I am avid fan of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. The AC games were the first real open-world games that I ever played and it changed my whole gaming experience. Despite some bumps along the way, the games have explored really interesting parts of history and the world, and have given us interesting characters to play as.
One thing that has been frequently brought up as a con to the game is a lack of playable female characters. That started to change in Syndicate when they introduced the brother and sister duo of Jacob and Evie Frye. While you occasionally also had to play as Jacob, you were given the option to largely play the game as Evie instead.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has gone above and beyond this now and has given players the opportunity to fully commit to either playing Alexios or Kassandra at the beginning of the game. As someone who hasn’t had a chance to really play as a woman within the games, I jumped at the opportunity to play as Kassandra.
Now, as mentioned in the title, this is merely my first impressions of the game. I haven’t had as much of a chance in advance of the release to sit down with the game in full. However, I was given the wonderful opportunity to check it out and see what I have to look forward to.
Immediately before trying out Odyssey, I scrambled to finish up Origins. I had dawdled on completing the game for the better of a year (not because I didn’t love it!) and decided that I should maybe finish it up. With the mechanics of Origins fresh in my mind, the first thing that I thought as I began playing Odyssey as Kassandra was that things felt a lot more fluid. The gameplay, the action, the fighting felt like it was much easier to control and master. Kassandra is a nimble character that is easy to guide through the world. It just feels better and less like there’s something holding the character back.
Specifically in regards to Kassandra, I adore her as a character already. I didn’t watch any of the trailers for the game in advance (I was sold immediately on the whole Ancient Greece thing) so I went into it blind. As mentioned, I’m a fan of the franchise so I really didn’t need to see it to know that I wanted to get the game. Kassandra has a lot of personality. I don’t feel like I’ve played an AC character that has as fun of a vibe to them as Kassandra does. She feels playful and humourous in a way that we haven’t explored in the games. One thing that I loved in terms of the aesthetics of the character was that she is well-defined – as in, she has muscle definition and actually looks athletically built as opposed to just a skinny “strong character” type.
When we first see her, she is in essentially a tunic and we can see her arms and legs which look like they’ve been hardened by training and hard work. It’s not overly done but I can appreciate that it’s something that I definitely took notice of. For the gameplay and the character itself (who seems to be getting a bit more of a fleshed out backstory), I’m incredibly excited to carry on with the game and see where it all goes.
Finally, the last thing that I want to mention is a couple new additions to the franchise. In all the previous games, you’ve been able to loot goods to your heart’s content. There have been no consequences and you can accumulate money, weapons, treasures, and other goods to further upgrade your character. In Odyssey, there are now consequences to your actions. If someone sees you looting from a house or property, they judge you and it can increase a bounty on your head. It’s a bit like Fable and Grand Theft Auto in that sense. And then like Fable and games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age, there’s a more intricate dialogue system that allows you to choose how you interact with NPCs. How you interact with them can have long-term effects and consequences in how the game ultimately plays out.
Holding myself back from looting after I realized that it could alter my character’s perception took me a moment to get used to. The things that Ubisoft has integrated into an already very complex game is intriguing to me. I haven’t played enough to see if it helps improve the game as a whole or if it’ll bog things down, but I feel pretty invested so far without having put a lot of time in.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will be available to purchase and play on October 5, 2018.