‘Odyssey’ is a near-perfect ‘Assassin’s Creed’


Alexios overlooks a naval battle. Image from imdb.com

Evolution is often necessary in games, especially when a formula becomes stale. While “Odyssey” is far from the typical “Assassin’s Creed” game in terms of story and gameplay, it’s still a game that fits within the series.

The best aspect of “Odyssey” is that the entire game feels like an epic journey, similar to those that inspired it. Greece is steeped in a rich culture and historical significance. The theme of myths and legends being forged is something that makes a lot of the quests feel grander, especially during the larger scale battles.

The main story tries to hit the same highs as previous games like “Assassin’s Creed II” and “Origins,” but it doesn’t really get where it needs to. The story of Alexios and Kassandra has moments that really draw in the player, but the shaky writing and weird character animations in cutscenes often undermine the plot. It also has those patented moments of wackiness that the series is known for. Those scenes are either great or awful, depending on what you already think about the story and lore.

The RPG elements that are added in are better utilized in this game than they were in “Origins”. Loot is balanced better and spread out more evenly. Leveling up feels like a step forward every time, instead of after every few levels. Even the new dialogue choices feel like they have an impact.

A common complaint about this game has been that it’s too big for its own good and that the grind becomes too much. While the game does feel bloated with busy work, I’ll also say that the grind isn’t necessary, as long as the player seeks out side quests at a normal pace. If one were to rush through the story then they would be under-leveled, but that’s not unusual for RPGs. The annoying part is that the player has no idea which side quests are worth doing and which ones are meaningless.

The naval combat doesn’t feel as deep as it did in “Black Flag,” but it does feel faster. The task of boarding enemy ships also lacks the same feeling of piracy. It’s a shame that the overall naval gameplay doesn’t have as much depth and use as it did before. Taking on legendary ships makes for satisfying and challenging fights, but the rewards are usually either not significant or purely cosmetic.

The epic scale of this game is often a great thing, but it does feel like too much at various points. The loop and combat, exploration and rewards are nothing for modern games and, while the formula is familiar, it’s still done well. All the moments that create that feeling of a true adventure are what make this game great and worth playing. The inconsistent story and bloat are problems, but those problems are minor compared to the rest of the experience. That’s why “Odyssey” earns four and a half stars.

Final Score: 4.5/5

Ulises Duenas can be reached at [email protected] or @OrionUlisesD on Twitter.