After spending a while exploring Assassin's Creed Odyssey I took a long walk and began to dream.
My fantasies were about the beauty and wonder of ancient Greece, which I met in Ubisoft's new release. an educational addition to his historic fighting game, Assassin's Creed Odyssey . I seemed to have succeeded in the game because it inspired me to think about the story and my place in it rather than just taking a little more information about that particular world on board.
I wondered what it would be like if our society decided to invest a tiny fraction of their fortune in creating more and better products like Discovery Tour . What could our children become if we encouraged them (and ourselves) to spend time in the lessons of history, science, ethics, and humanity rather than walking on textbooks above them? World
Any kid who spends a few hours on this game will develop such a solid understanding of Ancient Greece as it would from an expensive semester. This is the magic of wandering through a colorful world and seeing how we believe history was in action. These lessons are less "learned" than inhaled.
Of course we've had educational games for decades. But they are often poorly funded and of dubious entertainment value. The difference to Discovery Tour is that it is based on a lavishly designed video game in which the world of Ancient Greece was excellently researched, written, painted, animated and populated.
This is much, much more than a set of interactive flashcards interspersed with images and voice-overs. It's a glimpse of a real world where people walk around, dogs bark, street musicians play songs, birds flutter, the wind bothers trees, waves on sandy beaches sing.
This vibrant version of Ancient Greece is smaller than the original, but contains a sense of place, its landmarks, and a range of teachers willing to guide me through its secrets.
I take the role of a character from the original game. The default is the misthios Kassandra of the original game, but I unlock new characters as I travel around the world. I feel most comfortable in the shape of the child Phoebe.
It can run, climb, ride and sail in Greece, where there are many islands of amazing variety, as well as various places like cities, temples, islands, quarries, harbors, forests and mountains. I am free to browse to your heart's content. Or I can choose to be transported immediately to famous places like the Acropolis.
In these places, Phoebe meets a leader who is generally a famous person from that time. My guide for a tour of the Acropolis is Aspasia, the crafty partner of Athenian leader Pericles. After an introduction, Aspasia invites me to follow a path, with various stops along the way, where I look at statues and buildings that probably looked like 23 centuries ago. These stops trigger short vignettes that explain what I'm looking at. I am also offered optional additional information in the form of text and pictures.
At the end of the tour, Aspasia greets me again. I can ask you to ask me about the information I have learned. The tests are correspondingly simple and are aimed at students of all ages.
Discovery Tour is not only interested in the great buildings of the past. I can also travel a family home. I can familiarize myself with the economic management of the Athens port of Piraeus. I can depend on Socrates and inform myself about his great philosophies.
All of this leads to a magical journey through a time and place that past generations have seen only through clogged textbooks or poorly-researched (but fun) movies. Discovery Tour combines solid research with a Hollywood sense of the spectacular and engaging storytelling.
I loved old Greece all my life. I have read many books on the subject and traveled once a month through Attica and the Peloponnese. I am impressed with the ability of Discovery Tour to keep my attention and teach me new lessons. It has led me to understand more about the ancient Greeks, but also to wish that we live in a world where products like these are freely available to anyone on every conceivable topic.
As it is, Discovery Tour is a rarity; an educational game with precious production values and the heart of a real teacher. It is now available for free to anyone who owns Assassin's Creed Odyssey (19459003) on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One. As a standalone PC product, it costs $ 19.99.
Assassin's Creed Discovery Tour is now available on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One. The game has been reviewed with a final retail download code provided by Ubisoft on the PC. For more information about Polygon's Ethics Policy see .