Assassin’s Creed Origins broke a lot of new ground for the franchise. Heading all the way back to the ancient world, delving into magic and the supernatural… Ubisoft took these themes in new and ambitious directions. For sequel Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, we’re dialling that up to eleven.
What in heckola is Medusa doing here, you ask? Don’t worry. Ubisoft have a perfectly logical explanation.
As franchise followers will know, Odyssey has a distinctly Ancient Greek bent. It tells an ‘historical’ story of the Peloponnesian War, a conflict between Athens and Sparta. The player will have to take sides here, opting to fight for one or other of the city states. Still, you don’t have to know the ins and outs of ancient history to appreciate this one. All you need to know is that Medusa, that icon of Ancient Greek mythology is here, and she’s one heckola of a boss battle.
Medusa herself is going to have a pivotal role in the action. The fact that there’s a special Medusa Edition of the game, complete with a Fallen Gorgon statue, is enough to tell us that. At Gamescom, she also featured prominently, with an extensive new gameplay preview dubbed The Hunt For Medusa.
This is all well and good, of course, but back to the elephant in the room. What’s she doing here? The Assassin’s Creed series might be big on the wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff, as Doctor Who would put it, but still. At their core, the games tend to try to stick to vaguely historical events and characters. In Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, for example, our heroes meet people of the time, such as Charles Darwin.
The mythological Medusa is a little more difficult to explain away. Nevertheless, though, there is a canonical reason for her presence. As Destructoid reports, the team stated at Gamecom that "artifacts left behind by humanity's hyper-advanced precursors are always causing supernatural trouble."
These hyper-advanced precursors, fans will also know, are the First Civilization. This explains Medusa’s connection to Juno, Minerva and Jupiter, three members of said group. Essentially, she was imprisoned on Earth by The First Civilization, has now broken out and is having mixed feelings about the whole situation.
As is so often the case in gaming, it’s just a bit of flim-flam to explain it all away, to give an excuse for a super cool fight or setpiece. It’s best not to question it, and just enjoy the ride.