Review: Assassin’s Creedy Odyssey: Legacy of the First Blade – Hunted

Assassin's Creed® Odyssey_20181230060958

The Legacy of the First Blade – Hunted, is the first part in a multi-episode DLC that tells the origin story behind the renowned assassin tool named the Hidden Blade. But, the question is, does the DLC captivate us as much as the base-game itself? Let’s find out in our review.


Pros:
+Adds onto the well-established lore from previous games
+New locales, enemies and items to collect
+New “Cultist” hunts to undertake

Cons:
-Specified targets can accidentally be skipped over without a chance to hunt them down


My adventures with Kassandra have been moderately lengthy, pulling in nearly a hundred hours in total between having to restart the game for reasons out of my control and working my way once more through the content it has in order to access the DLC. However, that’s not a problem for me to adventure another forty-or-so hours into the game once again. I enjoy Kassandra. She’s funny, she’s witty, she’s warm, and she’s a rather down-to-Earth character when said and done.

I didn’t even mind having to work my way once more through the base game, meeting needed characters, taking on various naval battles and finally arriving to where I am at now. Satisfied with the DLC it took almost a month to experience. During this time we’ve seen stability patches, optional-DLC purchase options, and we now have gotten our hands on a semi-short (if you consider 5-6 hours short – if you aren’t one for exploring that is – then we’re in agreement) DLC that gives us our first behind-the-scenes look at the shadow- syndicate known as The Order; a reference to Assassin’s Creed Origins and its predecessors.

Now, here we are, with the very first batch of post-launch DLC for the critically acclaimed title, one I highly applauded in the base game’s review. Just like the initial tidbits of Assassin’s Creed OdysseyLegacy of the First Blade – Hunted is a fairly straightforward affair, one where you will meet your supporting cast members, get some rather well-defined lore and finally discover the truth behind the shadow-syndicate structures of both the Cult of Kosmos and Assassin’s Creed Origins’ shadow-organization known as The Order.

Assassin's Creed® Odyssey_20181231012628

Homages to both Odyssey and Brotherhood is made

When you build on an already established franchise, there are a few things you have to keep in mind. First, you have to remember the source material, taking every piece of it into consideration when moving forward so as to ensure you don’t create a continuity issue further down the road. Secondly, you have to also make sure that the lore you are building on the foundations of is one that will keep fans entertained and interested in learning more.  Lastly, you have to provide something new, something unique that truly sticks out from the rest.

That’s where Hunted comes into play. As the first DLC for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey takes us deeper into both the lore we’ve previously known while also establishing new lore of its own. Our newest piece builds on The Cult of Kosmos, but also another syndicate, as we’ve mentioned before – The Order. The Order for some may be quite recognizable as this bit of lore pertains to both Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood as well as Assassin’s Creed Origins.

The game fully takes a turn, exploring both the rise of The Order, The Cult of Kosmos and their ultimate establishment as The Templar Order. While we do get to see the continued rise of the Assassin’s and their creed, we’ve only dabbled into the hidden blades and their rise into power. That is – until we meet Darius, another hidden blade user much like our former protagonist Bayek from Origins.

But there’s more to it than just Darius – our new mysterious hooded assassin – than meets the eye. His story is one well worth experiencing as it unfolds right before your eyes and brings more humanity to our characters than ever before.

Assassin's Creed® Odyssey_20181231014040

Kassandra and Alexios become even more human than before

When it comes to my time in Assassin’s Creed OdysseyI’ve had a love-hate relationship with the realities of the game. A lot of it stems from the fact that Kassandra and Alexios seem to have clear consciences after clearing out entire armies of Spartans and or Athenians. Instead, they just come off as remorseless killers, ones that have little-to-no awareness for the deeds they have done.

However, that changes with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: Legacy of the First Blade – Hunted. In the DLC, you do get to see this change as Alexios and Kassandra both begin to show their more human side, questioning their very own doings, the lives they took and the morality behind their seemingly senseless killing. Now, it weighs on them as they encounter a figure by the name of “The Huntsman,” a Persian warrior sent to wipe out special peoples like Alexios, Kassandra, and others like themselves.

Everything they do, every choice they make, it all comes at a price and with a weight they may not have expected until they encounter Darius and Natakas. Both supporting cast members in this latest DLC and both that seem to be sticking around in later content drops. Just like the supporting cast we’ve come to know and love, such as Phoibe and Myrine – you’ll find that both Darius and Natakas bring a colorful set of personalities with them.

But it makes us begin to wonder, why do these characters have to have a moral introspection when others haven’t that come after them in future happenings?

Assassin's Creed® Odyssey_20181231013113

A new piece of the puzzle has been placed

In future titles, namely the precursors to where we are now, I’ve amassed an amazing number of violent activities that have taken place from Ancient Egypt all the way to the French Revolution. Whether it was taking out a politician that had become corrupt, a general within the ranks of the Templar order, or a man poisoning local villagers; the hand of justice hasn’t missed its mark what so ever.

My abilities across these games have grown immense, powerful, just as they were intended to be. In Ancient Greece, I’ve learned to wield a javelin with deadly precision, shoot a bow and hit my mark every time and even take to naval battles, sinking my foes as quickly as they attempted to sink my ship.

I’ve learned to hunt creatures of myth ranging from a cyclops to the powerful gaze of a sphinx. But my quest has been noble in its cause. I’ve taken out far greater evils with lesser evil actions. I’ve helped set the cogs in motion that will forever define the very grips of humanity, but now, I’ve just begun to grasp the consequences that come with my actions.

A form of Manichaeism that has finally paved its way into Assassin’s Creed with “Legacy of the First Blade”. This very piece of content touches on the games moral-based decisions and how they impact the characters altogether. Even as a war between Sparta and Athens continues, it begins to come clear that there is – after all – a weight to it all. A burden that weights down on the characters you will discover.

Unlike our characters in Victorian London or Ancient Egypt, these two latest protagonists are not exempt from feeling this very weight. They aren’t left unpunished in a way and we only got a glimpse of this in the core game itself when Alexios and Kassandra lose someone close to themselves, however, that has been driven even further home thanks to the new antagonist by the name of the Huntsman.

But it makes you wonder. What is the point of one singular character feeling remorse if the others that come after them don’t? Is it perhaps the fact their training comes into full circle later on or are they all just driven by exacting revenge upon those who did them wrong? Perhaps this is where the change will start and that we will see those who come after Darius, Alexios, Kassandra, and Natakas be the starting point for this very change.

Assassin's Creed® Odyssey_20181231050149

Just like before, this is your Odyssey and it’s for you to finish writing

Just as I’ve said time and time again, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey isn’t just written by Ubisoft themselves. The game is written by the decisions you make. The DLC is just the same in this manner. While it is written with the idea of the hidden blade being at its forefront, there is still that essence of the choices you make, the actions you have and what will follow based upon the very decisions you make.

While some may find it a bit of a drag, mostly due to pacing and its reminiscing with the overall story-arc of the franchise, you’ll find that learning about the first wielder of the Hidden Blade is quite the captivating one that you will want more of when said and done. Again, it’s an unremarkable story and it leaves us hankering for more moving forward.

It, however, doesn’t leave the conflicts between both Persia and Greece behind. Instead, it’s at the forefront and seeing the Persian’s around only adds to the overall controversies that are underway and it makes your time exploring across Macedonia not-so-empty at this point in time. You’ll still find yourself hunting animals, assassinating necessary targets, investigating clues that you will find, taking to the raging seas and sinking enemy ships as you investigate why the Persians are here and what Darius has to do with it all.

You’ll even find the skills you’ve managed to miss put to greater use. You’ll even find the several levels-worth the content is quite enjoyable and a welcome addition to your adventures that are already well underway. Like myself, you’ll find yourself captivated by everything you’ve experienced and with the addition of “Legacy of the First Blade – Hunted“, you have even more reason to be drawn in and enjoying the game as you can.

The only real drawback is one you may not know. You will need to be level 30, you will need to have completed Episode 7 of the base campaign and made your way through a naval blockade before pressing on. That being said, you have a lot to look forward to and even a lot more to await when the second piece of “Legacy of the Hidden Blade” launches in the upcoming weeks or months.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Platforms: 
PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Version Reviewed: 
PlayStation 4
Developer: 
Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: 
Ubisoft
Release Date: 
Available Now
Cost:
 $24.99 (Parts 1 and 2) | $39.99 (Season Pass)

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: Legacy of the First Blade – Hunted is now available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It can be purchased separately or as part of the Season Pass DLC bundle, which will grant you access to both Assassin’s Creed III and Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation in Assassin’s Creed III Remastered when it launches in the upcoming months.


Our review is based upon a retail version that was provided to us by the publisher of the game. For information about our ethics policy please click here.


Final Score: 9 out of 10


About the Writer(s):

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s