Everything We know About Gods and Monsters
At E3 2019 Ubisoft announced Gods and Monsters, an action RPG developed by Ubisoft Quebec (the team behind Assassin’s Creed Odyssey). This cell-shaded Greek fantasy adventure was slated for release in February 2020 and showcased only a brief cinematic trailer infused with colorful hues and mythical monsters. As of January 2020,information on the game continues to be sparse (other than a pushback to a later release date), frustrating AC: Odyssey and Breath of the Wild fans alike without so much as a gameplay trailer on which to feast their eyes.
Everything We Know So Far
Gods and Monsters is a “storybook adventure” set on the “Isle of the Blessed,” an open world filled with rich, vibrant colors and dangerous Greek monsters. Taking the role of Fenyx (the game’s fully customizable protagonist), the player helps the gods of Olympus fight back against the deadliest creature in all of Greek Mythology: Typhon.
Building off the lessons in lore and research gleaned from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Jonathan Dumont and Marc-Alexis Côté (creative director and senior producer of the game) mentioned in a Ubisoft official blog interview that Gods and Monsters will have a “light and humorous story” and a “rigorous historical approach.”
The story is narrated by Homer, who is retelling the tale to his grandchildren while they interrupt and ask questions, allowing the game to poke fun at times. “The stories of the ancient gods and their misadventures have existed through generations of storytelling and audiences, and have transformed into tales we still know and love today,” Côté said during the E3 presentation, “now these stories have shaped our dreams and helped us build something new.”
Whereas for AC: Odyssey the devs had to work within the confines of established AC lore, they can now instead focus on bringing this fantasy Greek world to life.Players can expect to see a full host of gods inhabiting Mount Olympus and even travel to the mountain itself, facing mythical creatures like Hydras, Gorgons, Harpies, and more in fast-paced ground and air combat.
So far, fans have compared the game to Nintendo’s acclaimed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild due to its cell-shaded aesthetic, as well as the possibility of Fenyx swinging a sword, shooting arrows from his bow, and making use of a stamina meter. However, it remains to be seen just how close in gameplay the final product will be to either Breath of the Wild or AC Odyssey.
Roots in the Creed
The player will be able to change their appearance, armor, gear, and stats to their liking, similar to AC: Odyssey. Judging from Ubisoft Quebec’s roots, players can likely expect multiple of said game’s features to be included in Gods and Monsters.
While quality of life improvements like the wardrobe (where the player unlocks an item’s appearance once looting it and can then use that appearance over any other piece of gear) and customizable enemy level scaling (so that even as gear and skillset improve the game maintains a level of challenge) have yet to be confirmed, they are treasured aspects of Odyssey and will likely be included.
The “Isle of the Blessed” is host to many dangerous monsters, interesting puzzles, and exciting dungeons to explore. The 12 gods of Olympus reside on the mountain and help Fenyx by blessing him with their powers, so it will be interesting to see how each god’s unique themes and abilities come into play during combat, adventuring, and within the character skill tree itself.
Odyssey’s skill tree and combat ventured off the standard Assassin’s Creed formula with the ability to channel mythical god powers, ignite weapons on fire, and even tame wild beasts; now with no ties to the Creed it’s exciting to imagine all the possibilities when it comes to combat and power.
Microtransactions have yet to be mentioned, however, if once again compared to Odyssey, it’s likely Gods and Monsters will feature cosmetic pieces such as armor, weapons, and mounts for sale on the game’s store (not that a store has been confirmed).
Hopefully, Ubisoft Quebec is planning out quality downloadable future content as well, as AC Odyssey’s Fate of Atlantis DLC was praised by fans and critics alike. Thankfully, Odyssey wasn’t “pay to win” and had no drawbacks to simply playing the game as it was, without even venturing onto the store.
A Painterly World
The game’s release trailer opens with a sketch being drawn; a still canvas giving rise to images of thick white clouds and scenic greenery, followed by morphing into the game’s true “painterly” art style displaying a world rich with vivid colors and offering a light-hearted, yet artistic look. As the camera flies by and the narrator speaks of the Hero to save Gods, a Gorgon lurches its way across the fields right as Fenyx comes into view, staring down a menacing Harpy.
The game paints a lovely picture indeed, and the sneak peak at Ubisoft Quebec’s cell-shaded Greek monsters is cause for excitement. It’s difficult not to think about how they’ll design other monsters and gods or even which will make an appearance. It would be a mistake not to include the monstrous Kraken, or create sidequests for lesser known gods like Demeter (who, judging from how fertile the world looks, would be remiss to be absent.) The recreation of Gods like Zeus, Poseidon, and the rest of the pantheon with these modern graphics will be great to see.
It’s confirmed that Mount Olympus is in the game, meaning other legendary Greek fantasy locales should be making an appearance. Perhaps players will find a long, winding, and treacherous Labyrinth accompanied by a notoriously ill-mannered guest, or maybe Fenyx will find himself in the depths of Hades itself. Ubisoft Quebec has in store for its fans an exciting and perilous journey; whatever adventure Gods and Monsters takes the player on, it’s sure to be ripe with gorgeous locales and impressive monsters.
At the initial E3 reveal, the game was slated for February 25, 2020. However, according to a Ubisoft press release, there will be an “increase of development time” pushing the game back by at least a couple of months. According to Ubisoft, Gods & Monsters, as well as Watch Dogs:Legion and Rainbow Six Quarantine, were being delayed to continue work on next-gen optimization and ensuring all three titles would be ready for Xbox series X and PS5.
This isn’t necessarily bad news, however, as it gives the devs more time to polish the game and make sure that what’s released is a robust and engaging Greek fantasy RPG. The game should be expected no earlier than summer 2020, but there’s no guessing the exact release date; it could be as far as Q1 2021, but more likely than not fans will be able to get their hands on it before the holiday season.