Assassin's Creed: Odyssey put to the test


Players of the latest Assassin's Creed title can choose between two characters: Kassandra or Alexios. — dpa

Assassin's Creed: Odyssey starts epically. Players take on the role of Sparta's commander at Thermopylae, the battle in which a small group of Spartans were able to hold up the huge Persian army for two days.

However, the primary theme of the game is not the Persian War, but the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta from 431 to 404 BC.

The main character – either a woman named Kassandra or a man named Alexios – was born in Sparta, then is cast out and grows up on the island of Kefalonia. There the character gets involved in the mercenary trade and works with a rascal called Markos who acts as a kind of father figure.

What immediately catches the eye is how well this version of ancient Greece is detailed with gigantic statues of Zeus, turquoise waters, and villages lovingly decorated with markets, temples and houses.

Eventually the war catches up with Kassandra/Alexios and they have to leave Kefalonia with the mission of killing their father who leads the Spartan army. But to do that the character first has to earn the respect of the Spartans by killing and robbing Athenian soldiers.

"Odyssey" has the same hitbox combat system as "Origins" with special skills such as the Spartan kick becoming available as experience points are gained and levels are overcome.

Weapons and equipment have a minimum level and bring bonuses depending on their rarity. It's enjoyable to continue improving but the system has a drawback – if you find a very useful item, it proves almost worthless when you rise to the next level.

The mercenary system is new. Socially unacceptable behaviour sees a bounty placed on the main character, who from then on is pursued by higher level mercenaries.

To fight against them is almost futile so the goal is to avoid them. However, if you do defeat another mercenary, you rise in the rankings.

Exploration mode uses map symbols and way markers and should suit players who want to discover the game world on their own. Fans will also likely appreciate the naval battles the game offers.

For US$60 (RM249.45) for the standard edition, Assassin's Creed: Odyssey offers a great deal: at least 50 hours of playing time in a huge open world, varied main and secondary tasks, interesting characters and game mechanics that build on and improve upon those of its 2017 predecessor, Assassin's Creed: Origins.

The game is available now for Windows PCs, the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One. It's suitable for players aged 16 and older. – dpa
   

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