Assassins Creed Odyssey – Xbox One Review
Our Xbox One Review of Assassins Creed Odyssey
Assassins Creed. One of my favourite game franchises of all time. It`s a game that I consistently gotten into, every single year. Not since it first launched, I struggled to get into the first Assassins Creed, but Assassins Creed 3 was the breakthrough game for me, and every single year, I have played and enjoy the AC games. Even the poor heap that was Unity when it first launched (Remember that? That was atrocious at launch – it`s a much better game now though) to the streets of London in Syndicate (Which probably remains my favourite AC to date) to last year`s gorgeous setting of Egypt for Origins, I have enjoyed every single year. So you can imagine how excited I was earlier this year at E3, when we got the reveal and look of Assassins Creed Odyssey, which is set in the Peloponnesian war. How was it going to fare though? Just the same as every other AC I have played – I have really enjoyed my time with it so far.
Developed and published by Ubisoft, it tells the story of the protagonist, and for the first time in a Assassins Creed title, you have the choice to choose either to play through the game as a male or a female protagonist, and you`ll have the same interactions and conversations with people regardless of who you choose. You will meet both characters along the way in some aspect depending on who you choose to play as, but it`s a great move from Ubisoft and something that I was very good and quite unique to put into a game of this size. Through playing through the story missions and side missions you`ll rank up your character as you play through, and the higher rank you are, the more easier your game will become, especially when it comes to completing levels that have a high XP rank (Of course, you can try and do the level – but if it`s a few levels above you I`d seriously not try to do so – as all the enemies will be higher ranked and cause a few problems). In addition to the main story missions, there is a ton of side missions and other things to do, such as completing forts and sites, where you`ll have to kill certain enemies that are located there and find certain objects and loot in each location in order to complete and earn yourself some XP (XP is going to be the main thing you`re after this game – earning the XP in order to open up the new missions and make your life a lot easier).
Of course, just like every single other Assassins Creed title, you are going to find yourself getting completely side-tracked, and you will. You`ll go around the map and open new vantage points that you can synchronize so you can take in some of the beautiful views from the above, and you`ll open up new points and discover new side missions that you`ll get enrolled in. It`s impossible to not get side-tracked, and that`s a good thing. Everything you do and complete in the world of Odyssey will get you XP. The game is massive though, and it`s one that`s going to offer you a lot of replay value and a lot of time is going to be needed to explore every inch. I`ve seen some mention that perhaps it`s too big and a bit to in-depth, but for me, I quite like that. There`s a lot there to explore and to, and I must say I prefer these style of creed games. There have been titles in the past that have followed a sort of linear approach that you just play through, with not too much exploration, but I really do like the turn and style that Ubisoft take with the AC titles now. There`s loads to explore and do.
Throughout the game and the more your complete level and XP up, you`ll get skill points, that can be used in different ways – depending on how you want to build your Assassin. Using a structure that gives you three different styles, Hunter, Assassin and Warrior (Although they all focus on the different parts of the Arsenal of your assassin – so in hindsight, you want to do all of them up really and match them as you go along – that`s what I found myself doing and some of them you`ll want to rank up and unlock before others). These will help in your battle and fight against enemy opposition, and the more you play through and rank up, the more you`ll be able to use your unlock points on. The more you play and progress through the game, not just with story missions but in general, the more you`ll be able to use your skill points.
In addition to ranking up with earning XP by completing missions and other activities, you`ll obviously get into combat with enemies, whether that is Spartans or Athenians (Which you`ll play as both throughout) and if you`ve played Origins, the combat system is very much the same. Using a quick hit or a heavy hit will be left with you and your weapon choice, as you`ll find that sometimes depending on the weapon you have selected you`ll find the way you want to play. Killing enemies and looting them will sometimes give you new weapons and Drachmae, which is the in-game currency that you earn from playing the game (And a fun fact – Drachmae was used in Greece as real-life currency until 2001 when the Euro came into play). Drachmae can be used to buy weapons and other items throughout the game, and you can also sell items you have collected, from loot boxes or enemies for Drachmae. The combat system is not a bad system, and is very fluid and good, but the reversal system can be a little bit frustrating at first if you`ve not played Origins – it does take a fair bit of practice but nothing that you won’t be able to get to grips with after playing through. It`s not just on-land that the combat takes place – you`ll also sail across the Aagean sea, and wipe out enemy ships and engage in battle – some of them are very fun to get involved with – and some of them not so much fun (Although these ships were a lot more powered than mine so maybe that`s why). Sailing is going to be a big part of the game, as you`ll need to sail to different islands as not all are connected. You can upgrade your ship and your crew (Crew members you`ll discover as you play through the game – you normally will complete a mission for them and persuade them to join your crew and they offer unique abilities – normally will result in your ship being upgraded stat wise) and the more you put into your ship, in terms of points and upgrades, the more better you`ll be out at sea.
A new feature that is apparent in Odyssey, is the introduction of battles. After completing each region, you`ll have the option to engage in a battle, which can be a great fun way to go and kill a load of Spartans or Athenians. This is what was shown off a few times earlier in the year at expos – I had the chance to have a go in September at EGX in the UK – but having played a couple on the main game, they are very good fun and I welcome them to the franchise.
The XP system can be a bit frustrating at times. Perhaps unbalanced at times would be the right word, as you`ll find yourself gaining XP but very slowly – it will take a few different missions and locations to complete to rank yourself up a new level – but do stick with it and explore the game and complete the range of activities out there because you will get it up – it will take a bit of grinding though at times and perhaps that`s somewhere that I may be critical of. I`d have like to have seen a bit of an easier ranking system, because for some people this will be a bit of a put off, but as similar as it was to Origins, you`ll know what you`re in for.
11 months ago, we saw the release of the Xbox One X, the world`s most powerful console (Which is what was reviewed on) which would offer true 4K gaming. I think this year is going to be the first year we`re going to see the full benefit of the X console, and one of the titles that is going to use that, is Assassins Creed Odyssey. The game looks breath-taking. I went around the game, in the scorching sun engaging into battle, and it just looked fantastic. I really enjoyed looking for the vantage points and going up to complete and synchronize them, as you get to see the stunning views around you. It`s a game that if you have a 4K HDR TV, you`re going to be in for some serious sweet surroundings. This is on a 4K HDR TV, if you`ve got an OLED, well, I`ll let you answer that one.
Assassins Creed Odyssey is a game that as a Creed fan, I was going to love, regardless. The game looks stunning and beautiful and is truly a great sight to see when you`re playing. If you have played Origins the system is very similar in terms of the combat, and you won`t have much difficulty, but if you are new to the new combat system (So, didn’t play Origins) then it`ll take some getting used to, especially the reversal system. A massive game that offers you so much to play and get through, that you probably needn’t play much else between now and Christmas time. Like every year, there is a season pass on offer that`ll give you DLC at a later point (And this year- you get two AC games remastered in that season pass – one being AC 3, which was the starter for me!) but you won`t be needing that straight away. Assassins Creed Odyssey is a titles that shows off why I brought my X console, and is a game that I am absolutely loving.
Review copy supplied by Ubisoft