PC & console game reviews
IT’S NOT CALLED A SPARTAN KICK – SERIOUSLY.
ODYSSEY SHEDS SO much of what Assassin’s Creed is known for to fully embrace the core concepts of a roleplaying game – and it’s all the better for it. Even though the story doesn’t live up to its initial premise, the additional layer of choice, breathtaking scenery, and colorful sidequests make Odyssey not only the best Assassin’s Creed to date, but one of the best RPGs since The Witcher 3.
Unlike previous Assassin’s Creeds, dialogue options now let me influence major and minor quests – sometimes with horrific consequences. I refused to intervene when a priest wanted to put a plagued family to death, incited more than one rebellion, and even spared a shamed general from what should have been a very satisfying dish of stone-cold revenge. And, yes, I’ve also bumped uglies with quite a few willing characters.
These frequently wonderful side quests are spread out over a world that is almost incomprehensibly large for a singleplayer RPG. Normally size doesn’t matter, but the sheer scale of Odyssey’s ancient Greece is to its benefit, especially because each area feels so distinct and detailed. It’s a vast world that I want to explore, and each zone has a subtle aesthetic that makes it unique, from the arid badlands of Crete to the verdant plains of Arkadia. This isn’t just Ubisoft’s biggest game ever, it’s also it’s most beautiful.
One thing worth mentioning is that Odyssey’s story features some pretty stiff level gaps that have to be overcome by diverting time to complete side quests and other activities. I didn’t mind it, since all of those experiences are fun, but it will be annoying to anyone who wants to just focus on the main quest.
Odyssey retains the same MMO-style leveling system of Origins, meaning enemies who outrank me by even a few levels will be practically invincible no matter how well I fight. That’s still annoying – especially when I want to take on a new story quest but discover its level is beyond mine – but in the case of mercenaries I like how it establishes a food chain. When I saw Exekias the Legend, a level 50 merc, roaming around Delphi with his pet bear, I felt like I bumped into a celebrity.
Fans of older Assassin’s Creed games can rest easy knowing that stealth is still big part of Odyssey. Sneaking into heavily guarded forts and estates is how I’ve spent a good half of my time, but the system remains largely unchanged from previous games. I still use my eagle to mark enemies and various objectives, and there’s still that familiar tension of trying to slink through an enemy camp unseen.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is enormous and beautiful, and it effortlessly ties action, stealth, sailing, faction control systems, mercenaries, and cultist hunting together into one cohesive game that, even after 50 hours, I want to keep playing. Odyssey is a lot more than just another Assassin’s Creed, it’s an RPG of unparalleled scale supplemented by satisfyingly layered and deep progression systems that each play their part in bringing ancient Greece to life.
“HELLO MY NAME IS ALEXIOS AND I WOULD LIKE TO CONNECT ON LINKEDIN!”