Assassins Creed has always been one of my favourite franchises, yes it comes with its issues, but I’ve always found the historical elements to them fascinating and the stories to the games intriguing.
I had the pleasure at EGX to get first-hand experience of Assassins Creed Odyssey and I have to admit with the 15 minutes I had, I wasn’t impressed, I couldn’t get used to the controls, it felt different. The preview was beautiful and I liked what I saw, but playing that preview, there was just something that was bugging me, something I couldn’t put my finger on. It was kind of putting me off the game a bit, but also something that made me want the game even more to prove myself wrong and that the feeling I was getting was from just starting at a random point in the game.
So, my instincts got the better of me and I bought the game. The first thing I will say is that the doubt and feeling I had for the game was totally down to the demo I played. Playing the game from the start and knowing what’s going on, setting the controls to how I like them and going through a sort of tutorial start to get a feeling for the game was a lot better and put my mind at ease.
Just like its predecessor Origins, this is a very good looking game, actually, it’s stunning, and the Greek setting is absolutely fabulous, the design of the world and how the world reacts to your decisions is fantastic. No matter where you are looking from, whether it’s from the top of a statue of a Greek god, or at the top of a mountain looking down a valley, the game is stunning, the lighting used is brilliant, and how this links in to the atmosphere in the world is incredible.
I mentioned above about how the world reacts to your decisions. This was one of my favourite features in the game, making decisions and then watching as the consequences unfolded. One decision I made was to help a family who was sick and a cult was burning down their village to purge the illness and stop it spreading. Needless to say, my decision to kill the cult and their priest didn’t go as planned. While I was out at Margaris one of the characters informed me that Khefalonia was in trouble and that an illness had spread. Oops, my bad. But this is the level of detail you can expect from the game, having your decisions come back to bite you, to be permanent and maybe screw your game up is brilliant. I love that whole cause and effect scenario and this game does it brilliantly and at the start of the game when you make your first conversation choice it does tell you that your actions will have consequences, and there are times you get the option to kill someone, I haven’t had the guts to do it yet as all the characters it’s come up for seemed quite important.
Another thing that makes me love this game is the depth that it goes into with the character development and in essence upgrading your character. Levelling up weapons and armour, unlocking skills to improve as your character level increases is all an integral part and it’s this RPG element that I love. First introduced into Origins, I’ve loved this extra dynamic that the series has brought. When I first saw this in Origins it brought a brand new fresh approach to it and Odyssey builds on that further. You can now engrave your weapons and armour to add bonuses to them such as a percentage increase to the hunter/assassin damage.
In terms of missions and quests to do, there is plenty to keep you going for a very long time. The size of the world and the missions and side quests available is good, combine that with the ‘fortresses’ you can liberate and the big battles that you fight in to win territory, there is more than enough to keep you occupied and playing the game for a while.
I loved how you had the pick between Alexios and Kassandra of who you were going play. My choice was Kassandra, not sure why, just felt drawn to playing as her. I won’t spoil the story for anyone, but I love the way it plays out and there is a point behind having a choice of 2 characters, and I believe that if I had chosen Alexios, the opposite would have happened to what I had in my game. Brilliant little addition. Re reading that, I wonder how many who haven’t played the game are a little confused. Ha!
As far as I can tell there isn’t any difference when making your choice between the two characters, there is no bonus or addition depending on who you pick.
The combat from origins returns, however, with a few refurbishments, the main one being that in Odyssey you don’t have a shield to block in coming attacks, so dodging and parrying is very important. Especially when you come to the bigger battles, if you don’t learn the art of dodging and parrying quickly then I will say that you will fail quite quickly. Even when doing missions and going after a target, things can get a little hairy as reinforcements and others fighters can just turn up out of nowhere and after a time you might find yourself a little overwhelmed. One thing to mention as well when you’re in combat is that your health won’t regenerate, you have to make sure you can run away and hide from your enemies before your health regenerates. This is of course unless you have the healer skill unlocked, where you can heal yourself by 25% every so often and only if you have specials built up. I have to admit that this has saved my bacon on more than one occasion and especially during the big battles, this has what’s got me through them.
When it comes to Assassins Creed, the good always comes with the bad, and there is one very rare bug that happens in the game and that is the drop of framerate, and it is to the point where it took 2 minutes for the game to unfreeze and become playable again. This normally happens within the bigger battles, and is where the majority of people have experience it, however, I have experienced it myself just in general fighting against a couple of people. Fingers crossed that this gets fixed because it’s caused people to have to restart their game.
The game as a whole is fantastic and anyone who likes the assassin’s creed franchise but are on the fence whether to get this game, I would highly recommend it. If you like your Action/RPG games, then again, I would highly recommend it. The setting, the visuals, and the combat all flow seamlessly and it’s always good to have a bit of eye candy to look at while playing (The graphics, not the characters.) You do get the usual Assassins Creed style glitches and bug in the game, but they should be ironed out soon hopefully.