kaos_cracker's Assassin's Creed Odyssey (PlayStation 4) review

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A highly polished world with few misgivings

Having Assassin's Creed Odyssey come out only a year after Origins rather gives this game a disservice since it is better in just about every way. From how well the open world is set up to how just about every side quest and area makes you feel like you are part of the world. Giving the player choice and more options than ever helps showcase this game over it's predecessors.

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Odyssey starts of rather average as you are on a large island learning the ropes of the game, from how all the systems work to learning what the overall game is about. Shortly after the lengthy tutorial, the game pushes you towards the crux of the game, dealing with Athens versus Sparta and the Cult that runs in the background of everything in the world. The Cult is this games version of the Templar's from previous games but basically under a different name and more hidden from the rest of the world unlike in previous games. The rest of the story rather falls behind as a majority of the story is trying to find someone and being hit with roadblocks on the way and having one of the most basic endings to a story that can be seen in a main quest.

Thankfully, there is much more to this game, and what makes it stand out so much is how well they built this open world. Every single location has their own problems going on, and most of those problems ties directly into either the war going on or somehow dealing with the large Cult. Exploring each island or large landmass has unique things going on and quests that deal with their problems as well as tying into the two overarching themes, the war and cult. One island has people constantly fighting each other because the cult demands it. There's two islands close together and are constantly fighting because Athens and Sparta owns one of them. A location that is named after their exporting of octopus and are terrified of a person they haven't seen in years but are still paying the man. These are just tiny examples of the world building they pull of so well.

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When you get to each area, there is the main combat that mostly just revolves around you attacking non stop, then either evading or parrying after each attack since they removed the shield seen in the last game. The combat in some situations becomes tedious because of the bounty system. Killing anyone in the game outside of bandits raises your bounty and eventually will cause Mercenaries to come after you. This makes clearing out some areas a hassle because before you know it there may be two or more of them showing up and are harder to kill than most enemies. A majority of this game though has you dealing with the main quest and a large amount of side quests that don't have you kill many people during them at once.

Unfortunately, because of how poorly the main quest ended, there was a need to see what happens when you defeat the rest of the Cult as well as the third overarching goal that won't be mentioned due to spoilers. Finishing these made the ending much better but should've included in the main plot of the game as it answers most questions and doesn't make you feel wanting more at the end of the game. There are many other aspects in this game, including a message board to gather many timed quests which is unnecessary as they dole out very little XP needed to level up in the game. I finish the game, all main story quests, Cult, and an overwhelming majority of the side quests and it took me just shy of 60 hours to complete. Around the 33 hour mark or so I was level 30 and stopped the main quest altogether to explore and get lost in the world. Something I haven't seen this well realized since The Witcher 3.

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With some misgivings of the main quest, Assassin's Creed Odyssey is up there with being the best in the series, best world building, and most beautiful game seen in a while. It is worth the time to play and explore, and should definitely be picked up if you are a fan of the series, even though there are still some questions to still be had for where this series will go after this game.

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