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Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
Release Date: Oct. 5, 2018


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Xbox One Review - 'Assassin's Creed Odyssey' The Fate of Atlantis DLC - Episode 1: Fields of Elysium

by Adam Pavlacka on June 4, 2019 @ 1:30 a.m. PDT

Assassin's Creed Odyssey is set in Ancient Greece and is the next installment in the open-world action/adventure franchise.

Buy Assassin's Creed Odyssey

While the first DLC for Assassin's Creed Odyssey had players learning about the history of the assassins, it stayed within the world of ancient Greece. For the second major story DLC, The Fate of Atlantis, Ubisoft introduces players to a whole new realm and a whole new cast of characters: the Greek gods. Yes, it's an expansion to the existing game, but in some ways, it also feels like a mini-sequel rather than just an addition.

The first episode, Fields of Elysium, can be played if you've completed the requisite quests within the main game, or by taking a shortcut start that loads a custom-crafted character at level 52, complete with equipment. Playing with the shortcut allows you to jump right in, but it does disable achievements. Either way, you can experience everything Atlantis has to offer.

I opted for the shortcut choice, as I figured it was the best way to experience the content as designed by Ubisoft. After a bit of uninspired tomb raiding in the modern day, I managed to open the gate to the lost city, and it was time to start exploring — but I didn't explore Atlantis and entered a simulation of Elysium instead.

Playing as Kassandra (sorry, Alexios fans, but Kassandra is the star of this show), I entered a version of Elysium, otherwise known as the Greek afterlife. Ruled by Persephone, she's none too pleased to see a living human appear and welcomes your appearance by sending her guards after you. Survive the initial attack, and the episode explores the drama of the gods (AKA the Isu playing their roles as gods), while you work to master the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus.

Mastering the staff grants you four modified abilities, each of which can be equipped once you've completed the respective fetch quest. These abilities grant juiced-up versions of existing abilities at a cost of duration. The new abilities are one of the better elements of Fields of Elysium, and the DLC gives you plenty of opportunity to use them if you choose.

Split across four main regions (five, if you count the small central area as a region), Elysium is a good-sized region to explore. It's nowhere near as massive as the main map, but it does compare to one of the larger regions. In short, expect to do plenty of wandering. Thankfully, there are nine fast-travel points that you can unlock to move across the map more quickly.

The missions generally fall under one of three categories, as you work with Adonis, Hekate, or Hermes. Each of the three has varying (and competing) goals, so you're essentially playing multiple sides of the same conflict. Yeah, you're a mercenary, but at the same time, it forces the story to go in one general direction. While you can change small things by making specific decisions, Fields of Elysium still suffers from the same feeling of, "Your choices don't really matter in the end" that plagued the main game. A perfect example is Hermes. No matter which choices you make, his story always comes to the same conclusion.

Elysium itself is finely crafted and an absolute joy to look at as you explore (photo mode fans are going to have a blast), but at the same time, the events in the world don't sync up with the events in the missions until the mission calls for it. An example has to do with Adonis setting up a rebel base. He talks about his forces, but the first time you visit, he's the only one there. It doesn't matter if you've already spent an hour or two freeing soldiers and recruiting them to your cause. Adonis is solo flyer until you complete the mission, and then suddenly, the base is filled with people. What's funny is that the population doesn't really matter with respect to the mission, but having it be bare did seem odd, given the other things I'd done up to that point.

Another issue with the mission design is the somewhat repetitive nature of the required actions. There were some standouts (such as the one that requires you to sneak into an enemy base and drop off what is essentially a bomb), but most played out in a very repetitive fashion. Go to location X. Eliminate all enemies. Find item or person Y. Retrieve them/it and return to the quest-giver. The missions felt great when I first started in Elysium, but after a few hours, the feeling of going through the motions set in.

Some of that repetitiveness is caused by the one overall mission that has you reducing Persephone's influence by eliminating her followers, including the three overseers. This is similar to reducing influence in a region before kicking off a conquest fight in the main game, and you'll end up with a large fight near the end of the DLC. The repetitive nature has to do with the fact that you reduce Persephone's influence more quickly by knocking out opponents and recruiting them, than by eliminating them. As a result, Fields of Elysium pushes you into a stealth-heavy playthrough. Sure, it might be fun to go hog wild and take out Persephone's minions in hand-to-hand combat, but that'll just slow down your mission progression.

One missed opportunity to bring a bit of variety into the game is the lack of the mercenary system. Mercenaries aren't present in Elysium, which is a bit of a shame. They could have easily been used to balance out the influence missions, making combat builds a more viable choice for a playthrough.

There are points in the DLC where the story hops back to the present day, but I didn't really find the present-day elements to be that compelling. Fields of Elysium is all about Kassandra's story, and Layla is just there for the ride. Perhaps Layla's actions will become more important in the later episodes (especially given that she is the present-day keeper of the staff), but for now, the modern bits of the story feel like little more than filler.

As the first part of the second major story DLC for Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Fields of Elysium is both impressive and disappointing. It is impressive in how it adds to the already vast world of Assassin's Creed Odyssey and disappointing in how the gameplay loop, while tweaked, doesn't really change from what was found in the main game. There's a lot of potential here, and I'm looking forward to seeing what Ubisoft delivers in episode 2.

Score: 7.0/10

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