War, legends and classics: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

As the developing team behind one of the most played franchises in the last decade, Ubisoft seemed to approach their award-winning Assassin’s Creed series with the perspective that ‘bigger is better’ in recent years. And although that’s run them into some trouble with previous titles, this mindset may have been just what was needed for the breath-taking new release Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

Released earlier this month on 5 October, Ubisoft reported that Odyssey had ‘the franchise’s best launch-week performance of this console generation’, and all it takes is a few hours of gameplay to understand why. Set in the mythological and vibrant world of Ancient Greece, featuring rolling hills, rocky mountains, sun-kissed islands and a vast ocean for you to explore, you’ll find yourself instantly drawn into the epic tale of either Kassandra or her brother, Alexios.

In this traditional-style RPG, not only are the picturesque setting and gripping storyline fit for a classical hero, but there’s also enough combat variety to satisfy all kinds of action. This game challenges you with various enemies throughout, from brutes and wild beasts to great political figures and chilling monsters straight out of ancient legends. It isn’t long before you begin on your quest as a revengeful assassin, mastering your skills to become the greatest hunter, warrior and thief in a period of intellectual prowess and extraordinary traditions.

From the off, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has a warmth that the preceding title Origins was lacking. There’s something particularly enchanting about Kassandra, one of two playable protagonists, who happens to be Ubisoft’s confirmed ‘canon’ character of the game. Her journey is inspired by stories of the Assassin Creed novels. Sharp, empathetic, witty and willful, several critics have claimed she’s perhaps the best assassin in the franchise so far, dominating the field with her upbeat personality and emotional intellect – the shortfalls of prior, hyper-masculine characters.

The game is also the first in the series to give an option to who you’d like to play as – if Kassandra isn’t to your liking, you can take the role of Alexios, who is just as diligent as his female counterpart. In fact, player choice within this game goes to extents never before seen in the franchise, with additions of various dialogue options, mission solutions and role playing possibilities to craft an individual experience best suited to your style. There’s even opportunities to flirt, if it takes your fancy – although a full-blown romance unfortunately appears to be off the cards.

However, be warned – as usual with player choice comes the possibility of fatal consequences. With reportedly various endings to Odyssey, you’ll have to make your decisions wisely. If this sort of thing doesn’t keep you engaged in a game, and you’re playing for a great experience rather than the stress of narrative development then there’s also no need to worry – Ubisoft has you covered. Odyssey’s insane visuals matched with it’s in-depth content on the history and culture of ancient Greece invites you to a world that, honestly, is begging for you to explore and learn from.

Further content for the game will be available in December, with the release of the first part of the episodic ‘Legacy of the First Blade’ DLC – but with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey being so beautiful, intricate and captivating on release, I’m sure we’ll be satisfied until then.

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April 2021
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