assassin’s creed odyssey
GREECE IS THE TIME, IS THE PLACE, IS THE MOTION
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.