Stevivor was lucky enough to grab hands-on time with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey ahead of E3 2018 and can now share all we’ve learned.
Odyssey’s location, setting and time periods
Yeah, time periods. You read that right.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey is primarily set in Greece in 431 BCE. This places Odyssey earlier in the Assassin’s Creed timeline than last year’s Origins.
The setting was chosen as it was “the birth of western civilisation,” Ubisoft Quebec’s Marc-Alexis Côté, Senior Producer on Odyssey, said. Greek Philospher Socrates is one famous historical figure who will appear in Odyssey.
The time period also means the game takes place during the Peloponnesian War, one fought between the Delian League led by Athens against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta.
Our hands-on time was spent on the Delos Islands, which players will generally experience at the 15-20 hour mark of the full game.
Odyssey also has a modern-day story that continues the tale of Layla Hassan, an Abstergo employee turned Assassin at the end of Assassin’s Creed: Origins. It’s unclear where her story portions will take place.
Players will have the option to play as one of two heroes: the male Alexios or the female Kassandra.
The characters are both Spartans and look to share the same personality traits, from what we played of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey‘s E3 2018 demo.
Moreover, both Alexios and Kassandra “have the same powers and abilities,” Côté confirmed with Stevivor.
After being exiled from Sparta, Odyssey begins as Alexios/Kassandra returns to the region 17 years later as a mercenary.
From the demo we played, it appears that Alexios/Kassandra has allied with the Peloponnesian League and the Spartans in the Peloponnesian War.
Players will also take control of Layla Hassan in modern-day sequences, though Narrative Director told Stevivor that modern-day sequences can essentially be ignored if one dislikes them.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey has four special editions
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey has four — yes, four — special editions.
Odyssey is a full-fledged RPG
According to Côté, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey builds upon the work done by Ubisoft Montreal and “completes the transition started in Origins to a full RPG.”
“Player choice is key,” he stressed. “We want you to live your odyssey.”
A new dialogue system will assist with this, letting a player choose how interactions play out, and therefore, impacting the story itself.
A skill tree returns in Odyssey, letting players choose where they want to spend ability points across Hunter, Assassin and Warrior paths. We took a look at Odyssey‘s skill trees here.
Ubisoft Quebec is also placing a high importance on player freedom and personalisation, Côté also confirmed.
Odyssey has a new, complex dialogue system
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey sports a new dialogue system that lets players choose how they want to respond to a situation.
In our hands on time, we were able to choose friendly, aggressive and options. Additionally, we could choose to lie to NPCs as part of conversation.
For more on the new dialogue system, head here.
You can roleplay as gay, lesbian, straight or asexual
As part of the game’s new romancing system, you can choose to be gay, straight or asexual, Ubisoft Quebec’s Melissa McCoubrey confirmed with Stevivor.
“”If you want to be a woman and romance a woman, you can do that. If you want to be a man and romance a woman, you can do that. If you want to be a man and romance a man and a woman, you can do that,” McCoubrey told us.
Naval combat returns to Assassin’s Creed
Odyssey features open world naval combat, with Alexios/Kassandra able to seamlessly embark and disembark from a large warship at will.
You’re able to recuit “almost any NPC” you encounter in the game to your ship’s crew, Côté said.
From our limited hands-on time with naval battles and Alexios/Kassandra’s ship itself (we elected to see dialogue and Conquest rather than a sequence specifically showcasing naval combat), gameplay has the same look and feel as that of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, only in 4K on Xbox One X this time around.
Conquest offers up crazy 150v150 NPC warrior battles
Still a single-player affair, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey ups the stakes of combat with Conquest, huge battles involving 150 warriors against another 150 warriors.
As Alexios or Kassandra, you’re essentially the leader of your troops, rallying them to victory by killing select, key members of the opposing force.
It’s battle royale, yet not, and really pulse-pounding. Get your first look at the gameplay mode here.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey release date
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey heads to Windows PC, Xbox One and PS4 on 5 October, Ubisoft today announced.