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Review:- Assassin’s Creed® Odyssey

LIVE THE EPIC ODYSSEY OF A LEGENDARY SPARTAN HERO

Write your own epic odyssey and become a legendary Spartan hero in Assassin’s Creed® Odyssey, an inspiring adventure where you must forge your destiny and define your own path in a world on the brink of tearing itself apart. Influence how history unfolds as you experience a rich and ever-changing world shaped by your decisions.

 

 

Assassins creed odyssey is the 11th game in the long running series developed and published by Ubisoft. The series gained huge popularity receiving great reception with releases of assassin’s creed II and Brotherhood, largely claimed by many to be the pinnacle of the series. However, with each new release more and more fans departed from the series being disappointed again and again.

 

Ubisoft heard the fans disappointment and have decidedly responded by reinventing the game series through the last two titles. The first being Assassins creed: Origins and most recently Assassins creed: Odyssey. The question is, Is odyssey a return to good form? And is it worth the high price point of £49.99

 

The assassins creed staple idea was that you as the player went back in time to control a powerful hero in moderately sized open world based on a particular period of history. By experiencing and reliving the memories of these characters players would traverse through a plot connecting the future and past together. The series always liked to encourage stealth gameplay although the combat mechanics were very simple and abusable making almost every encounter easily completable with little to no stealth. However, with the release of origins Ubisoft have decided to move the game towards being an RPG. Including staple RPG elements like a levelling system, Gear stats & requirements and Character progression just to name a few that have inspired the gameplay within Origins. With reasonably good reception Ubisoft have continued this new theme bringing many of those elements back for Odyssey while expanding on many more.
Odyssey takes place in Greece during the Peloponnesian war (431 BCE to be exact) retelling its own take on the war between Athens and Sparta. Given the grand scale of the theme and setting the map size has also been given an upgrade making it over double the size of the previous within origins, Making Odysseys map the largest in game area seen in the whole series to date. Every corner of the map is beautifully crafted with each of the Greek islands feeling original and well made. The soundtrack takes key instruments and elements from Greek culture allowing it to blend into the surroundings perfectly which brings together the overall setting and theme of the game. Initially the game gives the player two new choices upon starting. The first being to choose between playing a female or a male character. The second being the choice to turn exploration mode on. The choice of character is permanent but a nice addition to see within the new RPG setting. It’s a simple change but helps the player feel as if the story is a more their own rather than playing a set characters events. The second choice however can be toggled off and on via the options at any point although personally after playing through the game with exploration mode on I think it adds so much to the game while simply doing so little. All exploration mode does is it removes most markers like quest objectives from the map and HUD pushing players to investigate the surroundings and gather more information to complete quests. It takes away the mindless cycle of receiving a quest, heading straight for the marker and handing it in. The added layer of mystery and investigation surprisingly adds a lot to the game and thus I think it’s a welcomed addition.

 

 

As mentioned earlier, Odyssey is a character-based RPG meaning that as you progress through the game your character gets stronger and stronger with the addition of more abilities and better gear which all ties in to character level. At its core all the main elements of the game are tied to this system, the questing, the combat and even exploration features. This simultaneously one of the best elements of the game and one of the biggest downfalls.

 

The levelling system is what gives players access to the three skill trees; Hunter which focuses on bows, Warrior which focuses on hand to hand combat and assassin which focuses on stealth. As you level up ability points are awarded to you to be spent in any skill tree meaning you aren’t locked into one choice although by diversifying into many you will have less progress in each. Each provides a unique set of gameplay however after playing through the first few hours players will notice that all have their uses making them all viable but some are objectively stronger than others, especially for the early game areas. The story is very slow to be introduced therefor much of the early game is the player hopping from side quest to side quest levelling and slowly building up an arsenal of better gear and more powerful abilities. While doing this the game slowly introduces some new mechanics like the bounty system, a new ship system and naval combat. The pacing of which these new features are shown and introduced feels good and well timed. Most of the core features are available to you by about 1-2 hours of playtime which is when you are prompted to depart from the first island, this is also where the main story starts to take place and unveil itself to you. However, this is where the first major issues start to show.

 

 

Due to the levelling systems running alongside the main story quests, each of the quests within the game have a suggested level, letting the player know if it’s appropriate to do. The player can usually do quests that are 1 to 2 levels higher but any higher becomes incredibly challenging as the opponents you face along those quests statistically are out of your range in damage and health. This means that throughout the game the player is forced to constantly be increasing their level to keep up with the content of the newer regions. For most of the additional content I believe this would be okay, but it is impossible to keep up with the main story of the game without taking constant breaks from it to grind out multiple side quests that will raise your level to the resume the main story. Not only does this take away from the commitment and investment into the story with constant breaks but it also means that the creative, fun and genuinely interesting story of the game is diluted with simple mundane side quests. Which brings the game to its second biggest problem.

 

 

The side quests are incredibly tedious making the fact that you must do them to keep progressing incredibly frustrating. While I will admit some of them offer a breath of fresh air most of them revolve around you “The hero of Greece, armed with legendary weapons and abilities” running errands and chores for the people. An exception to this critique would be the side quests to hunt the 4 main mythical creatures present within the world which is something that was done previously in Origins against the Egyptian gods. Within odyssey you can face medusa, a minotaur and even a cyclops each with their own original fight and individual themed loot dropping from each.

 

As mentioned previously Odyssey includes an new ship system for both management and sailing. This works by allowing the player to upgrade various components of the ship to help in naval battles. Upgrading weapons, hull, figure heads and even choosing what crew mans the ship. While adventuring through Greece the player can use non-lethal takedowns to recruit enemies to join your ships crew adding them to a roster of people who can be enlisted on your ship, each providing buffs of their own benefiting the ship further. The ship management meshes incredibly well with the main game and never detracts from the main experience, so a player can easily spend hours focusing on upgrading their ship or simply upgrading from time to time throughout the story.

 

 

A surprising new feature within Odyssey is the “bounty” system that could be compared to an altered version of the nemesis system within the “Shadow of Mordor” games. As the player performs certain actions throughout the world their bounty level will increase forcing unique individual enemies known as “Bounty hunters” to try and kill you. These bounty hunters are specially geared enemies often with their own flare. For example, one could be accompanied by a creature as a pet that will aid it in combat while another may use fire as a weapon, with each of the bounty hunters also having unique weaknesses and strengths against things like poison damage, assassination damage & fire damage etc. This closely follows the system in place in Shadow of Mordor allowing the player to engage each unique opponent with a new strategy that they are weak too. While I think this system needs work and some time to become its own it defiantly is a nice addition to the game, but for now at its simple implementation many people will simply compare it to its clear inspirations.

 

 

The final new addition to the game is the narrative system of choice which present through most of the main story and a few moments of the side content. This isn’t a new idea but its not one that I would have expected from an assassins creed game however It surprisingly works well. One of the biggest issues when games provide “choice” is the false illusion of choice, being able to choose something but the end result being exactly the same regardless, a common issue the persisted through many “choice based” titles. However in odyssey the few choices you do get are fairly big ones each having their own effect on the story and eventually your ending. This continues to further the RPG idea of playing your own character and not being shoehorned into playing someone else’s vision or story.

 

 

Assassin’s creed: Odyssey is definitely not a return to form in the sense that the game is so strikingly different from previous titles however that doesn’t take away from the fact that the new RPG formula is a good refreshing way to return to the series. If you’re looking for a game to sink a lot of time into or you’re simply just interested in the setting, theme and elements that go into making odyssey great then this is a good game for you. However, acknowledging the flaws when it comes to its repetitive grind needed to progress is crucial but all in all I don’t think its flaws take away enough of its positives to warrant it being anything a but a fun and interesting start to a potential rebirth of a once beloved series.

 

 

6/10 – A beautiful and hopeful foundation for a new era of the assassin’s creed series.

~Katoe


October 23rd, 2018 by Katoe
This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018 at 8:36 pm and is filed under Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Xbox. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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