August 24, 2018

6 Min Read

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – Battling Medusa At Gamescom

Assassin's Creed Odyssey's version of Ancient Greece is a land of gods and monsters, where myth and reality intersect – and that intersection is more than just superstition. Creatures straight out of legend lurk amid the shadowy cultists and warring soldiers, and high-level players can test their prowess against one of Greek mythology's most infamous horrors: Medusa.

Yes, it's really Medusa. Yes, she can turn you to stone. Far more powerful than even the mercenaries who'll hunt you when there's a bounty on your head, Medusa will keep you guessing by zipping around her lair at superhuman speeds, tripping you up with lightning strikes, and summoning stone warriors while protected by a force field. She's also pretty good at stabbing you, which can take off a huge chunk of health if you're not careful.

Medusa and her monstrous ilk aren't something you'll just stumble into; they're geared toward high-level players who've beaten most of what Ancient Greece can throw at them, and who are scouting for a new challenge. Finding them, at least in Medusa's case, also takes more legwork than just tracking down a creature's lair and putting a spear through its face, and you may have to contend with more than a few human foes along the way.

[2018-08-24] Assassin's Creed Odyssey – Battling Medusa At Gamescom - THUMBNAIL

In the slice of Assassin's Creed Odyssey playable at Gamescom, our quest to find Medusa begins with a level-50 Kassandra or Alexios visiting Eresos, a little village on the island of Lesbos where an angry mob has gathered to push a woman off a cliff. The villagers are convinced the woman, whose name is Bryce, sacrificed her lover, Ligeia, to something called the Writhing Dread. Bryce is clearly innocent, but angry mobs aren't known for their ability to see reason, so right away we're locked in a life-or-death struggle with the pitchfork-wielding mob leader and several armed soldiers.

The cliff's edge presents the perfect opportunity to send some of the soldiers flying with a few well-placed Spartan Kicks, but that's just the start of what a high-level player can do. We also get a chance to try out the fully upgraded Ring of Chaos ability, an area-of-effect blast that inflicts heavy damage while also knocking foes off their feet within a 7-meter radius of the player.


Once we've dispersed the mob, we're on the hunt. Ligeia's trail leads away from the village, through the blasted ruins of another, less fortunate village, and into the heart of a twisting petrified forest filled with eerily lifelike statues. And snakes. Lots and lots of snakes. At the heart of it all is a temple that sports the angular architecture of a First Civilization ruin; these sites, left behind by a mysterious precursor race known as the Isu, tend to contain technology that Assassins and Templars have been warring over for millennia. Getting inside the temple takes a little doing, though; the key is hidden in a village of warrior women on the nearby island of Chios, and Bryce also mentions that there's a retired mercenary nearby, camped out atop a mountain, who claims to have vanquished the creature before.

As with other quest objectives in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, we don't get map markers telling us exactly where to find these people – just a few hints telling us where to look for them. The mercenary, for example, waits "atop the highest peak" in the northeast area of a region labeled on the map as Ancient Pearl. Lesbos is a big place, and the path to either destination is filled with danger and new discoveries; en route to the mercenary, we encounter a mysteriously abandoned boat floating in bloody water (and jump right in to confront the powerful shark responsible). We also take some time to explore the Tomb of Orpheus, a foreboding cavern filled with traps, snakes, and treasure. Venturing off the beaten path yields other challenges, including a fortress to attack, wildlife to hunt, and Athenian ships to raid if we're feeling piratical.


In general, preparing for conflict is always a good idea. The mercenary seems friendly at first, but he won't give up any useful information – or his gorgon-slaying spear – without a fight. And the warrior women of Chios – known as the Daughters of Artemis – attack on sight if you stroll into their village, shooting you from all directions with devastating fire arrows that can rapidly kill even high-level players. They've also got wolf and bear pets, which makes sneaking difficult.

The only way we're able to get out alive with the disk-shaped key – hidden in one of several bear-infested caves around the edge of the village, which we spot with the help of our eagle, Ikaros – is by sneaking in and out without attacking or being seen by anyone. Since the warriors' pets make sneaking through the village a bad idea, we instead hug the perimeter, scaling the rocky cliffs and climbing down to each cave's entrance. That said, when we do get spotted, shooting through cave walls with Ghost Arrows – one of three top-tier skills players can unlock – does a great job thinning out our pursuers' ranks. Dropping someone by firing an arrow through dozens of feet of solid rock is a unique thrill. But as with most special abilities, using it costs adrenaline from the meter you build up through combat, so make those shots count.


Once we bring the key back to the Precursor site where Bryce is waiting to discover Ligeia's fate, it's time to venture into the heart of the mystery and confront the queen of snakes. Medusa's abilities and attack patterns make her a tough opponent, but the one to really watch out for is her laser-like stone gaze, which can slow you down (and eventually freeze you in place, if you're unlucky) as it turns your skin to stone. If you can't duck behind cover in time, continually moving, dodging, and attacking can keep you limber enough to avoid total paralysis until the beam lets up. Take advantage of the brief moments when she's vulnerable, and you might even survive long enough to send Medusa to Hades.

Medusa is just one of many challenges you'll find throughout the enormous open world of Ancient Greece. You can start tackling them all on October 5, when Assassin's Creed Odyssey launches on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. For more on the game, check out our previous Assassin's Creed Odyssey coverage.

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