Assassin’s Creed Odyssey does quite a few things differently, but the major difference to other games is the brand new “Exploration Mode”. Selectable at the beginning of your journey, and adjustable thereafter if you so wish, it allows you to play Odyssey in way that’s much more organic. Combine it with the fully customisable HUD, which gives you the option to remove pretty much every marker on-screen, and you’ve got a game that just dares you to immerse yourself in it for hours on end.
But what is Exploration Mode? I’ll let the game explain it to you:Exploration Mode is pretty simple – all it does is remove any waypoint markets from the game and encourages you to find things yourself. What’s even more impressive about this is how the game is clearly designed from the ground up to be played this way. Characters will reference “heading west” or “head to the village called xxxxx” and if you do that, without consulting a map or anything, you’ll still head to your destination.
Most of the major quests even give you a few clues to narrow down your search too. You can see in one of the main quests below, I discovered some information but needed to find a person elsewhere. The game then proceeded to give me hints that allowed me to discover where they were rather than just point me in the direction of a waypoint.In this example, I had already discovered the Temple of Aphrodite previously so it appears pretty much straight away in the clue list, but as you can see in the map for Odyssey all of these areas are individually labelled and titled, allowing you to work out the position of your goal yourself. Like I said, it’s a simple change, but it felt a lot more organic to either follow verbal directions from a character or just use my map to narrow down the location of the nearest goal or objective.
But as you’ll see below, the map is labelled and zooming into Korinthia, then Akrokorinth allows me to discover an area to explore in order to find the Temple of Aprhodite and finish my objective.
First you find Korinthia on the map, which is fairly simple given how big it is compared to other regions.Then you zoom in and find Akrokorinth, which is a region within Korinthia.Then I would explore that region to find the location I was after, though in this example I’d already discovered it so it appears on the map already.Exploration Mode is a simple change that dramatically changed the way that I played Assassin’s Creed – I found myself fast travelling less and playing for much longer as I continually kept getting lost in the world. It’s the mode to play in if you value exploration and organic discovery in games.
Give it a try, if you don’t like it you can switch back to Guided for the more “traditional” Assassin’s Creed experience and the game thankfully doesn’t penalise you for going either way. It’s just a cool new idea that Odyssey does pretty well that is specifically worth mentioning.