So there has been some talk about the time investment required to get enjoyment out of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. I can safely say that the opening hours are incredible. There is no time investment required to get to the fun bits, they start as soon as you begin the game.
The game opens with you in charge of Leonidas, leading the Spartans against the Persian invaders. This is your basic combat tutorial, it is a giant unending battlefield filled with movement and the strength of your army fending off everyone you can. It offers you the chance to dance between your foes and get a feel for parrying, attacking, and crushing the opposition.
After you have chosen your character, well I say “chosen you character” there is only one choice, and she has great hair, you can choose a play style. I opted for the exploration option, rather than having everything handed to you, many of the quests merely give you a couple of hints to go on. It gives you a chance to discover things organically, it instantly makes the game feel more epic.
Once you get control of Kassandra you have to fend off some thugs that the local big bad has sent after you. Following this you get your first choice; one which will show its consequences very quickly. This is a brand-new Assassin’s Creed, sure Origins laid the ground work, but even this early on it’s obvious that this is to Origins what the second game was to the first Assassin’s Creed.
The cyclops of this island is the thread that pulls you along for the first section of the game. If you’ve played The Witcher 3 then it’s quite comparable to White Orchard. There is a lot to do straight away, some of it is guarded by enemies out of your league, but you can certainly try, it is the kind of freedom that dares you to push on, begs you to explore every nook and cranny.
If you aren’t instantly distracted by the plethora of locations you can visit, you will get to meet some of the colourful cast that Kassandra already knows. The interactions with them are very well written, they ooze charm and personality. Your character is equal parts power and sass, an instantly likeable protagonist, and one who you’ll be excited to see grow, one who you get better acquainted with as you explore the island.
The people here know you, or know of you, and they respect you, fear you, or have a grudge against you. It makes for a more personal feeling area than most, it is a great starting point for this hero’s journey, and one that demands you continue forward with it. It hooks you instantly, there is plenty to do, lots of different directions to go, but in a world this stunning it isn’t exactly a chore to do so.
You will undoubtedly need to invest a large amount of time to see this titanic odyssey through to its end, but it takes no time at all to see how good it is. This is good in a way that no Assassin’s Creed game ever has been, it is a brand new age, and one that easily stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the myths and legends it is steeped in.
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