In addition to its transition into a full-fleged RPG, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is introducing multiple revamped mechanics systems, from its signature naval combat to the ever-changing world of Ancient Greece. One element in particular that’s meant to give players an added layer of immersion and challenge throughout the course of the game:a bounty system featuring randomly-generated elite enemies scattered throughout the world.
Unlike previous Assassin’s titles, players will no longer “desynchronize” if they kill civilians or otherwise behave wickedly. ”We wanted [to] put the choice in your hands… ‘Should you kill innocents?’” explains Odyssey’s Creative Director Jonathan Dumont. “Instead of having the game port you out with rules of the brotherhood and stuff like that, since you’re not in the brotherhood, you decide.”
Decisions, of course, have consequences. In Odyssey, whenever a player is caught killing or stealing, a bounty will be placed on their heads and mercenaries will begin hunting them (similar to the Phylakes in Origins). To maintain that feeling of a persistent world, mercenaries will still be wandering the world – and potentially getting into trouble of their own. You can take on bounties of your own as well, tracking down any misbehaving mercenaries – an activity that one could feasibly make an ongoing career out of in ancient Greece.
Game Director at Ubisoft Quebec, Scott Phillips, says the team “Wanted to have a system where the world was constantly living and constantly challenging” players, so they created a dynamic system of mercenaries within the world of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, somewhat similar to that of Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis system.Each mercenary has strengths and weaknesses and unique attributes ranging from animal companions and gear to high skill with a specific weapon, and while there are many hand-crafted mercenaries that can be found around Greece,they’re also randomly generated from a pool of modular fight moves and stories as a way to offer a more elite enemy for players to fight.The hope here is to make each fight with a mercenary feel uniquely challenging.“There’s a whole bunch of those different strengths and weaknesses that mercenaries can have that will make a fight against them much more interesting and varied,” Phillips says.
These mercenaries will be tougher than average enemies and typically carry more valuable items to be collected once they’re killed. It’s a risk-reward system the team is hoping incentivizes players to seek out additional challenges during the course of the game and provide continuing adventure after the bulk of the curated content has been compelted . “It’s fun to hunt them or have them hunt you and be able to take them out,” Phillips explains.
Of course, whether or not you’ll hunt or be hunted at all remains up to you. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will be available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One October 5.
Cassidee is an editor and producer who can’t wait to romance everyone in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. You can find her on Twitter.