The latest installment of this iconic franchise brings back all the things players love about Assassin’s Creed, but also offers exciting new aspects of gameplay. Here are just a few:

Character Choices

In Odyssey, you can choose to play either as Kassandra or Alexios, both descendants of Leonidas, King of Sparta. While your choice doesn’t affect the story, this lets you choose your gender, giving you some control over customizing your character.

Choosing your character is only the beginning, as choice plays a large part in the newest Assassin’s Creed entry. How you choose to interact with the denizens of Ancient Greece affects your quests, your side activities, your dialogue choices, your romance options, and your very allegiances. The choices you make affect how you experience the story, from the very beginning all the way through to the end.


The Adrestia

Many islands comprise Ancient Greece, and having your own ship is the best way to navigate them. Once you leave your home island of Kephallon, you have access to your ship, the Adrestia. Head to the upper deck where you can take command and steer it to your destination. You can either use the rowers, which is slower and useful for exploring locations and combat, or you can bring in the oars and open up the sails to trigger travel speed. Travel speed is much faster and is useful for traveling long distances. When you approach major ports or harbors, you can have the ship automatically dock, allowing for easy transition to the mainland. If you are ever at any port that your ship is not docked at, you can summon your ship to that port. While on board, you can access ship-based missions from the message board located at the base of the main mast. Use these missions to gain valuable resources, experience, and money.

There are many vessels in the open water, not all of them friendly. Pirate ships will always attack you on sight. Merchant ships, on the other hand, have no combat capability. However, if you attack a Merchant ship, you raise your Bounty Meter. If you are currently being hunted by a mercenary, they will pursue you out onto the open water with their own ship. Both the Athenian and Spartan navies can also be found and will typically ignore you unless current quest objectives make them your adversaries.

Ship to ship combat consists of two main tactics: ramming or attacking with your archers or javelin throwers. To ram an opposing ship, order your rowers to increase speed while aimed at the enemy’s broadside. The rowers can only increase speed for a short time, so make sure you are close enough to effectively utilize this ability. Besides ramming, you can instead choose to have either your archers or javelin throwers attack the ship. Once an enemy ship is reduced to zero health, you can sink it by either ramming it or shooting it again. Sinking ships is a great way to gain valuable resources which can be used to upgrade your equipment and ship.

Before sinking a ship, you can choose to board it once it is at zero health and has the anchor icon over it. This allows you the chance to claim whatever treasure it holds before sinking it to the bottom of the sea. However, you must defeat all the crew in combat. Stealth isn’t an option here, so make sure your melee skills are up to the task. Once you’ve defeated the crew and claimed the ship’s treasure, return to your ship and sink the enemy vessel.

Although your ship is well-equipped to handle early skirmishes, you’ll want to spend the resources you’ve acquired to make the Adrestia truly formidable on the open waves no matter what you face. When you open the Ship Menu, there is a vast amount of information on your ship’s vital statistics and upgrade capabilities. You can upgrade your ship’s damage capabilities, armor, and look. Once you complete the first few quests aboard the Adrestia, you are able to recruit Special Lieutenants who have passive abilities that improve your ship’s capabilities. You can recruit these Lieutenants by knocking out enemies in the world, instead of killing them. Use Ikaros, your trusty animal companion, to view an enemy’s potential ship bonuses when deciding who to recruit.


War

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey takes place during the Peloponnesian War. Greece is unstable and the Spartans and Athenians are constantly at each others throats. Being a mercenary, you can choose to side with either faction when exploring a region. Fighting in these conquests is a major element in the game and can offer great rewards.

To weaken a nation’s power, simply attack soldiers of the nation who is currently in power, steal their national treasury, and burn war supplies found in forts, military camps, and the leader’s house. Once all three nation power bars are empty, the leader is left exposed with little to no guards protecting them. This makes assassinating them a trivial matter. After the leader has been assassinated, you can join a Battleground on either side to determine the fate of the region.

When a Battleground is available there are two locations which you can visit to join in the conquest of the region. If you choose to join the attacking nation, the upcoming fight is harder but you receive more rewards when you succeed. If you choose to instead help the defending nation, you receive fewer rewards but the conquest battle is much easier.

After you decide which nation to side with, talk to the commander at the Battleground of your choice to initiate the fight. Doing this transports you to the ongoing battle between the nations.

To insure that your side wins the conflict you should avoid fighting normal soldiers whenever possible to hunt elite soldiers. Defeating the elite soldiers significantly lowers the enemy’s army strength. During some battles you may also encounter an enemy army hero (which is a mercenary). If an enemy hero is on the battlefield, focus all your efforts on defeating them, since they are a much greater threat than regular or elite soldiers.


 Mercenaries

You aren’t the only mercenary traveling the Greek Isles. Mercenaries always start off undiscovered, so you can’t learn anything about them in the Mercenaries Menu. Mercenaries have their own agenda and travel the land. When one is nearby, you see a helmet icon on your map and radar. If you use Ikaros to target the Mercenary, or if you get close to them, they become discovered in the menu where you can review all of their relevant information.

Mercenaries are ranked in tiers, nine being the lowest ranking, and one being the highest. Defeating each mercenary above you in your tier, or the next highest tier, moves you up one spot in your current tier until you’ve fought your way through them all and you advance to the next tier. As you advance in tiers, the enemies become more difficult, but the rewards grow to match. You will never run out of Mercenaries no matter how many you kill, as there are always others willing to take their place.

There are also unique Mercenaries that reward you with specific pieces of Legendary gear. Some of these unique Mercenaries also grant unique Engravings once you defeat them and claim their gear.

To face a Mercenary in battle, find them out in the world or perform crimes to gain a Bounty. Once your Bounty increases to at least the first helmet icon in the lower right corner of the screen, a Mercenary comes looking for you to collect the Bounty on your head. The more helmet icons added to this Bounty Tracker, the more Mercenaries seek you out, and they will be of a higher level, making them much more difficult to defeat. In order to clear your Bounty Meter, you can either pay off the sponsor with Drachmae or you can travel to the sponsor’s location and kill them. No Mercenary is willing to work without pay.