No worries, we are here to tell you all about how Assassin’s Creed Odyssey performs on the Switch.

The underlying tech for Odyssey comes from a Taiwan based company called Ubitus. By utilizing “high-quality performance and interactions rendered by Ubitus’ GPU server,” this streaming version of the game is now a reality on Nintendo’s system. According to the company, the release of the Cloud Version on Switch is the first time that a streaming version of a game has launched day and date with a retail release. This isn’t their first rodeo, either. Earlier in the year, they helped bring Resident Evil 7 to the Switch via the cloud in Japan. Before that, the company was also responsible for numerous other cloud gaming solutions including Dragon Quest X on 3DS, Final Fantasy XIII on Chromecast and a few others. Even though they are relatively unheard of in the west (and quite frankly, just in general), Ubitus has been busy over the years honing their cloud tech and the results here with Odyssey are impressive.
I’ve had a chance to test out the game with three different connection options - wired, WiFi, and cellular. After booting up the client and getting into the game, you’ll notice a connectivity bar in the upper left hand corner of the screen. This remains on screen at all times to show your signal strength. Generally speaking, no matter what connection method I used, the game looked the same visually. Odyssey looks pretty impressive however the game is a bit lacking in terms of textures. Details on the ground and on buildings are a little bit on the muddy side, and things like trees or grass sometimes look bit blurry. It basically looks like a slightly lower spec version of the game. Even with that said, considering that this is running off of the cloud, it is super impressive.

I spent a majority of my time playing Odyssey through a wired connection. The results were fantastic. The game ran super smooth and I never ran into any technical issues. Even over Wi-fi, my experience was relatively smooth. I did run into a few hiccups here and there, though. At times, the game would stutter and I was noticing some pretty noticeable input lag. Oddly enough, this only happened within 48 hours of the launch of the game. Since then, I’ve had next to no issues. Playing over cellular presented a serviceable experience, but there was some definite jumpiness that was apparent with the performance. It was surprising that it actually worked at all, to be honest. Data speeds in my location in Japan are decent, but I didn’t know they would be decent enough to run Odyssey via the cloud beamed to my Switch.
Playing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in handheld mode felt pretty good and ran pretty well. Echoing the above text, after the first 48 hours, I had almost no issues with performance in both docked or handheld mode. It still is a shame that unless you’re on reliable Wi-fi, you probably won’t be playing this game outside of your home. For all Switch titles, the ability to swap between handheld and docked mode remains a feature that is both cool and practical. For Odyssey on Switch, making this change during the middle of gameplay works, too. Even when I went from handheld mode into docked mode connected to a wired connection, the game pauses itself for a second, indicates a reconnection to the server and then you’re back in. It’s obviously not quite as smooth as native games running on the Switch, but it works.

At this point, I’m about 20 hours into the game and am loving it. I like the characters, combat and RPG elements. Ubisoft hit another one out of the park here in terms of content. A few years ago if you were to tell me that that the future of gaming will be tied to streaming games from the cloud, I would have called you crazy. The technology that we saw back then just wasn’t there. Now, seeing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey running on the Switch via the cloud here in Japan, I’m a believer. The only real shame is that unless you have a decent cellular provider that offers a decent data plan and network speeds, you can’t play this on the go. Regardless, Ubitus continues to show how and why cloud based gaming can work.
Final Score: 9.0 (in Japan)
Final Score: 0.0 (outside of Japan)

No comments: