It has taken years and years of "almost-there" iterations, but they finally did it--this Assassin's Creed game takes the cake, as it so rightfully deserves. Assassin's Creed Odyssey is exactly what you would expect from the title--an adventure through ancient Greece of Epic proportion that Homer himself would be proud of. In fact, ACO borrows more than just the setting of Homer's Odyssey, but also touches on similar mythical legends, characters, places, and more.
Set along a fictional Mediterranean Coast, ACO makes use of previous game mechanics that made it so revolutionary while adding an entirely new level of complexity and customization. As with every iteration of the game, the running, jumping, and climbing mechanics are smoother than the last and in this case, are finally entirely seamless. The same can be said about the fighting mechanics, but these have also drastically changed since Origins. ACO now boasts an extensive inventory and upgrades menu that allow the player to customize weapons and wardrobe, as well as upgrade attacks and abilities. This allows players to have personalized hotkey buttons for different attacks and inventory items--something that has not been seen before in Assassin's Creed games.
Speaking of never-before-seen game mechanics, Assassin's Creed Odyssey has a lot of them, as it emerges as a full-fledged RPG. Being such, ACO now boasts dialog choices that effect the outcome of the game, dynamic weather and Biome patterns that break up the monotony of landscapes, and notoriety levels, such as in the GTA franchise. While all of these components are drastically different than former AC games, there is still plenty that keeps Assassins Creed grounded.
As with all Assassins Creed games, Odyssey takes place in a nonfictional time with historical characters and events. Since this game is set in ancient Greece, the battle between Sparta and Athens is raging on, and the player is encouraged to fight along one side or the other, or both!
Another key aspect derived from past games is that of the sailing system. Since ancient Greece is comprised of hundreds of small islands, your ship is the main mode of transit, while it also acts as your home base. As in previous games, the player is able to recruit crew for their home base, or ship, and must do so if they expect to survive the high seas. Fun (I mean really fun) Fact: ships now have the ability to smash other ships in half and sink them!!!
Over all, this is an absolutely phenomenal game which takes every groundbreaking Assassin's Creed component and dumps them into an unbelievably vivid open world--think Skyrim on steroids. With stunning graphics, seamless game play, 30+ hours of cut scenes, and a setting and story to match, this is undoubtedly the best Assassin's Creed game by far, and quite possibly one of the best RPGs to date. Good work Ubisoft, keep it up!
This review was written as part of a contest.