Triple-A blockbuster season is heating up, which means everybody is now knee-deep in gargantuan games like Black Ops 4, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. These franchises have long, complicated histories - one more so than all the rest. I speak, of course, of the Odyssey series.
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Of the many differences between last year’s Assassin’s Creed Origins and this year’s Odyssey, the changes to upgradable abilities have the most dramatic effect on gameplay.
Origins’ skill trees were a convoluted mess even at the time, and Odyssey’s refinements bring that messiness into sharper relief.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey packs a lot of activities into its massive world, letting players wander to their heart’s content hunting down cultists or doing side-quests.
As a result, the game’s main story is split into multiple branches. Frustratingly, this structure makes some of the game’s best quests and most important story beats optional.
If you’re looking for a lengthy, complicated, nuanced conversation about microtransactions in video games—and why they trigger so much rage—then you sure have come to the right place. That’s what this week’s Kotaku Splitscreen is all about.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey balloons the further you get into it, adding layers of complex systems from nation-conquest battles to mercenary bounties. These help give a sense of how fragile and war-torn Greece has become in the game’s storyline.
But a later system is more devious, and an important addition to the franchise as a whole. The ability to hunt down various cultists and conspirators around the world finally helps players feel like a genuine assassin.
The presence of microtransactions in a big video game can poison the player’s experience, leaving them to wonder if things have been designed in a way to drive them to pay extra. So it goes with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, a very good $79 game that launched with at least $US80 ($113) in microtransactions.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s early adventures are easy enough: beat off bandits, dive into a cave, tackle a tough mercenary. But one early game challenge provides a surprising roadblock packed with death and snorting. The legendary Kalydonian Boar is surprisingly hard to defeat. We have some tips and some choice curse words for this perilous pig.
One could be forgiven for thinking Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was an action-packed mix of 300 and Wonder Woman, all swinging battle axes and dudes getting kicked off cliffs. But the word “Assassin” is right there in the title, and it is more than possible to play as a stealthy killer. In fact, it’s really fun.
There’s something a little funky about playing a game like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in your internet browser. It almost feels obscene, as though you’re getting away with something that shouldn’t be legal. Google’s Project Stream might have some obstacles on the way to global dominance, but it’s still pretty damn impressive.