Assassin's Creed Odyssey
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Assassin's Creed Odyssey is the twentieth game in its series. It is the earliest game in the Assassin's Creed universe chronology and the prequel to Assassin's Creed Origins.
The events of Assassin's Creed Odyssey's take place in the Classical Era of Ancient Greece, in 431 BC, before the Brotherhood of Assassins was even formed. The plot follows a fictionalized story of the Peloponnesian War between city-states of Sparta and Athens that left Greece devastated. The player can choose to control either a male (named Alexios) or female (named Kassandra) protagonist, both of them being descendants of the famous Spartan king Leonidas. The player enters the plot as a mercenary and can side with either Athens or its rival Sparta. There's also the frame story set in the contemporary age. Its protagonist is Layla Hassan, who was also the main character in the frame story of Assassin's Creed Origins.
Unlike most earlier installments of Assassin's Creed, which put the emphasis solely on action, Odyssey has a strong role-playing element in it. Dialogue options and the non-linear plot allow the player to reach several alternate endings. The game also has a reputation system and multiple options for romancing, including same-sex romances. The combat system is similar to that in Origins with the addition of new skills. The game also reintroduces naval battles.
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Assassin's Creed Odyssey reviews and comments
My biggest gripe with this game, hands down, is the level scaling. It was bafflingly annoying to hit level 55 by the end of the game and then only be able to find enemies level 51 at the lowest with scaling turned down. At what point in this game's development did the leveling system actually get added, I wonder? The fact that there's scaling at all tells me that it might have not been a feature from the get-go. Being able to wreck low level enemies is a quintessential and magnificent part of the RPG experience. If they didn't want this to happen, they shouldn't have included as many RPG elements. This bugged the hell out of me. I waited to do the arena side quest until the end of the game and that was massively fun to just mow through low level enemies in a couple hits.
Secondly, I'm not a huge fan of the map size. It's unwieldy to get around at times. We've seen so many games go for bigger and bigger maps, but this didn't feel to be one that actually benefitted from it. Sure there's plenty of forts to raid but when they feel a bit copy/pasted by hour 30, why are they in there so frequently? I much prefer smaller map sizes packed with things to do.
I don't know that I ever felt like Assassin's Creed Odyssey really respected my time. There are so many parts of this game that are billed as "main quest" that feel like they should be relegated to the side quest. Namely, the cultist hunt. So many of these targets are locked behind mundane side quest structure that by the end of the game I was spamming the skip button through dialogue just to get it over with. I spent about 60 hours playing this game and a ridiculous amount at the end was spent just going from point A to point B to side quest, kill a cultist, and move on. I thought it was a good idea to set up each cultist a little bit, give them backstory, but it was a little overwhelming at some point.
Finally, this game has very low player reactivity. The actions I took during the game seemed almost entirely unreferenced. I remember one conversation I had in the game where Kassandra and Barnabas were talking about the myth of the minotaur. Kassandra acted as though she'd never heard the myth before. This was about ten hours of play time after she'd killed the minotaur herself. It drives me crazy when this stuff happens in games because it's super simple (and cheaper) for devs to just not include it in the game at all.
All in all, Assassin's Creed Odyssey feels incredibly rushed to the point that it's kind of impressive that the resulting game is as good as it is. Animations are stiff and frequently break (hilariously, I might add). Quest lines feel like the arcs end just as they get started. The naval mechanics seem significantly more dumbed down than in Black Flag too. I enjoyed my time with Odyssey quite a bit. There was a good ten hours when the game play loop hadn't became stale yet that I just ran around from camp to camp to take everyone out. This is just a game that overstays its welcome and should be shorter than it is.
p.s. does anybody find it weird that the present day story is most closely tied to the shortest main quest?
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I played a bit of Origins before, but it was full of little things that kept interrupting the overall flow of the game, so even one of my favorite settings (ancient Egypt) didn't make it for me. But Odyssey is basiclly Origins streamlined.
If I had to sum up the game's feel in a couple of words, those would be: quick and comfortable. Everything just felt "right" to me, and that's neither something I experience often these days, nor did I expected it from a Ubisoft game. All the systems just work well together, which makes playing the game very enjoyable.
The story can be hit or miss at times, but I would say that it was good overall, and at times I was rushing through some of the world just to get to the next story piece. There are a ton of things to do in Odyssey, many characters to follow and interact with, a lot of mysteries to discover and every part of that felt great!
Don't know how you did it, Ubisoft, but my hat is off to you. Thank you for 60+ hours of some damn good gameplay and amazing visual experience, can't wait for the Atlantis DLC!