If you’re anything like me then you’re still recovering from Ubisoft’s shock confirmation of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. Odyssey joins its predecessors by being leaked before its intended announcement at E3, so Ubisoft decided to bite the bullet and release this teaser trailer showing two Greeks wearing traditional armour and attic style helmets, with one kicking the other off a mountaintop, alluding to the infamous scene in 300. While this not only increases the hype for Ubisoft’s E3 conference on the 10th of June, it also got me thinking about what features I’d like to see included in the next instalment of the series, along with one I hope they don’t include.
Engaging Stories and Side Quests
Following in the footsteps of Origins, I’d love to see a similarly engaging main storyline in Odyssey. I really liked just how many side quests there were, and if Ubisoft can keep up the momentum and create smaller plots to follow alongside the main story then I will be very happy to sacrifice many hours of my life into Odyssey. Side quests help build up the world and make it feel more involved than purely linear games. Plus, side quests have the added benefit of levelling up your character while also keeping the player engaged in entertaining missions without feeling like too much of a grind. With Odyssey following the footsteps of the 100+ quests in Origins, I hope that it manages to outdo its predecessor.
5th Century Greece
As an ancient history buff, I have to admit that the five second teaser trailer got me very excited about the potential setting for Odyssey. Ancient Egypt was by far my favourite setting of any Assassin’s Creed game, and so ancient Greece is right up my street. There are so many possibilities for what context Odyssey will be set in, but given the 300esque kick off a cliff in the trailer, I’m guessing the Spartans will be involved. So much of ancient history was written by the victors, and so I would be incredibly interested in playing in a world which shows the Athenian Empire as the baddies for once. Although I won’t be overly disappointed if I’m wrong, if Odyssey is set in the complex time of the Persian Wars or the Peloponnesian War I think it could be the most interesting historical context featured in an Assassin’s game so far. It would also mean that Odyssey is set before Origins, potentially during the most popularly studied 5th century BC, the height of the Athenian influence in Greece, before the Romans.
The next feature I’d like to see in Odyssey is more combat options. I loved the combat style in Origins, it felt innovative whilst also familiar if you’ve played games like Dark Souls or Breath of the Wild, and so more of the same would be great Ubisoft. I’d also like to see more stealth takedowns though, as I found them slightly lacking from previous games in Origins, with multiple takedowns, not an option. I’d also like more ways of taking out targets in missions. While fighting your way through a fort is fun, more clever stealth options would take Odyssey to the next level of strategic combat that I love in the Assassin’s Creed series. Nothing beats taking out a target in a way that makes you feel clever about it, even if it does take about three times the time to wipe out an area.
Early Eagle Vision
Eagle vision has evolved spectacularly since the first Assassin’s Creed game until the latest games in the series. Given the fact that Odyssey seems to be set before Origins, I would like to see a very similar way of using eagle vision. It wouldn’t make sense to set up Senu as one of the origins of the assassin skill if in previous times they used it anyway. I would love to see another eagle companion for the protagonist of Odyssey, not only because it makes sense but also because let’s face it, Senu was adorable. This also helped mark a new era in the series, and to go back on it now would feel disappointing. Using an eagle to track the movements of your enemies helped spice up a pretty stale formula, and I would love to see how they choose to develop it in Odyssey.
Since the Assassin’s Creed games are becoming much more similar to other open world RPGs, I would love to see some dialogue options in Odyssey. Dialogue options help make the player feel more immersed in the game by giving the illusion that we have control of the outcome of whatever situations we’re playing in. The dialogue could help shape your protagonist’s reputation or allies, or it could even change the outcome of minor side quests. With the addition of dialogue options, players would be able to take control of certain situations, but it could also be limited so that it does not change or compromise the character that Ubisoft wanted to create. It would also be a nice way to further the development of the games without actually changing that much.
Discovery Mode is potentially the biggest addition that I want to see in Odyssey. I absolutely adored this new feature in Origins, and it creates so many opportunities for gamers to learn about the ancient world without having to read through long and dense texts. Making video games more accessible to those who don’t necessarily play them as well as allowing gamers to learn interactively are both noble goals that Discovery Mode aimed to achieve, and in my opinion was one of the best innovations to the series since being able to touch water without desynchronising. It’s also a very creative way of showing off how much research goes into making these games.
Massive Open Word
The final feature I hope is included in Odyssey is the same level of open world that Origins had. Open world RPGs are my favourite type of game, not only for the massive playable and explorable area but also for how immersive they can be. Nothing beats loading up a game for the first time and seeing the sheer scale of an epic sized map that you can sink your teeth (and time) into. The open nature of gameplay that Ubisoft creates in the Assassin’s Creed games suit this style of map perfectly, and I can’t wait to see what scale of map they have created for Odyssey. Knowing the landscape of Greece, we should be able to expect plenty of variety in an open world as well, including seas, mountains, and a vast array of open plains to sail, climb, and assassinate across.
No Modern Plot
On the flip side, however, I absolutely do not want Odyssey to have no impact on the series. While Syndicate offered little hints of future plots for out modern day assassins, this was largely ignored in Origins in favour of reading emails with the occasional bit of plot. Although I absolutely loved Origins – I’m sure you’ve got that by now anyway – I was left a bit disappointed by how little it impacted the overall story of the series. I know that the modern storyline has basically been non-existent since Assassin’s Creed 3, but I would still like to know more about what’s going on with the modern assassins and Templars. Having said that, I don’t want the modern storyline to take away from the historical side. The most enjoyable gameplay definitely comes from the ancestor’s life anyway, but I would definitely like to see some modern plot development to feel like the series is moving along in some way.
After the success and critical acclaim of Assassin’s Creed: Origins, it’s fair to say that the expectations for Odyssey are very high. As a long time fan of the series and someone who has studied ancient civilisations for the past four years, I’m struggling to contain my excitement for E3, and this teaser trailer was just the thing to get the hype train rolling. Hopefully, we’ll be getting a lot more information at the Ubisoft conference next week, but until then let us know if you agree with this list of what we’d like to see in Odyssey. Are there any features that aren’t included here that you’d like to see? Let us know in the comments!