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E3 2018: Hands-On with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

If you have read my review of Assassin’s Creed: Origins, you would know just how much I love that game. Still, I was surprised when I heard they would be releasing another game this year in the form of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, as I assumed they wanted to refrain from making it an annualized franchise again. However, after playing Origins and a full hour of a preview build of Odyssey, it’s already one of my most anticipated games this year.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is leaning more heavily into the RPG elements this time around, with dialogue options that affect the story and the choice between two characters: Alexios and Kassandra. I chose Kassandra because how often do you get to play as a female in Assassin’s Creed games?

Set in Ancient Greece in the year 431 BCE, I only got to explore a small segment of the map, two islands to be specific. Curious about the map size, I was able to take a look at the entirety of it in the pause menu, and it is huge. If it’s anything like Origins, you will explore less than half of the map if you only do the main quest. Right off the bat, the most noticeable aspect of the game is its incredible use of color. Origins was by far the best-looking Assassin’s Creed game in terms of artistic design and graphical fidelity, but it may soon be dethroned by Odyssey as it is not set in a vast desert. Instead, a majority of the map is covered by sea, leaving open opportunities for naval combat, which I unfortunately did not get to try in this demo.

Kassandra has been sent to the island to assist a rebellion lead by a woman named Kyra. Regardless of the character you choose, you are able to romantically interact with certain characters male and female. I took the opportunity to flirt with Kyra, although the dialogue given didn’t seem to come naturally. I mostly spoke professional with her until that moment and both characters started flirting as if they’ve been doing it for awhile. This might just be one of few instances where this occurs, but we won’t find out until the game’s launch.

The game plays very much like Assassin’s Creed: Origins, with parkour up and parkour down, synchronization points, and open-world collectibles. If you’ve never played an AC game, exploration and parkour play a key part. It seems like you won’t need to play any of the previous games to understand Odyssey, but I do recommend playing Origins to get a grip on the technical features, such as the refined combat.

As if I thought they couldn’t refine combat enough in Origins, this game adds a whole new layer. For the Xbox One controller, RB is for light attacks, RT is for heavy attacks, and LT is for arrows. Now however, holding down LB will give you more attacks mapped to the ABXY buttons, my favorite being the Spartan Kick which knocks enemies on their back! There is even one where you grab your opponents shield and hit them with it. You may notice in the video that I need to freshen my memory of the combat some more before I can consider myself to be a true master.

Having enjoyed Origins, I’m very much looking forward to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. It was a little disorienting being thrown later into the game. but I know the same spot from the demo will be better once I start from the beginning. In the meantime, I’ll be getting ready by exploring more of Egypt in Assassin’s Creed: Origins!