Assassin’s Creed, players will be given dialogue options and can select how their character responds to the world.
At Gamescom 2018, I got to play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, set a few hundred years before Origins. Even though Origins was quite different from the rest of the series in its world design, structure, pacing and questing; Odyssey marks the true transformation of Assassin’s Creed into a full fledged RPG.
As revealed earlier, you can choose to play as one of two characters in the game – Alexios and Kassandra. I chose to play the demo as Alexios and spawned on a small island, already at level 50. Ubisoft had prepared a quest for the demo. An NPC named Bryce was looking for her lover, and I somehow got involved in a deep controversy surrounding an ancient monster. The quest was complex, varied in its design and the locations it asked you to visit, and consisted of multiple steps that engaged the player in different types of gameplay opportunities.
For the first time in Assassin’s Creed, players will be given dialogue options and can select how their character responds to the world. In the demo, I chose to be empathetic towards the situation and tried to get to the bottom of the mystery with a cool head.
I took some time to get used to the changes in combat. Most notably, the shield is gone and you must either dodge or parry attacks by pressing RB and LB at the same time. The second biggest change is the fact that your weapons have active skills that are mapped onto the face buttons. I had abilities such as spartan kick, self-heal, arrows with increased damage and so on unlocked. Even though I did not get a chance to fully explore the skill tree, whatever little I saw assured me that there will be plenty of options available to you, no matter the playing style. These skills use up 1 bar of your stamina, which can be refilled by taking part in combat. Due to the above, combat was proving to be quite challenging, but intense at the same time. In addition, some of my favourite attacks from Origins were either not unlocked or not in the game. But the fights in Odyssey were especially stressful and rewarding. Combat flow was mostly the same -dodge, look for openings and try to thin the numbers.
I got to use the ship to get to a nearby island, but did not participate in any ship combat. I’m going to assume it will be similar to that in Origins but, judging by the amount of water in the game, will play a much more important role.
The demo ended in a surprisingly difficult boss fight against Medusa. Primarily she would try to turn you into stone, but she can also summon small AOE based attacks in succession from anywhere in the area. She can teleport at will and also call upon a few allies. I spent most of the bosses hiding behind pillars, shooting arrows, waiting for my ultimate attack to trigger and use it on the boss.
After playing the demo of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, I convinced that the series is going in a direction that will not be well received by a certain section of the fans. But in order to evolve and continue to provide unique gameplay scenarios, it needs to consistently add new systems and mechanics to keep the interest high. I am extremely pleased with the transition into a full blown RPG and cannot wait to see whether it manages to fulfil the checkbox of what the audience requires from this genre, without alienating the older fans of the franchise.