Overdue Review: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Credit: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Screenshot by me. As you walk slowly in a field, your character will hold their hand out to feel the plants. A small touch many may play this game, and never know.

Ubisoft’s golden child, Assassin’s Creed, takes another bold merge into a lane it created with the outstanding AC: Origins. 2018’s Odyssey follows the modern day Layla Hassan, now living the memories of a mercenary in ancient Greece. The game is more of an RPG than ever before, and perhaps better as well. An intriguing story, stunning visuals and magnificent gameplay. Everything about Odyssey comes together to make an astounding, top-shelf experience.

I played this game for over sixty hours, enjoying the entire journey. I thought Origins was long for an AC game at over forty hours, but Odyssey fleshes out the RPG elements of the game such as exploration, story based on choices and skill trees with lots of options. All I wanted at the end of Origins was more, which is exactly what I got here. Lots more. The impact of choices can have far-reaching outcomes, and you can make some powerful choices. There are multiple endings, and with my decisions I received the coveted, “best ending.”

The action in Odyssey is really what keeps me playing the game, above all else. The balance is so divine. I prefer fast, short range weapons such as the dagger or sword, but every weapon class is at least semi-worthy, even if as a secondary weapon for those situations that are tougher with your weapon of choice. The bow is extremely powerful when you put power into it, with results that can devastate your opponents. The unlockable Assassin abilities give you greater stealth edge than any hidden blade ever could. There are a lot of ways events can unfold just based on how you decide to play.

Credit: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Game clip by me. Taking out a few guards before surprising my real target.

One thing I always play Assassin’s Creed for is their stories. I find the universe fascinating. The way it intertwines with real history is super cool to me. It makes everything feel more human, or more real. Even when the plot gets a bit ridiculous. But as a long time fan, the outlandish fantasy stuff is where these tales shine. I hate to ruin anything about this game because I had such a fantastic time uncovering it all. There are some wild boss battles that will truly test you; where victory is glorious. My last game session, between everything that happened at the end, left me shook.

Audio and visual design is stellar. The world map is massive, with giant chunks I have yet to explore. It is richly detailed, with beautiful graphical qualities. I love looking through shallow waters at the world below, the water so clear and blue. The way waves move in deeper waters, or come into shore in waves. Lighting is wonderful, I like the different moods set by different times of day, and weather. Voice acting delivers the game very effectively. I think all the major characters were well acted, and even a lot of the minor roles too.

Side quests are handled in a genius way. Often helping out areas yields much greater rewards than the promised loot. People end up trusting you with information. The detective work of uncovering cultists is something unlike I have ever seen in an Assassin’s Creed game. They weave it into the game with grace. It would be worthwhile to play the side missions enough for the gameplay, or even the story elements, but the way they can help you is masterful game making. It rarely feels like I’m being forced to do something I don’t want to just for experience points, loot, or what-have-you. I eagerly greet most quests.

Odyssey feels like a special game. I don’t know if it is something about it, or everything about it. The new direction the series is going is so exciting, as I am currently playing through the entire series again. (Just out of order.) I played Odyssey for nine hours one Saturday. That’s not including breaks. Nine hours just playing it in one day. I loved this game that much. In fact, I was mad I got tired at the end, and had to go to sleep. Somehow my Xbox didn’t overheat, my Series X did a perfect job running this game. After an update the game runs at 60 FPS.

Credit: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Screenshot by me. How right you are, Kassandra.

Of the games in the series I have played so far, Odyssey may be objectively the best. I’ve noticed a lot of Assassin’s Creed fans have sentimental favorites, and I’m no different. I love Black Flag and Origins. But if you had to rank them all, Odyssey may come out on top. It is a very bold game, being all that it is, especially for an antiquated series like Assassin’s Creed. Ubisoft was clearly understanding that the series had to evolve to keep up with modern games. They didn’t just keep up, they outpaced most. I’ve played some sixty hour RPGs lately, all of them required heavy amounts of somewhat dull grinding. But not Odyssey.

If I decide to keep playing Odyssey, I’ll have a lot to do. There are still a lot of cultists to uncover, including their illusive leader. However, seeing as how I already own Valhalla, the next game in the series’ progression, I may also just move onto that next. I still am playing the Ezio Collection on my Switch, and I have two more slightly older Assassin’s Creed games downloaded and waiting on my Xbox, Unity and Syndicate. I don’t think I have an addiction, I can stop playing Assassin’s Creed whenever I want.

You don’t need to be an AC addict like me to love Odyssey. I would recommend this game to anyone, and everyone. Not all games I review have me this geeked to talk about them. Sometimes words come easier than others. I can think of words for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey as long as I have positive ones. Gorgeous, gigantic open world, good story and excellent gameplay. I can’t wait to see what else is in store with the series continuation. There have been storms of rumors regarding the series lately, but I will wait to hear directly from Ubisoft before I make any judgements. For now, just love Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.

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