The Legacy of the First Blade grand finale cleanly ties up the story it started with answers and great moments for everyone involved.
As the third and final episode of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s Legacy of the First Blade DLC, Bloodline is a satisfying conclusion to the self-contained machinations that were set in motion back in December of last year. While most of the episode’s quests adhere to the formula laid out in episode one, Bloodline breaks with the drip-feed story delivery pace of the first two episodes and finally opens the floodgates for Cassandra or Alexios’ wrath to crash down on the remnants of the Order of the Ancient, cleanly extinguishing what smoldering plotlines remain with the help of a borderline-overpowered new combat ability. With Bloodline’s culmination, we’re deftly given answers to not only the questions it raised, but Odyssey’s place in the greater Assassin’s Creed lore as well.
Bloodline kicks off immediately following the events of Episode 2: Shadow Heritage, in which Cassandra/Alexios has turned their attention toward a quieter, simple life with plenty of personal ties and loved ones to protect. But like evil clockwork, The Order of the Ancient strikes back directly at the heart of that life, awakening the unbridled rage of our protagonist as they go on the warpath.
That’s a fairly well-worn setup, and it would be easy for Ubisoft to ride that one-note tale of vengeance through to the end, butchering and beating information out of the bad guys. But Bloodline admirably swerves to deliver a variety of emotional tones: wrath, regret, grief, and hope. It does a great job in humanizing some of the villainous characters placed in your path, allowing you an opportunity to see the events from their perspective – and the depth of their convictions, should you choose.
Bloodline succeeds in humanizing some of the villainous characters in your path.
But between the rage and tears of the storyline, Bloodline is another similarly structured slice of Odyssey. Episodes one and two laid down a formula wherein half-a-dozen new members of the Order of the Ancient must be uncovered, tracked down, and silenced, capped off by an engaging villain. That hasn’t changed. Though the final payoff is understandably grander than previous episodes, you’re still looking at approximately three to five hours to get through the story and another hour or two to wrap up the post-credit side quests, though this time around there’s the satisfaction of learning the fate of just about everyone involved.
Continuing the trend of each episode of Legacy of the First Blade taking place in a different, season-themed region of Ancient Greece, Bloodline is set in the lush, bright-green hills of a Springtime Messenia. Most of it, anyway – the idyllic natural scenery is contrasted nicely against smoke-choked pockets of industrial mining towns, for an obvious dose of environmental symbolism.
The new Fury of the Bloodline skill kicks off a stylish murder-dance combat for huge damage.
And like episodes past, Bloodline introduces one new skill of varying effectiveness to your arsenal – but this one is a keeper. Fury of the Bloodline kicks off a stylish murder-dance combat animation for huge damage, and it also generates three times the adrenaline it requires, setting you up for the next kill. Unlike episode two’s largely useless Rapid Fire archery skill and episode one’s stealth-enabling Death Veil, Fury of the Bloodline is a supremely useful combat ability that can be combined with other skills (like Overpower and Hero Strike) to effectively animation-lock an enemy and kill it before it gets a chance to be a threat, all while staying invincible. Your victim’s friends can do nothing but watch and await their turn as you tear him (or her) to shreds.
And though you’re given a few more Legendary weapons (like the excellently modeled and named The Unending Roar warhammer) and a new set of Legendary armor based on Darius’ assassin-y threads, there’s a crowning jewel to Bloodline: once you’ve finished the story you’re able to undertake a quest to craft an endgame sword that marries narrative and mechanics in a way that’s really satisfying. Getting a new powerhouse weapon is great, but I’ve always enjoyed working toward a piece of equipment that has its own history and story. This one caps off Legacy of the First Blade nicely with a tangible keepsake to punctuate the journey.