FBT takes a leap of faith with Odyssey's DLC
Finally, AC Odyssey’s DLC is slowly dropping below outrageous price levels. I was against paying anything to learn how the AC series gained the hidden blade, and to be honest, yet more Odyssey was not really on my to-do list. But I warmed to the Misthios on my game+ replay. If you accept it’s not AC, Odyssey is a storming RPG game, best I’ve played in years. I would rather die than deal with more of modern-day Layla’s nonsense so I guess it’s fitting that the first chapter of Fate of Atlantis is set in the afterlife.
An Isu called Aletheia imprinted her mind into that Staff we gained in Odyssey. She contacts both Kassandra and Layla through the Staff, telling them they need to learn how to wield the thing by sending Kass into her own memories, but to make them palatable, she creates the Isu era as Elysium, the Underworld, and Atlantis.
Can't we just go to Isu era? I mean, the whole concept of Assassin’s Creed has been circling the drain since Unity introduced the ability to shape-shift Arno, but now we’re in the afterlife? We have a chance here to literally be an Isu, to explore the Isu-Human war; and it sends us to Hell instead? Really, I don’t mind having a play about in those worlds – that’s what DLC is for, but I never shake that feeling that this is a missed opportunity, and the reason I keep coming back to that is because the chapters are essentially the same. Classic Ubisoft reskins.
Reaching Elysium, Kass discovers the Greek Gods were actually Isu. Persephone rules over Elysium with increasingly strict control, causing Adonis to begin a human rebellion and leaving Kass with a choice; Isu or the humans. In the Underworld, Hades charges Kass with finding him champions to protect the realm but is clearly up to something, and in Atlantis, Poseidon makes you a “Dikastes”, an Isu Judge Dredd who must bring order to the place.
They’re basically the same, each realm’s issues boil down to taking out camps - in Elysium it reduces Persephone’s hold, while in Atlantis it gains you ‘Isu Knowledge’ which lets you pass through forcefields – which are also in the Underworld but you need armour to pass (or an engraving). It’s a different set up, but same hoops to jump through. There are cool bronze statues that come alive in Elysium, called Kolossi, but they pop up again in the Underworld, and by Atlantis they're nothing special.
I wasn’t expecting a radical departure but reskinning the same chapter three times is pushing it and just makes the whole thing feel repetitive. There’s some nice missions, but they’re not enough. The only change is the look - Elysium is flowers and butterflies, the Underworld is ashen and lava filled – a lot of the time it’s like we’re sync’ing with Kass’ worst ever hangover.
FoA also takes verticality to new … heights. Each of the realms have this daft transporter system to navigate between areas on the top of impossibly high formations, but they limit your approach and playstyle. Or you can spend hours staring at Kass’s underwear.
Really, only Atlantis has any ‘depth’ to it; the humans are revolting and the Isu are divided on how to deal with them, and the threat of a solar flare; but instead of digging into that, we’re arsing about doing odd jobs and taking over camps again - why are those camps hostile to Poseidon’s Right Hand? Atlantis is at least an Isu world, but that makes it all the more frustrating that we’re not in Eden, helping Eve break out.