After 293,124,412 leaks, Ubisoft finally came around to revealing its latest Assassin’s Creed game and it is set in Ancient Egypt (surprise, surprise!). The game was developed by the team that originally developed Black Flag which was one of the best releases in the franchise. Assassin’s Creed Origins will be available on the Xbox One X, Xbox One, PS4, PS4 Pro and PC and is set to release on October 27. In case you missed the reveal you can watch the gameplay here.
This time around, the Animus takes us back, way back, all the way to ancient Egypt (49 B.C.). You’re put in the shoes of Bayek, the last of the Medjays (The pharaoh’s secret service) and the first of the Assassins. The game is set at the peak of the Egyptian empire, about to fall to the Ptolemaic Greeks. The open world feels much more diverse and alive compared to the previous games. For example, you can ride a horse from the town of Siwa to the shores of Lake Moeris, sail to the middle, dive and retrieve sunken treasure after spending hours exploring the sunken Temple of Pnepheros. Yep, there exists a whole other world underwater waiting to be explored.
In a bid to revamp gameplay, Ubisoft has introduced some RPG-esque elements into the game. The game offers a skill tree, through which Bayek can specialise in one of three different branches, Hunter (think Hanzo), Warrior (head-on combat) and Seer (subtler ways). The tree itself is similar to the one in Syndicate, but the difference lies in how the levelling is done. Unlike in Syndicate, where you gain XP only by completing missions, here exp is earned by slaying enemies bringing it closer to conventional RPGs. Also, the minimap in the bottom left corner is gone, all you are left with is a Skyrim-like radar at centre-top.
Bayek uses a melee weapon and shield combination for close combat and a bow for long range. Melee combat is reminiscent of For Honor where a combination of dodging, parrying, countering and well-timed strikes is important. The ability to quickly switch between bow and melee makes the bow not exclusive to long range only and can be used to chain up combos in a melee fight. In the trailer, we see Bayek open his melee fight with three quick arrow shots. New weapons can now be found in the open world from crates and dead enemies which is a welcome change from the older games.
The wildlife is no longer static and actually affects the gameplay. Don’t get surprised if a hippopotamus sneaks up on you and wrecks your boat. On the flipside, Bayek has Senu, a hawk which can scout ahead and mark enemies for him. Senu seems to be an integral part of the gameplay and we think it will gain more functionality through the skill tree. Bayek also has an animal taming skill that allows him to tame animals into following him. Animal cages exist, that can be destroyed unleashing primal fury on enemies (Far Cry anyone?).
Perhaps a one-year hiatus has done Ubisoft some good. The game looks really promising and doesn’t look like a repetition of the previous games. A big letdown though, was the lack of facial animations, considering the extended development time. However, we hope the open world makes up for it. The game will launch for the Xbox One X when it launches and October 27th for the rest of the platforms.