After 90ish hours I’m finally through Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, a game which firmly lives up to its name, and I look forward to future games: “Assassin’s Creed: Big Ass Game”, and “Assassin’s Creed: Screw your freetime, it belongs to me”.
It feels a mite churlish to complain about getting too much bang for your buck, but it is just a bit too long. It would be one thing if you could just focus on the central story, but the main quest line isn’t finished until level 45, and doesn’t fully finish the story in a satisfying way, so for that you need to get to the level cap, visit most places, do a bunch of extra quests, both for the xp and because some your targets are at the end of area quests. I didn’t have to do everything, but probably more than ideally wanted, given that by that point I’d ground the available mechanics into the dirt.
Apart from its over-enthuastic shelf-life, it’s a good game. Typically beautiful and detailed as you’d expect from AAA Ubisoft, I was initially wary that so much time in Greece would get a bit boring environmentally, and while it is coherent, it does remain stunning throughout. Missions end up feeling a little repetitive, but there are some interesting stories in there which kept my interest going, though I wish it was the majority and not the exception. Unfortunately, again the length played a part here, as my desire to get to the end turned me into the Spartan equivalent of the monster from It Follows, running as the crow flies to my marked target with the steely determination of an eternally cursed postman with a long checklist to complete and not enough time. Related to this, while the previous entries climbing mechanics where contentious at best, more as likely to see you fling yourself in a random direction than the one you intended, there was at least a bit of a puzzle component to the activity, whereas now its slick and streamlined and may as well not exist. Not sure if there is a middle ground there to be found.
The main draw for me throughout was Kassandra. She clicked with me in a way that one of their protagonists hasn’t since Ezio. I found her dialog and attitude (with a degree of role playing in the dialog choices) kept the more mundane aspects of the game at bay. I was happy to spend time with her and felt a genuine sense of parting sorrow at the end. I was a bit surprised to find that 2/3rd of people played as Alexios. Obviously my experience with him was limited so I dont know what nuances were in there for him, but the scenes I did see him in where enough to make me glad I didn’t choose him. Again its a shame the game is so long here because I can’t imagine many people will brave the idea of playing twice to get both perspectives.
Anyway, good game, too long (like this post). I’m not particularly interested in the setting of the next one, so not sure if I’ll play that, but if I do it’ll probably be a while.
Note: Quick edit to make some adjustments as I was writing this while waiting for to find out if my Covid jab was going to illicit an unfavourable reaction. I just want to make an extra mention of the water. I freakin’ love the water in this game, and in Black Flag before it. There’s something in the physicality and drama of it that just works. It may be my favourite water in a game ever, if I ever take the time to work that out. But only in the seas. The waterfalls were weirdly rubbish.