Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
With Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Ubisoft continues where the publisher stayed with Origins. This not only means that the same story is picked up in the present, but also that the approach of the game again tends to be more role-playing than to ‘old-fashioned’ action. With Alexios and Kassandra – the player is free to choose – the game knows strong protagonists who go through a fun and versatile story. The fighting system is further expanded and is made more fun by the many weapons and items that can be found, and the extra skills that can be played freely. Ancient Greece is also a beautiful, idyllic setting that is good for dozens of hours of exploration fun. The voice-acting, a collection of graphics bugs and some functional bugs are points for improvement, but furthermore Odyssey is in all respects a successful development of Origins.
With Assassin’s Creed Origins, Ubisoft last year took a different route with the long-running series that celebrated its tenth anniversary last year, which was chosen with an ancient, recognizable setting with ancient Egypt. but the way the player was presented with Egypt was, but the series left behind the ancient action-adventure genre and took a step towards open-world rpg’s, and we even made the comparison with The Witcher 3, in our eyes still the best role-playing game of the last years, it shows how much potential there is in the new way of Assassin’s Creed, and that potential Ubisoft hopes to fully exploit with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Gameplay footage of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in which Alexios does a quest in Athens
Irreverently, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a new skin for Origins. Of course, that is too short a turn, but the game unmistakably uses the same tech and style, so Ubisoft can not escape that comparison. How bad that is, remains to be seen. The French publisher did exactly the same with Assassin’s Creed II: Brotherhood, and that is still seen as one of the best games in the series. Ubisoft has a hand to release a ‘good’ game with new tech, and then to deliver a much better, next part based on the same tech. We saw that in the past at Assassin’s Creed, but also in the Far Cry series. In this respect, Odyssey has excellent opportunities.
Of course, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has a new setting. The move is easy because ancient Egypt is exchanged for ancient Greece. A great switch, because few history books are so interspersed with myths and legends as those about Greek antiquity. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey takes place from about 431 BC, at the time of the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens. That means that you walk around in a world where a lot of history has already been built up. You are part of a new chapter in history, but are constantly confronted with the rich past that Greece already has. That also appears. Every place you visit has a temple for one of the Greek Gods, or a cemetery or other remembrance of one of the many heroes who fought in the Trojan War and who appear in the stories of Herodotus, Homer and many other poets and writers.
Choosing between Alexios and Kassandra
In this world, we meet Alexios and Kassandra, a Spartan boy and girl. It is up to the player to decide which of the two is the main character of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. The choice has no consequences for the content of the game, but it is good to know that in between exchanges – as was possible with Jacob and Evie Fry in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – is now not possible. We chose Alexios and also played a piece like Kassandra for comparison. As promised, that certainly does not make any difference in playing method. We do, however, find the voice actor behind Alexios better than that of Kassandra, but that difference is not so great that it must necessarily determine your choice. Also nice to know is that Kassandra according to Ubisoft is the ‘canon’ main character. The eponymous novel follows Kassandra, so in a sense, she is the ‘right’ character. The choice does not matter anymore.
With your character – we write Alexios for the sake of convenience from here – you start the game seemingly carefree on the Greek island of Kefalonia. You are a misthios or a mercenary. Alexios does some work for people on the island, including friend Marcos, but soon he gets involved in things far beyond Kefalonia. A mysterious figure puts him on the trail of his father, a high-ranking Spartan army commander. Alexios leaves Kefalonia after the prologue, and from that moment on the old Greece is at your feet.
That Greece is most probably the most beautiful, most atmospheric world you have ever seen in an Assassin’s Creed game, and also once again the largest. Accompanied by his bird Ikaros, the Adrestia ship and a few loyal characters, Alexios moves into the Mediterranean world. That world contains almost all the pieces of Greece that you would expect. Ubisoft has not yet put the whole country into the game, but it does not save much. So if you want to see what Crete or Kos looked like in 431 BC, you can. Athens and Corinth are also highlighted, and they provide some of the most beautiful views in the game. Often we lost ourselves in exploring the surroundings and enjoying the view. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is beautiful.