Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Review

Posted December 5, 2018 by Jacqueline Juretus in Video Games

Developer: Ubisoft

Publisher: Ubisoft

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4 (reviewed)

Release Date: October 5th, 2018

Assassin’s Creed has had a long history since the release of the first game in 2007. We’ve inhabited various assassins and travelled through places like the Italian Renaissance, Colonial America, Victorian England, and Ancient Egypt.  In this newest installment we go to the beginning in the beautiful Ancient Greece where our odyssey unfolds.

You start off outside the Animus (the machine which allows you to inhabit certain people in the past) with Layla and choose whether to play as Alexios or Kassandra, your difficulty level, etc.  This is a clever way of making gameplay mechanics make sense with the story.  As either Alexios or Kassandra, you start on the island of Kephallonia doing small jobs as a misthios (mercenary) until a strange visitor comes and starts you on your greater journey.

Like in past games of the series you can run, climb, ride, or sail through an expansive map.  You choose your horse, Phobos, early on and can update him with new skins through the Ubisoft Club or at the blacksmith.  The map is fairly decent at showing where missions, blacksmiths, and points of interests are.  New to this story is the incorporation of a nemesis system with competing mercenaries and later another mysterious enemy group that you can find clues, track down, and assassinate.

Odyssey goes all in with the RPG attributes, constantly giving you choices on how you do missions and what you say to other characters.  These choices do a lot in shaping the story and world around you.  Even side missions that don’t seem to matter much at the time can have consequences.  It is good to do a lot of side missions as just following the story missions can lead to having to grind. Also, most side missions add to the overall world building and can be highly interesting.  Missions can be acquired from other characters or the message boards in town.

The combat has been changed up from past games, but is very smooth for the most part once you get the hang of it.  The only cumbersome parts of combat can be changing between arrow types or weapons.  Otherwise the controls are fairly familiar and work well.  Ship battles are a lot of fun as well and simple to figure out.  You can upgrade your ship’s arrows, ramming power, cosmetics, and such through the menu.  While exploring or on a mission, you can use your eagle, Ikaros to tag enemies and loot.  Some forts and camps you find, you can loot and burn supplies to shift that nation’s power in the ongoing war between Athens and Sparta.  Once a nation’s power is weakened enough, you can engage in a major battle to either defend or overpower the nation.

The leveling up and ability system has been streamlined from past games for the better.  Upgrading your armor and weapons have also been streamlined as you can get everything from missions or the blacksmith.  No longer do you have to go to the tailor, stables, ship maester, etc as everything is either at the blacksmith or in the menu.  The outfits and armor have been combined into a single unit, which makes sense.  As expected, your armor and weapons generally get cooler as you level up (side missions and exploration can turn up some unique things in this regard).  There is now an engraving option at the blacksmith for adding certain attributes to both your weapons and armor, such as more assassination damage or warrior damage.  Fans of the animal taming ability should be happy as it’s a little easier to tame animals and they seem slightly more durable.  Unfortunately, you still can not pet or interact with the animals beyond taming certain ones and riding your horse.

The world of Ancient Greece is absolutely beautiful and teeming with life.  Dogs and pigs run around cities and there is nothing like watching a whale breaching next to your ship.  The vistas from synchronization points are breathtaking and can make for some nice photos.  Your character and the characters you meet are each unique and interesting, and brought to life with great voice acting.  Another nice thing for LGBTQ players is that the game is LGBTQ friendly as your character can have gay or lesbian moments if you so choose.  As always, the musical score is fantastic.

The biggest downsides of Odyssey are the long load times, some glitches, and occasional bad camera (especially in caves).  Sometimes freezing or stuttering can occur and result in a death. Luckily, this does not happen very often at all.

Some other things to note are the photomode and tie-ins.  Photomode is decent, though a recent patch has limited the camera movement a bit while expanding on some editing options.  Ubisoft does have agreements with certain products, like Totino’s Pizza Rolls, that give you codes for boosts and weapons.  They are not super great, but are fun enough that it’s nice if you like those items.

Overall, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a must buy and Game of the Year contender.  It should be quite enjoyable for both fans of the series, and new people looking to jump in.

About the Author

Jacqueline Juretus