I've been playing this game since around midnight when it was officially released. Although I wanted to do a "24 hours in" review, I can't wait another two and a half hours to gush about this game!
When Origins came out a year ago, it was immediately my favourite Assassin's Creed game. Prior to that, Black Flag was the one I preferred. Well, Odyssey did the impossible and beat out Origins. I was expecting it to be good at the very least, but I was sure all the extreme praise was just overhyping the game. I've heard everyone talking about how every action you do has consequences and how your involvement in the world really matters. Yeah, I've heard that before. Heck, Life is Strange has a message at the start of the game that says something to that effect. But really it only means certain things you do at specific times matter, and you always know when that is. "Oh, this is one of Those Moments. Better decide carefully".
Not with Odyssey. Every choice you make, big or small, effects the world around you. That's not exaggeration. This game might even be more replayable than Skyrim, in terms of outcomes. At least, that's my opinion as of writing this, having played the game less than 24 hours. I'm already planning on playing it again once I've completed it and done everything I can, only so I can go through and make different choices.
Speaking of Skyrim, in that game you can choose which faction you want to join, and you're stuck with that choice the rest of your playthrough. I thought that'd be the case in this game when I heard you'd be able choose to join the Spartans or the Athenians. Well, turns out you can play both sides. You're a mercenary! Personally, I want to join the Athenians, but I don't want the Spartans to hate me because I MEAN HAVE YOU SEEN 300?!?! So I'm making them think I am helping them, while letting their enemies escape. So it actually feels like I'm a double agent. And it's not what Ubisoft intended the story to be. I CHOSE to do that, and the game let me. When they said you control your destiny, they really meant it.
Sailing is back! And it feels like it did in Black Flag! Granted, a little less technologically advanced because it's Ancient Greece, but that was the easiest part for me to jump into.
This map is huge! seriously, Kephallonia (the "Siwa" of this title) is large enough that I actually thought that was the main area. Once I set out to see, I found out that I was very wrong, I could see the map, but it wasn't until I set sail that I realise I could zoom out, and when I did my jaw dropped. I cannot wait to explore all of it!
The game also looks better than Origins does, as you'd expect with it being newer and all. I've already taken several awesome photos with the photo mode. Wish I could post them here, but by the time I thought of it the screenshots had already been maxed out.
There's a new optional system here you can choose to use at the beginning. You can either use the traditional guided system where you get a quest and it tells you where it is, or you can use the new "exploration" system, where you use dialogue clues to figure out where the objective location is. That probably sounds awful, and I thought so at first, but once you use it you'll see it actually adds to the immersion. Like, when someone gives you a quest, you can ask them where to find the bandit leader (for example), and they'll say something like, "I'm not sure, but I hear he's east of the statue of Zeus". You pull up the map and see a "?" to the east of where the statue of Zeus is and head there. Or maybe you've already discovered the bandit camp and it shows there's a bandit camp to the east of the statue. (this was just an example. I don't think there's a bandit camp to the east of the statue).
I do have a few complaints, though they're not very big. In fact, one of the biggest complaints just happens to be with the directions given. Sometimes they'll say something like, "It's to the east of the coast of Greek-name-I-forgot", and I look and it's actually to the west of that coast. It does throw me off occasionally, but it doesn't happen often enough that it's that big of an issue.
Some of the new mechanics are a little confusing at first, but I'm sure with use it'll become second nature. Like, the ability skills are LT+A, B, Y, and X, or LB+A, B, Y, and X. You can map the ability skills to whichever one you want, and in the heat of a fight it's confusing and I keep pressing the wrong buttons. But again, new mechanic I've only used for less than 24 hours. If I update this review in a couple months I'll probably be laughing that I was struggling so much with it. Skyrim's controls baffled me at first, and I ended up trying to jump with Y in other games for awhile.
All in all, I think this game is definitely worth a buy. It takes the best parts of the entire series and adds it's own thing.
- Awesome graphics
- Endless replayability
- Massive map to explore
- Misleading directions from dialogue