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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: The 3 biggest changes

Character selection, more complex combat

Simone de Rochefort has been producing & hosting YouTube videos for Polygon since 2016. She co-directed the upcoming documentary The Great Game: The Making of Spycraft.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey keeps the historical fantasy series in the ancient world: This time, we’ll be in ancient Greece during the Peloponnesian War.

Even if you’ve played Assassin’s Creed Origins, Odyssey is going to be a departure from the series. Here are three huge changes — and one welcome return.

Two main characters

Right off that bat, Odyssey has you choose between one of two main characters: Alexios, or Kassandra.

The main character is a Spartan warrior in exile. Having fled Sparta, the main character becomes a mercenary in the war between Sparta and Athens. The choices the player makes about which side to help will influence the tides of war — and will certainly result in other mercenaries taking bounties on your head.

In our demo, Alexios and Kassandra had the same mission and dialogue options. Oh yeah! Dialogue options!

Role-playing and dialogue

Odyssey also introduces choice to dialogue. Alongside typical cutscenes, there will be choice-driven interactions between your character and the NPCs. The player character can joke, lie or even flirt.

Apparently there are romance options as well, which is extremely exciting, but also terrifying for a series with a long track record of killing off love interests.

More complex combat

Your chosen Assassin has eight special power slots. Four that are associated with their melee weapon, and four associated with the bow.

Holding down the left bumper brings up melee options, which you choose by pressing the corresponding face button. You can heal, you can do a fancy maneuver where you rip away your opponent’s shield and fittingly … you can do a Leonidas-style Spartan kick.

Holding the left trigger brings up your bow and arrow options. We started with one ability in this demo, which shot three arrows instead of one.

Naval warfare

Finally, boats — and shanties — are back. And these are no mere fishing ships. Your character commands a large Greek-style vessel, with can be controlled by oars or by sails.

As in the naval missions we got to see in Assassin’s Creed Origins and Black Flag, in Odyssey the naval battles will focus on ramming and ranged attacks from your crew.

But mostly you’ll be cruising around the Greek islands as your crew sings rousing Greek shanties.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey comes out on Oct. 5, 2018, on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One. You can also watch 40 minutes of gameplay captured in 4K on the Xbox One X.

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