Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: October 5th, 2018
Assassins Creed has come a long way since its classic stealth days. What started as a franchise that based its self on a more linear approach has become something so much more. After the incredible success of last year’s entry, Assassins Creed Origins, Ubisoft decided that they would ditch their classic approach to the franchise and make it more of an open world adventure game with RPG elements. This re-polishing of the franchise is exactly what Ubisoft needed. Assassins Creed Odyssey has now been out for a week and I have put a lot of time into the game. Unfortunately, I have not beaten the game, but I have just clocked in my twentieth hour. Here are my current thoughts on Assassins Creed Odyssey
When you boot up Assassins Creed Odyssey you are asked if you want to play as one of two characters- a male assassin named Alexio or a female named Kassandra. This decision doesn’t affect the overall story and is purely a matter of preference. For my playthrough, I chose to play as the female assassin, Kassandra. Right away I felt like I could connect with this powerful protagonist. Kassandra’s charisma is fantastic and is eerily reminiscent of the beloved Roman assassin Ezio Auditore from Assassins Creed II. From the opening cutscene to my twentieth hour, I have been hooked on this character and her story. Odyssey fixes many of the pacing issues that bogged down past entries. Every time I finish another story mission, I feel as if I can’t put down the controller. It has been a while since I have been so enthralled with an Assassins Creed game and I am honestly a bit shocked. With endless plot twists, the story stays fresh making this forty-hour voyage well worth your time and money.
Assassins Creed Odyssey’s newly implemented RPG features are also quite extraordinary. One new feature is Exploration Mode. Instead of the classic approach where the mission guides you directly to your objectives, you can now turn on Exploration Mode which gives you reference points, making you search for specific locations of missions. While this may sound quite challenging, it isn’t. The directions are pretty simple as you look at the map.
When you are in proximity to your objective, you can summon your eagle and pinpoint exactly where your target is at. What this new feature does do, is create a new level of immersion that previous entries were lacking. Another new feature is that you can choose your dialogue when talking to NPC’s. Your dialogue choices matter somewhat. During my playthrough, some of my choices impacted the narrative both positively and negatively. The new mechanics are excellent and make you wonder why they were never included before.
Ancient Greece is beautiful. The various shades of green and blue scattered across the world are visually pleasing, and it makes exploration an absolute treat. The map is vast and is jammed packed with different places containing side missions to be completed and bases to be conquered. I should be so much further along in the story, but I find myself taking down every raider camp that I see. This is one of those games where you lose track of time and before you know it your eyes are bloodshot and its 5 am.
While the large map is exciting, it is also quite daunting. Being a reasonably busy college student, it is hard to sink all the hours I want into this game. The main story is thirty hours, but you must also tack on the hours of leveling up through side quests as well. I am still enjoying my time, but I am starting to feel the adverse effects on this level grind. The month of October is big for games, and it’s hard not to feel weighed down by the length of this one.
Another very minor complaint I have with this game is how the character models appear in cutscenes. Sometimes your character and other NPC’s appear robotic when you are in conversation. This is fine when you are doing a minor side quest, but during the story missions it threw me off. With a game that does such a great job immersing you in the world, this takes me out of it.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is an incredible game. The world is beautiful and enjoyable to explore. Unlike the last few AC entries, the story is gripping and holds a ton of emotional weight which made me eager to keep playing. Where Odyssey falls apart is in its level grind and robotic character designs. If you look past these minimal flaws, a near perfect game is there. If you are an Assassins Creed fan who is on the fence about this game, get it. Odyssey is a breath of fresh air to the franchise, and I am looking forward to Ubisoft further evolving the franchise.
As of right now, I would give this game an 8.8/10
Reviewer’s Name: Mike Chase