Posted

Editor’s Choice: Why Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is one of the best games of 2018

Ubisoft elevates the series to new heights with a bold and captivatingly human experience

In every Assassin’s Creed game, there is a moment where the assassin clambers their way up some high-reaching vista — a tower, a balcony, maybe even a ship’s mast — and briefly focuses their eagle eye on the land below them before bounding forward into a leap of faith.

The thrill is usually in the leap, a reflection of the quick and fluid sneak gameplay that was once the foundation of the series. With Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, the thrill is now in the climb, and the expansive beauty that awaits at the top as a reward.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

I’m a long-time fan of Ubisoft’s history-hopping stealth series, even with its tweaks and mechanical changes through the years. Some entries took bold, broader strokes like Black Flag or last year’s Origins, but Odyssey tosses red paint all over the canvas to create something familiar but lusciously fresh. The world of Ancient Greece is a sight to behold, and it’s gleaming with new opportunity at every corner.

Rather than chasing to pure vengeance or upholding tradition, Odyssey is a journey of action and choice. There’s no brotherhood or creed set in order yet to follow. Instead, you are bound to your own ambitions, whatever that may mean. You’re a mercenary with big dreams, exiled from Sparta with a whole world ahead of you waiting to be explored.

For me that meant playing as a witty and empathetic Kassandra, fighting against man or myth to reunite her family. For others that could mean taking a more bloodthirsty approach, seeking revenge and nothing more. Others might fight for brutish glory on the field of battle and arena. Even still, others might ignore the clash of armies and instead head out on the open sea as a pirate.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey Assassin's Creed OdysseyAssassin's Creed Odyssey

 
Each quest is a choice, and those choices reflect throughout the entire game and open doors unlike ever before. The series has always allowed for exploration aside from the story, but in Odyssey even the main quest branches out in ways had me giddily criss-crossing my way across the map, discovering new adventures and secrets.

The series similarly reinvents itself by ditching what was once thought as the essence of being an Assassin, the Hidden Blade. I’ll admit even I was a bit wary of this change heading into Odyssey…until I kicked my first enemy off a hill with a Spartan Kick. The shift to special moves weaved alongside the history of your new main weapon, the Spear of Leonidas, is a natural one for the series, and it sent me on an adrenaline rush with every enemy encounter. Combat becomes a flurry of flexibility, Stealth is absolutely still a mainstay, but the broader skill set makes for more engaging and strategic combat, from the smallest animal encounter to full scale conquest battles.

What truly makes Odyssey such a standout is its rich and captivatingly human characters. Kassandra is genuinely funny, and a total delight to play as no matter what tone you choose to pursue. I’ve sailed right past objectives and docks on my sea galley The Adrestia just to listen to my naval captain Barnabas and the ancient historian Herodotus squabble about fact or fiction. I romanced a randy old woman who originally had me fetching aphrodisiacs for her poor, exhausted husband (who similarly begged me to, uh…give his wife a hand). Even when the main quest branches off into smaller tasks, they lead to characters each on a bewitching journey of their own. In a world with so much to do, it’s these moments that keep me coming back for hours with no end in sight.

Assassin's Creed OdysseyAssassin's Creed Odyssey

 
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey elevates the entire series to new heights, making it a joy for loyal fans and a brilliant entry point for folks that just didn’t even know where to begin with previous entries. It’s easily one of the best games this year, and a knockout for the decade-long Assassins franchise.

What was your favourite title of 2018? Vote now in the annual PlayStation Blog Game of the Year poll.

What did you think about this story?
Log in to comment
9 Comments
0 Author replies

There are so many good games out there, but the time is limited :(

As an AC fan I didn’t like Origins much at all, it was ok in general but felt so detached from the AC world it was like playing a completely different IP and I struggled to stay interested enough to complete the campaign. With this in mind I wasn’t even going to buy Odyssey but eventually I did and to my surprise I absolutely loved it, even though it still felt a little detached from the old AC the combat system seemed a lot more familiar and the ship battles were pretty good too, obviously reminiscent of Black Flag.

One of those rare games I couldn’t put down for a long time and after completing the campaign kept going to get the platinum.

One of the biggest disappointments this year for me. The direction the series has taken since Origins has just killed my enjoyment of the series. Syndicate was misguided but not abysmal compared to these past two games and it’s teally disheartening to see a series just transform for the worst (Personally) in front of me.

I know I’m a minority in this, the reviews/new blood in the series prove it, it’s just really sad to have to part with the franchise I used to get excited about.

Good ol’ paid reviews. It’s the first time I’ve commented on a cash grab review. With Odessy’s ridiculous Pre-Order controversies and it’s microtransactions alone, it would be impossible to be, one of the best games of the year. Simple. Such a beautiful game made by hard working developers, ruined by publishers, share holders, and cash grab reviewers…!

4.1

Dude, you fn played Destiny 2 for over 100 hours, you dont have say on ANYTHING.

I think it was better than Origins, but a lot of missions were just to make the game longer… Which I personally don’t like.

Got this for Christmas. 8hours in or so. Took me 6 to get to title sequence. Loving it so far

This is my goty 2018, incredible game. Yes even better than God of war and Spider-man. Just get it, youll see right away that this game is the best AC game ever done.

GOTY 2018, lol.

I don’t understand how anyone could consider Odyssey superior to Origins. The game is mostly bland and the main activity is to clear bandit/soldier/hunter camps, which was the one boring activity in Origins. All tombs and ruins look the same and except for a handful of places (Knossos or Thera), there is a distinct lack of sense of wonder, contrary to Origins which really paid homage to the Egyptian mythology.

Worst of all is that Odyssey is an massive bugfest with broken main quests and horrible loading performances. While it takes less than two seconds to switch from Senu to Bayek in Origins, you get a 20 seconds loading screen in Odyssey each time you use your eagle to scout around. And the game periodically freezes during horse travel, boat travel, fort battles…

A technical mess.

Edit history