Serving as a deep dive into Assassin’s Creed lore, Assassin’s Creed Origins acts as a prequel that truly explores the heart of the franchise. There, fans witness the birth of the Assassins Order. Series staples like the Leap of Faith and hidden blade receive intricate explanation. However, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey goes back even further, venturing to a time 400 years before Origins‘ setting. The Order does not yet exist; Assassin traditions aren’t available for players to experience. Yet, the same themes of chaos versus order are on display, just in a much different manner.
This is a boon for the team at Ubisoft Quebec, allowing them to take certain liberties never before permitted. Thus, player choice will bear significance. Additionally, the developers are free to subvert expectations with regards to story and gameplay. In an interview with GamingBolt, game director Scott Phillips explains how the AC formula has changed from Origins to Odyssey.
We’ve made improvements across the core that Origins built, as well as bringing in special abilities. There are around 30 new abilities on your controller. So, each player is going to have their own style, and controls and really be able to use their own play-style out of those abilities. Then you’ve got multiple different weapons and gear categories as well. The combat on the players side is very improved. Then on the NPC side we’ve had to make them stronger and more interesting and more varied enemies in order to challenge the player across those 50 levels of progression.
These update to the series’ core elements are evident in storytelling, too, says Phillips.
Our biggest change is the revolution of storytelling. The way that we tell stories is now more interactive and more dynamic for the player. You have [dialogue options]. So you’re choosing constantly whether you want to role-play as a good guy or bad guy or someone in the middle. Do you want to lie, cheat, steal or kill? All this will act as feedback to the world. So your choices impact on the character, on the world, and ultimately on the story that you experience in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
In terms of Odyssey’s overall connection to the rest of the series, Ubisoft Quebec isn’t beholden to preset rules and guidelines. Therefore, player characters aren’t bound by a creed. This means the threat of desynchronization no longer governs acts of violence against civilians. Rather, the game world itself reacts to such behavior. Phillips elaborates,
We are not directly connected in terms of the story of Origins. We are 400 years before Assassin’s Creed Origins. So the brotherhood hasn’t been created, which allows us to focus the story on choice. You’re not driven by the Assassin’s Creed, it’s your own internal creed that you created. And the world feeds that back to you if you’re killing people, or lying, or stealing. The world is going to send mercenaries against you so you’ll feel that those choices have an impact. And then your choices within the story as well will have a big impact.
Do we have a present day? Yes, we do have a present day, and we’re continuing that sort of philosophical “order versus chaos,” structure that’s always been there in Assassin’s Creed. And there’s a lot of other stuff for fans. I think people that dig into the game and love Assassin’s Creed, will love Odyssey.
Fans can determine how well Odyssey fits into the franchise when it hits PC, PS4, and Xbox One on October 5.