Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: To Go Forward, We Must Go Back

It has been 3 months since the debut of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, and fans worldwide are continuously stuck in the debate of whether or not the newest addition to the video game franchise is true to the story that began in 2006. As a fan myself, I’m on the side of evolution which Ubisoft has taken in full force to recreate the series into a fulfledged role-playing game (RPG).

One of the first upsets to many fans with the announcement of Odyssey was the timeline, going back to 431 B.C.E. which is about 400 years before the creation of the Brotherhood of Assassins, as we found out in Assassin’s Creed: Origins. How can a storyline that takes place before the Creed still be considered an Assassin’s Creed story? The simplest argument, which myself and Sokrates would argue (we’re best friends now, so I can name drop him), is that the story is not about the historical figures we play for the majority of the game. We are the modern day Assassins playing a simulation to use history for a fight during the 21st century between the Brotherhood and the Order of the Templars. We are not the misthios, or mercenary, wielding a broken spear during the Peloponnesian War. We are, in Origins and Odyssey, Layla Hassan trying to figure out how to use the Pieces of Eden created by the Precursors, the advanced civilization the Assassins discovered who were supposedly responsible for creating and enslaving the human race. Before that, we are initiates into the Brotherhood as well as Desmond, and other members of the Assassins who use the simulations to try and gain information on the war against the Templars. Because at least for now, we cannot change the timeline (although I have plenty of theories on how Layla will be able to do so after Odyssey in future games).

Another complaint I have seen in forums and on social media is that Assassin’s Creed is no longer a game of stealth. This, again, I believe is all about perspective. There are always going to be things people don’t like about any video game. It is literally impossible to please everyone, which every fan should acknowledge as they make their complaints and express their frustrations. But I remember being frustrated with the fights and battles in the first few games. Honestly, up until and even with Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, I was always having a hard time with brawls. It is probably why I always focused on assassinations. Plus, of course, you are an assassin. You should be stealth killing more than all out melee fighting people. And yet, with Origins and Odyssey, I could still stealth kill plenty of people. I built up both Bayek and Kassandra as awesome stealth badasses, and there is nothing that puts a smile on my face like going into a fort and taking everyone out without a single fight taking place. Merk the lot of them and leave no one standing, except maybe a slave or two if I am feeling merciful (or nah). So I do not really see how some fans argue that there is no stealth. And, when I want a boss warrior that can take a punch and still demolish a whole crowd of soldiers, I can have that as well. I no longer get frustrated during fights because of weird or clunky pauses between flying fists, or cooldown periods because someone needs to take a breather (looking at you, Jacob Frye).

Do I have some of my own complaints about the game? Sure. There are areas that can be improved. The silver lining is that the Ubisoft team seem to be listening pretty well to the community. Weekly patches and upgrades are constantly fixing glitches, weird bugs, or random code if it is ever found. It may not be perfect, but it is working. And I could not be happier with where the story is going. Layla, by far, is one of my most favorite Assassins, and I hope they continue her storyline for a while because I would say she is just as important if not moreso than Desmond Miles as a savior of humanity. Especially since in my eyes, the war was never really with the Templars, and always with the Precursors. But that’s a theory for another article.

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