Assassin's Creed Odyssey full review
Assassin’s Creed Origins was one of our favourite games of last year, offering a vast improvement on previous titles in the series. Everything, from the open world to the combat, was overhauled and provided an immersive gaming experience. Fast forward to now and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is now available to buy on PS4, Xbox One and PC, and looks to improve on the framework laid by last year’s title. But how?
We’ve spent hours working our way through Odyssey so far, and here are the main improvements that we noticed. For more information, take a look at our Assassin’s Creed Odyssey review.
What’s new in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey?
Bayek of Siwa was a strong lead character in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, but the story was enhanced by the presence of a strong female character; his wife, Aya. This has been taken to the next level in Odyssey, with the option to play through the game as either Alexios or Kasandra. It’s not the first time this has happened in the series – games as far back as Assassin’s Creed Syndicate feature both male and female lead characters – but for the first time, you’ll be unable to switch between them during the course of the campaign.
The choice to be male or female doesn't affect many other aspects of the game. A few conversations make reference to the player character's gender, but other than that male & female choices are treated identically - both even get the same (gay and straight) romance options.
The dialogue in Assassin’s Creed Origins was a strong point of the game; the voice acting was believable, the conversations were interesting and the facial animations were realistic. The issue is that, while we could kick some serious ass in combat, we felt like a passenger in interactions. We had no input on how Bayek responded to situations, and we sometimes felt that we’d handle things a little differently.
That’s something that Odyssey improves on; for the first time in the series, dialogue options are available to you at various points in conversation. That means, if somebody is being aggressive towards you, you can decide to give them a taste of their own medicine and show some aggression in return – we’re sick of always taking the high road.
Some decisions that you make will have serious consequences, for better or worse, that will be felt in the open world and in the campaign. For the first time in the series, you have the ability to shift the direction of the gameplay experience. Will you kill that character, or steal that item? It’s up to you.
Dialogue options open up an entirely new way to play the game. In Odyssey, you have the option of playing the game without any objective markers, relying on you to get information from NPCs about the location of mission objectives.
These clues appear in the upper-left of the display, left for you to figure out where to go. It’s a much more natural and immersive way to play the game, but it’s also a challenge. The good news is that you can toggle waypoint markers off-and-on at will in the Settings menu, so you can always turn them back on if you get really stuck.
Combat in Assassin’s Creed Origins was a huge improvement on previous games, allowing you to take on multiple enemies at once in more natural-feeling combat. That has been enhanced in Odyssey with a range of powerful abilities available to use in combat. These range from power-ups that’ll increase your damage to bull charges that’ll send enemies flying and, our personal favourite, the ability to kick enemies and send them flying (whilst shouting "THIS IS SPARTA" at the TV, of course).
It allows you to approach combat in a variety of different ways, keeping it fresh through the lengthy campaign.
The special abilities can be used once you’ve filled up a segment of your ability bar. Filling the bar is easy; you need to quietly assassinate enemies, perform perfect parries and dodges and generally be a badass in combat. Oh, and a perfectly-timed dodge now provides your character with a burst of speed while everything else slows down, allowing you to do some serious damage to powerful opponents in battle.
Engravings are new in Odyssey, too. As well as the ability to upgrade the level of your favourite weapons at a blacksmith, you can now add custom engravings unlocked throughout the campaign. These have varying effects; you can increase damage inflicted by assassinations, enhance your hunting skills and more, allowing you to customise your collection of weapons for specific situations, be it taking on a group of low-power NPCs or a one v one with a powerful opponent.
If you’re yet to pick up the game, what are you waiting for? You can buy Assassin’s Creed Odyssey from Argos or GAME for £49.99 in the UK, while those in the US can head to Amazon and Best Buy and pick it up for $59.99.