Assassin’s Creed Origins
DAMIEN REID explores the mysteries of Egypt in the best – and most surprising – iteration of Assassin’s Creed yet.
We all have our favourites, and Ubisoft’s latest addition to the franchise, Assassin’s Creed Origins, will only add to the debate.
You play as Bayek, a Medjay on a mission to avenge the death of a family member. That’s right, a Medjay, not an Assassin. It’s a prequel as hinted by the name, so the Assassins don’t yet exist.
The main story is well told as you follow Bayek’s quest to bring justice and death to those who have wronged him. The main mission can be finished in about 25 hours of intense gameplay, but doing so will deny you the full experience that AC Origins has to offer.
The historical aspect of the game is as always a treat, and the fact that each city/town has its own culture consisting of different races, gods, prejudices and politics really gives depth to the world.
Personally, I am a sucker for travelling the world and discovering all I can, and in Assassin’s Creed Origins you get to do that in the largest AC map to date. What makes it even more fun is that many of the side missions you discover are too high for you to complete so you need to return later to get that 100 percent completion stat.
This is the most well constructed open world Assassin’s Creed game ever, with a fantastic mixture of cities, towns, wilderness, pyramids and hidden temples to discover and explore. The side missions are organic and when combined with the character attribute building system, where you add skills and abilities to your character as he levels up, they are essential to get your character strong enough to defeat your enemies.
The levelling system in AC Origins is brilliant, as you can challenge yourself against higher level opponents who can kill you with a couple of hits or smash the side missions to build your level so that you can vanquish your mini bosses with ease.
As usual, the visuals are stunning, especially when you synchronize atop the Pyramids of Giza, and the parkour game play is familiar to anyone who has played any Assassin’s Creed game before. Crafting is back, which of course means hunting animals (my least favourite part of AC even if they are not real) but you are working to upgrade your equipment so it is well worth it.
Weapons are varied and come in different types – rare, legendary and mundane – and each weapon has different effects ranging from fire damage, bleeding damage and increased adrenaline to multi shot bows, which makes using them for different scenarios fun. Another bonus is that the costumes are only aesthetic, so no more agonizing over which outfit to wear for which mission.
One of the things I really like is that the map is no longer cluttered with hundreds of chests that add nothing to the game but instead are found as part of exploration or during side missions. For fans of the second instalment of the franchise there is also a pleasant surprise in a series of hidden temples. I will say no more to avoid spoilers.
Additionally, the XP based character skill building component means you can shape your character as one of three archetypes (Hunter, Warrior or Seer) or as I did, make a multi-skilled kick-ass Medjay.
My only real criticism is of the combat system, because it took awhile to get up to the usual skills in an Assassin’s Creed game. However, this may be because I was trying to speed run the game and in my second play through I am going to take my time and use the grind to add to the overall story experience.
Overall, this is the most enjoyable AC game for pure playability and variety, and if this is the first time you have played an Assassin’s Creed game it is more than enough to make you want to play more. It is a game with an open world and character XP skill build that almost has a Skyrim feel, which makes this the best overall edition of the franchise.
I mean, you get to ride around on a Camel, defeat a wide variety of enemies and slide down pyramids. What more can you ask for in a game?