Release Date: October 5, 2018
Platform: PS4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, PC
Genre: Action, Adventure, Open-World
For the longest time, I've wanted two things in the Assassin's Creed franchise: a game centered around the splendor of ancient Hellenistic Egypt, and a game that tapped the wonders of ancient Greece. Those dreams came to be in the form of some of the best-designed and purely enjoyable entertainment experiences in today's modern landscape, and it's the latter we'll be talking about today.
There's magic in Assassin's Creed: Odyssey--so much in fact that I'm starting to think Ubisoft employs mystical wizards instead of developers. Odyssey is in-fact an odyssey. The very word conjures up a grand sweeping adventure across the exotic and craggy isles of Greece itself, sails high and ship cutting through the blue Aegean, with gods, psirens and terrifying minotaurs laying in wait. That's really what Odyssey is; your personal journey across a veritable playground that blurs history with myth and fact with legend to create this mystifying expedition. The game stimulates your imagination in so many ways (at least it did mine) and really taps that inner curiosity that's sparked by museums or universities. There's a very real hunger to know and see more and Ubisoft has provided a sumptuous banquet for our minds.
That feeling of Herculean enterprise is ever-present in Odyssey. Apart from the action-based mechanics which make you feel like a god-king (or -queen) armed with Leonidas' spear, the world itself is shrouded in exotic myth. Sometimes you'll see ruins of a colossal snake at a temple or an impossibly large boar to drive this point home, but other times it's the sheer brilliance and beauty of cities like Violent-Crowned Athens that leave you spellbound.
There's so much to see, so much to explore, so much to do...but it's all paced in a way that isn't necessarily overwhelming but appeals to your natural open-world sensibilities. The world is absolutely infused with this sense of endless possibility, of adventure waiting around the next corner, all awash in a sea of grandiose visuals that immerse you in an ancient world.
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