Warning: This Legacy of the First Blade expansion review includes key plot points that some may consider spoilers.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Legacy of the First Blade is the first expansion for the award winning 2018 RPG which we gave 4.5 stars, calling it ‘one of the best entries in the franchise’. Ubisoft split Legacy of the First Blade into three parts, releasing them every six weeks since launch. Episode one, Hunted, introduced Darius (AKA Artabanus), billed as the Persian assassin of King Xerxes (yes, that egoistic pierced guy from the movie 300), which was the first recorded usage of the hidden blade. Episode two, Shadow Heritage, focuses on getting to know Darius and his son Natakas, fighting alongside them and stealing the Chimera’s Breath – a fire-breather for your ship. The second episode concludes with the controversially forced romance with Natakas and birth of son Elpidios, which also helps give birth to episode three and the conclusion of the Legacy of the First Blade.
The final episode, Bloodline, includes some tough story-driven moments regarding your son Elpidios and overall safety of your family and Dyme, the town you call home. The overlying theme of the expansion involves taking out more cultists, those that call themselves the Order of the Ancients, which of course leads to acquiring some cool new armor and weapons along the way. It’s a package which probably would have been received better by fans if it was given all at once, and although the family story is dull, it’s always great to not just discover but actually play through the lore of understanding how the Assassin’s Creed began. In Assassin’s Creed Origins we learnt about the start of the Brotherhood, and now in Odyssey we learn about Darius’ hidden blade.
Sadly, the Legacy of the First Blade story was downright boring, and as we’ve dramatically seen, the writers took a blatant disregard to the way many fans were playing through the main story with their gender preferences. Episode one was over before we knew it after a few basic combat experiences and the introduction of Darius. Throughout episode two we continued to make the choices of being a Mysthios and not having time for the relationship with Darius’ son Natakas, but then at the last minute made the choice to have a baby with Natakas and ‘grow up’, which is forced on you anyway. While the wording for the ‘Growing Up’ achievement sparked controversy and has since been renamed to ‘Blood of Leonidas’, it was clear that the writing for the entire DLC was sub-par and begged the question of whether the same writers that worked on the main Assassin’s Creed Odyssey story also worked on this expansion.
Alongside the Legacy of the First Blade expansion has been a wealth of updates and new story missions which have arguably added more to the game than the expansion. New Game+ mode was just recently added in patch 1.1.4, as well as the level cap rise to 99 and new ship upgrades. It’s become almost impossible in higher levels to upgrade your gear each level, and we found ourselves completing the third episode with gear up to five levels lower than the character. Fortunately, there’s a nice new set of legendary assassin armor as well as the Sword of Kings, and other new weapons that will help along the way. The final ship upgrades are almost out of reach without farming and grinding various outposts, and we think it’s probably got something to do with Ubisoft wanting high-level fans to start a New Game+. There were also 22 viewpoints across Ancient Greece added to the game in the latest patch, however we only came across one of them throughout this expansion.
The story missions throughout the expansions were pedestrian at best, with barely any new locations to encounter. This leads to clearing forts that you’ve already been through in the main game, and there’s very little in the way of discovery for those that had already spent a lot of time in the game. There are some fan-favourite escort missions, and we even got caught out in one where there was a huge bounty on our character’s head and some high-level bounty hunters spawned in out of nowhere, causing the escort mission to take a lot longer. With Assassin’s Creed comes a certain level of mystery and so it was a shame that there wasn’t more ancient structure exploring as we learnt about the legacy of the first hidden blade.
Through the mess of the expansion, Darius remained a solid character and there were times when he reminded us of Geralt of Rivia. It could be the hair, the age, the fighting style, or the attitude. There were a lot of similarities, including the fact that Ubisoft has tried with Origins and Odyssey to make the Assassin’s Creed franchise more like The Witcher 3. Darius is essentially the beginning of the Creed, having forged the first Hidden Blade which ends up in the hands of Cleopatra of Egypt who gives it to Aya in Assassin’s Creed Origins. A stand-alone expansion or a full-blown game featuring Darius is obviously something Ubisoft should consider, and could be a much darker game than what the franchise is known for.
If Legacy of the First Blade was the only expansion for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey then we would be gutted. Although it tells a story that must be told, the writing just isn’t up to standard and we wished Darius showed us more of the hidden blade, including the option to use it. There was even a scene in Bloodline where they could have allowed the player to play as Darius, but your character jumps in at the last minute to render assistance. We are very much looking forward to the second expansion The Fate of Atlantis, and hopefully it can deliver a more epic Assassin’s Creed tale to conclude our journey through Ancient Greece.
- Learning about Darius and the First Blade was enjoyable - Lots of new weapons, armor and upgrades
- The story - The romance - The missions