We’re less than a month away from the launch of what may be the biggest evolution yet in the long-running Assassin’s Creed franchise, and Ubisoft has just taken the wraps off an all-new trailer that showcases the game’s refreshed RPG leanings.
While no one’s going to mistake Assassin’s Creed Odyssey for a full-fledged RPG like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt or Fallout 4, it’s clear that the studio wants to bring player agency to the franchise in an unprecedented way. Following a forking-paths script formula that allows players to live with the consequences of their decisions, Odyssey puts the reins of control in the player’s hands like never before, while sticking to the recent gameplay evolutions that helped set 2017’s Assassin’s Creed Origins apart from its predecessors.
As the trailer makes plain, this game looks gorgeous. While the clip is all pre-rendered cinematics, save for a few dialogue-choice gameplay scenes, there’s no denying that Odyssey — perhaps even more so than Origins — looks every bit the part of a cutting-edge, current-gen game.
Members of the gaming press got some extended playing time with Odyssey’s first chapter recently, and came away impressed by just how massive a game world Ubisoft has created. After choosing whether to roam ancient Greece as Alexios or Kassandra — each a Spartan mercenary descended from King Leonidas — the open world begins to unfold, one giant-sized chunk at a time.
Venturebeat’s Dean Takahashi said four hours of playtime (as Kassandra) was barely enough to scratch past the introductory chapter in a game that spans dozens of hours of playtime — but what he saw was encouraging. “I only made it to three relatively minor islands in the Greek Isles. That gave me a taste of how massive the world of Odyssey will be,” he wrote. “…But I want to follow the main story, the real Odyssey of the game, which relates to Kassandra’s past and is very compelling. It’s an emotional journey, and one that is so compelling that you’ll want to speed through the narrative as fast as you can.”
IGN’s Dan Crowd said the game’s new RPG focus announces itself early and often, distinguishing Odyssey from any Creed game that’s come before. “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey marks the first time the series has gone full open world RPG, with branching dialogue trees and the tough choices that come along with it,” he summarized, noting that the choices aren’t just confined to the main story, but even reveal themselves in side quests.
IGN also noted the game’s choose-a-side narrative in a larger conflict, as the Peloponnesian War swirls all around you. Players can align with either side as the story unfolds, but there are consequences: Which side you choose will affect which slate of quests you’ll receive, or be denied, until your next playthrough.
One thing’s for sure: It looks like anyone who gets their hands on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will need to spend a lot of time with the game if they want to explore every nook and cranny of Ubisoft’s Aegean open world. Odyssey sails into port on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC starting Oct. 5.