What Assassin's Creed Origins and Greek History Tell Us About Assassin's Creed Odyssey

What Assassin's Creed Origins and Greek History Tell Us About Assassin's Creed Odyssey

We pin down where the newest Assassin's Creed might take place.

Despite comments pointing to the series skipping a year again, it looks like we might get another Assassin's Creed in 2018 after all. After a small retail leak, Ubisoft confirmed that we'd see the new entry, Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, this year at E3 2018. The publisher also released a brief teaser for Odyssey, recalling the iconic "This is Sparta" moment from the film 300.

The original leaking site, Jeuxvideo-Live, called the game a sequel to Assassin's Creed Origins, with Bayek returning as the main character. Kotaku followed this with its own report offering further potential details. Odyssey is set in Greece, but players won't be seeing Bayek: instead, the player can choose between a male or female protagonist. Odyssey is also supposedly doubling-down on the RPG nature of Origins with dialog choices.

So where exactly will this game take place? The problem with the original rumor of Bayek returning is that most of the interesting Greek history is over by his time. Origins starts in 49 BC and the last scene involves Julius Caesar's death in 44 BC. Greek history didn't stop after that point or anything, but the historical flashpoints that an Assassin's Creed game could really play with happened far before Bayek's time.

The Greek city of Cyrene in Assassin's Creed Origins.

Back in a previous speculation article when this was just a rumor, I guessed that the Greco-Persian Wars would be a good spot for Assassin's Creed. This conflict raged from 499 BC to 449 BC, pitting Greek city-states against the might of the Persian Empire. The brief teaser for Odyssey recalls the film adaptation to Frank Miller's 300, and the film and its sequel only depict a small part of the Greco-Persian Wars. Regardless, it's an era of conflict, betrayal, sieges, and all-out battles. Perfect for Assassin's Creed.

It's worth noting that the era has already been briefly mentioned in Assassin's Creed lore. See, the Greco-Persian Wars began during the reign of the Persian king Darius the Great. The king spent three years preparing to strike against the Greek city-states again after the Persian loss at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. Unfortunately for him, there was a revolt in Egypt—tying us to where Origins took place—and dealing with the revolt took a toll on Darius' health. Darius I died in 486 BC, leaving his son Xerxes to take over the empire (Xerxes is the antagonist in 300, by the by).

The Battle of Salamis, by Wilhelm von Kaulbach (1868). Like this, but you know... with a hidden blade.

Xerxes I took a knee for a few years, prepped his war game, and headed out to conquer Greece in 480 BC. At the time, he was leading one of the biggest armies ever assembled in ancient history. This kicked off an ongoing conflict. The Persians won at the Battle of Thermopylae, burning Athens to the ground and conquering several Greek territories. The Greeks hit back in the naval skirmish of the Battle of Salamis and won again in the Battle of Plataea the next year; the latter battle saw a large part of the Persian army killed. It was here that the Greek coalition began its true offensive.

Xerxes retreated back to Persia after this conflict, focusing on governing and building projects. He would die in 465 BC, assassinated by his own royal bodyguard. That's history, but in Assassin's Creed lore, Xerxes was killed by an assassin called Darius (no relation to his father). In Origins, Bayek and Aya received their Hidden Blades from Cleopatra; the assassin Darius is the first recorded user of the Hidden Blade. Darius' tomb was featured way back in Assassin's Creed 2, alongside the tomb of Amunet, which was Aya's chosen name in the Brotherhood.

The tomb of the assassin Darius, the first Hidden Blade user, in Assassin's Creed II.

The most logical idea is to start in the Ionian Revolt in 499 BC, with the Greek city-states beginning to fight back against their Persian masters. That's prime Assassin's Creed territory: down-trodden people beginning to fight back. Then the game can skip around after that, picking and choosing which battles to feature. The Battle of Marathon feels like a given, as does the Battle of Thermopylae and the Battle of Plataea. I'd probably end the game during the siege of Byzantium, which is where the Spartan faction of the Greek coalition decided it had done its duty. This lead to establishment of the Delian League, which eventually led to the Peloponnesian War, with Greek fighting against Greek. Byzantium is my chosen bow on the main story, with that city eventually becoming Constantinople, the setting of Assassin's Creed: Revelations.

This gives us an early assassin, stretching from 499 BC until the siege of Byzantium in 477 BC. The playable map would be centered around the Aegean Sea, meaning I'd expect naval combat to be a bigger part of the game. Perhaps our character uses a prototype version of the Hidden Blade, with the final device being used by Darius to kill Xerxes I in 465 BC. This would work like Origins' coda, with Aya killing Julius Caesar in Rome. I think that would cover a lot of cool history and tie into existing Assassin's Creed lore.

Where Assassin's Creed Odyssey could potentially take place.

It's worth noting that back in early 2016, prior to Assassin's Creed Origins being confirmed, an original leak pointed to a potential trilogy. This trilogy would begin in Egypt before heading to Greece and Rome with the same character. Given that many those original leaks proved to be true and Greece is now on the table, can we expect this trilogy to conclude with Rome? That setting was briefly shown at the end of Origins, becoming Aya's primary stomping grounds.

It's possible that Assassin's Creed will return to an annual release for this trilogy, and then take some time off again for a release on the next generation of consoles. That means we might see a Rome-based Assassin's Creed in 2019, building on concepts and mechanics established in Origins and Odyssey.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

Related articles

A Fresh Look at New Super Mario Bros. U on Switch: Does it Measure Up to the Classics?

Where does New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe rank alongside Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World?

The State of Destiny 2 After Forsaken: A Game That Can't Shake Its Troubles

Forsaken was a solid start, but it wasn't enough to pull everyone back.

Sorry Pokemon Fans, Your Gold-Plated Cards from Burger King Aren't Worth Squat

Burger King's Pokemon cards from 1999 look kind of nice and they're fun to remember, but they're barely worth the cost of a milkshake.

You may also like

Press Start to Continue

A look back on what we tried to accomplish at USgamer, and the work still to be done.

Mat's Farewell | The Truth Has Not Vanished Into Darkness

This isn't the real ending, is it? Can't be.

Eric's Farewell | Off to Find a New Challenger

It's time for us to move on, but we'll carry USG with us wherever we go.