Assassin's Creed Odyssey : All DLC Review
Giving credit where it’s due, Ubisoft has done a tremendous job of supporting Assassin’s Creed Odyssey post-launch. It has a long list of patches, updates, completely new locations, as well as weapons, mounts, costumes, and other types of content. To list them all would be a tiresome exercise, so please visit the official Ubisoft website if you want a detailed list of specifics. This review is a casual and general insight into my experience playing and interacting with most of what is on offer currently (as of September 2019).
So basically, Ubisoft have been very busy assembling a lot of DLC for Odyssey. It goes beyond simple content patches of new weapons and quests, and extends deep into every facet of the experience. First things first, let’s talk about the 2 main pieces of DLC. Around the many months, the store has been adorned with various weapons, mounts, ship accessories, and much more. The main dessert however has been 2 pieces of additional story content, namely ‘Legacy of the First Blade’ and ‘The Fate of Atlantis’. Each piece of DLC has 3 episodes to wade through. Legacy was an enjoyable experience that started off slow, but gained traction the deeper you became invested in the story. Atlantis starts off strong, gets a little weak during the 2nd episode (the Underworld with Hades), and then looks to finish strongly, before taking a slight dive downwards relative to the entire experience beforehand (but still ending high on the scale universally speaking). Let’s talk about Legacy first.
Legacy (without going into spoilers), has you meeting up with a new character who basically serves as a means of explaining the origins of the Assassins. It began very weak, and I thought I would skip this entire DLC and go straight to Atlantis. I persisted however, and found that things began to speed up once the initial ‘tutorial’-style missions cleared up. There are a few new gameplay aspects that it wants to cover, such as the new group of strangers you’ll be hunting down as you did in the main game. Nothing ventures too far from what you’re accustomed to however, so nothing that will take you by surprise. The story however as of Episode 2, really begins to ramp up, and I would say that the emotional element, did more than what the main game’s narrative did for me personally. I became more attached to the characters in this story, than I ever did in the core game. Whilst the mother and brother/sister dynamic of the main game served its purpose fairly well, I didn’t get as involved as I did in this DLC. I have to say I’m very surprised to even suggest that a piece of DLC outshines the main game, but personally, I felt it did. The story was lesser in scope and not as epic in scale, but the delivery was far better I thought. Great ending.
Atlantis now, which was not as dramatic, but more spectacular and interesting. It’s difficult to compare both the 1st and 2nd piece of DLC, as they go for different effects. The goal of Atlantis is shock and awe. The maps are expansive and beautiful to wander. Elysium (Episode 1) is beautiful, and is the home for Hades’ wife Persephone (who is technically his prisoner). As I explored Elysium, I found it hard to recall another game/time where I saw such a beautiful and well-realised environment. Quite possibly the most beautiful location I’ve visited in a game. In contrast (intentional I have no doubt), the Underworld (Episode 2) was drab and dull. A wasteland of fire and sulphur, lava and smog. I realise that the design here was intentional in making a realised version of the Underworld, but truthfully it was very repetitive and boring. The story did little to engage beyond a little nod for history buffs in having the player face off against famous fighters from Greek history. Dungeons felt no different from what was used in the main game, and most of the game is spent running around caves underground.
Episode 3 where you visit Atlantis and meet Poseidon himself, becomes very interesting once again, and ramps the experience up back to where it started in Episode 1. There’s an interesting narrative twist of what fate awaited the people of Atlantis, and the reason for its submergence. It’s a nice way of telling the legendary story, but with an Assassin’s Creed dressing. It’s believable within its own universe, and nothing too farfetched nor unreasonable happens that stretches the truth of the series further than it can handle. Overall I was pleased with how things ended. Not as much impact as how the first DLC Legend finished, but still impressive in its own way.
My only complaint for Atlantis’ Episodes were the world sizes. 3 fairly big areas to explore once more, reach every viewpoint location, clear out every barrack and fort, etc. It was fun for the first Episode (Elysium), but became a slog for Underworld, and almost drove me to giving up on finishing everything come Atlantis itself in the 3rd episode. Personally, I think Elysium could have done with being half the size it was. The Underworld was fine size-wise and didn’t overstay its welcome. Atlantis did sustain itself a little too much after everything previously, but the size was reasonable. Fantastic and beautiful locations however stylistically. I’m impressed the team managed to make them as big and as detailed as they were in only a year or so. They must be using similar tech to what they have for Far Cry 5, where the map can auto populate itself with foliage and rivers etc., based on some initial inputs used as rules for the system. Regardless, great places to visit, and a real eye-candy for Elysium and Atlantis at least.
Moving onto the ‘Quest Creator’. Yes you heard me right, you can create your own quests in the game now. Marked by blue portals on the map, you enter what is essentially a clean world that is devoid of story critical elements, which acts as a base template for your own adventures. You’re able to create custom dialogue and objectives, and apply various filters to cutscenes and a few other tricks and features to make it your own. I gave it a try and was surprised at how much control I had, as I had expected something extremely primitive, but was pleasantly surprised at what you could achieve generally speaking. You won’t be making any huge epic stories comparable to the original game’s in any way similar, but you are able to create some interesting and fun experiences if you know how to use the tools well (I played someone’s expedition of hunting ‘vampires’ down in a nearby fort to save the local people).
Finally, the other main addition has been the ‘Discovery Tour’ update that was about a month ago. Basically the same as what Assassin’s Creed Origins had, where it’s basically an interactive tour experience. No combat or other pressures from the main game, just walking around at a leisurely pace (parkour is still enabled), and taking in the sights. You can also switch to 1st person mode if you prefer to get up close with the world. There are many investigation points, landmarks, and history to read up on. There are also audio guides, started by talking with a relevant NPC who will then initiate a guide that lasts anywhere from around 5-30 minutes (depending on whether you hang onto every word spoken, or skip through to skim the information). If you’re not in a rush and this seems like something you’d enjoy, I’d recommend sitting back and taking it all in at a natural pace. If you’re like me however and can read fairly fast, just skimming the subtitles and skipping ahead of the audio track is a faster way to get through it should you wish. It’s very interesting, and for owners of the game, it’s free. You can buy this Discovery Tour on sale at the moment for only 25% of its total price. So do it now if you’ve an inclination to do so.
I won’t cover anything else, as my intention was just to update my review of the main game with this little section explaining the main parts of the DLC, and what post-launch content Ubisoft has been giving the game. There’s still a little more planned from what I can make out from their timeline, with some minor contents due through until the end of the year. I’m really pleased to see such long-term support for a game like this. I’ve mentioned regularly when discussing this game with others, that the game is incredibly long. Other reviewers have also commented on how the base game alone can take you above 50 hours easily, if not 100. I’m now sitting on just over 220 hours as of this moment, writing this review. That’s insane. 220 hours for me, in a singleplayer game, is a huge deal. Looking through my play history, the only other contenders that are single player experiences, are Skyrim, which I have sitting around 180 hours, and Dark Souls 3 sitting at around 130 hours. I can’t stress enough how surprising that is to me.
The game didn’t really get boring or repetitive until the final 20-30 hours (basically the last month or 2) where I began not clearing out every fort I came across, or skipping a few caves etc. The time has flown by, and I haven’t really been paying attention nor noticing my hours played rising quickly, due to how much I’ve been enjoying myself. It’s been a weekly tradition since launch, of turning the game on after work for around 2 hours or so. Whenever I’ve had more than 3 or 4 hours of free time, I’ve turned Odyssey on, and just did 1 more fort, or cleared one more area of locations for my map to populate with things to do next time I logged on. Watching the game update slowly with new content has been a real treat, and is the first time I’ve felt that a season pass has given me true value as it should do for any game. I haven’t realised how engrossed into the game I’ve become over the last year, and thus whether I know it or not, Odyssey has become one of my favourite games it seems. At least if time invested is solely a measure of such.
Article Cover Image Taken By Rory Sugrue. Used With Permission.
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