With last month’s free ‘Lost Tales of Greece’ DLC and now the first instalment of its episodic season pass content, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s post launch support is off to a great start. In Legacy of the First Blade’s first episode: Hunted, we meet proto-Assassin Darius. For those rusty on their lore, Darius is mentioned in both Assassin’s Creed II and Brotherhood alongside other notable assassins, and is cited as the first user of the hidden blade during his assassination of King Xerces I. This first blade was then passed onto Aya, and subsequently Bayek in Origins.
As per usual, your reputation as misthios precedes you as you are introduced to the Persians. Dubbing you ‘Eagle Bearer’, they make mention of their master, ‘The Huntsman’, who they claim is out for your head. Falling into allegiance with Darius and his son Natakas (or daughter Neema if you are playing as Alexios), you set out to confront this Huntsman and discover the influence of the illusive Order of Ancients. The same strong writing and storytelling of the main game persists here, with dialogue and cutscenes, including one which depicts Darius’ iconic act, bring the game’s history to life.
This first episode provides intriguing exposition for the expansion at large, contextualising Darius’ plight, while telling a compelling self-contained story. The enigmatic Huntsman is a captivating antagonist, favouring psychological torment over physical confrontation. A distinctly darker tone, helped greatly by excellent art design, aides and accentuates the core themes of the narrative. The Huntsman’s questioning of the morality of your actions acts as the catalyst for introspection for both your misthios, and you as a player. Being confronted by the ramifications of the death you have dealt is sobering and reflective, yet due to the nature of video games, the ability to go straight back to slaughtering anonymous grunts somewhat diminishes the effect of this device.
Gameplay wise, this first episode provides more of the same combat and exploration of the core game, while placing a greater emphasis on stealth. The new ‘Death Veil’ ability makes enemy bodies dissipate in a golden shimmer when stealth killed, enabling you to more efficiently cover your tracks. Some worthwhile side quests strewn around Makedonia, where this DLC exclusively takes place, add some playtime onto this expansion and reward you with powerful new gear. Additionally, a Cult of Kosmos style tree displays the first branch of the Order of Ancients, with more assumingly to be revealed in subsequent episodes. Identifying and hunting down the six members of its Hunter branch is thrilling and rounds out the experience’s content nicely.
Legacy of the First Blade focuses on a fascinating part of the series’ history, deepening the lore of this ancient conflict between those who seek power and those who oppose them. This first episode provides excellent exposition whilst telling a dark, engrossing tale which poses provocative questions about the cost of fighting for what you believe in. This strongly story focused DLC is essential for longterm fans, and with a good 4-5 hours of content, provides a very promising start to Odyssey’s season of content.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey - Legacy of the First Blade PS4 Review
Overall - Must Buy - 9.0/10
Legacy of the First Blade episode 1: Hunted is an excellent start to the season pass content. This distinctly darker tale, embodied by the sinister and enigmatic antagonist ‘The Huntsman’, poses some introspective moral questions while further fleshing the origins of the assassin’s with Darius’ story. A handful of worthwhile side missions and a new mysterious organisation to dismantle in the Order of the Ancients round out this 4-5 hour experience.
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Reviewed using PS4 Pro.
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