Assassin’s Creed Odyssey takes much of the existing qualities of past titles in the franchise and bundles them together. The branching narrative provides more option of how to navigate the adventure with the player choosing 1 of 2 characters, a first in the series. However, the long grind to level up and obtain resources takes up much of the adventure, encouraging the player to purchase items instead of earning them. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey provides a large open world full of activities to take part in but requires the player to dedicate a large amount of time grinding for resources and experience in order to play that content.

A Journey of Many Paths

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has players taking control of either Kassandra or Alexios, a former Spartan warrior now turned mercenary. Set during the Peloponnesian War, with Sparta and Athens in a deadly war, the player must take a side in this conflict to further their own personal goals. This provides the player with multiple options of how to play through the adventure, either siding with Athens or Sparta while also adding consequences to the player’s actions.

During the adventure, Alexios and Kassandra can choose to take on specific objectives in different ways. You can choose to be aggressive, passive, or something in-between. This will alter the dialogue, opening different options and building a relationship with specific characters, a first in the franchise.

This extends to the gameplay as well. If the player must remain hidden and decides to simply kill everyone this will lead to consequences such as damaged property, more NPCs, and other issues. It does require the player to think through what they do as certain actions can lead to ripple effects. NPCs will voice your past actions, enemies will popup explaining their vendetta against you, and some will cancel missions because of something you said.

Like Origins with More Grinding

Much of the RPG elements and combat are directly lifted from Assassin’s Creed Origins. Players can loot equipment, each with their own level of rarity, and modify them to increase their strength. Each type of weapon comes with specific strengths and weaknesses such as swords being quick but lacking in damage and spears having long range. You can upgrade weapons you prefer but the amount of money and resources required are so large that the game practically encourages you to buy the premium currency for resources or spend hours gathering them.

Ship combat has returned and plays similar to past Assassin’s Creed games. You’ll navigate the seas looting ships for their resources to upgrade your ship and crew. You can choose to utterly destroy the opposing ship and gather the resources then or board and earn even more items. Players can hire specialized lieutenants that offer special bonuses by completing specific missions. It’s more of what Assassin’s Creed Origins and Assassin’s Creed Black Flag did with a Greek theme.

Killing and completing missions yield you experience for new skills that are separated into 3 trees, warrior assassin, and hunter. Each skill has multiple levels to its potency and most skills are required to be slotted into 1 of 4 slots and if you wish to reset everything you can for a fee. You won’t have access to all of your talents as you unlock them and must choose which to keep. Like the resources to upgrade weapons, the experience is given at such as slow pace that leveling becomes a rarity after level 5. When experimenting with the 2X experience bonus things became less vexing, almost like the standard experience is a handicap.

Enemies are much more formidable to the point of vexation. Whether Spartan, Athenian, or common bandit enemies have an insane amount of health. This can lead to long battles of attrition as you slowing drain the enemies health. Weapons and levels make little difference as enemies 1 or 2 levels above your own can easily take dozens of hits without issue. What adds to the frustration is the enemy AI which is often inconsistent. At times they can see you across a fort and other times you can break their line of sight so easily that players can take down powerful enemies using hit and run tactics without much effort.

A Wide World With The Same Thing

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s world is teeming with content, from side missions to optional objectives. The open world is one of the biggest in Ubisoft’s library with richly decorated areas full of activities to take part in. The lack of fast-travel points can lead to a lot of impediments, requiring the player to journey through large areas just to get to their objective. But most importantly these missions rarely do something exciting.

Most of the objectives have you visiting areas, killing targets, investigating crimes, and retrieving unique items. Those who’ve played past Assassin’s Creed games won’t find many original objectives and due to the large need to grind for resources and experience, you’ll end up having to complete a lot of these. Daily activities that change offer better rewards but these are often locked for high-level players.

Don’t think you can steal your way into riches like in Assassin’s Creed Origins. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is full of mercenaries who’ll actively hunt you down if you cause too many problems. These unique enemies will hunt you down and come in a wide range of specialized warriors, who can be killed for their powerful weapons and armor or paid off. If you choose you can locate and kill the mercenary before they become a problem.

One of the most marketed features in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was the large-scale battles between the Spartans and Athenians that are amazing to watch but not as exciting to play. Most of the NPCs will simply hit each other in generic patterns until you interrupt them, then suddenly start attacking as normal enemies with health and tactics while your allies just wander around looking for something to do.

Ear Candy

The soundtrack is some of Ubisoft’s best work. You’ll get a remix of the iconic Assassin’s Creed soundtrack along with new original tracks that capture the intense action and moments of tranquility. Complementing this are the outstanding visuals, with lush vibrant colors everywhere you turn. The developers, like always, went above and beyond to capture this ancient world within a digital space. Whether it’s the water hitting the ship, performing a parry, or listening to the NPCs around the world Ubisoft ensured that every section of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey sounded as well as it looks.

There’s a major issue with the controls. While running, fighting, and climbing remains largely unchanged, each one operating well, Ubisoft made speaking and assassinating the same button. This can lead to mistaken interactions as you try to speak to someone one to assassinate someone else.

Premium Game with Free-to-Play Features

What is shocking is the large number of premium options within Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Everything from cosmetics to performance upgrades is available to purchase. It’s unclear if these items are available to everyone through playing but the sheer volume of options is staggering. Legendary weapons, cosmetic horse armor, experience boosters, and resources are all available to buy. Given the absurd resource and experience requirements already placed in the game, some of these become necessary if you wish to shave off hours of grinding.

Exciting for Newcomers

Much of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will feel similar to veterans of the franchise while newcomers will find a lot of incredible gameplay features all focused into one adventure. The lush detailed world is teeming with activities to take part in and the diverse narrative encourages players to replay the adventure to see each of the multiple endings. However, the long grind to obtain the experience and resources to experience that content will require a lot of hours unless you’re willing to spend more on in the game’s “Time Saver” store. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is everything you would expect from a game from this franchise with a lot more grinding.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey Review
  • Lots of Activities
  • Beautiful Open World
  • Branching Narrative
  • Repetitive Grinding
  • Similar Missions
  • Forced Premium Purchases
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About The Author

Adam S
Sr.Staff Writer

Adam is a Senior Staff Writer for GAW with over 15 years of experience in writing and is completely obsessed with video games. He holds a BA from Brooklyn College and lives in NY.