I thought it would be fun to start a new series called Early Thoughts where I talk about the first couple of hours of a game that I am playing. I won’t do this for every game but I figure if it’s a longer game like Assassins Creed I might as well write down my initial thoughts on a game.
Last night I picked up Assassins Creed Odyssey and it feels like one of the worst starts to a video game that I have seen. The game starts out with the battle of Thermopylae which of course it would. I mean that movie was popular maybe 10 years ago so naturally, Ubisoft has to hop on that hype train. It was trying so hard to be the movie 300 to the point where the voice actor for Leonidas was doing his best Gerard Butler impersonation.
So you sit through this questionable cut-scene and then you’re immediately thrown into the new Assassins Creed game mechanic the big epic battles (I don’t know what they’re called). So the game mechanic is simple, its a battle is 150 vs 150 so there are 300 units on screen. I’m sure these battles are fine if you’re playing on a $2000 PC but me playing on an Xbox One S, the solution to having so many units on the screen at one time was to tank the graphics so it looked awful. At best it looked like last Gen.
Not just focussing on the graphics though the combat didn’t feel good. For me, I think its a mixture of the fact that your only weapon was spear (which I didn’t like using) and the camera angle made for a bad first experience. I personally prefer the tighter over the shoulder camera angle over the top down view.
After that, the game actual game begins. You’re taken out of the historical world and put into the modern world then you instantly hop into an Animus and this is where you set the actual game up. You chose the difficulty which I chose medium, you can choose between exploration mode or guided mode. Exploration mode is more like Zelda Breath of the Wild where guided is more like a traditional open-world with icons all over the map. I prefer structure in my open world games so I chose the guided mode. Finally, you also chose which character you want to play as. There is Alexios the male or Kassandra the female. I chose Kassandra because from everything that I had heard Kassandra is the right choice.
After that, you’re thrown back into the Ancient Greece time period but instead of it being the Persian War era, its approximately 50 years later at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War. For people who may not know, the Peloponnesian War was a “Civil” War between the city-states of Athens and Sparta. As a bit of a history nerd, I love this time period it’s probably my 2nd favorite time period behind the fall of the Roman Republic.
Getting back on track with the game, after the terrible intro the game really settles in. You start on the small Island of Kefalonia which is west of the Greece mainland. It’s fitting that this is the starting location in the game because it’s off to the side and kind of irrelevant. So this starter Island really works as a tutorial Island where you run around, get familiar with the game mechanics, the combat and all of the RPG elements. If you focus on just the main story, you’re looking at a couple hours on the initial tutorial Island. After you leave the Island, that’s where you hit the title screen and that’s actually where I stopped. Unfortunately, when you work a full-time job, you do need to sleep at some point.
So to wrap it all up, terrible first 10 minutes but once you enter the world as Kassandra (or Alexios) that’s when the game starts getting good.