Assassin’s Creed Odyssey may have a leveling problem and an off-beat pace, but Ubisoft also seems to have gone out of its way to deal with some of the series’ annoyances in order to make a game that’s fun to play over a long period of time. Which is good, because it’s a massive game.
Here are six of the ways Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has reduced the friction that hurt previous games.
You can pay (virtual money) to re-spec your character
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey becomes much more enjoyable once you’ve leveled up a few times and unlocked some of the more interesting abilities for your character — and we’ll talk about some of those in a bit — but the game doesn’t lock you into your choices. Instead, you can pay a differing amount of drachmae, Odyssey’s in-game currency, to reset your abilities and re-spend your ability points.
This is a smart move, as the game’s three main upgrade paths make you more powerful at sneaking, hand-to-hand combat or ranged combat with your bow. If you decided to focus on your bow skills early on but found that melee combat is more your speed, don’t worry about it. Pay a bit of coin and start over, rebuilding your character the way you’d like.
You can always quick-save your game
Odyssey has an OK auto-save feature, but it can be frustrating if you’re laying siege to a large fort, die halfway through and have to start all the way in the beginning. Luckily, the game includes a quick-save function that lets you save anywhere, allowing you to save scum your way through large engagements. This is a godsend if you’re dealing with a tricky part of the game with no auto-saves, and a high-level mercenary shows up and wipes you out.
If you think save scumming is cheating, that’s fine! You can just as easily ignore this feature. But it’s right there whenever you want it and, in fact, is always a single button-press away once you bring up the menu.
XP payment scales with level
There are all sorts of tasks to take on in Odyssey, with various amounts of drachmae and XP for completing them. You’re going to need to spend some serious time leveling your character if you want to finish the game, so it’s best to get acquainted with these tasks sooner rather than later.
The good news is that, if you skip a smaller quest, the XP reward for finishing it will scale with you. You can go back to the first part of the game near the end of the story and finish those quests without it being a waste of your time. This is why the XP icon in the reward section of each quest is color-coded instead of an exact number; you’ll either get a small, medium or large reward of XP depending on the task, but the amount of the XP payout itself will vary depending on your level.
Enemy difficulty levels scale as well
This can be a good or bad thing, depending on what you think about how games should be balanced. Enemies that are far above your level will kill you easily, but the base level of enemy difficulty will rise as your own level does. It’s worth going back to beginner areas of the game for the XP, as we stated above, but the enemies you encounter there will be pushovers.
You can’t over-level yourself to the point that the game becomes too easy, although unlocking and investing in more and better abilities as you level up definitely gives you more choices in combat. You’ll become better and more capable as a fighter, but the enemies will always put up a fight.
You can regain health in the middle of a fight
This might be my favorite addition to the series.
You can now unlock an ability that allows you to use adrenaline to regain health in the middle of a fight, so you can take a beating but stay in combat. It’s called Second Wind, and it can refill 50 percent of your max health and remove fire and poison effects once you’ve put three ability points in. The cooldown on using the ability is often shorter than the length of bigger fights, so you can even use it multiple times in each engagement.
It’s always possible to be overwhelmed when fighting a large number of enemies, and higher-level enemies can of course wipe you out, but this gives you much more of a fighting chance if things begin to go south during a battle. Unlock this ability quickly, and invest in it heavily. You’ll thank us later.
Falling damage can be a thing of the past
Leap of Faith is now a baseline ability that keeps falling damage from killing you, even if it wipes out your health bar. Once you get up to level 20, however, falling damage itself goes away.
So if you need to be somewhere quickly, and you’re looking at it from a cliff? Go ahead and jump. The gods have your back.