Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is the 11th main game in the popular franchise, averaging one a year since the original’s launch back in 2007.
They have now created the best game in the series, as Ubisoft Quebec has poured more effort and detail than ever into their rendition of ancient Greece – and nowhere in its massive world map is a better example of this than the city of Athens.
From everything shown off in the game so far, its world looks to be lush and full of life. At the centre of that world is the stunning city of Athens. For Ubisoft Quebec, the game’s developer, Athens was one of the most important and difficult settings to recreate.
“It’s that booming city of antiquity,” says Odyssey’s Creative Director Jonathan Dumont. “That we tried to picture as a city of light, as a city of the future, for them.” As the cultural, social and political hub of the Grecian world, Athens was many things to many people. A trading port, a center for academia and philosophy, an artistic haven or hotbed of political revolution and more, the diversity of 430 BC Athens is difficult to put together. This largely stems from the fact that while one of the most famous cities from the era, it had already existed for thousands of years, constantly changing hands between rulers and societies, and would exist for thousands more before Ubisoft’s research teams could begin exploring it.
Part of that was defying against preconceived notions most people have about the ancient civilization. “Greece isn’t the white and cold it’s often depicted as,” Ben Hall, Odyssey World Director Ben Hall told IGN. “…it’s very colorful and vibrant and we wanted to make sure we reflected that in the world as you traveled around.” The world of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey looks to be brighter than any other game in the series, and that immediately makes it stand out.
For the team at Ubisoft Quebec, part of the difficulty of making their own version of Athens simply had to do with how old the city truly is. “We had to try to understand which parts of it were contemporary to our time period, because… it’s been built on by so many different civilizations over the years that it’s important for us to figure out which layer of this was the correct layer for us.”
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