Assassin's Creed Odyssey - It's time to Greek out

I finally jumped in on this and I’m enjoying it immensely.
Didn’t think I’d have the nerve for it, since Origins got boring way too soon for me. But they managed to fix A LOT of the issues I had with Origins, and now I can’t stop playing.
The story is really interesting, plus I find myself googling ancient greeks to read about them more so I’M ACTUALLY LEARNING stuff along the way, which feels really nice (plusit gives my bad conscience a break every time I play instead of studying lol).

I love hunting down the cultists, that the missions are so diverse, and Kassandra.
Not a big fan of ship battles at all, and so far, I haven’t really seen the point of the war bit (other than gathering legendary gear, which I’d rather do by hunting cultists anyways).

They really succeeded with this one imo, and I’m still looking forward to play this every god darn day.
I’m at level 38 and have finished 50% of the story and let me tell you I CAN’T WAIT to start the Atlantis DLC =D

Yeah, Odyssey is a rockin’ good time. Well worth the investment of time and whatever you paid for it, IMO.

Finally did all the Atlantis DLC episodes in one go.

Tonally it is all over the place, from Persephone and Hades Greek mythology/historical fiction to sci-fi interpretation of Atlantis. Elysium and the Underworld are so much more interesting than the bland Atlantis. That (literal) cliffhanger at the end of Episode 1 is so outrageous I would have gone mad if I had to wait for a month or two for Episode 2 to drop. Luckily I play it post -release I can just go straight pass it.

The gameplay itself is more-of-the-same, except in Episode 2 and 3 the non-lethal option is more difficult, which is fine because it was a bit too easy in the base game.

Discovery Tour is so dry imo the game itself is a better learning tool. It would be more interesting if you can access all the Discovery Tour content in the actual game itself rather than in standalone mode.

All in all the DLC contents IMO are more of the same. The base game is already long and DLCs make it even longer (the 99 level cap makes it a grind). When it isn’t more-of-the-same it doesn’t really work for me (like Atlantis).

A learning tool full of mistakes, but still – better than nothing! :-P

I’ve been wanting to do a video of the Discovery tour with commentary, but I cannot, for the life of me, record any decent video with this game. Must be my PC.

But in short: I am rather disappointed that the Discovery Tour, as far as I have been able to tell, doesn’t once admit bits that are clearly wrong, or what things they deliberately changed for the game. Examples include the huge Clash of the Titans (remake) statues, the weird Knossos ruins (I can understand wanting to showcase the Minoan “palace” complex – even if the palace was long gone and the hill occupied by a temple dedicated to Rhea – but what are those huge stairs doing in the north of the central court, for example?), the underwater (!) Mycenaean/Minoan palace complex (mud brick walls don’t work that way), let alone anachronistic and ridiculous things like Greeks using banners and flags (recalling imagery ripped straight from a Leni Riefenstahl propaganda movie), etc. etc.

I can understand Ubisoft changing things for gameplay purposes, or even adding things to make stuff more familiar to modern audiences (like the Thermopylae tutorial that is taken straight from 300, the terrible “wrist handshake”, the forearm bracers, the ubiquitous Corinthian helmets that were actually seldom used after ca. 450 BC, the giant statues, and so on). But if they want the Discovery Tour to be used as an actual tool to teach people about Classical Greece, at least explain which bits are not historically/archaeologically accurate…

Yeah I was kind of sceptical that ancient Greeks really made that 10 stories tall outdoor statue of Athena. Taller than Parthenon, really??? They could have just mentioned that it is artistic embellishment, but didn’t.

But Discovery Tour is soooo boring I wonder who would pay attention at all.

I was also struck by how much this Discovery Tour omits. The one for Origins had bits that specifically called out where designers changed things for gameplay reasons.

I never got Origins, but that was good of them. I wonder why they weren’t so forthright with Odyssey then?

Dunno; it’s all Greek to me.

I wonder if this was the inspiration:

No idea whether von Klenze was basing that detail on anything other than his own fancy. I suppose archaeologists nowadays have a pretty good understanding of what the acropolis looked like in its prime.

So when/where if ever was the “wrist handshake” ever a thing? What about forearm bracers? Were they a Roman thing?

I listen to the Ancient Warfare podcast a lot and the guys there (who are actual experts with PhDs etc.) constantly gripe about the Roman wrist-armband thing in Hollywood movies. I don’t think there is any real basis for it. Maybe some production designer on the 1920s Ben Hur movie thought they looked cool, or something.

So wait is the Discovery Tour for Odyssey out then?

I really liked desert exploration in Discovery Tour Origins. It might wear out its welcome but it was sort of a personal goal of finding all the interactive spots, like playing music or writing in papyrus. It might be that Origins really leaned into HDR and with a desert setting and the geometric designs of Egypt as the canvas made it a visually appealing experience. I have a ton of memorable landscapes from Origins - i’m not sure there are quite as many for me in Odyssey. Or perhaps I just feel more at home in a desert setting.

No, I agree with you. As much as I love Odyssey’s gameplay improvements, I really think Origins’ ancient Egypt was more memorable. First, we get games set in ancient Greece, or using the trappings of the period all the time. Ancient Egypt usually only comes up as set dressing for tomb raiding or undead mummy fighting. Origins treatment of the setting is unique as far as I’m aware. On top of that, while both games reuse assets to make their towns and villages, I really felt the cut and paste in Odyssey. The only distinctive places I can recall are Sparta and Athens.

Nods rapidly.

Also ancient Greece for me is like how Rome is for Tom. Boring. :P

I actually thought there was a lot of variety in the textures and terrain types used. Also… The Akrokorinth zipline! Yowza.

BTW how do you start the Odyssey discovery tour? I just looked and don’t see it anywhere on the menu.

NM, it appeared after the game updated. I didn’t realize it was playable while updating.

None of those things were ever a thing in the ancient world. Ancient people shook hands like normal people, not like Hollywood morons who think grabbing someone’s forearm is a cool thing to do. Bracers go back to early Hollywood movies, like Spartacus. The closest thing you have from antiquity are forearm guards, which are surprisingly rare, and often limited to one arm only (namely the one not carrying a shield).

I was editor of Ancient Warfare magazine from 2012 to the very end of 2016 (I also have an actual PhD, having written my dissertation on warfare in ancient Greece from the Bronze Age down to the Persian Wars). I then switched to be the editor of Ancient History magazine in 2017 before leaving the company and founding my own (online only) magazine about the ancient world. I write there frequently, including about movies, TV shows, and games. We also do a podcast.

I actually wrote this piece that’s still on the Ancient Warfare blog about “Hollywood Romans” from back when I was editor of that magazine.

I still don’t understand how this managed to make it to the final game:

That’s from relatively early in the game, and a bloody cutscene to boot. They didn’t even bother turning those columns a bit to make it even slightly less obvious that they were just copy-pasted…

Edit: Since I’m plugging myself here anyway, might as well remind folks about the series of articles I wrote about Odyssey, available here.

Subscribed! Always looking for another history podcast.

I hope they don’t do a Japanese setting AC so all my useless Japan Studies education can be twinged on all the inaccuracies.