The launch of Assassin's Creed: Odyssey is coming soon for PS4, PC, and Xbox One. The game is supposed to be Ubisoft's breakaway from the traditional stealth-assassin formula which takes the company further into role-playing game territory. But, did Ubisoft's decision to veer into BioWare's region of role-playing pay off for the mega-publisher? The critics have begun filing their reviews from the AAA open-world adventure game and giving their critical feedback on whether or not the RPG choices make for a better game and how well Ubisoft brought a mythical vision of ancient Greece to life.
Eurogamer had almost nothing but praise to shower on Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, giving it a very positive send-off, writing...
Odyssey is an enormous game - certainly one of the biggest, if not the biggest game Ubisoft has ever made. It's an astonishing creation, extraordinarily generous and solidly crafted, and like its namesake is something that will live long in the telling.
The general consensus definitely seems to be on the positive side -- scratch that -- the very positive side. GamesRadar also mirrored Eurogamer in saying that this was one of Ubisoft's very best, summing up their experience with the Greek odyssey as an experience akin to CD Projekt Red's The Witcher 3, which was lavishly adorned with praise during its launch back in 2015.
A succinct tweet from GamesRadar seemed to encapsulate the outlet's amity toward Ubisoft's open-world adventure.
The Verge was a little less kind toward Ubisoft, and actually took time to explain how Assassin's Creed: Odyssey didn't feel like an Assassin's Creed game.
If you've been having trouble with the new direction the series has been taking -- and by new direction I mean completely forfeiting all the stealth elements from the original trilogy, and curtailing the parkour to the point of which it's more so required to unlock or acquire items rather than get the drop on enemies unseen -- then you probably won't love Odyssey as much, according to The Verge.
The outlet did enjoy the new romance options, the more choice-driven moral quandaries, and the extensive skill and attribute upgrades. It also curtly pointed out that while the open-world is vast, some of the ecosystem elements seem borrowed from Far Cry and take away from the overall experience. In the end, it gets a nod from The Verge but with a rather obvious silver lining...
In a vacuum, Assassin's Creed Odyssey is a fantastic game, one that does a lot of things right. But put up against these other experiences, it doesn't do enough to differentiate itself, and it eschews many of the series's unique selling points. It's an Assassin's Creed game that doesn't make me feel like an assassin at all.
Tech Crunch also shared many of The Verge's opinions, especially that Assassin's Creed: Odyssey seems far removed from the original stealth-assassin experience. The outlet had mixed feelings about the overhauled combat system, which borrows a lot of its elements from From Software's Dark Souls series, as opposed to the fancy cinematic fighting system that the series used up until Assassin's Creed: Origins.
Tech Crunch also goes a notch further and comments on how the game doesn't seem to do much in terms of expanding on the concept of an open-world experience, but it does offer a large world with a lot of activities. The biggest gripes came from the inconsistent elements of the game, especially the quest structures and the dated AI, which Tech Crunch notes feels like a game from a decade or two ago...
It's tantalizing to see how good a game like this could be, only to be let down again and again with elements that would feel out of date ten years ago. I'm having a great time when I'm not shaking my head at it, and enjoying the scenery when I'm not being attacked by one of the evidently 50,000 bears out for my blood in the Classical world.
Some of you might recognize that Tech Crunch's criticisms have been staple issues in Assassin's Creed since the original from back in 2007. In a way, it just seems as if some of those issues have yet to be resolved, or elevated and evolved to match today's technology.
Still, even the detractors of Assassin's Creed: Odyssey praise the game's massive world and the amount of content it contains. Just don't expect any amazing AI, and be prepared to fight a lot of animals... Far Cry-style.