Mini Review: Assassin's Creed Odyssey

review
#1

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Odyssey is a ridiculous game in many respects. From its roots in stealth and assassination, AC has completely changed to a hack and slash open combat game removing any semblance of reality, now allowing you to take on dozens of guards, parry arrows, shoot through walls & jump off a cliff with no damage if things get too risky. I played as Kassandra; her voice acting and animations are top notch. The game has been polished to shine (I should hope so being the 11th AC title). The story is generally good, with bad pacing, lots of filler content and way too long. The level system is trash as always. There are microtransactions. Removal of the minimap works pretty well.

Additional
This is going to be a long one.

Being the 11th game in the series, Ubisoft have had a lot of time to polish their gameplay. Movement, climbing and stealing are really smooth, to the point of being a little too unrealistic now; Kassandra can scale vertical walls with no grip points now. Being able to jump off cliffs and take no fall damage is a double edged sword; on one hand it’s ridiculous, on the other it’s nice not to have your character kill themselves when they decided to jump off something without being asked.

The voice acting is really good. Combined with the animations, it’s the first game in some while where I actually cared about the main character. Kassandra does an excellent job of making her character believable. This is a huge difference for me from Origins, where I couldn’t stand Beyak or anyone around him. I’m not sure if that was just bad Egyptian accents or the quality in general.

The story in Odyssey again is a huge improvement over Origins. As far as I remember, Origins was effectively “Kill all these people to cross them off the list”. Odyssey starts out strong with plenty of childhood memories, and is in general a quest to find your missing family. I will say here that I felt the game was waaaaaayyy too long. I would probably have given it 5/5 if it was at least 10 hours shorter, because there were sections of the main quest line that were ridiculously unnecessary and off-pace. For example, I’m in the middle of stopping an evil cult from taking over Greece, and we decide to take a massive detour to get our house back in Sparta by taking part in the Olympics and fighting a major battle. It’s a stupid excuse to put the Olympics in the game and needless filler. You’re in the middle of hunting down the cult, reunited with your mother, and then you decided to take a massive detour to get your house back? Who cares? I’ve spent the whole game killing Spartans; I don’t care about getting a house back. Aside from that particular section, lots of the main quest NPCs will say "Yes, I know where your mother is, but my X has gone missing and I need you to go find it first. It’s a massive breadcrumb trail where everyone you meet needs a pointless side quest doing first before they’ll give you the information you need.

As I always comment since they first introduced levels in Unity, it completely ruins the game. AC used to be about freedom and exploration, but since you now have a level you’re gated from large sections of the map and content until you level up. This affects the main quest, where you can go, what you can do, and is just another excuse for them to get people to pay real money for gear and experience increases.

The minimap is gone, and in general this works really well. Quests give you information on where you might find what you need, then when you’re in the right area you can use the eagle to find your target. I used this for 90% of the game and turned it off for the last 10 hours when I was just trying to get it over with (and the information I was given was flat out wrong. Someone you need to find ‘frequents the gym and his own house’, but when you switch to guided mode you see he’s not even in the city). Most quests are obvious, some just give you none of the required information. One of the early quests was to get an archer from an island off the south coast of Phokis containing a shipwreck. That description fit two islands and I spent half an hour running around the wrong one.

One thing everyone has commented on is your impact on the war. It’s lucky they pegged you as a mercenary in this one because I felt no allegiance to either Sparta or Athens. You can kill soldiers on both sides, and help either side win battles. The faction controlling an area has literally no effect on the game other than the colour of the banners, which is why it’s even weirder that halfway through you have to take a 5 hour detour to get your Spartan home back.

Other minor annoyances

  • Difficulty settings are trash. They don’t affect ‘difficulty’, they just give enemies more hp and more damage. Taking 10x longer to kill enemies isn’t harder, it’s just more boring.
  • The graphics generally look amazing, but optimisation is still flaky. I got 80fps in the wilderness, but closer to 30 in heavily populated cities.
  • Mercenaries know exactly where you are at all times, even if you were never seen, which is both annoying and immersion breaking.
  • One of my major gripes with the game was their decisions on where to put writing effort. There’s loads of crap filler quests in the main storyline where you’re sent off to collect things for people, then when something interested happens like when you find Atlantis, the dialogue is literally 3 lines long and you get two short options, with your character immediately accepting the situation and asking no questions.
  • It’s about time they did a modern-day AC to tie up the ancient civilisation storyline, but they won’t. They’ll continue to add token efforts towards it so they don’t alienate the people who haven’t played the whole series, then the series will die off with no storylines getting finished.
  • Having microtransactions in a game that costs between sixty and A HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN EUROS is laughable. Get a hold of yourselves, you greedy fucks.

All of that being said, I enjoyed most of the game, it just needed to be shorter. I will eventually summon the willpower to reach level 50 so I can see some of the legendary monsters they’ve created, but there’s another 8-hour XP barrier in my way before that.

Status: Completed in 46 hours
Rating: :cookie: :cookie: :cookie: :cookie:

For more reviews, check out my Steam Quest.

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#2

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#3

This longer review came at the perfect time! I’m literally on the PSN store right now about to buy the game for a late night couch RPG’er based on recommendations from @Bradum and @Zharick. Then I see your post notification pop up. Boom, impact!

Thanks for another great review, man!

One question: The extra long game scares me a bit. During this long play, are you getting new weapons and armor and stuff? Worried that long stretches will be extremely repetitive. I’m totally down for a long or even endless RPG is we’re talking about Skyrim level interest and exploration.

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#4

le sigh…

I get bored and abandon games super easily. This game has managed to keep me engaged the whole time, and I have 21 hours in the game so far. For comparison, I have 27 hours in Fallout 4, and that’s with 3 attempts to get into it.

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#5

Eh, I don’t want to sit at my desk. I want to lounge in my bedroom and chill. The ROI on building a PC for that is hard to compete with PS4 Pro. Streaming the game to a dummy terminal on the TV could be an option but that has its own set of problems with latency etc.

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#6

Going to have to disagree with this bit.
While it can be a hack and slash, you still have the option to do pretty much the whole game stealth. Also, I have yet to be able to shoot through a wall, and I most definitely take damage when jumping off a cliff. Are you playing on ultra easy mode or something?

Completely agree with this. Story is super engaging.

Just a difference of opinion here. It’s really hard for me to find games that I find engaging, so when I do find one the more gameplay it can give me the better.

This is one thing I definitely noticed. I wish they put a little more into this, where you could feel invested in helping one of the sides.

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#7

Looking purely at hardware, yes. Looking at versatility, and cost of games… No.
That, and you’re supporting Sony, their closed ecosystem, and all their “console exclusive” BS.
gag

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#8

If I could figure out a good system where I could stream from a central PC to all my rooms then I would go for it.

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#9

Thanks for reading it! Yes, you get new weapons and armor every few minutes. Dismantling unused weapons and armor is the main source of crafting ingredients. I think interest greatly depends on frame of mind etc. The word is beautiful, and it’s full of places to explore. I’m pretty impatient and I tend to get bored of most games after 35 hours, but there’s loads to see here if you want to relax.

Just to note - although I played this on PC, I played it with an Xbox controller. Every time I start an AC game I go back and forth between control mechanisms, but the controller nearly always wins out. The only reason I got it on PC is because in theory, the hardware is more powerful (we do own a PS4). Usually I can’t do any games that require shooting on a controller, but with full auto-aim on, and some of the Hunter abilities being target locked, it’s pretty good. I found the melee combat on keyboard a bit clunky.

The last ability in the Hunter tree is called Ghost Arrows of Artemis:

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You stop taking fall damage at level 20 - it’s one of the passive abilities at the bottom of the ability screen.

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#10

It totally depends on what talents you pick. I started full warrior but then switched to assassin and I’ve been doing everything pretty stealthily. For Example, I just cleared the whole compound in Paros Island and only got into a fight with the last 2 NPCs

Kassandra 4 lyf! voice acting is phenomenal in my opinion.

I think this one depends on you mostly. I think you can just go through your Odyssey’s quests if you want to progress faster, but the world is so beautiful I’ve been getting sidetracked quite a bit.

I feel allegiance to Athens for sure based on my feeling on how the story transpired and my feelings for Nikolaos.

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#11

Update
When I ‘finished’ the game and wrote my review, it was after dealing with Deimos (46h played, level 41). Although that is technically an ending, it felt unfinished and I wanted to finish killing all the cult members and deal with the Atlantis questline.

It pissed me off that if I wanted to see that content I had to gain another 9 levels - but I am glad I did. I hunted down every last member of the Cult, and discovering who their main leader was was really rewarding. After that was done, I hunted down and killed all the mythological creatures, which were really well implemented both in combat and in-game lore.

It took me another 14 hours, but I actually found myself enjoying the game a lot more after finishing the main quest for some reason. I guess it felt more like optional fun rather than just trying to finish a never-ending main quest. If you’ve played the other AC games and are used to getting some lore about the First Civilisation, you need to do this. That’s what was missing from the end of the main game - but it’s all included once you collect the artifacts and take them to Atlantis.

60h played, level 52

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#12

Have you played any of the DLC stuff?

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#13

No, sorry. On the whole, I generally never play DLCs.

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#14

Great review overall. Was going to buy the game tomorrow and was searching for a good review.

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#15

Nice one sir, I appreciate your hard work, thank you! MADE ME to consider in buying this piece. <3

1 Like