Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is big, beautiful, and shallow

Assassin's Creed Odyssey screenshot

Enlarge / What'd you find there, Ikaros? (credit: Ubisoft)

At this point, Assassin’s Creed is more of a gaming institution than a simple series. With almost two dozen titles in just over a decade (plus movies, novels, and more), the franchise has developed its own arcs and stories that go well past the events portrayed in its code.

While the series struggled under an accelerated release schedule some years back, Ubisoft’s tentpole franchise is on a more solid pacing again. That means a return to what Assassin’s Creed does best: expounding on and remixing prominent game design ideas and serving them up an aesthetic and conceptual cocktail. Odyssey, much like last year’s Origins, takes ideas from its best contemporaries and reassembles them into a new whole.

Choose your choice

The Assassin’s Creed games are principally founded on the notion that recorded history has just enough gaps to fit in the existence of an unknown, international cabal of elite assassins. Different segments of the series have offered up addendums to the basic conceit, starting with an open world and a flexible parkour system. The Assassin’s Creed franchise has evolved to become a standard-bearer for entire trends in gaming, such as, but certainly not limited to, the so-called “Ubisoft towers.”

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