Maybe it’s because there are so many major releases launching this fall, or maybe it’s because the fanfare isn’t as intense as it was with Assassin’s Creed Origins, but Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has flown well beneath my radar. And I loved Assassin’s Creed Origins! You’d think I’d be more excited, and I am… when I actually remember that Odyssey exists.
Thankfully, a new developer diary that details Odyssey‘s enhanced combat system and special abilities has reminded me why I’m looking forward to the game. The new combat system was one of Origins‘ strong points, and it looks like Odyssey‘s is getting a beefed-up version of that in its own combat system. The developer diary details and clarifies a few points about Odyssey‘s combat system and your player character’s First Civilization’s Spear of Leonidas–driven special abilities, which we detailed after going hands-on with the game at E3 2018.
Like Origins, Odyssey will include an adrenaline meter that builds up with combat. It looks like you can either fill that meter entirely and unleash a devastating, weapon-specific attack like you would in Origins, or you can spend sections of the meter on Odyssey‘s new special, spear-related abilities. It also appears as though certain abilities will use more of the meter than others, creating a necessity for strategy in how you deploy these abilities.
Hand-to-hand combat isn’t the only time that you can unleash these abilities. Distance fighting with a bow will also provide unique opportunities to tap into the power of the First Civilization. One bow ability the video showed off was a mortar-like AOE attack that dropped multiple arrows on a group of unsuspecting enemy soldiers. Stealth will also get special abilities, as seen on the “Assassin” section of the “Abilities” screen. The ability to throw a spear into an enemy’s chest and instantly teleport over to them seems to be one of the Assassin abilities.
Besides special abilities, Odyssey‘s combat will differ from Origins‘ in one very specific way: There’s no shield. Instead, Ubisoft has replaced shields with a more generous parrying system that will still let players defend themselves while also forcing them to be more mobile and offensive.
These new combat abilities will come in handy when you’ve got mercenaries chasing you down. Creative director Jonathan Dumont told Game Informer that the more you raise your notoriety level by committing crimes, the more mercenaries will try to hunt you down, with higher level mercenaries showing up the higher your notoriety level is. The catch is that, if you manage to defeat these mercenaries, you will be rewarded with new abilities for your character or ship, as well as new, special items. The more mercenaries you kill, the higher your own mercenary ranking will get, which will also unlock new passive benefits.
Ubisoft is touting Assassin’s Creed Odyssey as an even deeper RPG experience than its predecessor, even down to how the combat works. It will be interesting to see what abilities the other Pieces of Eden besides the spear unlock.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey launches on October 5th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.