It took me nearly a year to have AC Odyssey actually click with me and the part that did it was actually the ‘end’ of the main story!!
I’ve seen people preach about AC Odyssey for a while. Over on reddit there are many many posts stating how ‘I’ve spent over 100 hours in this game and am in love with it’, I see people sharing screenshots of their ‘Misthios’ (Mercenary for those of us not versed in greek) and yet for some reason it never 100% clicked with me.
This is a similar situation to AC Origins (The Only AC game I never finished although I think I got close) and on paper both of these games should be straight up my street. While not a History buff there has always been a few old civilisations I loved learning about and two of these are ancient Egypt and ancient Greece. In fact, I took a cruise around the Greek islands and made sure we went to places such as the site of the colossus of Rhodes and of course the Acropolis in Athens.
So why did AC Odyssey never click? I just never really believed the main part of the story it was trying to tell. I appreciate the vast nature of it however felt that made it so I was not really sure who I was going to meet and why in many places, why am I fighting for both Sparta and Athens? But have people tell me all game I’m Spartan and have story beats built around this?
There was also just so much to do, I mean I’m not afraid of big games (I 100% Oblivion back in the day) but now I’m older and the amount of time I have to play games is less I do find it a bit off putting. I also never really identified with my character, I chose Alexios the male option but have heard that Kassandra the female option is the better choice but by the time I thought about changing I was already 10ish hours in and not willing to do all that again.
So, I played for while (My game clock said 41 hours when I picked it up again the other day) and then put it down having not finished it and left it alone for a while.
Until now, I was playing AC 2 for a different piece I want to write and suddenly felt the itch to return to a modern AC and Greece in particular. So, I returned and made a point of focusing on the story to get to the end. It turns out I was only a few quests away from the end and this is where the game got me!
I had played (as much as I remember) as a ‘good’ character, I spared my stepfather and step brother, I was trying to help my psychopathic sister (who is the main antagonist for this story and the other character choice in the game) and reunite my family. Despite the fact that this didn’t really feel like it fit for my character but hey I’m a good guy ……… And then I reached the end of the story, confident I had chosen the options that would allow me to receive the ‘Good’ ending to the story….. No!
I watched powerless in a cut scene as it looked like my psycho sister would renounce her evil ways and come home to mummy and me, and then she stabbed my mother in the back! This resulted of course in my then killing my sister and my ending was sitting alone on a mountain with the bodies of my dead mother and sister. Suddenly I was hooked, Alexios in my opinion was now given motivation for the rest of the story. I still have many cultists to track down and it now completely makes sense that Alexios would be hell bent on hunting down those that created these terrible events. (I’m ignoring the weird scene where my stepfather and stepbrother suddenly come to dinner all grumpy and then join my ship crew because yeah, it’s just a bit odd).
Since this ending I have been mercilessly tracking down cultists, completing quests in a broodier, less optimistic way that feels more fun than before due to the now available character motivation.
I’ve nearly finished hunting the cultists and although I’ve heard rumours that the end is a bit underwhelming, I am persevering in my quest for revenge.
In this way AC Odyssey reminds me of AC 2 a game built around Ezio hunting down those responsible for the murder of his father and brothers. Family death is a trope to give characters motivation I know, but in a game where I m to go around mercilessly killing hundreds just to find another shiny sword in which to continue killing so I can eventually kill that one other person, I don’t mind using a trope to get me to buy into it a bit more.
It’s a shame it took me 40+ hours to feel like I’m enjoying the game but now that I got there it’s a blast. So, it turns out for me Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s ‘Bad’ ending was actually its BEST ending! Now I have more cultists to kill and DLC to complete. Bring it on!
In the few hours since I initially finished writing this piece I stumbled across a truly epic quest while on the hunt for a cultist. It involved none other than the true Greek legend of Theseus and the Minotaur. Complete with Theseus armour, the string he uses to help him navigate the labyrinth, the labyrinth itself, which is awesome and the Minotaur, oh my god the Minotaur!!! Epic Epic Epic. Oh, and also cool is a secret little piece of Eden linking it all back to good old AC lore, it’s not been forgotten after all! I actually recorded the footage of this and you can watch it here on my Youtube channel!.
Thanks for reading.
For more on Assassin’s Creed read my review of the 2016 movie right here!