Assassin’s Creed Odyssey transports the franchise to ancient Greece, when the military driven Sparta and democratic Athens are in the midst of war. For the first time in the series, you get to choose whether to play as a man named Alexios or a woman named Kassandra. Regardless of your choice, your protagonist is the disgraced child of a Spartan general who grows up to be a neutral mercenary for hire.
As a mercenary, Kassandra and Alexios should hold no allegiance for any one side in the war, and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey allows you to choose who they side with. If you want, you can ally with neither or both sides as well. In terms of gameplay, this allows Kassandra or Alexios to do missions for either army, even if they’ve spent the previous hour helping the other.
This opens the game up to some pretty enjoyable side quests and bounties, but it also clashes with the game’s overall narrative. Even if Kassandra and Alexios aren’t technically Spartan, it seems odd for them to betray their country. And when the game’s story switches gears and presents plenty of evidence as to why Kassandra or Alexios would side with Athens, the game still allows you to kill the Athenian leadership.
In the video above, video producer Jake Dekker discusses how this ludonarrative dissonance–an inconsistency between a game’s narrative told through the gameplay and told through the story–causes Assassin’s Creed Odyssey to make no sense. It’s not the only example either, as Kassandra and Alexios have access to seemingly supernatural abilities, like surviving a drop from any height without a pile of hay, that make no sense in the world of Assassin’s Creed. However, as Jake also notes, this is totally okay. Despite the illogical disconnect between story and gameplay, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is still fun and absolutely worth playing.
In our Assassin’s Creed Odyssey review, editor Alessandro Fillari gave the game an 8/10, writing, “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s ambition is admirable, which is reflected in its rich attention to detail for the era and its approach to handling the multi-faceted narrative with strong protagonists at the lead. While its large-scale campaign–clocking in at over 50 hours–can occasionally be tiresome, and some features don’t quite make the impact they should, Odyssey makes great strides in its massive and dynamic world, and it’s a joy to venture out and leave your mark on its ever-changing setting.”
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey pulls inspiration from a lot of different games–including The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Mass Effect: Andromeda–to various levels of success. If you’re still on the fence over whether or not to buy Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, you can get a good understanding of the game by watching GameSpot social media producer Sam Leichtamer, Funhaus writer and producer Alanah Pearce, and Kinda Funny founder Greg Miller play through it together.