So I started playing AC Odyssey just before new years and have put in about 10 hours so I thought I’d put out my first thoughts in case you’re thinking about picking it up.
I am a fan of the Assassin’s Creed series, so I was looking to play this for a while. I’ve played 3 others (ACIII, Syndicate, and Origins – only finished III), so I’ll compare to them a bit. I will confess that I play many, if not most, games on easy/story mode. I don’t play games for a challenge – I play for a story and to have fun. When I want a challenge, I’ll buy Dark Souls (yes I plan on playing it, it just scares me).
I liked the update to the franchise that Origins brought, but I’m iffy on the more free-floating combat system. The way the combat worked prior to Origins was similar to the Arkham-style, snap-to combat (also seen in last year’s Spider-Man). Part of me likes that style better (because I’m what the kids call “bad at games”), but the new system has its moments. I like the new “special” moves you can assign to the face buttons because they add to the creativity that each player can bring (so far I’ve been using the Spartan Kick and the Shield Break upgrades which are very useful). One change from Origins to Odyssey is the only one “type” of bow. In Origins, there were five types of bows which each have different advantages – my favorite was the predator bow which functions as the games sniper bow. There is an upgrade in Odyssey where you can use that same predator function, but you can only use it 4 times before you need more adrenalin (you need adrenalin to use each “special move” upgrade). Just one little annoyance since I like using the bow).
One big reason I wanted to play this game, other than it being another AC game, is that I spent 2 semesters in college (and quite a bit of time in high school) studying classical mythology so the broader world this game is set in was really appealing to me. The main character (you can choose whether you play as Alexios or Kassandra – I chose Kassandra) is a descendent of Leonidas (the guy Gerard Butler played in 300) and there are famous locations like Odysseus’ home in Ithaca and the Oracle at Delphi (I’m still early in the game so I don’t know all of them). The world is very immersive which really helps plant you in ancient Greece.
Part of the marketing surrounding the game’s release was the prevalence of sailing between the Greek Isles – so far, I haven’t found this annoying; each area so far has had so much to do so that I didn’t feel like I wasted time sailing to it. This is my type of open world game – where there I a lot to do, but not too much (looking at you, RDR2).
The biggest change to this game in comparison to the prior installments in the franchise is the dialogue options. This includes choosing whether or not to take a certain side quest, and these decisions can affect options in the future. One example [LIGHT SPOILERS FOR A SIDE QUEST] is that early in the game, you have a side quest where you have to make a decision whether to free or let die a family infected with a plague. If you decide to free them, later on when you come back to the island the plague has spread. If you let them die, it will be mentioned by another character in the main quest [END SPOILERS]. Other dialogue options involve threatening, convincing, seducing, etc. They again let the player choose the personality of their character in a way the previous games didn’t.
I would definitely recommend playing this game if you’re a fan of open world RPGs. If you’re a fan of classic Assassin’s Creed games and missed Origins, buy with caution; I’ve heard feedback from other players that the new combat system and the open world and RPG additions chance things too much. So be warned, but it’s a really good game.
Also it really threw me for a loop that Leonidas doesn’t have a Scottish accent.
I’m going to be taking a break from Odyssey and putting in Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor for the first time, so my first thoughts on that will be coming this week. I’ll be posting my review of Horizon: Zero Dawn this week as well (I absolutely love this game).
Let me know what you think! I like where this blog is going so far, and I hope you do too.