Thursday, 18 October 2018 09:00

Assassin's Creed Odyssey Review

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Edited by: Tiffany Lillie

If you're unfamiliar with the Assassin's Creed series from Ubisoft, suffice to say you've been missing out on something great. The studio returns again this year with the eleventh installment in the action and role-playing style the open-world genre is well known for — and it's not one you should miss.

You get to choose if you want to play as the brother, Alexios, or the sister, Kassandra, of a pair of siblings who were ripped from their families at a young age and left for dead. Luckily, your character was found as a young child and then helped back on their feet. Fast-forward several years to 431 BC and you’re now a grown adult who has begun making a name for yourself doing odd jobs on the island of Kephallonia. Initially, you help the island folk, but under the surface there is a tension brewing. The Peloponnesian War is underway and you are going to play no small part in the conflict between the Spartans and the Athenians.

Back in action

Assassin's Creed Odyssey feels like fantastic entry to the series right from the get-go. You'll get to dive into some combat almost immediately, using a variety of skills to work your way through an initial piece of the story. It's a great indicator of what's to come and the action is both fluid and engaging. Unfortunately, you don't get to keep all of those shiny abilities, but it's a safe environment in which to get accustomed to how your character and skills will handle in future. From there, the spear of Leonidas has been recovered in the present day, and the DNA of your chosen sibling will be used to access the memories surrounding it.

Brick by brick

If there's one thing Assassin's Creed Odyssey offers, it’s choices and customization. Right from the start, you can see there are going to be a lot of choices, from individual pieces of gear, to ability points spread across various trees. There is no one tree that's better; it’s completely up to you how you want to build your character and the style of combat you're aiming for. There's a good mix of quality of life abilities in there too, such as reduced falling damage, to keep things interesting.

Phobos, your sturdy mount, is introduced to you shortly after the game begins, and even he gets some customization options. So, whether you're looking for an authentic-looking horse, or one that stepped straight out of mythology itself, you'll have the chance to explore this with him as the game develops. The horses you get to choose from in the beginning also appear to have personality traits, though whether this equates to actual stats is not made clear.

Some great eye-candy

No, we're not talking scantily-clad maidens in need of rescuing — settle down. Instead, what you will find are some fantastic examples of both level and world design. The combat action is fluid and the environments are beautiful. Ancient Greece has never looked so appealing while also remaining authentic. This particular history of the war might be fictional, but you're drawn right into the environment through detailed textures, realistic sounds, and all of the small things (like discarded objects and the population milling about). There isn't anything that makes you stop and think that it doesn't belong there.

Minor complaints

There are honestly few to no bad things about Assassin's Creed Odyssey, but as we all know, nothing is perfect. While the story is gripping and interesting, some of the facial animations are less than stellar. We're not talking eyes rolling into the backs of heads mid-speech, but characters can seem very wooden and not all of the voice acting and lip syncing adds up. It doesn't really detract from the plot, though, and doesn't break the atmosphere much.

Leave no stone unturned

One of the most interesting things about Assassin's Creed Odyssey is that you can choose your game type. You can have something of a linear format, where you'll be taken from place to place and given objectives in a logical order one after another, or you can choose “exploration mode” where you are free to go about the land as you please. Exploring is certainly rewarding, though it can be a little overwhelming at first when you're released onto a map full of unknown location markers and no clear idea where to head next. Once you're familiar with major quest markers versus, well, everything else, the world is open, inviting, and truly rewarding to amble about in.


The Verdict: Excellent

Odyssey is a fantastic addition to the Assassin's Creed franchise. Plenty of action and adventure is wrapped up in a gripping story, with a plethora of choices for you to make along the way. This particular piece of history makes for a fantastic blend of war and mythology, and Ubisoft have done a brilliant job merging the two. Between the fabulous open-world exploration and the exciting game-altering decisions around every corner, I cannot recommend this title enough.

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Mel Hawthorne

Mel is a London-based copywriter that has been writing about video games for a few years now. After growing up in Vienna, Austria she followed her dreams and moved to London. Said dreams took her through a few different jobs (which included working as a web developer, shopkeeper and translator) before she settled on what she really wanted to do – periodically anger video game fans by expressing her opinions on games through various online publications. When she’s not writing about video games, she’s probably playing them... or walking her dog in a park. Since that depends largely on the English weather, Mel has plenty of time to indulge in her favourite games. These include but are not limited to Ark: Survival Evolved, Skyrim, GTA V, and oddly enough, Amnesia: Memories. She loves Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. She thinks Star Trek is way better than Star Wars and isn’t afraid to admit it – Live long and prosper!