Adding another several hours of content and continuing the story that started in Episode 1, Assassin's Creed Odyssey: Legacy of the First Blade - Episode 2: Shadow Heritage (good lord!) is a solid follow-up. New quests, a new ability, and a couple of new legendary weapons await, but once again, don't go into this DLC expecting any twists on the established Odyssey formula.
This second episode takes place in Achaia, the somewhat varied landscape that sits on the West side of the map's main landmass. It's a large region that offers some lovely vistas, making it an enjoyable backdrop to the bloodshed. It's here that your hero reunites with old man assassin Darius and his daughter -- or son, depending on whether you're playing as Alexios or Kassandra.
Still on the run from The Order, the duo are all set to hop on a boat and leave the Greek world for good, but they soon get caught up in helping Achaia's oppressed residents. Naturally, your misthios offers their assistance, and it's not long before you're bathing your spear in cultist blood.
The central antagonist of the episode, a naval commander known as The Tempest, establishes herself quite well as the big baddie, and the DLC's main quests do a fine job of setting the tone. On the whole, this is probably one of the better written and better paced scenarios in Odyssey, complete with some surprisingly touching character moments.
We'd go as far to say that Shadow Heritage is an overall improvement on Episode 1: Hunted. The core missions have more weight and tension to them, the character interactions are more grounded, and the stakes are higher. It's well crafted Odyssey, even if the new flamethrower weapon for your ship feels a tad tacked on.
However, the ending of the episode has proven to be incredibly divisive among fans, and it's easy to see why. Without spoiling anything in particular, your hero is forced into a relationship that pushes the overall plot forward. It stands out as a poorly judged decision on Ubisoft's part, given that the game is constantly pushing player choice.
For us, the ending was actually a great fit for our character, but we're not going to sit here and pretend that everyone will be happy with it. Yes, this is ultimately the developer's call, but it's a real shame that Ubisoft couldn't have included an alternate outcome to the episode. For what it's worth, the ending is at least well directed and very effectively portrayed -- it's just too bad that not everyone will enjoy it as much as we did.
Shadow Heritage is another fine addition to Assassin's Creed Odyssey. It's an improvement over the previous episode thanks to more engaging quests and better character interactions, but for a game that likes to remind us that player choice is a key part of the experience, the forced ending of Episode 2 is undeniably disappointing. Still, we're looking forward to seeing how it all wraps up in the third and final instalment.