Here’s How Ubisoft Quebec Recreated Athens in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will bring the series to ancient Greece. From everything shown off in the game so far, its world looks to be lush and full of life. At the center of that world is the city of Athens. For Ubisoft Quebec, the game’s developer, Athens was one of the most important and difficult settings to recreate.
Part of that was defying against preconceived notions most people have about the ancient civilization. “Greece isn’t the white and cold it’s often depicted as,” Ben Hall, Odyssey World Director Ben Hall told IGN. “…it’s very colorful and vibrant and we wanted to make sure we reflected that in the world as you traveled around.” The world of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey looks to be brighter than any other game in the series, and that immediately makes it stand out.
For the team at Ubisoft Quebec, part of the difficulty of making their own version of Athens simply had to do with how old the city truly is. “We had to try to understand which parts of it were contemporary to our time period, because… it’s been built on by so many different civilizations over the years that it’s important for us to figure out which layer of this was the correct layer for us.”
Here’s a look at Assassin’s Creed Odyssey‘s Athens trailer.
To help with this extensive research, the team brought on historian Stéphanie-Anne Ruatta to assist in creating the game. She noted she had to “break a lot of dreams” when it came to how to translate Athens. Above all, the goal for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was the create something “authentic”.
Athens was a hub for ancient Greece, and the team at Ubisoft Quebec wanted to make sure Assassin’s Creed Odyssey reflected that. From commerce to academics, the city was a center for almost everything important in the world at the time. Creative Director Jonathan Dumont wanted it to be “a city of light… a city of the future, for them.”
The exploration of the city was also something the team put plenty of thought into. As you travel through Athens, you will notice different districts. As Athens has already existed for plenty of years in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, the somewhat haphazard effect that would create is shown.
“A player can understand ‘I’m now in this district and what I see around me helps define where I am in the world’,” Hall told the outlet, noting that Athens will have a lot of “chaos” to it.
Ubisoft Quebec even began to learn a thing or two about Ancient Greece during the development of Assassin’s Creen Odyssey. For example, they discovered the reflecting pool that stands in the shadow of a statue of Athena in the Parthenon served a practical purpose. It was used to create a humid environment to ensure the statue didn’t suffer damage!
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey comes out October 5, 2018 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.