“Another year, another Assassin’s Creed game.” Last year, Assassin’s Creed Origins has brought us to the ancient land of Egypt and this time, we move to the Ancient Greece where the legendary warriors of Sparta still lives and fights. For some people, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey looks more like an “Assassin’s Creed Origins 2.0.” But that said, it is still our first impression. What most importance is: how good is this game? So with no further ado, let’s check out Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Review!
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is the eleventh major installment of the Assassin’s Creed series, excluding all the side games like Assassin’s Creed Chronicles or Assassin’s Creed Revelation. Before its showcase at E3 2018, the game was already “spoiled” beforehand on May 2018 when the website Jeuxvideo received a keychain featuring the name “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.” Then in Electronic Entertainment Expo 2018, Ubisoft officially announced the game, continued by an official presentation at E3 2018. The game is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in the form of cloud-based title (however, it has been only confirmed for Japan).
Unlike any previous Assassin’s Creed games, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey took a huge move by changing the game into a full-blown RPG game with proper RPG elements like questings, dialogue choices, leveling and skill trees, and gear system. This put a big question mark among fans since for many people; Assassin’s Creed has always been a stealth game. And with such a drastic change, they are afraid that this game will lose its core essence, it will no longer deserve the name “Assassin’s Creed.” On the other hand, many others show quite a great interest in this change of direction, claiming that it is necessary for this 10-year-old franchise.
Personally, we do not really bother about this direction change, rather, we are more interested in seeing whether the game will come out as great as it were told. And so, let’s the review begin!
If there is any word to say about Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s world, we have to say: it is gorgeous! It may even be the best Assassin’s Creed open-world we have seen so far. Every time we unlock the “tower”, we get to enjoy the beautiful environment around us and oh boy does it look stunning. Odyssey takes place in the ancient Greece where many, many islands reside featuring lots of cool environmental types.
Of course as you play the game, you will see lots of props and buildings identical to the previous game Origins. This is because Odyssey took lots of resources from the Origins to build up its own world. So yeah, it is partly why we tend to see Odyssey as “Origins 1.5.” But it understandable since Odyssey only has 1 year of development; therefore, Ubisoft has to reuse old resources to the make the development faster. In addition, despite the similar resources, we say Odyssey looks better than the Origins. This is because in Assassin’s Creed Origins, the world is about ancient Egypt which comprises mostly sand-based area. On the other hand, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey features more variety of environments like beaches, tropical islands, etc…, making the exploration arguably more exciting.
Performance-wise, the game maintains at 30FPS and it runs pretty well; however, there are reports that the FPS can drop a little bit. But in overall, it does not negatively affect the whole experience.
As mentioned, if Assassin’s Creed Origins brought us to the Ancient Egypt when the Assassin Brotherhood was founded, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey even brings us further to the past, 400 years before the Origins to be exact. Players will take control of either two protagonists: Alexios or Kassandra, both are the descendent of the Spartan warrior king Leonidas I, and also, inheritors of the legendary king’s broken spear.
At first, the game’s setting does feel bizarre since Assassin’s Creed Origins already addressed the foundation of the Assassin Brotherhood. Yet turns out, this setting fits the game quite well as it gives Ubisoft more opportunities to tell the story. Typically, players can now choose different dialogues, just like any RPG title. Even better, these dialogues and choices throughout the main quests and side quests do affect the storyline to certain degree. Side quests probably present this element the best as certain quests do have drastic change to the world. For example, will you decide to let a diseased family die, or, rescue them while risking the entire village’s life? Although this choice and storyline system does not match the likes of The Witcher 3 or Dragon Age Origins, we believe that Ubisoft actually did a good job in this department.
In terms of main storyline, it feels more personal to the main protagonist. In general, the story focuses on Alexios/Kassandra’s journey to reunite with their long-lost family. There are many moments in which we actually feel relatable to these two protagonists. But of course aside from the personal story, there are also plots related to conspiracies about secret organizations, dark secrets behind everything. Both Alexios/Kassandra’s personal story and those conspiracies are nicely blended together; making the main storyline this time feels truly fascinating.
We also think Ubisoft did a good job in dialogue aspect. There are enough differences in choices so that players can role-play with the preferred personality, be it a noble warrior, or a greedy mercenary despite these protagonists have fixed characteristics. And as we said, the protagonists do feel relatable and interesting this time around. They have good dialogues and funny enough; there are times when you can see them feel tired of all bull-crap from NPCs.
Since Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a RPG, you can already guess that there will be tons of changes of gameplay. Control-wise, the game feels pretty much similar to Assassin’s Creed Origins, but there are much more emphasis on RPG aspect.
Loot! More loot!
First off, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has more solid gear system, along with a loot-base element. Alexios/Kassandra can equip 2 Melee Weapons, a Bow, a Quiver, Helmet, Bracer, Torso Armor, Waist Armor, and Boots. This is already different than Assassin’s Creed Origins which did not feature armor equipment.
Yet similar Assassin’s Creed Origins, it also has rarity system. Gears are ranged from Common < Rare < Epic < Legendary. The higher the rarity, the more attack/defense power it has, along with more Engraving buffs (basically stat buffs) like Warrior Damage or Adrenaline per Crit. Common Gear only has up to 1 buff, while Rare Gear has 2 and Epic Gear has 3. Legendary Gear on the other hand is more unique. Legendary Weapon features 2 Engraving buffs and one special property like Increasing Damage of a certain skill, or, changing Weapon Damage to a particular elemental damage. Legendary Armor also has 2 Engraving buffs, and yet, a Set Bonus like increasing All Resistances or making enemy Burn faster.
All Gears can also be engraved once, which basically means have one more stat buff for a certain cost of money and materials. If you prefer a Gear and wish to keep it in later progression, you can spend materials and money to Upgrade it to your current level.
So what about loot? Well, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey seems to feature more loots than Origins, both in terms of quantity and variety. Yet again similar to Origins, loots are random and that means you can grab some Legendary stuffs in most unexpected places. That said, you can still get guaranteed Legendary Gears from certain missions.
In general, the Gear system in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is done much better in Origins. There are more loot to grab and more Gears to customize. It does feature more freedom in terms of character build; for example, you can make a Fire Warrior build by having Legendary Gear focuses on burning your enemies and Fire-Damage Weapon. It is a solid system and we can see Ubisoft’s effort in trying to make this enjoyable.
Combat and Skills
As we mentioned, the control in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is mostly similar to Origins. Therefore, if you have already played Assassin’s Creed Origins, you will get into Odyssey combat’s naturally. Players can move, perform light attack, heavy attack, dodge, parry, and lock target just like in Origins. There is also a yellow bar below your character’s health bar indicating your character’s Adrenaline, which is used for the powerful Overpower attack.
There is one new addition though which is the Skill panel located on the bottom left of the screen during combat. Up to 4 active Skills can be put on a Skill panel, and there are 2 different Skill panels: one for ranged and one for melee combat. Using Skill costs Adrenaline and have Cooldown between uses.
Talking about Skills, we have to talk about the Skill-Tree system which is now more straight-forward than Assassin’s Creed Origins. There are 3 distinct Skill-Trees: Hunter (basically ranged skills), Warrior (melee skills), and Assassin (which is self-explanatory). After level-up, players will gain 1 Skill Point to Unlock new Skill and also Upgrade Skill.
And so, this leads us to the pros and cons of Odyssey’s combat. In overall, the combat in Odyssey feels a bit more refined and more fun than the Origins. Combat depends on Skill quite a lot since it is the key to defeat different enemies. And also, testing different Skill combo can be highly entertaining especially in late game when we have Legendary Gears. However, the huge flaw from previous games is still there, specifically the enemy variety. There are only around 4 human-enemy types: melee dude with shield, melee dude without shield, brute dude, and dude with ranged weapons. And these enemies are only slightly different depending on their weapons. Human bosses are somewhat more different, but only because they are stronger and have more unique weapons.
The Ship aspect from Assassin’s Creed Black Flag has now returned properly in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. As players progress the main storyline in the beginning island, they will be able to have a ship for their own with full functionalities like Black Flag.
Naval combat in Odyssey seems to be the same like Black Flag. The main protagonist will act as the ship’s captain and command his/her crew. The ship can charge towards enemy’s ship, dealing heavy damage, or firing arrow at the enemies. On the other hand, there is a big difference in ship customizations in Odyssey.
Ship now has RPG stats similar to the main protagonist, including: Health, Armor, Arrow Damage, Ramming Damage, and Javelin Damage. Arrow, Javelin, and Ramming are the three main damage sources which can be upgraded for higher damage. Players can also customize their crew Arsenal, Ship & Crew Durability, and of course, the ship’s appearance. Then there is one more new addition which is Special Lieutenants. Players can hire up to 4 Special Lieutenants, each of them will provide different bonuses to your ship like ship’s damage. And when players are on land, they can subdue certain enemy and recruit them as Special Lieutenant for their ship.
This ship aspect is quite delightful addition to Odyssey despite borrowing heavily from Black Flag. And at the very least, the ship customization in Odyssey can be pretty fun with all the newly added RPG elements.
Beware the Mercenaries
In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Alexios/Kassandra is also mercenary. But that does not mean they are in good term with other Mercenaries. If you do something illegal like killing people or stealing, someone will put bounty on your hand, which will attract merceneries to find and beat you. If you manage to find out the merceneries hunting you, you will get to know their information regarding their power, gear, and loot drop.
To deal with this issue, you can either pay money or kill the one who put bounty on your head. When a mercenary is nearby, you will be warned of their approach and you can choose to engage or hide from them. Of course you can kill the mercenary and grab some sweet loots from them. But eventually there will be another mercenary taking the dead one’s place and hunt you down instead. To certain extent, this system is similar to Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War‘s Nemesis system, but not to that level. Either way, Odyssey’s Mercenary system does make the game feels more interesting.
Exploration and Questings
The map in Assassin’s Creed Origins is indeed huge, but it is definitely not as huge as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. The world in Odyssey is arguably the biggest one in Assassin’s Creed franchise to date, which can be an unnerving aspect for certain players.
On the good side, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has a balanced combination between the sea section from Black Flag, and the on-land exploration in Origins. Players can travel to various islands via their own ship and find many beautiful environments and landscapes. And like Black Flag, most islands always have loot and stuffs to explore. And if you want your exploration experience as “realistic” as possible, you can choose between Guided Mode (which is the usual Assassin’s Creed experience) and Exploration Mode, which will not show what appear on the map. The Exploration Mode seems to be the best choice if you want to have a true experience of discovering the unknown. But for those who don’t like huge-open world like Odyssey, it may still be unnerving due to the extreme size of the map.
Now let’s come to questings part. As we discussed earlier, the main quests of Odyssey is quite good in overall. All quests, including main and side quests, always have dialogue choices with potentially different outcomes. But then here is our main issue with the game: At the early game, Odyssey feels really interesting to proceed. Yet gradually, it may feel rather frustrating with the grinding. The thing is: all main quests will require you to reach certain level in order to do it. Sooner or later you will have to grind for levels to proceed, and so, the best way to level-up is to do side quests. Though some of these side quests can be unique, many others (if not most of them) are usually about “killing a dude”, “kill enemies in an area”, and “gather some stuffs”, with few variations. They tend to be so repetitive that doing them is a boring chore. Yet unfortunately you have no other choice but to do it for level-up. Sure, certain players may be able to enjoy this kind of gameplay, but for many others, it is extremely tiring.
Then we come to Microtransaction, which is quite bothering in our opinion. For most part, microtransaction in Odyssey work similar to Origins. However; here’s the thing: since leveling in Odyssey can be a huge chore, we cannot help but feel like it was designed intentionally with the microtransaction. In Odyssey you will be able to purchase XP buff with real money so that you can level-up faster. And since you have grind levels (in some cases you may be even 7 levels behind the requirement) to do the main-quest, you may feel like wanting to buy these XP buffs… which sounds manipulative to us.
Of course, you can still experience the game normally without paying any real money. Still, such microtransaction is a questionable implement for our taste.
In conclusion, our final verdict for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is an 8/10. It may even be 7.5/10 for those who dislike grinding and microtransaction. Overall, the game has done more than just an “Assassin’s Creed Origins 2.0.” It completely changes the formula to a RPG game and Ubisoft really did a good job in making it a reality. There are more depths to the character’s customization, combat feels more refined. The game features a huge beautiful open-world with lots of things to do and explore (especially in Exploration Mode). The main quest does feel interesting this time and it is the main drive-force to make us want to finish the game. However, the lack in enemy variety, the repetitive side quests, and the seemingly grinding nature set the game back. Unless you are fine with this repetition and grinding aspect, you will be less likely to stay with the game til the end.
And that’s it folks! What do you think about Assassin’s Creed Odyssey? Feel free to share with us and for now, thank you and stay tune for more news in the future!
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