Assassins Creed Odyssey follows on from the success of last years Assassins Creed Origins with its Egyptian setting this year we have Odyssey with a Greek setting.
The backdrop and story starts with Leonidas and the 300. You remember that great movie from around 10 year ago? Well, this opening literally just sets you off with a combat tutorial wielding a spear and killing Persians.
After the battle a cutscene sees the Oracle saying that Kassandra/Nikolaos will bring the fall of Sparta (depends on who you choose to play as). So your father Leonidas throws child off a cliff and given that your chosen character in the scene tried to stop what was happening, you are disowned by Leonidas and escape with the broken spear of Leonidas. Head out to sea making your escape to wind up at Kephallonia, and under the wing of Markos who kind of brings you up and has you doing errands.
The opening island will get you going, levelling up, getting used to controls and the like. It does take a good few hours to do everything there and it is worthwhile exploring a bit to take it all in. Once you get off this opening island, you take to the seas and end up involved as a mercenary caught between the warring Spartans and Athenians whilst looking for your family.
It’s pretty interesting stuff and keeps the story-based missions moving forward at a good pace.
The gameplay itself is pretty much the same as last years Assassins Creed Origins with a few new things and a bit taken from earlier games. All of this is welcome, as last year’s game was/is awesome on so many levels. So each area on the overworld map is marked, telling you what level range you ideally need to be to conquer it. This screen also shows your current bounty level which is one of the new bits added. The bounty hunter is a pretty good idea but it does annoy at times, every time you do something wrong, such as accidentally kill a town resident, or sink a merchant ship your bounty goes up. Once a helmet is lit on the bar, a bounty hunter comes after you.
The first has to be dealt with no matter what, but after you leave the first island you can pay bounties off. These bounty hunters track you everywhere you go. Now this is where the annoyance can come in – I was doing a mission and being stealthy with it, when suddenly the bounty hunter homes in on me and, inevitably, I end up breaking stealth trying to get away from him and all hell broke loose. I could understand if I had gone in swinging my sword and causing chaos – that would attract the bounty hunter, but if you are being careful to not attract attention, then he really shouldn’t know where you are.
A returning element from Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag is the excellent naval combat and travelling around the sea on your vessel to get to new destinations. This is essentially the same as the earlier game, where you can knock out people and have them added to your crew, upgrade various attacks from the weapons and customise your ship in many different ways. I have Evie (Assassins Creed Syndicate) as a commander on my ship, which is pretty cool even though year and dress code are way off for the period in history.
Another new bit is that some of the areas have battles happening. You have to weaken the area by doing various things to the enemy, and the first area you venture to sees you having to weaken the Athenians by destroying supplies and taking out their men. Once the area is weakened enough, you can then quite easily take out the commander which will then lead to a battle. During this, you have a bar which represents both Athenians and Spartans. Full-on combat mode is the answer, taking out as many enemy soldiers as possible. Killing Commanders lowers their bar quicker. It can be quite chaotic but fun and new and allows you to use all those skills you have unlocked.
Combat, again, is all but identical to AC Origins with standard and heavy attacks and dodges to lunge back in with attacks. Dodging has been updated, so if you tap the button your character will dodge in the direction you push the pad. However, if you hold the dodge button, you do the standard dodge and will then roll, putting further distance between you and your attacker.
There are mild RPG elements involved as your character and enemies do have levels and once you gain a level you can select skills from hunting (bows), warrior (attacks with melee weapons) and Assassin which adds poison to blades and ups your stealth attack power etc. You can only assign a set number of skills, so will have to either swap them out when you are doing something to suit the situation, or find what you are comfortable playing with and stick to it. Some skills can be upgraded as you progress the story.
Assassins Creed Odyssey is another great entry into the series, I do feel, though, it is very similar to last year’s game and I am already starting to feel a bit tapped out given the enormity of these new games. I have read there won’t be a game released next year, and I think that they need to maybe start releasing every two years from now on, as there are so many games already, and I do feel a bit sickened off with all the open world stuff as of late and upcoming.
- Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Players: Single player only
Retro at heart and lover of all things ’80s, especially the computers, the music and the awesome movies and TV shows! Crazy huge retro gaming collection spanning the ’80s and ’90s with hundreds of tapes, discs and carts for various machines on top of a 600+ strong Steam library that is ever-growing. No I am not a serial hoarder, just a dedicated retro gamer!