Thursday, 23 May 2024

8 Key Insights from Completing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s First DLC Arc

Now that the third and final episode of Legacy of the First Blade has been released, players can finally experience the complete picture of this expanded content and its impact on the main story. Instead of waiting on the sidelines, I can now offer some conclusive thoughts on the highlights and drawbacks of the DLC.

Episode Three Continues the Trend
The third episode, titled “Bloodline,” follows the same formula as its predecessors. Players are presented with a problem and must complete three separate tasks before addressing it in earnest, all the while hunting members of a shadowy order. While events unfold predictably, there is a cool reference to a later Assassin’s Creed game at the end.

The Importance of the Story
In many games, the narrative significance of downloadable content is often negligible, as important story elements are sometimes reserved for optional content that comes at an extra cost. Ubisoft takes a different approach with Legacy of the First Blade. If you are invested in the ongoing saga of Kassandra and Alexios and their bloodline, then this DLC contains vital information that you shouldn’t miss.

Disappointments Within the Story
While the story holds importance, it is not consistently well-executed. Pivotal relationships feel rushed, motivations are unclear, and the villains lack sufficient development to instill a sense of real menace. Admittedly, the episodic format of this tale contributes to these shortcomings, making it feel more like three abbreviated, mini-chunks of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey rather than a cohesive narrative that evolves from start to finish.

More of What You Love
Some may view the DLC’s similarity to the base game as a criticism, but I find it to be a positive aspect. After all, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey boasts enjoyable gameplay mechanics and thrilling combat. This DLC offers players more opportunities to engage with these aspects, and as such, it’s difficult to complain. However, there is a missed opportunity to introduce something truly novel. Instead of repetitive tasks such as fort-infiltration and cultist-hunting, it would have been refreshing to incorporate more varied activities.

Hit-and-Miss Abilities and Gear
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was released five months prior to the DLC’s launch. While some players are just beginning their journey, I had hoped the gear and abilities in the DLC would raise the bar for high-level play. However, many of the new skills and legendary rewards are underwhelming. The most notable addition is a powerful melee attack that inflicts significant damage and generates three bars of adrenaline. Additionally, the ability to chain an extra rush assassination is a welcome inclusion. However, features such as disappearing bodies, rapid-fire arrows, and new legendary enchantments fall short of expectations. It is particularly disappointing when comparing them to the unique and interesting horse skins, armor sets, and ship lieutenants available for purchase in the store.

Time for a Change of Scenery
By the end of the third episode, I felt ready to explore new locations beyond Ancient Greece. Though the current map is vast, employing existing areas as settings for the chapters in Legacy of the First Blade was not a mistake. However, now that the landscape has been thoroughly explored, a change of scenery and distinct environments would be greatly appreciated. Thankfully, the upcoming second DLC arc titled “The Fate of Atlantis” promises to provide us with unfamiliar territory to explore.

Free Updates Outshine the Paid Content
Apart from the story events, players who haven’t purchased the $40 season pass haven’t missed out on anything significant. Since launch, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has received numerous free content updates, including a higher level cap, additional mercenary tiers, and a new game+ option. These changes benefit all players, and I believe quality-of-life updates should be accessible to everyone. I do wish the DLC had been similarly ambitious in terms of enriching gameplay and introducing deeper, more engaging mechanics.

The Missing Hidden Blade
The spear is undoubtedly impressive, and I am in no rush to part with it. However, given that the base game lacks the iconic hidden blade, and the first DLC arc is named “Legacy of the First Blade” and prominently features its use, it would have been a welcome addition for players to acquire a hidden blade at the end of the DLC. Unfortunately, this does not occur.

FAQs

1. Can I play the DLC without completing the base game?
No, Legacy of the First Blade is additional content for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and requires the base game to play.

2. Are there any new locations to explore in the DLC?
While Legacy of the First Blade primarily utilizes existing areas in Ancient Greece, the upcoming DLC arc, “The Fate of Atlantis,” promises to offer new and unfamiliar territory to discover.

3. Do the DLC’s abilities and gear significantly enhance gameplay?
While there are some noteworthy additions, such as a powerful melee attack and the ability to chain rush assassinations, many of the new skills and legendary rewards are not particularly remarkable.

4. Is the season pass worth purchasing?
If you are invested in the ongoing story of Kassandra and Alexios, the season pass provides access to all DLC content, including Legacy of the First Blade and “The Fate of Atlantis.” However, players who are content with the base game can still enjoy significant free updates that enhance the overall gameplay experience.