Video Game Review: Legacy of the First Blade: Shadow Heritage DLC
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey‘s first major DLC dove into the history of the Assassin order while still giving your mercenary of choice more to do around Ancient Greece. The second episode, Shadow Heritage, now lands with more backstory with Darius, as well as an ending that garnered some controversy.
We’ll get to that in a non-spoiler way in a little bit, but first, the actual gameplay. As with the initial episode Hunted, Shadow Heritage is comprised mostly of quests that feel familiar to the Assassin’s Creed experience. That means that you’re hunting down new cultists while taking out enemies, though as with Hunted, there’s a stronger emphasis on stealth compared to the main game as you track down your targets.
The skill tree has expanded as well, with the new Rapid Fire skill on the Hunter tree available for all your bow-and-arrow impulses. Rapid Fire works exactly as you’d expect, allowing you to quickly shoot multiple arrows while using up your adrenaline meter. This episode has an emphasis on nautical adventures, so there is also the introduction of a flamethrower for your ship. Yes, insert your own “Assassin’s Creed: the flamethrower!” joke here.
The episode does continue the deep dive into Assassin lore as you work with Darius to take down a new chain of cultists, all leading to a confrontation with a group known as The Tempest. As The Tempest is an enemy based on water, there’s a bit of sailing going on in this episode.
However, despite prodding you to engage in naval combat — which, though fun, isn’t always the easiest thing to finish, even with a flamethrower — some smart navigating can actually allow you to avoid too much combat and focus on progressing the story. Taking place in the Achaia region of the map, the quests don’t veer off, making it a lean and focused several hours with some good story and character moments.
And then there’s the ending. Here’s the non-spoiler take: the ending, which comes in two forms depending on who you are using, is… well, it’s not going to bother all players, but it does run contrary to some of the claims Ubisoft made regarding character relationships and choice prior to the game’s launch. Ubisoft, to its credit, has put out a statement acknowledging they overlooked things pretty badly with this.
(It also seems to be running contrary to some of the dense mythology of the series. Although the rules of that have changed significantly in the past few years, so we are not totally sure.)
Shadow Heritage is more of the same, which isn’t a bad thing because Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a really great game. However, given the price point involved, you would have hoped that the DLC would have offered a little bit more of a unique twist rather than merely another set of cultist missions.