Assassin’s Creed Odyssey places more emphasis on role-playing elements than previous games in the series. The game contains dialogue options, branching quests, and multiple endings. The player is able to choose the gender of the main character, adopting the role of Alexios or Kassandra. The player can also develop romantic relationships with non-playable characters of both genders, regardless of which one they choose. The game features a notoriety system in which mercenaries chase after the player if they commit crimes like killing or stealing.
The player character, Alexios or Kassandra, is a mercenary, and a descendant of the Spartan king Leonidas I. They inherit his broken spear, which is forged into a blade to become a weapon that grants the player special abilities in combat. The game uses a skill tree system that allows the player to unlock new abilities. The three skill trees are “hunter”, which improves player character’s archery, “warrior”, which puts emphasis on combat, and “assassin”, which focuses on stealth. This replaces the system used in Origins, which granted the player a series of passive abilities.
The hitbox combat system introduced in Origins returns and is expanded upon to grant the player access to four different special skills when the ability bar fills up. These skills include calling a rain of arrows and a powerful kick to knock opponents off-balance, and are similar to the “Overpower” mechanic introduced in Origins that let the player use a powerful finishing move in combat. The game also features a gear system in which each piece of armor the player wears has different statistics and provides a range of advantages. These can be equipped and upgraded individually.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey also features naval combat again, with the player having access to Hellenistic-era warships to explore the Aegean Sea. The conflict between Athens and Sparta is represented through a “War System” which enables players to take contracts from mercenaries and participate in different large-scale battles against hostile factions. The war system can change a faction’s influence over a region.