How Odyssey Is Changing the Face of Assassin’s Creed

How Odyssey Is Changing the Face of Assassin’s Creed

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Assassin’s Creed has now gone through some dramatic changes and even more so than most of the blockbuster franchises out there. The original game was a great stealth action game with a relatively open world and events that were featured in city environments. Over time, however, the stealth feature has taken the back seat and there are now more action setpieces – to the point that diving from ridiculous heights into hay bales is as familiar as naval combat.

The series took a massive leap into the universe of open-world role-playing games when it transitioned into the sprawling land of Ancient Greece. When this game was unveiled at E3 earlier this year, we saw the confidence that Ubisoft had invested in Origins. At this point, Origins was already a year into the production stage and the Quebec development     team was sure that they were in the perfect direction with the franchise.

While this felt like a natural transition for the developers of this game, gamers were more concerned about the developers messing up the whole concept that the games had followed so far. After all, the epic battles between armies on Grecian Beach don’t involve parkour mixed with assassination strategies.

“History is a huge part of our inspiration and how we’re building these games. From that, I don’t think it’s budged at all,” said Mel MacCoubrey, from the team of Ubisoft Quebec. This signifies that history is a huge part of this game and these historical events will play out as the game builds up. Mel MacCoubrey also indicated in interviews that while all these changes are interesting, the idea behind a revamp was that fans wouldn’t want the same gameplay in this franchise.

Therefore, in order to keep things interesting for fans, Ubisoft Quebec had to find the right balance between the familiar old things and everything new. According to them, maintaining this balance was their biggest struggle as well as their motto. They are doing this in order to push the game forward. They kept challenging themselves by stretching the very vision of the game and every team involved had their own way of doing so.

With the change of gameplay, they have also brought forward the concept of choice. You may have even noticed this in the marketing campaign of the game. It even reflects in the game’s tagline – “this is your Odyssey”. One of these choices includes the option between a male and female protagonist for completing missions or side quests. There is also a whole dialogue system that can be chosen from, in order to influence outcomes of conversations.

With the option of choice comes the implication of parallel storylines. This means there are diverse endings for the game. Some of these endings even influence larger events. For all those who’ve read “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, you know what we’re getting at. While this sounds interesting, some may now even question the use of historical events in the game.

MacCoubrey went to explain this that these choices are only centered on the storylines of these characters and not the entirety of historical events. An example shared is that of the Plague of Athens. The Plague will occur no matter what choices you make, but the smaller events that lead to it are totally open to interpretation for the studio.

“In the world, we know of Ancient Greece in 431 BC – there is a very fine line between what is real and what is a myth and how those things are interconnected,” said Mel MacCoubrey regarding the implications of gamers’ choices on historical events in the game. He stated that the whole idea behind the choices in the game is that they influence bigger choices which lead to the same historical events.

Another new addition in this game is of the God-like opponents that gamers will be facing. MacCoubrey said in interviews that there are Historical Greek documents where historians like Herodotus talks about how Persian wars were played out but they also included a mention of Giant Ants in the text. For these people, these God-like creatures were real which is why Odyssey also features battles with some legendary creatures like Medusa and ancient Egyptian Gods.

Moving on further, the illustration of the Assassin’s Creed fighting off the templars doesn’t play a very large role in Odyssey. Players instead are seen taking on the roles of mercenaries who can interact with different factions of the game. This makes a lot of sense because the game is set in 431 BC which is around 400 years before the Brotherhood was formed or before Origins took place.

In this game, you will be following no pre-developed creed. You will be choosing your own creed by defining what is right or wrong in the game’s universe. The game’s universe may even punish you for your bad choices but don’t let that stop you! There will be some quest givers in this game that you can just kill off and you’ll only be missing that quest. This should give you an idea about how much liberty players will have in this new game.

The diverse range of choices in this game would also include choices that develop romance between characters. Odyssey will offer its players the ability to communicate with characters to be able to create intimacy and even some aspects that go further into other genre staples.

Scott Philips who is another team member at Ubisoft Quebec portrayed that our ability to form human interaction isn’t only limited to the choices we make. For example, if we choose to lie in our interactions, it is also the choice of the game’s no playable character to believe you or not. This whole strategy plays out really well to form an overall realistic experience in the game, making it more interesting than its previous genre.

One very important choice we need to highlight in the game is our choice of male or female protagonist. While historically, all the assassins were known to be males, there are some playable female characters that will unlock specific sections of the game. Not only this, but these female characters will also lead to further spin-off titles like Assassin’s Creed 3 – Companion Liberation.

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Omnimushu

Marc Busby

Long time gamer with a passion for all games. For me, it's all about the experience a game delivers.

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