Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is the twelfth installment in the Assassin’s Creed series and the first where you can pick one of two genders to play as. Based during the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, you play as either Alexios or Kassandra, a mercenary in possession of their ancestral king’s broken spear (now a sword) that holds special powers. As an ancient history nerd and lover of women, when the trailer was released at E3 it spoke to me more than any of the previous Assassin’s Creed games. So naturally, I picked Kassandra without any hesitation. The game doesn’t really vary between the two which comes with the added bonus that you can have male or female love interests.
For some, the game starts slowly but as someone who enjoys a slow build that allows you to figure the game out at your own speed, it is ideal. Games that info dump at the start so that you can jump right into the gameplay do not work for me. The map is huge so you have plenty of time to explore, scavenge and pretty much just take it at whatever pace you like. It’s not only huge, it’s beautiful as well. Ancient Greece is stunningly depicted in Odyssey and it’s a joy to explore it on foot, horse or ship. For the most part, exploring the environment is enjoyable, there are some bugs reported – the most annoying I’ve encountered being the scenery not always loading as fast as the horse is galloping. The characters move a bit strangely when conversing, using their arms in a way that is reminiscent of a Sims character trying to communicate.
Missions vary from main quests and battles to simply passing on a message and there are plenty of them to keep you busy if you want to drag the game out or you can easily identify on the map which are the more substantial ones. As you level up you can unlock new special moves on the ability tree some of which are definitely better than others and all can have their uses during combat. The ship-based combat was brought back for Odyssey but is more annoying than fun or helpful to the storyline.
For quests there is the option to use the vision of Kassandra’s eagle, Ikaros to scan from the skies and identify targets before you get to them and play your attack. At the beginning the purpose of the eagle and the use of it is not well explained but once you figure it out it becomes very helpful.
There are plenty of opportunities for the player to shape the game with dialogue choices that, although I am only 15 hours in, I have been told lead to multiple endings. All in all Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is pretty much whatever you want to make of it and would be perfect for all skill levels no matter if they have experience with Assassin’s Creed before. I would definitely recommend giving it a try.
– Lucy Noonan