Travel

An adventure in Ancient Rome

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I was disappointed in a positive way when I read the Forbes article “‘Assassins Creed Odyssey’ Is The Perfect Non-Animal Crossing Lockdown Game” (read here), because it said everything that I wanted to say. The writer Paul Tussi literally stole the words from my mouth. Assassins Creed Odyssey is the game to play in lockdown. While he perfectly summarizes all the reasons to play the game and why it is the best, I will share my experience.

I was 12 years old when I first played Dragonriders: Chronicles of Pern. I loved it. It was the perfect RPG adventure for my age and I became a fan of Ubisoft Games. The name stayed with me and I still listen to it’s soundtrack. As I grew older the maturity and responsibility of life drifted me away from this world of adolescent games. Adult working life had no place for video games.

The way the fields were rendered like the swaying foliage on the Gallipoli peninsula.

Almost 20 years later I found myself dealing with the death of a loved one, unemployment, and home imprisonment in the pandemic. What was worse was the news which showed that the entire world was in crisis. Everyone. Out of the blue I was invited by my brother to appreciate the graphics and gameplay of “some new” game. I thought of it as a complete waste of time, but nevertheless put up with his request since it was based in ancient Rome of which I am a diehard fan and have visited plenty of Roman ruins in Turkey (check out my posts on Ephesus & Hierapolis). Though bloody and gorey at first, as the game progressed towards the introduction Ubisoft presents “Assasisns Creed: ODYSSEY” I was elated, ecstatic & entertained. My favourite game company had recreated a world so real to ancient Rome that I was hooked. We played Odyssey throughout the lockdown. Everyday. The game was intended for mature audiences which made it all the better.

Artemis the goddess of hunting is a recurring theme.

Seeing those marble column temples with figurines brightly painted, colossal statues, bronze figures, the tapestrys, carpets, olive laden clay pots, even the main player Kassandra’s attire and sandals down to the last detail was historically accurate and in detail. Even Kassandra’s face looked so similar to my friends from the city of Izmir (ancient Smyrna). The setting, the role playing adventure, together with the combat and fighting kept a balanced gameplay. There were plenty of side quests for the RPG lovers and plenty of fights for the direct combat, street fighter lovers.

The ship Adrestia’s adventure was a strong addition to the gameplay.

The graphics of the game are out of this world. Now I am a person who spends the entire weekend from Friday night to Monday morning out of town, I travel a lot. For an extrovert explorer like me Odyssey was a saviour. Kassandra riding her horse across the real time rendered graphics in wheat fields, burnt villages, hippodromes, hills, climbing on top of red tiled houses, temples, columns, statues, then sailing her ship in the turquoise Aegean Sea sucked me inside into a kind of time travel experience that I absolutely did not feel the lockdown blues. Seeing her ramming those ships in the Aegean sea made me feel I am back at Foça, Asos, and Tenedos (Bozcaada in Turkish) and enjoying the adventure with her. There were plenty of beaches which made me feel I am at Kuşadası. The gameplay was that good, even the waves and underwater quests with sharks were realistic. I did not feel I was staying at home, I felt I was back in Turkey, at the time of the Romans in their Asia Minor.

I loved that you fight battles. Glory for Sparta!

It was also heavily immersed in history, it seemed as if I was on a tour inside ancient Rome history class but way better. There were in pretty detail as well. The only annoying aspect was Leila Hasan and her animus. Whilst drenched in the Roman landscape and Spartan-Athenian skirmishes, the unexpected and unwelcome interruption of Leila really stuck like a sore thumb. The game plays out perfectly without any link to the animus.

A landscape from the hills, showing the colossal statue.

With the best real time rendered graphics, an excellent storyline which is changeable (you can even choose the worst choices just for fun, I did!) vivid colour scheme, bright panoramic views of entire landscapes, heavily embellished with details of the entire Roman culture in each frame, easier controls, elements of the original Assassins Creed and a bit from Prince of Persia, it is a world like no other, it is a game like no other. This is a game which deserves a 10/10. What is even better is the DLC making the odyssey continue in new directions. Ubisoft amazed me as a kid, and brings me back to amaze its games as an adult. Perhaps a re-development of the enitre 23 books of Dragonriders would be nice?

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