Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
Release date5 Oct 2018
Live the epic odyssey of a legendary Spartan hero, write your own epic odyssey and become a legendary Spartan hero in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, an inspiring adventure where you must forge your destiny and define your own path in a world on the brink of tearing itself apart. Influence how history unfolds as you experience a rich and ever-changing world shaped by your decisions.
About Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey is released by Ubisoft Entertainment in 5 Oct 2018. The game is designed by Ubisoft Québec. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey is a typical representative of the Role-playing (RPG) genre. Playing Assassin's Creed: Odyssey is a pleasure. It does not matter whether it is the first or a millionth hour in Role-playing (RPG), there will always be room for something new and interesting. Thrilling levels and gameplay Assassin's Creed: Odyssey will not leave anyone indifferent. The complexity of gameplay increases with each new level and does not let any player get bored.
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Assassin's Creed: Odyssey is versatile and does not stand still, but it is never too late to start playing. The game, like many Role-playing (RPG) games has a full immersion in gaming. AllGame staff continues to play it.
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey is perfect for playing alone or with friends.
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Assassin's Creed: Odyssey in the test - The Colossus from Ubisoft
You will explore all of ancient Greece, complete dozens of quests in an easy 70 to 100-hour adventure , and after a detailed introduction you will decide for yourself how and where to go. Missions offer different endings, countless equipment and skill options should make Diablo fans' loot-hungry fingers sweaty. And there are romances too!
Instead, we clarify whether Assassin's Creed: Odyssey is pushing the restart of its predecessor Origins appropriately - or whether it is too stagnant in the end.
The Origin Story of the Origin Story
Let's stay with Origins for a very short time: The 2017 excursion to ancient Egypt told the story of the origin of the assassins. Well, and since Odyssey wanders another 400 years into the past, it just illustrates the origin story of the origin story . It also fits, after all, Bayek's Egypt was consistently shaped by Greek culture, which only really got going at the time of Odyssey.
In the 5th century BC BC Tonga carriers like Hippocrates founded the modern medical ethos, Socrates shaped philosophy, Pericles democracy, Herodotus historiography and, and, and. Right in the middle: Alexios and Kassandra, two thug mercenaries from Sparta . You decide which of the two you want to play.
The two game pieces replace each other. In other words: you choose between the two at the beginning and then go on the entire adventure as Kassandra, for example, but experience the same story that you would have followed as Alexios. And this story begins wonderfully differently from the eternal revenge dramas of the Assassin's Creed series. Instead, Odyssey spins an emotional tale of family betrayal , broken hearts and a lot of guilt.
Assassin's Creed without assassins
Kassandra or Alexios does not travel to the Aegean Sea as a code-driven assassin, but literally embarks on an odyssey to search for very personal answers with their own ship - the Adrasteia .
Later, the campaign fans out into three large narrative strands that should occupy you between 60 and 70 hours (not including side missions). As with Origins, you can't avoid some side quests because you need the experience points to reach the right level for the last story missions.
After about five hours of play, we make our first heartbreaking decision and promptly think: "If the entire plot continues, Odyssey will be the best Assassin's Creed story since Ezio." Problem with the matter: it doesn't. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey lapses after a grandiose start into a mix of old patterns (yes, the focus on revenge returns after all) and great ideas, which, however, don't get enough air to breathe.
The fiberization problem
The biggest enemy of the Odyssey story is the actually grandiose open-world sandbox: On the one hand, the story lacks staging highlights . Despite all the sideline activities, we got some really strong main missions in the campaign from predecessor Origins. We remember - without spoiling too much - of the burning tightrope walk at the Pharos lighthouse, Bayek's bathhouse assassination, the boss fights in the desert or against the snake or the grandiose finale far away from Egypt. Odyssey lacks all of that for a long time.
Despite some real highlights, too many main missions hardly differ in their staging from the secondary missions: Cutscenes are almost always pure dialogues, here you destroy a few boats in the regular open world, there a few lives, then come back and collect the reward. Almost everything in the game - even the hunt for central story villains - is handled via regular sandbox mechanics in the game world, so that some villains can't even utter a sentence before we kill them while exploring the world.
On the other hand , the story is frayed by the open world structure more than it is good for you. Odyssey has a few really grueling moments, especially in Athens you experience real storytelling excellence. We really want to know how things will go with Alexios and Kassandra - basically a good sign.
But immediately afterwards we cruise halfway across the Aegean on a paper chase for 20 hours. Just one example: We really want to please a king in order to drive Alexios' and Kassandra's story into the finale. But the king sends us on a long journey so that we can collect an athlete who will only come with us when we brew him a special oil.
With the oil we go to the athlete, then travel halfway around the world to a new location, but there the whole thing turns out to be the wrong track, we have to push in five local quests again. Then we return to the king, but he wants to see two more, similarly complex goals in other places in the game world completed. The favor of the king is only a means to an end, in order to finally know how the story will go on .
Ensemble highlights Socrates and Alkibiades
This "disintegration problem" also affects the important characters in the game, which we sometimes really like. For example, Socrates and Alcibiades are written wonderfully fascinating . After ten minutes, the great philosopher is just as pissed off with his open questions as he must have annoyed his contemporaries.
And the Greek dandy Alkibiades seems like a bon vivant who only has offensive adventures in mind. However, if we do a few jobs for him, we suddenly see a much more complex person.
To cut a long story short: Anyone who »just wants to play the main story« will bite even more on open-world granite with Odyssey than in previous series parts. The main story is primarily a means to an end to involve you in countless small quests and experiences around the world. Just an odyssey.
Great freedom of choice
The campaign offers (especially in the so-called Isu narrative thread) again and again brilliant moments that are worth playing for. But if you don't feel like doing the rather calm errands between these highlights, you need a lot of patience.
But despite this rhythm problem, the freedom of choice within the countless main and side missions is definitely a step in the right direction. In principle, we choose between the brutal and the diplomatic way. Our decisions influence our reputation and can block or open certain quest paths 20 hours later. If you want, you can use the ten memory slots to protect yourself.
Here Odyssey doesn’t come close to the ramifications of The Witcher 2 and 3 (for example, all of Odyssey's romance decisions are really only about sex), but at least at the end of the story we have the feeling of our own story having written. The true star of Odyssey is not the freedom in the story anyway, but the freedom in the gameplay. The gigantic game world may demand its price in the story department, but if you lose yourself in it, you get an unforgettable experience .
Oh, this open world
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey offers an incredibly good and equally huge open game world. From the misty forests of Macedonia to the city of Athens to the paradisiacal islands of the Aegean Sea, every well-known scene from ancient Greece is brought to life in a varied and atmospheric way.
You travel to Thebes, Sparta, Corinth and experience a great feeling of freedom. After about 20 hours of play , the Open World opens almost completely, unlike Origins, because the enemy levels adapt to Alexios' and Kassandra's level.
As in Origins, all scenes are implemented with great attention to detail. If you pay attention, you will discover little stories everywhere. For example, in the south of the world map we come across a completely deserted volcanic island , climb into the crater and discover the remains of a couple in a cave who held hands at the last moment of life. There's nothing more here, but we sail away with a reverent smile.
And while sailing on the high seas, our gaze immediately turns to the south, where a huge island rises in the distance. We set sail and discover that we are dealing with Crete - let's just take a look at what Crete looks like up close. But suddenly we get caught up in scams in Minotaur tourism, explore old palaces, hunt tyrants, dive for treasure. And we don't even want to mention the island's biggest secrets for spoiler reasons.
Boggy on Crete
At the end of the day we scratch our heads in amazement because we haven't left Crete for eight hours and we had a bomb time. As unspectacular as the main story may be staged over long stretches: Many of the secondary threads warm the heart, are sometimes tragic, sometimes crazy.
Well, now Crete is also one of the highlights in terms of quest design, but Odyssey is generally a master at pulling us into a scene with entertaining little stories and keeping us busy for hours. There are so many other important things to do on the mainland.
Finally a war rages between Athens and Sparta. As a mercenary, Alexios Kassandra can take part in sea and land battles, infiltrate enemy camps, murder generals, hunt down other mercenaries and earn a golden nose. Each area belongs to one of the two war factions - and with various actions we weaken the influence of Sparta and Athens, respectively, until we finally kill the leader and unleash a decisive battle.
Especially cool: As a mercenary soul, we decide for ourselves which side we want to compete for. The mass brawls, however, could have used some fine balance adjustments. If we don't kill every general in a very targeted manner, the victory usually goes to the other side after 10 minutes of beating. Nevertheless, this game of power ensures a lot of movement in the open world, because we can start stress at any time even in "completed" areas. But that has its price.
Mercenaries hunt down mercenaries
An exciting tactical element, because we can of course turn the tables and set traps to bring down the bosses. Since Alexios and Kassandra also work in the mercenary trade, they even rise in their own union hierarchy, which in turn grants bonuses. You shouldn't push your bounty too high, otherwise survival will be a real torture - in the menu you can reduce the wanted level for money.
But even the smaller open-world activities are all connected with challenges, as in Origins: Sunken treasures are guarded by sharks, legendary beasts wait for a fight in forests, ruins function as bandit hiding places. Anyone who has played Origins will recognize almost all of these mechanics. In addition, Odyssey even generates random quests at every location, in which nameless NPCs pay for murders, errands or furs. Of course, the alarm bells are ringing for players with an aversion to collecting. Is the new Assassin's Creed torpedoing its players with trivialities too much?
Controversial issue of "collecting stuff"
Uniformity remains a - let's call it - »specialty« of Ubisoft's Open Worlds in Odyssey. Sure, with stealth infiltrations, treasure hunts, beast fights and many other activities you can find a versatile arsenal. The land battles between Athens and Sparta as well as free ship exploration also expand the pool of origins. But in an open world that is as huge as in Odyssey, these various activities are often repeated on their own.
Every land battle fights the same, enemy types hardly vary until the finale and wolves can only be depicted in so many shapes and colors before their growls just make us smile. Origins had hippos, crocodiles, aggressive vultures, hyenas and more. In spite of general improvements, many side jobs still fall into the old pattern of “go there and kill the bad bandit boss”. By the end of the campaign, you will have infiltrated so many fortresses that you won't know if it was 20, 30 or 40 .
On the average you are less busy carrying around prisoners than in Origins, but those who have already reacted very allergically to recurring patterns in the predecessor will not have much fun with Odyssey. On the other hand, the uniform game mechanics hardly bothered us during testing for two reasons: On the one hand, you don't have to take everything with you by far. We maybe completed five random quests and still reached the maximum level without any problems. Who wants to beat no battles, it can give off some mandatory Story battles are left.
On the other hand, the individual operations just play well. Odyssey builds on the basics of the predecessor: When fighting you have to dodge manually, prance around enemies, target weak points. Each weapon has its own advantages and disadvantages. A thick club dented even the most powerful shield, but swings terribly slowly. Spears shine from distance, but not with accuracy. Daggers do little damage, but with an enormous number of blows. We miss the shields from Origins, but the fights are still very good.
Please play on normal
We could continue this list of coherent features for a while. The creeping system works just as well as in the predecessor. With our scout bird we mark opponents from a - sigh - bird's-eye view, have to observe patrols, in case of doubt fast-forward the time until nightfall to attack sleeping enemies and so on. To cut a long story short: The core mechanics of Odyssey are entertaining - but they have their limits. Anyone who decides on the four levels of difficulty for "difficult" or "nightmare" will notice that.
Our stealth damage when assassinating is far too often far too low here, even if we specialize in Alexios or Kassandra with the right equipment. As a result, opponents cannot be killed from behind, an alarm inevitably occurs. Stupid. The fights are more demanding here, so the inaccuracies in evading and performing special maneuvers have a more negative impact.
If you go into battle on "Normal", you will notice much less of this, so we advise you to do so too. This is where experimenting with the skills is also the most fun. We develop our Greek mercenary in three different directions: as an assassin, as a warrior or as a hunter . The skill tree remains manageable, but offers some really cool maneuvers, especially at high skill levels. So our club can unleash a mighty smash that can be chained over several opponents - perfect for disrupting a group of armored Athenians. By the way, you can always reset your skill points and redistribute them - very cool.
Sure, Odyssey doesn't reach the depth of old-school role-playing games for a long time, but it does make a difference whether we develop Alexios and Kassandra specifically for archery or for dealing with sneak attacks. Skills are only one side of the coin here - the right equipment must also be found.
The gameplay loop
A working sandbox was clearly the main goal in the development of Assassin's Creed: Odyssey. All mechanics - the war between Athens and Sparta, the explorable locations, the ship battle, the missions - are supposed to create a playground that ideally keeps you in Greece for dozens of hours away from the story. However, there is one absolutely necessary component for this calculation to work out: the hunt for prey . After all, at the end of all efforts, there must be a valuable reward.
And indeed: As with Diablo, the search for ever cooler armor, weapons, bows and helmets is extremely motivating. Each item comes with special bonuses, legendary weapons, for example, do fire damage and also increase the effectiveness of sneak attacks.
Old equipment can be adapted to the current level for a fee and the use of resources so that you can collect specific sets or special bonuses. However, we consider the upgrade costs to be too high. In order to level up legendary weapons and items, you have to raise an incredible amount of raw materials - and logically every two levels, because the refreshed equipment is of course obsolete after a few levels up.
No feeling of omnipotence
Simply hoping for new prey turns out to be much more skillful than an eternal grind for wood, leather or ores . It's just stupid that you inevitably need these bonus effects, especially at high degrees of hardness, in order to be a capable assassin, for example.
Another sticking point: As great as the level adjustment may be when exploring the world, unlike in Diablo 3, loot in Odyssey never gives us the feeling of true superiority, because the opponents always scale with it. Even at maximum level 50, despite legendary equipment, a strong mercenary sends us to the boards with a single blow.
This keeps the fight demanding, but also takes away the feeling of omnipotence that many players strive for in role-playing games. Even normal opponents swallow a lot of hits - only the late game skills defuse that a little, because you bring a lot more bang into the battle. Despite these quirks, we are happy about every new item, especially since all the armor and weapons are wonderfully diverse and different from an artistic perspective alone.
Steps forward, steps back
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey expands the virtues of Origins, immensely enlarges the sandbox. Quests are more interactive than ever, the tasks themselves play more smoothly (read: fewer escort missions) - and then there are also clear innovations with the sea battles, with land battles, all the chaos of war. And we didn't tell about all the cool secret boss fights because of course we don't want to reveal anything.
For a 90 rating, we still see too much room for improvement in the innovations. The sea battles are less exciting than in Black Flag, the land battles often play like a frustrating scramble in the style of Dynasty Warriors and Co. The openness in the quest design costs the story staging density, tension arcs and meaningful twists and turns. And we also see some balancing issues in the RPG grind for loot.
Nevertheless, Assassin's Creed: Odyssey remains an absolutely excellent game. After completing the campaign, after merging all the story paths, you have the feeling that you have a truly epic journey behind you. The game world is unparalleled, and many quests are remembered with their stories - despite the poor staging.
After the test, we stayed in the editorial office in a lively exchange about who solved which situation and how. And whether the colleague remembers that one scene where you help Brasidas for the first time. Who else then reports of a secret boss fight that he discovered on Crete. When there is so much talk about personal gaming experiences, Odyssey inherits at least one of the greatest virtues of real RPG. And maybe that will help the series change careers.
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