Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is Ubisoft’s first attempt for the franchise as a live-service title. For many, it was a shock when at 2018’s E3 Ubisoft announced their plans for the series. Assassin’s Creed for players has always been a stealth-action game set in major historical timelines.
Assassin’s Creed games have always been about sneaking and stabbing high profile historical personalities. Along with some navel combat and very light emphasis on RPG-ish elements. Atleast that was until 2017’s Assassin’s Creed Origins.
Assassin’s Creed Origins was a massive departure from what the franchise had established itself as. With Assassin’s Creed Origins Ubisoft went full RPG on Assassin’s Creed. This was a risky move from their end but to their fortune, Assassin’s Creed Origins turned out to be a massive success. And thus we have Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
What Is Assassin’s Creed Odyssey?
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is an action role-playing game (RPG) from Ubisoft developed by Ubisoft Quebec. It is the series’ eleventh major installment and a sequel to 2017’s Assassin’s Creed Origins. The game is released on all major platforms including the PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch (Japan only).
The plot of the game is set in the year 431 BC, during the
Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens. And for the first time in the history of Assassin’s Creed, players get to control either a male or female protagonist. And this is choice stays for the full run-time of the game. Not only this, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey also gives players dialogue choices. These choices are what that shape-up one’s Odyssey as every choice has its consequences that either actively or passively affect the world.
What To Look Forward To While Playing Your Odyssey?
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a fully fleshed-out role-playing game complete with dialogue options and leveled loot and character progression. Everything in Odyssey be it the areas of the map or the loot or the missions is gated by a level-system. This at times can get a bit overwhelming, more so if one is coming fresh to the series. But, after indulging a couple of hours it all becomes clear.
It starts like any typical western RPG, you choose your character, make your way through about an hour of steady flow of missions awarding you decent loot. That is until you are hit by level gating of missions. Then you grind for hours and hours long to over-power your build only to level gated again after a couple of main quests.
Even though the grind can get repetitive, we can assure that the quality of side content is at par with the main quest-line if not better at times. These quests not only award you with those sweet-sweet experience but also loot comprising of weapons or armor pieces.
For players who have played Assassin’s Creed Origins, its an almost similar experience with a few changes done to boost the RPG-factor of the game. If you liked Origins you will love Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, but if you din’t like it then most probably you will not be bothered by Assassin’s Creed Odyssey as well.
What About Those MTXs?
Unfortunately, we have reached such a point in time where even if a game is completely single-player only and is priced to a full 60$, it still will have those stupid microtrasactions. And yes, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is no exception. Though, all the stuff in the “Helix Store”(AC Odyssey’s in-game Store) can be obtained via in-game live activities.
Though you’ll need to be super lucky person to acquire them via such activities. And if you are planning to assemble a specific legendary armor set, well good luck with that. Because, you may need to sink in thousands of hours just to complete one set. We will be explaining more of this after we sum-up our experiences with the game.
Our Time Playing The Game. Did We Like It?
After about 80 hours of grinding and completing all the main quests. Followed by uncovering each and every corner of the map. And finishing about ninety percent of all the side quests, we can say that the game is indeed good albeit some shortcomings here and there.
How Does The Game Play?
First things first, is the game too much grindy? Well to an extent it is. But, if you are like us and do enjoy a handful of side activities in-between the main quests then most probably you won’t ever feel the grind. One thing is to be noted though, that is most of the side activities mostly involve either infiltrating a camp, killing certain mercenary or exploring any given region. This can get repetitive, specially during the end of the game.
Are You Up For It Misthios?
One of the best mention-able feature of the game is the Mercenary system. Here you get to enter a tier in the mercenary ranks upon defeating a set of mercenaries that roam the world. Each of these mercenaries drop their specific loot, be a weapon or armor piece. Also these mercenaries provide a end game content as these are randomly generated and auto scaled to your level after you cross the tier threshold.
Is It A Boat?
Another interesting aspect of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey that kept us going was the navel combat and exploration. Though the exploration bit is not as interesting as one might expect after Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag. But the combat is very much reminiscent of Black flag. And similar to that game, you are free to upgrade your ship to your leisure.
Also there is the option to customize your ship “Adrestia” via figureheads, ship designs and crew themes. An added feature to the navel system is recruiting lieutenants that give some passive perks to your ship such as added damage or increased rowing speed. You can recruit a lieutenants by subduing targets or doing passive damage to them such as spartan kicking them or blasting them away using ring of chaos ability.
Are You An Assassin? Or A Hunter? Or A Warrior?
Now what will an role-playing game be without skill trees. And so Odyssey too has a skill tree that at first may seem pretty similar to that of Origins. But there are some massive differences to it from Origins. One of the most important aspect of the skills this time around is that most of the skills are now active ones, unlike the passive skills in origins. Let me explain.
What Are These skills?
Odyssey has its skill tree divided in three parts, i.e. Hunter, Warrior and Assassin. The hunter skill tree focuses on the ranged damage i.e. the damage dealt using your bow and arrows. The warrior skill tree focuses on the melee damage dealt. And lastly the assassin skill tree focuses on the stealth damage dealt by you.
Now these skills are both passive as well as active. Passive skills include added armor, health or melee damage or an overpower ability that deals massive damage at the cost of two or more adrenaline bars. Now for the active skills, well these are special skills that you can use on the fly.
One such skill is the Spartan kick ability that can be used to either knock-off enemies from a height dealing a ton of damage. It can also be used to knock enemies unconscious to recruit them as lieutenants. And if not for these and you turn out to be like us then, you might just use it to satisfy your “This.Is.Sparta” thirst by doing this. Also these skills are not limited to the spartan kick. There are similarly awesome skills like it in all the play-styles. One of our personal favorites is the “Battle Cry of Ares” ability that makes your character invincible for a short period of time and increases your damage dealt exponentially.
What About The Plot?
As we played through the game the family plot-line really grew on us. The story starts by showing us a glimpse into the past of your character that you choose. Alexios and Kassandra both have almost identical plot and the only possible change you may notice is the sex. Although critics really praised the voice acting of Kassandra over Alexios, still we chose Alexios for our playthrough. Because, why not.
We will not want to spoil any bit of the story here but, it is a pretty good family revenge tale with some really good unexpected twists round the corner. Along with the family tale there are two more story arcs including a “Cult of Kosmos” quest line and the “Modern” quest line.
All these quest lines do have multiple endings that are shaped according to the immediate as well as past choices made throughout the story. These do add some replayability to the game. Now, you might be knowing that Ubisoft has confirmed that Kassasndra is the canon character to the plot. But, as to what we found out through our session playing with Alexios, it doesn’t change much. It ultimately is up-to your personal preference. Also we would like to confirm that the “romance” options in Odyssey are pretty great but, they at times may feel out-of-place and unnecessary.
Is The Live-Service Model Justified?
As we know, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is the first live-service Assassin’s Creed game, i.e. it is going to be supplemented by regular content updates. These content are mostly end-game stuff like legendary ship battles, mercenaries and other high level stuff. These activities generally provide you with legendary and epic gear such as weapons, armor pieces and ship cosmetics. Also, the weekly and daily quests on completion reward you with “Orichalcum”.
These are the currency for players to get the exclusive “Helix Store” rewards in-game without spending any real world money. But, there’s a massive drawback to this system that may make some players (not us though) to shell out the extra cash. The thing is you get only one fixed legendary weapon or armor piece every week. This legendary loot is shuffled every week, and thus if you desire to get it you’ll need to grind your way through the weekly and daily quests within that time. Also, the amount of Orichalcum ore you receive is very small. We upon grinding for two whole weeks were able get one of the legendaries.
Another way to spend your hard earned Orichalcum is to buy the Olympian gift from “Sargon” (The generous vendor). These gifts contain random items from the helix store. Now here’s the catch, if you wish to say assemble a legendary armor set, say the Hades set. Then you”ll need five of the pieces of the armor to do so.
And since the gifts are random, there’s a fairly huge chance that you wont be able gather all the five pieces even after say, a thousand Olympic gifts. Though its not a major concern, but it sure did made us feel sad knowing that the practically possible way to get the “Pegasus” mount and the “Hades armor set” is through the sweet-sweet MICROTRANSACTIONS.
Not all things about the live-service model for Assassin’s Creed is bad though. Ubisoft has been very generous to players of the game with content to play. Alongside the weekly and daily quests, Ubisoft has been releasing small (about an hour-long) quests called “Tales of Greece”. These are short quest-lines that are spread throughout the map of Greece giving an insight to some known and unknown interesting characters in the lore of Odyssey.
Overall, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s regular updates and quality side quests do give positive vibe going forward for the series. But, the inclusion of microtransactions did ruin the experience a little. All-in-all Assassin’s Creed Odyssey did kept us going for months and we would guess it should do the same to you.
What Is Our Final Verdict?
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is ambitious, we’ll give it that. The open-world map of Greece at first, may seem overwhelming but, as you progress through the game and unlock the wonders of the world, you begin to like it. The combat style that is similar to Origins is just the best the series has ever had. Graphically it is one of 2018’s best looking open-world game. The abundance of quality content that kept us going-on for hours and hours long is just phenomenal.
Although the live-service model brings some bad aspects of today’s gaming generation. Still, the delivery of decent quality quests on a regular basis in the form of “The Tales of Greece” is very well appreciated.
Now, since the plot is set years before the establishment of the Assassins Brotherhood, there obviously is no “Assassin” element here. But, we believe Assassin’s Creed as a series not only about the titular assassins, it also is about the world the series has been centered around.
We found Odyssey to be fairly engaging as well as interesting enough. Is it something of a masterpiece like “The Witcher 3” or “God of War”? Probably no. But, it sure has its own strengths. Is it better than Assassin’s Creed Origins? Well, according to us the story and characters in Origins were much better than those in Odyssey. Not to say that the same are in any way bad in Odyssey. But, the gameplay in Odyssey is far superior to that in Origins, with the inclusion of a robust skill system that lets you switch play-styles on the fly.
To sum up we’d say, we loved Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Hence, we also included it in our list of “Top 5 Best Games Of 2018 To Play In 2019.” It might not be the best Assassin’s Creed ever but, it sure is a great action-RPG.
What do you think about Assassin’s Creed Odyssey? Did you like the RPG elements of the game and do you think it fits good in the series? Tell us in the comments below.