With the second episode of the Fate of Alantis DLC, the story picks up exactly where it left off at the end of the fantastic Fields of Elysium. Our protagonist is literally plunged into the depths of the underworld, and we get a brand new map to explore.
If you’ve played the first episode of this expansion, you’ll know that it ends with us coming face to face with the mythical beast Cerberus. And while I feel that this amazing encounter would have been more appropriate at the conclusion of the Fields of Elysium, which ended at a major cliffhanger, It was nonetheless a fantastic Boss fight.
It was also pretty challenging, and it kind of redefined my expectations for the entire episode from the very start. Even with my fully leveled character, Cerberus proved to be a very difficult fight, and that in itself was just an indication of the many challenges to come later.
From here, our character finds himself/herself tangled up with the lord of the underworld Hades, and has to perform a number of tasks for him to essentially buy their way out of Tartaros and repay an incurred debt.
The narrative here is intriguing, but it have to say that I found it to be much weaker than the previous episode, which was pretty weak itself. Hades is a genuinely interesting figure, but he shows up very rarely in a narrative that is already pretty short. Most of our interactions are relegated instead to another character who played a major role in the main story, and it was a real delight to see them here again.
The episode actually pulls this card again multiple times during its runtime, and has us come face to face with multiple characters from the base game. These moments provide an interesting bit of closure, and one of them is even genuinely very heartwarming.
The world itself is dramatically different this time around, with the beautiful open landscapes of Elysium being replaced with harsh claustrophobic hills and valleys. Tartaros doesn’t just look dark and depressing, it actually feels oppressive in nature. It’s three different regions are distinct enough that you can pick up on their slight nuances, but not to an extent that they actually feel all that varied. And since we are talking about hell here, that feels kind of appropriate.
Also returning from the main game is the Mercenaries tab, and it includes a number of new targets for players to hunt down and a number of new Legendary weapons to collect. This isn’t actually a completely optional part of the DLC, since one of the main quests actually requires you to hunt down specific targets. But it’s all really enjoyable as this also includes some of the hardest and most rewarding Boss fights in all of Odyssey.
The core gameplay loop is still the same, except for the addition of the new Tartaros rifts. These are small glowing portals found spread across the map that allow you to basically enter another plane of existence to take out enemies that are otherwise invulnerable. But the catch is that once you activate them, your health drops by half.
It’s a really fun new mechanic that adds another layer of complexity to enemy encounters since not all of them are susceptible to damage. So when you enter a stronghold and find a Rift and two types of enemies, you know that you’ll need to be tactful.
The game also allows you to counteract the radical decrease in health when entering these Rifts by tasking you with finding a new Legendary set of armor that can keep you at full heath when using them. It’s a cool looking set on top of this, but it also allows you to enter certain areas on the map that are otherwise not accessible without it.
All in all, Torment of Hades is another fantastic addition to the Assassins Creed Odyssey storyline. It’s not nearly as long as the previous episode and it’s plot leaves much to be desired, but it has some fantastic Boss encounters.
Tartaros really feels like a hellish landscape, and it’s one of the most interesting looking places we’ve seen so far in Assassins Creed lore. I do wish the developers had played up the Hell-ish aspects a bit more, but I’m still relatively content with what we have here.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – The Fate of Atlantis: Torment of Hades 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.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey - The Fate of Atlantis: Torment of Hades Review
With a new location to explore, Torment of Hades is yet another great addition to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. This new setting is dark and beautiful, and it features a few interesting new mechanics alongside some of the most challenging fights in the game so far.