Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is by far one of the prettiest games we’ve seen to date. Ubisoft spent a ton of detail on making the game believable in the era of Spartan warfare, that they include numerous depictions of Greek gods, in an atmosphere that takes you far away.
Titan Books has engulfed all this magical design in the new book, The Art of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, showcasing the work that has gone into such a gorgeous game. The book was put together by Kate Lewis, and we have some previews for you to look at if you’re still on the fence.
“The player will explore the civilization that gave birth to democracy, sail on the Aegean Sea, discover legendary cities and sanctuaries (such as Athens, Thebes, Argos, Sparta, Korinth, Delphi, and Olympia), and uncover caves and ruins in their search for Greece’s hidden marvels.
Customization and choice being one of our core pillars, the player will be able to fully customize their chosen character as they wish. Players will have access to a wide variety of weapons, armor, and legendary outfits to create their own unique, epic-looking Greek hero, ready to face the world and its many challenges – challenges that will come from the Athenians and Spartan soldiers and many other factions, mercenaries, legendary animals, as well as some more mythical creatures…” – Thierry Dansereau, and Benjamin Hall
One thing you should know about Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is that it takes place in 431 B.C., and predates Assassin’s Creed Origins. The game is what could be considered an RPG, featuring character selection of either Kassandra or Alexios, weapon and gear customization, and numerous side quests that can be done to level up the character to prepare for battles and later missions. That being said, Ubisoft definitely focused on all the RPG necessities, but didn’t forget about the environmental expectations of a game set in ancient history.
Before viewing the art, know that we won’t spoil any details of the game that require progression. The only art discussed in this book review is that of the base game, and the opening area/island. Any information about Kassandra’s or Alexios’ story will be kept secret for you to play or read the book for yourself!
One major part of Odyssey is the different biomes you find when traversing the islands. The art above shows the six different biomes above water that are within the game, and provide diversity.
“The Hero will encounter seven distinct biomes – six on land, and one underwater – as they journey through Ancient Greece. Each features its own flora, fauna, weather systems, and unique topography. The challenge for the art team was to make sure the biomes each had their own individual atmosphere, vegetation, color palette, even down to the type of sand and rocks in each location.”
Kephallonia is the first island in which you start in for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and the above art shows distinct detail into the villas and buildings along the coastline and also on-top of the mountain. Though Kephallonia doesn’t have a lot to offer in the game story-wise and progression, it’s still a gorgeous island that gives you a taste of what the game has to offer, also what to avoid such as corruption, bandits, and war-torn nations.
“The small island of Kephallonia sits to the far West of the Korinthian Gulf. This once prosperous but now war-torn island rife with bandits and earthquakes is where the game begins and is home for our Hero. Fallen on hard times, even Zeus, looking over the people, cannot stop the illness and corruption ravaging the island.”
Kassandra is one of the character choices in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and the art shows tons of detail provided for the character.
“Kassandra grew up on a poor, down-trodden island and her armor and appearance needed to reflect that. She is muscular, can defeat brutes as well as soldiers and has followed the mercenary life from a young age.
From a design perspective, the way these weapons are carried on her body is crucial to the visual identity of her character.”
A major factor of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is traveling by boat/ship to the different islands. That being said, you get to style your ship and crew by getting different packs from Ubisoft. This shows the differentiation for the naval powerhouses that you can command.
“The development team created multiple ship models, covering the trireme (with three rows of oars), the bireme (with two), merchant ships and other smaller boats. Historical and pop culture sources, including a visit to a life-size replica of a trireme, 3rd century BCE graffiti, depictions on vases and stone reliefs, and movies like Hercules (1958) Jason and Argonauts (1963) and many others, all served to inform the design team to create realistic and functional digital replicas of these classic ships.”
Frescoes were an important art-style of Ancient Greece, and were included in the game to give more detail to the environment. These sketches above are a preview of the frescoes within the game.
“In Ancient Greece, they were added to walls while the plaster was still wet and serve to show scenes from everyday life, such as preparing meals, to more dramatic and heroic battles, games, and chariot racing.”
The Art of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a fantastic reflection into the care and design that went into the video game. The game is so enjoyable to play and see the plot, but finding the behind-the-scenes detail on the frescoes and character design is a perfect add-on. I’ve been playing my way through the video game slowly, and I can say after reading this book I can see why the game is so expensive to buy, but it also spoiled a bit of the gameplay and final ‘boss’ characters. Luckily I wasn’t too caught up on everything being revealed through gameplay, so the book spoilers didn’t bother me very much, but they could for someone else.
Play the game, and enjoy the book!
You can get your copy of The Art of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey directly from Titan Books for your local distributor.