Assassin's Creed Odyssey

As of late, the Assassin’s Creed franchise has been criticized for its annual release schedule. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey aims to change that. Under development for the past three years at Ubisoft Quebec, the game takes us to Ancient Greece.

Among many changes implemented in the game, focus was given on the players role and how they interact with the world around them. And, an all-new interactive dialogue system has been implemented that allows you to create your own path and journey unlike anything else seen before in franchise history.

Let’s take a look at how Assassin’s Creed Odyssey breaks the series’ mold.

Assassin's Creed OdysseyAssassin’s Creed Odyssey Details

Platforms: Xbox One and PlayStation 4
Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Action role-playing, stealth
Modes: Single-player
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

An epic story that will keep you engaged

Right from the very beginning, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey grabs you and doesn’t let go. The game takes place at the onset of the Peloponnesian War in the year 431 BCE. And, for the first time, you take on the role of a mercenary rather than an assassin.

After an introduction worthy of a scene from the movie 300, you are thrown into the Battle of Thermopylae. You assume the role of the legendary Spartan King Leonidas in an epic battle against the Persian Empire. Essentially, this serves as a tutorial of sorts that quickly gets you familiar with the controls in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

However, your real story begins on the island of Kephallonia. This small Greek island is where you arrived as a young child and where your family established itself in Spartan society. It’s not been an easy life and as such you’ve taken on a mercenary lifestyle through out the years.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Choice is at the core of everything you do

Within the first 10 minutes of playing, I could see that Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was not going to be like others in the franchise. This time around, the focus is on the player’s role in the game and how they will interact with the world around them.

Your very first choice is to decide who you are going to play as, Alexios or Kassandra. The choices you make help shape your journey. Not only did I have choices of what to say to other characters while interacting, but during some missions I had the option of keeping a character alive or taking them out.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Customize your character traits with abilities

Additionally, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has a pretty good amount of abilities for your character to unlock. These abilities are spread across three main playstyles: hunter, warrior, and assassin. The hunter, my personal favourite, uses a bow and arrow to take out enemies from a safe distance.

On the other hand, the warrior is all about upfront and close-combat. Finally, my second favourite playstyle, the assassin eliminates his or her enemies without them ever knowing who did it. New for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is the ability to map your character’s abilities to the face buttons of your controller.

I found that it really makes it easier to take out your opponents with powerful attacks. Of course, my favourite ability is the famous Sparta kick. I never got tired of sending my enemies flying with this powerful attack. Throughout the game I experimented with using a variety of different abilities to explore their various differ strengths and weaknesses.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Open-world naval combat returns

Naval battles return in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and are quite similar to those in Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag. Thirty percent of the game’s map is made up of water, so it is very hard not encounter a battle at sea. These battles are now more dynamic and I found the sea to have many more ships than ever before.

I came across dozens of ships from different nations that were only recognizable by their sails. And, as the game has no “code”, it’s important to pay attention to these sails. It its easy to attack your allies without knowing it!

I must admit, taking your ship out on the water, chasing down another ship, and engaging in battle is addictingly fun. The sense of exploration is second to none. Alternatively, traveling can be done with a smaller raft. Though, it’s no where near as fun controlling it.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Meaningful side missions worthy of your time

If there is one thing that I can’t stand in a game, it’s side missions that don’t further or contribute to the main story. A lot of time in games, I feel as if these have been added as an after thought. However, Ubisoft Quebec has made sure that Assassin’s Creed Odyssey doesn’t fall into this category.

As you travel on your journey, you’ll encounter many people and places. As a result, you’ll be given the choice to accept a whole slew of different side missions. Not only do they contribute to leveling up your character, but they also contribute to the overall story in many different ways. And, sometimes their results or consequences aren’t evident until several hours later.

One instance in particular that sticks out in my mind is a family that is suspected of carrying a deadly plague. In no uncertain terms, you are given the choice to let the family live and go free or die. Let them go free, and several hours later you’ll discover that the increasing amount of deaths on the island is directly related to letting them live. And, as a result will also weaken the soldiers of an army you must fight.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

A beautifully recreated ancient Greece

The folks at Ubisoft Quebec did an amazing job at recreating ancient Greece. It’s bright, colourful and makes you feel as if you are really there. The amount of detail included on buildings, statues, people and the landscape is simply stunning. Let’s just say that I used Photo mode quite a lot to take it all in.

It’s evident that the development team did their homework when creating the game. In addition to this visual beauty and detail, the voice acting and dialogue are superbly done. There might be a few cheesy lines here and there but overall I was satisfied.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Does Assassin’s Creed Odyssey offer anything different from other games in the franchise?

If you have lost interest in the series because of annual releases, you will want to pickup Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Ubisoft Quebec has managed to make Assassin’s Creed Odyssey a fresh new experience that is different from any other game in franchise history. The ability to craft your own adventure depending on the choices you make has limitless possibilities.

I really liked that you are able to map your character’s abilities to the face buttons on the controller. It truly makes combat feel much more fluid and natural. The amount of content included in this game boggled my mind. To see and do everything you can easily spend over 70 hours doing so.

Although the story line stays pretty much the same no matter who you choose to play as, your experience and journey is different. I really can’t say enough good things about this game, so I will end with this. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has ever so quietly snuck into my list of GOTY contenders for 2018.

+ Fresh new experience unlike any other in the franchise
+ The ability to craft and create your own story based upon choices
+ Engaging and thrilling storyline
+ Attention to detail in the world around you is stunning
+ Meaningful side missions
+ Naval combat returns

– Occasional graphical glitches

OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF ASSASSIN’S CREED ODYSSEY

Gameplay: 4.5/5
Graphics: 4/5
Sound: 4/5
Last Appeal/Replayability: 5/5

Overall Rating 4.4/5 (88%)

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