Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is the sequel of the reboot of seemingly dull series of the games Assassin’s Creed. Assassin’s creed Origins was the game that rebooted the series giving it a new narrative, new stealth-action RPG gameplay and much more to offer.
This time around Ubisoft is going all out at their new formula of gameplay of their Assassin’s Creed franchise as they have developed faith due to the huge success of the Origins. Ubisoft built upon the pillars generated by the AC: origins and made the game that has a more intense story, a bigger narrative to follow and immensely huge world to explore.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey predates the previous game many centuries as the timeline is at Peloponnesian War in 431 BCE on the soil of Ancient Greece. Ironically the game is far from the feel of traditional Spartans.
Though the overall narrative of the game revolves around the war between the ancient Spartans and the Athenian Army.
Just like any other Assassin’s Creed game Odyssey offers two different parallel timelines where the main narrative happens in the past, and the overarching plot is set in the present day.
The game starts at a pivotal moment of the Peloponnesian War, and after a series of political conflicts, the player jumps back to the present world where the game continues the story of Layla Hassan, who strives to unravel the secrets of Ancient civilization.
Through the course of the game, the player will find lost tombs, mythical beasts, statues and representation of Old Gods, and an engaging Naval battle on the High seas. While assassinating the key members of the shadowy conspiracy seeking the control of the world like the traditional Assassin’s Creed style.
If there is one aspect of the game that can describe how good the game is, then it would definitely be its open world. During your playtime, you will see the rich lands of Greece, a plethora of islands that are located in places where you would not imagine.
Along with the places where the life is polluted due to slavery, and the signs of the tragic war that is happening on a bigger scale. The locations are so rich and diverse in content that the player will feel like they are exploring ancient Greece.
The ecosystem comprising of wildlife and the humanity they all live in a dynamic world that is evolving at its pace, and they all have their territory with unscripted encounters here and there.
During your journey through the main story and the side quests, you will make decisions that will not have that much of an effect in the game, many of your choices will end up having a slightly different ending of the particular quest.
While there are instances where the choices are dire, and your choices will have consequences on your role in the society and the overall narrative of the game.
On the other hand, there are instances when you will be least expecting a consequence of a choice you made three hours before or even at the start of the game. For example, if you start to kill people randomly in the streets, people may place a bounty on your head, and the bounty hunter may find you in the main mission, and you may have to deal with that hunter before anything else.
The main story has nine different endings depending upon your actions in a game, sometimes a conversation with a random NPC can change how your game will end.
It is the first time in an Assassin’s Creed game that you will get to choose your protagonist, which will also change the look and feel of how you will approach the game.
The characters are twins by relation and are the descendants of the Spartans. The different protagonists also offer some of the most entertaining moments that Odyssey is offering. Kasandra and Alexios share the same dialogues and cutscenes, but their different personalities and viewpoints add a different flavor to the system. While there are some quests and scene that are exclusive to the characters.
You will get to play the one that matches with your character of choice. Lastly, there are some scenes that only seems right with one of the characters which are a kind of a bummer.
As you make your way through the game by advancing through the main missions, new activities and quests will start appearing giving you more and more incentive to explore the huge map. When you get the sense of the grand narrative of the game that is the conspiracy that is against Greece makes itself known, then you will be able to track down the continuation of other players through the connected world Odyssey provides.
You can track down the enemies by solving the riddles that define these connections which provides a fun way to increase your horizons as a player. In one of the more involved quests, you may encounter some of the mythical beasts hidden within the world, which will provide one of the best fighting sequences in AC games. To outdone these beasts brute force isn’t always the answer remember.
The world in Odyssey is more interactive than in any other world created by Ubisoft for an Assassin’s Creed game. Even at the start of the game, one can say that the environment feels more real and it reacts to the actions of not only the player but also the NPCs that are scattered in the world.
As mentioned earlier, your actions have consequences even if they do not appear right after your action. You may have to take your steps accordingly, as the disturbances you created before may disturb your journey through the game.
However, as always there are ways to minimize the consequences, for example, if there’s is a bounty on your head you can lay low for a time so that the bounty is cleared or you can kill your bounty hunter or if you do not want to get into the hassle of doing any of these you can just go to your in-game menu and pay the specified amount to clear your name. With nine different possible endings who knows what action can lead to an undesired output.
If you think you are one of those players who does not require any of the game’s help to clear their way through the quests, then Odyssey offers exploration mode.
The They mode offers no in-map waypoints and allows the player to decide which way to go. It is much like a real-world scenario before GPS, where you would have to rely on the people to show you which way will lead to your destination. It requires intense puzzle solving skills, and you would have to have a solid understanding of every word uttered by the quest giver or an NPC.
Because many times these words will be a riddle and the answer to the riddle will be your destination. Of course, the satisfaction and rewards will be much higher if you complete the task in the exploration mode.
However, we must remind you of the size of the map is the biggest in any AC game. Sometimes you have to travel thousands of meters just to get a piece of paper in some of the side quests.
One of the core aspects of any game is its combat mechanics. The RPG combat mechanics that they tested and mastered in the Origins are returned in Odyssey with more refinements. they have given a welcomed overhaul to the customization options and made them much better.
Now you can customize the arsenal and the armor whenever you want. You can go for a streamlined approach and make your character a spartan by wielding the legendary spear and armor. Or if you are the series veteran and like the stealthy look of the Assassin’s cape, you can go that way too. All in all the game offers a plethora of options for you to plan and execute your approach the way you would want to behave.
The stat-based hack and slash combat now allows the player to focus on parrying. In Origins, you must have a shield to progress in the game they ditched that, and now you can have weapons in both of your arms.
As a result, the combat is more fluid and has a brisker pace. By placing emphasis on parrying and dodging Odyssey presents the combat system that is more fluid and dynamic which means the opponents will change their techniques when you have the upper hand.
Sometimes, the combat falls in the well of the flaws of the RPG system; for example, you cannot sneak behind a higher level target so that you can execute them by a single blow.
Naval combat sees a comeback after the Assassin’s Creed Blackflag and the AC Rouge, and it is better than the one present in the Blackflag. Much like the combat in the Blackflag, you will be able to roll over the high see and fight against the rival ships.
Odyssey offers the most pleasing graphically soothing areas during the sailing in the ocean. Sometimes you will find a wrecked ship full of treasures, a remote island full of opportunities will appear quite randomly which offers some of the best experiences that you can gather.
Over the course of your travel, you will recruit members, make changes in your ship making it more powerful.
During the latter part of the game, you will be able to recruit lieutenants that will give different abilities to your fleet, and you can fight rigorously against many powerful ships.
The scope of Odyssey is enormous, and most of the times it is presented very well. But only in the grand scope of things. Sometimes, a side quest will offer much more perspective in the game rather than the main story missions.
For example, the main story of the game is the fight between the Spartans and the Athenian Army. In a mission, you can side with either faction and kill its leader of the region so that the hold of that particular faction loosens in that area.
However, it does not affect the main story missions. It means the world in dynamic, but the changes that are randomly made in the world do not affect the main story.
No matter what side you take the outcome will have a minimal effect on that which makes it a story that has written well but focuses more on the sides rather than the center. Standing with a faction provides a solid way of gaining resources and increasing your level, but the Odyssey’s general system seems half-baked at best and pointless at the worst.
In conclusion, the focus on details and the huge map that Odyssey presents is admirable. At times the world that is rich with life seems senseless in favor of you. While at times an act as little as killing an NPC walking on the street end up with a bounty on your head. The main concern here is that the Ubisoft tried hard to make the world real, but the “reality” is not homogenous. They have made the side quests better than the last game, by better I mean they are at least closer to the side quests offer by the Wither 3 if not better.
The exploration mode is also a good feature but again something that has already done by the CD Project Red. They tried to give incentives to the players to make them wander about in the vast distances of Greece, but the reward that they offer is not as big as the world. It makes the grinding through the content that offers more than 50 hours of gameplay a little more than average.
Lastly, if we compare the Odyssey with every other Assassin’s Creed game, then the Odyssey will be the best game that has been made under the AC banner. It makes great strides in its massive and dynamic world, and its a joy venture out in beautifully crafted ancient Greece.