I am a long-time fan of the Assassins’ Creed series. I didn’t play Rogue, Syndicate, or Unity for some reason but I’ve played and enjoyed every other major console release. I love the history and the fun alterations that Ubisoft makes to our living world. Assassins’ Creed Odyssey represents the where the series can go and the capabilities of the Ubisoft Quebec.
I’m excited to see where they go next, but for now here’s my review for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
TL,DR: At the end, as per usual.
Although I am impressed with the graphics because of the game’s size, it doesn’t look fantastic in any meaningful way. Surely the game doesn’t look bad. I think the closer we get to a new console generation the harder it is to impress with graphics alone. Games just look great on the whole.
The variety of weapons and armor add some great visuals to change how your character looks in the minute to minute world. Although some of the armor and weapons are just reskinned, I was never bothered by the similarities. Usually, if you find a new weapon it looks different from everything in your inventory at the moment. The same goes for armor.
The different major cities look unique, while some towns and minor villages begin to the look the same after a time. I never wondered what city I was in, I was able to tell based off the visual cues and distinct style found in the different regions.
The regions themselves looked interesting and played differently based on the topography and included civilization. Mountains, hills, trees, and water felt differently based on the location. Some of the islands really stood out with their lighting and different soil makeup. Some places felt tropical while others felt temperate.
Both major and minor characters seemed a little bit dated in their visuals. I’m glad that all the characters, both important and less so, looked similar in style. I could never tell how important the character was based off their look alone. But, I don’t think any of them looked particularly interesting.
Again, I am impressed with the game’s graphics because of the sheer size of the game, but nothing really stands out as going above and beyond expectations.
I love the sound in this game. The breadth of sound definitely impacts the overall experience. Things like the sound of footsteps while your hiding, the sea shanties, and the sounds of fighting all combine to make the ambiance seem unique and thoughtful.
The sound affected how I played the game by keeping me focused on the world itself without getting distracted by outside stimulus. I sometimes lose focus in games when I’m not fully enveloped, most often by great sound, but that isn’t a problem here.
The civilization and wildlife sounds diverge and converge seamlessly to present a wide range of experiences. Besides the obvious sights of the cities, the sounds also marked your location expertly.
The directional sound also added a ton of nuance. I could always tell where people and animals were in relation to my character based on sound alone. I think that lends itself well to the Assassin’s Creed name because sound seems like it would be important in that type of environment. I loved being able to use sight and sound in tandem to fight my way through the Ancient Greek world.
The game does not run well at all. I’m really disappointed by the number of crashes, frame drops, mismatched subtitles, and overall issues with how the game runs.
During my 55 hour play time, I had 3 hard crashes back to the PlayStation dashboard. There were 5 separate occasions where the game was running at around 3 frames per second, aka terrible. There were a few times where I got stuck on pieces of the environment or in the world itself.
I don’t think I had this many issues with a game in a long time, and the issues were definitely more prevalent in Odyssey compared to Origins. I’ve heard people use the term “Ubisoft jank” in a joking but endearing way over the past few weeks and I can’t say I agree. We should hold developers to a higher standard than this. I don’t think Ubisoft should get a pass on the technical issues of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
I don’t really care how big the game is, there shouldn’t be crashes and bugs to this extent. I am just disappointed. I hope that I’m one of the more rare cases because I’d hate for tons of people to have the same issue. Hopefully, they’ve fixed it since I finished my playthrough.
And while I was bothered by the technical failures, I did finish the game and enjoyed the majority of it. Yes, there are issues, but they didn’t stop me from completing the game.
Ubisoft Quebec needs to take more time to play/bug test.
The major components of the game, fighting and on foot traversal, played out exceedingly well. Traveling with anything other than your feet was either boring or annoying depending on your mode of travel. Sailing the open seas could have been better and riding the stupid horse presented problems more often than not. The game world was just too big and spread out to be fun in the ocean and the ship aspects didn’t really have anything interesting to encourage staying on the ship.
I’ll just get this out of the way, the horse pathing is terrible and reacts weirdly to different obstacles in the environment.
On the positive side, I loved getting to build my version of Alexios. You can pick and choose different skills that completely alter how the game plays. I chose to focus on close quarters combat and skills and had a blast. The more skills I learned the more interesting combat became. I found myself chaining together some really cool skills that made fighting certain enemies loads of fun.
I go back and forth with how I feel regarding the “assassination” aspects. I’ve seen some people complaining that the game doesn’t feel like “Assassin’s Creed” anymore. While I agree to an extent, you just have to level up certain skills to get that same assassin feeling. And thematically Assassin’s don’t really exist yet considering the game takes place hundreds of years before Origins, which is the birth of the Assassins.
I didn’t maybe 5% of the game and loved 95% of it. Choosing how to play out different areas and take out bosses or powerful enemies made the combat engrossing. The style of combat and different events added a depth rarely found in open world games. While the combat always plays the same, there are some events that present new opportunities or new ways to interact with the world.
Assassins’ Creed Odyssey adheres tightly to the “gameplay is king” way of thought and the game really shines because of that focus.
Finally, finally, finally, a game’s story doesn’t falter in the middle. Too many times in the past I’ve gotten bored because the story gets bloated or loses focus 25 hours in and then becomes tedious. That is not an issue here.
I was fully enveloped for large portions of the story. There are a few different story threads happening concurrently which adds depth and balanced pacing. I am incredibly impressed by the story structure of this game. I’ve played the majority of the AC franchise and enjoyed them due to their historical fiction and characters.
The stories and quests weave together beautiful and create a more whole experience than other open world games. I loved finding a side quest chain that becomes part of my own story later in the game. Some characters would appear and reappear in the story at relevant points presenting a subtle but important narrative whole.
I enjoyed the story and characters from the beginning. I think that I enjoyed Ezio and Edward Kenway more, but Alexios/Kassandra definitely rank high up in the interesting main character pantheon.
Odyssey easily has the best side characters and villains. Sometimes you wonder if people are on your side or fighting against you. These minor changes in characterization made the cast feel authentic and more realized.
I think the story does falter with a feeling of finality. I finished up a few different questlines at the same time and the game just kind of stopped. While each aspect of the story definitely wound down, I never got the feeling of “beating the game.” I feel like I stopped playing and the game ended but I am disappointed by the end in general. I would have liked a more clean wrap to the story.
The end issues are small and only slightly detract from the experience in a minor way. The story was great but it could have been amazing with proper finish.
I think this is the best Assassin’s Creed Odyssey game to date. While, I have a fondness for ACIV, Odyssey is a better game overall. The gameplay, writing, and characters are all improved in this entry in the series. And I think that is in spite of the awful technical issues.
I think Ubisoft Montreal is the better technical development team, but Ubisoft Quebec writing and creative team offer more in the way of interesting stories and world-building.
TL,DR: Excellent gameplay, enjoyable story, and an interesting cast of characters with a side of bugs and crashes make for a enjoyable experience.
Thanks for reading.