The last couple of Assassin’s Creed outings felt like the franchise was slowly being assassinated. Assassin’s Creed Origins brings it right back to life.
It’s incredibly fun to play. You explore a massive map of Ancient Egypt, from deserts to cities, with loads to do. Be it hunting hippos, fighting like a gladiator in an arena or solving puzzles. All which remind me of the classic Assassin’s Creed 2.
The game mechanics have changed this time around. The combat system requires more focus, while stealth is encouraged. You can choose how you want to play in this RPG. But whatever your play-style, you’re likely to enjoy it.
Ten years on from the first Assassin’s Creed game, Origins takes the series back to its beginning for the Brotherhood. You play as Balek of Swia, a former royal protector. Without giving too much away, there’s a quest for revenge. Balek has the charm, humour and compassion to make him a strong, likeable character.
In the past, the games featured the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci and Queen Victoria. This one is no different. There’s Julius Caesar, Cleopatra and other interesting original characters. The story is decent enough but the plot drops in quality a little during the final act.
The new combat system is a nice introduction, forcing you to think and making it harder than previous games. Instead of a quick counter attack, there are buttons for a light and heavy attack, another to block with your shield and another to dodge. Though, fighting multiple enemies can be frustrating because you have to lock on to one . But it adds to the suspense. There’s also the special touch of a special attack which you can utilise with different weapons, producing different attacks.
Stealth is encouraged with a range of options like hiding in bushes and quietly taking down enemies to shooting them with your bow and arrow. There are different levels of enemies and as you complete more missions, you gain more XP and can purchase more weapons and abilities from the huge skill tree. It’s annoying that sometimes your next main quest is a few levels higher than the one you’re on, forcing you to complete some side missions to level-up.
One criticism in this otherwise brilliant game is that it feels a little less like an Assassin’s Creed game with quests instead of sequences and the ability to sprint easily and no ability to walk and blend into the crowd. It’s become more like a mainstream open-world game like Far Cry but this is a only a minor criticism in an otherwise brilliant game.
Being an Assassin’s Creed game, there’s plenty of jumping and climbing. It’s as smooth as ever and the views are spectacular. There’s a range of sights to behold from hunting targets in sandstorms, riding a chariot in a city, climbing pryamids and exploring the Library of Alexandria.
These great views are partly due to the setting and to the great graphics the game offers. Ubisoft claims it’s about 30fps at 720p with the minimum quality setting and 30fps at 1080p high settings with the recommended hardware – meaning the graphics are pretty good. Sometimes, though, you’ll experience glitches.
You can sit back and enjoy the views. Such as the intricate designs of lakes, the desert and buildings – all while riding a camel. It’s a nice change from having to climb huge towers all the time to synchronise your viewpoints and unlock parts of the maps, as in previous games. Now you can just explore yourself and use your trusted eagle, flying it and finding and marking enemies.
Some of the changes take it away from what Assassin Creed fans are used to. But it’s still a great game in its own right. And chunks of fun if open world games like Far Cry and The Witcher are you thing.