I have to tell you that when I first seen this game at E3 last year, I was way overly hyped for it. I knew that I should be because if there has been a franchise that has let me down in the past the most, it’s been this one. The fact that Assassin’s Creed was moving in the direction of becoming a full blown RPG with a female lead and romance options really hit the mark for me though as I was desperately missing a good BioWare game that would do this in 2018. Did this game live up to my incredibly high expectations? After putting in well over 100 hours, I was finally able to get the platinum trophy for this game so that means it’s time for a review.
Taking place in 431 BC, that’s 400 years before Assassin’s Creed Origins for those of you trying to keep track of the timeline, you play as the descendant of King Leonidos. Playing as either Kassandra, my personal favorite, or Alexios you are a misthios. Of course this isn’t exactly by choice as both Kassandra and Alexios are quite literally thrown into this lifestyle. Things are looking up though when you’re hired by a wealthy man to kill The Wolf of Sparta. This will lead you on a journey to finding out who you really are, trying desperately to reconnect with your family, and trying to put a stop to the Cult of the Kosmos. All of this takes place in the beautifully crafted ancient Greece during the Peloponnesian War.
I don’t know how many times I’ve said this already, but I absolutely loved this game. Loved it. It was a new and refreshing addition to the franchise and the RPG elements only enhanced the game as it showed how certain decisions, not all decisions, really did matter and shaped the world around you. For example, without going too much into it, one of the first major decisions you’ll make is whether or not to let a family who may or may not be carriers of a plague die. Choose to be a good misthios, or a bad misthios depending how you look at it, and let them live along with letting them keep their money for themselves and refuse to get paid and you’ll come back to a Cephalonia that has been destroyed. This is also the first Assassin’s Creed game where I really cared about my character, how she acted, and the people around her because I was the one calling the shots. This made a huge difference for me and makes me continue to play the game as this is the first Assassin’s Creed that I actually bought the season pass for. Because this is an Assassin’s Creed game, you will play some parts in the future as Layla, who returns from Assassin’s Creed Origins, and I have to say that I can care less about these parts of the game and the modern day war that rages on between the Assassin’s and the Templars. There was a modern day twist that takes place and if Ubisoft is smart, they’ll run with it. Overall, I thought this game as a whole was highly enjoyable and can see myself sinking another 100 hours into the game as new quests and DLC are added.
The one thing that is consistent through all of the Assassin’s Creed games are the playability. They are basically all the same with some change ups here and there to keep everything fresh and relevant. Most of the fighting techniques first deployed in Origins follow you into Odyssey and that was just fine with me because it was a major improvement from the other games in the franchise. While the climbing is still a bit sketchy, even though this is a huge part of the game, gone is the insta death from falling off a building that is too high. I call this a win as the falling insta death was always rage inducing for me. Also, the naval battle! Let’s not forget about that as it borrows heavily from Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and even manages to make that better. While all of this is good, there are still the occasional game breaking bugs and glitches that you’ve come to expect from an Assassin’s Creed game. Disappearing people, floating people, random game crashing, I’ve had them all happen. While annoying, for a game this huge they’re to be expected. At least they were few and far in between so it wasn’t something that was happening often.
The graphics have always been a highlight for me when it comes to this franchise. Ubisoft takes you to ancient places and turns them into a living, breathing, sandbox for you to run around and explore. I couldn’t think of a better setting for this game and ancient Greece was everything I expected it to be and more. Ancient Greece is beautiful and alive with people and the main characters of this game are simply flawless. Kassandra is absolutely breathtaking and sculpted perfectly while Alexios resembles what you would expect from a man of that time period. The cut scenes for this game are also beautifully done as your characters face is responsive to the situation and actually show signs of emotion.
Even though the trophies are there I did not play this game for them. There are a total of 51 base trophies and a growing number of DLC trophies as new free missions are patched in and there are six episodes of DLC planned to be released for this game. Right now, the total number of trophies is at 74, but I expect this to grow to at least 100 by the time the game is fully completed. The trophies are what you could come to expect from an Assassin’s Creed game and will take you through the whole game. There are mission trophies, location trophies, sunken treasure trophies, and of course some random trophies thrown in there for fun. Throughout the game there is only one missable trophy, Aphrodite’s Embrace which requires your character to spend the night with another character. Good thing there were plenty of available women for Kassandra and I can say that my Kassandra happily bedded them all, even the bad ones.
The tacked on multiplayer that has been present in far too many Assassin’s Creed games is gone for good, fingers crossed, as Odyssey is yours alone. With so many NPC’s that you can interact with, it never really feels like you’re alone and makes the need for multiplayer disappear.
Overall I give this game a 5 out of 5.
+ This is the first Assassin’s Creed that is basically a full RPG where the decisions that you make matter.
+ The story is an interesting one that has a ton of twists and turns and will keep you intrigued and continue to play to see how it ends.
+ The playability for the franchise continues to improve as fighting techniques get better and falling insta deaths are removed.
+ Ancient Greece is the perfect setting for this game and is just brought to life on the PS4. Every inch of the map is beautiful and the characters, both playable and NPC, are crafted beautifully.
What’s Not So Great:
– Assassin’s Creed can’t seem to stay away from the bugs and glitches. Though they are few and far in between, which is a huge difference from other games, they still exist.
This is a must play game. It doesn’t matter if you’re a huge Assassin’s Creed fan, a moderate one, or not a fan at all. This is just one of those games that as a gamer if you don’t play you’re missing out. This is coming from someone who hasn’t always been that praise worthy of this franchise. To be honest, this franchise had more downs than ups, but playing this game is something that you will not regret. Without the presence of a full new Assassin’s Creed this year, I would say that this is the perfect time to pick up this game and play. For once, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Assassin’s Creed.