Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
★★★★☆ Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is an enormous, meandering journey through ancient Greece as the struggle between Sparta and Athens begins to reshape the Greek world. It will consistently shock you with its breadth and depth: the sea hides sunken ruins, the detail of temple paintings is impeccable, and authentically clothed characters wander enormous cities, chatting in Greek.
The writers and designers enjoy artistic licence with history. Recognisable figures such as an amusingly insufferable Socrates make appearances alongside mythological figures. Odyssey’s writing is excellent, skilfully navigating humour and emotion, though it would benefit the game if it trusted this writing more instead of throwing combat into situations that don’t really need it. Choices and decisions play a prominent role. Sailing around the Aegean Sea is a highlight, making travelling to an objective feel as if you’re the hero of an epic poem.
Odyssey isn’t ideal for people who like to speed through a story; after 50 hours, the end is still nowhere in sight. You can buy time-saver packs to speed things up, but it sometimes feels as if the game is deliberately slowing your progress – a bit of selfsabotage in an otherwise excellent game.
This is not a direct re-creation of ancient Greece, but rather an entertaining world of Ubisoft’s creation. You get to stride through it as a capable and instantly likable character.
Not everything Odyssey attempts is successful, and it greedily consumes your time, but I’ve relished the many hours I’ve spent with it.