Assassin's Creed Origins Ubisoft

HOW I FELL IN LOVE WITH ASSASSIN'S CREED ORIGINS

A tale as old as time.

by Felipe Parada

 

Whether you love it or hate it, the Assassin's Creed series is one of the most popular franchise's in modern gaming. Visiting time periods like the Third Crusade, the Renaissance, Colonial Era, French Revolution, and the Victorian Era, the franchise gave us the ability to visit places we only read about in history class. Ubisoft let us play history and gave us direct control over its events. It was that formula that made it such a great franchise and with each announcement we were eager to see where Ubisoft would take us. 

The formula was there but somehow as the years went on the game lost that magic that once made the Assassin's Creed name synonymous with the open world genre. Release after release of mediocre titles showed us that the game's formula wasn't evolving with the times. The height of the franchise came with the critically acclaimed Assassin's Creed: Black Flag back in 2013. After 2013 the franchise has been plagued with game breaking bugs, glitches and lackluster stories. We knew that it was time for a change and Ubisoft knew it too which led them to take a year off to work on the next installment. Many of us had a list of questions but the biggest one on the list was "Will the extra time help?" We'll it's safe to say that yes, it did help and then some. 

I don't even know where to begin with Assassins Creed Origins. Where I can begin is that the game is very ambitious, almost too ambitious. From the very beginning of the game you are thrust into a confrontation with very little backstory and sentiments of Assassin's Creed past began to resurface. I had my doubts but after the first couple of hours the game begins to show it's ambition and it isn't until then that you realize that you are in for something special. 

From the moment you take control of your eagle companion Senu, you are given a small taste of the world around you. Since you don't have eagle vision anymore (a first in the series) you are given an actual eagle's vision, I can't make this stuff up. The eagle serves as your own personal drone as you plan your way around the world. Since the developers have removed the mini-map you are going to get to know Senu real fast. I made previous mention of the open world in my "Best Moments of 2017" list, which can be seen here. As you slowly pan out from your home town of Siwa you begin to realize that you are going to be busy for a while. 

The world is just oozing with personality just waiting to be explored.

Assassin's Creed Origins Ubisoft

If there is one thing this game is not short on is things to do. Between the main story, chariot races, gladitorial arena, exploring pyramids and side quests, Egypt is just waiting to be discovered. Look at it as one gigantic distraction, a setting that you don't mind getting distracted in.  And what an amazing job the development team did of recreating 49th B.C. Ptolemaic Egypt. I remember doing a research paper on this era many years ago so I can appreciate all the work they did to make this setting accurate as possible.  

 

The player takes on the role of a Medjay named Bayek and his wife Aya, as they work to protect the people of the Ptolemaic Kingdom during a time of civil strife. The Pharaoh, Ptolemy XIII, struggles to maintain his rule while trying to keep his sister, Cleopatra, at bay from regaining the throne. Other more famous historical figures make appearances as the power of balance shifts with each mission taken by Bayek and Aya.

The world of Egypt begins reveal itself more and more as the decisions made by Ptolemy XIII and Cleopatra affect the citizens of Egypt. Assassination contracts, trade route diruptions, missing lived ones, there is no shortage of missions for Bayek to participate in. Assassin's Creed Origins takes a page straight from the Witcher 3 and Horizon Zero Dawn on handles its side missions. Each mission is treated as if it were a main quest which really adds to the more. 

 

There are 2 specific side activities that deserve special mention: The Hippodrome Chariot Races and The Cyrene Gladiator Arena. These 2 side activities could be full retail games all on their own. (Seriously Ubisoft make it happen) Each activity has different difficulty levels with their own rewards and are a great activities to take on when your not assassinating targets. There could be an entire article on each one of these activities but that will be for a different time. 

 

Races straight out of the movie Ben-Hur

Assassin's Creed Origins Ubisoft

If racing and fighting aren't your thing then how about going out for a hunt or two. The world is littered with animals for you to hunt. Hippos, alligators, lions, tigers, the list goes on and on as each animal provided a different level of difficulty. With the help of Senu you can fly nice and high to see which animals are in your immediate location. I felt that the Assassin's Creed franchise always did a good job with the hunting quests as it provides you a nice change of pace. The real payoff is that every animal provides you an incentive to upgrade your gear or just sell the goods for a nice profit. 

With your newly acquired skins, along with other materials, you can upgrade one of your 6 prices of gear: hidden blade, quiver (arrows), stabilizer glove (ranged damage), bracer (melee damage), breastplate (health) and tool pouch (utility). It is a nice addition and a welcome change of pace to go out of your way to upgrade Bayek's load-out. I believe this is one of the best of the new system as you can upgrade any weapon over the course of your play through. So if you have gotten attached to a specific weapon you don't have to worry about losing it, you can upgrade it down the line as you see fit. 

 

A lion is just one of many predators you'll encounter.

Assassin's Creed Origins Ubisoft

Overall, Assassin's Creed Origins is far from a perfect game, it still has plenty of glitches but nowhere near the disaster of Assassin's Creed Unity. I still believe that Assassin's Creed Black Flag was a better game story and setting wise but what Ubisoft was able to accomplish with Origins deserves nothing but acclaim and praise. I am sure that I wasn't the only one going into this game with a slight bit of optimism and extreme caution but unfortunately that is the sad tale of the industry today. 

 

Is Assassin's Creed Origins a game of the year contender? I would have to say yes but not at the level of game of the year, at least not yet. Plenty of gamers still feel that the Assassin's Creed franchise still has a long way to go, and within that respect they are not wrong. But we can't ignore the fact that Assassin's Creed Origins has taken the franchise in the right direction. Every aspect of this new game was treated with the utmost care and passion that a AAA should have. It's because of this that I have fallen in love with Assassin's Creed all over again. 

RATING:

Many may have their reservations about the new direction of Assassin's Creed. Still there's no doubt that the game is headed in the right direction so I would have to rate this as a MUST PLAY.

Do you love or hate Assassin's Creed Origins? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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