Assassin’s Creed Odyssey kicks off in October

After a great many leaks, Ubisoft today finally announced Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, taking the open-world murder simulator to Ancient Greece. Playing as a lad or a lass who’s the grandkid of Leonidas, the Scot who was crowned king of Sparta after kicking a postman down a hole, we’ll sneak, sail, and stab across the land. It largely resembles last year’s Assassin’s Creed Origins, obviously, but the return of naval combat to the series is quite welcome. It also leans on the drama a bit more, with dialogue options and even optional romances. Here, come watch all this.

First, your usual announcement trailer introducing the broad strokes:

I’m calling it: this game has too many 300 references. Mate, calm down. I know you like the film but it was 12 years ago. Chillax. You’ve got to stop shouting “THIS IS SPARTA!” whenever you give a can a kick down the road.

Anywho. In Odyssey we play as either Alexios or Kassandra, a kid of Leonidas who’s prophesied to doom Sparta and therefore lobbed off a cliff. Except they don’t die, obvs, and soon they’re tootling around, stabbing folks with Leonidas’s magical spear and uncovering secrets and conspiracies in their family history. It’s set in the fifth century BC, during the Peloponnesian War. Unlike Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and its Frye twins, Alexios or Kassandra will be the character we play all game, not switching between them.

It seems mythical elements will creep in, as trailers and screenshots show Medusa and the Minotaur. But having recently watched Sergio Leone’s The Colossus Of Rhodes, I’m sorry that mecha is probably too far outside the game’s timeline to appear.

Kotaku have already played a bit, if you want to read more. Or, you can watch this lump of gameplay yourself:

And most importantly, you can reject romance:

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is due to launch on October 5th, costing £50. Development is led by Ubisoft Quebec, with eight other Ubisoft studios (and some external companies) chipping in.

Check out our E3 2018 tag for more announcements, trailers, news, and goodness knows what else.

37 Comments

  1. DatonKallandor says:

    That romance picture is the brother-sister pair right? It is ancient Greece after all.

    • khamul says:

      Actually, I can’t remember much incest in the ancient greek tragedies.

      Well, Oedipus, obviously, but that’s different. For starters, it wasn’t altogether his fault. Also, the city was cursed with plague because of it, so it was definitely something the Gods were not super-cool about. Even though they caused it.

      Families Gone Wrong was definitely the big theme of the day, but it really tended to be about the killing: parents killing children, children killing parents, brothers killing each other… and that was all before it got really nasty.

      But the Peloponnesian war with mythic elements sounds just about perfect to me. I’ve avoided Assassin’s Creed so far – on the grounds that I’m really not big on stabbing people – but may have to check this out.

      Are there any red carpets in the game? Top tip: don’t tread on them. Will also be very disappointed if at least one person doesn’t get murdered in the bath, with a net, and an axe.

    • Carra says:

      I thought it would have to be a brother brother pair to be Greek.

  2. Blastaz says:

    And just for John’s “don’t preorder” and “games are getting too expensive” gripes you can order the gold version now, a snip at 95 quid…

  3. TychoCelchuuu says:

    I’m not saying it’ll be bad – in fact everything looks rather good, all things told – but I miss the promise of the first Assassin’s Creed game, which was probably the weirdest entry in a series that has just gotten more conventional as time goes on (culminating in this game, which looks like a bog-standard action RPG).

    The first game clearly had some pretty interesting notions, and I suspect at one point the goal (or at least the hope) was that you could play the whole thing without any HUD, minimap, or other gamey stuff. (You can still see some remnants in there if you look up the “investigation” results, but it’s all very neutered, because those are hidden in a menu and the game just puts all the stuff you need to know on your minimap.)

    There’s an alternate history (probably one in which Ubisoft makes way less money, I suppose) in which Assassin’s Creed turned out closer to Hitman + parkour + historical settings + melee combat instead of what it in fact turned into, which is just The Witcher 3.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      Yeah this is basically aRPG Titan Quest.

    • woodsey says:

      You can switch the entire HUD off in the first and it is entirely playable. In fact, as you say, it is clearly how it was meant to be played. Whoever “persuaded” the original dev team that they needed all the spare crap on screen should’ve been sacked on the spot.

      This analysis of the first mission with no HUD is well worth a read for anyone interested: link to gamasutra.com

      • TychoCelchuuu says:

        I actually tried playing it without the HUD and I had to turn the minimap back on (I turned everything else off, which I’ve done for all the other AC games I’ve played). There’s practically no way to find your way through the cities unless you turn on the minimap or keep opening and closing the main map, which is just a huge pain. The other way is to do the stuff mentioned in that Gamasutra article, which is fun if you have ten million years on your hands and are willing to screw up 100 times because you miss some tiny detail in the largely monochromatic world,* but it gets kind of tedious (and I’m not sure if it actually works well for every mission).

        *This is one area in which this new game seems like an improvement. Lots and lots of garish color! Very good. The original Assassin’s Creed has an interesting look but at the end of the day, turning everything bluish grey is not my favorite choice.

    • Jimbo says:

      You can play 99% of Origins with the HUD off. It plays fine and looks incredible without clutter and flashy shit popping up all over the screen.

      There are a few spots where they’ve made no allowance for HUD being switched off, like tutorial sections just leaving you with no idea what to do, but on the whole it’s ok.

      I wish they’d just have a HUD toggle button.

  4. fish99 says:

    Very reminiscent of Origins, but I guess that’s to be expected if they’re going back to making an AC game every year.

    • Premium User Badge

      Mikemcn says:

      I’m worried about the yearly model again, they move so quick from “we’re going to give our games time to develop fully.” To “we’re going to pump out as many of these fuckers as possible because $$$.”

      Origins felt fully cooked, i want that again, not another forced yearly release…

      • Jimbo says:

        They’ve done their refresh, now they’ll milk it a bit which is to be expected I suppose. The RPG additions are potentially a significant change.

        I’m alright with it, I don’t feel it needs to be overhauled after every release. Maybe AC Rome next year then another break.

  5. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    Are the Athenians the bad guys purely because the 300 sequel was a load of pants then?

  6. Zorgulon says:

    An adventure in Classical Greece sounds terrific, it’s just a shame we can only get that tied into the Assassin’s Creed universe! Hopefully very little of the Abstergo or Templar bollocks features in the game, especially considering this appears to be set 400 years before the Assassin Order is even founded in Origins.

    I like the look of the rocky Titans Atlas and Prometheus petrified in the map. Mythology I can be excited for, even if I’m really just relishing the chance to explore Athens and Sparta. Oh, and cruise around in a trireme.

    His spear (or presumably Leonidas’) is a bit short though. Seems they’re reluctant to stray too far from the sword and arrow combat, but charging around as a hoplite would have been pretty cool.

  7. Seafoam says:

    Super Mario series truly took a new direction this time.

  8. Magus42 says:

    It’s so weird to me that the lead of an Assassin’s Creed game is a Spartan. “Everything is permitted” is about as far from Spartan culture as you can get. I guess you’re an exile and a rebel, but it still feels wrong.

    • Someoldguy says:

      Yeah, I guess it’s Greek myth as brought to you by people whose main knowledge of Ancient Greece is 300. I applaud the option to allow you to play male or female, albeit of a lighter skin shade than you might expect in sun soaked Greece, but it’s pretty ironic that they’ve chosen to introduce gender equivalency and have you originate from Sparta. No doubt slavery will be conveniently absent.

      • datreus says:

        Actually, Sparta was the strongest proponent of gender equality in the Classical world. It was often pointed to as the ‘reason for its downfall’ by beardy types. So on that point the game is doing well.

        Slavery, well, that’s another thing entirely and you can expect to see that either downplayed or missing entirely, along with all that homosexuality stuff.

        • Someoldguy says:

          The Spartan women were certainly treated well in many ways by ancient standards, having access to education, property ownership and divorce rights. They had to be the backbone of civil society because all the men devoted their lives to war. Their life was nevertheless far from the same as the menfolk and their primary duty was to birth the next generation of warriors rather than fight.

        • Zorgulon says:

          If homosexuality is conspicuously absent from this game, I hope to see an angry chorus of comments from the “historical accuracy” brigade raging at Ubisoft for shoving their politically correct straightness down our throats.

        • forethought says:

          Both slavery and homosexuality are present. The game’s website has region overviews that specifically mentions some cities have slaves as a bases of the economy. And Sappho is a plot-point, players go to Lesbos.

          Anyways they’ve already explicitly shown the possibility of non-straight relationships. link to youtu.be

          For heavens sake this is Ubisoft! They’re arguably the most progressive of the uber-giant devs.

          • Zorgulon says:

            Marvellous. I have to say this looks quite good.

            I’d better get round to playing Oranges.

        • Magus42 says:

          Exactly, Spartan women had wealth (at least, some did) and via that wealth actual political power, which was unique in most of the ancient world, but they were hardly equal in the way we would think of it today. I’d be really into this game if it actually wanted to engage with a topic like that. Create different paths for the male and female protagonists as they interact with Spartan and Athenian societies. That would be a much more interesting use of the setting than just some basic branching dialog, which any game can do. But I doubt they’re interested in doing anything of the sort.

      • forethought says:

        My bet is this will show something about the origins of Templars, just like Origins showed the origins of the Assassins.

        It all fits together too neatly. In Origins the Templars already existed. One game later we are (to everyone’s surprise) going even further back in time to see Sparta fighting Athens. We can’t be an Assassin since it doesn’t exist. And Ubisoft is having us fight on the side of strict, militaristic order against the founders of democracy? I don’t even think they’re being that subtle about it…

        Also they’re letting you kill civilians again.

    • sosolidshoe says:

      I mean, this is so far before the supposed actual focus of the franchise(the whole Assassin vs Templar battle for the soul of humanity, plus the not-ancient-aliens-honest-guv stuff), it looks like they’re basically going to do “Piece of Eden #1-? – The Game(s)”, and apparently now it’s just straight up “mythology is real” instead of the much more interesting(IMO, and admittedly sometimes shoddily executed) Precursor concept.

  9. Thulsa Hex says:

    I’m surprised that they’ve gone back to the yearly schedule, but as someone who’s never played an Assassin’s Creed game, both Odyssey and Origins look more appealing to me than the rest of ’em. Well, maybe also Black Flag. I like that Odyssey seems to have a little bit of healthy silliness.

    • Longestsprout says:

      Heard this game was 3 years in development and made by the bunch who did syndicate. I don’t know how the break before origins plays into this. I expect this is something they did long before to retain the yearly schedule.

  10. racccoon says:

    battle royale..implemented at a later date

  11. Pirlouit says:

    I’m a little bit sad that Ubisoft is going back to this crap Yearly release for the franchise.

    Origins was a real blast and I loved it (though there was some hiccups) and it definitely was worth the wait.

    Now, Odyssey looks fantastic, and not too far from Origins in its setting so we all can hope this iteration will live up to it’s ambitions.

    I’ve always wanted a more RPG oriented AC, even if it’s starting to stray from its roots. I’m confused about the fact that it takes place BEFORE Origin though, since Origin was supposed to be, well, the Origin.

    From what we’ve seen there don’t seem to be a hidden blade here, instead we get the tip of the spear of Leonidas (which is cool!) and will probably become the first hidden blade at some point.

    Also, huge fan of the antique greek setting so yeah, probably gonna spend as much as I can on this one.

    Call me a fanboy ;)

  12. larpsidekick says:

    Surely you’re not the offspring of that Leonidas? Because if so you look pretty good for 60 or so… (Leonidas carked it pretty famously in 480 BC, Peloponnesian War from c 431 BC)

  13. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    It looks cool. Only thing I’m a bit mixed about is the giant mythical statues dotted around the landscape everywhere. I mean you had the colossus of Rhodes, sure, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t have those on every island. Between that and the mythical bits (Minotaur?) it feels like they’re moving away from the more historical again, unless those are dream sequences (like the giant snake Apep in Origins). Also word is there’s a renewed focus on the precursor alien civilization stuff which was never my favourite part of the series, so not sure how I feel about that.

    Still, the setting looks great and I really like the addition of dialogue options. Feels like a natural progression from the more RPG-ish Origins.

    • Nicias42 says:

      It looks like the colossal statues are part of the actual world you play in – which is not a good sign. Why would they feel the need to invent monuments that were never there?

      To be honest, little of what they’ve shown so far looks very authentic. Most of it looks more like a Greek-style theme park than Classical Greece. Even the armour and helmets are way over-stylized, it’s like whoever designed them doesn’t know the period, or just doesn’t care – in contrast to the excellent work done on the Greeks in Origins, and its monuments and architecture.

      For all their banter about being authentic, Ubisoft is incredibly inconsistent in their approach to ancient periods.

      The one aspect that does look pretty genuine are all the ships and boats. Which is ironic because Origins’ triremes and galleys were hideously distorted and stylized, and didn’t have working oars. Even though they should have looked mostly like these ships.

  14. Auldman says:

    I do wish the glorification of Sparta would cease. It’s very tiresome.

  15. sinbad says:

    Sounds like Adam Jensen doing his best Omar Sharif impersonation…

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