Assassins Creed: Odyssey

⭐⭐⭐½ based on 6 reviews.

tl;dr: A beautiful and highly entertaining ride through ancient Greece, let down slightly by a janky start and some lacklustre writing in parts, but still hugely enjoyable and fun.


Assassins Creed


Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

It's been a while since I picked up an Assassin's Creed game, but the Black Friday PSN sale (combined with the news that PS4 games will be able to carry over to the PS5, making digital downloads/purchases much more resilient) offered a deal too good to miss. Plus, since The Wild Hunt, I've not really had a good story-based game on the go, and I really enjoyed playing through AC1 and AC2 back in the day. It's fair to say that the franchise has switched things up a bit since then; some bits for the good, some bits for the worse.

To begin with, the impact that The Wild Hunt had on open-world games is so readily apparent whilst playing through Odyssey that it sometimes feels like they're just trying to rip-off CD Projekt Red's masterpiece. Unfortunately, whilst AC:O manages to clone a lot of the feel of the side quests, collectables, and game mechanics of the Witcher franchise, the writing is never quite up to par. There are a few notable side missions, such as the quest where everything goes wrong (you accidentally cause the local blacksmith to trip and kill himself; the local warrior becomes convinced her fancy new horse you fetch her is a pegasus and plummets off a cliff to her death; the pirate ships you sink turn out to be local reinforcements in disguise etc. etc.), or the fake almost-parody of the classic Odyssey myth with Barnabas, but there were few truly memorable moments or side characters that I cared about at all.

Instead, the main plotline is where Odyssey does its best work. Whilst it gets off to a slow and slightly baffling start, with an overly stressful tutorial built into the fight of the 300 Spartans followed up by a time jump to a character with no back story, context, or guidance, once you make it to mainland Greece and uncover the main story arc it hooked me in and refused to let go. The whole Cult concept is a pretty simple one: create a league of shadowy, utterly evil villains, and slowly unmask them, assassinate them, and move on to the next. Some Cult members are just stumbled upon, others take lengthy work to uncover, but they always felt like a worthy opponent. I also enjoyed the fact that there are a few whose fate is flexible. One Cult member appears to be blackmailed into his deeds and you can choose to save his family and help him walk away from the Cult, or simply kill him. Then, of course, there is Deimos, your sister (or brother, depending on which gender you pick during initial character setup). Play your cards right and she doesn't just leave the Cult, she'll join you in helping destroy them.

Because woven into this fairly simplistic tale of Good versus Evil is your own personal quest to discover what happened to your family. As you begin to realise that your sister's sacrifice as a child – an event that saw you thrown from a mountain as punishment and your mother exiled – was all part of a grander plan, you slowly piece together your past. This works, to an extent. As mentioned, it means your initial ten or so hours with the game is just a baffling sequence of things happening to you. Only in hindsight does the story actually take shape. That's a shame, because with a little more context (and a few less flashbacks) the early game would be a lot more enjoyable.

That element of shaping the story alluded to with the Cult and your family is found throughout AC:O, another element seemingly borrowed from games like The Witcher. Whilst it does give you some depth to the story, it seems like very few of your decisions really matter, and worse, quite often it locks you into a binary choice when there are other, much more obvious choices your character could make. It's not uncommon to be forced into a kill/release dialogue option, or to be made to choose between two sides of a story, when in reality the answer would be to investigate further. A prime example is one of the later quests with Barnabas, where you discover that someone in his family is betraying his home island to the Persians. Not only is his actual family structure irritatingly obtuse (I think the ultimate villain is an adopted friend? It remains unclear), but he forces you to decide which of the two men is to blame before you have any real evidence either way. The real decision would be to investigate further, ask them some questions, try to actually do some detective work, but instead they obviously grew bored of the writing the story so just arbitrarily end it early.

Elsewhere, you're forced into helping some characters that are simply annoying, such as a woman who believes herself to be the descendent of Achilles (or Hercules? I can't remember any more). I honestly didn't care at all about her, and yet for some reason I was able to romance her? Despite the fact that we'd barely interacted and she wasn't a likeable character at all? The fact that she later crops up again in a far more interesting plot, just felt like they wanted to flesh her out and sticking in a romance option was the best they could come up with. Speaking of, yes, there are romance options and you can sleep with various characters throughout the game (*cough* Witcher *cough*). There is absolutely no impact on the plot for doing so, romance dialogue options are literally highlighted with a heart emoji, and the actual deed is done off-screen, so these are a pretty pointless addition. The only positive about them is that the game doesn't care what gender you pick at the start, you can still romance the same characters, which means same-sex relationships are very much on the table and actively encouraged.

Luckily, a lot of the more prominent characters are well fleshed out and do drive emotional plot arcs forward. Plus, it wouldn't be an Assassins Creed title without plenty of historical cameos, and it remains genuinely fun to get to befriend the likes of Plato, Hippokrates, and Herodotos. Some, such as Alkibiades and Brasidas, even become pivotal enough to make their side quests some of the more interesting, just to dive a bit deeper into their personalities (even though they're frequently just standard fetch quests or protection missions). Unfortunately, that same historical bent means that your control over their fate is largely sealed; no matter how you play the game, for instance, Brasidas will die. In fact, AC:O had a nasty habit of taking the only characters I really liked and killing them, though I was glad that Barnabus (the ship's captain) survived everything, and happy that in at least one case your actions could result in sparing a genuinely likeable character: Roxana, the only romance quest that came close to actual emotions, and whose victory at the Battle of One Hundred Hands can be turned into convincing her to help you defeat the Cult rather than entering into one-on-one combat.

Speaking of which, the combat system has, um, changed a bit. I still found it enjoyable (once I'd worked it out, at least 😂) but the fluidity of movement I remember being a hallmark of the series is somewhat absent. It's near impossible to string more than a half dozen moves together, even when fully levelled up and with maxed out skills. Similarly gone is your ability to blend with a crowd, which forces you into a lot of "whistle and wait" tactics if trying to actually play stealthily. The other hallmark mechanic, free running, is still wonderfully present, making cross-continent traversal much more enjoyable than many similar games, but unfortunately there's just very little need for it. The architecture in the game is beautiful and (I'm led to believe) fairly realistic, but it doesn't suit the rooftop-assassin gameplay of the original series. I'm sure part of that is explained by this being a prequel and technically predating the Assassins as an organisation, but it still feels like a bit of a shame. Sure, you aren't going to get wrist-daggers (and the Spear of Leonidas is a fun stand-in), but I would have liked at least a bit more of an assassin-y feel to the game.

Whilst a lot of AC:O does feel like The Witcher-lite, it does get some things very right. Underwater gameplay is improved immensely by the simple addition of an "ascend to surface" button, making getting trapped due to weird 3D movement glitches much easier to overcome. Whilst I didn't use it much, the ability to lock your horse onto a specific path on the road was appreciated at times. Bigger improvements again are the complete lack of inventory weight (thank Zeus!) meaning that you aren't constantly micromanaging a totally pointless part of the game, and the fact that weapon upgrades actually felt like a valid progression path. Sure, loot tended to include higher-level weapons, but between enchantments and upgrades, you could always get the gear you liked to a similar level, letting you equip for your play style a lot more readily. I do wish there was a smidgeon more flexibility in the enchantment mechanic, and I had absolutely no idea about the fact that your boat has a long-term storage chest on it until I'd literally completed the game (!), but overall it was a notable improvement over anything I've played before.

Less improved was the economy system. Sure, you don't need to worry about how much gold specific traders have (they're all immensely wealthy) and there aren't too many MacGuffins, but you still have to manually go through every damn item that you want to sell, individually, one-by-one. I have no idea why games insist on this irritating mechanic, yet somehow it persists. Unless, of course, there was some button combo I was meant to use. Because AC:O is just bad at tutorials. For the entire 150+ hours I played it, I just had to be frustrated at the consistent reminders of how to swim, how to use your eagle Ikaros, and what message boards were for. It would frequently pause the game in the early segments to flash up mini-tutorials that I already knew and had already been using. And yet, there are bits of the game I've never been told about. It took me over a 100 hours to really work out how to take part in ship battles, which I absolutely despised as a result for most of the run-through, just because I couldn't work out how to get javelins to work consistently. I only discovered that you could hurdle things around the same time because of a loading screen prompt. And I accidentally stumbled on the "auto craft arrow" option thankfully early on. Oh, and I still have no idea what the two different modes really change; I stuck with the default throughout and constantly wondered if I'd enjoy the game more without it 😂

And then there's the sci-fi stuff. Look, I enjoyed the core story in Odyssey. I really got into the Cult plot, I found the mysteries around my family intriguing, I was even hooked in by the historical sub-quests, and of course, I loved travelling around ancient Greece, seeing things like Delphi and the Parthenon in all their glory (I mean, that ivory and gold statue at the Parthenon is phenomenal, even if a lot of the giant statues are fictional in the game). But I just don't care about the whole Animus gimmick. I didn't understand the modern plotline at all, it had no relevance to the wider story, and it was just boring. I still kinda enjoy the whole "Precursors" set up and it was genuinely fun tracking down and battling Medusa, the Sphinx, the Minotaur, and the Cyclops (even if the latter was overused; there's a whole bestiary of Greek myths to choose from, but we get Cyclops x3), so having them be alien tech was a neat-enough way to keep the immersion of the ancient world, but I still have no idea what happened in the end sequence in Atlantis. And what's more: I don't care, either.

I'd much rather be running around with the Daughters of Artemis (in spite of their, um, questionable environmental messaging), investigating Cult clues, battling in the Fighting Pits, exploring the Greek archipelagos, or leaping off the outstretched trident of a colossal bronze Poseidon. That stuff was hugely fun, rarely felt repetitive (even when it factually was), and consistently entertaining. So, Assassins Creed, just give up on the Isu, or let them be a pointless mystery you use to handwave away some of the magic. Just let me be a Greek mercenary with infinite fall damage, precognition, and the ability to Warg into an eagle without having it need to be some VR game from the future.

Legacy of the First Blade

Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

So we're finally answering the question of how Alexios fits into the broader history of the Assassins! I enjoyed the introduction of Darius and Neema, and thought it was good that they firmly underlined that the Assassins are a different group to anything happening in Greece, that the Templars are not the Cult of Kosmos, and that the whole hidden blade thing has been around for a while. These were all fun revelations that I think generally help the world-building. I also enjoyed that the Legacy quests forced me to explore some slightly underused regions of the map, most importantly Macedonia, which had otherwise felt quite tacked on.

Otherwise, this is largely a miniature version of the main game. We get a new Cult to track down, a new set of fairly similar quests (which often overlap with prior quests), and a slightly confused timeline. I enjoyed the whole Cult hunting aspect of the main game, so actually quite enjoyed getting to engage with that again, but I did find the consistent references to the Cult of Kosmos a little weird. I've already dealt with that, they're all dead and gone, why are we still referencing them? Maybe you're meant to play through the Legacy quests in conjunction with the main game, but apparently the PS4 had never bothered installing this expansion (I bought them all together as a single entity, but that's not good enough it seems) so I missed out on that. Oh well, it's a minor quibble.

A larger quibble is that the expansion doesn't really offer much new. It does have a couple of dungeon quests with almost-interesting puzzles – the kind which aren't just immediately obvious and then annoyingly tedious, but which actually require a little bit of puzzle-solving. But beyond that, it's just the main game plus. We get ship battles plus. Politics plus. Cult tracking plus. There's not much additional ideas or content, just more of the same.

I guess the big difference is that here, a romance storyline has genuine, far-reaching consequences. Which is a shame, because I don't really feel like it was that well earned. Some of the other potential partners had me rooting for them to succeed, but Neema always felt more like a sister figure. For a game with Alkibiades in it, they suddenly seem to have forgotten how to write flirtation. I could tell that it was guiding me towards a romantic plot thread, but only really because the little heart icon occasionally appeared in the speech options 😂

That said, once the marriage was set and the child was born and all hell hath broken loose, good lord did the ensuing plot make me angry. Like, literally rage filled, every time I loaded into the game. I went on a full murder rampage at one point trying to get vengeance. A small part of this was a late-coming connection with Neema as a character, but the main part was just how stupid her death was. I ran straight to the beach, realising that there was likely going to be a choice between her and Darius and just immediately picking her. Then the game teleports me back to help Darius, only to discover that doing so results in her death. Like, don't give me the illusion of choice and then refuse to let it play out. Let the old man die! 😡💢

There's no real reason for it, either. The bloodline continues through your son, who could get kidnapped either way. Darius is useful, but they seem to purposefully under-skill Neema throughout the story, and there's no reason why she couldn't have filled the same role. Hell, let the death of her father drive a wedge between her and Alexios to the point that she gets on the boat with their kid and flees, both resigned to the fact that together they are too much of a target. Alexios ends up where he needs to be, Neema ends up alive, and the player's choices have consequences. Or not, whatever. Obviously, this left a bitter taste in my mouth that took the fun out of the ensuing final act, although the aforementioned vengeance did at least leave me happy to retread some of the larger fortresses, slowly murdering my way through like some mash-up of the Punisher and Batman, striking from the shadows and leaving no one left alive.

The result is a solid meh of an experience. There are parts that I enjoyed, it helps tie Odyssey into the wider franchise, and there were some fairly interesting side characters introduced, including another "Tainted One", whose plot was highly enjoyable and some of the best writing in the game so far. Then the whole Neema nonsense and the rest just felt by-the-numbers, which just drove home how repetitive it had all become. B-.


Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

I definitely played the Korfu mission out of order. I'm not even sure if this was an expansion or just a reward for hitting level 70, or something else entirely, but it felt like a lower-stakes endeavour after Legacy than the whole Atlantis malarkey, so I went for it and, for the most part, really enjoyed that decision. The central premise of Alexios taking a holiday, Barnabas and Herodotus tracking him down and setting up a treasure hunt to pull him out of his slump, and the ensuing hijinks when their fake treasure overlaps with a genuine conspiracy was good fun. It also felt like a fitting next step for a character mourning the loss of a family and the realisation that he will live an immortal life unable to truly connect with those around him.

Unfortunately, they then went a bit too hard on their own gimmick. The reveal of the pirates was a huge amount of light-hearted fun, and the capture of Herodotus was a good incentive that upped the stakes. I didn't even mind the whole Artefact reveal. But breaking my spear was a dick move. Up until that point, Korfu had been fairly mindless fun; a playground to wreak havoc within as a practical demigod, with only just the barest amount of threat or challenge. It's how end games should feel, after hundreds of hours of grinding and levelling up. So robbing me of all of my abilities halfway into the area, forcing me back into the old sneak'n'hide the body routine, it just felt tedious.

Worse still, you go through all of that, including fighting your best friend whilst they are possessed by Isu technology (and thankfully being able to save their life; if they'd made me kill Barnabas after Neema I'd have rage quit the franchise 😂), only to reach the Isu helping you and find out that there isn't any way to revert the damage. Yeah, your spear is broken, that's that, you're done. WHAT?! I still have a whole expansion to play through, and I don't even have level one skills like my item radar.

Even more maddening, some of my skills are still active. I never quite tested this to the limit, but it felt like my infinite fall height skill continued working. And I could still possess my eagle at a whim, for some reason. But all of my fighting ability was stripped away, leaving me walking on eggshells. And then, and then, I still have to complete the sodding fake treasure hunt! Without my ability to find hidden things! And with clues that have been deliberately written to be bad! The standard "riddles" in the game were poorly written and often indecipherable, so when the same writers actually attempt to pull that feat off, they landed squarely on impossible. All of the clues had compass directions in them. For two of those clues, the compass directions mapped with the island of Korfu, so if it said something about the North West, and you went to the North West, then you found the hidden treasure. But the other two clues? They also had compass directions, but these ones were relative to where you found the cluesI Clues that, to be clear, you would have already picked up hours ago (in terms of playtime; for me actually days ago) whilst taking part in other, completely unrelated quests, and that gave no indication as to where you had found them, making working out the relative directions completely impossible. I accidentally stumbled onto one of them whilst hunting for the other one of the pair, then ended up literally systematically running around the entire island trying to find any connection to sharks, only to discover that the key word I should have been looking for was petals. Fuck. That.

The result is a bonus location that starts off really fun, with beautiful surroundings, interesting, low stakes plots, and just enough twists to keep you interested, but ends in a farce of incompetent game design and heaps of frustration. What's even more of a shame is that the conclusion to the Korfu arc is actually quite interesting and makes the whole "broken spear, lost family" nonsense make a lot of sense. I don't know whether we actually get to play as Alexios in future games in the franchise, but it makes sense that they would zero his powers out before they did do that (though, normally, that's what a tutorial level is for). Still, it gives a nice sense of closure to the main arcs for Herodotus, Barnabas, and even Alexios, so for that, it was worthwhile. I just wish they'd made it clear that this was the end of the story so I didn't spend the entire credits worrying I had just missed out on the opportunity to play the second expansion, or that, even if I could, it would be without any of my powers 😬 (And to whichever designer decided that the credits needed to be one person per line, goddammit, why‽ Why do that‽)

Oh, and one final thing: the after-credits sequence. The one where Alexios sneaks into the Library of Alexandria and deposits Herodotus' scroll, then claims this will ensure his words live on forever. Either the game's creators don't know the story of the Library of Alexandria, or I'm unaware of some deep mythology surrounding a lost scroll of Herodotus' work, but it's played like this grand gesture and yet just leaves you sad. Sad at the utter waste of knowledge and that Alexios will have to live, knowing that his attempted kind deed would oh so utterly, spectacularly fail. What was that all about? 🤦‍♂️

Elysium Fields

Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

[I know that this is technically all part of the same DLC (Fate of Atlantis) but it was huge so I'm splitting it out and may change the title etc. later.]

I had been a little concerned about the whole Atlantis plot arc, as it felt like the least interesting bit of the main game. Don't get me wrong, I think Odyssey finally did something interesting with the Isu and I enjoyed the whole minotaur/sphinx/medusa/etc. myth versus alien tech conceit, but nothing about our hero becoming an immortal bearer or prophet or whatever felt like it added to the game or plot, it just tied things into the boring "modern" storyline a little. So a whole DLC based on that? Umm, fine, whatever.

I was therefore pleasantly surprised when Atlantis was immediately forgotten and I found myself in the Elysian Fields, taking part in a strange version of Game of Thrones. For starters, the world of Elysium was utterly beautiful, and engagingly different. The Hermes gates were a fun idea, letting you teleport around and giving the mountainous landscape a sense of scale without requiring hours of boring trudging and climbing, and it was fun coming to terms with a whole new set of potential threats and friends. Plus, of course, the writers were clearly having fun deep-diving into Greek myth, and I thought the inclusion of characters like Leonidas and Adonis was pretty interesting and well fleshed out.

However, as time passed, I became increasingly frustrated with the main plot. It was clear that I was being tasked with determining whether Persephone was being a just Queen of her realm or not, but the game never really gives you scope to actually influence anything. Try to get Hermes to understand that he's being used and he attacks you and stops being an ally. Work out that Hekate is clearly scheming to take over and begin undermining her plans, Persephone still calls you out and now neither of them like you. It feels like the character choices are just an illusion, but the worst part is that they never provide a satisfying answer. Persephone is clearly an egotistical ruler, she's rude and demeans others constantly, and what she's doing to Adonis is particularly cruel considering how well she understands his predicament herself, but I'm not clear that she deserves to be overthrown. And yet, there is never a better option. You can't simply convince her to let Adonis go, or convince her that Hermes is a better match, or help her to see how her people are suffering in certain ways. No matter what I did, the end result was always rebellion, civil war, and then... nothing! You never find out what happens, because Persephone (being a goddess and all) just tosses you out of the plot. Sure, Adonis gets his release, but is that all the rebellion was over? And one of the plot points is that his love (Athena? I forget) has been cheating on him anyway, so that's a bittersweet ending.

So, the plot ends up being a bit of a mess (and a chore), but what about the other parts? Well, exploring Elysium is definitely a lot of fun, and I thought they did a particularly solid job of the platforming elements. Without the need to consider physics, they were able to string together some particularly fun sequences, up in the clouds. I also enjoyed the way you could either just kill everyone, or knock out the Isu warriors and free them (a plot point that definitely makes Persephone into a worse person, what with the whole brainwashed slave army thing), meaning that each mission had a slightly moral element. That said, I was only introduced to this mechanic surprisingly late (which I immediately felt guilty about) and even though I have maxed out just about every stealth stat, whether or not I could overpower certain warriors seemed arbitrary at best. Which is a double shame, because that would also completely break your stealth, which meant that in tricky positions assassination was still the only viable solution.

The end result is a slightly frustrating mixed bag. There are aspects to the plot and gameplay which felt like solid improvements on the base game, and it certainly gave it a fresh sense of exploration and interest, but these became increasingly muddled and frustrating as time went on. And in some repetitive side missions that never really seemed to have a payoff (I broke all of Persephone's statues but she still "wins") and an annoying number of rivers that made getting from A-to-Z frustrating (plus some odd, glitchy "seams" in the open world that would result in sudden loading screens), and I just feel like it was a little half-baked. Fun, different, and worth a play-through, but it could have been so much better. Blood and Wine this ain't.


Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

Good Lord this DLC is huge. Possibly too huge. Despite some interesting character moments (albeit ones that I struggled to reconcile with the idea that this is an Isu simulation) and fun mythologising, I'll admit that exploring Hades was not a huge amount of fun.

It suffers from the same conundrum as Elder Scrolls: Oblivion did for me: I don't really find horror fun. I play games like Odyssey to feel an element of fantastical adventure. Not traipse through monotone, red and black landscapes with little in the way of surprises. It's just all a bit dull compared to everything else.

Which isn't to say it's all bad. I genuinely enjoyed the rivalry between Hades and Poseidon – indeed, I felt the gods of this realm a lot more internally consistent and interesting than Hermes and company. I thought most of the returning character plots were well done and actually added depth to several of your friends, particularly the young X and your warrior friend, Y. There were also a few surprising side quests, most notably the search for the valley where a small amount of Elysium was spilling through, and most of Charon's adventures (even if they were occasionally a little irritating in not providing me the obvious solution as one of the options).

But on the other hand, it felt like a lot of the ideas weren't well explained or fleshed out. For example, why are the great heroes of Ancient Greece all in Hades rather than Elysium? And why are most of them just annoyingly one dimensional? Also, whilst I can get behind the Tartarus rifts as a mechanic to make you a bit more vulnerable, I felt they lacked any kind of payoff. They're never a huge threat, nor are the people they "release" particularly interesting.

I'd have like to see more of an exploration of how some of the perceived virtues of Greek culture and philosophy had actually been some people's downfall. Or at least a little thought into the nature of sin and the ethics of a morality that includes eternal damnation and torment. There are moments of this (see above) but they are thin on the ground, and the result is a much weaker plot and less interesting world than any of the others that have come before.

That said, I did still enjoy my time in Hades, and whilst it's definitely the worst location I've visited so far, I'm quite intrigued by the idea of exploring Atlantis next. Though I'll also be quite happy if that plot arc is maybe half as long as this one 😅

Fate of Atlantis

Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

Okay, so after Hades, getting to explore the techno-utopian, solar-punk Atlantis was pretty fun. Unfortunately, there just isn't that much driving you to actually explore. I'd actually completed the game and was only going back to this map to finish some of the "riddle" side quests when I discovered that there were underwater subways for people! How had I missed all of that architecture? Well, a combination of pretty cookie-cutter quests that never really made me look around, combined with surprisingly samey visuals (even if each section of Atlantis was actually fairly unique), which made working out where I was particularly tricky.

But I think Atlantis' greatest flaw is the plot. Now, I'll admit that between starting and finishing this section of the game over a year elapsed, and I genuinely didn't pick it up at all in 2023, so I may have just forgotten some of the nuances of the plot, but when the big finale did arrive it was just irritating. It felt like the villains of the story were introduced at the eleventh hour – I'm not sure I'd seen Juno at all until that point, and had I not been paying at least some attention to the content of the codexes scattered around, I doubt I'd have even known she was a character – and the final boss fight was just dumb. I have since learned that the hekatonchires is a legitimate creature from Greek mythology, but in lore it isn't so much a villain as just a particular giant. There were three of them, they sided with the gods against the titans, and all-in-all seemed kinda fine. They also didn't look anything like the weird body-horror, zombie demon that the game uses. I wanted to fight Juno, not some reject from the Resident Evil franchise. Add on fairly unclear game mechanics around how you were meant to beat the damn thing and this was just a grind to get done.

And then, you get to destroy Atlantis. Which doesn't feel earned. Sure, Poseidon has a point that Juno is a warmongering bad egg, but could I not just kill her? I've killed other Isu in this realm and that seemed fine. I've also found that whilst, yes, the Isu are the root cause of Atlantis' issues, there are some amongst them that have come to understand (at least to some degree) humanity and who could be moulded into legitimate leaders, Poseidon amongst them. We've also proven that his botanical and medical breakthroughs do work, and even that human-Isu DNA splicing is possible, all of which feels like Atlantis is on the brink of a glorious rebirth and a golden age. But no, I only have one choice, and that's flood the damn place. It's all a bit dumb.

But okay, the finale isn't great, what about the rest of the plot? Well, what plot? You have the loosest of reasons to walk around, none of your actions really have definitive repercussions, and I was never sure who was good or bad or how I could even help those that did. I aid Apollo's mistress to become half Isu, and in doing so she ends up accidentally killing Apollo and then getting damned for her efforts at the end. I save Apollo's sons, even though two of them don't deserve it at all and I would have been happy to see them removed from power, but that level of granularity isn't on offer. And the rest of the quests are all just fetching or collecting lines. I still have no idea what the special armour or forged weapons were really about, but they looked super dumb when paired with my otherwise Ancient Greek clothing, so I just didn't bother using them at all.

There are a couple of fun moments. The werewolf quest line was genuinely entertaining, and I liked that they explained how it came to pass via Juno's meddling (which also neatly explains the creation of all of the other monsters, though fails to consider how these then survive the sundering of Atlantis to escape to the Mediterranean 🤷‍♀️). I also broadly enjoyed the stealth mission in the underground mines, though I remain irritated that my decision to kill a single one of the statue people, which ended up needing two hits, somehow counted as having been "spotted". It was a chained assassin kill and he died within seconds, so how that was sufficient time for Apollo to learn about my being there is just bad design.

I also spent some time at the very end going back and finishing all of the "riddle" (Anigmata?) side quests, and in doing so discovered two things. First, there's a bug in both Atlantis and Hades where you can discover a location but it won't show you that it has any objectives until you revisit it. This meant that my travel back through the underworld actually required me to complete several missions I'd otherwise not been aware of. The second is that, of all of the maps, the riddles on Atlantis were by far the worst phrased. I ended up with three that I simply could not work out, despite having literally stood on the right spot for two of them (but missed the tiny little white-dot marker to activate them) and spent about an hour just looping around and around the central mountain looking for the other, which turned out to be in a spot that I'd dismissed as clearly not matching any of the clues in the text 😒 Sure, Hades had some cop-out clues that broadly said "go in a specific direction from the exact spot you found this clue in a straight line until you see something obviously different" and there were a couple which I'd have struggled to find without helpful photos left on the map by other players, but Atlantis' were just annoying. Elysium had some the best of the DLC, from what I could tell.

Finally, then, having completed Fate of Atlantis technically means that I've completed the game. But it doesn't really feel like it. There wasn't any particular fanfare over it, at all. When I completed some of the other DLCs I at least got a credits sequence, but nothing here. Maybe Fate of Atlantis came out before the other ones, but it still felt lacklustre. I ended up returning to the main world of Greece just to see if I'd missed something, and whilst I have left some of the smaller locations uncompleted, and have apparently slipped in the Mercenary rankings (something I have tried to put right, but after getting a 5* bounty was insufficient to draw out either of the two bounty hunters with higher rankings than me, I gave up), it's all done. For a game with hundreds of hours sunk into it, I didn't even get unlock a challenge for having completed all of the riddles, or for beating every DLC. Just more open world to explore. Which is fine (that brief bounty burst actually reminded me how fun the game could be) but a little disappointing.

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