Assassin’s Creed typically flings map markers and icons at players. Unity was a particularly egregious example, with the map of Paris nearly invisible underneath the shroud of diversions. Ubisoft managed to rein it in a bit for Syndicate and Origins, but in Odyssey a different approach is being taken with its new exploration mode.
Odyssey features two ways to play the game. Guided mode is the more traditional of the pair; it doles out map markers and quest objectives so you always know what you can do and where you have to go. The new mode, exploration mode, seems to get rid of all that clutter; as the name suggests, assassination targets and quest objectives must first be discovered via exploration. This, says Ubisoft, is the way the game was meant to be experienced.
On Twitter, AccessTheAnimus conveniently took some snaps of the mode menu from an IGN demo. Slap your eyes on them below.
While I’m extremely glad I’ll be able to do away with the intensely busy maps, Ubisoft’s inclusion of the original mode is a welcome nod to accessibility, something we’re finally seeing a lot more. Spider-Man, the PS4 exclusive, has definitely taken the lead, at least when it comes to big open-world games, including a slew of accessibility options like skipping rubbish minigames, but it looks like Ubisoft is thinking along the same lines.
It’s also worth noting that the guided mode isn’t necessarily the most accessible mode. Assassin’s Creed’s icon density can be an anxiety trigger, and it can generally be stressful even for those who don’t suffer from anxiety. Just looking at those maps makes my brain itch, which can only be abated by systematically cleaning the map, killing off my enthusiasm for the game.
Given that Odyssey will take around 100 hours to finish and is accompanied by an infinite number of randomly-generated quests, I think people are going to be pretty thankful for the breathing space.