Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is the newest game in Ubisoft’s popular Assassin’s Creed series of video games. Following on from last year’s excellent release of Assassin’s Creed Origins, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey moves away from the Egyptian setting and takes players to the location and setting of ancient Greece which is a first for the series. There’s been lots of Assassin’s Creed video games released since the year of 2007, but does Assassin’s Creed Odyssey offer anything different to the table? Let’s find out in our review of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
When Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was first revealed earlier this year, I was skeptical on whether or not the game would have given players a fresh and new experience. After all, series fatigue started to settle in once Ubisoft decided to release the series on an annual basis. Assassin’s Creed Origins felt fresh last year because there was a two year gap between releases. Not to mention the Egyptian setting was a nice change from the old European cities we saw in Assassin’s Creed Unity and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey at first looked like it was going to be Assassin’s Creed Origins 2.0 because it had a similar visual style and familiar looking gameplay. Well after playing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey for several hours over the past week or so, I’m glad to report that Odyssey is more than just a clone of Origins. The setting in Ancient Greece plus the choice to play as a male or female character is enough to make this one of the more unique entries in the long running series.
The game is set in the year 431 BCE where you control the character of either Alexios (Male) or Kassandra (Female) who is a mercenary for the Athenians or Spartans. You have a choice who you want to serve, and lots of other options open up once you play the game further. Anyway at the start of the game, your main character is in search of their parents.
After around the 10 hour mark or so, the story opens up and the main character finds out more about their family’s history. I won’t give away too many spoilers, but the story was more interesting to me than the one that was featured in last year’s Assassin’s Creed Origins. It’s a personal journey since both Alexios and Kassandra had tough childhoods when they were growing up.
Before I want to talk about the gameplay and features, I want to mention how gorgeous this game looks. I was lucky enough to play this game on an Xbox One X with a 43 inch 4KTV I bought earlier this year, and this is one of the prettiest games I’ve played all year long. The Xbox One X has seen a lot of great looking titles recently with Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Forza Horizon 4 also showing off pretty visuals.
I think the setting of Ancient Greece helps make Assassin’s Creed Odyssey look like one of the best Assassin’s Creed games you will ever play. You will see lovely clean looking blue ocean waters and lots of nice looking natural environments in this entire game. The only thing this game is missing is an option to play at 60fps, because the game only runs at 30fps on consoles. That said, the game is still playable at 30fps and I rarely saw any glitches during my playthrough of the game.
Another thing I noticed about the visuals is the fact that the character models look more lifelike with they did back in Assassin’s Creed Origins. I remember the character models in Origins looked like dummies, but thankfully the facial expressions are more detailed in Odyssey.
In terms of gameplay, Odyssey shares a lot in common with Origins because the mission structure and combat system is similar in both games. It’s still enjoyable fighting in this game because Alexios or Kassandra have access to a variety of different weapons that includes swords, spears, hammers, bows and arrows and more just to name a few.
Due to the ancient Greece setting, the combat system feels meaty and slower paced compared to the other AC games that have been released over the years. This is not a bad thing because this is the style of fighting that warriors in Greece would have fought like thousands of years ago. It feels awesome when you are able to block and parry enemy soldiers plus you can also add special moves such as a Spartan style big boot and other things to your arsenal the more you upgrade your skills and abilities.
Aside from head-on combat, stealth also plays a huge role in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. You can still hide in the bushes and kill enemies without being seen, which is the recommended way you should be playing this game. There is even naval combat sea battles in this game too, and they can be fun if you maintain your ship and crew constantly.
Speaking of diversity, the missions in Odyssey are more varied than in past Assassin’s Creed video games. Sure there are still some fetch quests, but overall most missions feel different and offer something new for you to do for a change.
New to this game is a “Bounty Hunter” feature where certain mercenaries roam the map trying to kill you at all times. You can kill them first, although you will usually have to level up high enough to be able to handle them.
As much as this game is enjoyable for the most part, there are still a few things that prevent it from being a masterpiece. One of the things I dislike about the game are the many progression stoppers that make leveling up sure a chore to do. For example when you finish story quests, the next mission is usually two or more levels higher than your current level forcing you to grind and do as many side quests as possible.
This is different from a game like Marvel’s Spider-Man where you were able to finish the story missions at your own pace. Another annoying thing I encountered is that missions are usually placed on another side of the map meaning I’ll have to walk/swim a long way to activate it.
Bounter hunters and pirate ships can also prevent you from progressing if you want to activate a certain mission. There were many times I couldn’t continue playing the game unless I run way or kill the mercenaries and pirates that were always chasing me. Other times it can be hard to know where you need to go to next because the waypoints aren’t very helpful all the time either.
I have a feeling Ubisoft purposely makes the grind feel long in order to entice people to skip time and pay for the microtransactions. It’s something I noticed in Origins too, although for some reason the grind feels much worse in Odyssey. Hopefully future games aren’t like this or else everyone will want to pay to skip the grind!
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is still an enjoyable game thanks to an intriguing storyline and one of the best graphics the series has ever seen. Sure it feels like Origins 2.0, although there is enough new content for Odyssey to stand out on its own. That being said, leveling up can be boring and some of the side quests get repetitive and boring after a while. Odyssey is still worth playing though if you can get used to its many flaws regarding its progression.