Developer Ubisoft took some creative liberties with Assassin's Creed Odyssey. Although the team tried to depict Ancient Greece with as much historical accuracy as possible, there's still a Medusa, a Minotaur, and other mythical creatures hiding in the map's farthest reaches. Gods and Monsters, then, is what happens when a team of folks who spent four years building a historically accurate game world get to abandon the history books entirely and bring the wacky mythological elements of Ancient Greece front and center.
"What was cool about diving into a setting like we did with Assassin's Creed Odyssey was that you start to know quite a bit about it," said Jonathan Dumont, creative director on Gods and Monsters, in an interview on the Ubisoft blog. "We really connected with the mythological aspects of ancient Greece. The gods, the monsters, the legends, the myths are all great, but building an Assassin's Creed game limits what you can tap into. During production, we started thinking, 'what if we made something that's 100% mythology?' We could make a dramatically different game than we did before."
Like Odyssey, Gods and Monsters features an open world, although unlike Odyssey, mythological creatures like harpies and cyclopes run rampant. We haven't seen any gameplay yet, but Dumont describes Gods and Monsters' combat as fast-paced, taking place on both the ground and in the air. Odyssey had a deluge of special abilities, and Dumont says for this game, the team has taken those abilities and "put them on steroids."
"When you're fighting and you trigger your abilities, you're going to wreck the enemies you're facing," Dumont said.
In addition to special abilities, you'll need to leverage gear and magical items in combat, too. Dumont teases the Boots of Hermes, a magical item that allows players to double-jump, which is good for striking cyclopes in the eyes, or reaching high places more easily. He's tight-lipped on other magical items players can expect though (but throwing some of Zeus' lightning bolts would be pretty sweet).
Cyclopes are only one type of mythological creature you'll face in Gods and Monsters. The game's Big Bad is Typhon, who's held as the most fearsome monster in Greek myth. In legend, Typhon has a head of snakes, the torso of a man, and wings. He can also breathe fire, because why not.
"I'm not going to talk too much about his motivations right now," Dumont said. "It's tied closely to the storyline, but if you read up on Greek myths, you'll find out he's one of Zeus' biggest foes. He is also supported by a huge cast of other monsters."
Gods and Monsters sounds like the game people are clamoring for Ubisoft developers to make, and with a release date set in Q1 2020, hopefully we won't have to wait much longer to get our first glimpse at some gameplay.
"I think starting with a blank page is very exciting for us as a team," said Senior Producer Marc-Alexis Côté. "Bringing our open-world skills that we've been honing for the last 10 years working on Assassin's Creed, and having the chance to work on this blank page to create something new and fresh, is very exciting for me and this team. We're all very excited about creating this new game, this new IP, and we're giving it everything they can to make this the best possible game."
Gods and Monsters launches on February 25, 2020 for PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch, and Stadia.