A game that can keep me entertained for months, and continues to do so after the main story is one good game, and Odyssey managed to do that while transporting me to the world of Ancient Greece in an expansive landscape with an engaging storyline; sheer perfection.
After a much-needed revival in the series with the previous title in the series, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey stands alone, away from the overarching themes of Assassins and Templars from the rest of the game series, and takes us on our own path; our own odyssey.
Odyssey is set primarily in Ancient Greece around the Peloponnesian war, fought between the Athenians and the Spartans. The protagonist, a Greek mercenary for hire, floats between the two factions trying to gather information on their family and the sinister forces at work in Ancient Greece – The Cult of Kosmos. Playing as either one of two siblings; Alexios or Kassandra (the two protagonists), you try and reconnect with your family and your spartan bloodline that heralds back to Leonidas and the 300. Along the way, there are many cameos from historical figures that were around at the time, such as Pythagoras and Socrates. As you journey through Greece and across the Aegean, you end up pitted against many a formidable foe, both based in the real world and in the world of ancient Greek myth; all in the search of the truth.
A new addition for this latest Assassin’s Creed is that of choice-based storylines, where one choice has later repercussions in the game at a later date. For example, the wrong choice can kill significant characters and completely change your progression through the game, by locking off quests or opening up new ones, which is a feature Ubisoft have used in the past for other games, such as Far Cry 4, but has never made it across to Assassin’s Creed. As far as the ever-present naval aspect of the game goes, it is a fairly significant part of Odyssey, which has the protagonist sailing manually between islands, fending off both armies and pirates on their journey. I have been very sceptical of the naval warfare aspect of Assassin’s Creed in the past. However, in the past it has always been incorporated as stand-alone levels, whereas Odyssey brings ship battles into the storyline and makes it work well in the grand scheme of things.
As far as the technical aspects of the game go, the map is huge. Compared to Assassin’s Creed Origins, the map is over twice the size, with about half of the map consisting of the Aegean Sea, which explains why it took so much longer to complete than previous Assassin’s Creed titles. Just because the map is expansive does not mean that they have scrimped on the terrain detail, as it is equally stunning as it’s predecessor, Assassin’s Creed Origins. Unfortunately, the game occasionally lags and buffers, but it happens so rarely it doesn’t have a major impact on the gameplay. The combat mechanics are smooth and feel like a 1-on-1 combat game, like Injustice or Mortal Kombat. The movement mechanics are nice and fluid, with very little glitching when trying to wall climb or free jump.
The post-launch content release strategy is a new approach for Ubisoft. Instead of releasing 2 DLC’s at different points throughout the year after the game’s release, Ubisoft will be releasing an episode of a story per week, which over the course of a couple of months will be a fully fledged DLC. Alongside the paid DLCs, they will also be releasing monthly missions to give new gameplay aspects to the players and give the game longevity past the main storyline.
Overall, the latest addition to the franchise is a massive success, with the only downside being the very occasional lag. The characters are fully thought through, the world is diverse and detailed, the gameplay and movement is smooth for the most part and is the best title in the Assassin’s Creed series to date.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC.