Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has been out for a week now, and if it were a vacation, I’d still be on the taxi ride to the airport. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I played for two straight nights until I even got to the opening credits, and I’ve barely made any story progress since then. More than any other game in the Assassin’s Creed series, Odyssey’s game world is absolutely massive, and actively encourages you to wander off the main path and explore as you see fit.
And that’s just what I’ve been doing. Sure, I’ve completed a few main missions – which have involved way more family drama than I was anticipating – but most of my time has been spent sailing the seas, perforating random soldiers with my God spear (not a euphemism), and laughing at naked statues. Oh, and taking pictures, of course – it wouldn’t be a vacation without pictures!
So, without further ado, let me warm up the ol’ slide projector and take you on the worst possible tour of ancient Greece you’ll ever get.
Ah, yes – who can forget their first stealth mission. What’s that? Yours didn’t involve throwing yourself from a roof while on fire? To each their own, I guess.
I can’t remember all the specifics of my stealthy screw-up, but it involved sneaking up onto a rooftop to assassinate a guard. Unfortunately, when I approached my unsuspecting target, I accidentally climbed on top of a standing cauldron thingy, which promptly set Kassandra ablaze. Her subsequent screaming tipped off the guard, leading to my less than elegant retreat into the streets of Kephallonia. It wasn’t the last time I would accidentally light myself on fire, but that’s vacation for ya – anything goes!
Taking a selfie in front of a big stupid statue is pretty much a mandatory activity for any vacation, but in this case it served a secondary function – I needed Kassandra’s obtrusive noggin just to make my picture PG-13. G.I. is a family-friendly website, after all!
While countless others went for the cheap “Hey look at me, I’m hanging off of Zeus’ undercarriage” joke, I’d like to think my picture has an air of sophistication to it – an up-and-coming warrior posing in front of the mightiest of gods…who just also happens to be bare-ass naked. Anyway, props to Ubisoft; they ain’t messing around with their statue game!
Alright, forget the sophistication – Kassandra is aiming an arrow at this guy’s rosy butt and it’s HILARIOUS. Don’t look now, Cupid, but I think you just lost your job! Err wait, Cupid was Roman – I meant Eros! Dammit, the joke is ruined now. Let’s just move on.
Alright, this statue is clearly crossing over into kinky territory. I mean, you could chalk the first two statues up to just being accurate portrayals of human anatomy – but what the heck is with the snake? At first I thought it was supposed to be educational, like “Watch out for snakes in the area, lest this happen to you” – which would be a super helpful heads-up in Odyssey’s stupid tombs. However, this doesn’t really look like a snake attack. In fact, it kinda looks like he’s into it. I can’t say for sure, but I think there’s a perverted statue maker running around Greece.
Scratch that – there’s DEFINITELY a perverted statue maker running around Greece. What the hell is even going on here?!
Looks like our deer Kassandra is hanging out again. Aaaand, I’ve officially depleted my statue humor.
HEY UBISOFT, WHY DON’T YOU KEEP YOUR DISGUSTING POLITICAL AGENDA TO YOURSELF NEXT TIME! #FLATEARTHER4EVA
Early in Odyssey, I learned an invaluable lifehack capable of devastating entire Spartan armies. What was it, you ask? A bush, of course! The bush associated with this particular image was right outside a tent in an enemy compound, where Spartan soldiers would come to take naps. After I stabbed the first one and dragged his body off to this ledge, another wandered in and laid down for a quick snooze. So I stabbed him too. By the time I returned from dragging his body to the Spartan dumping ground, ANOTHER was already sawing logs. This continued until the ENTIRE DAMN encampment was dead – including the poor guard dog! Rest in peace, poochie.
P.S. Don’t play the game like that. While it’s a viable strategy for taking down enemy compounds, it’s also super boring.
After clearing out the enemy encampment, I returned to my boat, only to discover some other sneaky assassin had slaughtered my entire crew in a similar fashion! Who killed all my loyal companions? Turns out, the answer was no one. They weren’t actually dead – apparently that’s just how they go to sleep when it’s nighttime. Ah yes, nothing like flopping down on your back right on the deck and catching some Zs under the moonlight. At least use a pile of hay for a pillow!
Speaking of people sleeping humorously, enemies in Odyssey ragdoll when they die (what, it’s eternal sleep, that counts), and the results are stupendous. Take Exhibit A, the time I apparently murdered Jesus?!
Side note: Did ancient Greeks really wear tighty-whities? Because that doesn’t seem historically accurate…
Unfortunately, this guy’s impressive flexibility didn’t help him dodge my sword strikes.
Animals in Odyssey can ragdoll too! Like Cool Wolf, who died doing what he loved: looking cool…
…Or Sassy Boar, who even in death looks like he’s saying, “LOL, is that the best you got?” He was truly a national treasure.
This guy was particularly special, because he wasn’t actually dead – he had really good shipmate abilities, so I shot him with a paralyzing arrow in order to recruit him. He continued rolling around on/in the ground until I pulled him out and sent him to my ship. Unfortunately, he hasn’t endowed the rest of my crew with the ability to phase through solid objects, but I’m still holding out hope he’ll teach them the trick sooner or later.
PSA: When you shoot someone with paralyzing arrows, make sure you switch back to your normal arrows afterwards. The game doesn’t automatically do it for you, which invariably leaves me with a pile of moaning soldiers in my next skirmish. However, if you find yourself in a similar situation, I’ve got another lifehack to help you out of this predicament…
Fire! All of life’s mistakes can always be solved with fire…
On a completely unrelated note, I don’t know where I came across this scene, but it still haunts me. A giant pile of cartoon carrots is weird enough on its own, but the giant bloodstain next to it really sets up an intriguing mystery that I’m hoping will be explained later in the game.
Speaking of mysteries: One of the cool things you can do in Odyssey is find stone tablets with little riddles for you to solve. This one had me searching for some goat statues. Easy enough, right? WRONG – turns out there were a whole lotta rocks between the place I found the tablet and Marathon Beach. How many rocks was I looking for, and how goaty would they be?
Finally, I saw a rock that – well, didn’t look like a goat at all, but it looked like it was supposed to be SOMETHING, so I investigated it further.
Huzzah! That’s definitely a goat rock, along with…a goat ass sticking out of a tree? Either way, I was in the right place, and found the treasure not long after, which I will put in spoiler text in case you don’t want the mystery ruined: It was by another statue that kinda looked like a goat ¯_(ツ)_/¯. However, that was only the beginning of the adventure.
Near the vaguely goat-like statues was a mysterious cave entrance! I didn’t let the impaled skull or trail of blood deter me from it checking out. I’m really not that bright. I stumbled around in the dark for a while collecting ore, then fell into some sort of pitch-black pool. When I pulled out a torch, I realized I had made a huge mistake.
This is why you don’t wander into random, blood-soaked goat caves!
As I explored further, I discovered that some kind of creepy goat cult was responsible for the bloodshed. Fortunately for me, even goat creeps have to nap sometimes. I snuck up and gave this guy’s neck a nice new pair of breathing gills with my trusty god spear. He didn’t even move!
I considered dragging his body to someplace where his fellow goaters wouldn’t see him, but he just looked so peaceful, I didn’t want to disturb him. Luckily, I knew just the solution!
MORE FIRE! Now no one would suspect a thing!
The goat cave got even creepier the further in I went – apparently they were kidnapping random soldiers and caging them like…well, goats, actually. I have no idea what they were planning to do to them, but the prisoners were REALLY happy to see me.
Side note: If you ever find yourself caged up in an enemy camp and see someone sneaking through the compound killing your captors, don’t scream, “Hey! You over there! Let me out!” at the top of your lungs. IDIOTS.
Eventually, I found a new helmet, which I couldn’t wait to try on because the one I had been rocking for several hours made me look like Dr. Doom. Surely any helmet would be an improvement over this, right?!
Welp, that answers that question. Friggin’ goat cults.
Oh well – one random mission done, one billion more to go!
A nice random touch in Odyssey: No matter where you are, Ikaros can be seen circling up above you. I mean, you have to look up to see him, but he’ll be there. What a loyal birdie!
Also worth noting: Odyssey is a very pretty game! I don’t have a joke here, but after countless pictures of ragdolling enemies and butt-ugly armor, it would be easy to get the wrong impression. Odyssey has also been pretty bug-free for me – even by non-Assassin’s Creed standards!
And now that I’ve said something good about Odyssey, allow me to follow it up with something bad. Did I say bad? I meant heinous and wretched – all the gnarly statue dongs in the world aren’t as disgusting as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s “Permanent XP Boost” DLC, which increases your XP gains by a whopping 50 percent. For an extra $10, OF COURSE.
And wouldn’t you know it, the progression in Odyssey just happens to feel slow. Not I’m-going-to-quit-playing-this-stupid-game slow, but more of an I-sure-wish-I-would-gain-experience-about-50-percent-faster-so-I-can-keep-focusing-on-the-activities-I-enjoy slow. The cynical read of this situation would be that Ubisoft designed a fun and satisfying progression curve, then throttled it by half to get players to shell out an extra $10. The more generous reading is that they purposely designed a slower progression curve, realized it might not appeal to everyone and experimented with speedier gains, then decided to go ahead and slap a $10 price tag on the fix – WHICH STILL SUCKS!
I’m still having a lot of fun with Odyssey, but the question is how much more fun would I be having if I wasn’t periodically bumping up against an artificial XP bottleneck. That’s not a rhetorical question by the way – the answer is 50 percent. I would probably be having 50-percent more fun. The fact that I’m not because of a Ubisoft cash-grab microtransaction is disappointing – also even by non-Assassin’s Creed standards!
Hey, remember when I said I was too good to do a hanging-off-of-Zeus’s-balls picture? That was a dirty lie. I just saved it for last because it is the PERFECT SHOT OF A LIFETIME! Just look at how immaculately posed Ikaros is to spare the innocent eyeballs of our nation’s youth. But just to be clear, Kassandra isn’t hitching a ride on some giant, Lord of the Rings-esque eagles. She is definitely hanging from Zeus’s balls.
And that is why every game should include a photo editor!