Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is one of Ubisoft’s best games, with one of the biggest open world ever created. Recreating ancient Greece during the Peloponnesian War using historical information was no small feat. However, when compared to the Guerrilla Game’s Horizon Zero Dawn how well does Assassin’s Creed Odyssey hold up? Does Ubisoft’s journey through ancient Greece overtake Guerrilla Games first open-world title or does Aloy’s adventure through homicidal robots overshadow Kassandra and Alexios grand odyssey?

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR BOTH ASSASSIN’S CREED ODYSSEY AND HORIZON ZERO DAWN, PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.

An Ancient World Vs. The Futuristic Landscape

Both Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Horizon Zero Dawn feature large expansive worlds, richly decorated with a variety of landscapes. Ubisoft did a fantastic job of recreating ancient Greece for players to explore, right down to destroyed temples. The developers used a combination of creativity and historical evidence to ensure everything was authentically crafted. Guerrilla Games equally did the same by crafted their world by envisioning how the landscape would change over time due to climate change, erosion, and other environmental variations after the world ended.

It’s difficult to pick one over the other. Both offer such diverse environments given their situation. The only landscape that Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is missing is a snow area but given where the game takes place and when it would be hard for Ubisoft to justify a snow area. Whereas Guerrilla Games had a more creative room to fit areas covered in snow.

Both Horizon Zero Dawn and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey deliver outstanding environments. One doesn’t supersede the other and each provide locations that complement the game’s story.

Winner: Tie

Lance Vs. Spear

Horizon Zero Dawn and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey offer both stealth and active combat options. Players can choose to invest in both tactics and neither is forced. Both games do combat and stealth well but Ubisoft’s take it a step further.

In terms of active combat, Aloy is able to effectively shoot her bow and swing her lance. Most of the combat seems basic but it’s done exceptionally well. The third-person combat layered with different ammo types including bombs and pick up heavy guns offer diverse weapons. Melee combat is basic, with quick and heavy strikes when enemies get too close.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s combat is a bit more complicated. With different weapons available Kassandra/Alexios can shift their tactics and combat style very easily. Bows have been downgraded from Assassin’s Creed Origins and just offer the most basic functions outside from special abilities.

Speaking of special abilities Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s list of available abilities are much greater than Horizon Zero Dawn. Where most of Aloy’s abilities seem necessary such as shooting while walking on a rope Kassandra/Alexios’ are more optional. Special talents such as elemental weapons, directing arrow shots or turning invisible offer a lot of exciting upgrades.

In terms of stealth, Horizon Zero Dawn does offer another layer that Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in terms of traps. Players can preemptively prepare for a fight by setting up traps to prevent enemies from flanking or to perform extra damage.  Something lacking in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey where you simply thin the enemy’s numbers as much as possible in case you get caught.

Both offer their share of exceptional combat and stealth mechanics but Assassin’s Creed Odyssey pushes ahead with its use of unique abilities. The special skills made available for Kassandra/Alexios give combat and stealth that special flare.

Winner: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Robots Vs. Cultist

The enemy variety and types are where Horizon Zero Dawn and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey diverge. Enemy variety is limited in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey when compared to Horizon Zero Dawn. With the robotic enemies and human enemies, Aloy must face easily overshadowing much of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

For much of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, you’ll face the same enemies using different weapons. Some have more health than others and rarely do you fight someone or something unique. When an original boss finally appears in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey it’s an epic battle but to get there you have to kill hundreds of generic foes. All of which can be killed in the same way.

Horizon Zero Dawn does have its share of general enemies but it’s their behavior and design that sets them apart. Yes, there are human enemies but littered between them are robots with unique strengths, weaknesses, and actions. Each one has distinct patterns that the player must be aware of if you hope to take them down. This combination of behavioral pattern and looks helps distinguish enemies and break up any repetition of facing the same enemy. Unlike those bullet sponge mercenaries from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. 

Winner: Horizon Zero Dawn

Multiple Decisions or Shocking Twist

The biggest addition to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was the optional choice dialogue. It gave players the ability to alter the story and change the narrative. A similar feature offered in Horizon Zero Dawn.

Both games offered narrative decisions that altered the story. Much of Horizon Zero Dawn’s narrative changes occur in the side missions where the end result mostly determines who will aid you in the final battle. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has a much larger ripple effect, where decisions made hours ago could have a domino effect on multiple parts of the story. For example, killing your step-father will lead to Stentor dying as well or acting angrily towards Deimos will lead to your mother’s death.

What Horizon Zero Dawn does have a leg up on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is the shock value. When it came out Aloy’s adventure was full of unexpected moments that floored many gamers who played it. Things such as the Gaia project, Hades, and Project Zero Dawn were only some of the curveballs thrown by Guerrilla Games.

Winner: Horizon Zero Dawn

Winner: Horizon Zero Dawn

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a great game but Horizon Zero Dawn’s incredible enemies and gripping story are in another league. Every robotic foe has a unique element to it that is unmatched by even the hidden bosses within Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. What sends Aloy’s adventure into the stratosphere is the narrative, the game is full of so many memorable moments that it leaves an impression. Something that only a rare few games can do.