A new year has begun and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is ready to continue its first story expansion with Chapter 2 of ‘Legacy of the First Blade” called Heritage. Darius, the first wielder of the hidden blade, has summoned Alexios/Kassandra to the Achaia region as the Order of the Ancients is there with a mysterious and powerful enemy known as ‘The Tempest’ has taken the region hostage by controlling the seas. So, it is time to help Darius take on the Order once again, learn more about this legendary Assassin.
The most appealing aspect to ‘Legacy of the First Blade’ expansion for me is the story which continues to bring Odyssey more in line with a traditional Assassin’s Creed game as it gives players the opportunity to understand and see how the war between the Assassins and the Templars began so many centuries ago that started with AC Origins. As a long-term fan of the AC series, it is thrilling to see how the foundations of the war began even before each side were known as the Assassins and Templar Order. In ‘Hunted’ we began to learn more about Darius and the reasons why he killed the Persian King Xerxes and the repercussions that lead to him going on the run and into hiding for so many years until he comes into contact with Alexios/Kassandra. My hope for this next chapter was to learn even more but I never expected it to go where it did, and I am glad it did take me there.
Gameplay again is very familiar in Heritage to the first chapter Hunted in that Darius will reveal that the Order of the Ancients is active in Achaia and Alexios/Kassandra must assist in hunting them down and eradicating them from the region to protect the people and Greece itself. What does change it up just a little more is that with Achaia being a coastal region it now adds in some naval battles into the mix which are fun from the standard “go here kill this person” objectives. I do feel that the story borrows heavily from the game’s main campaign story a little too much but overall it also makes complete sense that the Order of the Ancients would not have put all their eggs in one basket.
That basket turns out to be The Tempest, a powerful enemy that has a fleet of ships and we enter the story discovering that some refugees were attacked by The Tempest and had ships and properties taken but are also trapped on Achaia as they are being hunted down and the only way to escape is by sea which is controlled by The Tempest. The main objective is to secure the people and help them escape by taken down the Tempest. Like before, there are a number of members of the Order that can also be hunted down but the story mainly focuses on The Tempest making them more of a side objective but I did have to find the clues to reveal their location unlike in Hunted where I would simply happen upon them by just exploring the area doing objectives.
Discovering that The Tempest is also a tainted one, and much like Alexios/Kassandra depending on which of them the player chose to play as, was also taken by The Order and turned into a weapon for them shows that the Order is capable of bouncing back from what could have been considered a big victory against them. It is a little on the nose to basically have a shortened down version of the main story in this chapter of the DLC but it still works to drive the story of Alexios/Kassandra forward. There is a theme of trying to find a peaceful life which is where the relationship between your chosen hero and the child of Darius will come into play, for me it was Neema, the daughter for who my Alexios began to grow closer too in the first chapter Hunted and more so here. But here is where the controversy has arisen with this expansion, player choice.
Through out this chapter players will again have the opportunity to shape the story by their choices in dialogue and key sequences that change the possible outcome. This can result in the survival of a side character but for many, one particular choice has been seen to be more the illusion of player choice as ultimately, the big decision that comes at the end of the DLC only looks as though players can choose how it ends, only for the game to decide to ignore it and tell its own story in order to set the narrative going forward into the final chapter of this expansion. Now for me, my choices naturally led me to making the choice that allowed for the ending to play out as it would have anyway and is one, I am comfortable with. However, I fully understand and even Ubisoft themselves have come out in the last day or so since this DLC released, to say they missed the mark on. The main campaign has multiple endings for example which depend on player choice at key moments in the whole campaign will dictate that ending. So far, this DLC has ignored the ending to the main campaign, in fact neither of the first two chapters even reference whichever ending the player got themselves. That alone made my ending here a little off centre in terms of logic but it was still an ending I can live with and understand why it played out that way.
It will be a subjective problem though, not everyone will feel angry about it and there is a common-sense reason why a game’s narrative will eventually have to snap into line in order to progress into the next part of the DLC but I can appreciate why some are rightfully annoyed and angry at this turn of events for this chapter. Lengthwise it took me about 4 hours to complete the main story quests and side objectives so is still in line with the first chapter but did give me a reason to return to Odyssey as at the moment I only have the weekly challenges to bring me back to the game.
I am really enjoying this DLC expansion story and I am truly looking forward to seeing how it ends in the next chapter before we move on to the next story expansion. Having more story is a good thing and for me getting to see my Alexios continue to grow after events in the main campaign is fun but especially in how its connects to Assassin’s Creed lore with the opportunity to learn more about Darius. It does feel like a natural progression of the overall AC Odyssey story and by chopping the expansion into three parts, it does shorten the play time of each chapter but so far, each one has had more than enough to do for a 4-5 hour game session and brings new weapons and improvements in this chapter to your ship in the form of a very powerful new weapon which fans of the photo mode will indeed appreciate.
I am intrigued to see how this expansion comes to an end and especially in seeing where it leaves my Alexios. So far enough new content is being dropped each month in and around Season Pass content drops to keep AC Odyssey fresh for fans which is a good evolution for AC games.