Back in 2017, Assassin’s Creed Origins released at the worst time for me personally. I delayed buying a switch until the fall and the first game I purchased with my new was Breath of the Wild. Which if you haven’t played Breath of the Wild, it is a massive open-world game. After playing that for 40-50 hours, my brilliant brain thought, “I should get Assassin’s Creed Origins next.” So I picked it up, started playing it, got a couple of hours in, opened up the map. Saw how huge the map was and stopped playing the game. At the time, I didn’t have it in me to play another massive open-world game.

Fast forward to the fall of 2018 when I picked up Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and loved it. Which made me think about how I need to give Origins another try but before I do, I needed time away from open-world games. This year has been amazing for this because the massive open-world games have been scarce and the few that did release haven’t interested me. So now seemed like the right time to sit down and give this game another shot. I’m glad I did because in my second playthrough I enjoyed my time with Origins.

Now that I have all of that out of the way, it’s time to break the games down into multiple categories and rank the two to find out which game I found more enjoyable. Also a quick note, I plan on talking about these games freely so there will be spoilers. If you haven’t played both games but want to, I would recommend saving this post for another time.

Main Character

Origins

In Assassin’s Creed Origins the protagonist is an Egyptian named Bayek of Siwa. He is an Egyptian Medjay which if you’re unfamiliar with Ancient Egyptian history, Medjays were Ancient Egyptian police officers. So as Bayek you would run around, help the people of Ancient Egypt by finding husbands who have gone missing, killing animals that have been wreaking havoc or sometimes you had to kill someone.

Bayek’s primary motivator that drives him through the story is revenge. Bayek was a happy man, he had a wife named Aya and a son named Khemu. One day Bayek and his son Khemu were both abducted by the Order of the Ancients which were the games secret evil organization that was dabbling in the supernatural. In a series of unfortunate events, Bayek wound up getting tricked and he winds up stabbing his own son Khemu in the heart. After this, Bayek and his wife declare to get revenge for the death of their son.

This backstory does make it easy to feel sympathy for Bayek and as a player, it makes you want to push forward through the story. Find those members of The Order of the Ancients and assassinate them in traditional Assassin’s Creed fashion. Unfortunately, for Bayek’s his personality has a hard time shining through as solely focussed on getting revenge. What ends up happening is Bayek the character feels one-note.

Odyssey

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey did something new in the franchise, you end up getting to chose the protagonist. The two choices are Alexios who is male and Kassandra who is female. I chose Kassandra because I had heard Alexios’ voice before the game released and I knew I could not sit through 50+ hours of a game with that voice. In my game, Kassandra was a Mercenary during the Peloponnesian war. Which if you’re unfamiliar with Greek history, the Peloponnesian War was a civil war between the city-states of Sparta and Athens. She had no allegiance between the two city-states and you as the player had agency in deciding which you would like to support. 

Kassandra’s backstory ends up going way to her childhood and the events that occurred in her childhood shaped her as an adult. However, to explain her backstory, I need to explain a certain Spartan law. Children and in this case babies are not private “property” but owned by the state. This gives Sparta full control of what happens to babies when they are born. So when a baby is born, the state inspects and if it’s deemed unfit or weak they would be thrown off the side of a mountain. So Kassandra was a child and her brother was born, her brother was prophesized to bring the fall of Sparta so Sparta decided to throw the baby off the mountainside. Kassandra as a young child did not like her baby brother being thrown off a mountain so she fought the priest. In doing so, the priest and her brother wound up falling off the mountainside. The Spartan Leaders were unhappy with Kassandra and her father Nikolaos, had to punish her by dropping her off the mountain. 

She, of course, lives through this and vows to find her family again. One of the first missions in the game is finding your father Nikolaos and then you find out he is not your father. He’s your stepfather and so the rest of the game is exploring the world to find your mother so you can find out who your father is. 

I found Kassandra’s backstory compelling but I also found her to be a fun character. She wanted to help people, she had a lighter tone and told jokes. When things didn’t go the way she expected, she would swear by saying “Malakas” which is a Greek slang/profanity.

Winner

Odyssey-Kassandra

Combat

The combat between the two games, I found to be similar and I honestly wound up using the same weapons for both games. For Melee, I stuck with the dual blades which are short blades but move quickly so you can attack multiple times in a short period. 

For range, I stuck with a standard bow something I could zoom in target heads and take enemies out in one shot. 

Origins

So the key difference in combat between these two games is the adrenaline and ability system. For Origins, it’s a rudimentary system. You build up the adrenaline bar by fighting and attacking, once it’s filled up you can spend the adrenaline meter with a super-powered attack and that’s it. 

Odyssey

For Odyssey, some abilities can use the adrenaline meter so for Odyssey the adrenaline meter becomes more situational. If you want to use it in stealth if you want to use it with your bow at the range or you can use it in melee like in Origins. My favorite use was this ability where you could grab an enemy’s shield and just rip it away from them. It was so simple and satisfying and while I was playing Origins all I could think about is how much I missed that move.

Winner

Odyssey

Platforming/Mobility

One of my favorite aspects of the Assassin’s Creed franchise is the mobility and ability to climb anything without punishment. Not to poop on another game but this is what I wish Breath of the Wild’s climbing mechanics were like. Assassin’s Creed is snappy and quick but also doesn’t have a terrible stamina meter. I loathe stamina in video games, it’s one of my least favorite gameplay mechanics in video games.

I’m starting to get off track but this one of the categories where the difference between the two games is minimal. They both feel great in this aspect however I do have to pick a winner and for me, it’s going to be Odyssey. Why? Because at level 20, you unlock the ability to no longer take fall damage. It doesn’t make sense narratively why at level 20 this happens but it does make the traversal more fun so slight edge to Odyssey.

Winner

Odyssey

Story

I have already touched on the backstories of the characters but there is more to the overarching story of each game. 

Origins

In Origins, you have Bayek hunting down members of the Order of the Ancients and in doing so you meet famous people from that era. Probably the two most prolific are Julius Caesar and Cleopatra. The story Arc of these two is my favorite aspect of the story of this game where Bayek is allied with Cleopatra until she double-crosses Bayek because she wants to work with Caesar. So then Bayek needs to plan his revenge which eventually leads to your wife Aya taking a ship to Rome where she takes part in the assassination of Julius Caesar. That entire sequence is banana’s but unfortunately, that was one of the only narrative aspects I enjoyed with the game. For the vast majority of the game, I didn’t care what was happening in the story. 

Odyssey

Odyssey did a better job of making you appreciate the game’s story and part of that is how the story was structured. Where it did a better job of creating a narrative mystery where you’re slowly creating and answering questions. I always like when I’m playing a game and I’m working towards uncovering some secret. It’s a simple but effective way to hook me in. Whether it was finding out who Kassandra’s real father was, or finding her mother or finding out more about the brother who did not die from the fall. Although I didn’t care for the brother, the mother and father story arc was satisfying.

Winner

Odyssey

Side Quests

I have never been the type of person who loves doing side quests, usually, I’ll do a quarter of them and then primarily focus on the main quests. I’m always concerned about burning out before finishing a game so I prefer to mainline the game and if I enjoyed the game enough I will go back in and complete the side quests.

Origins

I played through a dozen or so side quests and every single side quest devolved into the same activity. Talk to a person, run off to specific area on the map, “investigate” and run back to the original quest giver. It would be an okay loop if the investigation mechanics were more fun but all you do is run around an area, look for items and fill up the investigation bar. Once you have found all the items, the investigation is complete. After a while, I just couldn’t do it anymore. Maybe the side quests get more interesting as the game goes along but I’ll never know. 

Odyssey

I can’t help but think about this one specific side mission that I played through. You meet this man named Supideo and he’s locked himself in a cage because he went to visit the Oracle of Delphi and found out his prophecy. He finds out that his mother will die and his father will end up in great pain. So as you’re talking to Supedio he sends you on a fetch quest to find his sword and shield which he will give to his parents to help protect them from himself. So you head off to the blacksmith where you to get the sword from the blacksmith you make an arrangement you have sex with him in exchange for the sword. This may sound dirty and wrong but Kassandra is a bit promiscuous (or at least my version of her was). So she sex’s up the blacksmith giving him the greatest night of his life and then move on to get the shield. Then you’re sent off to a cave to retrieve Supideo’s shield which a thief had stolen. So you go into the cave, kill everyone in it (like you have done multiple times at this point in the game), retrieve the shield and head back to Supideo. 

Upon arrival, Supideo’s parents reveal the truth about Supideo’s past. Supideo was adopted and the sword and shield were gifts from his real mother and father. The mother was the shield that you have just murdered and the sword was from the father who you just had sex with. In the end, Supideo freaks out and blinds himself. 

It’s at this point that you realize that the name Supideo is not a synonym for Stupid but rather Supideo is Oedipus spelled backward. This entire side quest is just Ubisoft’s twist on the story of Oedipus. This one story is better than any side content in Assassin’s Creed Origins.

Winner

Odyssey

Exploration

One major aspect of open-world games is the element of exploration. Some games shouldn’t be open-world games if it’s not fun to pick a direction and go then there is a problem. 

Origins

Although the first time I sat down and started playing Origins, I looked at the map and just didn’t have it in me. However, the second time I sat down and gave this game a try, I enjoyed traversing the world and finding secrets or clearing out camps. After playing the game for 40 hours, the game world ended up being a perfect size. There was still more to do but I felt satisfied and not too burnt out. 

There was something exciting about getting to a new territory and visiting those areas ancient structures. One aspect of Egyptian history that I love is during the of Cleopatra the Pyramids were considered ancient. They were thousands of years old at that point. So seeing these old pyramids and structures that have been weathered was just interesting. Sure most since the game is in Ancient Egypt, a lot of the game is desert but Ancient Egypt did have enough cities and a few other biomes to at least keep the game fresh and interesting. 

Odyssey

I am personally a bit of a history nut, throughout school my favorite subject was always history. One of my favorite civilizations to learn about was the Ancient Greeks (Rome was 1, Greece was 2 and Egypt was 3) so getting a chance to explore ancient Greece was something special. Unfortunately, the game ended up being too much, I loved the world but this is one of the biggest open-worlds I have ever played. It was too much, if I hopped on my boat it would 10-20 minutes to get to my location.

Winner

Origins

Voice Acting

Voice acting can make or break a game’s narrative, especially if the developers are going for cinematic story-telling. Which in this day and age, most Triple “A” games are going a cinematic feel. In this breakdown, we’re looking at Abubakar Salim who voiced Bayek and Melissanthi Mahut who voiced Kassandra. 

Origins

Although Abubakar Salim did a good job with his voice acting performance, he didn’t stand out for me. It just seemed like a solid voice acting performance, nothing more, nothing less.

Odyssey

Now for me personally Melissanthi Mahut had one of the best performances of the generation. It felt like she made Kassandra her own and had fun with it. Throughout the entire game, it just felt like Melissanthi went that extra step and it just showed. For me, she is the clear winner.

Winner

Odyssey

Secondary Characters

Both games ended up having a strong core of secondary characters that I ended up liking. So what I’m going to do is, look at 3 of the more prominent characters in each game and determine which trio I liked more. 

Origins

Aya: Aya is Bayek’s wife and there are some sequences where you end up playing as her in the story. The more I played the game and got to know her, the more she grew on me and I ended liking her as a character. She does have a heartbreaking moment at the end of the game when Aya and Bayek decide that their past is too complicated and they will never be to get over the loss of their son. They decided it was easier to break off and go their separate ways. 

Cleopatra: Cleopatra is one of the most interesting historical figures that I have read up on. Although it’s not depicted here Cleopatra was never considered “pretty” but rather charismatic. There is a famous story where she understood the power of Julius Caesar and needed him on her side. So her solution to making this happen was to roll her self up in a rug (all the while being naked) and when the rug was delivered to Caesar she would reveal herself. She knew of Caesar’s past and how he liked the company of women, all she had to do was get in the same room as Caesar and he would be hers. The game has a scene where Cleopatra rolls herself in the rug to meet Caesar, now granted she was not naked but still it was an interesting moment in the game. Shortly after this she double-crosses Bayek because all she cared about was getting to Caesar. The Cleopatra story arc was the only part of the narrative that I found interesting. 

Julius Caesar: Although Caesar is not the most prominent figure in the game however he does end up playing a major role in the story. Plus as someone who loves Roman History, playing a game where I get to meet Julius Caesar was a dream come true. For me, it’s one of the coolest things I have ever done in a video was to be apart of the assassination of Julius Caesar. 

Odyssey

Myrrine: This is Kassandra’s mother, you spent a majority of the game looking for her and once you do find her. It’s a special, heartwarming moment. Unfortunately for me, that moment was somewhat ruined because the game crashed during the cut scene and I had to redo the entire sequence again. Either way, it was still a nice moment and once you meet her, she’s great. She is a lot like Kassandra, compassionate but also a badass. 

Sokrates: Sokrates is an interesting fellow in history but also in the game. You interact with him on a regular and he’s only interested in one thing and that’s philosophy. Everything he says is either cryptic or about morality. Either way, he’s definitely much smarter than Kassandra or me. 

Deimos: This final character sucks, its Kassandra’s brother. He’s lame and his voice actor is the worst thing that has happened to video games. As it turns out, he survived the fall and was raised by the Cult of Kosmos which is the game’s evil organization. At the end of the game, you have a choice of whether you want to mend the relationship and bring Deimos back into your life or kill Deimos and move on. I chose to kill Deimos because I didn’t want to hear him speak ever again.

Winner

Origins

Evil Organization/Antagonist

It’s the Order of the Ancients vs Cult of Kosmos. 

Origins

Origins did an amazing job making you hate The Order of the Ancients at the beginning of the game. You want to track down every member and take them out. As you dive deeper into the order, you find that the people at the top are Romans. This is why you end up getting double-crossed by Cleopatra, she needed to side with her new allies. 

Odyssey

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey did a poorer job making you hate the Cult of Kosmos. Going back to Kassandra with throwing her brother off the mountain, it was cult behind the scenes pulling the strings. So it was the cult’s fault for why her brother and also herself were tossed off that mountain. It’s the cult’s fault for splitting up the family but the game didn’t do a great enough job to make hate the cult as much as I hated the order. 

Winner

Origins

Ending

The way a game (or any story) ends is one of the most important aspects of the game. Sometimes that ends up being the last thing you do and therefore the first thing you think of. It’s like the game, Mass Effect 3. When you think about Mass Effect 3, it’s hard not to think about how poorly the game ended.

Now Origins has a pretty standard ending, its an ending that everyone gets but Odyssey is different where it has 3 separate endings. I don’t mean players will get 1 of 3 endings, what I mean is there are 3 story arcs in the game and they all have their conclusion. So for this, it ends up being 1 ending vs 3 endings. 

Origins

I have already touched upon most of the ending in previous categories so I’ll just kind of run through what happens. Bayek uncovers the final members of the cult, turns out they’re Romans. In typical assassin fashion, the final members are assassinated. Bayek and his wife decide that it’s for the best if they split up and go their separate ways, Bayek stays in Egypt as the last Medjay. His wife Aya leaves Egypt and heads to Rome to assassinate Julius Caesar. It’s simple but satisfying.

Odyssey

Ending 1: The first ending I finished was an ending that I already touched upon. You end up with the choice of what to do with your brother. I chose to kill him just because I didn’t like the character. That’s a weak ending to me if you have a moral choice in a game and it’s not a difficult choice then there is a problem. 

Ending 2: This story arc ends once you’ve assassinated every member in the Cult of Kosmos which at the end you find out the person at the top was some woman that you meet earlier in the game. My problem with this ending is, I forgot who she was. The woman didn’t leave enough of an impression on me so that reveal at the end fell flat.

Ending 3: This final ending is buck wild and makes up for the 2 other more disappointing endings. This is the ending where you find out who Kassandra’s father is. As it turns out, Kassandra’s father was Greek scholar Pythagoras who at the time was over 100 years old and is kept alive by a magic scepter. The Magic Scepter was then handed down from Pythagoras to Kassandra and at the end of the game as you’re controlling Layla. Layla is the modern-day Templar you meet Kassandra who has been kept alive by this magic scepter. This ending was bonkers and I was a big fan. Even though I liked this ending, the other 2 endings bring this ending down. 

Winner

Origins

Final Results

Origins: 4

Odyssey: 6

Winner

Odyssey

These two games are interesting games for me, I enjoyed my time with them (although I did like Odyssey a little more) but I can’t say either of them are great games. I like ended up liking Odyssey a little more with the combat being more nuanced, the story is more interesting and the main character having a little more personality. They’re both fun games that I would recommend to anyone that’s looking to get lost in an open world 40-50 hours.

One thought on “[Versus] Assassin’s Creed Origins vs Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

  1. Back in 2017, Assassin’s Creed Origins released in precisely the same time for me personally. I delayed buying a change before the fall, and the first game I purchased with my new was Breath of this Wild. Which if you haven’t played Breath of the Wild, it’s a massive open-world game. After playing that for 40-50 hours, my colourful mind thought, “I must get Assassin’s Creed Origins next.” So I picked it up, began playing it, got a couple of hours in, opened up the map. Fast forward to the fall of 2018 once I picked up Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and loved it. In Assassin’s Creed Origins, the protagonist is an Egyptian called Bayek of Siwa. He is an Egyptian Medjay which if you’re unfamiliar with Ancient Egyptian history, Medjays were Ancient Egyptian authorities officers. Bayek’s primary motivator that drives him through the story is revenge. Bayek was a joyful man; he had a wife called Aya and a son named Khemu. Find those members of this Order of the Ancients and assassinate them at traditional Assassin’s Creed fashion.

    Like

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