When Ubisoft announced that there would be no new entry in the Assassin’s Creed series for 2019, they instead have planned expansion content for AC Odyssey to run throughout next year which will also include the release of the Remastered version of Assassin’s Creed III. Now two months from the game’s launch and we now start the first of the expansion DLC’s in “Legacy of The First Blade” which will be split into three chapters which now begins with ‘Hunted’ which will introduce the legendary user of the very first hidden blade weapon, Darius!
The story and lore of Assassin’s Creed is a huge part of why I have loved this series from day one and the main reason why I continue to expand my fandom of it outside the games with novels and comic books. I am really pleased that the expansions for AC Odyssey are focusing on expanding the story more then just adding new generic quests or items to find. When the Season Pass content was revealed I was most intrigued by this story expansion most of all as it is a nod back to Assassin’s Creed 2 which for those who played it will remember that a special chamber paid tribute to legendary Assassins through history including the first recording death by someone using the hidden blade, that man was Darius and this story brings him to life for the very first time.
Now I managed to complete the story campaign quests and all the side activities for this in about 5 hours with my level 50 Alexios, and I only increased by three levels by the time I completed it with the new level cap of 70. For those who may not have completed the main campaign or odyssey’s you can still access this DLC story after you hit player level 28 with enemies to scale to your level which is a great way to make new content accessible to all. It also does not mention the main story campaign at any time, so it is also spoiler free if you do decide to complete this DLC before finishing the base game story.
Hunted is limited to one single region on the map, Makedonia but it is still a pretty good size area which will have you exploring every inch of it during Hunted. After investigating a burning village, Alexios/Kassandra will be attacked by a mysterious hooded man armed with a wrist blade forcing a confrontation. Upon winning the fight you will be able to question this mysterious man who will claim to be responsible for the death of Xerxes himself, and will reluctantly tell you about the Order of the Ancients, which those who have played AC Origins will remember as the faction working in the shadows whom Bayek will hunt down. But here Alexios/Kassandra have only met the Cult of Kosmos, so Darius explains that you, The Eagle Bearer, are now being targeted by them and that they are here hiding in the shadows in Makedonia. Intrigued by this news but also slightly suspicious about the motives of Darius who is clearly not revealing all he knows.
Now depending on whether you chose to play as Alexios or Kassandra will determine which of Darius’s children you meet. If Alexios then you will meet his daughter Neema or if Kassandra then you will meet his son Natakas. Whichever one you do meet, it will be revealed that the other sibling was killed by the Order of the Ancients, it will also hint at a possible romance opportunity with the child of Darius you meet. Another interesting thing of note is how Darius refers to Alexios/Kassandra as a tainted one, something which the Order of the Ancients are hunting down which is no doubt a reference to those who are descended from the Isu. Now of course this is really the first time that the more traditional Assassin Vs Templar war has come into the world of Odyssey which is set way before the Assassin Brotherhood is formed in Origins and before the Order of the Ancients evolves into the Templar Order. But it is nice to see a direct connection to Origins and the rest of the series and as a series fan, it is nice to see Odyssey expand with this.
Hunting down the 7 members of the Order of the Ancients is the main focus of the Hunted, and just like with the Cult of Kosmos, you will need to complete side quests in order to reveal their identity and location to go hunt them down. It is all pretty self-contained with side quests opening up as you follow the story through. One issue I did have was that I found I was finding members of the Order just by exploring the area, in fact I took out four of them without doing the specific quest to find them which was a little disappointing. But I really liked the threat of the Order of the Ancients, with the main target called ‘The Hunter’ taunting you about your own actions and motives for killing. This very much feels like an ongoing threat which will be expanded on with the next two chapters of this DLC which will come in 2019.
This opening taster for that is great for story but the gameplay is very much the same as the main game and for some just revisiting the location of Makedonia. You can earn new exotic weapons and armour for completing this capture but overall outside of the new characters and story, nothing is really that new for players to experience gameplay wise. This DLC does come with a brand-new Assassin skill called ‘Death Veil’ which will cause the bodies of enemies you stealth assassinate to disappear which will stop the risk of bodies being discovered and raising the alarm. Knowing that this was just the first part of a three-chapter DLC expansion allowed me to manage my expectations so that the 5 hours it took me to do everything never really felt too criminally short knowing that more was to come and serving as a prologue really has my imagination working on where this could possibly go.
It is nice to have some new story having already put 130 hours into this game and pretty much only having the weekly quest challenges to do and this really has me looking forward to seeing where the next instalments will take my Alexios. It does really feel like an Assassin’s Creed story having the Order of the Ancients back and Darius is a very interesting character to interact with. But this is rather short DLC but if you have this DLC you do have the rest so the hope is that Ubisoft will drop the next part very early into 2019 so the wait is not too long.