Assassin's Creed Rapid Fire 2: Origins & Odyssey
Following up on yesterday's post, I dove into the two latest Assassin's Creed games which represent the pivot that Ubisoft has made in the series. Both Origin and Odyssey fall squarely into the action RPG genre instead of the stealth action games that the series started with.
Revisiting Assassin's Creed Origin was interesting. I initially bounced off the game when it first released because it was such a radical departure from the series I loved. After Origins reset my internal calibration for what makes an Assassin's Creed game, I was able to really enjoy Odyssey on its own terms when it released.
This revisit of Origins made me realize that the game is better than I gave it credit for at the time. If all you're looking for is an open-world Egypt action RPG then this is a great game. But, if you are looking for a stealth game with assassination in it, you'll be disappointed. Removing stealth and instant kills was the biggest thing they did in Origins that I still disagree with. You shouldn't have a game in a series called "Assassin's Creed" and not have assassinations actually work. This is mostly due to the leveling system they added to make it more of an RPG and less of an action game. If an NPC is more than a few levels higher than you, then chances are you can't take them out until you wander off and level up elsewhere. As a gameplay mechanic, it just feels bad.
In Odyssey they cleaned up some of Origins worst offenses and they also added new things to expand on the core structure that Origins had laid down. All of this makes for a better game, although I still really miss the stealth and assassination abilities. There's more stealth here but still nowhere near enough compared to earlier games in the series. At least the other things that were added feel like they give you more gameplay options in the core melee combat that seems to be the focus.
I dabbled in both Origins and Odyssey for a few hours but decided not to dig as deep as I did in the older game entries. This is for two reasons. One, these were both very recent games and I still have fairly fresh memories of them. Two, I fully anticipate that Assassin's Creed Valhalla is built on this same core gameplay and I really don't want to burn myself out before that game releases. I want to go into Valhalla excited for a new adventure instead of already feeling like I just experienced the same game.
The biggest positive change that I've seen come from Origins and Odyssey is that they seem to have broken through to an even wider audience than the earlier Assassin's Creed games. So, for that, I have to give them the credit they deserve.