The End Of Assassin's Creed Odyssey Is Finally Within My Reach

Illustration for article titled The End Of iAssassins Creed Odyssey/i Is Finally Within My Reach
Kotaku Game DiaryKotaku Game DiaryThe latest thoughts from a Kotaku staffer about a game we're playing.

The developers of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey have been moving the game’s finish line farther out since October of last year, but I think I’m finally about to catch it. This sums up my gaming experience these days, perpetually racing toward a moving goal.

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At launch Odyssey was already a marathon, a game with not one but three main quests as well as dozens of sidequests. I’d heard that it was already a 100-hour game. I wouldn’t know, because before I could finish even one of the game’s main quests, its developers were already adding more adventures.

Then came the flow of free “Lost Tales Of Greece” updates, each of which added a new questline consisting of five or so new missions. There have been 10 so far. I’ve played through one that involved two brothers who were both mourning their dad and also both trying to sleep with my character. I’ve got one going now in which I’m trying to track down the missing wife of my top adviser. Each Lost Tales questline I’ve played has taken me an hour or two, and I think I have seven to go.

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In between those Lost Tales, Ubisoft has released the game’s paid episodic expansions, three chapters apiece for two big story arcs. I’ve played all of those, with each chapter taking me about 10 hours to play through. I’ve liked the middle episodes for both arcs the most, for what that’s worth.

Illustration for article titled The End Of iAssassins Creed Odyssey/i Is Finally Within My Reach

All of this had made Odyssey a year-long proposition, a game I’ve played in bursts at night after my kids go to bed and between other games I’m playing for fun or review. I’ve liked most of what I’ve played, but I’ve also felt some weariness of never being able to put the game behind me. I know it’s the reason I’ve not been able to make time to finish the purportedly massive Red Dead Redemption 2 (I’m about 20 hours into that), nor have I found the time to get back into Destiny 2 for the same reason. It’s not just about the time commitment. I could really use the 117.3 GB that Odyssey occupies on my PS4 back. I could probably also just use some distance from the game.

I like it, but it’s made me nostalgic for older Assassin’s Creed games, including ACIII, which was released as part of the Odyssey’s season pass. I’ve had no time to dig back into it, though. Just one AC game at a time, right?

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Odyssey has so far refused to end. It keeps getting longer and keeps surprising me. Just the other day I decided to finish a quest in the game’s Lakonia region that involved tracking down someone’s lost sons. Once I managed that, their mother then told me about four women in the region who also need help. That’s four more quests for me to now do!

Despite all this, I’ve never seriously considered just dropping the game. I like it too much, though I did become tired of its combat for a spell. Then its paid expansions started adding new combat moves to make fighting fun again. I have at least decided that I don’t need to clear every enemy base in the game. Not this time.

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Illustration for article titled The End Of iAssassins Creed Odyssey/i Is Finally Within My Reach

For years, I’ve written reflectively about Assassin’s Creed games once I’ve finished them. The length of my time with each now seems almost cute. In 2012, I reviewed Assassin’s Creed III after finishing its story in just under 21 hours, then wrote several months later about spending “nine more surprising hours” checking out the game’s nooks and crannies months after release. In 2013, I finished Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag in about 28 hours, then went back and played it for 23 more. In 2015, I returned to the prior year’s Assassin’s Creed Rogue to finish that play clock at a total of 35 hours. Last year, after I finished its downloadable expansions, raided every one of its enemy bases and opened every one of its treasure chests, I tallied my Assassin’s Creed Origins play time at what I thought was an incredible 100 hours.

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My play clock for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is at 149 hours, 9 minutes, and 45 seconds. My quest log shows I have 28 active, unfinished quests. My map shows there are 10 more I haven’t even started, many of which may well trigger new quests to pop up on the map. Plus there are still one or two more Lost Tales Of Greece coming.

I will reach the end. I’ve had a fun journey. But when I do reach that ending, I’ll be ready for a break. With a double-length Assassin’s Creed nearly done, I’m fine with 2019 being a new Assassin’s Creed skip year. And when the series comes back, presumably in 2020, if they want to make the next game a tad shorter, I won’t complain.

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Illustration for article titled The End Of iAssassins Creed Odyssey/i Is Finally Within My Reach

Editor-in-Chief. Playing: Watch Dogs Legion (need to get back to RDR2, Iconoclasts, Arkham Origins, Sushi Striker, Samus Returns, and Ghost Recon Breakpoint)

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DISCUSSION

tillmandesign
Randy Randerson

I’m so perplexed at when exactly the gaming industry turned the corner from 100+ hour long games being limited to Dragon Quest games and a handful of other outliers while the average was the 15-20 hour action game and 30-40 hour RPG, to the present with most action and open world games pushing into the 40-60 range and RPGs skyrocketing past that (I love the new Fire Emblem, but 70+ hrs per each of the multiple story paths is probably too long).

Not only is this an insane amount of additional labor and design for a product that still costs the same as it did a decade ago, but it actively pushes away many consumers like myself who have limited gaming time. The first RDR is an absolute classic and doesn’t outstay its welcome at 20-30 hours. I hit that point in the sequel and was already at my limit, so when I found out that I wasn’t even halfway through I just gave up. I’m probably never going to finish AC Odyssey either after mostly enjoying the first 20-30 hours, because there’s nothing compelling enough in that world for me to commit to another 70 hours of the same thing when my backlog is already feeling insurmountable.

It makes me wonder if everyone looked at The Witcher 3 and said “hey, consumers really want all this content” without realizing that only a tiny proportion of those consumers probably saw most of that content or the ending (similar to how only a tiny percentage made it to the end of RDR2).

#gamesaretoodamnlong