Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

by Joe Juba on Oct 05, 2018 at 11:59 AM

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has officially hit wide release, which means gamers everywhere are just starting to explore Ancient Greece. Because Odyssey is a sprawling game with lots of different systems and mechanics, you may find yourself uncertain about how to approach various elements. I was in the same position when I played Odyssey for review, but after spending over 70 hours with the game, I’m here to share what I learned and give you some helpful advice as you begin your journey.

Choose Kassandra
The first big choice you make in Odyssey is which character will be your protagonist. The content is basically the same whether you choose Alexios or Kassandra, so it doesn’t have major gameplay repercussions. However, it does determine which vocal performance you be listening to for the entire game. By that measure, Kassandra’s less cartoonish delivery has the edge.

Don’t Sweat Romance
You can flirt and have romantic encounters with various characters in Odyssey, but none of that is really built on the bonds you form with them. They’re just casual flings, not fully formed relationships, and they don’t hinder your love life with any other character in the future. In other words, don’t worry about being unfaithful or stirring up jealously. When it comes to the bedroom, nothing is true and everything is permitted.

What To Prioritize
As you explore the map, various locations icons show up – camps, forts, caves, shipwrecks, and more. While you get rewards for all of these activities, they aren’t equally worthwhile. All players should focus on tombs (for an ancient stele that gives you an ability point) and viewpoints (fast-travel points) whenever they appear, because those benefits are always useful. If you’re interested in the naval aspect of the game, you should also be on the lookout for ruins, because they give you the ancient tablets you need for ship upgrades – and it’s better to have a stockpile of those rather than go searching every time you want to make your ship better.

How To Get Resources
All of the resources used in upgrades and crafting are found naturally in the world. Harvest trees (or cleave ships) for wood, gather ancient tablets in ruins, and so forth. Just hover your cursor over the resources at the top of the inventory tab for a reminder on how to find what you need. But don’t forget that you can buy these items in limited quantities from blacksmiths. It’s not a long-term solution, but a great option if you’re just a little short of what you need.

Pick Poison or Fire
The skill tree has abilities that add poison or fire to your strikes and arrows. They both do damage over time, but since you cannot stack fire and poison simultaneously, you should focus on one or the other. Poison does less damage than fire, but adds a weakening effect that decreases armor and damage. I personally preferred the fire option, if only for the panicked screams from enemies as they are set alight.

The Best Abilities
You earn one new ability point per level, and since the pace for gaining those levels is a bit slow, you want to make sure you’re investing in good stuff. What qualifies as “good stuff” will be different based on your playstyle, but some are conspicuously more useful than others. You can’t go wrong with at least one rank in any of these, since they are helpful in so many situations: Revelation, Rush Assassination, Sparta Kick, Shield Breaker, Overpower Attacks, Ghost Arrows of Artemis, and Second Wind. And don’t forget you can pay a little money on the abilities menu to reassign points if you want to try something different.

Treasure Hunts
Under the inventory tab, go to your item sack in the lower left. In that menu, look at the middle section called “documents.” This is a bit buried and not explained clearly, but each of those things (called Ainigmata Ostraka) are like mini treasure hunts. If you read the textual clue in the menu and find the locations, you can earn new enchantments for your weapons.

How To Hunt Cultists
Uncovering and taking down cultists requires you to follow clues and perform certain tasks. However, what you need to do isn’t always clear. Some clues give you explicit locations, but others have a vague hint like “help people nearby.” If the cultist you’re after has that clue, it usually means you need to complete a specific quest line in the region. Check out all of the nearby quests with gold exclamation marks and follow the one that seems most likely to be culty.

Important Levels
Your abilities expand in different ways at various points, but there are three key milestones to keep in mind. When your hero hits level 15, you unlock your second weapon slot, allowing you to switch between two equipped weapons on the fly (one of which can be bare fists, if you want to knock out and recruit foes more easily). At level 20, you stop taking fall damage entirely. Lastly, when your spear level (not player level) hits level 3, you get access to your second melee ability wheel.

Fight Better Mercenaries
Mercenaries hunt you when you do illegal stuff, and when you kill one who is ranked higher than you, you climb a rung on the mercenary ladder. But what about the ones below you? Don’t bother with them. Technically, you might benefit from their loot or racking up a certain number of total mercenary kills, but your time and effort is better spent focused up the ladder, not down.

Which Quests Are Important?
To some extent, it’s up to you as a player to decide which kinds of quests you want to finish. But some of them have definitely received more attention than others. The most important quests you can do are the Odyssey quests, which tell the game’s core story in three separate arcs. A step down from that, if a quest-giver has a gold exclamation point, that means the quest has some meat on its bones (from either a narrative or gameplay perspective). You don’t need to do them, but they often lead to neat stories, cool rewards, or additional quests. On the other hand, if the quest comes from the message board or from a quest-giver with an hourglass icon, those are usually more routine and less substantial. You can also do “impact quests,” which are short and simple tasks (represented by a forking path icon) that are important only in that they arise as a consequence of your previous actions.

Give In To Wanderlust
This seems obvious, but it’s worth emphasizing: You don’t need to do everything in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Don’t feel obligated to finish all objectives or quests in any area before moving on. If you want a change of scenery, go find it! Whatever you’re doing will be waiting for you later, and since all of your quests (and their rewards) scale with your level, they always pay off no matter when you complete them.