Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey Review

The Assassin’s Creed series has come a long way. From the Third Crusade with Altair, The American Revolutionary War with Connor and The Ptolemaic Period of Egypt with Bayek. It is always a fully immersed experience with each title, and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey takes us back a further 400 years into the lands of Ancient Greece during The Peloponnesian War.
Let us have a look shall we?
STORY
The Ancient Greek setting does not scream Assassin’s Creed, but the way the game almost reinvents what was done in Origins by taking as back to where it began, Odyssey goes just a little bit farther back into the time line. You will find plenty of hidden plots reveal what is going on.
Set during The Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens, you take on the role of either Alexios or Kassandra, descendants of King Leonidas.
You only get to play as either Alexios or Kassandra, but their stories plays off fairly similar. As stated, you are in the middle of the Sparta and Athens war for the region, and you must choose which side to fight for. It does not matter which side, war is war.
There is the usual side and exploration quests to keep you busy, which now also include subtle romance story outcomes during some of these side quests. Side quests add some depth to the story and exploration for extra loot, but as for the romance parts, purely optional.
The new addition is dialogue options. These options help shape your own journey with your chosen character, but they rarely have much impact on the greater story. It is basic RPG style dialogue selection, so you can be good, bad or a pain to someone that may or may not lead to a sword fight. Certain quests are also timed, but it seems some do return with a different coat of paint, so you don’t really miss out if you failed the first time.
Your choices in the dialogue never makes you feel like you messed up, just roll with the punches and the story plays out great. There is a type of theatrical drama in the air with accompanied emotion to make you care for the characters. Some you will love; some you will hate to the point of killing them off permanently.
It is poetic storytelling and it works brilliantly.
GAMEPLAY
The traditional AC mechanic of parkour is virtually unchanged from Origins, so you can climb virtually any building or rock face. I will leave Climbing Greek Statues to your imagination.
When at the top of high viewpoints, it is there where you can wonder at the beauty of your surroundings. As peaceful as it is up there, your next battle is not far away at ground level. Best make use of the camera feature that returns and share some beauty shots of the world.
Mercenaries are your new rivals in Odyssey. They are not to be taken lightly as they actively seek you out depending on your bounty level. Thankfully, I can pay the bounty off and get them off my back for a while, but taking them out and rising up the ranks is a nice touch of Hunter v Prey. Don’t be mistaken if you think you are off the hook while on a mission, they will come for you.
Compared to the Conquest system, this is where you will be focused on most of the time. The objectives are pretty simple in terms of destroying supplies, freeing prisoners and assassinating political leaders, you help the war effort when the fight starts. These fights are basic two sided, Sparta v Athens, and you must choose your side. They are a melee heavy brawl and keeping your wits about is essential as the mercenaries may show up. Regardless, these brawl are basic in nature and rather fun, even if they don’t really affect the story much.
Speaking of fighting, the combat is fluid and makes your feel like a Spartan warrior straight out of the movie 300. I say this because the Spartan Kick is a true life saver, also it is just amusing to kick your opponent and watching them fly. Swords, daggers or spears, all feel amazing to use. I personally prefer the spear as my go to weapon.
The three skill trees you go through as you level up offer many abilities, like the Spartan Kick, that will make you more and more effective in combat. With each point spent, you shape your character as either an assassin or a warrior. From giving your weapon poison damage or the ability to take away an opponent’s shield, each new ability makes you deadlier.
Weapon and armour selection is varied with the ability to upgrade and engrave certain stats to the weapon of choice. For that to happen, subtle resource collecting is at play. Luckily the world is littered with loot, so you are never too far away from your next upgrade.
The same goes for your ship, which you will need to take on the mighty seas. Those dingy boats won’t get you far as they will break down and then you will be in deep water, literally. It is rather difficult fighting off a shark that sees nothing but easy dinner.
Naval combat returns as fun as ever. Besides the upgrading of your ship, you can recruit new crew members to increase your chances of survival. As with armour pieces offering certain stat boosts, so does your crew affect your ship’s stats. It is best to recruit lieutenants as they have the stats you need. This level of stat customization is fun to dabble with to find the combination that suits your style.
THOUGHTS
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey took on the Ancient Greek setting and pulled it off so well. To roam the vast and raw landscapes, exploring and finding locations as you go is rewarding, besides the slight XP you get. You can almost imagine how life was back then. Visually, Odyssey looks amazing. Vibrant colours, picturesque vistas and the best looking water I have seen (yes, water).
VERDICT
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is proving to be the best game in the series. There is a lot to do and ever more to see (this is not a pun). The history of Ancient Greece is fascinating and to experience it in such a fashion that is Assassin’s Creed, it is a perfect match.
Score: 8/10

PS: The score will be 9/10 once I get my Unicorn.

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