Assassin’s Creed: Origins represents a rebirth of the iconic historical-fiction franchise. The iconic franchise began in 2007 with the original Assassin’s Creed which then later expanded into the well-known and what is considered the “apex” of the franchise, Assassin’s Creed II in 2009 and after Assassin’s Creed III released in 2011, the franchise down-spiraled where the franchise started to become dry and stagnat so Ubisoft decided to end the annual franchise routine and began a two year routine for the franchise so it doesn’t become quite stagnant and that’s where Assassin’s Creed: Origins comes in.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins represents exactly that, although not a perfect game all-around but it is pretty solid. It serves a nice story, a unique setting, and the familiar Assassin’s Creed gameplay despite the game being more akin to The Witcher 3. This is a very good game. One that you shouldn’t miss for the world.
I was quite skeptical of the setting but as soon as I reached the great pyramids of Gaza and looked out into the land out before me, I knew something would change. The sun was already low, evening was creeping up. The wind skitters over the trees, the bushes, the sand dunes. Alligators swim in the rivers, birds fly away to their nests, Origins brings you into this time period that you only read in the history books to life in ways that certain games within the franchise wished it could’ve done. Origins is a very pretty game. This is by far the best looking AC game this generation and I hope Ubisoft expands on that as they continue to release new games.
Previous AC games took place in the far past before the dawn of the 1900’s. Previous games took place in late medieval times or set within the Golden Age of certain areas in the world like Italy or the Caribbean, never before has it been set this far back. Egypt isn’t Europe or the Caribbean, Ancient Egypt is very much vertical and has this sense of being very large. Mountains, hillsides, and villages dot the landscape with palm trees and bushes swaying in front of you. You won’t find a city anywhere outside of Alexandria, it’s a large desert outside of that region.
If you’re wondering what the story is all about: I’ll fill you in. AC: Origins is set at the time when Cleopatra is in exile after her brother, Ptolemy, ousted her and stripped her of her title and now she wants it back. So, she turns to the people to gain support and overthrow her brother.
You play as Bayek of Swia, he is a Medjay, he’s like a modern day police officer or an enforcer who is on a quest of revenge to avenge someone very close to him. He has his reasons for revenge and for his hatred. He’s married to Aya who is a big part of the tale being told in this game and she is playable for the later parts of the story; Bayek & Aya are very very steamy and deeply connected to each other, they spend alot of time together and the relationship feels like it’s a real relationship and not the gimmicky type of relationship you often see in videogames. Both are very noble and easily likable, Bayek is a devouted husband while Aya is a clever operative for Cleopatra. They are excellent characters that are deep and third dimensional.
As you progress further into the game, history begins to turn it’s pages and they’re involved in some of the most iconic moments in history that ultimately changed the world. I never really had an eye for ancient history, in school I always thought ancient history was boring and still do because it doesn’t offer much outside of later events like in the 19th and 20th century but this game managed to open my eyes for a bit and I started to research the history of this era that ultimately changed the world. These moments that Bayek and Aya are involved in are pretty spectacular, these scenes involve Cleopatra at the center with these two in attendance. Cleopatra, on the other hand, is a unique character inspired by both historical truth and Elizabeth Taylor’s rendition of the famous figure but leans a little bit more towards the rendition that Elizabeth Taylor played in 1963.
The main story is quite good, delivering on both fiction and historical. These moments with Cleopatra are memorable because those scenes are full of character and full of life, although it’s still a videogame, the story feels like it isn’t and feels fleshed out.
The narrative revolves around quests in which Bayek has to go and do a thing on a behalf of this person or that person. Sometimes, it’s a fetch quest and others you have to kill that person or this person but eventually, those types of missions become boring and weary after a while.
The side quests are similar to the main quests. Side quests are tedious to an extent and kind of boring, it’s usually “Go here, kill this dude. Go here and pick up something.” type of mentality. The gameplay isn’t as unique as the open world is however, it’s feels very samey but different in a way: It’s a mix between Assassin’s Creed and The Witcher 3, the combat definitely feels like Ubisoft has inspired by The Witcher. Origins still feels like an AC experience but there has been some changes like the combat, one of the changes is the stealth aspect. Stealth plays a major role in the game and it’s sometimes necessary to use stealth in several missions, AC: Origins is more of a stealth-action oriented game then previous games in the franchise. There’s a leveling up system in this is a major problem which I hope doesn’t find it’s way into AC 2019.
The leveling system is a problem because the regions are split according to level, the game kind of takes care to make sure you do the proper missions but it feels like I’m being guided and not really being let loose in the game’s world. It feels like I’m being held back due to the level system, it would be nice in AC 2019 if it would ditch this system and let you just go into the open world and take the Fallout approach. The open world feels limited but large as well.
In theory and on a technical term, Origins feels like the same Assassin’s Creed game that released in 2007 but also feels like a soft reboot of the franchise and turning it into a something very similar to an RPG but in a stealth-action adventure type of game. It’s a formula that’s successful but also tiresome, Ubisoft changes the formula on it’s heel and what comes out is something unique and interesting. It still feels like an Assassin’s Creed game but it doesn’t at the same time, the AC formula is present in this game but it has changed immensely. It offers something fresh for the AC franchise and is a rebirth of the franchise in some ways, I hope that in the next installment that they remove all the fluff and trim it down to a true Open World experience and hone in on the combat some more.
This is a game that needs to be played by all. It might seem intimating at first but it gets easier as you progress through the game, you don’t want to miss this one.