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One of the most longstanding complaints about the Assassin's Creed series has been the combat; for better or for worse. Some people didn't like the puppeteer controls and combat mechanics from the older series, so Ubisoft changed it. Some people didn't like the new hitbox-based combat system in the newer game, so Ubisoft decided to modify it. The latest Assassin's Creed that is set in Greece, aptly titled Assassin's Creed: Odyssey takes the combat to a whole new level by updating how players engage with the enemies and what sort of tactical mechanics will be at their disposal during battle.
Gamespot did an in-depth preview of the combat system, breaking down the four major changes to the game and how it drastically alters your play-style.
It starts with a look at one of the more controversial changes to the combat, and that's the removal of shields. That's right; you cannot block using a shield. You now have to rely on dodging instead of blocking like in Assassin's Creed: Origins. If you liked having the blocking option and playing more defensively, well that option is being removed. Ubisoft would prefer people to stay engaged in the fight by dodging around like in Dark Souls as opposed to using the turtle-technique and blocking all the incoming blows.
The roll-dodge in Assassin's Creed: Odyssey is also being modified from how it was in Assassin's Creed: Origins. Instead of repeatedly tapping the dodge button to perform a roll, you now hold down the dodge button to perform a roll. What's the difference between a roll and a dodge? Well, dodges are for short attacks from enemies and rolls are to gain more ground either away from an enemy or closer toward an enemy who is some distance away. I imagine many will use the roll to close distance on archers who are firing at them.
The most ambitious change to the game is the skill system. Instead of relying on the same 'ole moves, you'll now be able to acquire and unlock new skills for the two main protagonists from Assassin's Creed: Odyssey. There can be up to eight skills equipped at a time, and each skill will consume some of your adrenaline. You have a new and improved adrenaline meter that can also be upgraded over time, and this will force you to mix and match different kinds of skills during combat. The more adrenaline you have, the more complex skill combinations you can use.
The article also notes that boss fights are more challenging this time around due to the bosses having varying attack patterns. However, the article admits that this was only based on a single boss encounter. It's a little tough to talk about that aspect of the game so soon given that I'm sure diehard players will find a way to cheese around the boss patterns and take them down rather easily.
You can look for Assassin's Creed: Odyssey to launch this October for the Xbox One, PS4, and PC.