The 'Assassin’s Creed' franchise has been on the go for over 10 years now and nothing has quite reached the heights of the 'Ezio Trilogy', although, 'Black Flag' and 'Origins' have come pretty close. However, its new addition, 'Odyssey' has completely changed the franchise from a stealth-action game to a full-blown open world RPG.
'Assassin’s Creed Odyssey' takes place in Ancient Greece during the Peloponnesian war: a decades-long power struggle between Athens and Sparta. This is the perfect setting for an 'Assassin’s Creed' game due to the constant large scale battles that occur on land and sea.
'Odyssey’s' open world is absolutely stunning. The cities and villages feel alive with the constant hustle and bustle of the markets to the hard at work farmers in the field. Athens and the Pantheon are simply, gobsmacking. This is by far the most vibrant world in the series. Obviously, with such a big open world there are some bugs, for example, the game would freeze just so it could load up the textures for the city or town you were in the middle of exploring. These bugs and glitches happened rarely and they definitely did not stop gamers from wanting to explore this astonishing world.
For the first time ever, we are able to choose to either play exclusively as a man or woman. The choice: Alexios or his sister Kassandra. Alexios looked amazing, the facial animations for the key characters were superb but the voice acting for Alexios was very hit or miss. In fact, the voice acting throughout the game could be a bit suspect especially for regular characters such as civilians or side mission givers. The voice acting could vary from really good to woeful.
The protagonists are the most flexible they have ever been. Every conversational decision has a consequence - it could change your chosen hero’s reputation or result in the death of a character.
As you are fighting through the world you will gain notoriety which, leads you to be hunted down by mercenaries. This new system is a welcome addition as it will always keep you on your toes. The more mercs you kill the higher up the ranks you rise and this will lead to you come face to face with legendary warriors.
'Odyssey' contains three different skill trees: Warrior, Hunter and Assassin. You can try to keep it balanced between all three so you may be as lethal with a bow as he was during melee but it really is all down to preference. Different skill moves were also available to unlock. A fan favourite being the Sparta Kick, many gamers could not get enough of booting foot soldiers off cliffs like the famous scene in the classic movie, '300'.
Another enjoyable aspect of the game was naval warfare which, was absolutely fantastic. The combat included a lot of arrow shooting, spear throwing and ramming; when brought together made it incredibly enjoyable. A well-noted addition to the Ship mechanics is that you could recruit almost anyone from a foot-soldier to a General to become a lieutenant on the Adrestia. This system keeps you thinking about your ship even while you were on land fighting through hordes of Athenian and Spartan soldiers.
The classic storyline of the Assassins vs Templars took a back seat during Odyssey as the game is focussed more on Alexios and Kassandra’s family. This is quite refreshing for the franchise as the whole Templar storyline was beginning to become stale. Although some of the main story missions could seem very trivial; the storyline itself is full of twists, turns and memorable side characters. Even after completing the main story there is still so much to discover and do.
For many gamers, this is the best Assassins Creed game since Revelations. Odyssey is the perfect game for long term fans and it is also the perfect time for new fans to hop on as the franchise is going in a completely new direction. The choice of Ancient Greece and the way it looks and feels arguably makes this one of the greatest open worlds of all time. Players of the series will be left with a sense of anticipation as to what Assassins adventure Ubisoft has in store for them next and it generally looks like, many have high hopes for what is to come.