Nestled among the plethora of missions and side quests populating the vast open world of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is an homage to gaming’s biggest current phenomenon; none other than a battle royale mode, or at least a definite nod to the genre in the only way a single player title can.
In a mission dubbed ‘The Battle of One Hundred Hands’, available towards the tail end of the game, players enter a makeshift arena and are thrust into combat against, you guessed it, one ninety nine other warriors. What ensues is a mass scale free-for-all melee brawl of epic proportions drawing in the deftest sword wielders from the four corners of Ancient Greece. As you’d expect, there’s a sizeable purse of drachma for the victor.
Using the now classic last man standing BR trope and in suitably dramatic style, players must battle through these enemies. As their numbers are greatly reduced, things aren’t quite what they seem and the remaining fighters team up to take out either Kassandra or Alexios, depending on what character players opt to play as.
At the culmination of the mission, it removes itself from the BR format altogether and transports players to a small volcanic island for a final showdown where they must defeat the feisty Roxana or convert her to your cause. Upon downing her/eliciting her help, it turns out the whole Battle was a thinly veiled ploy to draw out Alexios/Kassandra and players must fight head bookie and organizer Drakios and his henchmen.
The mission is an unquestionable reference to the battle royale trend but quickly descends into familiar Assassin’s Creed territory. Ubisoft aren’t so much trying to capitalize on BR, as they are making a rather poignant point about the unscrupulous ways of the seedy underbelly of Ancient Greece. The 99 deaths turn out to be rather pointless and Alexios/Kassandra appreciate the futility of their actions.