Tonight was the night that we found out more about Assassin’s Creed: Origins. Microsoft had the honour of officially unveiling the newest entry in the series, and tonight Ubisoft gave us more detail. The trailer showcased more of the stunning graphics and incredible scenery we spoke about yesterday, and gave us the first look at actual gameplay.
During the game you will visit 4 districts, Giza and Memphis, Siwa, Nile Delta and Faiyoum, make no mistake this is the biggest Assassin’s Creed ever made, and Syndicate was massive. There is so much to explore in this mysterious land and we can’t wait to get started. Ancient Egypt is one of the most compelling and intriguing times in human history, we still don’t fully understand the ways of the Ancient Egyptian people, and that makes it the perfect setting for the Origins of the Assassin Brotherhood. We have always loved the way Assassin’s Creed entangles the worlds of magic and history, and the land of gods, tombs and gold is exactly where the Brotherhood needs to be.
Somewhat borrowing from Far Cry you can use Senu, a beautiful eagle who travels with Bayek to scout out environments. In the lore of Assassin’s Creed this makes total sense as the connection between the eagle and the Brotherhood has always been essential to the gameplay and story of the franchise.
During the gameplay we saw today, we never see Bayek use standard eagle vision, which is a massive change to the way the game works. We are used to activating eagle vision to see hidden messages and through walls. Maybe eagle vision evolved in the Brotherhood later in the lineage and the first assassins simply had to rely on actual eagles to do their dirty work for them. In all fairness, there hasn’t been many settings recently where it would be totally fine to have a massive eagle perched on your shoulder. The eagle better not die, that’s all I’m saying.
The combat system has brought in some For Honor elements, whilst keeping ranged attacks as part of the arsenal. Enemies will now attack you all at once, instead of forming an orderly queue as would be polite. You really have to use dodges strategically to be successful against enemies, and we haven’t seen the hidden blade in action yet, but stealth may be our friend here. As they moved through the game, we got to see some of the RPG elements that have been built into Origins. You will earn points which you can then assign to abilities. You can commit yourself to being a Master Hunter, Warrior or Seer, or if commitment is scary for you, commit to nothing and just pick and choose your abilities at will.
The customisable aspect in the weapon system is something we recognise from Unity; we had a lot of fun dressing Arno up in ridiculous outfits with the biggest weapons we could find, but it seems more refined in Origins. We really hope there is a ridiculous gold Egyptian costume, with awesome headdress! You can also craft your weapons and ammo by hunting the local wildlife (sorry crocs, but I need things), and we should assume that the wildlife is pretty dangerous too, no more stabbing bunnies ala Assassin’s Creed III and feeling terrible about what you did.
We are told that Bayek is a Medjay, a protector of Egypt, we feel like we are learning a lot already. And I get the feeling that his duty to Egypt is where his story, and the story of the Assassin Brotherhood begins. The timeline would suggest that we should see the return of Juno, in the overarching story in the modern day, she is trapped in the internet, waiting for the optimum time to escape. The last we saw of her properly (she popped up in Unity and Syndicate briefly) was Black Flag. And if you are anything like us, you would have seen the original rebellion depicted in hieroglyphs hidden in the files on one of the computers.
Let’s talk about the world; the sheer size of Origins is immense. We can’t wait to get utterly and hopelessly lost, finding hidden areas, treasures, quests and people. There is no hand-holding, you are left to find your own path, much like The Witcher III and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have done so successfully. Assassin’s Creed: Origins has taken its first steps to changing genre to a RPG and we can’t wait to give it all the hours in the world.
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