First off I’ll say that I have a 100% completion with Kassandra under my belt, meaning I cleared every question mark on the map and did every side quest, as well as all story and DLC quest. On a second play through as Alexios, I have thus far made it to level 45 (as of writing this).
Point being, everything I share here is based on a lot of hours into this game and not some cursory “I’ve only played the prologue” kind of thing that people dislike.
Some will argue that the quests are the same, the dialogue follows the same script either way, so it makes no difference who you play as.
To a degree that’s true, but as we saw in games like Mass Effect, the cosmetic difference as well as the voice acting can still make a big difference in terms of who players connect with more.
Here are what I see as the key differences between Kassandra and Alexios in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
The Voice Acting, Of Course.
I don’t think it’s as cut and dried to say one character is better than the other in this regard. Let me unpack that a bit.
And also, if you’re new to the game know this: whichever character you play as, the other one will be a character known as Deimos in the game. Deimos is an antagonist of sorts for a big part of the story. There is a difference even in terms of who ends up being Deimos in terms of delivery.
There are definitely some general things that are true for each of them the way their voice actors played the lines:
- In general, Kassandra sounds more matter of fact and down to earth. Alexios sounds more like a video game hero where the voice actor hammed it up on some parts. He sounds like a mythical warrior in a story, you might say.
- Alexios does a good job with violent/ruthless lines as well, but Kassandra delivers some of them with venom that is memorable. She makes a better Deimos for this reason, I think. Alexios can sound kind of goofy/crazy as Deimos, whereas Kassandra sounds colder and more… driven perhaps?
Some people say Kassandra does a better job of emotional acting, but I don’t know that I’d always agree with that.
On my second/third play through I got Alexios and Kassandra to roughly the same point of the story, shortly after a key event with Phoibe a ways into the story.
Kassandra sounds sad, sure, and the first time I played the game as Kassandra I had no issue with how that part played out.
But the second time as Alexios, man he sounded like he was gutted at that part. I actually felt his pain more than I did as Kassandra.
In fact, the entire dynamic of the hero’s relationship with Phoibe feels different to me depending on who you play as.
With Kassandra it comes off more as a friend, like Phoibe is someone she’s known for years and watches out for, but could just as easily also feel like a burden Kassandra bears.
With Alexios, it feels more affectionate, like he’s a big brother figure to Phoibe. I think that’s probably why the scene I mentioned above hits harder as him.
Armor and Cosmetics Differences
I think AC Odyssey does a better job of making sure armor looks cool on both characters than AC Valhalla does. In Valhalla, almost all the armors are essentially a bunch of heavy furs that make your character look huge. I realize that’s probably historically accurate for a viking, but I also felt like there was very little variation through the game.
In Odyssey if you’re going for the traditional Spartan warrior, Alexios makes a bit more sense. War helmets look better on him, as do the Spartan and Athenian beast plates. Larger, bulkier armors also seem to fit him a bit better.
However, the developers did a good job making sure Kassandra’s armors aren’t simply men’s armor forced into a woman’s body. And some of the unique armors, such as the Valkyrie set, make her look like Wonder Woman.
As far as my own opinion goes, I would say that while I found plenty of cool looking armor for Kassandra I enjoyed on my first play through, I would say Alexios looks steadily better in basically all gear.
I loved my Kassandra play through and my wife liked watching the game because she liked Kassandra, too. But I’d say that Alexios is somewhat easier to find cool looking gear for because basically everything works on him.
It’s not a huge difference, though. Again, not like Valhalla where a lot of the armor looked good on male Eivor but kind of stupid in female Eivor.
Alexios or Kassandra as Deimos
As I touched on earlier, whichever character you don’t play as becomes Deimos in the game. While there are different ways the story can resolve with Deimos, this choice is worth noting because the difference in delivery between the voice actors plays out just as noticeably in Deimos as it does your own character.
It’s not much of a spoiler for me to say that Deimos’ personality is touchy, incredibly arrogant, and at times mockingly sarcastic.
Alexios’ somewhat more over-the-top delivery came off kind of goofy to me. It made him seem a bit unhinged, which isn’t totally out of place for Deimos I suppose.
But as much as I enjoyed playing as Kassandra, I also feel she makes a better Deimos. She delivers the cold, combative, and even sarcastic lines in a way that I was like dayum!
I feel like Alexios’ general vocal delivery works better for the hero than for Deimos, whereas Kassandra nails both.
Missed Opportunities in Odyssey For Alexios and Kassandra
Some games program little tidbits of different scenarios depending on whether you are one character or another, a male character or a female one. Sometimes that’s a bit of unique dialogue that presents itself as say a female character.
One of the earlier points that stood out for me where I observed this was in Dragon Age: Origins when Ser Jory is complaining about how dangerous heading into the forest is. As a female character you can say something like, “It seems I’m the bravest one here and I’m a WOMAN,” to rub in his face how cowardly he is being as a knight.
In all the hours I’ve put into Assassin’s Creed Odyssey I have not seen any such circumstances. All dialogue options seem exactly the same regardless of whether you play as Kassandra or Alexios.
What a missed opportunity for the flirt options, or even different ways of handling quests. Say in one case instead of only having the option to threaten someone you instead can persuade them flirtatiously, but only as one of the characters depending on that NPC’s interest.
As a result, the key differences in play throughs are in the voice delivery and the cosmetic aspect.
Thoughts or questions about this one? Drop me a line on Twitter @digimorphosis.