as­sas­sin’s creed odyssey

GREECE IS THE TIME, IS THE PLACE, IS THE MO­TION

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - CONTENTS -

T wo years ago, Ubisoft’s prize pony looked ready to be put out to pas­ture for good. The re­lent­less an­nual ca­dence of its As­sas­sin’s Creed series left gamers with lit­tle won­der for each new it­er­a­tion. But Ori­gins changed all that, cut­ting away the series’ dead wood and leav­ing a mus­cu­lar, re­vi­tal­ized his­tor­i­cal RPG in its place. And some­how, Odyssey looks set to achieve a sim­i­larly im­pres­sive shakeup just a year later.

That’s what hav­ing a stu­dio in ev­ery ma­jor city from Montreal to Manch­ester can do, we sup­pose. Any­way… as pre-E3 leaks cor­rectly iden­ti­fied, the next AC is set in An­cient Greece, mak­ing it the ear­li­est on the series’ his­tor­i­cal time­line. The or­der of assassins hasn’t even been es­tab­lished at this point, although Per­sian ruler Dar­ius, whose reign pre­ceded the events of Odyssey, was him­self an as­sas­sin so skull­dug­gery is still afoot. Per­haps Odyssey will delve deeper still into the for­ma­tion of the or­der, or use its po­si­tion on the time­line to ex­er­cise a bit of cre­ative free­dom.

The world map dwarfs ev­ery­thing that came be­fore it, chart­ing a huge chunk of the Mediter­ranean ar­chi­pel­ago. And although a lot of that map is nec­es­sar­ily water, there’s pur­pose and mean­ing to the scale. Ships re­turn as a point of em­pha­sis, re­call­ing the glory days of Black Flag as you re­cruit sailors and take part in naval en­gage­ments. Mean­while on dry land, enor­mous bat­tles with up to 300 (co­in­ci­dence?) com­bat­ants can break out, and the en­tire re­gion is sub­ject to a power sys­tem. With Sparta and Athens vy­ing for supremacy, ei­ther side can con­trol any one of the 27 to­tal states.

Among many other over­hauls in­clud­ing ro­man­ca­ble char­ac­ters, male and fe­male pro­tag­o­nists, and a deeper in­ven­tory and loot sys­tem, is the com­bat re­work. It’s now about fill­ing up an adrenaline me­ter by land­ing reg­u­lar at­tacks in re­ac­tion to your en­e­mies’ moves—no rev­o­lu­tion there yet—and then un­leash­ing spe­cific moves like the Spar­tan Kick or Shield Grab, which are more con­tex­tual. This and many more changes are wrought on an al­ready win­ning for­mula, and we reckon they’ll pay off.

BE­LOW Odyssey looks like an ex­cit­ing spin on the usual mas­sive-but­dor­mant open world.

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