So, after ploughing through over 90+ hours into Assassins Creed Odyssey, I can confirm that it is just that, an Odyssey. Ubisoft seem keen to continue that idea with the first installment of its episodic DLC. Legacy of the First Blade kicks off a new Odyssey quest called Hunted, where you will meet Natakas, a relative of the infamous Darius – you may recognise the name from Assassins Creed 2, but more on him later. At a burning village some masked Persian soldiers are looking for the Eagle Bearer, that’s you!
Ubisoft clearly wants to elongate the process of the DLC for season pass holders, especially with the confirmation that 2019 will not see an Assassins Creed release, but this could be seen as a potentially bad move. I think that giving players a measly 5-hour snippet of gameplay every 6 weeks might leave players a little lacklustre, especially for someone like myself who has been with the series from the beginning. Throughout its fatigue and trips, I have found its writing and vision to create a story involving conspiracy theories, ancient civilizations and precursor beings to be nothing short of outstanding, I just can’t help worry that this periodic release schedule will just annoy me, and others too.
Legacy of the First Blade continues the story of Alexios/Kassandra following the defeat of the Cult of Kosmos, which has ultimately allowed the Order of Ancients to rise to ultimate power. Without heading too far into spoiler territory, Odyssey gives the argument that balance is the key to the sustainability of the earth. The first catastrophe, where the Isu (First Civ) and humans fought, and then the second, where Desmond sacrificed himself and released Juno, was the universe trying to redress the balance. The cult of Kosmos and the Order of Ancients were just another face of the balance, a balance we have come to know as Assassins and Templars.
So Darius now shows up, with his hidden blade, I know, nerd moment, but wait! It’s on the outside of his hand, surely it would have just stayed that way so people didn’t have to lose fingers? But hey, who am I to break canon? Anyway, Darius has a little shrine underneath Mario Auditores house in Assassins Creed 2 as the first Assassin and the one to assassinate King Xerxes. Here’s hoping one episode has a flashback mission to that, please. Darius tries to use his hidden blade on you but is unsuccessful, obviously, as you are a seasoned misthios, the Malaka! When Nakata comes in to ease the tensions and points out you’re actually on the same side. Now you have a new branch of 7 Order of Ancients to kill, much like the Cult and a small number of side quests to sink your teeth into. The one thing that is stand out is that unlike Origins, that brings you to a new region of Egypt, Hunted takes place in the pre-established game world, Makadonia specifically. Fans may be a bit disappointed we don’t get a new area to explore but honestly, the size of Greece is such an incredible achievement I can’t blame the team behind it for taking a small timeout. They might even have some new explorable area down the line for the next episodes, or the next expansion. Remember these first three episodes are only the first of two story-driven DLC and we will already know the next DLC is probably going to be Atlantis focused.
Assassins Creed Odyssey: Legacy of the First Blade: Hunted – Wow, that is a mouthful! – sets out to be the first in what is clearly an intriguing and lore fetching expansion, filled with kickbacks to Origins and other games in the series.
Finally bringing in some much-needed assassins, to an Assassins Creed game, seemingly lacking in this first episodic entry, we see a stepping stone of missions that seem ready to turn up the heat into a more exciting and possibly nerd-gasmic narrative.
I for one, simply cannot wait.