TORONTO – The Ubisoft Quebec developers behind "Assassin Creed Odyssey" wanted the game to be a choice, allowing players to develop their character and chart their own course in Ancient Greece.
For actor Michael Antonakos, who plays the male lead Alexios, this meant a multifaceted performance.
Alexios can be both a hero and a villain – and everywhere – depending on what you make him do.
"You always had to think about how you would react (like Alexios)," Antonakos said. "Because sometimes there's a way for you to see the character want to react … And then it's" Okay, he's going to be an idiot now "and then you have to go (otherwise).
The Assassin's Creed franchise traveled on time and around the world. Ancient Greece was chosen for this edition precisely because of the options it offers, according to game director Scott Phillips.
"It was just a big world of contrasts that allows the player many options to choose from," he said.
"It's culturally super-significant because many of the things we see in our Western history today come from ancient Greece," added narrative director Melissa MacCoubrey.
The game takes place in the fifth century BC, during the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens. Players play a mercenary of Spartan blood.
The franchise opened with the release of "Assassin's Creed Origins" in 2017, giving players "more opportunities, more choices in the game and in history," Phillips said.
"For us at Odyssey, we saw what Origins was doing … We knew what they were doing, we knew where we wanted to go because we wanted to go as far in RPG territory as we could," Phillips said.
The idea was to move the franchise forward, to connect players to the world in which they were launched.
"Because you do not want to continue doing the same thing necessarily. You want to attract more people, you want to open the audience, you also want to create a new experience for the players," Phillips said.
The goal was to give the player as much freedom as possible, "allowing them to truly feel the experience," he added.
That meant building a huge sandbox to play.
"I think this is definitely the biggest game Ubisoft has ever done in terms of the sheer amount of content," Phillips said.
Players can choose to play the game as a male or female character. Melissanthi Mahut, as Antonakos, a Greek-Canadian, plays the leading female role, Kassandra.
"We had to imitate each other's performance," Antonakos said. "One of us would go first and then the other would follow and then we would change for every scene we did."
Antonakos, 36, calls Mahut "an incredible partner who has become an incredible friend." While the two characters had unique male and female traits, the actors shared critiques and notes about how their character would act and react during their thousands. of lines.
"We always get together to build the character as one," he said.
"We would both have each other all the time," he added. "This was an incredible experience that I never had before as an actor. It was fascinating to do and make everything go so well. "
Antonakos also paid tribute to the game's writers for helping them understand their character and journey, whether in sound studios or motion capture.
The developers traveled to Greece and used historians to ensure accuracy within the game.
While Ubisoft Quebec was the leading developer, the game attracted the help of fellow studios worldwide including Montreal, Singapore, Bucharest, Chengdu (China), Montpellier (France), Kiev (Ukraine), Shanghai and Pune .
"Assassin's Creed Odyssey", rated M for Mature, is available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
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