Assassin’s Creed Odyssey does a lot of things well, combat being one of them. Scrapping with the myriad of Athenian and Spartan grunts – their cheese-grating six packs and finely-chiselled features honed like a, well, Greek god – is exhilarating. Its heroes, Alexios and Kassandra, move with almost ballet-like precision, deftly skipping and rolling all over the gaff, before a swift counter sends crimson gushing like a fountain. It not only looks great but, thanks to the array of almost superpower-like abilities on hand, is super satisfying to boot. Plus, punting someone off a cliff with a Sparta Kick just feels right.
It’s just as well, as Odyssey throws a pantheon of pugnacious foes at you, from rugged captains, seafaring pirates, to towering mercenaries and legendary beasts. Still, those are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the game’s most lethal enemies – here’s five foes that will really test if you’re the stuff of Greek legend or not.
Chickens are ostensibly benevolent creatures, happily clucking away in busy streets and prosperous farmlands. That’s until you do something to rustle their feathers, at which point something just...clicks. Quite why there’s no mythical animal in Greek folklore based around a chicken is beyond me; these things are killers. They’ll employ a group mentality when attacking their prey, stabbing with their razor-sharp beaks, until your would-be warrior is either pecked to death or dies of sheer embarrassment. Indeed, the game recognises the ferocity of chickens to such an extent that you can parry one of their attacks. Go on, try it.
You’ll see a lot of dogs in and around Odyssey’s sprawling cities, wandering about the packed streets and vociferous marketplaces. Some of them are also the personal pooch of the game’s various mercenaries that stalk you. These aren’t lovable, slobbering hounds like Corrie’s Schmeichel, though; get on their wrong side, and you’ll have an epic ruck on your hands as they gnaw at your dangly bits, blood dripping from their fangs like the Hound of the Baskervilles. No bone is going to satiate the bloodlust of these marauding mutts – better just use a good spear instead.
The most dangerous animal of all: human civilians. If you’re going to get into a fight in the street, then do it away from this lot. Odyssey’s innocent folk show their true colours when you accidentally nick them with the pointy end of your blade, at which point they will abandon their routines and take up arms. Forget traditional weaponry; these buggers will beat the shit out of you with brooms and other household objects, a bit like that scene in EastEnders when Pauline Fowler went mental with a frying pan and battered poor Arthur. Civvies are pretty tough too, and will hand you your arse on a plate unless you deal with them swiftly – they’ll even hunt you down if you manage to get away, such is their tenacity and desire for dismemberment.
Found outside of heavily populated areas, these pernicious porkers don’t need a reason to attack: simply walking past them is enough of a reason to piss them off. They typically roam around in packs too, making fending off a collection of these oinkers a massive problem. They’re surprisingly fast, and become more of an issue when you are already engaged with other enemies. I saw one take on a ruddy Lion and manage to hold its own. There’s even a bloomin’ huge pig to fight called the Erymanthian Boar, who has tons of health, and attacks by actual farting. In fact, it’s so lethal that your character will be poisoned and almost choke to death in wake of its toxic butt burps. Pumbaa ain’t got nothin’ on this guy.
Warrior-daddy Nikoloas warned you of snakes in the grass, and he wasn’t talking figuratively, either. The Master Assassins of the animal kingdom, snakes are expert campers, waiting for the chance to strike with venomous intent, unseen. Make no mistake: you will get nicked by one of these slippery buggers, and probably won’t even realise what attacked you until you’re knee-deep in a whole gaggle of these hissing horrors. Kill them. Kill them with fire.