Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s Exploration Mode allows you to breathe and enjoy the sights

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

The Assassin’s Creed games are known to have big open worlds, and to help players from getting overwhelmed, quest markers were present to help guide them along with the minimap. Well, Ubisoft now wants you to truly appreciate Ancient Greece in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey by offering Exploration Mode. During the beginning of the game, you’ll have two options, Guided Mode and Exploration Mode. It’s actually recommended by the team that you choose the latter, which I think is the best way to play an Assassin’s Creed game.

With Guided Mode, you’ll be familiar with the markers always showing up and quests popping up automatically. However, with Exploration Mode, you’ll actually have to search around in Greece to find missions. There will be tips on where certain missions are located, but you’ll need to open up your map screen to get an idea of where it’s at. And this is exactly the reason why I really enjoyed the first Assassin’s Creed game since you can turn off the HUD and still get to your destination by looking for signs, buildings and listening to the environment. (There’s a great article by Stanislav Costiuc about playing AC1 without a HUD here.)

Ubisoft invited us out to San Francisco to play the first two chapters of the game that lasted around 5 hours. We were free to do the main missions or get distracted by side quests. The big surprise for us was being able to play as King Leonidas in the game’s prologue.

After the prologue, you get to choose between playing as Kassandra or Alexios. So far from what I’ve experienced, it looks like it’ll just be cosmetic since their stories and actions are pretty much the same. Since I’ve played as Kassandra during E3, I decided it’s time to test out Alexios, and I’m definitely enjoying his voice.

One of the first missions was for Alexios to find and talk to Markos, a character who has helped him on the island of Kephallonia. (As you can see in the image above, you’ll get to explore other parts of Greece via your ship.) It took some time for me to figure out where the missions are since I completely forgot about Exploration Mode as I did the introductory missions. The game does give hints as to where we can find Markos and other objectives, and here it’s revealed that he has a new vineyard on the island along with him being in the southern part of Mount Ainos.

Since we’re already in Kephallonia, the next step is to find out where Mount Ainos is. You can zoom in on the map to discover it, and then you can place a marker on where you think the vineyard might be. Once you reach the area and are close, you’ll get a notification, and this is where your eagle can help you pinpoint his exact location. Once it’s flying above the air, look around and it will help you narrow Markos’ location thanks to a yellow circle reticule (similar to Assassin’s Creed Origins). This is how you will be discovering other characters and missions in the game. To sum it all up, first you’ll need to collect the clues, then you’ll need to find the area, and finally you’ll explore and use your eagle to pinpoint its location.

“We intended you to explore because we really wanted to push exploration in this open world,” Mel MacCoubrey, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey‘s narrative director, tells Nerd Reactor. “We wanted you to see the sights because it’s friggin gorgeous there, but also discover points of interest and new things that you may have not seen before. So it’s really important for us and that’s why we encouraged you guys to play on Exploration Mode because that’s how it’s intended.”

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will be available on October 5 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC.

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John Nguyen
John Nguyen 10447 posts

Assassin, scoundrel, head honcho.