Assassins Creed Origins, based in Egypt, is the much anticipated sequel to the long running Assassins Creed franchise. In this game the player takes on the role of a man named Bayek, the last Medjay (pronounced Magi), a group of ancient Egyptian warriors. The Medjay background makes for a potentially interesting story since we know so little of them today.
Ubisoft took a break from the series last year to put more time into creating a new game and likely change the direction the series was taking. Origins takes us back to the start of the brotherhood (note: not the start of the assassins). The game looks and feels like an assassins creed game but has had a number of major overhauls that should make it feel fresh to both die-hard fans and players returning after taking a break from the series.
Navigation, assassination planning, combat, RPG elements and questing seem to be the major changes that Ubisoft wished to show off during and around E3.
The minimap is gone and in its place is a compass present at the top of the screen. The compass appears to show anything of interest nearby, similar to Elder Scrolls – Skyrim. Whether this will show tombs etc is yet to be seen but letting you know where nearby optional quests are is always good and removing the minimap forces the player to plan out assassinations in a new way.
Bayek has a new companion, a
spy drone eagle. The player can use an eagle to scout out and tag enemies before entering a complex filled with enemies or to get some nice screenshot footage of this beautiful game. Forcing a player to scout and plan an assassination rather than giving them the building and enemy layout on a minimap is a fresh idea and the eagle provides a relatively quick and easy way to do this. The use of the eagle in this manner has been criticised however if Bayek gained the ability to do this from one of the precursor race or an artifact I could roll with it.
The combat system in Assassins Creed Origins has had one of the biggest overhauls since the previous games. The system plays similarly to Dark Souls dodging and attacking with a variety of weapons and enemy types. While the combat system obviously takes from Dark Souls it appears to be more accessible with health regen, more openings to attacks and enemies not being the size of giants or dragons.
Leveling up and looting has had a few changes. You can loot and use different weapons all with different attributes and attack styles similar to previous entries but using them with the new combat system will likely make them feel very different. A short piece of footage showing an arrow that is controlled by the player (think call of duty predator missile) has some people wondering what Ubisoft were smoking in meetings on game mechanics. Looting of animals and plants was also shown so Farcry like crafting will likely make an appearance.
Leveling now decides what your late game gameplay style will be. You will have to decide whether you want to be a Medjay warrior or a stealthy assassin.
The quest system has been designed in a way that allows the player freedom and gives them distractions. This is aided by the compass at the top of the players screen. If Ubisoft can pull it off in the same way that the witcher 3, skyrim and other open world RPGs have done then we should be in for a treat.
With quests comes experience comes levels. The quests will not only be more plentiful but will be necessary for the player to succeed. Levels not only allow the player to become a better fighter or assassin but directly impact the gear they can wear and in turn the foes they can fight.
Assassins Creed Origins looks refreshing and promising. In gameplay demos and the trailer this is very obviously still as assassins creed game but the array of small changes should make for an interesting new game. Some loved mechanics have not been built on that heavily, for example naval combat is present but takes place on dinghies by shooting one another with arrows (worth noting there are some very large ships in the advertising for the game so they may just be saving that for later). We still have yet to hear anything about the modern day storyline as well.
Ubisoft have made some weird gameplay decision such as the UAV eagle player controlled arrow ability. It will be interesting to see what other quirky new mechanics the team have come up with.
The map in this game compared to previous games is also absolutely huge. I hope that it will be full of little secrets that recent games such as the witcher 3 and breath of the wild have spoilt me with.
Assassins Creed Origins will be released on the 27th of October 2017 for the PS4, Xbox one and PC.