Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a remarkably different game from last year’s Origins, despite it only being a year apart from the big revival of the franchise after Ubisoft wisely decided to take a year off. You can already read about its improved combat, more mystical attributes and wonderful new protagonist here, but those words can’t let you see what the Greek islands actually look like in action. Whether you’re assaulting sandy shores or sailing on the high seas with arrows and spears in tow, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is beautiful. And wonderfully varied too.
Just take a look at the standard open-world exploration, which is now complemented by the ability to quickly sail between the relatively large islands of Dalos and Mykonos. These two aren’t the only pieces of land in the game, but rather the only ones that were open during our hands-on time with it at E3 this week. Mykonos is a stunning gem, surrounded by lush green fields of grass and busy beaches. There’s a lot of industry taking place around you, breathing life into the island to give it a routine that can be tangibly followed. You can uproot this order by hunting down high ranking officers or engaging in large-scale battles on its beaches, but it never stops looking as grand as the action it plays stage to.
Of course things change when you’re at sea. Odyssey makes a return for naval combat to the series, but makes suitable changes to better reflect the type of warfare the Spartan’s were known for in their smaller ships. You’ll engage with enemies in more close-quarters affairs, using shorter range arrows and spears to pierce their hulls and tear apart their sails. Ramming into enemy ships is an encouraged strategy too, with the aid of a limited speed boost giving you the right amount of heft on impact. Sailing the seas in Odyssey is tranquil and treacherous at the same time, but it is just as captivating as it was when first introduced properly in Black Flag (let’s not linger on Assassin’s Creed 2, shall we?).
All of your actions on these islands work towards tempting out a key target, with the demo eventually culminating in a massive assault on a fortified enemy compound to try and take him out once and for all. Depending on how much you’ve accomplished beforehand, this battle can take on different meanings. Going in right for the kill without thinning out opposing officers might make things trickier, while choosing to fight head-on will also limit your ability to reach your target unscathed. Odyssey is about bringing choices back to your actions, but the battles themselves are a spectacle to behold.
Odyssey has so many new moving pieces for players to worry about as Ubisoft digs deeper into a more role-playing structure for the franchise. These two islands might have just been teasers, but they hold a lot of promise for what’s coming this October.
Last Updated: June 18, 2018