Assassin’s Creed Odyssey takes the long-running series to ancient Greece. Fans of the 2017 Assassin’s Creed Origins will feel like they are in familiar territory but enough new ideas are implemented to help keep things feeling fresh. There are actually quite a few changes implemented and Hardcore Gamer has put together this starter guide to help get the most out of your time in Greece.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey takes place during the Peloponnesian War which spanned the years 431 to 404 BCE, with the game beginning in the year 431. This war was between the Athens led Delian League and the Spartan Peloponnesian League. From a historical standpoint, this war marked the collapse of the Golden Age of Greece. Within the game the players will be able to take on side quests from both the Spartans and Athenians. Assassin’s Creed titles are known for having players interact with historical figures, and some of the names from the history books that will be encountered in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey include Herodotus, Perikles, Pythagoras and Hippokrates. It’s also important to note that Greece is home to many predatory animals such as lions, wild boar, sharks, wolves and ferocious roosters. It’s important to remember that this is a Ubisoft game and all these animals have an insatiable bloodlust and uncontrollable aggression toward humans.
Assassin’s Creed has changed quite a bit since the original title came out in 2007, but the constant element of the Animus remains. Layla returns from Assassin’s Creed Origins, and once again she is living through genetic memories of Kassandra and Alexios. Basically Layla is playing a much more immersive video game than we are if you want to view the Animus as being a full body VR apparatus.
Players will choose between two characters, the brother and sister Alexios or Kassandra. The choice ultimately doesn’t matter beyond whether or not the player wishes to play as a man or woman. Regardless of the character selected the story will remain unchanged and all NPC romance options will remain open to both characters. The relationships are not much more than brief wooing and some off screen knockin’ boots but meaningless hook ups can be a brief source of enjoyment, just like in real life. Neither Alexios or Kassandra have a set sexual orientation, so anyone is fair game. The back stories of Alexios and Kassandra are also interchangeable based on which is selected, so the player may freely choose who they want to play without having to worry about missing out on major story events.
Beyond selecting a playable character, player choice is a huge part of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and these decisions can alter how the story plays out. Some of the major choices seem rather obvious, like whether or not to spare the life of a major antagonist but some less obvious ones can have a major impact, such as using discussion options to influence a character. In total there are nine different endings for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and depending on if you wish to role play your character a certain way to achieve a specific ending it is important to weigh the possible impact of every decision.
Regions in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey have a purple meter that sometimes pops up on the bottom right side of the screen that indicates Nation Power. This indicates how well a nation’s leader is protected, so to make the leader come out and play the nation power needs to be reduced. This can be done by finding all the bases scattered across an area and clear them out by killing their leaders and setting fires to their war supplies. After the power has been sufficiently reduced the game will tell the player that a conquest battle is available, which can be activated by going to the red or blue marker. Blue signifies a battle where the player is defending territory and red signifies the player is trying to conquer the land for themselves. Defending territory is typically easier but going on the offensive grants greater rewards. The overall progress of the battle is indicated by red and blue bars at the top of screen, red for the aggressor and blue for the defender. In order to win simply kill the enemies before they can kill you, and whenever someone depletes the enemy side’s bar they can claim victory.
Sea travel is an essential component of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and just like on land Alexios and Kassandra will have numerous encounters with those who wish to kill them. The two main modes of projectile attacks in naval combat are archers and javelin throwers, the archers being better suited for long range strikes whereas the javelins are more like shotguns, high damage output at close range with a decent area of effect spread. These attacks can be upgraded to include fire, which as a general rule fire makes everything better. Defending the crew is important and well timed shield raises brace against the attack, lessening the damage. Players can also ram enemy ships at high speed to inflict damage, and once a ship has been damaged enough to be boarded ramming the ship can cleave it in half, which restores a portion of the player ship’s health. Boarding the ship and killing all the crew members in hand to hand combat is also an option, and this gives players the opportunity to use the Spartan Kick to knock enemies into the ocean who are promptly eaten by sharks. Destroying enemy ships is sometimes necessary for advancing the story or self preservation, but taking out any ships is also a good way to loot resources.
As any car owner knows all vehicles require constant maintenance and upkeep in order to keep running smoothly and the Adrestia is no different. Her hull and offensive capabilities need to be upgraded in order to remain relevant in the watery battlefield and this is done by dumping drachmae and resources into her. Prior to gaining control of the Adrestia it seems like you have more olive wood than you will ever need but once you get control of her no amount of wood ever seems like enough. A good ship requires a good crew and recruiting competent lieutenants is a crucial part of keeping her shipshape. Acting lieutenants give bonuses to different stats, so figuring out what stats are most relevant to your aquatic warfare helps in determining who to assign. Lieutenants are recruited either through story progression, side quests or by knocking out and enemy and then recruiting them, the last approach has been renamed Spartan Pokemon (Liz Surette states she will seek legal action against me if I don’t give her credit for that term).
Shocking as this may sound, keeping a good inventory of quality weapons and armor is important to surviving Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. The four tiers of equipment are Common (grey), Rare (blue), Epic (purple) and Legendary (gold). Common and Rare are often found from picking corpses or looting treasures with Epic and Legendary typically show up as quest rewards or killing elite enemies. Legendary items generally have the best bonuses, followed by Epic and then Rare. Weapons, like the character and all enemies, have a level. The players needs to be at least the same level as the equipment to use it, and naturally higher level equipment have better stats. Damage is divided into three main types: Hunter, which is damage from ranged weapons, Warrior is damage from melee combat and Assassin which is damage from stealth attacks and knock out attempts.
In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey there are many different weapons that behave differently, such as having a fast or slow swing or wider area of effect. A problem can arise where a player may prefer fighting with their Legendary level 11 daggers but they reach level 23 and those daggers are woefully underpowered. Instead of having to switch to level appropriate mace or a level appropriate Common set of daggers, the player can pay a blacksmith to upgrade the piece of equipment to their level. This can also be done to a favorite piece of Legendary armor that looks cool and has nice bonus effects but it too low of a level to be useful. As the player levels up they learn different engravings. These can be done to weapons to give them additional augmentations besides their natural bonuses.
Mercenaries are extremely tough enemies that can easily overpower the player, even if the levels are equal. Fighting off these enemies will take tenacity and strategy, as they are Golden Age bullet sponges and can have various strengths and weaknesses. Besting one of these brutes in combat can lead to some decent loot and new engravings, but there is little room for error in facing them head on. The good news is these enemies generally leave the player alone unless they go into an area they shouldn’t or start committing various acts of violence against civilians. The grey helmets in the bottom right represent the mercenary threat level, much like the star rating in Grand Theft Auto games. The more red in the meter, the greater the threat. There are three ways to deal with the mercenaries. The quickest and easiest is to pay off the bounty. The second way is to take a page from the book of brave Sir Robin and run away to hide, waiting for the mercenary meter to deplete which can take quite a while. If someone wants to take that route, go chill on top of a sync point and make yourself a sandwich since it’s going to be a few minutes per helmet. The hardest, and most rewarding, is going toe to toe and killing the mercenary.
The Cult of Kosmos is introduced in the first half of the game and reveal some rather interesting aspects of the plot. They kind of have a vibe like the orgy sequence in Eyes Wide Shut except everyone keeps their robes on. After the player leaves the hideout of the Cult the Cultist Menu opens up. There are several cult members to track down and kill but before this happens the player needs to seek out clues to reveal their identity. Killing cult members does lead to some nice loot but an extra bonus is that the more cult members a player kills the more they can level up the Spear of Leonidas, which can incur bonuses like using Adrenaline to regenerate health or unlocking additional melee ability wheels.
What would an action RPG be without skills? Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has three skill trees divided in Hunter, Warrior and Assassin, or bow, melee and stealth. Players will gain a skill point each time they level up. Additionally these can be acquired through other means such as completing Tombs that are found throughout Greece. These skills include mastery of fire and poison to add to weapons, slowing time, unleashing a volley of arrows, guiding fired arrows, vanishing in a blinding flash and many other abilities. Higher tier skills require the player reach a certain level or have a prerequisite skill but the good news is a player doesn’t necessarily need all the lower tier skills to get the one high tier skill they want. Skill points can be stacked up to three points in a skill, so players can ignore the skills they don’t care about and power up the ones they do. Lastly, for a small bit of a drachmae, the player can reset all spent skill points if they decide they aren’t happy with their character build.