Assassin’s Creed Odyssey E3 Impression
Chris Privitere’s Demo Experience
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey played a lot like Assassin’s Creed Origins. The E3 demo offered the choice between joining a massive battle, an assassination mission, or a ship combat. I chose to play the giant battle. The battle lived up to its name: it had hundreds of combatants in it, and I could have spent the whole time easily dispatching folks left and right. The game, however, tried to direct me towards several enemies with golden shields over their heads. These guys were a bit tougher than the fodder, and once I finished them off I got to go after the enemy captain. Once he was down, the enemy hero showed up to play the ostensible role of the final boss. In this battle, the gigantic brute proved to be too much for me to handle.
Combat in the scenario was very similar to how it worked in Assassin’s Creed Origins. I used heavy attacks to take down an enemy’s guard, then whittled away at their health with a rapid series of light attacks. Additionally, the d-pad gave me four special skills: one permanently disarmed an opponent of their shield, one regenerated my health, and one kicked a dude 20 feet away so I could ignore them and get back to important butt-whooping. The last, and also my favorite, was an AOE attack that seemed to shock everyone with lightning. I’m still not sure how that one was justified in-game. In order to use these special attacks however, I had to spend focus, which I could replenish by beating up folks with normal attacks. This is how I perished, actually. I ran out of focus and was unable to successfully hit the enemy hero to replenish it.
After admitting I was a complete loser, I reloaded the demo and looked for something interesting on the map to run towards and climb. I didn’t find anything so I summoned my eagle pal, who also makes a return from Origins, to scout around. Mr. Eagle was able to find a good place to go perch and get some points, or whatever you get in this game for looking like a bad-ass on top of a building. This turned into another failure for me, since I ran out of time for my demo.
RPGamers who don’t suck at Spartan combat and who have enough time to pose on buildings can look forward to the release of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey on PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One on October 5th, 2018.
Zack Webster’s Demo Experience
I also got to take a stab at the new Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, though rather than engaging in sprawling battles or naval warfare I opted in to the more traditional Assassin’s Creed idiom: assassination. The demo began by meeting Sokrates, who informed me of a rebel who had been captured and was planned to be put to death. I was given the choice to save him or leave him. As I can be virtuous if the occasion calls (on occasion), I decided to rescue the man. First, I summoned my eagle buddy to scout out the area and pinpoint where he was being kept. Once I found him, the game lived up to the Assassin’s Creed name as I effortlessly vaulted, climbed, and jumped across the ocean-adjacent Greek town.
As I approached the target, enemies finally presented themselves and the stealth part began. Outwitting the guards is easy enough, at least at first. I killed a few silently and released the captive before being found, but I managed to get myself caught regardless. At that point, the game started to feel very similar to last year’s Origins, with a mixture of dodges, parries, light and heavy attacks, and special disarming skills to get around heavily shielded enemies. Even though I accidentally ended up killing the captive I had just released, I got away with only minor wounds and considered the effort a moral victory. Afterwards, I met a woman suffering from a wound who warned me of a bear causing trouble in the countryside. To my displeasure, I ran out of time before I could encounter the bear. The prospect of fighting a bear should be enough to make anyone excited.
Even with the series’ shift towards more nuanced combat and concerted efforts to make it more like an RPG, these elements do not demo well. I was unable to engage with any of the leveling systems or find and equip new gear. The reference to levels in the demo informed me my level was to low to fight a bear, but I certainly wasn’t going to let numbers tell me what to do. What I can say is that Assassin Creed games have become interesting again and Odyssey looks to continue that trend. Players looking for a big open world to explore will definitely have a solid option come October 5.