After the previous Legacy of The First Blade DLC that was based entirely in different states around the Greek world map of the base game, Ubisoft has now taken players to a completely new and unexplored location with the first episode of The Fate of Atlantis. It takes place in a section of the underworld known as Elysium, and it’s a very welcome change from the established norm of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
First of all, Elysium is an absolutely stunning location. It’s unlike anything we’ve seen before in the game, and it’s clear that not having to base a map on real life locations has worked to the development team’s advantage here.
Elysium is lush and vibrant, with large open fields of colorful flowers, trees and grass. Waterfalls surround the entirety of the map and there is no longer any large singular body of water here like in Ancient Greece, and so your ship, the Adrestia, has no purpose here. You will however make use of the smaller boats in the game to make your way through relatively shallow rivers that divide the landscape.
Towns and villages are perched high on top of massive pillars of stone here, and players can reach them either by climbing up to them, or making use of the brand new Wings of Hermes. These structures act as two-way teleporters that provide instant access between set locations, and they are scattered absolutely everywhere. You don’t have to use them and can just choose to climb your way up the pillars yourself, but they do save a lot of time.
The map as a whole is divided into four different regions, each of which act like their own states. They have their own leaders, who are known as Overseers, and their own selection of Forts and military camps that contribute to the overall power of that region.
Fields of Elysium also introduces some much needed twists to the core combat as well, the first of which is the introduction of the two new enemy types you’ll encounter in the episode, the Isu Controlled Humans and the Kolossi.
Isu Controlled Humans fight like regular enemy combatants, but they also possess a slew of different abilities on top of that that make them really challenging when they come after you in numbers. They can deploy an area-of-effect healing skill for themselves, bring down pillars of light to strike you down and even send forth an exploding humanesque hologram. Most importantly though, they are able to sap away and freeze your Adrenaline, which restricts your usage of skills.
Next are the Kolossi, which are statues players will find scattered around any location there are Isu Controlled Humans . These statues are in their dormant frozen state by default, but come to life when there’s any sign of fighting in their immediate vicinity. They’re quite formidable, and on top of being able to down you in just a few hits, they can teleport and fire beams of light that can both deal major damage and knock you down.
Performing stealth assassinations around these foes doesn’t activate them though, and it’s generally a good idea to dispatch all other enemies in an area before engaging them. You can also just walk up to them in their statue form and assassinate them as well, but their large health pools mean that you’ll require very high Assassin damage and the appropriate engravings to successfully do so.
Also new are to this DLC are Ability Enhancements that are unlocked by playing the main story. These Enhancements massively increase the effectiveness of Abilities and change their visual flairs, provided that they are leveled up to the max. These are only available for 4 skills in Episode One, and they are Rain of Destruction in the Hunter tree, Slow Time in the Assassin Tree and Bull Rush and Battlecry of Ares in the Warrior tree.
Rain of Destruction can be Enhanced into the Might of Artemis, which rains down a burst of golden arrows in a small radius around the player, dealing damage and stunning enemies for a few seconds. Slow Time can be Enhanced into the Kronos Time Warp, which slows down time but also allows players to extend the duration of the ability by 2.5 seconds for each headshots they perform.
Bull Rush can be Enhanced into the Ares Bull Charge that deals damage but also summons a bull that charges though groups of enemies, knocking them down in the process. And finally, the Battlecry of Ares can be Enhanced into Ares Madness, which allows players to wield the complete Spear of Leonidas for 10 seconds and deal 35% Assassin damage with each attack. This might not seem like much, but the Assassin damage is usually in the tens of thousands, and this ability allows you to shred through enemies.
And if players are worried about a lack of Ability points, than no need to worry, the game has you covered. Scattered around the map of Elysium are statues known as Marble Maiden Tributes, and destroying these rewards you with one Ability point each. They’re very lightly guarded and there are a lot of them, so you’ll have all the points you need.
The Story on the other hand, is not Fields of Elysium’s strongest aspect. It’s a continuation of the Atlantis questline from the main game, and explores the events that led to our protagonists’ understanding and control over the abilities of the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus. It’s a very interesting premise that provides some much needed exposition for the modern-day conclusion to Kassandra or Alexios’ story. The problem however is that it’s not written all that well.
There are some very interesting characters to meet and interact with, both Human and Isu, as our protagonist explores the paradise of Elysium and learns more about it’s inhabitants and it’s power structure.
But the story makes some really questionable choices that will have you shaking your head. In fact, it makes you chose between making decisions, more than once, that do not make any sense at all for your character. There’s little to no build up to them, and even then all options given are unreasonable and illogical at best. It also doesn’t help that after hours of playing, the story ends at a disappointing cliffhanger. No doubt this is building towards the events of the next episode, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying.
There’s also a very brief modern-day story section that begins with The Lost Tales of Greece quest titled The Heir of Memories. It features Layla Hassan, and it deals with her obsession with the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus and the secrets of Atlantis. It begins here, but ends with Fields of Elysium, and is left with as much of a cliffhanger.
Overall, it took me around 8 hours to beat the entire episode, and I completed everything there was to do in it. It also helps that the way the story is structured, it makes you explore every part of this map, and in doing so, you end up completing a lot of the other activities present.
I quite enjoyed this initial episode to honest, but I can’t hide my disappointment with the story. I do love the beautiful new world, and the new gameplay mechanics and enemy types, but what I’m most excited about is where we’ll go from here. The ending hints at a completely new location to explore in the next episode, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – The Fate of Atlantis: Fields of Elysium is out now on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and the PC. It was developed and published by Ubisoft. This review covers the Xbox One version of the game.
The review code was provided by the publisher.
LEGACY OF THE FIRST BLADE REVIEWS:
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – The Fate of Atlantis: Fields of Elysium Review
Fields of Elysium gives players a beautiful new location to explore, and a bunch of new interesting mechanics that switch up the core gameplay. The narrative may not be it’s strongest aspect, but it’s still a fantastic experience nonetheless that will leave you wanting more.