We got to ask Marc Alexis-Côté, senior producer of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, a few questions about the game and what we can expect in the next big trip into history. Some questions were deftly dodged, but there is enough information here to make you lick your lips in excitement, especially if you like the idea of Assassin’s Creed stepping fully into the RPG genre.
Do RPG elements play a major or minor role?
For me, it can dramatically change how you feel at the end of the game. I hope that players will get an ending that represents the play-through that they’ve had. For me, these are very different endings. In the game, we try not to judge. This is something that we wanted as the developers. I don’t think that there is a bad ending, or good ending. What might be a bad ending for me might be an awesome ending for someone, or really hard to get. Or, we all have different values, and this is something that I respect. Again, I think the decision that you take will have an impact on the ending. This isn’t something that we tell you. It’s something that we want you to realise. We won’t tell you, “This is the ending you got, because 45 hours ago you made that decision.” It should feel natural, subtle, but it will have an impact.
Are underwater elements returning and will there be more advanced adventures taking place beneath the waters? (not just picking up loot)
That will be for players to discover.
What design challenges are there in making a game with two possible protagonists?
It was certainly more of a production challenge because everything has to be shot twice, recorded twice, to have the same production value. So, it is definitely a huge production effort to be able to have Kassandra and Alexios at the level of quality, in so many different languages, that we have now. But we make this game about choice, and we felt this was a very important choice that you make right from the start, and we had to support that. The design choice was that “This is our creative vision, and we need to go all in.”
Will we see more future/present day plot in Odyssey? Origins felt minimal.
You’ll still be able to play as Layla. In the game you’ll discover some important things about the franchise. As to if there is more or less, that I do not know. People have strong feelings either way about present day, those who want to play only that, and those who don’t like it, don’t want it at all. So, we leave it very open to players to engage with the present day, and play as Layla.
Can we expect Greek mythology to play a big role?
I think we cannot build a game in Ancient Greece without talking about, or touching on, Greek mythology. This is something that you will see alluded to with the dialogue of the characters, they’ll often refer to Greek gods, because it was part of the language of the era. This was something that was super important to the people of Greece back then. You will also see those mythological creatures come to life; for example you’ll encounter Medusa, and the Minotaur. Those are not dreams, they’re really part of the game world. We find a very Assassin’s Creed way to explain this, and how they can exist in our universe.
How big will the map be compared to Origins?
We don’t have the exact size, but it is probably the biggest that we’ve created. Players have to remember that 50 percent of this is water, so it looks absolutely huge. But, you can travel through it very fast with your boat. What’s important to me, more than the size of it, is how interesting it is; every rock that you turn has something new for you to discover.
What is your favourite vista or building in Oddysey?
One of my favourite ones is when you go on top of the acropolis, and look around, and realise that, pretty much here, is where Western civilisation was born. That’s where Socrates and Plato were teaching. To get that feeling in a game is something that, I feel, is amazing. I hope that players take the time to step back and look round.