Chronicling the many problems with Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and Ubisoft games in general
So I have been playing a lot of Assassin's Creed Odyssey lately. To be precise, my Kassandra is currently at level 22 and I have barely started the main quests.
All I have been doing are bounty contracts and a lot of exploring.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey is a great game no doubt. It's far better than the previous installment in the series which was Assassin's creed Origins. But there are things that Ubisoft just don't seem to learn from their mistakes; things that break immersion and make their games feel way more "gamey" than they have any right to.
Starting with the NPCs - I just straight up hate NPCs in Ubisoft's games. They are all annoying and irritating and identical, and well they even speak the same sentences which are distracting because it sounds unethical if anything.
It's 2018, Ubisoft. If Rockstar can make every NPC interactive, then you guys can at least keep a bunch of different looking guys and girls on the vast number of islands you so proudly flaunt in every game.
And I can lend my voice too for some of them if you want (I'm serious)?
When NPCs are not distracting me in this game, then the game's locations are. Every island in the game looks so similar that at first I thought I was hallucinating.
Not to mention, if you have spent 100+ hours in Origins like me, then good luck exploring Odyssey with this déjà vu feeling. Some places look strikingly so similar that it seems they were put right out of the world of Origins by mistake.
Due to this copy and paste design, there is no fun and excitement towards exploring the game world, and trust me I already feel fatigued.
That brings me to the quests in these games. Most of them feel as if the writers had dragons breathing down their necks while they wrote a stupid side quest plot which doesn't need to feel like a "fetch quest" but is ultimately just that.
Almost everyone in this game, as well as Origins, gets kidnapped by - you guessed it right, Bandits. Like Bandits have nothing else to do.
Almost every quest involves the same thing - Rescue someone from a Bandit/Athenian/Spartan outpost and escort him/her to someplace safe.
I did the same thing in Origins, Far Cry 5, Far Cry 4, Ghost Recon wildlands and God knows how many more games.
Is it that difficult to make a well-written, story-driven quest which actually involved something meaningful and interesting to do?
Yes, I know every gameplay mechanic in a Ubisoft game boils down to taking down an outpost whichever way you please, but there is a limit to everything.
That being said, the game does show some signs of greatness.
Tracking down The Dagger in the game has been the best questline in the game till now (it is actually a side quest). It also involved some major decisions to take (which I regret).
There was actually one such quest in which I was actually watching and listening to the cutscenes with full attention. For the first time, I felt like this was an actual RPG at heart.
I hope I'll find more such interesting encounters in the game, but so far I don't see anything I like that in the distance.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey is a beautiful game, Kassandra is an interesting character and so is her broader narrative. The combat is fine and fun, the game's score is sometimes too good to be true.
But ultimately, the scope of the game is too big, which Ubisoft can't seem to grasp or are inadequate to do so.