A few things stood out to me.
Firstly, given that it's probably Greece's number one landmark, I was taken aback by just how utterly ramshackle the organisation was. Frankly, you'd have thought that this was the first day it had been open to the public, given the way crowds sort of all tried to push their way in, while panicked employees shouted at them to stop. Also; if you were in a wheelchair, or - like me - are profoundly resistant to physical exertion, best of luck climbing the health-and-safety guideline-challenging steps.
And secondly, I was alarmed by how many stray dogs were openly wandering around the site. I mean, what's that about? Why are there so many stray dogs in Athens, and why are there loads of them lounging around the Parthenon? You don't get stray dogs inside the Tower of London. I mean, I know Greece has had a rough few years, but some fences wouldn't be that expensive.
Or just hire somebody who enjoys kicking dogs off mountains or something. With a youth unemployment rate of almost 40%, Greek teenagers would jump at the opportunity.
Then again, most continental tourists attractions are, in my experience, similarly shambolic. See also Italy's Mount Vesuvius.
On the day we went up that, a couple of gentlemen were stood handing out wooden walking sticks for climbers. On the way back down we learned that these gentlemen had expected renumeration for their gesture - and were furiously snatching the sticks off of people demanding, in broken English, "Tip for stake!" (actually, they were bellowing "Tip for sake!", which you only would've read either as a typo, or as a contraction of "Tip for fuck's sake!" - which, with hindsight, they might've actually been saying).
At least the Parthenon dogs just lay there in their own filth, or wandered around being disgusting and malnourished, and didn't solicit payment.
Brexit can't come soon enough.
I'm stalling here... because I don't really know where to begin with Assassin's Creed Odyssey. It's so overwhelmingly huge, so sprawling, that writing a review of it - much like wrapping your head around the game itself - is a struggle.
I mean... where to begin with a game offering this unprecedented level of scale and scope?
Once again, Odyssey is set in a massive, go-anywhere, recreation of an historical setting - in this case, Ancient Greece during the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta.
Like the previous Assassin's Creed games, there's a loose sci-fi plot which acts as some sort of justification for those who wouldn't be seen dead playing what is in actual fact an historical game. Oddly, while the sequences set in the near-future are played down, there's more of a fantastical RPG-vibe to some of the story beats, and your character's upgradable abilities.
There are even hints and references to proper fantasy monsters, which feels like a weird choice for a series which has traditionally had no truck with such things. It doesn't go full God of War, but it's one pigeon-step in that direction.
The RPG-ification of Assassin's Creed exists elsewhere too, with some new elements having clearly been borrowed from The Witcher III. Indeed, quite a lot has been made of its optional same-sex seduction, which feels like an odd thing to focus on, given that it's quite a small part of the experience.
Still, y'know, if it gets bare bums on seats and all that.
Throughout, you're assaulted with choice - beginning with the long-overdue option of whether to play as a male or female character.
You've story missions, side missions, mercenary missions, missions tracking down the members of a cult, or having to defend yourself against bounty hunters sent due to your douchebaggery... you get to decide whether your character is heroic, or a bit of a dick... whether to focus on your archery, warrior or assassin skills... whether to take to the high seas... whether to kick off massive, army-on-army, battles which play a bit like the mass conflicts in For Honor...
Frankly, this is a game that few of us are ever going to see the end of.
Even if you do make it through the main story, it's unlikely that you'll have collected every legendary item, finished off every mercenary, seen every last secret of the map, acquired every ability... Even if you switch off the new guided mode - which adds a layer of exploration to your mission objectives, rather than just telling you exactly where to go - this is a game that will, potentially, last you months.
It's incredibly impressive, offering unparalleled value for money, but you have to wonder why they've done this, when a smaller, more focused, game would've been easier to create, and possibly more rewarding for the player.
I dunno. It's a mad, bold, ridiculous achievement, and wholly unnecessary. And for that I applaud it.
What Odyssey does feel like is a real consolidation of the best elements of the series to date.
It's so huge that you really do get to choose your path through it, adapting it to your own style of play. No two players will have the exact same experience.
Those who enjoyed Black Flag will appreciate the naval warfare (and the comprehensive new ship upgrade system). If you like stealth, well, you can creep around like a weirdo. While if combat is your thing, then Odyssey offers the most robust fighting the series has ever seen (my go-to strategy for most rucks is to climb up high, loose off a few arrows, wait for my enemies to climb up to me, and then kick them off - pay attention, Parthenon management).
I really, really like Assassin's Creed Odyssey, but despite being a long way into the story, having unlocked all the major gameplay elements, having levelled up to the point where my character feels pretty darn capable in any brawl, I remain a long way from the end. If there is an end.
I've written this review despite having half the map still unexplored, and I dunno how much more of it will ever be revealed to me. This is the biggest flaw with Odyssey and the nature of modern open world games in general; how big is too big?
At least you can say that this isn't a case of quantity over quality; the care and attention-to-detail, not to mention the stunning visuals, the solid gameplay, a storyline and characters that I found far more approachable and engaging than in last year's Assassin's Creed Origins, mark Odyssey out as the high point of the open world genre to date.
But that doesn't stop me wondering just where it can go from here.
"Tip for sake!"
SCORE: 431BC out of 500BC.