Ubisoft confirmed the existence of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey via the official Assassin’s Creed Twitter account. They promise that more information will be revealed at their E3 press conference on June 11 at 4 p.m. ET.
The response came after the game was leaked. French website JeuxVideoLive broke the news, saying that the follow up to last year’s Assassin’s Creed Origins will allegedly take place in ancient Greece. They shared an image of a keychain with an ancient Greek helmet that is apparently part of the game’s merchandise line. Kotaku confirmed the report, saying that they’ve heard rumors about the game’s Greek setting since January from many sources who have played the game themselves or have heard about it secondhand. Kotaku even received their own photo of the keychain from a tip who said that they’re being sent across game stores everywhere today.
Back in March 2018 Liam Robertson of comicbook.com reported that he heard from sources linked to Ubisoft that the game would be heading to ancient Greece. In 2015, the sources told Robertson that the next Assassin’s Creed game that would eventually be known as Origins would have a focus on Egypt but might have Greece as a setting. However the same sources then told him that Greece would be saved for the game after Origins. The sources also told him that the game would release in fall 2019. The primary sources for his information accurately predicted the setting, final name, and even art from the project from a T-Shirt for Origins.
The “Odyssey” part of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey refers to The Odyssey, one of the two epic poems written by the Greek author Homer. It tells the story of Odysseus, who journeys the seas for ten years after being cursed by Poseidon while his wife fends off suitors. According to the Assassin’s Creed wiki, the assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze buys a copy of The Odyssey in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.
The reveal of almost every main series entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise was preceded by rumors and leaks. You can see a comprehensive guide on the leaks on IGN.
Here’s what we can expect from Assassin’s Creed Origins:
What to Expect
Kotaku said that the game will be an even bigger departure from the series formula than Origins. Sources told them that the biggest new feature is dialogue options.
With the game set to release sometime before March 2019 and supposedly being in development since the beginning of 2017 as Robertson reported, we’re not sure if dialogue options will be a viable feature or as expansive as games like The Witcher or Fallout 4. However with Origins adopting Witcher-like RPG elements, the natural thing to include next in their open world game would be dialogue options.
According to sources the game will let players choose between a female and male protagonist, a feature which hasn’t been seen since 2015’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. The heroes will be brand new assassins, according to the build sources have played. It may be disappointing to many fans that Bayek from Origins won’t be playable but most of the main series of Assassin’s Creed games and even some of the spinoffs have featured a brand new Assassin as the protagonist.
As far as story details go, we don’t have much to go off of. All we get from Ubisoft’s tweet is a video of a guy in Spartan armor kicking a person off a cliff. This is reminiscent of the scene in 300 where King Leonidas kicks a Persian messenger into a large well (you know, the part where the guy says “This is Sparta!”).
However Spartans are said to examine infants before a council of inspectors and those that had physical defects or just didn’t meet the standards were left to die, according to History. The ancient historian Plutarch claimed that babies deemed unfit were tossed into a chasm at the foot of Mount Taygetus, but today that’s dismissed as a myth as the babies were more likely abandoned on a nearby hillside. Though this could have still inspired Ubisoft.
This could be the catalyst for the revenge plot Ubisoft loves to put in their games. We imagine members of an evil organization killing the protagonist’s family and then kicking them down a pit and leaving them for death. Now the image of a person being kicked into a pit filled with rotting infant corpses may be too intense for Ubisoft, but it’s still plausible that they would use a scene of someone being kicked into a pit and eventually making their way out of it to show the hero literally starting from the bottom and working their way up. It may even be an ample opportunity for a tutorial on the parkour and climbing mechanics integral the the series.
Combat likely won’t change too much from Origins, as the Greeks used spears, short swords, bows, and shields just like the Egyptians just in a different style. We can also expect to see the trademark Hidden Blade return for stabbing dudes along with some other tools for stealth.
We can even see falconry return as seen in Origins with the player marking targets from the air and distracting opponents with falcons. According to falconryheritage.org, falconry was not practiced that much in ancient Greece but it was practiced there with even Aristotle referencing the practice.
We’re hoping to face off against classic Greek monsters like the hydra and the cyclops or even the gods themselves. The Assassin’s Creed franchise always strove for historical accuracy, but they weren’t afraid to get fantastical with Bayek travelling to the underworld in the Curse of the Pharaohs DLC for Origins.
The biggest change we can expect is an increased emphasis on “live services,” where games are continuously updated so players play them for longer and spend more money on microtransactions. Ubisoft has already dived into its plan to develop more games with more live service features in place in an earnings call last February.
This isn’t exactly new. The recent Assassin’s Creed games have had cosmetic DLC on sale and Origins even had loot boxes where you can get a random assortment of weapons. However we can see an expanded multiplayer component being added to Odyssey, which hasn’t really been a prominent feature in the series since Assassin’s Creed Unity. This would provide an opportunity for gradual content updates and make the cosmetic DLC more attractive to players looking to show off to friends. The updates would include new weapons, live events like Far Cry 5‘s, and maybe even entire levels and quests though that may be reserved for the season pass.
Update (June 10, 2018): New screenshots were posted to Gematsu, confirming boat sailing and dialogue options.
Update (June 11, 2018): A ton of info was shared via an interview with narrative director Mel MacCoubrey for UNILAD Gaming (via Variety).
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey takes place in 431 BC during the Peloponnesian War between Athens’ Delian League and Sparta’s Peloponnesian League. The two playable characters, Kassandra and Alexios, are both Spartan. The two work together as mercenaries on the island of Kefalonia after their families were destroyed 17 years ago. The Abstergo Industries subplot returns with Layla Hassan from the last game. There’s also naval combat with the player recruiting sailors to provide buffs for the ship. Combat builds from Origins with gear customizable and upgradeable. There’s also a ability system connected to the spears they wield, with the player choosing to specialize in melee combat, ranged combat, and stealth. The events in the story will play out as they did historically but the dialogue system can impact side stories.
The E3 trailer confirms that the story does start with the hero being tossed off a cliff, as we expected from the teaser trailer. Ubisoft’s E3 presentation again confirmed the two playable characters and that you play the character throughout the entire game. It also confirmed that your combat abilities are tied to your spear and confirmed how dialogue choices work. We also saw the five arrow bow from Origins. The E3 presentation also showed off a gameplay demo, showing horse riding, an expanded version of the combat from Origins, gear rarities, skill trees, large scale army battles, ship combat, and the hawk. Oh, and we saw a Minotaur in the trailer, indicating that we will fight mythical Greek monsters like we hoped we would.
When to Expect It
Two sources told Kotaku that the game will release sometime during publisher Ubisoft’s fiscal year 2019 which ends on March 31, 2019. The main series games have always released in either October or November, so we can bet on a November 2018 release.
Update (June 11, 2018): The game is coming October 5, 2018.
If that’s the case then that means the series will once again be annualized and release in the fall. Ubisoft decided not to release an Assassin’s Creed game in 2016 to give more time for developing Origins, opting instead to release the Assassin’s Creed movie. Though many agreed that the break in 2016 was much needed and made Origins feel much fresher, so we’re not sure that going back to annual releases is wise.
So while we still have a bit of a wait before we get any info on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, we can already expect a lot of things to be in the game. But there are bound to be a few surprises in store if it really is as ambitious as the rumors claim it is. Either way we’ll just have to wait until E3 for more.
What do you think of the rumors and speculations? Let us know in the comment section below.