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Romance in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: will it live up to expectations?

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One ticket to Bonetown, please

I made it my mission to romance Kyra in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

This was at Ubisoft’s E3 showcase, and it was my second time playing the game’s demo. The first time, I was trying to eke out as much as I could — I wanted to infiltrate military forts, and talk to Socrates, and sail between beautiful Greek islands.

This time around, all I wanted was to get it on, and everyone knew it. Helpful Ubisoft employees stood by to give me a gentle nudge if I started a quest that wouldn’t further the romance.

The reasoning: to find out what a romance arc looked like in the game, from first flirtation to consummation. Romance and dialogue trees are new features for an Assassin’s Creed game. I wanted to put both to the test.

In a role-playing game like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, one can generally expect to play with a meandering focus. You follow quests here and there and wander down rabbit holes of story before re-emerging on the other side of the world. Playing this way gives each arc requisite breathing room, so that interactions feel less rushed.

Ramming my way through Odyssey with the singular goal of consummating my relationship with an NPC, meanwhile, was obviously not how the game was intended to be played.

In Odyssey, the player character will be able to pursue romances with many of the game’s NPCs; and though the Kyra missions that I played were not related to the game’s main story, she still had a full romance arc.

There were fully acted cutscenes and discrete quests to woo Kyra — a non-trivial amount of work for what amounts to a side quest. The emotional beats in this arc didn’t quite land for me, as I was completely divorced from the context of the game’s main story and any emotional anchors for my character, Kassandra.

That being said, I’m pleased with how much detail was put into Kyra’s scenes, and I hope we’ll see that effort replicated in the other romances. But to achieve maximum emotional impact, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s romances will have to connect to the main character’s arc in meaningful ways.

You can watch some key scenes between Kyra and Kassandra in the video above — including a sunrise kiss on the beach, natch.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey comes out on Oct. 5, 2018, and we’ll have more coverage of the game, romantic and otherwise, when it does. Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay abreast of all of it.