Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is, without a doubt, the franchise’s most impressive entry to date. Ubisoft has taken a fair amount of snark in the past, it’s true (2014’s Assassin’s Creed Unity was a bug-addled mess, and the developers were rightly called out on it), but Odyssey is the series firing on all cylinders.
The Peloponnesian War-era Ancient Greece of the game is a vast, expansive open world, an achievement rivaling even Red Dead Redemption 2 in terms of scale (arguably). You’re bound to miss all kinds of little secrets and extras as you play your way through.
From picking up Splinter Cell’s night vision goggles to a detour to Atlantis itself, let’s take a look at just ten of the many awesome little secrets you may not have known about.
10 Taking A Trip To Atlantis
Ah, yes. Let’s kick this part off the right way, with the fact that you can visit that most iconic and elusive ancient city: Atlantis.
Atlantis isn’t hidden as such (it’s the sidequest A Family’s Legacy, available in sequence seven), but you’ll want to be darn sure you’re ready before making the trip. This is some difficult content, featuring quests to defeat mythological bosses including Medusa and the Minotaur. Medusa is level 50, just to give you an idea of what you’re dealing with here.
If you’ve mastered the game’s combat system and aren’t afraid at all, you should also know that the ‘battle’ with the Sphynx sees you tackling tricky logic puzzles instead.
9 Exploration Mode
There’s a curious thing about the Assassin’s Creed games. They pride themselves on their open worlds, but also litter them with waypoints and map icons. As a result, you’re often simply following a linear path. This is just the way with open world games generally, but Odyssey has added something new into the mix to help with that: Exploration mode.
Enabling this removes a lot of those pointers, giving you hints as to your next destination (nearby landmarks, clues about the area, that sort of thing) and allowing you to actually… well, explore. It’ll seem quite alien to a lot of players, but it’s nice to try out and see how you do with it.
8 Parrying Arrows Like A Boss
Generally speaking, arrows aren’t the sort of things you want to mess around with in video games. When one’s flying at your face, what do you do? You evade it, that’s what you do.
Odyssey makes it a lot easier to parry attacks than many other games. You can even hold the necessary button combination down, automatically parrying attacks that come at you while you’re doing so.
Parrying projectiles, then, becomes an actual viable option. The game itself won’t tell you this, but it definitely is. You’ll have to take some care with your timing here, but it won’t take long to get used to.
7 Relive A Scene From The Black Panther Movie
It’s always neat when a video game throws in a pop culture reference for those in the know, and Odyssey certainly has its share. Firstly, we have a nod to the all-conquering MCU, with a Black Panther easter egg.
As we reported over on The Gamer, if you travel to the Gortyn Waterfall in Messera, you’ll come across a familiar scene: two men engaged in a duel in the water, atop a stone ledge. Marvel fans will immediately recognize this as a reference to the combat between T’Challa and his rival (yes, you can kick one of the combatants over the edge, if you feel the need to intervene).
6 The Mysterious Sword In The Stone
As franchise fans will know, Assassin’s Creed has always taken real historical events (the French Revolution and the Peloponnesian war, for a couple of examples) and worked its own narrative around them. As for whether King Arthur and his Excalibur are real, legend or somewhere in between, we don’t quite know for sure. One thing we do know is that there’s a mysterious sword buried in a stone in Odyssey, located on Lakonia’s tallest mountain.
Is it a reference to Arthur? It doesn’t quite match, nor does it seem to fit with any other reference. It’s a darn obscure location to get to, as well, and you can’t interact with it either. Still, it’s one of those things players will want to see for themselves, just because they can.
5 Collecting The Night Vision Goggles From Splinter Cell
So, yes. As we’ve seen, the ancient setting is crucial to Odyssey as it was to the previous game, Assassin’s Creed Origins. Even so, though, it’s only half of the Odyssey story. As is the Assassin’s Creed norm, we’re actually experiencing these events vicariously, from the present day. Which goes some way to explaining what Sam Fisher’s (of Splinter Cell fame) night vision goggles are doing in the game.
They’re in Layla’s room in present-day London, along with several other references to Ubisoft titles. These items serve slim to zero purpose, but they make for neat little easter eggs. Especially if you’re a fan of Ubisoft’s Rabbids (which somebody out there must be).
4 Riddle Me This
As we’ve already established, then, a huge and expansive game world is one thing, but developers have to make sure that it’s not lifeless and barren. Things to collect, little sidequests to do along the way, varied towns, settlements and the like. You don’t want to keep dashing along endless empty plains from one objective to the next, do you?
One curious thing that Odyssey populates its world with is tablets. Not touchscreen Wi-Fi enabled ones, buy Ye Olde style ones with riddles written on them. They’re hidden throughout the game, and net the player nice little bonuses for correctly answering the riddle.
3 Come Back With My Cyclops’ Eye!
If you’re one of those gamers who can’t resist hunting achievements and trophies, you’re going to have to start hunting Odyssey’s goats too. That’s right. Very early in the game, you’ll lose your false cyclops eye after a goat… well, let’s say ‘takes’ it. What you may not know is that you’ll get a chance to retrieve it later.
What you need to do is return to that starting island, the one that served as your tutorial to the game’s controls and mechanics. Once back there, start looting those goats. There’s no way of telling which goat will drop the item (which will be called the Obsidian Eye Fragment on recovery), but finding the right one will net you the Stink Eye achievement/trophy.
2 Learning About The ‘First Civilization’
This is one of those little secrets that will mean much more to those dedicated fans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. The players who are probably more likely to be shooting for the best ending in the first place.
As we’ve seen, Odyssey lets you visit the legendary sunken city of Atlantis. It also kindly lets you fight all kinds of mythological horrors, once you can access the Atlantis quests. Defeat them all and return to the not-yet-lost city to see the true ending, and you’ll get a little insight about the First Civilization.
As they crop up throughout the series, dedicated fans are sure to appreciate this.
1 Saving (Or Dooming) Whole Cities With A Dialogue Choice
If you’re a fan of video game franchises like Mass Effect and Dragon Age, you’ll be familiar with the concept of dialogue choices. RPGs and other genres are starting to incorporate these more and more, as video game storytelling matures, and Odyssey is certainly no exception.
You may not know just how profound the consequences of your decisions in the game can be, though. You’ll want to take even seemingly unimportant decisions seriously around here, that’s for sure. Even the smallest choice can have massive ramifications later on. Tread carefully whenever anyone asks you a question in Odyssey, friends.