The Assassins Creed franchise has been around for a while now and is well known by anyone that considers themselves a gamer.
Admittedly there have been a couple of questionable releases in recent years but what does number 10, Assassins Creed Origins bring? Does visiting the birth time of the Creed return the franchise back to its golden age?
Or is Ubisoft just flogging a dead camel?
For the bulk of Origins you play Bayek, a Medjay living in 48BC Ptolemaic Egypt, the age of Cleopatra, Pyramids, and the Sphinx with a nose. Long before The Brotherhood and Templars, Origins has you tied up in, well, the origins of these groups through a life of justice and revenge.
Throw in the new Pharaoh, Ptolemy XIII, and Julius Caesar both vying for power and you can quickly see how someone with the abilities of Bayek can become a highly sought after professional. So along side his wife, Aya, Bayek becomes the first assassins in the Brotherhood. I won’t go into the story any more than that as it is well written with many great characters, just make sure you stick to the main quests to get the most out of the story. It is really easy to get side tracked and have the story slip away from you.
I found Assassins Creed Origins didn’t carry the same feel as previous titles. This is by no means a bad thing, and in some ways fits in with the character of Bayek and his pre-Brotherhood life. There is a lot more tomb raiding and exploration with melee combat playing a bigger role. Not to worry though there is still plenty of sneaking around and knives in the back as well.
You also play several chapters as Aya, Bayek’s wife. These are more story based and serve to flesh out details and other angles to the main story. You also are reminded of the fact that all this is taken place via memories and a machine, the Animus, in the present day. At certain points you are rudely dumped out of the Animus and take control of Layla Hassan, a researcher for Abstergo. I didn’t like it and it felt a bit tacked on. But I guess this is what the Assassins Creed franchise is based on.
Gameplay is what you would expect and anyone who has played Assassins Creed in the past will be straight into it. One change that I really like is the replacement of eagle vision with and actual pet eagle named Senu. You can send Senu up to scout ahead, sport resources, and even attack enemies once you have trained him. This is really useful in getting a lay of the land and planning your route into hostile areas.
As mentioned above, melee and being more ‘visible’ is a big part of the game in Origins, and with that comes a huge array of weapons and outfits. These are found throughout the game world, given as rewards, traded for, and even via the Ubisoft Club. Good news is that the level 1 Legendary you like can be upgraded to your current level at any time at the blacksmith. Not cheap though, but at least you can hold onto your favourite items for the entire game.
Visually Assassins Creed Origins is fantastic! I’m running it on a Xbox One S at 1080p and it looks just gorgeous. Once you start throwing HDR, 4K, and Xbox One X Enhancements at it I can only imagine how phenomenal it will look. Yes there is a lot of sand to look at but that makes the contrast of water and greenery even more vivid.
There is still the odd glitch to break the immersion but nothing game breaking. I’m talking about weapons on your back poking through your outfit and the likes far from world ending but it would be nice to see the final polish on a triple A title. Along with stellar visuals audio and overall presentation is top notch, even if playing second fiddle to the graphics.Closing Comments.
Has Assassins Creed Origins lifted the franchise back to its lofty heights of yesteryear? I dunno. To me it is a step to the side with a fantastic game in its own rights. Something is missing to call it a true Assassins Creed title, maybe it ended up how Ubisoft intended.
After all, this is set before the formation of the Brotherhood and Templars so I guess it fits in and plays as it should within the scheme of things. As in previous titles there is plenty to do from side quests to the loved collectables, which are a definite trap for a completionist like me. In some ways it is more of the same, but in other ways it is a refreshing twist on the lovable old favourite.
Get stuck in and slide down a pyramid or two.