Picking up where Hunted left off, Shadow Heritage follows Darius and Natakas as they fight to weaken the Order of the Ancients and flee from Amorges’ pursuing forces. This episode, much like the first, tells a self-contained story which plays a part in your quest to confront Amorges and dismantle the Order. With The Huntsman receding into the shadows, a new foe, The Tempest, a formidable female ships captain, becomes your latest target and the crux of your struggle in Achaia.
With Darius and Natakas desperate to flee the encroaching threat, you must thin the Order’s ranks and relinquish The Tempest’s stranglehold over the people of Achaia. The darker tone evoked by The Huntsman seems to have dissipated with this story feeling considerably less dramatic and thus less impactful. Similarly, The Huntsman’s mystery and menace which made him such a compelling and enigmatic antagonist do not endure in The Tempest. Your actions carry less weight when their morality is not brought into question as they were previously and for the majority of the story The Tempest plays a vicarious role.
The Tempest’s story tells a relatable and affecting tale of broken family bonds making her more than just a one-dimensional villain. Like Kassandra she is at odds with her identity and seeing the ramifications of her deeds provides some parallel to your own turmoil. However, this equally lessens her forbidding and with her being removed from much of the story’s events your investment in her resolution is diminished. Her story feels superficial to Darius and Nataka’s plight, distracting from their altogether more compelling story arc. Their saga intersperses the 4-5 hour experience and seeing their relationship with both one another and Kassandra grow remained my impetuous throughout. Recurring themes of identity, family and Kassandra’s ongoing conflict between her role as a Misthios and a simple life make for some strong, introspective character moments.
Missions and gameplay consist of the same excellent blend of stealth, exploration and combat. The new rapid fire ability allows you to let off a barrage of arrows in quick succession while the Chimera’s breath upgrade, a fresh addition to the Adrestia’s arsenal, unleashes a powerful torrent of fire on enemy ships. A pivotal naval battle lets you loose with this fiery new weapon which should be a highlight yet narratively this moment feels anticlimactic. The episode’s content is fleshed out by a host of new side quests and an additional branch of the Order to hunt down, while another varied trophy list encourages some creative gameplay.
Shadow Heritage is a fine but flawed continuation of the Legacy of the First Blade’s story with the same compelling gameplay providing the main reason to return. Although The Tempest’s story may be lacking, Darius and Natakas’ predicament remains the engrossing core of this story despite being somewhat neglected. The episode’s ending however forces a significant event upon Kassandra which ignores player choice, being entirely incongruent to the way many players have shaped their version of the character. This betrayal of the game’s role-playing nature is disappointing and will no doubt dilute Legacy of the First Blade’s conclusion.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey - Legacy of the First Blade: Shadow Heritage PS4 Review
Overall - Very Good - 7/10
Shadow Heritage is an adequate continuation of the Legacy of the First Blade storyline which suffers from a lack of focus on Darius’ tale. Antagonist The Tempest fails to live up to The Huntsman’s enigmatic menace while a jarring, forced ending forecasts a unsatisfying conclusion to this expansion. However, the same excellent gameplay and some strong character moments for Kassandra make this episode worth playing.
– Develops the story of Darius’ and Order of the Ancients
– Fun new abilities and trophy list
– More of the same great gameplay
– Dull antagonist
– Forced ending which ignores player choice
Reviewed using PS4 Pro.
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