We’ve heard a great, great deal from Ubisoft about how they’re taking Assassin’s Creed completely into RPG territory with the upcoming Odyssey. One very significant way it’s going to do that is going to be through choice and consequence mechanics presented to players, which, according to the developers, will have a long-term impact on the story and how it plays out. They’ve now spent a bit more time talking about that aspect of the game.
Speaking to the Official Xbox Magazine (Issue 168, October 2018), creative director Jonathan Dumont talked about how the choices presented in the game won’t exactly be right or wrong, but will be tough ones for players for the emotional weight they will carry. “We try to say that there are no wrong choices,” Dumont said. “They’re all choices that you make and they’re all valid. They’ll give you what you are looking for I guess, but I think most of the time people try to be nice. I hope. It’s okay to decide depending on the situations – we have multiple storylines, but we have a main storyline that has quite a bit of it inspired by a Greek tragedy so we try to put you into situations where choices will be tough – not necessarily what the impact will be but they’re very emotional.”
“When they make a choice after that in the world we also give you options so you can lie, romance, or decide to attack people in the dialogue as well so those will have immediate consequences,” he continued. “You sort of know where you want to guide things, and sometimes lying to somebody can be beneficial, sometimes it won’t be – it’s up to you to explore. We don’t try to punish players, play your story and it will all pan out in the end I’m sure! But really each situation we try to make you make some decision, either short term, long term or medium term decisions or building up relationships with characters. It’s not about being good or bad, it’s more like, do what you feel you should do here, and you get different results from different players.”
He went on to talk about how players will be impacting the story mostly not in a large-scale way (which makes sense, because the game does need to maintain some semblance of historical accuracy after all), but more in a way that is personal to the main character. “Here’s a big storyline and a storyline about making personal choices and those choices will have an impact down the road, or immediately,” Dumont said. “It’s not about influencing a faction necessarily or having an effect on the main storyline, it is much more about your personal journey. We tried to look at it as what would happen in this Greek tragedy if the main character had decided to do this instead, so we were looking at it more from a classical storytelling point of view, rather than into a system point of view, to feel more natural. Or at least we think it feels natural.”
That sounds interesting, definitely the bits about all the inspirations they’re taking from Greek tragedies. One can only hope the choices we make in the game will actually feel meaningful, rather than just being there, you know, just because. It seems that way at the very least, based on the fact that the game has over 30 hours of recorded interactive cutscenes. One way or another, we’ll find out soon enough for ourselves- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey launches on October 5 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.