I finish my AC Odyssey and give my final thoughts(Spoilers Abound for everything)

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SckizoBoy:

Likewise, I went in as a lvl 77 character, but damn the quests threw XP at me hard (think I'm lvl 82/3 now? don't really follow my character level since it's not that big a part of the game at this stage for me)... same with ability points, must've accumulated a good few dozen (which I haven't actually spent yet...! O.O )

I'm at like level 68 right now and that's after spending some time in Elysium, getting ability points like candy and racking up a few levels without really trying. I've been dumping the extras into mastery levels for the stuff I care about because I can't fit more skills on the ability wheel.

And it feels like levels don't really matter much anymore after level 50 because nothing is gated higher then 50 and everything scales with you within a couple levels of where you are. Ironically, you're still pretty OP regardless depending on what skills you leveled up(Fury of the Bloodline should be called "Gamebreaker of the bloodline", since it refills half your adrenaline bar and does a ton of damage to boot).

Dalisclock:
SNIP

Don't really have anything worthwhile to contribute to the discussion, but I wanted to reach out and say that I love reading through the write-ups you do! This one is great as usual.

I finished the first DLC this morning and I liked it, though it's not without flaws. Elysium is a lot of fun to play around in and they've even taken a step up on some of the tombs and hidden locations, which hide what are essentially upgrades to some of your abilities(Bull Rush, Ares Rage, Rain of Destruction and slow time). The main quest does involve a budding rebellion lead by Adonis, who in this case is a a still alive Human in love with Aphrodite(though apparently has a thing for Persephone) rather then a god, but there's also a number of factions competing against each other, all of which use Kassandra to do their dirty work.

This leads to a number of different choices on how you can handle some of the things you're asked to do and while pursing the various faction plots it becomes increasingly difficult to tell what the "right" choice is or if there is even one. In fact, as they progress, there's the distinct feeling that you pretty much can't win regardless between the various factions all trying to screw each other. Checking the ending cutscenes on youtube and the fact the trailer pretty much spoils Kassandra getting kicked into a pit pretty much confirms there's not a not of variations in the ending, mostly boiling down to watching some of the faction heads get some kind of punishment for their crimes.

In the end, Kassandra gets knocked down into what is presumably Tartarus to face Cerberus, and then it cuts out because the TEMPLARS ARE HERE! A short fight between Layla and some Templar goons later, you're told some time is needed to recalibrate the Atlantis data files or something technobabbly, thus the excuse why you can't continue on in the DLC. Cutting off just before the Cerberus boss fight? Damn, that's cold Ubisoft.

Also, it leads to a WTF moment when one of Laylas compariots, Victoria, reacts to Layla fighting off a Templar Hit Squad and killing a couple of them with the accusation of being a psycho. Which comes across as weird considering Victoria is an Assassin, Layla is an Assassin, and a FUCKING TEMPLAR HIT SQUAD showed up with intent to murder them! Christ Victoria, do you not know what the hell is going on? Do you not know what organization you work for? Yes, I know not all Assassins perform hits but it's still an implicit part of your organization. Not to mention killing those Templars clearly counts as Self defense considering they did come with murder on their minds.

Anyway, my other gripe with the DLC is that there's a big climatic conquest battle at the end where you and your allies storm Persephone's palace, and instead of putting any real work into it, say, giving you objectives and showing the army progressing across the acropolis in stages, rather you get a big chaotic melee, punctuated with a boss fight against Hermes(who is a pretty decent challenge at least). THe one thing I did appreciate is that any overseers(region leaders) you haven't already killed will end up acting as mini-bosses during the conquest battle.

It does feel like a notable step up from Legacy of the first blade and it very clearly channels the Curse of the Pharaohs DLC from Origins, running with afterlife Premise. It's still unclear exactly what's going on as of the end of part 1, though I suspect the answer is going to revolve around that the "simulations" Elethia mentioned are either recreations of past events from 75,000 years ago, a version of the Matrix where a number of ISU uploaded their brains to survive the first Solar flare(and can't leave because there's no bodies to return to) or some weird combination of the two. The ISU don't break character for the most part, though there are a few hints there's more going on. Particularly at the end when Persephone explicitly says she lost "Your world" and Elysium is all she has left. There are references and implications several times of Elysium being a prison. And then there's the notable amd as yet still unexplained translucent globe in the Elysium sky and the fact Altheia explicitly says in the Atlantis Entrance hall that Atlantis either is or contains an ISU archive of sorts.

The fact the ISU act like highly powerful dicks makes them fit nicely with greek mythology, especially in the manner where it feels like none of them are really trustworthy and you should be wary when working for Persephone, Hekate and Hermes. How this squares with them being ISU is harder to determine, since we don't know the exact context. There are a couple of ways we could justify it:

-THis is a matrix-like simulation that the ISU reside in digitally with admin-level privs and the ISU have gone Native, embracing the "We're Gods" thing. Granted, if you'd been trapped in a simulation for 75K years and everything is presumably there for your pleasure, I guess you'd probably end up being an abusive prick too. I can't help but think this is also a westworld style dig at gamers in a way.

-Along the same lines, the ISU have always been depicted as being, well, entitled dicks at the best of times, with a couple of them embracing the "I'm your God. Worship me, Peasants" works pretty nicely and Kassandra doesn't know any better, or not enough to really split hairs. Minerva was one of the nicer ones we'd need up until the newer games and even she pretty much treated humans like childern, whereas Juno was literally trying to set up the whole "Worship me" thing.

-The whole thing, including the ISU, is more or less fictional but based on real people who are long dead and basically emulating their characters. Truth but not fact, if you will.

Aside, there's a nice moment midway through the DLC when you're told of a notable Spartan warrior who could be of help to the rebellion. It turns out to be Leonidas, who I'm sure everyone remembers from the 300 reference from the very beginning, as well as actual history. He and Kassandra get to share some nice moments and conversations and it's a shame that they don't get more time together here.

At one point, Kassandra has been tasked by Persephone of killing the man(in exchange for resurrecting someone of her choosing) and when she arrives, he invites her to fish(much like he wanted to do with his unseen son in the prologue). They share a few moments just enjoying each others company fishing before the business of Persephone's offer comes up(either by spilling the beans or just trying to kill him). I chose not to kill him because I like the old guy, because I didn't trust Persephone at all to uphold any deal she made and hell, if we're resurrecting anyone, why not resurrect leonidas?

Sadly, you can't go back and tell Persephone to stuff her deal(well, you can try to talk to her but telling her to Fuck off isn't an option). Instead, you're forced into betraying someone else who you previously helped and presumably is sympathetic to your goals, so the railroading there is annoying.

And finally, it might be a wild stab in the dark, but it does seem interesting this Leonidus fits the one from the beginning so nicely, despite the fact Kassandra doesn't actually know him for obvious reasons. The whole thing about fishing implies that this is somehow based on the real man, either through the spear somehow or something else, and not just made up for Kassandra's benefit.

I have similar praise and criticisms...

The three factions at play are set up to be right and wrong, but it's handled with varying levels of success IMO (Hekate was best, to me). It gets tied up relatively well, but I was disappointed in Hermes as a character, as he'd been turned into a bit of a simpering fool, albeit a loud one.

The set up for the Cerberus boss fight was good, though, but I wonder at how episode 2 will lead into it 'cos it was quite sudden. Unless it flips back to Layla and upon returning to the Animus, it dumps the Misthios straight into that fight... in which case, will I have the right gear set equipped ('cos I often don't pay attention to this shit, but that's on me)...?!

Going back to Hermes, I didn't really like the characterisation of... pretty much anyone and no-one was especially likeable, with the possible exceptions of Leonidas (though his persuasion dialogue was a bit out of left field) and even Ros, of all characters!

I'm not sure whether Marble Tributes providing ability points on destruction was a good thing or not, as it did make the whole thing a bit on the easy side. The liberation as a mechanic was wasted as only two missions incorporated it, but when you first did it, it was set up like the ship lieutenant's recruitment, which was disappointing.

However, on the whole, it was pretty good, definitely better than Legacy of the First Blade (as a whole, even though ep1 of that was good, too...). We'll see what ep2 brings.

I used to care about merging historic facts with fiction the way old AC games used to do it. But I can't hate on Odyssey (or Origins for that mater) when it's so much fun to play. And at the end of the day, that's what a video game is supposed to be - fun.

Adam Jensen:
I used to care about merging historic facts with fiction the way old AC games used to do it. But I can't hate on Odyssey (or Origins for that mater) when it's so much fun to play. And at the end of the day, that's what a video game is supposed to be - fun.

I think they're taking explicit advantage of the fact that ancient times tend to have far less documentation available then more recent eras to give themselves a bit more wiggle room as far as that kind of stuff goes. And honestly, it's not like the ones set relatively recently have been super good about this sort of thing. I'm pretty sure the Boston tea party didn't have like 30 Redcoats get murdered by a Native American Ninja, nor why the Templars would want to spin it as something else. Or the fact the same Native American Ninja was present for practically every important event of the American Revolution. The Historians were apparently just racist dicks I suppose.

I've long since decided "If it works, go with it" as far as AC goes. I think the only time I really had a hard time with that was Syndicates Jack the Ripper DLC, which just drove me nuts to the point I had a hard time enjoying it.

Feel as though I should stop playing it now... got the last couple trophies by accident and it came as a genuine surprise that I've now 100%'d it... heeeek... -_-

SckizoBoy:
Feel as though I should stop playing it now... got the last couple trophies by accident and it came as a genuine surprise that I've now 100%'d it... heeeek... -_-

I've been playing it in bursts lately.

When the next big piece of content drops, play a little more of the main game(the side-quests I haven't done yet, any lost tales that have popped up) and then proceed to the DLC or whatever. It's helped stave off burn out.

Ironically, I spent a big chunk of the month before the Atlantis DLC dropped playing AC3(the main game and the more interesting side missions, Liberation and the King Washington DLC) which kinda helped because it's sufficiently different from Odyssey to not feel like just "More AC". It did play hell on the muscle memory though(the Right shoulder button in AC3 lets you run faster, in Odyssey it's the light attack). It also reminded me how differently the Adrestia handles from the Aquila(the latter being more cumbersome and weighty, but it's also a significantly larger ship).

In a way, I'm kinda glad the DLC is dropping in chunks, considering how big episode 1 was(10 hours is longer then Liberation was, not mention a number of AC DLCs in their entirety). Especially since I'm here until the Discovery tour shows up and the Atlantis DLC concludes.

Which reminds me: Where's my discovery tour, Ubisoft? I want to know about all those cool ass mythological bits scattered around the world.

Dalisclock:
Which reminds me: Where's my discovery tour, Ubisoft? I want to know about all those cool ass mythological bits scattered around the world.

Yeah definitely... I was pleasantly surprised when they did this for Origins, so really want this available for Odyssey too...

SckizoBoy:

Dalisclock:
Which reminds me: Where's my discovery tour, Ubisoft? I want to know about all those cool ass mythological bits scattered around the world.

Yeah definitely... I was pleasantly surprised when they did this for Origins, so really want this available for Odyssey too...

It's coming, apparently. We just don't have a date annouced yet. Probably once Atlantis is done in July, so maybe August?

Suppsodly Ubisoft is gonna keep releasing new stuff for the game into next year, but after Atlantis is done and the discovery tour is out, I can't think of anything left. New skin packs? I don't think anyone's terribly excited for those.

Dalisclock:
It's coming, apparently. We just don't have a date annouced yet. Probably once Atlantis is done in July, so maybe August?

Suppsodly Ubisoft is gonna keep releasing new stuff for the game into next year, but after Atlantis is done and the discovery tour is out, I can't think of anything left. New skin packs? I don't think anyone's terribly excited for those.

Oh sweet.

But yeah, the skin packs get a resounding *meh* from me. Split into three: the shit looking ones; the awesome looking ones but whose aesthetic just does not fit the game (looking at that stupid Abstergo set, though the Hades volcanic looking one is probably a better example); and the very few (two for me) that I'm actually interested in.

The problem I have with the Atlantis DLC is that the thing I dislike about the Assassin's Creed games is the present day parts of the storyline, I just really don't care for it. At least I can ignore the DLC I suppose.

votemarvel:
The problem I have with the Atlantis DLC is that the thing I dislike about the Assassin's Creed games is the present day parts of the storyline, I just really don't care for it. At least I can ignore the DLC I suppose.

It shouldn't be an issue, as the modern stuff is in the DLC as much (or as little) as in the main game... one cutscene at the start, one at the end, that's it...

Kept you waiting, huh?

So it's been a month and a half and that means it's time for episode 2 of Assassins Creed Odysseys Fate of Atlantis DLC: The Torment of Hades. As we last left off, Kassandra had pissed off Persephone, been kicked down a pit into Hades...realm(IIRC, Hades is the name of the god, not the realm) and faced with Cerberus. Then the story cut out, Layla beat up some Templar goons and was told to cool it for a bit while the animus got fixed, which lead to Kassandra being booted back on the world map in Greece.

Now that the 2nd DLC is out, once again Kassandra is summoned to Atlantis, asked if she's ready to go back in, which leads to Layla being told everything is fixed, with then cuts to Kassandra back at the bottom of the pit she was kicked into(well, an arena with open sky above in Hades, because the underworld be weird like that) and once again facing the big 3 headed guard dog. One rather challenging boss fight later(Cerberus does not disappoint), Hades shows up, admonishes Kassandra for killing his dog and then explaining that she owes him for this. That and apparently Cerberus was apparently the only thing guarding the gates of Hades and without him/her/it, the dead are trying to escape from not only the land of the dead, but the really crappy hell-like part known as Tartarus as well. Kassandras job is to help seal the rifts leading to Tartarus and find 4 guardians to watch the gates of Hades for eternity to make sure none of the dead try to sneak back to the land of the living, which would be bad(The exact words being something like "The walls between the worlds of the living and the dead would collapse").

How exactly the whole Cerberus thing worked is rather unclear and confusing. In Elysium, Ros was just this cute dog who hung around Persephone all the time but you'd occasionally see it wandering around on it's own. It was implied at the end of the last episode, Persephone threw one of the corrupted transformation/Olympos apples(heavily implied to work the same way the others in the game did, not just on dogs but on humans as well) into Hades, Ros followed and when Kassandra landed from her fall, Ros had become Cerberus the hell hound, who Kassandra promptly killed. And yet, Hades implied Cerberus was the one thing keeping the dead in line and with it gone, shit was breaking loose down there. Maybe time is really wonky and there was a much longer time passage between Ros going in and Kassandra following? It is the afterlife and that shit is weird anyway. However, one of the loading screen cards outright says Ros was Cerberus was the entire time, so maybe Ros follows Persephone between Hades and Elysium when they do the winter trips? Maybe Ros/Cerberus has the weird ability to Bilocate, that is, the ability to be in two places at the same time? Or maybe Cerberus was able to keep the dead in line as Ros through sheer reputation alone and word just travels incredibly fast in the underworld, so when Cerberus was killed, the dead decided to start making their break for it? I have no idea and I'm not sure I should be thinking too hard about this considering.

Moving on, Torment 's main goal tasks you with finding said 4 guardians of the underworld and convincing them to go do their duty. It turns out that said guardians are famous Greek Heros of Myth and Legend: Perseus, Heracles, Achilles and Agamemnon. It turns out none of them are interested in going with you without a fight, so it essentially ends up being 4 interesting boss battles, each of which having their particular fight mechanics, ending with said hero deciding to go on guard duty, after which your ability to interact with them ends. You can go to the gates and see them guarding them but that's it, so really it just ends up be being boss battles with famous names and some variety, so a bit of a missed potential.

With that out the way, as usual, the map for Hades looks great and manages to look like a combination of how the Greek underworld is presumed to have looked(There's a sun eternally hanging on the western horizon that gives off no heat), with some of the more stereotypical features of Hell(including lava and chains). There's also the curious feature of Tartarus, which is at one point shown to be a bottomless pit, but next to that is a walled city with a massive tower in it which is also called Tartarus(but acts as a fort with a boss arena in the tower).

There are also the Tartarus Rifts and Tartarus Veils, which act as an interesting gameplay mechanics but how they actually relate to Tartarus as a place is unclear. The Veils are basically the fog gates from the Souls series, but can only be crossed wearing a special armor set found in the DLC and essentially gate off parts of the map. The Rifts, OTOH, are glowing circles which are protected by glowing enemies, who can hurt you but you can't hurt them. If you reach and enter a rift, you can see and fight the enemies normally, but your max health is cut in half and you get to hear creepy whispering. Killing the enemies seals the rift and grants an ability point, not to mention that sealing rifts is required to complete some locations. The only time it gets tricky is when there are two rifts in the same area, since you can only activate one rift at a time and you're vulnerable to the enemies associated with the one you aren't connected to at the moment.

Being the main part of the Greek underworld where the average person was supposed to have gone to when they eventually shuffled off the mortal coil, Kassandra ends up bumping into a lot more people she met during the course of the main game. A fair number of which are people she killed, mostly from the Cult of Kosmos(and who are not happy to see her again) and being Assassins Creed, gives her the opportunity to kill them again. It's unclear what happens in the underworld if you die there. Presumably they respawn elsewhere, perhaps they go to Tartarus, but it's never addressed. These characters end up filling out a new "Mercenary menu" designed just for the underworld, and luckily only 3 tiers, including the legendary heroes. Some of these guys will actually be taken down during some of the sidequests and killing some of them will reveal where the Legendary Heros are, somewhat like the cultist system in the main game.

Probably the most notable part of the DLC from a non-gameplay perspective are some of the sidequests. Both Phiobe and Brasidas end making a reappearance again and are the stars of their own quest chains, both of which are worth playing during while in Hades. Phiobes ended up being particularly moving and probably worth the DLC right there.

When all of the gate guards have been recruited, you're given a new quest and told in no uncertain terms that going to see Hades will end the DLC. Not surprisingly, going to see him reveals he's played you(An ISU/God being a dick, imagine that) and invites Kassandra to stay in his realm forever. This kicks off a particularly tough boss battle, which is definitely one of the most difficult ones in the game, probably up there with Medusa if not harder.

Besting Hades leads to an interesting cliffhanger, mostly for the possible implications. Hades says "No matter where you go, you're a prisoner" and the sky starts flashing, briefly revealing the illusion of the simulation that is the underworld, but also flashing between Kassandra and Layla. It kicks back out to Atlantis, where Victoria pulls Layla out again, tells her that she's going too far in and tries to take the staff away from her, citing she's succumbing to the bleeding effect. After a few minutes of back and forth, Layla cold cocks Victoria with the staff, knocking her out(probably) before realizing what she'd done. Alethia shows up and starts showing her disappointment, outright saying there's been a mistake and she doesn't think Layla is ready to hold the staff and may not be the Heir of Memories after all. And then it kicks back to Kassandra in the main game again.

Before I go down the rabbit hole on the ending, the whole transition between DLC segments is confusing and annoying. I know it's part of the issue of getting what's supposed to be one story in chunks, but right now we've got this whole thing of "Kassandra/Layla go into Atlantis, go into the simulation, go through Elysium, get kicked into Hades, cut back to Atlantis, cut back to main game, continue when ready in Atlantis, which pops back to Layla, then back to Kassandra in Hades and now that Hades is done, back to Atlantis, and back to Kassandra on the world map. There's a lot of back and forth there and the fact Layla/Kassandra apparently gets to roam around again in Greece before picking up exactly where they left off in the underworld simulation is just jarring. I do have to wonder if, playing all of these episodes together skips you getting booted back to the main Greek world and just continues straight to the next part of the dlc(with the option to go back to the main game via the portal).

With that out of the way, a couple things stick out to me about the ending sequence. Much like Persephone using a corrupted Apple/POE to turn Ros into Cerberus, Hades outright seems to understand the nature of the world he's in as a simulation. Which means the ISU/Gods shown are a bit more self aware as programs or they're digitized versions of real ISU from 70,000 years prior.

There's also the fact that the underworld flickers/flashes exposing the illusion of it, but Kassandra and Layla flicker and flash between each other at the same moment.This might be just a matter of Layla sharing the memories and thus visual artistic license for the bleeding effect, or it's supposed to be a hint that Layla's world isn't real either. Hades did say "You're still a prisoner" and it wouldn't be the first time that an ISU was talking through the historical person to the person in the animus AKA he's talking to Layla through Kassandra. It's possible that he was referring to her fate as the keeper of the staff and heir of memories as well, though.

It strikes me as similar to that famous moment at the end of AC2 when Minerva was really speaking to Desmond through Ezio the whole time, and it feels like her clocking Victoria is supposed to be a call back to Desmond stabbing Lucy under the influence of the apple/Juno, so I keep getting the feeling Ubisoft is setting us up for another "mind blown" moment like those.

Origins kept hinting reality was a code that even an ISU couldn't seem to alter, but they could read it well enough with their time matrix thingamigger, at least well enough to record 2 sided conversations 70,000 years ahead of time that come across as live discussions. However, there have since been hints that the ISU were the ones who unbalanced the universes "nodes" somehow and caused their own demise, and while humanity avoided one of those, another one is incoming. Odyssey explicitly referenced simulation theory AKA we're all really in the matrix in one of the Layla Emails.

Basically, I keep thinking this is all somehow leading into the revelation that the AC Modern Day is and has always been a simulation, like a higher layer of the animus. If I really wanted to go out on a limb, I'd say they're gonna go further and say it's an ISU simulation from 70,000 years ago, somehow similar to the time matrix, because WHAT A TWIST! No, I don't know what the point of that would be, other then if you're gonna go for simulation theory, might as well tie it into something that'a already established, and that way they can handwave all the ways the Modern Day stuff and historical stuff doesn't quite sync up(beyond lazy world building) and why the POE are fucking magic.

I know I'm reaching a bit here but this series is honestly built for random theorizing, especially as many plot elements and mcguffins scattered throughout the series, not to mention just the frankly bizarre ISU stuff we still know so little about, probably because the writers are too afraid to develop it too much, but creating a minefield of inconsistencies all over the place.

Anyway, Conspiracy Crazytime aside, it's also possible they're setting up Layla to be the new threat to the series, an person who has the powers of the Staff but also has shown shes becoming unbalanced by it. Not that I really cared for Victoria(or really knew who she was, because I didn't read the comics), cold cocking her comes across as a bit nutso just because she wanted Layla to cool it in the animus for a while and stop pushing her body/mind so hard. It's clear she's going off the deep end here and it's unlikely this is going to end well. And then there's the idea that Alethia is preparing to pull a Juno and is actually responsible for all of this from the get go, which means the staff is working exactly as intended.

Ironically, the whole thing about Layla spending way too much time in the animus might be a stealth commentary on how the game is just feels way too big and long a times. Hell, the DLC alone is 15-20 hours long at this point, not counting another likely 10 hours for the last episode.

Finally, wrapping up, apparently the game now has a story creator mode so players can make their own Odyssey sidequests, at least on a limited scale. I haven't played around with it but I've seen some footage of what people have made and it looks okay I guess. I'm kinda not really caring either way, but considering how long as this game is, lack of content isn't exactly something that this game has a problem with. If people are enjoying it, great for them and Ubisoft is at least supporting the game. However, I'm coming back for the final Lost Tales of Greece episodes(I think there's 2 left) and the last Fate of Atlantis episode and then I'm out. I'll pop in for the discovery tour at some point but yeah, I'm more or less ready to check out and be done with this. The whole thing is starting to feel a bit Live Servicey and I'm not playing this forever. I have other games for that.

So, we've finally reached the end of the road, the final destination in a lonnnngggggggggassssss odyssey to rival Homers in. Kassandra, after a fairly long detour through Elysium and the underworld, finally arrives at Atlantis, mostly due to a well timed intervention by Poseidon, who made a number of cameos in the previous episode making bets with Hades. Here, he pops in, offers Kassandra a lift(over Hades objections) and they pop out through a portal to the lost city while Hades gets sucked into a tartarus portal(so it would seem).

Once in Atlantis, Poseidon talks up how impressed he is with her and offers her a home and permenant position there, that of Dikastes or Judge. Basically, Atlantis goes through 7 year cycles and is judged at the end of each one, but Poseidon wants this cycle to last forever or some such and picked Kassandra as his representative. Presumably this job normally is done by an ISU, but Poseidon makes a bit deal about how Kassandra basically represents the best of both Human and ISU in one person(based on her deeds and legends up to this point). The underworld is flat out mentioned because, sure why not, but it gets weird considering it quickly becomes obvious that Atlantis is not the long destroyed, sunken ruin in 5th century BCE but Atlantis in it's unsunken Prime. Kassandra even asks about this(she saw the ruined version) but Poseiden dodges the question and Kassandra just lets it go. It almost makes it feel like some kind of bizarre time travel is going on, because this is the city before the Toba catastrophe 75000 years ago, but the fact Kassandras Ancient Greece is acknowledged as being a thing, it's just kinda jarring. Even with the "It's a simulation" premise, it still feels weird.

With the premise of "Kassandra is the judge of Atlantis" put in place, you're set loose into the city to explore and boy does it look great. It's easily as big and grand as Athens, if not more so, and more or less what I've wanted to see from an ISU city for a long, long time. It more or less syncs with the lore Plato made up(which admittedly is some pretty decent world-building for something he made up just to make a point), while also looking appropriately ISU. It's also nice to see an ISU structure that doesn't look like a bare basement and answers the question I've had for some time, and that the ISU did actually have and use furniture(Now why none of that furniture shows up in any of the ruins shown up to this point is still a mystery).

There's a few exceptions here and there. Namely how there are few vehicles to be seen and what you do see are wooden carts and bronze age ships, which comes across as jarring considering, again, this is supposed to be 75,000 prior to the bronze age. Presumably you have to attribute it to the janky nature of participating in a simulation of something 75k years prior set inside a simulation set 2400 years prior based off an incomplete strand of DNA and Herodotus's lost book(that and it's obvious that Ubisoft didn't want to create new art assets for high tech boats and such)

The biggest notable difference between this episode and the rest of the game is the introduction of ISU KNOWLEDGE, which takes the form of a meter at the bottom of your screen that you need to fill up by scanning ISU monoliths(similar to the stele in the tombs) and data caches, as well as doing quests. Story-wise it's supposed to represent Kassandra unlocking her full potential of her 6th ISU sense(Knowing) but in gameplay terms it basically just lets her go through force-fields into certain restricted areas. It's obvious it's meant to encourage you to explore and find the data caches/monoliths, but it really just feels like more busy work the game doesn't need and gameplay wise doesn't mesh with the plot. Most jarringly, when you fully fill the meter, Kass says "I've never seen the world like this before" which is supposed to signify she now how true Eagle Vision or ISU Knowledge or such, but nothing changes as far as the game shows you and it feels kinda cheap. Yeah, I know they didn't want to code an entirely new gameplay mechanic this late in the game but it does come across as a major sense of "Tell, don't show".Otherwise, the standard mechanics are present. Keepers Insights, Forts to infiltrate, a new set of armor to find(by killing the 5 dudes who own the pieces). There's a new forge(similar to the one used to upgrade the spear), which can be use to create some powerful customized weapons providing you find a unique resource called Adamant(which exists only in Atlantis and does have plot significance), which is kinda cool.

The plot in this final episode is a bit tighter and more interesting then the previous one(as in, there's actually a plot of sorts and it's decent enough), though the writing still isn't amazing by any stretch. A couple times the game allows you to ask questions only to give you answers that are cryptic or not terribly informative, which begs the question why they even bothered to ask the question at all(or even provided the multiple choice dialogue option). There's also the inherent dissonance between Poseidon telling you that you have authority over all except him and everyone seems to recognize who you are and treat you with the due authority. However, you still have restricted areas you have to fight/sneak your way through because reasons? It's never explained why these areas are off limits to you(other then a brief mention they wanted to keep humans out of the really sensitive areas), but it feels like logically you should have access to every location in Atlantis(barring one plot important location near the end, which you need a special key to access anyway). It feels like that same stupid trope in MGSV, where everyone recognizes who you are and is in awe of you, but those same people will still try to murder you despite this(until they're convinced to work for you).

Where this episode does deliver is it's expansion of and connection to the ISU lore. Among the fun things learned, expounded or cleared up:

-Atlantis was an ISU R+D center prior to it's destruction and fairly progressive on the Human-ISU relationship front. That being said humans are still second class citizens and a number of ISU are openly racist towards humans. Poseiden outlawed experimentation upon humans but not everyone is happy about this. It's implied Atlantis is more friendly to humans then most ISU areas.

-Tensions between the two races are rising and it's implied the rebellion will start in the near future if it hasn't started already.

-The Toba catastrophe is fast approaching as well, as per reports of increased solar activity. Not everyone takes it seriously, mind you(Gee, I see no parallels to the real world there).

-An ISU/Human Hybrid named Eve was born in Eden but brought to Atlantis. Eve, for those of you keeping score, has been mentioned as the leader of the rebellion against the ISU but hasn't been mentioned in the games for a while now. So at least that plot thread hasn't been totally forgotten.

-Those Precursor boxes that AC Lore Hunters and youtubers are obsessed with(and they've popped up in numerous games and other media as far back as the AC2/Brotherhood era) are revealed to be ISU Data Caches/Hard Drives/Data Storage. The weird siesmic temples from Rogue are still MIA, though if the solar flare isn't considered a threat yet, I guess they wouldn't be.

-The Pieces of Eden are made of Adamant and has a strange property on human minds, which inspired the whole Apple/mind control/mind manipulation thing.

-The Shroud(from Syndicate and other media) makes an appearance in one of the side quests. It's ability to bring the dead back to life, or heal previous injuries? Turns out it's because "NANOMACHINES, son."

-The ISU apparently had an experimental device that could turn a human into an ISU(by adding a third DNA strand because sure, why not?), mentioned in one side question but never expounded on again other then it apparently works. Maybe there's some reference to this in something else but I'm not aware of any.

The big reveal, continuing the Atlantis plot-line from the base game, are the reveals that the Olympos Project(which created the mythological monsters from the base game) was based in Atlantis, inspired Posidens ban on human experimentation by ISU and was continued in secret by kidnapping humans. Notably, Aita and Juno were the leaders of the project as a means to create a terror/biological weapon to keep the humans subservient(and this got them banned from Atlantis, not that this stopped them from getting back in without posiden noticing). This includes both making monsters via the Olympos POE(the ones that transform humans/animals into monsters) and creating hybrid clones of Kassandra/Alexios. I get the whole "An army of you would be unstoppable" but there's the whole wierdness of the whole thing taking place in the distant past...and yeah, the writing isn't great here. At least it clears up why the Monster making POE exist in the first place and jives with Juno seeing the Human rebellion coming and wants to nip it in the bud with extreme measures. Granted, it's well telegraphed that the Human rebellion is going to happen fairly soon so that's not a great leap on her part. Juno and Aita eventually attempt to overthrow Poseidon, which leads to him imprisoning them and deciding to destroy the city to shut down the Olympos project once and for all, with the humans fleeing the city and somehow Juno and Aita escape(or maybe they were shipped elsewhere prior to this).

Outside the animus, there are some developments of note. Layla smacking Victoria with the staff in the previous episode apparently killed her and Aletheia pretty much says Layla just isn't ready and all of this was a mistake on her part. There's a couple minutes back and forth on this, with Layla whining a bunch and Althelia finally giving in. It does feel a bit cheap for Alethia to be so easily swayed, and the writing here doesn't really sell why, other then Layla has to see Atlantis somehow because we want to see Atlantis. Eventually, once the Atlantis stuff is finished, Layla wakes up and is faced by Otso Berg, Abstergo hitman and general murder expert who has finally made his way down there to get the staff. He does mention that the world is going to shit outside, though doesn't say how(probably an allusion to another catastrophe, or Ubisoft is making a NOT POLITICAL statement about the current state of the world). She handily beats the shit out of him, then impales him for good measure because he's in her way, leaving him likely crippled. Layla just smugly gloats about all of this, acting like "Well, the staff makes me immortal and that makes all of this ok", the way a villain would. Its clear Layla is going off the deep and is likely corrupted by the staff in a way Kassandra wasn't, even to the point Altheia refuses to talk to her again once she takes down Berg. Layla doesn't seem to feel terribly bad for killing her friend and colleague either(and conveniently doesn't mention to the other assassins she was the murderer or even that she killed Victoria). So right now we're looking at a very good possibility that Layla has been set up as a new villain for the story-line, someone has not only has been driven nuts by spending WAY TOO MUCH TIME in the animus(and was push to it's limits to begin with) but also has an extremely powerful ISU artifact at her control. So yeah, that COULD be interesting when the next game shows up in 2020. Then again the Juno thing also could have been interesting back in 2012 when she was set up as the big bad and ended up being a giant waste of a good idea.

I've seen a lot of grousing over the lore implications of this and sure, there's legit arguments to be made there. Not all of it matches up with the previous stuff, and Althetia hand waves the simulations as being "Echos of Memory, Distorted yet True". Basically the simulations Kass/Layla are seeings are based off real people and places(including some of her own memories), but filtered/altered for the viewers benefit(Kassandra is a greek, thus it's shown as her version of Heaven/"Hell"). This implies Elysium/Hades existed in some form, though not as an actual underworld while Atlantis was probably a bit closer to it's actual pre-destruction state. Which is probably the best they were gonna do considering they obviously wanted to do another afterlife DLC(Considering how popular the Oriigns DLC was) but have to make it kinda work with the framework of the series. It does imply that the Afterlives in Origins were also a simulation of sorts(or a result of the apple found in the one tomb).

There's also the issue that the lore of the Assassins Creed series is all over the place after 12 years and 11 mainline games(and god knows hows how many side games, comics, etc). The original creators have long since stopped working on the series(the main creator left the series around the time Brotherhood was being developed) and the original plans were a total of 5 games, ending with Desmond becoming a super assassin, bringing down the Templar order and stopping the solar flare. It wasn't meant to get released year after year and passed from studio to studio with no core bible or vision. It's hard enough to maintain a complex mythology when one person is controlling such a thing(Metal Gear had the same problems, and that was one person controlling the lore over 8 games) let alone Ubisofts treatment of it as a cash cow franchise for the company, so the fact shit doesn't fit in places is inevitable and we're way past the point it can really be fixed. So I generally roll with it, occasionally rolling my eyes here and there(the whole Sage thing, which I still find to be stupid as hell, even for this kind of thing) and just accept it as the price of being a fan of the series. I could go on all day about where all the AC lore stuff does and doesn't work, and maybe someday I will in a different thread, but for now, my Odyssey is over. I'll come back for the discovery tour in a few months but honestly, I'm gonna be glad to call the whole thing done and move on to other, shorter games.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who stuck it out thus far and are somehow still reading my rambley thoughts on the matter. I'm more then happy to discuss at this point but this will be the last review/ramble post on the new content for this game. Hopefully you guys got something out of it too.

I've yet to finish the Elysium part of this extra content. Not because I find the story to be bad but because I find traversing the game world so damn irritating. Even with the Hermes teleporters it's just a chore to get from point A to point B, something I never felt in the base game or the Legacy of the First Blade.

I think I'll just end up watching the inevitable cutscene movie on YouTube.

Reading this thread makes me wish the grind hadn't broken me. Maybe I'll go watch a LP of the game or something.

Something Amyss:
Reading this thread makes me wish the grind hadn't broken me. Maybe I'll go watch a LP of the game or something.

I didn't feel it was grindy, per say. Bloaty, yeah, pretty much. Considering I left a number of the side activities/sidequests unfinished as I went through the game because I wanted to move on to the next area, I doesn't feel like I was ever doing stuff just to meet the level requirement for the main quest. By the time I finished the 2nd DLC, I was level 70(Levels stop mattering at level 50 because nothing is gated above that and the enemies more or less level with you). No, I didn't use any of the XP/Money/resource boosters and long since ran out of things to spend in-game money/resources on, other then occasionally upgrading my gear to keep pace with my level.

OTOH, it feels like a lot of it could have been tightened up significantly. I can't tell how many time I got a quest which involved "Go do 3 things, get 3 objects, finish 3 subquests, etc". The Atlantis DLC is longer then some full AC games and my full playtime is longer then any other game on my steam account other then Kerbal Space Program(which is more or less pure sandbox and you go until you decide you're finished). I love the map of greece(all the maps, really) but feel like the time spent there could have been more substantial(to be fair, padding is a common problem in this series).

But yeah, if the world/experience isn't doing it for you, I can't tell you that it would have been worth it for you to keep going because it's not like the game changes much as you go on. You get new quests and fight new bosses and see new places, but it's more or less the same game throughout. And it isn't like the plot is fucking amazing(It's serviceable, with some occasional high points).

Played the latest Lost Tales of Greece story line? *ugh* Bad everything, so not worth the time...

SckizoBoy:
Played the latest Lost Tales of Greece story line? *ugh* Bad everything, so not worth the time...

I haven't played the last 2. I kinda want to wait till the discovery tour drops so I can finish everything up in more or less one go. I'm done with this "Log on every month for the newest bit of content" shit this game has been pulling. I put up with it for Odyssey, but it's exhausting for a game this big.

Though if the LTOG aren't worth it, I'll just skip to the discovery tour and call it done.

Vikings or not, I don't know if I care to come back for the next one if it's also going to be this huge and this drawn out. I loved egypt and rather dug Greece but the new formula is getting a bit much at this point.

Dalisclock:
I haven't played the last 2. I kinda want to wait till the discovery tour drops so I can finish everything up in more or less one go. I'm done with this "Log on every month for the newest bit of content" shit this game has been pulling. I put up with it for Odyssey, but it's exhausting for a game this big.

Though if the LTOG aren't worth it, I'll just skip to the discovery tour and call it done.

Vikings or not, I don't know if I care to come back for the next one if it's also going to be this huge and this drawn out. I loved egypt and rather dug Greece but the new formula is getting a bit much at this point.

Huh, forgot about the coming Discovery Tour... something to look forward to.

Also, re: LToAG, the penultimate one (think it's the penultimate one... concerns Herodotus) was worth it and a little surprising in how it ends. The last one though, nah, just nah... I mean, play it just for the sake of completion, but that's literally the only reason I can come up with to play it (for what it wanted to be, it missed the mark terribly and felt horridly rushed in production and design).

SckizoBoy:

Also, re: LToAG, the penultimate one (think it's the penultimate one... concerns Herodotus) was worth it and a little surprising in how it ends. The last one though, nah, just nah... I mean, play it just for the sake of completion, but that's literally the only reason I can come up with to play it (for what it wanted to be, it missed the mark terribly and felt horridly rushed in production and design).

I've heard most of the team has been moved over to God and Monsters at this point(now that the major DLC are out) so it's a fraction of the odyssey team working on the remaining content now.

Dalisclock:
I've heard most of the team has been moved over to God and Monsters at this point(now that the major DLC are out) so it's a fraction of the odyssey team working on the remaining content now.

That would explain things... but it's still tremendously lazy... *shrug* Ah well, so it comes to an end... at last... still a good game all told IMO

SckizoBoy:

Dalisclock:
I've heard most of the team has been moved over to God and Monsters at this point(now that the major DLC are out) so it's a fraction of the odyssey team working on the remaining content now.

That would explain things... but it's still tremendously lazy... *shrug* Ah well, so it comes to an end... at last... still a good game all told IMO

Yeah, same here. I'd probably be more annoyed if I wasn't already done with the game that I ended up playing far longer then pretty much any other game in my library. The fact a single player game with a finite campaign was getting more content as long as it did is kinda amazing

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