Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: October 5th, 2018
Reviewed On: Xbox One X
Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
Price: $59.99 USD
*This is a Spoiler Free Review
Assassins Creed: Odyssey is the latest entry in the long-running Assassin’s Creed series. This game fully transitions into an RPG, letting players explore ancient Greece as one of two warriors: Kassandra or Alexios.
Your Odyssey Begins (Story)
Let’s start off this review by giving a (hopefully) fairly obvious statment by now for those that have played Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. This was an RPG that many didn’t realize they wanted, but ended up realizing it was badly needed for a time period so full of life and mystery. Greek mythology has been so heavily embedded into history and into tales and stories that we end up learning throughout life. While I definitely welcomed Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey into my gaming lineup, I never truly realized I wanted an RPG of this caliber that also allowed me to live in Greek mythology. Your character, Kassandra or Alexios, embarks on a journey that will have you wanting more. As a child your family goes through a traumatic experience, leaving you somehow alive as an orphan being raised as a Misthios (Mercenary).
All grown up, you set out on your epic to uncover the secrets behind your family, why “The Cult” is after you, and what lays ahead for your future. The game breaks out into three “Minor” main quests that complete the story as a whole. They each focus on the past, present, and future however, the outcome of those all depends on the choices you make throughout the game. There were many times I thought I made the right choice but the outcome of that decision heavily affected a scenario much later in the game.
Without giving out too much about the story and it’s details, I heavily enjoyed my journey from start to finish. The entire world is alive and full of stories and adventures for you to experience and is never lacking in things to do. Everything is intertwined, all the side quests relate to something you will end up doing or being apart of. The stories never end, whether be it on land or sea.
A Breathtaking View (Graphics)
It is of no doubt that this is one of the most graphically impressive presentations of a game I’ve seen this entire generation of gaming, hitting my top three. When you first set foot on your journey into Ancient Greece, you feel as if you’re stepping back in time. The amount of detail and work that has gone into making such an alive and breathing world is no small feat. I couldn’t help myself gazing off into the distance, taking in the vista of the sunset over the open ocean or from the top of a giant statue. It was difficult to stay on track a lot of the time during the start of the game, as I had to keep stopping to take pictures with photomode.
From the mountain peaks, to the deepest caves, to the corners of the map, there is no shortage of things to discover and experiences to be had. There are some minor things I noticed when playing the game where there were some rendering issues. Some symbols and patches of textures are late to load in, which is nothing too major to take away from the game as a whole. Ubisoft and team have done a fantastic job creating a world that keeps evolving into something truly impressive for its graphical capabilities.
An Epic Ballad (Audio)
There isn’t too much that stands out in this category for Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. Ship shanties are good but not great, the environmental audio is top notch and the music sets the tone very well. Kassandra has some fantastic voice acting, same with many of the NPCs you encounter along your journey. The voice for Alexios, on the other hand, almost doesn’t seem right for the character. Alexios’ voice kept reminding me of Arnold in Terminator during certain scenes, and I couldn’t help but have a good chuckle. Ubisoft has always been very consistent in the audio department for their games and it continues to show. With Odyssey, they definitely set a new bar for themselves when doing NPC dialogue. Encountering so many side quests that had fully fleshed stories and adventures, with different endings that affect how the game plays out is certainly no small feat. In order to create a living, breathing world in a game you have to nail down many aspects to create the whole picture, with audio being a key factor. It has certainly been achieved in Odyssey.
Sparta vs. Athens (Gameplay)
Ever since the movie 300, I think everyone has wanted to “Spartan Kick” someone off a cliff, and now they can do that in Odyssey. Combat is very fleshed out in comparison to Origins, with a wide variety of weapons available and three skill trees that you can use to cater your character to your playstyle. The skill tree is much more useful, allowing abilities and stat increases for the three branches of Warrior, Hunter, and Assassin. Assassin focuses on stealth, Warrior on hand-to-hand combat, Hunter on Archery. I found myself going heavily into an Assassin/Warrior build, focusing on quick stealth kills and hard hitting blows if I’m caught.
The versatility in play style is great to have in an RPG such as this. The Naval combat as well is just as good as ever. If you liked it in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, you’ll love it even more in Odyssey. You can fully customize your ship, as well as do extensive upgrades to its hull, archers, ram and more. Sailing on a peaceful ocean, always on the look out for pirates or rogue ships adds a wonderful aspect to the series. Let’s talk about the game’s progression systems. People have talked a lot about a supposed “grind” in the game. That’s not true, especially when you look at the game as a whole and how it was designed around the quests and stories. When you start, you usually have one ‘Main” quest line to complete to finish the game. In Odyssey, you have three “Minor” main quest lines, each showing you the past, present and future of your character.
Throughout the game I found myself drifting off to do side quests, only to find out that the side quests were all connected to the main stories. Completing a “Level Hub” felt rewarding, and it kept driving me to discover more and more in the ancient world of Greece. Having the ability to practically “Free Climb” absolutely anything is something I’ve desired for a long time. There are a ton of other ways to access areas, or how to plan out taking down a fort full of guards. There is so much to discover in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, that I could drone on for pages about it but I’ll leave it up to the player to discover the rest.
If you’re looking for a game to curb that RPG itch, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey is that game. You are easily looking at a 60+ hour journey through Ancient Greece, living in the mythological world that we all grew up hearing about. This is a giant step towards the open world RPG that the Assassin’s Creed series has been working towards for some time. This has allowed Ubisoft to open up their options as to where they can go, and what they can do in the future worlds they will build. From intense combat on land, to battles at sea, destroying nations and hunting cultists, there is no end to the adventure. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey stands out as the best in the series so far, and as one of the best RPG games this generation.