Assassin’s Creed Odyssey delivers one of its strongest story elements yet through the Fate of Atlantis, giving players a chance to meet the Gods who once oversaw and protected humanity itself, however, was the adventure itself worth the endeavor? Find out today in our review.
+One of the strongest delivered stories since the base campaign
+Filled to the brim with information regarding the Isu, Olympian Gods and their past
+New ability upgrades, weapons, and armor do vastly change the game’s mechanics
-Terrain traversal can be problematic due to constant mountainous regions
Since the launch of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Ubisoft has remained hard at work delivering one of the best experiences to date, and they have yet to let us down. With the second three-part story that brings forth some of the strongest background story elements we have yet seen in the series.
Since its launch, Ubisoft has skipped past the annual releasing of another Assassin’s Creed entry, this time it’s not due to a reapproaching of the series, but rather, a steady stream of DLC that includes both free DLC content, but also two major DLC chapters including Legacy of the First Blade and Fate of Atlantis.
Both DLCs are filled to the brim with story content, new abilities, armor sets, and weaponry. Alongside the constant string of new abilities, story elements, which include some background elements behind both the First Civilization and the humans of that period themselves. Without too many spoilers, let’s dive right on in and talk about some of the core elements of the expansion themselves.
The thing that surprised me the most about The Fate of Atlantis was just how content-rich it is. Being a $25 purchase, you’d expect it to be a meaty experience, but even so it surpasses expectations. Every episode is easily 8-10 hours long each, and if you stick around to do everything each of them has to offer, you can get roughly 15 hours from each of them. Collectively, you’re looking at at least 30 hours of gameplay- a few years ago when Assassin’s Creed games were notoriously known for their bloated runtimes, this could just as easily have been a full-fledged sequel to Odyssey rather than an expansion.
Each DLC runs about seven-to-eight-hours in total
One of the best things about the DLC is that they are paced rather well, running a rough seven-to-eight-hours each. Each zone is rather “large”, but in viable doses that aren’t overwhelming, nor do they feel overwhelming in what they have to offer – ranging from secretive dungeons to overwhelmingly strong enemies, which offer a boss-like challenge several times through a single content run.
Each zone is packed to the brim with story elements, each having NPCs you’ll work side-by-side with while also completing tasks for the gods of Olympus. You’ll encounter gods such as Hekate, Hades, and Poseidon, just to name a few. Each god having very specific tasks for you based upon the regions you will explore. In Elysium, you’ll adventure around for the goddess Persephone herself, taking time to learn more about the staff, but also more about the origin story behind Atlantis, the Gods, and the Isu themselves.
Unlike the core world, The Fate of Atlantis is well organized from beginning to end, each one offering a sizable amount of content, side activities, and a compact size experience that gives each location a meaningful amount of content, while also letting players enjoy what they have been offered. Something we didn’t exactly get to experience in Legacy of the First Blade.
This includes the fact you won’t be visiting the old-world of Greece all that much. Much of the DLC harkens back to what made much of the base game itself as epic as it already is. There’s a lot of stuff as far as design goes that does this rather well: Gameplay loops such as conquering enemy fortresses, eliminating enemy VIPS, and brand-new ability mutations that change how pre-existing abilities actually work (more on this later).
Combat actually gets a massive tweak including new enemy mechanics, ability improvements, and more
When you get into Elysium, the first part of the expansion set, you’ll find that mechanics do get an overhaul to some extent. Abilities do get upgrades, which sees how you approach each situation differently, armor set bonuses have been expanded upon, causing abilities that you’d previously go without using, to actually using them.
Enemies themselves also have been massively changed, each one coming with new abilities, ditching old mechanics for new ones, making the challenge a bit more real than it was before. There are new boss battles, epic storylines, and even new traversal methods that give each of the zones an unprecedented sense of depth no matter how many times you go through an area.
The core approach to combat doesn’t change. You’ll still dodge, block, heavy, and light attack when you least expect it. Avoiding spoilers themselves lets just say this: There is a significant challenge that comes along with them and they aren’t short encounters. They are hard, they are challenging, and they each come with their own unique encounter designs.
When it comes to your very own changes we mentioned in our review for Episode 1 – Fields of Elysium before we decided to do an overall review, which brings all of our thoughts into a single focus. Abilities such as Devastating Shot will turn into Artemis’s Trickery, changing the ability from a maxed-out shot that does 400% Hunter damage (maxed) and 200% elemental buildup are overhauled, changing into abilities such as the aforementioned Artemis’s Trickery, causing the arrows to become a deadly trap which detonates for 250% damage for both regular and special arrows.
These minor tweaks do change combat, making it more thought-provoking, requiring players to plan out their every move ahead of time. But there’s one change, one single change, which makes it a bit harder to enjoy what you do.
Decisions that matter aren’t as frequented and it shows
One thing I’ve loved about Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is that fact it is my story, one I get to explore, one where the choices I decide to make for Alexios and Kassandra are influenced by the dialogue options I choose or my approach to a scenario put before me. However, that hasn’t been the case, at least not near as much as it had been previously up until now.
I’ve made few choices, being opted more to promptly choose the main scenario dialogue once I’ve gone through each of the dialogue options put before me, each being more inquiry-based than multiple-choice based themselves. But again, this is more of a straight-forward story put before you, one where you influence the decisions of the future, by learning from the past, so I get it, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t come off as a bit odd.
In Elysium, I’ll admit, there was quite a bit of it: Who would you side with? What God appealed to you the most? Would you play as the tinker, the traitor, or the spy? What information will you divulge to one of the Gods? Would you side with the peoples of Elysium, the Underworld, and Atlantis or turn your back on them in favor of the Gods?
The choices are certainly there, but it doesn’t feel they have the impact they did before, which is a shame, because it gave the game meaning, it gave choices a weight to the consequences that came once they were made. But perhaps, the reason behind this is simply because of what the entire story is told as and the fact that relics of the past have to remain as just that: Relics of the past.
The set pieces, the design choices, and The Fate of Atlantis as a whole is an artistic masterpiece
In many ways, I appreciate The Fate of Atlantis for what it is. It’s an artistic masterpiece, a culmination of years worth the work put into a single focus. Elysium, the first episode, is gorgeous, giving us a wonderous look at the home of Persephone herself, trapped in a paradise carefully created by the man who holds her captive (Hades), where rolling fields are brought to life with vibrant colors, beautiful mountain tops, and villages left in ruin, a subtle hint at the despair, lost hope, and unhappiness that swells within her heart.
In turn, hours later, you’ll find the subtle undertones of Elysium being crafted by Hades to be all but true. It’s a hellhole, one where vibrant and colorful flowers, decore, and brightly dressed inhabitants aren’t dressed in bright and vibrant colors. Here, their skin is scorched by the harshness of the land, burnt by diseases, suffering, and the acidic pools of the Underworld itself. They wonder in fear among ruinous columns that was once their home, buildings teeming with life brought forth through their suffering. Columns of smoke, ash, and ominous spires call this land their home. It’s a hellhole, both figuratively and literally speaking.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, you have Atlantis, the home of Poseidon himself, a beautiful city filled with life, accented through beautiful white marble, that’s sharp, angular, and precise. Fit for a king and those who call his land their home. It’s a place where visionaries live, each one searching to make the city a better placed, brought to life through artistic and visual flair. A truly magnificent visual spectacle that we’d only hoped would have been smaller in grandeur, but none-the-less delivers what the entirety of the game was culminating to.
To be quite frank, the design choices are par-none. I’ve not seen anything like this in my time with games and to be quite honest – Ubisoft has outdone themselves this time around. They finished out with a bang when delivering their final piece of major content, fulfilling their promise to their fans with a sense of grandeur and – I hope – accomplishment.
As the Gates to Atlantis Close, as does their story as a misthios, and our time in Greece – The Conclusion
Through and through, Kassandra or Alexios, based on who you’ve chosen for your odyssey, has explored their world through and through. They’ve defied the greatest of odds, fought back for those who didn’t have a voice when they needed one, and quelled some of the greatest rebellions in the history of the series.
They’ve defied gods and demons, turned their back on the first civilization when no other wood, and discovered more about the First Civilization when no other had. As their story concludes, it’s hard not to appreciate what Ubisoft has done. This, by far, is one of their best-delivered stories yet and it leaves a lot of room for the series in the future.
It leaves me wanting to know more, to dive further through the series than I had in previous years. What would it be like to experience a game set within the First Civilization, to walk among Gods, to face down some of the greatest creatures in all of the myth of the world? What would it be like to see the first humans take their steps with the oversight of the Isu?
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: The Fate of Atlantis
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Version Reviewed: PlayStation 4
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: Available Now
Cost: $24.99 (Contains all three episodes)
In short, The Fate of Atlantis is an interesting, satisfying, and thought-provoking expansion to the well-established world. Now, however, it’s up to Ubisoft to guide us through another massive adventure, one that should take and evolve upon the very elements that has brought The Fate of Atlantis to the forefront as one of the best stories told within the Assassin’s Creed universe.
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.