How 'Assassin's Creed Odyssey's' Exploration Mode Changes the Game

Assassin's Creed Odyssey is presenting a lot of firsts for the franchise, making it into a full-scale RPG experience for players to delve into. One returning feature, however, that fans will remember from Assassin's Creed Origins is the Exploration Mode and I recently got my hands on the first eight hours of the game and got to see how this mode works first hand.

exploration mode

When players begin their journey in Ancient Greece, there are two paths they can take: The usual play style of guided playthroughs with the Guided Mode, or going in blind/full explorer mode with the appropriately titled Exploration Mode.

Ubisoft describes this particular play style as "the way Assassin's Creed Odyssey is meant to be experienced" and after my time playing around with it, I'd have to agree.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey dwarfs every other game in the franchise but it's not needlessly big — it's a stunning adventure. There are so many different environments to explore, places to visit, and caves to delve into. The Exploration Mode offers a much more immersive way to lose one's self in the adventure because there is nothing there to hold your hand.

No NPCs will gently guide you to your location, no prompts will pop up as a friendly reminder to "go this way," it's all the player. In the game, going into Exploration mode gave me a very vague, very generalized idea of where I needed to go (or who I needed to find). The help that is offered is using your Eagle Ikaros' vision to pinpoint a location, but the usual map guidance and markers won't be there.

The Guided Mode tells players exactly where they need to be, no matter the objective. Exploration Mode urges the player to explore, to stumble upon the solution themselves. I wouldn't recommend it right out of the gate but once you get the general feel for the map, it's a really fun tool. Going in for a second playthrough? Even better.

By ceasing to rely upon the tools that Guided Mode has to offer, I found myself in caves that offered neat little side quests, or just found little niches filled with loot. It definitely opened up my scope of the in-game world, gave me more to uncover — a sense of mystery that needed to be solved. The Exploration Mode does, by its very nature, offer a much more challenging experience so I realize that it wouldn't be for everyone, but it does give the perfect excuse to jump back into the game for another run, or simply a relaxing way to take in what Ubisoft is offering fans of the franchise.

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At the end of the day, the Exploration Mode offers yet another way to feel rewarded by the game play experience. It's exciting and a very adventurous way to pursue the traversing journey!

Assassin's Creed Odyssey debuts for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC players on Oct. 5th!