Ubisoft has finally confirmed the title of the next Assassin’s Creed game. While there haven’t been any other reveals yet, one can pretty much guess accurately where the series is going by the leaks. First and foremost, it has been rumored that Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will be a direct sequel to last year’s Origins. Before we begin, let us say that the following is mere speculation based off of unsubstantiated leaks. Previous leaks related to the franchise have proven truthful to some degree, hence the rampant speculation.
Taking place in ancient Greece, the game will follow more in line with the RPG mechanics of Origins. As a sequel to last year’s title, it’s been rumored to feature Bayek and/or Aya in some capacity, possibly showing them in a mentor-like role. Some rumors have pointed out that you’ll be able to choose your protagonist’s gender, while others have dismissed it. There have also been talks of possible dialogue interactions in-game, ala Mass Effect or the Witcher series. All in all, it seems like Ubisoft is really trying to turn the series towards the RPG genre.
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— Assassin's Creed (@assassinscreed) May 31, 2018
But first, a brief history lesson:
Why Greece? Just like Egypt, Greece should offer a whole country’s worth of landscape. One of the best parts of Origins was the massive map that didn’t feel repetitive. Sure it was a huge world, but it had quite the amount of diversity in it. Even the large stretches of mostly empty deserts offered a unique gameplay experience, and Odyssey should learn from that. While we don’t expect Greece to be as “open” as Egypt, we certainly want Ubisoft to learn from the positive feedback of Origins and improve upon it. If there’s one thing that the Assassin’s Creed series does right, it’s the creation of huge, historically accurate and immersive open worlds.
For history buffs, it ties in naturally with the Roman conquest that Origins hinted at. Origins takes place around the time of Cleopatra’s rise to power. Greece, around the same time, was under Roman rule. Greece became a Roman protectorate by the end of 27 BC. This was also a time when the ancient Olympic games were in full swing. If the gladiatorial fights in Origins were any indication, we’ve yet to see more of those set pieces in Odyssey. Oh, and Greek mythology would make a great inclusion, just like the Egyptian gods were integrated into Origins.
As for what character will we be able to play as we have no idea. One of the leaks suggested that we’ll play as a half-Greek orphan, to be mentored by Bayek. Further investigation into the Assassin lore may suggest we’ll play as someone who may have a connection to Leonius, given the leaked time frame.
As said earlier, some rumors have suggested that we’ll be able to choose even the gender of the protagonist. This seems to point out that Ubisoft is looking to truly turn the series into the RPG genre, along with the optional dialogue settings. If anything, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey seems to be about time such a change was implemented.
A Better Modern-Day Experience, Please?
As of late, the Assassin’s Creed franchise has started to slip off it’s former (somewhat) glory when it comes to the modern day segment. Up until the third game in the series, you took control of Desmond Miles. His story, however, was cut short in that third game and the modern day segments since have seemed rather…lackluster. We had a weird first-person gameplay mechanic for Black Flag, but the next couple entries almost skipped the modern day entirely.
There was next to no modern day stuff in Unity, and Syndicate only provided us with boring cutscenes. The storyline involving the precursor Juno has seemingly since been concluded in a tie-in comic (Don’t get us started on that). So for Odyssey, we’d really appreciate a greater importance over the modern day story. We don’t expect much, but something along the lines of the modern-day missions from ACIII would be great.
Make Parkour Great Again!
Assassin’s Creed Unity heavily revamped the series’ parkour mechanics, with Syndicate adding upon it. Origins, however, quite downplayed parkour. What was once at the core of the series became an additional feature. I quite liked Unity’s parkour, and while ancient Greece may not seem like the ideal place for it, I’d like a more sophisticated movement to return.
While combat has never been the focus of the series, Origins quite changed that notion. It was probably the first game in the franchise which actually encouraged open combat. And a new system to deal with it made it ever so challenging, and hence rewarding. While we have no doubt that Odyssey will take cues from its previous installment, we’d like to see a balance of stealth and combat.
Naval Combat? Huh.
Assassin’s Creed III gave us a taste of naval combat. The next game, Black Flag, gave us a mouthful. Ship exploration was one of the key aspects of that game, and it was done pretty damn well. We all loved sailing the high seas, singing sea shanties, and plundering rum. From others. By ramming them. Ah, good times.
Origins marked a return to naval combat, albeit rather briefly. We know the developers wouldn’t have put in a huge concept just because they could. There has to be more to it. You only have to look at a map of Greece to see it’s surrounded by water bodies in and out. The inclusion of ship exploration would make perfect sense given the large scale of the world.
Coming to a conclusion, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey should ideally build upon Origins. Rather than going back to its roots, it should stray far into the unknown. We’ll know more about Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in the coming weeks as E3 rolls around. We’ll keep you updated as more details get revealed.