There are things about this game that absolutely blow me away. The scope of the open world, the attention to detail, the atmosphere, the setting, the sheer amount of quests that aren't just pointless busy work but actually lead to a series of fun mini-adventures, the epic feel to the storyline, great writing, voice acting, engaging character customization, and visceral combat that can emerge into very unpredictable situations. There's just so much to love about those games. The name of the game is 100% accurate because it feels like an actual odyssey, and each new island/province is packed with so much meaningful story threads and quests that it would be enough to make into its own standalone game that's roughly the size of early AC games.
But there are two huge detractors here that will always, without a fault, hold me back from completely falling in love with this game and they will always rear their ugly heads to annoy me and remind me that it's a fucking Ubisoft game.
- The grind as a result of shitty level up system designed to rip you off through MTX
I mean, it's so obvious why they're doing this shit. You either grind for resources every time you level up to be able to keep your gear on par with world level, or you're gonna have to make do with shitty gear that turns combat into absolute chore due to low damage output of your weapons. OR, you know, you can just visit the in-game store and buy some of those resource packs for just 20 bucks, wink, wink.
I loathe this with a passion. There's nothing that pisses me off about modern gaming more than avarice of triple-a publishers that ruins what could be an incredible single player experience. At the very least they should have added an option to disable the level up system completely and allow you to just enjoy the combat without fretting over your gear level. They did this exact thing in Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and it made that game 10 times more enjoyable, honestly. You could still pick up new gear and customize it, but when you shot a gun at someone, it always did the same damage, and it was a cool solution for people who didn't want to bother with looter shooter mechanics.
- Lack of a multiple choice system that would feed into other mechanics, such as character reputation or alliances with the warring factions
There were so many quests that I completed in Odyssey that just BEGGED to have multiple different outcomes depending on how approached the problem. Say that I want to ally myself with the Spartan army and work against the Athenians. Whenever I arrive to an island that's currently occupied by a Spartan army, I can still pick up quests from Athenians where I would work against the Spartans, but instead of being able to accept the mission and then run to the nearest Spartan camp to give up the Athenians, I can only decline the quest with no real resolution. It's pretty disappointing to not have those kinds of options in a role-playing game.