Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s Narrative Inspired by a Greek Tragedy

September 3, 2018Written by Brianna Reeves

assassins creed odyssey narrative

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is primed to be the most ambitious title in the series yet. Ubisoft Quebec’s ambitious intent won’t solely be evident in Odyssey’s RPG mechanics. Story plays a part as well, since players will choose which character they want to experience the narrative with. Choice factors in, too, thanks to the aforementioned RPG mechanics. Additionally, according to Creative Director Jonathan Dumont, the influence of the Greek tragedy also shines through.

During an interview with Official Xbox Magazine, Dumont discussed how choice factors into the narrative. Furthermore, Dumont teased the ways in which inspirations from Greek tradition of storytelling prevail.

We try to say that there are no wrong choices. They’re all choices that you make and they’re all valid. They’ll give you what you are looking for I guess, but I think most of the time people try to be nice. I hope. It’s okay to decide depending on the situations – we have multiple storylines, but we have a main storyline that has quite a bit of it inspired by a Greek tragedy so we try to put you into situations where choices will be tough – not necessarily what the impact will be but they’re very emotional. When they make a choice after that in the world we also give you options so you can lie, romance, or decide to attack people in the dialogue as well so those will have immediate consequences.

You sort of know where you want to guide things, and sometimes lying to somebody can be beneficial, sometimes it won’t be – it’s up to you to explore. We don’t try to punish players, play your story and it will all pan out in the end I’m sure! But really each situation we try to make you make some decision, either short term, long term or medium term decisions or building up relationships with characters. It’s not about being good or bad, it’s more like, do what you feel you should do here, and you get different results from different players.

It’s more: here’s a big storyline and a storyline about making personal choices and those choices will have an impact down the road, or immediately. It’s not about influencing a faction necessarily or having an effect on the main storyline, it is much more about your personal journey. We tried to look at it as what would happen in this Greek tragedy if the main character had decided to do this instead, so we were looking at it more from a classical storytelling point of view, rather than into a system point of view, to feel more natural. Or at least we think it feels natural.

Since Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s official unveiling at E3 2018, Ubisoft Quebec has spoken extensively on choice and consequence. That the difficulties behind some of these choices are inspired by the Greek tragedy is fascinating. Dumont doesn’t reference a specific tragedy, but his words suggest the stylings of such plays rest at the nexus of Odyssey’s story. In most Greek tragedies, like Oedipus RexAntigone, and Agamemnon, the protagonist suffers a fall of grace due to a character flaw (hubris, greed, etc).

Might Alexios or Kassandra experience a similar fate in the next entry of Assassin’s Creed? We’ll see for ourselves in a few short weeks.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey hits the PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One on October 5, 2018.

[Source: Official Xbox Magazine via Wccftech]