After mixing up the Assassin’s Creed formula we’ve come to love (and some have come to loathe) with Assassin’s Creed Origins, Ubisoft is once again changing up what we’ve come to expect from the series in the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, this time building upon the mechanics that Origins established and, in the process, giving us a more open RPG focused experience.
While we got a chance to explore the sand covered, and sometimes unexpectedly lush environments of Egypt in Origins, Odyssey takes place in Ancient Greece (cue the beautiful turquoise oceans). Surprisingly, the game takes place way before Origins, roughly 400 years before, when there was no Creed and no Brotherhood to speak of yet. So, with two new protagonists, a new setting and brand-new mechanics, there is loads to get us excited for the latest addition to the franchise. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of things that have us excited to explore Ancient Greece in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
There’s not one, but two new protagonists.
While two protagonists aren’t something new to the franchise, as Assassin’s Creed Syndicate already let you play as the two Frye twins, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will allow players to choose which one of the two new protagonists, Alexios or Kassandra, they would like to play as.
Unlike Syndicate, which saw you bouncing between the two Frye twins, Odyssey will see you playing through the game as either one of the two new protagonists. Luckily, players won’t need to fret too much over which protagonist to choose as the only differences between the two will most likely be how each character’s performance is delivered. This means both will have access to the same abilities and skills.
The main idea behind allowing the player to choose their own protagonist is to make them feel more engrossed in their experience. Regardless of who you choose, both protagonists are mercenaries trying to forge a name for themselves in Ancient Greece.
What you say (and to who you say it to) matters.
Previous Assassin’s Creed games didn’t offer players much interaction during conversations or cutscenes making players feel more like they were watching a conversation rather than actively taking part. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey aims to change this by, for the first time in the series, offering players different dialogue options. These aren’t just some arbitrary choices either, as the choices players make will affect their standing with various NPC’s as well as the course of the game’s narrative. With dialogue choices comes the ability to woo different NPC’s. The developers have stated that there will be several opportunities for the player to hook up with various NPC’s across Ancient Greece.
It’s more RPG than you think.
Where Origins only dipped its toes into the RPG genre, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is taking the plunge head first. Not only does the game include various dialogue options (and allows you to have sexy time with the locals) but it will also offer players a myriad of branching quests and loads of abilities and skills to upgrade.
Customising you protagonist to suit your playstyle will mostly boil down to unlocking skills in three different skill trees – namely Hunter, Warrior and Assassin. For instance, if you prefer stabbing your foes from the dark rather than storming in hitting them with a blunt object, you might want to unlock the Stealth Master skill which will ensure that your movement noise is even more reduced. Basically, which skills you unlock is totally up to you and will mostly depend on how you prefer to play the game. By fully embracing the RPG genre, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey not only adds a more strategic layer to gameplay but also encourages players to experiment with different skills (and dialogue choices).
Before the hidden blade, there was the spear.
Ask any Assassin’s Creed fan what item they mostly associate with the franchise and they are likely to say the infamous hidden blade. Since the first game, this stealthy but deadly weapons has been a staple of the franchise. Until now.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is saying goodbye to the hidden blade and hello to the Spear of Leonidas. As a descendant of the famous warrior King Leonidas, Alexios/Kassandra (depending who you choose) have been gifted the legendary (broken) Spear of Leonidas. This weapon is not just any blade but an artefact of the First Civilization, just like the Pieces of Eden that have featured heavily in the previous games, and can be upgraded in various ways. While the spear will let players eventually become extraordinarily powerful it won’t have mythical laser beam shooting powers (darn it!).
As with the newly introduced RPG elements, this new weapon will add a new layer to the game’s much-improved combat system.
Oh, Ship! Naval battles are back.
Although there have been many complaints about the various Assassin’s Creed games, one mechanic has become a fan favourite and that is naval battles. There are very few things as enjoyable as ramming your huge ship into an enemy’s and then boarding it. It’s a feature many had hoped would make a return. Well, naval battles will be making a return in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
As with Black Flag, Odyssey will bring back open world sailing allowing players to explore the vast oceans and the islands that dot the Greek coast. The game’s naval mechanics are much more involved than any of the previous games in the franchise as not only will players need to ram, shoot and board their foe’s vessels but they will also be able to recruit up to four lieutenants to join them on their voyages. These lieutenants will each add their own unique passive buffs to your ship and crew, which as with the game’s skill trees, will allow players to customise their gameplay experience to suit their playstyle.
In-between sinking ships and recruiting crew, players will get to explore the islands around the Greek coast. It’s all about encouraging exploration and rewarding those that dare stray from the well-beaten path.
New furry friends to meet (and kill).
I still have nightmares about being attacked by those deadly crocodiles in Origins. There is something unsettling about swimming in the Nile not knowing what lurks below. Odyssey has added a whole bunch of new critters to fend off, skin and flee from. These animals include bears, sharks, dolphins, elk and whales. And while at least two of these have me terrified (hint; it’s the two with the pointy teeth), I can’t wait to set sails with a pod of dolphins or even a whale swimming beside my vessel.
While on the subject of animals buddying up with players, Odyssey will also allow those that unlock the Beast Master skill to tame one wild animal at a time. This ability has yet to be seen in action but, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want a wolf companion fighting beside them.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is shaping up to be an interesting mix of old established Assassin’s Creed elements and new mechanics. Whether this new more RPG focused entry in the series will be the future of the franchise is yet to be seen. What we can say is that we are truly excited to experience the latest evolution of this much-loved Ubisoft franchise.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey releases in October 2018 for the Xbox One, PC and PlayStation 4.