This time around, it’s time to assassinate in Ancient Egypt
After the disappointing sales of 2015’s Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate Ubisoft decided to spend more time developing the next Assassin’s Creed game. This meant that they didn’t release a new main game in the series in 2016, placing heavy expectations on Origins, the next entry in the series. The result is a game which adds some new elements to the series while staying true to its roots.
Origins is set in Egypt from 47 to 49 BC, and follows a Medjay (similar to a Sheriff) named Bayek and his wife Aya as they hunt the secret society known as the Order of the Ancients. While the main story of the game is nothing too original for the series, it is entertaining nonetheless. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the side quests: they are very repetitive and lacking in depth. This is a problem that has been present in other games of the series as well, and Origins is unable to change this flaw. After a while the quests start to feel like chores, and you’d just rather do something else.
While the gameplay of Origins mostly follows the classic Assassin’s Creed formula of free-running, stealth and exploration, there are some new elements as well. The combat has been reworked from the previous installments. This new combat system makes the combat of Origins interesting, and I found it more engaging than the one in the previous games. The game also features more RPG elements than it’s predecessors, like skill trees and a level based equipment system. All of these additions are welcome, and they add more depth to the character progression.
The world of Origins is easily one of its best features, and ancient Egypt is just begging to be explored. The large map offers a wide variety of locations, from buzzling cities to marshlands and scorching deserts. And since we are in Egypt, there are also pyramids. The players can even use Bayek’s eagle, Senu, to get a bird’s -eye view of the world. The only issue I had with the world was the fact that some areas feel rather empty when compared to others: various locations and objects of interest have been scattered unevenly across the map. This is not a huge issue, but the lack of objects in certain areas might make players hesitant to explore them and that is a shame in a world as interesting as this one.
The game also features a nice new mode for the history buffs: the Discovery Tour. The mode, which was added as free downloadable content after the game’s release, allows the player to explore the game world and learn more about Ancient Egypt. There are no enemies in the mode, and there are even guided tours which give the player more insight about the game’s historical setting.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins is a game that breaths some fresh air into the series, and adds some interesting new features. It is not a perfect game, especially when it comes to the side quests, but a worthwhile experience nonetheless.