As the third and final piece of the Legacy of the First Blade story DLC comes to an end, as does our review for the Legacy of the First Blade trilogy and our adventures with Darius, Natakas, The Order, and Kassandra for this part of their story. Now, it’s time to review it, and include a few story-based spoilers (you’ve been warned).
+Extremely well-designed story elements and character development
+Well-suited antagonists that help push the story forwards
+Set pieces offer a unique vibe to a well-rounded atmosphere
+New abilities and equipment help strengthen the ebb and flow of combat
-Some of the Order of Ancients members are slightly harder to hunt than others and may not appear after certain plot points conclude
Over the course of the past week, I’ve felt my heart hit highs, lows, and the in-betweens as my adventures with Persian warrior Darius, his son Natakas, and the misthios, Kassandra or Alexios, as the conclusion to Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey – Legacy of the First Blade, came to a drastic and breathtaking end.
Over the course of that week, I saw even more homages to both Brotherhood and Origins come to life as my adventures with Darius and Natakas began to conclude. Having waited for the third part of Legacy of the First Blade to launch, I decided to absorb as much as the source material as I could, digging deep through it all, watching Kassandra, Natakas, and Darius bond as they would as a family.
I saw my choices, albeit I wished Kassandra to remain single and without a child, but alas, it would never happen as we know the bloodline must go on. Even with that minor element, I saw something magnificent unfold right before me: The characters became more human than ever before.
Through Trial, Tribulation, and heartache, I fell in love with Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey all over again
As you already know, the Cult of Kosmo and The Order, are two of your biggest foes. They are factions aiming to control the very fabrics of our world, organizations that seek to rule and conquer without question. How do you make them work? How do you make The Order, The Cult of Kosmos, and those that follow them organic, how do you make them feel a part of a much larger scheme of things?
You add to it, you build upon those foundations in which you create, a foundation that has grown even more solidified than ever before. Over the course of the three-part DLC, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey – Legacy of the First Blade tells the harrowing story of our aforementioned heroes, one a fallen hero of the Persian empire who turned his back on everything he believed in as he followed in their steps.
Having turned his back on his homeland and those he followed after the slaying of then-ruler Artaxerxes, Darius left home, moving slowly across the lands as he was hunted by those he had once led and trained – The Order. A faction that is hellbent on destroying those that they saw as ‘tainted’ such as Darius, Kassandra, those that came before them, and those who will come after them.
Surprisingly enough, everything actually works building forward. You get the history, the background, and the knowledge needed to move forward within the very first episode, something you can read about in the review for ‘Hunted‘ for a more in-depth look at the solo-episode itself. Through that episode, we get our story, the foundations behind The Order, why Darius and Natakas left Persia, and why they find themselves in Ancient Greece.
With a solid foundation molded; a new odyssey begins.
Throughout the first episode if Legacy of the First Blade, we were chased, ridiculed, made to consider the more human sides of the actions we have committed by The Orders menacing hunter – The Huntsman. Unlike The Huntsman, The story for Shadow Heritage sets itself apart, providing us with a brand new take on how a story can unfold.
Seeing the strife of a local populace, it’s our job as a Misthios to once more investigate what has occurred in the lands. As we do, we are once more joined up with Darius and Natakas only to learn a new villain has emerged, a new threat to our world through the Order of the Storm, a new branch to The Order that we must hunt down, and ultimately destroy.
This time, we learn our tyrannical, yet somehow naval commander, The Tempest, isn’t just a foe to be feared. She’s powerful, unforgiving, and she calls the seas her own. Unfortunately, she wasn’t near as demented, fearful, or as well thought out as you may have thought. She’s one that’s filled the brim to lore, a villain you only hear about in passing alongside her deeds.
Through it, you meet her family, her friends, and find that – even though your own doings – they are just as human as you – yourself are. Facing down against her and her subordinates, you will get a chance to experience more ship-to-ship combat, ultimately working your way towards new parts for your ship so that you may terrorize the Aegean as you please (we’ll talk more on this later).
But, there’s still something strong about Shadow Heritage that you may not expect despite a weaker than expected antagonist. It delivers on the promise of a brand new theme. That theme? Identity. Once again, we finally learn to come to terms with the kind of life or characters shall live. Whether it’s an NPC we encounter or our protagonists themselves. A theme that continually haunts you as a larger foe stirs from deep within the shadows.
It’s only expanded upon even more in Episode 3 – Bloodlines.
Even as your story in Episode 2 – Shadow Heritage comes to an end, you’ll find that those final moments actually matter. Kassandra or Alexios are home. They are satisfied with the lives they now live. Their partners, their child, their bloodline itself is now secure. Darius, Natakas, and even your own child cement the very foundations of their bloodlines future.
But now, things have changed. Kassandra or Alexios, whichever you preferred, have decided to opt for the simple life, something that was openly teased at the end of the second episode. A life that they never imagined that they would have, even with the threat of the Cult of Cosmos now extinguished and placed at the back of their mind. Even with The Order of the Ancient a clear and subtle threat, Bloodline doesn’t hesitate opening up the gates of wrath and fury hidden deep within our Spartan warrior’s heart.
Within the opening moment, is very clear that the cup that has slowly overflown, The Order of Ancients won’t a simple life remain as simple as it should. Natakas has vanished, not to be seen, your character’s child taken, and the Order of the Ancient, revealing their entire hand. Scorned, her, and heartbroken, Kassandra is now on the hunt, not stopping to ask any single question even as the bonds between her and Darius have been broken as blood has now been spilled.
But the most astonishing thing, even with the heartfelt moments, the gutwrenching moments, and the tears that will fall; Bloodlines is the culmination of nearly five months of hard work by those that wrote, developed, and drove the story home. Here, the acting shines, the scripting works even better, and the questions of how Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey takes place within the greater series itself becomes solidified in those final moments.
Our greatest foe has yet to be realized
But one thing comes quite clear through our adventures with Darius, Natakas, and the child that keeps their bloodline flowing. This trilogy was never going to end with a happy ending, even as the realization of a much broader story begins to unfold before our very eyes. Even as our characters become humanized, you realize that once again, the greater narrative of the core game itself has never been forgotten nor was it ever pushed aside.
Even as we explore the lush, bright-green hills of Messenia in the Spring, it’s very clear that this idyllic and organic scenery will come to a warzone as it serves as the canvas to everything that unfolds before us. Our villain isn’t ashamed of the foundations and beliefs on which he stands. He’s just, knowing that every action he takes, every pawn he plays, is just a bigger piece of a much larger puzzle, one that doesn’t just span this very title, but one that will span throughout a series of much larger events over time.
Because of his ideas, his purpose, and goals he seeks to achieve, our villain isn’t one to just shake a finger to. He’s one that brings reason, concrete ideas, and philosophies to the table, one that taunts, toys with, and very evidently serves a much larger purpose in the scheme of things. But truth-be-told – he’s one that makes you want to care, that makes you hurt for those before you.
Their pain, the grief, and the heartache – it’s believable as some of the best acting and narrating unfolds right before our eyes. It’s not something you can unsee or even forget as a trilogy that becomes a tangible keepsake to a much greater masterpiece. A masterpiece that makes us think about every action we take against those before us, whether human or AI alike. Something the core game hadn’t touched on as much as the DLC has.
It’s a tale worth being told and a tale that will leave its mark upon your soul.
Combat gets some new abilities, new weapons, and even some new equipment for your ship
As you may already have expected, there are a wide array of brand new features that come shipped within the overall package that is Legacy of the First Blade. New abilities such as Rapid Fire and Death’s Veil that make perfect additions to both the Hunter and Assassin skill trees. Weapons such as a Legendary armor set based on Darius’ outfit, you can also obtain the diamond in the rough from Bloodlineitself: an end-game sword that ties both story narrative and gameplay mechanics together in a unique and heartwarming manner.
On the other hand, you also have brand-new naval equipment you can obtain from Shadow Heritage, which will allow you to unlock a Flamethrower for your ship. This new piece of equipment does come with its own upgrade tiers, allowing for less adrenaline consumption while also increasing the amount of damage it actually does. A little cherry to the top of a vanilla fudge sundae.
However, there are even a few new legendary weapons that can be earned such as my favorite, The Unending Roar, a Warhammer that packs a massive punch for those that lean more towards the Warrior tree itself. If you’re hunting down a new pair of threads, you can even do that, while finishing off the Order of Ancients trees and obtaining the gear they have to offer. Those looking for new engravings also have a lot to look forward to thanks to a plethora of new ones that can be obtained through a few days of progress.
Some include increased adrenaline, healing through parrying an attack, and even emphasize on your ability to use your Overpower ability. No matter what style of play you have, be it a mix of warrior and hunter or hunter and assassin, or even assassin, hunter, and warrior; Legacy of the First Blade doesn’t hold back the offerings it has for players looking to excel in any and every situation.
I’m not crying, you’re crying – The Conclusion
Even as much as we want someone at Ubisoft to stop cutting onions, it’s hard not to admit that Legacy of the First Blade is an absolute masterpiece on its own accord. From its riveting moments in Hunted as you hunt down The Huntsman; navigating the Aegean in a deadly face off in exhilarating naval combat against The Tempest in Shadow Heritage; or seeking vengeance for the death of those you loved; Legacy of the First Blade has something to offer to the greater scheme of things.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey – Legacy of the First Blade
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One
Platform Reviewed: PlayStation 4
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: Available Now
Cost: $24.99 (DLC)
Whether it’s the well-designed character development, the heart-wrenching goodbyes, or the moments of letting those you’ve come to love in the story go; Legacy of the First Blade bleeds that its a passion project for those who helped bring it to life, and the payoff is worth the joined efforts Ubisoft’s teams in Montreal put into the three-episode story DLC. Now, if you’ll excuse me, these onions are really making my eyes water once again.
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.
About the Writer(s):
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.