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Game Review

With all the many, many games, DLCs, expansion packs, collections, graphic novels and even movies that have been created for the Assassin's Creed franchise over the last 11 years, you might be wondering where gamemakers can go from here.

They've taken this series' sci-fi gene-tapping tale—with its history-spanning rivalry between ancient secret societies of the Assassins and the Knights Templar—and twisted it in so many different directions that none of it makes much sense any more. Hey, they've even given the original idea an extraterrestrial doomsday ending once … or maybe twice. So how do they possibly keep juggling all those old and new game-story balls?

Well, the answer is, they don't.

To Sparta and Beyond

With the latest title, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, the folks at Ubisoft still give gamers some supernatural mumbo jumbo with seemingly magical or future-tech artifacts. There's a little jump-into-the-Animus-and-re-live-someone-else's-life story action. And we find at least a nod to the evil Templars and their rule-the-world ways. But for the most part, this is simply a period piece adventure/RPG that throws us back to the huge open world of ancient Greece.

You find yourself in 431 BCE (before current era). And you can play as either Alexios or his sister Kassandra, descendants of the great Spartan king Leonidas. Whichever sibling you choose, though, you set off on the same odyssey that explores your heritage and pieces together what exactly happened to your parents after you were, well, tossed off a cliff as a child. (Yep, both kids ended up tumbling off that cliff and, somehow, both survived.)

Along with all that digging into ancestral past and secrets, Alexios and Kassandra are also mercenaries locked in an ongoing battle against the wicked plots of the Cult of Kosmos, that era's version of the Templars. These adventures take you all the way across Greece, giving you scores of side quests, bounties and contracts to fulfill.

They also have you interacting with historical figures such as the historian Herodotus, the Greek physician Hippocrates, and the great statesman Pericles. You bounce between different sides of the Peloponnesian wars and even tackle mythical critters including the snake-haired Medusa.

And the Typical Crud of Creed

Of course, if you think you can just use this game as a CliffsNotes for that history paper you have coming due, you'd better think again. Odyssey plops you down into its version of ancient Greece, but not exactly one your teacher would recognize.

The real purpose here is to give you a sweeping adventure with lots of beautiful scenery, sea battles, sword fights, sneaky assassinations and tons of character choices. Dialogue options and skill progressions (not to mention that initial gender choice) mold and shape your story playthrough.

I should also mention that while your gender shapes your story, it doesn't necessarily restrict your love interests. Kassandra can flirt with pretty gals just as easily as Alexios can, with the camera cutting away just as either protagonist leans in to lock lips.

And, of course, there's all the other content that you would expect from an Assassin's game. From historical war scenes that drive spears through faces with graphic realism, to sneak-up-and-slice-a-throat assassinations, blood and gore splash everything like a modern day yard sprinkler. The profane language—both in English and Greek—can gush forth in f- and s-words and a litany of other crudities as well. Theft, murder, torture, vengeance, child sacrifice, and all manner of other amoral choices are yours to make or at least witness.

From sweeping graphic beauty and wall-scaling action to flesh-rending butchery and wall-sliming gore. It's all the sort of stuff that this franchise has always been blessed and plagued with. It may be a new day and a new Odyssey, but it's, frankly, the same problematic Assassin's Creed.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

Publisher

Ubisoft

Released

October 5, 2018

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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