The Assassin’s Creed series has a distinct formula, which is mostly evident in how the open world functions. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood debuted many of the franchise’s tried and true elements, with its Borgia towers and trailing missions. Thankfully, the team behind Assassin’s Creed Odyssey at Ubisoft Quebec aims to help this kind of content evolve and change how players interact with the world.
Speaking with Game Informer, Odyssey’s Game Director, Scott Phillips, detailed the “buffet of things” players will be able to do during their down time. For instance, because the Peloponnesian War acts as a backdrop for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s story, the conflict between Sparta and Athens allows players to intervene. While the actions of Alexios or Kassandra can turn the tide of war, their behavior won’t be a push towards victory for either side. Player participation, at its core, is an effort to earn rewards.
Ubisoft Quebec Creative Director Jonathan Dumont explained,
The world is a moving chessboard, with 28 city-states. Some are owned by Athens, some are owned by Sparta. We wanted you to be able to pick a side at any point, since you’re a mercenary in the game.
Despite being Spartan born, Alexios and Kassandra have no allegiance to any side in the ongoing feud. Therefore, if players choose to defend a nation-state in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, it’s purely for the rewards that one offers over another. Phillips added,
Each nation, their resources, their power, their ability to wage war is shown to the player represented as a nation power gauge. The player will have in-game actions that they can perform that will weaken the state–killing soldiers, destroying their war supplies, stealing their national treasure and then ultimately killing their leader, which will make them the most vulnerable.
Once the mission is complete, players collect their reward and move on. Interestingly, similar to Assassin’s Creed Revelations‘ den defense objectives, the nation-states may come under attack at a later time. Unlike den defense, players decide what’s worth their attention. Defending Athens may seem most fruitful at first, but the reward for defending Sparta may be more enticing the second time around.
Contracts and bounties are another addition. Phillips referred to contracts as “long-term quests,” which typically involves a particular group or faction being targeted. According to Phillips, “These are things you’re going to pick up from the message board. Some you might complete within 30 minutes, and some you might not complete for five hours.”
Since war leaders issue contracts, accepting them can bolster or cripple war efforts on whichever side the player chooses in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Message boards offer neutral options with bounties, giving players the opportunity to hunt lawbreakers. Craftier bounty targets are able to pit Alexios or Kassandra against rival mercenaries. It’s even more intriguing in that Ubisoft Quebec pulled stories behind the bounties from historical events. According to Dumont, “they’re real stories that we retouched so it fits our game, but a lot of these things are part of the research we’ve done.”
With decision-making, romance options, and RPG mechanics set to debut in this entry, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is already offering something fresh for fans and newcomers. It’ll be interesting to see how the changes in side content contributes to these new additions.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey launches this fall on October 5, 2018.
[Source: Game Informer]