Assassin's Creed Odyssey - DLC Review
Written by Sorrosyss, September 12th, 2019

Warning: Spoilers from across the franchise.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey has had a series of downloadable content since its initial release in October 2018. With its DLC release schedule now seemingly completed, let us take a look at some of this content, as we break down what worked and what did not.

The Positive Aspects


Without a doubt, for me the highlight of the Season Pass content was the Assassin's Creed III / Liberation remaster. If a player has never had a chance to experience these games before, then here you would have a huge amount of content to enjoy. To 100% synchronise both games and obtain all of the achievements, is well into the region of 50+ hours. That's great value for money if nothing else.

Fortunately, there are some tangible improvements to the games too. The new lighting system certainly does make some locations feel a bit more vibrant and gives warmer tones to what was traditionally a very washed out and cold environment. Considering it was originally a handheld game, Liberation especially looks far crisper and runs with a much more consistent framerate than its previous iterations.

There are a few gameplay improvements in place as well, such as adding the whistle and there are a fair few extra stealth shrubs to aid on what were originally pretty tricky stealth missions. Finally, there are a few extra Fast Travel options added which are most welcome.

On the other hand though, I did encounter a few issues. On some cutscenes the faces of characters could occasionally look very odd indeed in terms of lighting, with strangely very sunken eyes. I had one point where I had constant thunderstorms for hours on end, the Animus loading sound effect stuck in a repeating loop, and finally I suffered one hard crash which necessitated restarting the PS4. I cannot be too critical on these issues though, as the original ACIII was indeed a fairly buggy game at its initial release.

Overall, the stories of Connor and Aveline are well worth a playthrough, and it was an appropriate reminder of how the Assassin's Creed template used to be. It certainly makes you appreciate how the more recent games have developed and improved in certain areas, most notably the responsiveness of our protagonists – which in this instance here do feel a bit sluggish in comparison to the likes of Odyssey.


The Story Creator Mode launched towards the end of Odyssey's content cycle. The mode allows you to create your own Storyline using a standalone web application. Through this you are able to write dialogue, choose starting and NPC spawn locations, and to add various modifiers into that experience.

Community creation tools like this are always very welcome in my book, as they allow a game to continue to produce content even when the main official releases have long since ended. A case in point, I had a tremendous time playing around with the Arcade Mode of Far Cry 5, which allows players access to true world building tools in order to create their own levels. In that sense, Odyssey's mode is a bit restrictive, as you are reliant on utilising the existing world map, and there are only a few mission objectives to choose from. But these are things the developers can certainly take on board and build upon, and overall it is still a positive step for the franchise in embracing the creativity of its community. I certainly hope that by the time the next game rolls around, we can add co-op and multiplayer options to these stories in order to enjoy them together with our friends.

I cannot mention this mode without commenting on the XP Farming melodrama though. Yes, Ubisoft has XP boosters on the in-game store. In that regard, I can fully appreciate and understand why from a commercial aspect they would not want players taking advantage of XP in this fashion. Of course, the players do not see things that way, and point this out as commercial greed. From my perspective, it felt a little sad to use the Search Tool and find that the top 20 or so stories were all XP boosting “stories”. That was definitely not the spirit with which the tool was intended for, and for those that simply wanted to enjoy the storytelling of their fellow players it was a little frustrating. In that regard, I am happy that they took action to reduce the exposure of the XP quests, but as they have since stated they will not be removing people's quests but simply adjusting the search filter, hopefully this gives us a happy medium to ensure that those fans putting in the genuine effort to crafting a nuanced story get the exposure and recognition that they so deserve.


I am happy to report that (as like Origins) Odyssey was very consistent with its patching schedule. We were regularly treated to new story updates (more on that later), but over the past year we were also given new functionalities too. For example, a New Game Plus Mode was added allowing players to replay the game and even switch to the other protagonist if they so desired, which was a very nice touch. The Loadout system allowed players to put together sets of equipment for specific purposes, or even just to switch their fashionable look on the fly.

On that point, by far my most favourite added feature was the Visual Customization tool. This allowed you to copy the appearance of one item to another, and it was really fun to try and mix up sets, or to try and colour co-ordinate your gear in kind.

With all of these patches though, there are some disappointments. The loading times for the game still remain far in excess of even Origins on PS4, with the world map often taking a minute or so to simply fast travel from location to location. This is especially disheartening when you can play other older open world games such as Watch Dogs 2, which can load the world map in under 15 seconds (by my timing).

By far one of the most often requested features was to retain the headgear in cutscenes though. This sadly never came to pass, and it was one that myself and many players expected to be there at launch, especially as Origins allowed you to do just this. This is especially disappointing when in certain circumstances and cutscenes the headgear can stay on (there is even a minor exploit to keep it up in conversations) which tells us that the functionality is there – but it is simply turned off. I am sure many of us can appreciate there would likely be cropping issues occasionally, but from an aesthetic perspective – I just want my hood up at all times. It's the true Assassin experience. We had a Hood Toggle before after all, and it really is a simple feature to please all camps of players. I hope this returns for the next game.

The Mixed Opinions


On the face of it, the Fate Of Atlantis really was a response to the desires of the hardcore audience. It provided extensive Isu content, and for the first time in the franchise we have the Modern Day storyline in a DLC with the main character as well. (Yes I know, but The Lost Archive does not really count here - ssh.)

However, therein also lies a whole new issue. Should this content be put behind a paywall in this way? As it ties into the main storyline of the game, this feels akin to cutting off the ending and selling it to you separately. Which to many players is not okay when you look at it that way.

Focusing on the content itself, as an Isu lore nerd I absolutely loved exploring the realms of Elysium, Tartaros, and especially Atlantis. The latter was really well designed, and credit should be given to the artists involved as you could tell a lot of effort went into the very distinct and unique gaming areas that they created. It was a shame to see the repeated and tired combat objectives copy pasted across the area though, and there is always the old saying of “less is more” - a common complaint that applies to the quality of the main game map too. However, the Isu archives and lore that was added into each location made exploring a lot more fun, and I really hope they consider utilising this model again for future content as it was genuinely rewarding for lore buffs. Finally, I was so pleased to get some Isu armor and weapons to use as these remain my favourite kind of items to use. (p.s. Please do give me a red glowy set next time round, Hades looks great!)

With all this said though, the issue where we fall down is in the storytelling alas. Whilst all of the Simulations were fun to explore, their exact nature was difficult to fully appreciate. For some fans, there was a sense of not really caring about them as they interpreted them to simply be
Source: LeoK
fictional locations that had no wider bearing on the story. This is understandable, but the way that Aletheia explains them as her own distorted memories is not really clear either. “Ok, so they are my memories, but you know.. exaggerated.” Thus, the fanbase is left scratching their heads whether the experience was genuinely worth their time in terms of canonicity of the events.

On that point, onto the Modern Day. Yep, every time I write these reviews this area seems to get the most scrutiny. It was alas, again, narratively utterly dreary and not compelling at all. Layla was pretty unlikeable even to begin with, but her actions here have drawn pretty wide spread disgust from the fanbase, and it is safe to say the majority of players are really not interested in playing as her any longer. Many suggest she has been set up as a villain now, but even so, her narrative arc has just not really moved at all through the events of Odyssey. We are still no closer to knowing how she is supposed to “Break The Code”, or how on earth she is going to bring balance. And what is this supposed next disaster? Is it her? It sure feels like it with the way she is going, as she comes across as delusional and out of touch with reality. If Layla is supposedly an Assassin as she claims, why does she suddenly state that she does not kill people? (There are a fair few Abstergo bodies in a cave in Egypt that would like to know on this too).

As with Origins though, we are once again stuck in a single room with no way to go exploring in the Modern Day world. This remains the biggest complaint of this part of the content. Replaying ACIII recently really drilled this home to me as to how well it worked before, as you had Desmond infiltrating unique environments such as a stadium, climbing up a skyscraper, assaulting a multi floor Abstergo building – all while having the option to leave the Animus at any time to check his e-mail, or to speak to his team separately. What we are presented in Odyssey is such a stripped down version of this template, that it honestly comes across as a very limited effort with corners cut. Take for example, Otso Berg appearing here without his traditional garb and hairstyle, and just seemed to have his shaved head pasted onto an existing Abstergo guard body model to save time.

If we want to retain the Modern Day, then it has to be better than this. Utilise the protagonist, get them outside of these one room prison cells, and out into the world. There was a glimmer of this approach present in the Heir Of Memories questline, and it does seem to be the most obvious way to do this. For example, some areas of the landscape may not have changed much in the hundreds of years of time apart, so repurpose areas of the map if need be. But please let us get away from the jail mentality, and properly implement the hero into the storytelling in the same way that we once had with Desmond. Otherwise, frankly... as much as it pains me to say it - We may as well just remove the Modern Day altogether. It is now confusing, convoluted, with little payoff, and not particularly enjoyable in its current format.


These questlines were periodically patched into the game over the post launch period. They focused on differing tales with a loose basis on several of the Greek gods as a theme for the majority of them. On the face of it, it is difficult to be too critical, as they were ultimately free content. However, at the same time the quality of them varied immensely. Some were pretty short and lacked any story impact at all, whilst others such as the Heir of Memories story, integrated more of the overall narrative to encompass the Modern Day as well. It would have been nice to have seen more of that, as the general impression of cynical fans was that these Tales were simply cut content from the main game, deliberately held back to support the post launch.

Tonally they were a bit all over the place too. Some were attempts at comedy, some tried a controversial angle, but often any twists in the stories you could read coming from a mile off. I suppose this was in part due to the relatively short nature of the storylines, and no time dedicated to offer any real complexity.

In my honest opinion, I do not think these were worth the time to be dragged out over the extended period that they were. For the most part they were pretty average and forgettable, especially in comparison to most of the superior main game quest lines.


The Discovery Tour mode was ultimately one of the last pieces of content to be added in the post launch, but came about directly from the success of the same mode added to Origins.

For those unaware, the mode allows you to take on the appearance of multiple characters, and explore the regions of Greece whilst taking in audio descriptions of locations, which offers you insights into historical moments, or showing you imagery of ancient artifacts and artwork.

The educational benefits alone are to be praised, and this was something that Origins' version received very high critical acclaim for. However, that being said, it still remains a standalone piece of content, and really has no bearing upon your main save game. If you enjoy the experience of learning about history then you will find a lot here, but for all other players you will find the mode sluggish and restrictive. It is a bit of a shame for example, that we could not utilise the character swapping feature on the main game. It would certainly raise some chuckles to be running around as Markos or Alkibiades! This was actually part of the Animus Control Panel function that was added to the PC version of Origins, but it sadly never reached consoles. Perhaps when the next game rolls around.

Nitpicks of Negativity


This DLC will be remembered for years to come for many reasons, and most of them will be negative ones. The storyline drew ire from the media for forcing the Eagle Bearer into a heterosexual relationship, and producing a child – yet leaving you no choice in the matter. This understandably was picked upon by many upset players, whom had portrayed their characters as being gay, bisexual or even asexual. This was especially disappointing when public promises had been made before the main game’s release that the story would never force you into a relationship you did not want, and that you could express your sexual identity into your character. For a game that so proudly proclaimed choice, the developers got this particular content very wrong. This understandably necessitated a formal response from Ubisoft where they acknowledged the mistake, which I do actually applaud them for as other companies would simply have just ignored the feedback.

Controversy aside, the actual story we were provided was one that I had a hard time swallowing. The tenuous link between the Eagle Bearer and Aya genuinely came across as far too convenient, and just smacked of an attempt to somehow link the story to Origins. It fell down in several areas, for example Aya never really displayed any demi-god like qualities in the time we spent with her in Origins (though you could argue nor did Myrrine). To our knowledge, Aya never had any children after Khemu, but with the way that the Animus is designed from the ground up to seek out genetic markers in DNA – how it did not automatically provide a direct link from Aya's DNA to the Eagle Bearer is a matter for debate. It’s even been implied that Layla may be part of the very same bloodline – which again breeds the same question. Do I honestly believe that the writers of Origins knew about what this DLC was going to bring to the table? I do not, and to me it feels obvious that this particular story has been done whimsically without any proper narrative oversight – which is a shame, as the consequences of which we have to now take forwards. I trust that we won’t be using this bloodline as the sole basis of how we got to all modern Assassins, as it was previously established that Desmond was the result of several converging Assassin bloodlines. With the way that DNA and ancestory works, there should theoretically be thousands sprawling out from Kassandra's bloodline. And indeed any other Isu/Human hybrids that may have been out there, such as the Tempest.

The Order of Ancients' machinations make little sense here too. Such as Amorges stating that he will bring peace – whilst directly funding a war effort in a complete contradiction. The biggest tragedy for this whole affair though, is that it makes the Eagle Bearer fundamentally a weaker character, and undermines the main endings of the main game. For example, whilst we do not specifically know when the DLC occurs, we know it at least has to occur after Chapter 6 as that is when you can start it. Therefore at this point in the story, Kassandra is aware of her Father, Mother and Alexios. Therefore it is confusing to see her pining for a family whilst they are still out there, and indeed whilst the Cult is still active at this juncture. Either it
means that Kassandra started a family knowing it would put them in danger and that she would outlive them (negating the need for offspring for longevity), or that she decided to abandon the family life to take charge as Keeper of the Staff. Either consequence lessens the quality of Kassandra's character to my mind.

The inclusion of Darius and his usage of classical Assassin elements was a little hard to absorb too. Here we have someone using a Hidden Blade, Leaps of Faith, and even uttering parts of the Tenets hundreds of years before Bayek even formed the Hidden Ones. In the end it just feels like the writers decided to skim across the Assassin’s Creed Wiki, and just include some elements here and there to try and make some kind of wider connection to the old lore. Once again, we have an Assassin from the statues of Ezio's Sanctuary in Monteriggioni, and as much as the intent was to instil nostalgia, it just comes across as a bit desperate. Not only that, but there are some pretty severe lore failings present versus pre-existing Darius canon. My good colleague Marco covered a lot of the introduced lore issues in his excellent analysis here if you are interested to look at these in far deeper detail.

To conclude though, my understanding is that the majority of this DLC was handled by external teams outside of Quebec (Singapore to be exact), but I hope this whole sorry episode was a wake up call that there needs to be a stronger level of narrative accountability between studios, as this DLC really was a bit of a “Tainted One” for me.


In a world where microtransactions are pretty widely hated by players, it is difficult to have many positives to speak about here. As with Origins, the
XP boosters again came into criticism by the general press, but it was more keenly felt as an issue here with Odyssey's much larger map, and far longer overall playtime. Many players felt like they could not progress properly in the game without them.

The general sentiment is that these kind of digital purchases should not be present in Single Player games, and their existence was very much part of the public backlash which destroyed the launch sales potential of Middle Earth: Shadow of War back in 2017. The developers eventually yielded to players on the issue, stripping out all of the microtransactions as a consquence. I was therefore actually pretty sad to see this same kind of offering added to the store for Origins, as some of you may recall from my DLC review for that game. Sadly, Odyssey appears to double down on that and has gone truly ballistic on the amount of digital items you can obtain for real life currency. It's really a bit wild how intense the monetisation model is here, where you can even go down to the level of buying your ship appearance, mast, crew and its Lieutenants.

Now yes, the most popular argument defending this process is “It is cosmetic. It does not matter.” And you would be correct. That is entirely true, and indeed you do not need to buy them. But in response I say - just because other developers are using these methods, you do not need to resort to them. As with the case with the backlash I mentioned above, it is difficult to ascertain exactly how many sales are lost from consumers simply choosing to boycott the company for its methodology. This is one of the reasons why the likes of developers like CD Projekt Red are so widely praised, as they have taken a pretty strong pro-gamer stance on issues such as these. You will recall, Witcher 3 had several cosmetic outfits and additional features added to it completely for free. As a final point, there was a time when Assassin's Creed had all of its best outfits as rewards simply for playing the game, or completing in-game challenges. Now you simply pay a fee. And that's just... sad... really. Especially when to my mind the main game does not have any outfits that are as exceptional as what you can obtain in the Store.

Source: Kotaku

My biggest issue with the store, though, remains the sheer price point that Ubisoft are going for. Why is it that a simple cosmetic “pack” can equate to between £10 - £20 each? At this point you can almost buy the game in a brand new condition for that, certainly a second hand copy. If these outfit packs were down to a much more nominal fee, it would certainly be a bit more acceptable to consumers, and offer genuine value for money. As it stands, they just feel overpriced and exploitive, especially in comparison to rivals in the market. At the time of writing there are a quite ridiculous 25+ different “packs”. Unfortunately, as anyone who has observed the Ubisoft financial calls will tell you, the vast majority of the income on their titles now comes from the post-launch content digital income. As such, do not expect this to change any time soon. Yet I cannot but hope for a little more modicum of restraint in this area for the next title. Why not also still offer all of these store items for in-game gold or orichalcum - at all times and not just a measly choice of two a week? There are much better solutions out there than what we have.

You could argue that microtransactions help support the post launch content that is produced, but you could easily counter that with the Season Pass income that is generated, or simply remember that the main DLC content is actually fully priced content. It pains me to say it though, but whenever I have recommended the game to friends, the first remark is often about how they have heard Odyssey is filled with microtransactions. That's not a good general perception to have out there in the public, and it's sadly a little embarrassing for us long term fans too.


Source: Gamepur

One particular change to the game that I was not fond of was the alteration to increase the level cap. Yes, there was a necessity to do so for New Game Plus, and indeed the DLCs, but with the Enemy Level Scaling still enforced, it felt of little benefit to the player. It's a great shame that we are not able to turn off the scaling like we could in Origins. One thing I really noticed about Odyssey's combat is how sometimes it can lose its impact, especially if you are using daggers. You do tend to feel like you are flailing away for awhile, with not many true impactful hits. This results in a feeling of having “Sword sponge” enemies if you will.

I really do miss the one shot execution combinations we used to be able to do, and having replayed ACIII, Liberation, and Shadow of War recently, it really drilled home to me that we have lost that element of showing off the lethal power of the protagonist. Not to mention all those times in Odyssey that you fail to Assassinate a target too, and only take them to half health. It's frustrating. An obvious way around it was indeed being able to over level your enemies, so that cutting your way through them easily was entirely possible. As that option has been taken away from us, farming your way to max level when enemies still take the same number of hits, just genuinely feels a pointless chore.


The weekly quests for Origins involved extensive boss fights in the Trials Of The Gods. Here we continue in a similar vein, but instead we have bounties to battle either a ship or a mercenary. To Ubisoft's credit they tried to keep it interesting by giving a token piece of lore to each, but in the end you are just fighting a standard kind of enemy in the same fashion as you would any other ship or mercenary from the game.

With the removal of any tangible weekly Ubisoft Club XP benefits (something that other Ubisoft titles offer in droves), you are left with occasional cosmetic items such as a new ship sail, and accumulating Orichalcum to use at the in-game Oikos store. It sadly does get repetitive pretty fast, and after you have finished the game it does feel a bit of a tedium just to log in for this one short quest each week.

There was a plan at one point to give us “Hard Mode” Mythical Creature fights, that would have involved stronger versions of some of the existing bosses in the game (We know this from tooltips that were in the game). It is a shame that this did not come to pass, especially with the proposed armour set (the so-called “Abomination Set”) that it would have provided. In short, the “carrot” incentive to log on weekly for the next game needs to be much stronger than this offering.


It is plain to see that Odyssey embraced Ubisoft's “Live Service” model to the furthest degree yet in the Assassin's Creed franchise. Some would argue that this is not really appropriate for a single player game, but there are actually now two sides to this model debate.

On the one hand, we had support for the game for an extended period of time, and received continuous updates, features and stories. Indeed, the amount of content we had was actually very impressive, and as Season Passes go the value for money was better than you would typically see in the rest of the gaming industry. However, the counter to this is the obvious fatigue you place on your players. At times it did feel like you were logging into this game near weekly, purely as some new feature or item pack was added to the store. In the same way that a mobile game will try to draw you in with weekly logins, the same kind of aggressive marketing practice is being applied here. “We have you here, but, as you have logged on, have you seen this on our store?” It is business practice after all, but it is sadly more tangibly in your face than ever before in the franchise.

Would the release schedule have been better afforded by bunching up content more? For example, would the DLC stories have been better served if all three episodes had been completed and all released at once? Personally, I believe so, as the storytelling would have had more impact. We would have had less awkward scenes as well. For example, at the end of the first Fate Of Atlantis episode, we have to stop the DLC story as Victoria has somehow corrupted the memory simulation and has to restore her laptop – which makes little sense honestly. So Layla wanders off and just casually dives back into Greece on her own laptop. Okayyy? In the end it's a filler cutscene to try and sate the player between episodes, and it would not have needed to even exist if the content had been released in a single package.

I think it is safe to say that a lot of the features that appeared in the post launch phase should really have been there for the main release day too. For example, Loadouts and the Customization options would have been ideal to use from day one. In my case though, and many others like me, we had
already finished the main game long before these were even patched in. How much stronger would reviews have been if the game had been delayed just a few more months for polish and to get these highly desired features in? I guess we will never know, but the rush for the October sale slot was certainly keenly felt by many players.

In the end, Odyssey's time in the limelight is now expiring. For some fans, this is a sad time, as many love the new RPG structure, and we will all now be on a dull downtime until the next main release. Be it next year, or perhaps the year after that. For other fans, Odyssey is something that they simply did not enjoy. The systems of choice, and the fluid nature of the canonicity has not sat well with the older fans. It is a difficult thing to balance, trying to placate the desires of the hardcore and casual fans, while indeed still driving to bring in new ones. The franchise has been going for well over a decade now, and there are so many differing opinions out there of what is good or bad for this IP. I myself am guilty of expressing my own thoughts and beliefs as you have just since witnessed and read. Assassin's Creed has evolved and moved in many different ways over the years, and it is down to Ubisoft to mould our next adventure with a thought to all these different fan voices. I have no doubt they are up to the task, so long as they are given the sufficient development period to achieve it.

Whether your time with the franchise has now ended, or whether you will press on to the next adventure, thank you for reading. Passions may always run high in our fanbase, but remember;

"Men must be free to do what they believe. It is not our right to punish them for thinking what they do, no matter how much we disagree."

Altaïr ibn-La'Ahad

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