Assassin's Creed Odyssey DLCs review
As mentioned in my review of the base game, Odyssey features some live service elements which has seen content regularly being added to the game over time. There are plenty of free DLCs, headlined by The Lost Tales of Greece. This is a series of a dozen or so questlines, which feels more like side-quests to the game, though does feature returning characters to flesh out their stories more. Definitely worth a play if you're a fan of Odyssey, but it's more of the same. The other major addition is the Discovery Mode, which I have discussed in my previous review - a wonderful addition indeed, especially for history buffs. Oh, and there's a story creator mode, where anyone can create quests within Odyssey's world. It's surprisingly intuitive, though I'd like to see a curated selection of user-created quests.
Beyond that, there are two major paid DLCs - Legacy of the First Blade and The Fate of Atlantis. Both of these are designed to link Odyssey to the other games in the series, and to the titular Assassin's Creed itself. Legacy of the First Blade is very much a microcosm of the overall Odyssey experience, featuring all of its design and quirks in a tight package. Gameplay remains pretty much the same, though there are new legendary-style progression introduced to keep high level players interested. Of course, there's cool new loot available.
Legacy of the First Blade visits parts of the map that go curiously underused in the main campaign, chiefly being Macedonia and regions north of Arkadia. I had explored these regions before anyway, but it was interesting to revisit them now with substantial content added. While this DLC does feel all too familiar at times, the writing is some of the best in the series, and the new characters are memorable. It finally links Assassin's Creed Odyssey and the Assassin's Creed itself, which is founded later in Origins. And yes, of course, it introduces us to the hidden blade - which saw a glorious return in the ending of Valhalla's recently released trailer.
Like with Origins, Odyssey follows a similar model of a smaller DLC, and a more ambitious fantasy-oriented one. The Fate of Atlantis is Odyssey's opus DLC, which takes things to uncharted territories. One of Odyssey's (optional) main questlines ties Odyssey to the modern world, but several questions remain open. This is where The Fate of Atlantis comes in. It's impossible to set up this DLC without spoiling Odyssey's questline, though it's important to mention that there's a lot more of it set in the modern world. Unfortunately, the modern bits were the weakest elements of Odyssey, and continue to be so as it takes a more significant role. Obviously, everyone cares about the historical simulations, to the point that few even know what's going on in the modern timeline. There's definitely potential for intriguing storytelling in the modern times - as the Ezio trilogy proves - but it probably needs a reboot with a new protagonist.
Luckily, most of the game is still spent within simulations. This time, within simulations within simulations, so to speak. Not to get too meta, but the simulations are Isu worlds themselves - Elysium, Hades and Atlantis, ruled by the Isu themselves. (For those unfamiliar with AC lore, the Greek gods were rulers of an advanced civilization called the Isu) Right from Elysium, you are introduced to an absolutely breathtaking world, full of vigour, vibrancy and great verticality. Assassin's Creed has always featured elite world design, and Elysium is one of the most awe-inspiring places to explore. The worlds in this DLCs are obviously much smaller, instead focusing on detail and depth. Hades is as you'd expect - a dreary, hellish world. It's impeccably designed too, though by its very nature, quite a eyesore. Atlantis then takes things to the next level with a futuristic city, with incredible verticality I haven't quite experienced in an urban-style game before. A little bit in Crackdown 3, and anticipating more in Cyberpunk 2077. All combined, The Fate of Atlantis features some of the most brilliant worlds in the series.
The general structure of the three sections is pretty similar, and does feature a grind at times to accomplish certain objectives. At the end of each, we have exciting boss fights with some mythical Gods and beasts. The DLC also feature various new trials for the most experienced players. There are further legendary-style abilities and ranks added to power up, as well as an array of new weapons. Some of the new archery abilities are insanely powerful, and became my favourite way to play the game. There are some new robot-esque enemies which are much tougher than their organic counterparts, though always fun to battle.
What sets The Fate of Atlantis apart, though, is finally being able to experience the Isu alive, and the Isu-human dynamic. We have heard of those stories throughout the series, it's incredibly satisfying to finally live it out and see how it all went down. Those new to the series or unfamiliar with AC lore would perhaps not feel as strongly, but those who have played every game and keep in touch with the now quite elaborate Assassin's Creed history would find this DLC delightful. As a side note, it's rather amusing to see the almighty Isu bickering like children.
Assassin's Creed DLCs go well beyond what you'd expect. They do feature many of the same quirks and flaws of the base game, but also offer more. Legacy of the First Blade is definitely more of the same, though takes you to some of the best locations in Odyssey that you may not have visited before, with a compelling tale linking Odyssey to Assassin's Creed itself. The Fate of Atlantis is more ambitious, featuring three excellent new worlds and some new perspectives to the series. If you liked the game, these DLCs are a must play.
(Cross-posted from Hive Gaming)