Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Review – Warning contains spoilers!
Considering Ubisoft made the setting for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is Ancient Greece it couldn’t be further than being what you’d call ‘Spartan’. Set in a vast open-world setting, one that we’ve not seen quite as large as any other titles in the franchise, Odyssey sets the bar soaring by delivering both adventure and intrigue. With plenty to do and see while not compromising the game’s quality, this truly is one of the most beautiful games to appear in the franchise yet. Let’s get on with our Assassin’s Creed Odyssey review.
The game begins a vast 2400 years ago when the Peloponnesian was about to begin. The war saw a feud between Sparta and Athens for domination of Ancient Greece. It’s an interesting time period to experience with plenty of political and social aspects to get involved with, along with massive battles on both land and sea. There are myths and legends that tie in with what we know about the Ancient greek time period which makes for more of an intriguing story. Once you’ve sailed, ridden and fought across the vast open world and that fictional history, it’ll be clear as to what you’ve been battling so hard for.
I came, I saw, I chose
Unlike other titles in the Assassin’s Creed series, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey threw players straight into the deep end with one of the most challenging decisions yet; selecting the path to follow, Kassandra or Alexios. I personally opted for Kassandra as I thought it’d make a change to play as a female assassin rather than a male.
Along with choosing your character you will also have plenty of other decisions to make throughout your adventure. One of the first will be selecting between horses, it’s not clear if one horse in particular possesses any better traits than the others, but for me it was down to personal preference.
You will also get presented with lots of other decisions, some being very key, that you will need to choose from on your journey. You may choose to kill someone or let them be, either way you may not see the consequence of your choice until further on in the game. Choose wisely.
Mercenaries and the Cult of Kosmos
As someone who only came into the franchise from assassin’s Creed Origins, I can only say that the mercenary system is an addition to last year’s game, from what I’ve heard though there was something similar in previous titles.
The mercenaries in Odyssey though can be an annoying bunch to say the least. At the bottom-right of your screen you’ll see a bar which is empty to begin with, but as you kill, steal, and commit other crimes you’ll see this bar start to fill red. Once this bar reaches its first marker, you’ll have a bounty on your head which means a mercenary will be on your tail. Levels can vary with some being much higher level than you, in which case you’ve got no chance of taking them down. instead, you can go to your map screen and have the option of paying the bounty to the bounty sponsor if they become a bit frustrating.
The Cult of Kosmos on the other hand are an entirely new breed of trouble. You’ll meet the cult around a third of the way through the game, and they are a secret organisation who aim to take down any protagonists who get in their way.
One of your main objectives will be to take down the cult members one by one in order to gain shards which are used to upgrade your spear. Taking down each cult member will unearth clues about the next member’s whereabouts as well as allowing you to reveal their face behind the mask. Some of the cult will be too high a level for you to take down right away so you’ll need to complete other quests to level up before you attempt the hit.
Once you’ve taken down so many members of the cult and reach level 35 you’ll want to go in for the big one, in my case this was taking down Alexios which is Kassandra’s long lost brother.
The best time at sea ever
When I first played Assassin’s Creed Origins last year i found the time at sea to be fairly minimal in terms of battles and getting from a to b. With Odyssey however there’s much more of a focus on sailing, and the choices you have available are much more in depth.
The Adrestia is your main ship which you’ll first take control of, and with it comes a fairly average crew. With Odyssey you will encounter captains and other enemies that possess a great amount of power, and these traits can become useful to improving your crews strength and defence. By this I mean you are now able to recruit new crew members to improve your crew abilities, you can do so by sneaking up on an enemy and knocking them out rather than assassinating them. Alternatively you can unequip your weapon and punch the lights out of your opponent.
Aside from sailing across from island to island to speed things up, you will of course encounter enemy ships along the way. Your ship is fully customisable from the look of the ship and crew clothing, through to bolstering defences and upgrading arrow, javelin and other attacks. This will be important to stand up against some of the stronger ships you’ll encounter.
A host of new abilities
Although last year’s game had a strong focus on levelling up, and with that coming ability points to help improve traits like assassin damage and hunter accuracy, Odyssey take it one step further. As you earn ability points, this time round you’ll actually be able to assign these abilities to your control set (A, B, X or Y for example).
In essence you could assign a bullrush ability to your chosen button, and on Xbox One pressing LB plus A will see you charge through an enemy. In order to make these skills available though you’ll need adrenaline built up. In order to fill your adrenaline bar you will need to land attacks, parry, and dodge attacks. This is a new feature we enjoyed as part of our assassin’s Creed Odyssey review.
There’s a lot to do
Assassin’s Creed Origins was said to be significantly different to that of the other titles in the franchise, the combat system in general was on of the harder aspects of the game to get used to. With a heck of a lot of locations, treasure, side quests and viewpoints to discover this was a lot for some to take in. Personally i never finished everything 100% in the last game. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is that extra leap over its predecessor. You’ve got everything in the previous title with lots more to do.
The additions include tasks such as weakening a territory to bring its leader out of the shadows in turn to take them down. Then you’ll need to choose to side with Athens or Sparta in a conquest battle, you’ll need to win these battles in order to fortify a region with the allegiance you sided with.
As well as collecting treasure, there are other items to collect and people to take down in order to complete certain side-quests successfully. One may include taking down Spartan leaders all over Greece, which can only be achieved as you progress with certain locations being too high a level to attempt too early on. Another may be to complete all cave locations by finding the treasure in every one.
If you still want more there are message boards in every regions and weekly side quests that need to be completed in a certain time. You also have the option of going after the mercenaries hunting you rather than waiting for them to find you at an inconvenient moment.
The map is one of the largest seen in an Assassin’s Creed game, and to complete everything on the Ancient Greek map its said to take in excess of 70+ hours.
Is Assassin’s Creed Odyssey worth playing
Definitely, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a beast of a game with so many things to do, and with that in mind it offers great value for money without parting with extra cash for the DLC. I’ve invested a lot of hours in the game already and am nowhere near finished, some aspects of the game can be a bit of a grind which leaves you wanting to have a break for a while and then go back and carry on. My Assassin’s Creed Odyssey review isn’t based on this though as many will see the longevity as a positive.
Graphically the game looks beautiful in 4K or full HD, its really pleasing on the eye and the attention to detail is very generous. The combat system takes some getting used to for new players, but Origins players will already have this in the bag.
Ship combat is also not the easiest thing to master, bracing for impact from enemies doesn’t always work as well as it should.
Overall though, the Assassin’s Creed successor is definitely an improvement on what was already an amazing game – it’ll probably take me until the next release to finish Odyssey off!
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Related to our Assassin’s Creed Odyssey review
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey sailing, combat, and mercenaries guide
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