Assassin’s Creed is a franchise with a storied history to say the least. The first game and subsequent sequels were lauded for their innovative mechanics and breathtaking, lifelike settings. The historical fiction mixed with modern sci-fi aspects gave the game a compelling setting, and the narrative surrounding the enigmatic Assassin Order drew a wide base of fans in. Yet over the years, and across a decade of annual releases, those same fans drawn in by the initial bewilderment were becoming jaded. Until of course Ubisoft changed the pace of the franchise dramatically with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, recovered from the staleness of its predecessors, and essentially saved the series in the eyes of fans.
Untold Stories In Unexplored Lands
Prior to Odyssey’s release, the energy around the Assassin’s Creed franchise was palpably tepid. Many thought Ubisoft had lost their polished touch, as evidenced by the sloppy, bug-ridden mess that was Assassin’s Creed Unity. Others believed they had simply run out of ideas as each sequel felt like a reskinned version of its younger siblings. But along came Odyssey with its sprawling open world and in-depth roleplay mechanics. The quest lines were interesting, the world was compelling, and player choice felt genuinely meaningful.
One highlight for many fans entering Odyssey was the way relationships and dialogue worked. A level of in depth interactivity was introduced to the title as players could choose to have their Alexios or Kassandra be anywhere on the spectrum of sexuality. This lent to a more rich roleplaying experience and excellent representation as players relished the autonomy they were handed. Granted, the mishandled Shadow Heritage DLC sullied this aspect later on in Odyssey’s lifespan, but the mechanic’s presence in the title in the first place is indicative of welcome progress in the franchise
Ancient Greece has long been the subject of grand tales of heroism, tragedy, and peril across all mediums. However, never before has the time period been so thoroughly fleshed out as in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. The fully traversable map is rife with gorgeous scenery and stunning Greek architecture. Whether by foot, horseback, or seafaring vessel, players were handed a playground and given permission to roam about it as they pleased. Leveling up and attaining epic gear was a rush of excitement and joy that Ubisoft refined with Odyssey.
Reinventing a franchise is not easy, especially when that franchise with a pedigree like Assassin’s Creed’s. In a series known for fun and snappy combat, Ubisoft executed Odyssey’s more action-oriented gameplay near flawlessly. They seamlessly moved into a wide open world and brought along with it an equipment system that made players feels as though they could build a demigod, while also offering variety in terms of class-based skills and abilities. The way these systems worked together to form an organic experience is a huge contributor to Odyssey being a genuinely special experience.