To be entirely honest with you, I wasn’t keen to play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey this year. I played Origins last year and while I had been very positive about it at first, I found myself struggling to finish it as time went on.
It wasn’t that it was a bad game but rather that the more time I spent in the world, the more I felt like something was missing. It was hitting all the right notes, but I didn’t like the song it seems.
Despite this, I bought the game anyway. It was one of my friends’ birthdays and I game share with her, and she had loved Origins, so I thought why not?
Suffice to say I did not expect Odyssey to be the game that it is. What I was expecting was a game to tide the time over with until Red Dead Redemption 2 arrived. What I got was a game I actively chose to play instead of RDR2 during its launch weekend despite all the hype excitement.
Quite plainly, I love Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. I think it’s probably the best entry into the franchise since AC2 almost ten years ago, and completed the job that Origins started in redefining how the gaming community feels about the series.
Now, I’m not much of a reviewer, but I’ll give you a few briefly described points explaining why I really enjoy this game.
1. The Compelling Main Narrative and Decision-Making Mechanics
I’ve written before about the idea of gameplay vs. narrative, and the power of narrative is very evident in this game.
Soon after I started, I knew that this game was one that I would want to see the end of, and this was due to Kassandra’s or Alexios’ (depending on who you choose) story. I wanted to know what lay in store for the character and how my decisions to take certain actions impacted the world.
Just like in The Witcher 3, players are thrust into the role of decision-maker, with each important choice playing role in the outcome. There are nine different endings in Odyssey. How can a player ever be sure that their decisions will lead to one of the pleasing endings?
The only way you’ll ever find out is by seeing the story through, and waiting to see whether tragedy or happiness awaits you.
2. Interesting Side Missions
I completed pretty much all the side missions in Odyssey, and I did it because I wanted to. I loved learning the stories of all the characters around Ancient Greece; some of which were humorous and others somewhat sad.
A good open-world is one that feels lived in, and side missions often help with that. While there were certainly a few lackluster quests, by and large, players who skip out on this part of the game are really missing out.
Included in the side content is a mercenary system somewhat similar to that of the nemesis system (but not entirely). Players fight mercenaries on a ranked list in the aim of becoming the best in Greece. These battles are sometimes tough, with these enemies making use of special abilities and carrying worthwhile loot.
That’s not even to mention the war for Greece that you have an influence over. While I definitely thought this was the weakest of the side content, I can definitely see how some players may enjoy influencing the fate of the Greek world by getting involved in crazy battles.
3. A Return to Ship Mechanics/Battles
One of the best things about Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag was the fact that the player had their own ship they could upgrade and get involved in Sea battles with. The particular gameplay facet returns in Odyssey with the player taking control of their own ship soon after finishing the first few missions.
With the ship, players travel around the Greek world, searching for treasure and sinking ships along the way. And, let us not forget the sea shanties. I got so excited the first time I sailed off into the distance and my crew started singing. It may be something stupid to other players but I hummed Black Flag shanties for months after playing the game.)
There’s also nothing like traveling on a ship to a new destination to invoke feelings of adventure and anticipation.
Should I buy Assassin’s Creed Odyssey?
While I really enjoyed the game, I’ll say that it may not be for everyone. The title’s release was somewhat marred by the controversy surrounding the “level booster” microtransaction available to players. I can already say that you don’t need to buy this to finish the game, but you need to know that you’re going to have to engage in side content if you want to be the correct level to finish story missions.
Odyssey is more of an RPG than the action-adventure open-world game early entries into the Assassin’s Creed series were, and this you need to treat it as such. You can’t speed run the story, and if you have a problem with that then maybe this isn’t the game for you.
That said, if you’re looking for a story-driven open-world RPG game with a load of worthwhile side content, then have a look at it. It may surprise you, like it did me.
Have you played Assassin’s Creed Odyssey? What’s your opinion on it? Please share in the comments down below.