I will preface this review by outright stating that the Assassins Creed games hold a really special place in my Gaming Heart and I have liked every single one of them, Yes, I am including Unity, the blend of action-adventure & history has been something that has consistently captured me and kept me interested for over 10 mainline entries into the franchise. Up until this point Assassins Creed: Syndicate was my favourite – not due to the fact it’s a mindblowing entry to the franchise – simply because I love both the protagonists as well as the mere fact that Victorian London is my favourite point in history.
I say “was my favourite” because:
Assassins Creed: Odyssey is the best Assassins Creed game by a long mile.
In the beginning of Odyssey you are presented with your first choice: Will you play as Alexios or Kassandra? Whilst the story remains the same whichever you choose (the characters simply switch story roles) my inability to make choices without being given previous evidence made this difficult for me. Who shall I play as? Does it matter? Why choose one over the other? In the end, my choice was made for me by my Wife as she started a playthrough as Kassandra which led me to play the main plot as Alexios.
I. Love. Alexios! This is mostly due to the fact that I was able to mould him into the character I wanted him to be, with Odyssey came in-depth conversation & choice mechanics with seemingly minor choices in the game affecting how the ending turns out for Alexios and Family. (Mild spoiler) In the beginning of the game, my Alexios was thrown from a mountain at a young age as a sacrificial tribute to the Gods and had to grow up alone, fending for himself. For me, this reflected how I played my version of Alexios, as he was forever bitter about this so I made him the angriest Greek man that ever lived. Also, he was a slut and no woman or man was out of Alexios’ reach for me.
It’s this development of characters that helps Odyssey stand head and shoulders above the franchises precursors (that one’s for you Assassins Creed fans) as I felt more connected with Alexios and his family than I have done with any Video Game character of recent years. The story had me enthralled from beginning to end with me even extending how long I could stay in the world for by attempting to complete every single sidequest that Greece had to offer because I just didn’t want it to end.
Speaking of side quests – Odyssey is a big, big game. There are so many side quests and events to busy yourself with and whilst this is nothing really new to players of previous Assassins Creed titles, especially players of Origins, but the difference with Odyssey is that the side quests are so much more thought out. Almost every quest in the game has a branching story that introduces you to more characters and fleshes out the protagonist’s adolescence. I read a comparison between the Witcher 3 and Odyssey recently calling Odyssey a worthy successor to the RPG throne of The Witcher and I cannot help but agree with this comparison. The level of detail found in everything that Assassins Creed: Odyssey does can only be likened to CDPROJEKTS absolute masterpiece.
There is also a couple of additional mechanics in the form of the Cult of Kosmos & the Mercenary trees. When thinking of the Mercenary tree – think of a basic version of Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis system with Alexios killing mercenaries who are ranked above him in order to proceed through the ranks himself to become the number one mercenary in Greece. When I started this I didn’t think I would bother with the Mercenary system but as I played and ranked up naturally when being hunted by Mercenaries myself I found that the Blacksmith price reductions associated with mercenary rank were simply too good to pass up.
I won’t talk TOO much about the Cult of Kosmos as they serve as the main antagonists of the game, what I will say is finding the clues associated with the Cult then hunting each member down was addictive and satisfying as hell.
Gameplay wise, Assassins Creed is now fully an Action RPG. This is right down to the inclusion of DPS mechanics on the weapons & armour as you level up to chip away at the various enemies and bosses the game is ready to throw at you. I get that on paper this sounds a little weird to Assassins Creed veterans but trust me it works absolutely perfectly and it doesn’t impact the game’s perfection of stealth.
Early in the game you are presented with 3 skill trees that allow you to upgrade your chosen protagonists abilities, these are broken down into (not the actual terms here just written like this for ease) Archery, Warrior & Stealth. I love the inclusions of skill trees in recent Assassins Creed games because it really allows players to experience the game in the manner that they wish.
With Odyssey, it seems that Ubisoft have really leaned into making the game as fun as possible – whilst there is still the excellent mix of Action, Stealth and History there is the addition of Mythical bosses which are a blast – for example at one point the story of the game has me hunting down Medusa or a Cyclops which were just so much fun to take down. Each of these dropped top tier weapons for the Protagonist to use as well as being an actual main part of the story.
Also – I rode around Greece on a fucking UNICORN.
Assassins Creed: Odyssey is my favourite game of 2018 – not only this but it has cemented its place as my favourite Action RPG since the Witcher 3 hit my PS4 for 300 hours. I had an incredible amount of fun with Odyssey and after my 90-hour playthrough, I still didn’t want it to end.
For this, I give Assassins Creed: Odyssey