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January 2022

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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PS4 Review - 'Assassin's Creed Odyssey' The Fate of Atlantis DLC - Episode 3: Judgment of Atlantis

by Adam Pavlacka on July 19, 2019 @ 9:45 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

Wrapping up the three-part DLC storyline, The Fate of Atlantis, the team at Ubisoft wisely decided to save the best for last. Judgment of Atlantis is a focused piece of content that spends its time letting you do what you do best — run around and kill people in creative ways, all the while looking around at an incredibly striking environment.

From a story perspective, your time in Elysium (Episode 1) and Hades (Episode 2) was meant to show you the perils of being a poor leader. Now, it is time to be a judge, as Poseidon has put the fate of Atlantis in your hands. You need to decide if the Isu can live side by side with humans or if the two are fated to never get along.

Shortly after starting the episode, it's clear that something is afoot in Atlantis. A mysterious murder has occurred, a beast is on the loose, and a wild mob wants vengeance, while the Isu charged with maintaining order across the city seem almost frightened of the humans in their midst. Both groups look to you to solve their issues.

While you can just focus on quest goals to power your way through the objectives (and a fairly straightforward set of achievements), one of the rewarding bits of Judgment of Atlantis is the copious lore notes that have been scattered across the realm. As you explore, you'll find more and more of them. They don't directly spell out everything in linear fashion, but they do add a lot of context to the history of the Isu.

The quests themselves are well integrated with the story in this episode, so you shouldn't have to worry about being level-gated. Yes, there will be areas that you cannot access at the start, but by the time you've played the previous missions, you'll have easily cleared the requirements needed to access the new story quests.

Alongside the story quests are a handful of fortified doma for you to attack. These are meant to be more challenging than a typical fortress but yield better loot. These missions, like most in this episode, occur in indoor or underground spaces, which means you cannot use your trusty bird to scope out all of the bad guys. Instead, you're forced to do it the old-fashioned way. One of the fortified doma does host a quest character, but you can sneak in and eliminate him without clearing the entire thing.

Being able to play your chosen style is a strength of this episode, with the exception of one core story mission where you are dropped into an area and have to take out a group of opponents, gladiator style. Given that I generally play Assassin's Creed games in a stealth fashion, I wasn't really prepared for this specific fight and hit a bit of a roadblock. Fight, die, reload, repeat. This went on (along with some mild cursing) before I finally cleared the set and progressed the story. Thankfully, that was the only bump in the road I encountered.

The weakest part of the story is once again the illusion of choice. As we've seen previously in the game, you are presented with choices throughout this episode, but none of the decisions ever really seem to have a real impact on the outcome. It also doesn't take into consideration your current status in the game. For example, one mission tasks you with retrieving a specific artifact. When I played, I happened to find the artifact (by accident) prior to taking on the mission. Sadly, the quest dialogue tree acted as if I'd never known about the thing I had in my inventory. After the dialogue finished, I simply initiated a chat again to bring up the quest ending.

It's one of the shortcomings that Odyssey was never really to shake. If the next Assassin's Creed game can offer context-aware speech options and real choice, it'll be a welcome improvement. On the upside, Judgment of Atlantis happens firmly in Atlantis. There are only two very short (and entirely forgettable) current-day sequences here. Your game time is spent almost entirely within Atlantis.

For the review, I played through the episode on a PlayStation 4 Pro on a 4K monitor. HDR was disabled due to capture equipment, but Atlantis still presented itself as an enticing environment to explore. I kept wanting to run off and explore, when I was supposed to be focused on plowing through the story. It's not that the story was boring, but rather my curiosity as to what was around the corner. That speaks well to the design work that went into Atlantis as an environment.

Ultimately, it is the ability to get lost in the beauty of Atlantis that makes it work. What's here feels like it's been crafted with the same care as the main game, and it's easy to fall into the world as a location. If you just power through the story, the repetitive elements of some mission types become clear, but if you lose yourself in the world, it feels more natural — at least until the very end.

Judgment of Atlantis closes with a boss battle that ends up being a bit underwhelming. It didn't feel like an epic fight or anything that took a whole lot of strategy. Instead, it was a boss who hit hard and had an extremely large health bar. I was able to win the fight by combining two abilities for limited immunity and extra damage, but that meant my encounter was little more than attack the boss, cause damage, run in circles waiting for the ability cooldown to reset, and repeat.

After completing the episode, you are free to explore any of the realms at will, and mop up any optional quests you may have missed.

As a whole package, The Fate of Atlantis is a nicely sized DLC package that could stand alone as a spin-off. Individually, Judgment of Atlantis is the strongest part of that package, so it goes out on a high note.

Score: 8.0/10

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