“What do you want out of a game?” “What is gaming to you?” “What do you expect from an Assassin’s creed game?” could be questions that Sokrates would ask you to give your own opinion about a game. Sokrates, the greek philosopher, was known of using penetrating questions so you would come to answers yourself. Guided by this principle of asking questions, we will dive into the lands of ancient Greece.
Greece? or Grease?
We start our adventure by first playing a part in the war led by Leonidas, which serves a tutorial for the overhauled combat system. The system compared to origins isn’t that different but it ads differences which makes the combat more diverse.
First of all you get abilities. Not unlike the full adrenaline-rage you get in origins, this meter is now split into sections (which you can upgrade later in the game). One of these sections powers one ability which is split into melee and ranged. The skilltree is also overhauled and is used for both passive abilities and these adrenaline powered abilities sorted into hunter, assassin and warrior.
After the introduction, you get to choose to play either female Kassandra or male Alexio. For the first time in a game of Assassin’s creed you get the choice of playing either genders, which is a nice addition, and in my play testing, I chose to play the female Kassandra, off course. From then, your adventure starts. You are a mercenary working for Markos on Kephallonia. This small island is filled with interesting missions and soon you learn that your “patron” Markos has made some bad investments and that he uses you to solve everything.
As a young girl (in Kassandra’s case) you get the spear of Leonidas, what’s left of it. This ties you nicely into the heritage of Greece and gives your character a nice background.
Greece is a nice sight for the eye. Every island has it’s distinct features and feels like something distinct, not like the same thing over and over again. I loved it when I discovered the eagle points to get a look around the surroundings that I had to explore.
Also the story is one of the best in the series, I think it even rivals the story of Ezio for Best of the series. I won’t spoil anything because you have to check it out for yourself.
Yes. Instead of one vast mainland to discover almost every region is a different island which you need to sail to, which makes way for some naval combat which is a pleasure to play and gives you some additional challenges in later missions and assasination plots.
The islands also harbor caves which might give you extra ability points so they are worth checking out. Player tip: when you need to travel to some remote location and you pass a location you haven’t explored before, make sure you unlock an eagle point, so you can fast travel to there when you do need to be there, this makes it faster to go from island to island.
Every island also has it’s own leader and when you do missions or you destroy certain chieftains, you will see his influence drop, which gives you the ability to go into full out war for that region (a la risk). This unlocks another mode of play in which you need to defeat the leader of that region in a war on a plane and these are challenging to say the least, but fun nevertheless.
The voice acting and the character models are greatly done. I have played RPG’s in the past (when you look at videos from “vampire: the masquerade” for example) and you see how character models have evolved, it is a great sight to see and also the voice acting is believable. Also, the missions are diverse enough so you don’t feel like you are doing the same thing over and over and over.
This game is a must have if you love ancient Greece, its gods and mythology. Thanks to the mythos that is Assassin’s creed they created a vast map to explore to your hearts content and play different missions. Thanks to the mythos that is Assassin’s creed they created a way that you can battle famous mythical animals and it still does feel part of the same story. Most games can’t pull this fantastical element of without suffering disbelief, but thanks to certain elements that were created in the stories of Assassin’s creed it is perfectly possible that these things “exist”.
I have now played most of my gaming time in ancient Greece, since I got it, so I think this is a clear indication that this is a must have. Yes, there are some glitches and something I call “the magical horse”, but overall it is more than an enjoyable experience.