In 2017, Ubisoft released Assassin’s Creed Origins after taking a year long break to be introspective. The legendary series has evolved over each game and has taken players across the globe and throughout time. Origins took a different approach to combat compared to previous iterations. Older games were based off of reacting and countering opponents then comboing attacks into a kill animation scene. Origins changed the game by adding a hitbox based system which implemented dodging and timing. While the game seemed more assassin-like with less blocking and more dodging, there seemed to be some faults. A player could repetitively use the same strategy to win the majority of the encounters in the game. You did not need to think much more than doing the same combo and adjusting the timing to the enemy attack. There was not much improvement or skill development as the game progressed.
Ubisoft showed off Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey at E3 and it was apparent that the combat issues were taken to heart. A tactical combat system that was more refined showed many variations of combat sequences. There are more options for the players who choose not to play stealthily and rely on combat skills.
Shields were removed from Odyssey and there is no more guarding stance. You must dodge attacks, arrows, and other hazards and be more mindful of the environment and surrounding combat. Spacing seems to be an important more than ever. Skills have been implemented and combat is less streamlined. Abilities to slow down time like Viewtiful Joe, kicking people off of ledges and cliffs, and much more have been added. An adrenaline meter is shown and each of the 8 skills you choose to equip use this meter. Finesse and decision making are key factors to find success in this game. Boss fights resemble Dark Souls level of difficulty and are each unique. Lastly, the skills and abilities are able to reset at any time. Three skill trees were shown in the demo and are very specific to a play style. Players can choose to reset them at any time.
Some people may not enjoy the immense amount of change, but to most, the challenge is warmly welcomed. A beautiful Greece setting and the ability to choose between 2 characters with unique stories makes Assassin’s Creed Odyssey a well-refined gem that is sure to be a classic.